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8 Gluten Free Travel Tips

When we go on a vacation, it is always an adventure. There is so much to do to make it a successful gluten free trip. I actually have a list, if you know me this is not shocking information, for every type of trip we go on: are we staying in a hotel, with family, are we going to the mountains, will we have a car, are we driving or flying. These are all different scenarios that each deserve their own packing list.

Here are some pointers that I have come up with over the years to make our Gluten free journeys out of town successful!

  1. Call ahead to restaurants and hotels. I like to make a list of all the places we plan on staying and call them to see what the accommodations are. Do they have refrigerators in the room? Do they have a continental breakfast? Do they have gluten free items on their menu? Again, refer to my article on March 30 about the gluten free registry website.
  2. Bring your own food! I can not stress the importance of this. One thing that I feel very strongly about is NOT inconveniencing the world because of my own problems. I am responsible for me and my family and I do not expect businesses to accommodate our gluten free needs. When they can, it is a bonus. I have an emergency list of foods that I bring no matter what. Your list may differ from mine.
  3. My emergency list of food to take where ever we may go on vacation:
    1. PEANUT BUTTER
    2. GLUTEN FREE BREAD
    3. GLUTEN FREE CEREAL
    4. RICE MILK
    5. FRUIT LEATHERS
    6. PROTEIN BARS.
  4. Designate a suitcase for Gluten free foods and snacks. Do not assume that you are just going to ‘find stuff to eat’ on the trip. You can always be pleasantly surprised later. I can’t even tell you how important it is to plan ahead with food. Hungry, starving, cranky children will force you to buy them food that you are going to regret later. Not only that, if you pack really yummy treats, they will not even notice the big chocolate brownie that you had to pass up!
  5. Bring your own toaster. I went to Walmart and bought a small, $6 toaster. I keep it in the box and it goes right in my suitcase when I go on vacations if I am staying in a hotel. As you may be aware, gluten free bread tastes better to us when it is toasted.
  6. Make sure that you pack food for the road. Whether you are getting there by car, airplane, train or boat, make sure that you have some food WITH you. Most airlines provide snacks with a beverage that are filled with gluten. Even those innocent peanuts they give you have MSG (gluten) in them. I know we tend to underestimate the time that it is going to take to ‘get through’ the airport. Make sure you are armed with healthy snacks so you can pass by that McDonalds a little easier.
  7. Find 5 restaurants in the area that have gluten free items that everyone can eat. I know when I look up the menu to a restaurant I can always find something I can eat, but I always ask…”What can my kids eat.” Then I can call them up to confirm that the menu items are current and are in fact, not made with gluten or soy.
  8. Bring your own cookware. When we go to the mountains, I always worry about the pots and pans. Who knows what was cooked in them and how thoroughly they were washed? I bring one large pot and one large pan. I figure I can make anything I need in these two items without too much trouble and I know we are not getting cross contamination from other people’s food.

If you have any tips you want to share, I would love to hear them!

In honor of our recent trip to New England, I wanted to share with you a yummy gluten free English Muffin recipe I found on iamglutenfree.blogspot.com. The history of the English Muffin is an English baker, a certain Samuel B. Thomas, started making these flat chewy things in America over 100 years ago, from his mother’s tea cake recipe. The English deny that they ever heard or saw anything like it until they were imported from America. Today you can find Thomas’ English Muffins in most English supermarkets, imported from America. I have many fond memories of buying English muffins buttered with cinnamon on top at ‘nutrition’ in Elementary School for 10 cents. You can understand my excitement when I was able to make the gluten free version that look and taste like the real thing! Today, 35 years later, I still eat them the same way!

English Muffins

Ingredients:
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup white rice flour
¼ cup arrowroot
¼ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ t salt
1 T sugar
1 T quick rise yeast
1 tsp olive oil
¾ cup + 1 T warm water.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin rings with olive oil.
Mix dry ingredients in bowl of standing mixer.
Add oil and water and mix until just blended. Then beat on high for 2 minutes
Spoon dough into the tin rings. Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes.  Makes 4 muffins.

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