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Gluten-free ingredients and taste testing them

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Do you ever watch cooking shows on television? Have you ever seen a celebrity chef make a comment like ‘… and this recipe is gluten-free, too’? With approximately 31 million Americans who have a sensitivity to gluten, it would be logical to think that at least one cooking show star would do this. No one does. Here are some ideas to consider when you (or a gluten-free friend) want to make a new recipe.

Many supermarkets have complimentary mini-cooking events that include product sampling in their stores on a weekly basis. Most times, these events are paid for by the company whose product they are using in the recipe they are making. However sometimes, the store is featuring their catering or deli department’s menus available for parties and take-out.

Stores that carry an assortment of gluten-free foods are the best places for people to request a product sampling. Some stores (Whole Foods at 2201 Preston Road, Market Street Supermarket at 1929 Preston Road, and Trader Joe’s at 2400 Preston Road) may not dedicate an event day product sampling, but they will give you a private sampling or an entire product for free.

These stores care about all their customers and are very attentive to providing outstanding service. It also helps that all three stores mentioned are on opposing corners of the same intersection at Preston Road and Park Boulevard in direct competition with one another.

One product that has been sampled is ‘Silver Hills Gluten-Free Omega Flax’ bread carried in Whole Foods stores. After speaking with the bread department manager at the West Plano store about what great tasting gluten-free breads they offered, this bread was offered as a free sample. It is dark bread with a rich flavor and a nice ‘chew’ (something most gluten-free breads don’t have). Two slices are 160 calories with 6 grams of protein and make a terrific open-faced sandwich. For more nutritional information visit: http://www.silverhillsbakery.ca/products/gluten-free-bread/gluten-free-omega-flax

Taking the time to ask stores for a tasting or a sample may seem to be out of place, but stores are eager to earn your weekly grocery shopping business – something that TV cooking shows and their sponsors have yet to learn.

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