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Jules New Flour Blend

I received an email from a reader asking about Jules new flour blend.

For those who were not aware, Jules Shepard started a new company and with the change, she also improved her flour blend.

Here is the message I received from my reader:

You wrote a email back awhile ago that said the following: “My new flour, which is the exact same blend as before, is non-GMO, is certified gluten-free and Kosher, and performs like an all purpose flour should. ”

I was not aware that you were using non-GMO ingredients previously! Can you tell us more about the non-GMO ingredients in your new flour blend?

Of course, I emailed Jules and asked about her new flour blend.  Here is her response:

In changing production facilities, I re-reviewed all my raw ingredients and Jules Shepardsuppliers and took the opportunity to make a tiny tweak to my flour that I think makes it even better! I also switched some ingredients to ensure non-GMO status ingredients. My new flour has an extended shelf life of 18 months and we also are packaging it into two bags instead of one large one, so folks can keep one sealed while they work with the other one, keeping the other bag fresher! Each individual ingredient is either non-GMO verified or certified by the manufacturer to be made without gmo ingredients. I hope that helps!

According to her website, this is the info I have on the new blend:

gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour:

  • Also wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free
  • Works in nearly every recipe
  • Now non-GMO
  • Made with only premium modified tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, and xanthan gum
  • Longer 18-month shelf life
  • Produced in facility certified free of the Top 8 allergens
  • 2 sealed inner pouches keep flour fresher longer
  • Guaranteed to make you happy (really happy)

Makes me happy!  How about you??

PS.  You might want to check out her website for some wonderful recipes!


Is Gluten Free Diet a Fad?

If you have been monitoring the Gluten Free news, you probably heard about the study conducted by Jessica Biesiekierski, Department of Gastroenterology, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.  This study questions the validity of gluten free diets.

According to Real Clear Science

Instead of receiving a proper diagnosis, however, many people are self-diagnosing as gluten-sensitive and eating gluten-free by choice. Noticing this trend, Jessica Biesiekierski, a gastroenterologist at Monash University and a leading researcher into the effects of gluten, sought adults who believed they had NCGS to participate in a survey and a clinical trial. She recruited participants in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia by distributing fliers through websites and local clinic rooms and taking out advertisements in a local newspaper. 248 people responded, 147 completed an in-depth survey designed to assess the nature of their sensitivity, and forty were recruited into the clinical trial. …..

For the clinical trial, in which 37 subjects self-diagnosed with NCGS participated, Biesiekierski tested an alternative explanation for gluten sensitivity. Most gluten-containing products also have fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates, collectively known as FODMAPs, which are known to cause gastrointestinal problems. Biesiekierski wanted to know if FODMAPs were actually the villains behind subjects’ gastrointestinal problems. The trial — which was double-blinded and placebo-controlled — found that in patients whose diets were low in FODMAPS, gluten did not produce a specific negative effect.*

As you can see from the quotes above, this study seriously endorsed the believe that gluten free diets were a farce, a fad or just not helping those avoiding gluten.

This view was further endorsed by Forbes Magazine, who published a serious of articles:

Gluten Free Diets, Miracle or Hype

Are You Really Gluten Intolerant, Maybe Not

Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist

Many in the gluten free community responded swiftly by reputing the study and articles.  One such person is Alessio Fasano

Alessio Fasano, MD, chief of MassGeneral Hospital for Children’s Division of Pediatric Dr_ Alessio Fasano (Center for Celiac Research)Gastroenterology and Nutrition and director of the hospital’s Center for Celiac Research and Treatment, is one of the world’s foremost experts on celiac disease and gluten-related disorders. His landmark 2003 study established that celiac disease is much more common in the United States than had been previously thought. Studying gluten sensitivity, Dr. Fasano’s research team uncovered molecular and physiological differences between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, which is thought to affect even more people than celiac disease.

Jules Shepard, gluten free advocate , weekly radio show host, and one of the community’s most active bloggers interviews Dr. Fasano and his take on this new study.

Popular Health Internet Radio with Jules Gluten Free on BlogTalkRadio




GMO and Jule’s Gluten Free Flour

Last week, I posted a survey by fellow blogger, Priscilla Matuson, writer of A Gluten-Free Vegan Mom Who Knows.  My post on the subject and links to Priscilla’s are here.  According to Priscilla’s survey, Jules was one of the few Gluten Free flour companies that admitted to having GMO ingredients in their products.

Needless to say, as a lover of all cookbooks, products and posts by Jules Shepard, I was distressed to hear her response to Priscilla.  After all, her flour was one of the first Gluten Free flours I purchased and used for myself.  And I followed her blog and purchased her e-cookbooks (she has excellent recipes).  She was a great help to me.

To satisfy my own curiosity, I contacted Jules myself to see what she had to say about the GMO ingredients in her products.  Here is some of the things she shared with me:

5 out of the 6 ingredients in my flour are non-GMO and the supplier of the 6th one can’t verify, but certainly doesn’t say they have GMOs. We are working to find another supplier for that one ingredient because I personally want all my ingredients to be confirmed non-GMO. If a consumer goes to the store and buys flour or crackers or cookies or cereal … off the shelf, they almost never know if they contain GMOs. We will start seeing more labeling, but most ingredient suppliers haven’t ever been called upon to say whether their ingredients are GMO free or not, so they don’t know. Our food supply labeling is changing, and things will start to change for consumer products on the shelf, as well, but at this point, most GF products aren’t labeled non-GMO …

… It’s understandable that those who are not in the business of food manufacturing would not know how long it takes to find, confirm continued inventory, test and switch an ingredient. It’s unfortunate, but the change probably can’t happen until the first of the year — though that is still going to be much faster than many other companies who are just learning about the demand for GMOs. …

…we are doing our best to do all the right things. I feed my family with my products, too, and I would never do anything to jeopardize anyone’s health.

I appreciate Jules candid comments and I also appreciate Priscilla’s desire to bring forth awareness of the GMO issue!  But as a food producer myself, I know, like she says, it take time to change suppliers and recipes along with the time to have products tested and approved for sales to the public.  Unfortunately, manufacturer’s are currently NOT required to list GMO ingredients on their labeling.  This can greatly affect folks like Jules (and other small Gluten Free producers) who may not have any idea as to whether or not her ingredient supplies are non-GMO!

In my opinion, the issue is making sure GMO ingredients are made known  by having them included in the labeling.  We, as a health conscienous group, need to support organizations such as Non-GMO Project and the Right To Know Organization so we will all know what we are eating.

In the meantime, it will take time to make the change.  Let’s continue to support those companies who are doing their best to bring us good wholesome non-GMO Gluten Free foods!


NOTE:  Both Jules and Priscilla live in the path of the Frankenstorm (Hurricane Sandy).  Let’s remember them this week and hope that they are safe!


GMO in Gluten Free Flour

Eating a Gluten Free is no good if you are not eating a HEALTHY Gluten Free Diet.  Eating GMO Gluten Free ingredients is not a healthy diet as there are many questionable effects of GMO foods.  (NOTE:  To find out more about GMO, check out the Non-GMO Project.)

A fellow blogger, Priscilla Matuson, writer of A Gluten-Free Vegan Mom Who Knows blog has been conducting her own study on GMO in Gluten Free Flour Mixes.  She has contacted several manufacturers and this is a summary of her findings:

Non-GMO (in their products):

Are They Really Non-GMO at This Very Moment (but are working on it):

Unfortunately, the only company that is not GMO Free is Jules Gluten Free.  Here is what she told Pricilla:

Jules’ Gluten Free: “No, Jules’ products are not organic or GMO free – sorry” (Reply from company: 19 October 2012).

When that blog post hit the Gluten Free community, several folks (including myself) contacted Jules Gluten Free to tell her if this information was true, they would not be purchasing her products.  I was particular distressed as I love and promote Jules Gluten Free flours and products.

Our contact with Jules probably didn’t sound too threatening, but yet, it looks like Jules was listening.  On last contact with Priscilla, she did say she was looking into eliminating the GMO corn in her flour.  So far no major announcement has been made, but we are a hoping she will follow through with her promise.

For more information, check out A Gluten Free Mom Who Knows two blog posts on the subject:

In the meantime, if you feel like you would like to get involved, contact Jules Shepard to tell her your feelings.  We can make a difference!

I will continue to post updates I as I find out more info!


Tips for Newly Diagnosed Celiacs

You have just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance.  A great relief to finally find out what is wrong with you, but what do you do now?

Living Without magazine (one of the best magazines on the market for information on Gluten Intolerance, Celiac Disease, and food allergies in general) recently published an article (with video) on the subject.  Written by Jules E. Dowler Shepard, the article lists Ten “Most-Do’s for Newly Diagnosed Celiacs”.  Following are some highlights from the article.

1.Understand Your Disease.  Make a point to learn all you can about your condition. Read recently published books written by acknowledged experts and turn to websites run by national celiac organizations, noted celiac research centers and trusted publications. …

2. Build a Medical Team.  Consult with a doctor and nutritionist who specialize in celiac disease. …

3. Join a Support Group.  Chances are there is a celiac support group within short driving distance from where you live or work. …

4. Check Your Pantry.  This step includes cleaning or replacing the items in your kitchen where gluten contamination can occur: scratched pans, the toaster, your food mill and breadmaker, etc. Do the homework to truly understand cross contamination, gluten-containing ingredients and food labeling, so that your kitchen becomes a safe haven that you can rely on for tasty, uncontaminated foods. (Go to Living Without‘s Quick Start Guide to the gluten-free diet.) …

6. Dust Off Your Apron.  Even if you’ve never baked from scratch, consider doing it now. Despite all the new gluten-free products available, many just don’t taste like the foods you remember. …

7. Buy a Bread Maker.  A good bread machine can be your new best friend. …

8. Patronize Local Businesses.  You’ll feel better once you figure out the dining spots in your town that serve safe foods. …

9. Don’t Settle.  Just because you are now eating gluten free doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to enjoy delicious meals. …

10. Exhale.  Relax. It’s going to be all right. Your diagnosis is a life sentence, not a death sentence. You’ve been handed the opportunity to largely control your health by what you choose to put into your body. Without a  prescription, you can heal yourself simply by taking charge and changing a few of your foods. Now don’t you feel better already?

As usual, Jules lists some wonderful tips for newly diagnosed celiacs!

Personally, I was very fortunate that the naturopathic doctor that diagnosed me was married to the gal than owned the local health food store in my town.  Between the two of them (and my own research), I learned tons about the disease, what foods were safe to eat and how to prepare them.  In my experiences point #1, 2, 3, 4 & 8 were the most important tips to follow!

Which tips helped you the most??



Gluten Free Florentine Cookies

Jules Shepard’s recipes, author of Jules Gluten Free, never disappoints me with her delicious Gluten Free recipes.  Today we are featuring her Gluten Free Florentine Cookies — a delicate lacy cookie made with or without chocolate drizzle!

 Florentine Cookies

  • 4 Tbs. butter or non-dairy alternative (Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (evaporated cane; vegan sugar; etc.)
  • 2 Tbs. honey or agave nectar
  • 1 cup (150 gr) coarsely chopped nuts (I used peanuts & raw almonds)
  • 2 tsp. citrus peel/zest (lemon; orange; etc.)
  • 2/3 cup (90 gr) Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt (only if the nuts you use are not salted)

Optional Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 3 oz dairy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Foods®)
  • 1/4 tsp. vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 325° F (static).

In a small saucepan, melt butter with sugar and honey over low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a gentle boil, then remove from heat.

Chop nuts and stir together in a small bowl with citrus peel, Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour, baking powder and salt, if using. Add melted butter mixture and stir well.

Spoon tablespoons of mix onto parchment-lined baking sheets – spaced at least 2 inches apart to allow for spread. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-11 minutes, or until the mixture has spread into flattened, lacey, light brown cookies. Remove to cool on a wire rack while baking the next sheet of cookies. Cool completely before storing or adding chocolate drizzle.

If using chocolate:

Once the cookies are fully cooled, prepare the melted chocolate (if desired) by placing the chocolate and oil in a medium-sized heatproof bowl or saucepan. Fill a slightly larger saucepan filled with 1 inch of water and bring to a low simmer; set the chocolate bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir until melted and smooth.

“Brush” onto the undersides of the cooled cookies with a rubber spatula, drizzle over the tops of the cookies in geometric or fun designs, or place a dollop in the middle of one cookie and sandwich with another.

Store separated by parchment or waxed paper, in an air-tight container or freeze.

Yield: Approximately 20 cookies.


If you are not familiar with Jules or her products, I highly recommend you check out her website:  Jules Gluten Free.  Sign up on her email list and receive discount codes for her numerous Gluten Free flour mixes.

Check out her books listed below:


Vegan Gluten Free Substitutes

I love Jules Shepard!  She makes wonderful flour mixes, has a great blog, and frequently shares fantastic tips with her fans (like me!).

Jules recently posted a couple blogs on Vegan Gluten Free Substitutes that I would like to share here:

Egg Free Vegan Baking


  • One trick to transforming many recipes to egg-free is to choose the right pan. Many quick breads, muffins and cakes will not have the same structural integrity without real eggs, so cheat a little bit and give your recipe more support by using smaller pans or muffin tins.
  • In any given recipe calling for more than two eggs, reconsider if you really must try it egg free.
  • In recipes calling for 3 eggs or more, try not to use more than two recipes of the same substitute (e.g. replace 3 eggs in a recipe by using two recipes of egg substitute #1 plus one recipe of egg substitute # 6 – see below).
  • Keep the fat in your recipes to help stand in for the lack of eggs, especially in recipes calling for more than 2 eggs. Thus, in a recipe calling for 3 eggs and milk, use egg substitutes and milk like coconut or almond which have more fat and body than a milk like skim dairy or rice milk.


Jules wrote another post on Gluten and Dairy Free Baking:

Gluten AND Dairy-Free Baking

A lot of us gluten-free bakers are also faced with the challenge of baking dairy-free. Lactose is the biggest culprit (did you know that 60% of the adult population is lactose intolerant? Did you know that number is much higher for the celiacs amongst us?!) Want to know more about dairy and why it might be bothering you? Read my post all about it! If you’re looking to bake dairy and lactose-free, I have a few recommendations for you.


Jules authors several cookbooks.  Check them out here:


Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies

We are on a roll for finding Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies!  Tag-a-Longs are the featured recipe today — coming from Jules Gluten Free Blog.  If you are interested in great Gluten Free baking and cookies, Jules Gluten Free Blog is a great place to find wonderful recipes.  And they are use her flour blend which is perfect for cookies and cakes (in my opinion, anyway!).

Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies?! Yes! Homemade Tag-a-Longs!

Ingredients (for Cookie)

  • 1 cup butter or non-dairy alternative, room temperature (Earth Balance Buttery Sticks® / soy-free: Earth Balance® Coconut Spread)
  • ½ cup granulated cane sugar
  • 2 cups Jules Gluten FreeTM All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powderGluten Free Girl Scout Cookies
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. dairy or non-dairy milk of choice (only if dough is too thick)

Ingredients (for filling)

  • 1½ cups creamy nut butter (Earth Balance® Natural Peanut Butter) or sunflower nut butter
  • 3/4-1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract


Personally, I have eaten Girl Scout Cookies in years — but I do remember that these were my favorites when I did eat them (how many years ago was I a Girl Scout …. oh no, better not say!!).

If you are interested in more of Jules recipes, pick up a copy of her best selling book: