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    Blondie Fruit Bars (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)


    Jules Shepard

    I've been trying to will the coming of warm springtime weather by baking foods I'll want on my next picnic.  No matter that my kids and I eat them on a tablecloth spread out on the living room floor ... our hearts are in the great outdoors!  Whether you're picnicing indoors or out, these filling snack bars will be a treat everyone will enjoy.  Using a hodgepodge mix of dried fruits I have had on hand, I have made this recipe several times with differing ingredients.  Feel free to substitute with whatever dried fruits and or nuts you have on hand -- the base recipe remains the same -- although I recommend at least using figs in this recipe, as they are high in fiber and minerals like potassium, calcium and iron, and their crunchy sweetness is unmistakable throughout.


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    Be sure to let the bars cool before you cut them, and if you have any extra crumbs left behind from cutting the bars, save them to sprinkle on top of yogurt or use as a granola-like breakfast cereal with milk.  Any way you prefer, these nutritious gluten and dairy-free bars are sure to be a hit!

    Ingredients:
    1 cup butter or non-dairy alternative like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Shortening Sticks (room temperature)
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
    ½ tsp. gluten-free almond extract
    ½ tsp. salt
    ¾ tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    2 cups Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour™ *
    2 Tbs. flaxseed meal
    1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    1 cup dried tart cherries or cranberries
    1 cup chopped dried figs
    ½ cup golden raisins or dried blueberries
    ½ cup chopped dried dates, apricots, or other dried fruit (optional)

    Directions:
    Blondie Fruit Bars(*Note - This recipe calls for Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour™ which may be made at home according to directions found in my books, Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating and The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free, as well as in various media links on my website. It produces amazing results in all your gluten-free baking!)

    Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare a jelly roll pan (approximately 15" x 10") or cookie sheet with raised edges by wrapping foil over the top of the pan and greasing the foil-wrapped pan with cooking spray, shortening or butter.  Set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening with the sugars, beating until the dough is light and fluffy.  Gradually add in the vanilla and almond extracts and eggs.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together the Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour™, baking soda, flax seed meal, cinnamon and salt.  Slowly beat this dry mixture into the first large bowl, mixing until incorporated.

    Chop the dried fruit and nuts and stir into the dough.  Spread the thick dough evenly across the prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    Cool fully before cutting or removing.  Cut horizontally and vertically (like a window pane) to form brownie-sized bars and remove carefully to a plate.  Enjoy!

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    Guest Jules

    Posted

    To answer a reader's question about my all purpose flour blend, you can mix it up yourself by following my free recipe which has been published by many different sources like the Washington Post. You can find links to those articles on my website or you can use the recipe as printed in my books. I am a celiac myself, and created this recipe for my own family to save time and money and produce consistently delicious results in every kind of recipe. I'm proud to be able to share my all purpose flour recipe with other celiacs and those eating gluten-free so that we can all live less challenging and more tasty gluten-free lives!

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    Guest Kelly

    Posted

    These are absolutely delicious, just like all of Jules' food. I watched her cooking demo at the Thrive Allergy Expo in Chicago a few weeks ago, and she is amazing. She makes the best gluten free treats I have had.

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    Guest cka88

    Posted

    I LOVE these bars--great fruity and "multi-grain" taste...Delicious!

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    Jules Shepard
    I am always searching for breakfast recipes good enough to serve to overnight guests and easy enough to make just for my family in a morning rush.  This breakfast cake fits the bill, and also pleases my picky (especially in the morning!) kids.
    I have used some mesquite flour in this recipe because I love the subtle chocolate tones it imparts, and its added nutritional value doesn't hurt either!  However, if you are not a morning person, and are looking for simplicity, just use a full portion of my all purpose flour mixture -- it's delicious that way as well!
    Gluten-Free Coffee Cake
    Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Ingredients:
    1/2 cup butter or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (room temperature)
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
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    *(Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour can be made following the recipe for my homemade flour found in my books or on my website in various media links.  It is also available pre-mixed at http://julesglutenfree.com)
    Streusel Topping (double if you really like your Streusel!):
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    Jules Shepard
    Correctly measure your flour. When measuring flour, don’t scoop from the bag with your measuring cup.  This compresses the flour.  Use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup and level off with a knife. This will ensure that your flour is measured properly. Bring your ingredients to room temperature before mixing. It is particularly important for yeast recipes to bring all of your ingredients, such as eggs, to room temperature before adding them together to make bread. Yeast needs warmth to grow and if your ingredients are too cold, it may prevent full yeast growth. Make sure your loaf of bread is actually fully cooked. It is very important not to take your bread out of the oven before it is fully cooked. If the bread has a rubbery layer at the bottom, this usually means it was not fully cooked. The best way to tell if the bread is done is to take a baking thermometer and insert it all the way into the bottom of the loaf. The temperature should be approximately 210 F when it is done. Your bread will keep its shape better overcooked than undercooked, so if in doubt, keep it in the oven a bit longer! My recipes have plenty of moisture, so you shouldn’t worry too much about the bread drying out. If baking by oven method, use metal pans. I have found that glass bread pans do not work as well as metal pans in fully cooking a loaf of bread. Metal pans do not have to be fancy or expensive, and you can often even find them in your local grocery store. Rising issues. A great method for letting your yeast breads rise before baking is to turn on your oven to 200F, then turn it off when it has reached temperature. Put your un-raised bread into the warmed oven with an oiled piece of wax paper on top and let it rise according to directions. Once raised, removed the wax paper and bake according to directions. How to prevent your bread from sinking. When your bread is done cooking, turn off the oven and open the door so that the bread can cool slowly. Taking the bread out of a hot oven and quickly transferring it to a cool counter can sometimes cause the loaf to sink in. If it still sinks, it may have too much moisture in it to support itself fully. It should still taste great, but if you have your heart set on a nice crowned loaf, next time try cutting back on the liquid a bit in that recipe or adding ¼ cup of flaxseed meal to help support the bread's structure and enhance its nutritional value, all in one! Altitude and even the day's weather can affect sometimes picky yeast recipes. How to make a multi-grain loaf of bread. To make a more “whole grain” bread, take a basic recipe (for example, Jules’ Sandwich Bread recipe).  In place of the 2 cups of Jules Gluten Free All Purpose flour, add only 1 ¾ cups.  Replace the final ¼ cup with flax seed meal, buckwheat flour, gluten-free oat flour, brown rice flour, or teff flour.  These flours will add more whole grain flavor and additional fiber.  You can also add seeds (flax seeds, sesame seeds, etc.) to add crunch and fiber.  With this amount of different flours, you do not need to adjust the recipe at all.    


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    ½ teaspoon salt
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    Jefferson Adams
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    Jefferson Adams
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    Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun;16(6):823-836.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.06.037.

    Jefferson Adams
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    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    Celiac.com 06/15/2018 - There seems to be widespread agreement in the published medical research reports that stuttering is driven by abnormalities in the brain. Sometimes these are the result of brain injuries resulting from a stroke. Other types of brain injuries can also result in stuttering. Patients with Parkinson’s disease who were treated with stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an area of the brain that regulates some motor functions, experienced a return or worsening of stuttering that improved when the stimulation was turned off (1). Similarly, stroke has also been reported in association with acquired stuttering (2). While there are some reports of psychological mechanisms underlying stuttering, a majority of reports seem to favor altered brain morphology and/or function as the root of stuttering (3). Reports of structural differences between the brain hemispheres that are absent in those who do not stutter are also common (4). About 5% of children stutter, beginning sometime around age 3, during the phase of speech acquisition. However, about 75% of these cases resolve without intervention, before reaching their teens (5). Some cases of aphasia, a loss of speech production or understanding, have been reported in association with damage or changes to one or more of the language centers of the brain (6). Stuttering may sometimes arise from changes or damage to these same language centers (7). Thus, many stutterers have abnormalities in the same regions of the brain similar to those seen in aphasia.
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    Whatever the reason that stuttering has not been reported in the medical literature in association with gluten ingestion, a number of personal disclosures and comments suggesting a connection between gluten and stuttering can be found on the Internet. Abid Hussain, in an article about food allergy and stuttering said: “The most common food allergy prevalent in stutterers is that of gluten which has been found to aggravate the stutter” (10). Similarly, Craig Forsythe posted an article that includes five cases of self-reporting individuals who believe that their stuttering is or was connected to gluten, one of whom also experiences stuttering from foods containing yeast (11). The same site contains one report of a stutterer who has had no relief despite following a gluten free diet for 20 years (11). Another stutterer, Jay88, reports the complete disappearance of her/his stammer on a gluten free diet (12). Doubtless there are many more such anecdotes to be found on the Internet* but we have to question them, exercising more skepticism than we might when reading similar claims in a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal.
    There are many reports in such journals connecting brain and neurological ailments with gluten, so it is not much of a stretch, on that basis alone, to suspect that stuttering may be a symptom of the gluten syndrome. Rodney Ford has even characterized celiac disease as an ailment that may begin through gluten-induced neurological damage (13) and Marios Hadjivassiliou and his group of neurologists and neurological investigators have devoted considerable time and effort to research that reveals gluten as an important factor in a majority of neurological diseases of unknown origin (14) which, as I have pointed out previously, includes most neurological ailments.
    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/14/2018 - Refractory celiac disease type II (RCDII) is a rare complication of celiac disease that has high death rates. To diagnose RCDII, doctors identify a clonal population of phenotypically aberrant intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). 
    However, researchers really don’t have much data regarding the frequency and significance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. Such data could provide useful comparison information for patients with RCDII, among other things.
    To that end, a research team recently set out to try to get some information about the frequency and importance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. The research team included Shafinaz Hussein, Tatyana Gindin, Stephen M Lagana, Carolina Arguelles-Grande, Suneeta Krishnareddy, Bachir Alobeid, Suzanne K Lewis, Mahesh M Mansukhani, Peter H R Green, and Govind Bhagat.
    They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, and the Department of Medicine at the Celiac Disease Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA. Their team analyzed results of TCR-GR analyses performed on SB biopsies at our institution over a 3-year period, which were obtained from eight active celiac disease, 172 celiac disease on gluten-free diet, 33 RCDI, and three RCDII patients and 14 patients without celiac disease. 
    Clonal TCR-GRs are not infrequent in cases lacking features of RCDII, while PCPs are frequent in all disease phases. TCR-GR results should be assessed in conjunction with immunophenotypic, histological and clinical findings for appropriate diagnosis and classification of RCD.
    The team divided the TCR-GR patterns into clonal, polyclonal and prominent clonal peaks (PCPs), and correlated these patterns with clinical and pathological features. In all, they detected clonal TCR-GR products in biopsies from 67% of patients with RCDII, 17% of patients with RCDI and 6% of patients with gluten-free diet. They found PCPs in all disease phases, but saw no significant difference in the TCR-GR patterns between the non-RCDII disease categories (p=0.39). 
    They also noted a higher frequency of surface CD3(−) IELs in cases with clonal TCR-GR, but the PCP pattern showed no associations with any clinical or pathological feature. 
    Repeat biopsy showed that the clonal or PCP pattern persisted for up to 2 years with no evidence of RCDII. The study indicates that better understanding of clonal T cell receptor gene rearrangements may help researchers improve refractory celiac diagnosis. 
    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/13/2018 - There have been numerous reports that olmesartan, aka Benicar, seems to trigger sprue‐like enteropathy in many patients, but so far, studies have produced mixed results, and there really hasn’t been a rigorous study of the issue. A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether olmesartan is associated with a higher rate of enteropathy compared with other angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
    The research team included Y.‐H. Dong; Y. Jin; TN Tsacogianis; M He; PH Hsieh; and JJ Gagne. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA; the Faculty of Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Science at National Yang‐Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Department of Hepato‐Gastroenterology, Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan.
    To get solid data on the issue, the team conducted a cohort study among ARB initiators in 5 US claims databases covering numerous health insurers. They used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for enteropathy‐related outcomes, including celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy. In all, they found nearly two million eligible patients. 
    They then assessed those patients and compared the results for olmesartan initiators to initiators of other ARBs after propensity score (PS) matching. They found unadjusted incidence rates of 0.82, 1.41, 1.66 and 29.20 per 1,000 person‐years for celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy respectively. 
    After PS matching comparing olmesartan to other ARBs, hazard ratios were 1.21 (95% CI, 1.05‐1.40), 1.00 (95% CI, 0.88‐1.13), 1.22 (95% CI, 1.10‐1.36) and 1.04 (95% CI, 1.01‐1.07) for each outcome. Patients aged 65 years and older showed greater hazard ratios for celiac disease, as did patients receiving treatment for more than 1 year, and patients receiving higher cumulative olmesartan doses.
    This is the first comprehensive multi‐database study to document a higher rate of enteropathy in olmesartan initiators as compared to initiators of other ARBs, though absolute rates were low for both groups.
    Source:
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics