New to gluten-free diets!
May 26, 2010 1:11 PM   Subscribe

I was just diagnosed with celiac disease. Help me wade through the information overload and figure out how to construct a new diet.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease today and told to go on a gluten-free diet immediately. Unfortunately, I'm now feeling a little overwhelmed at all the information being thrown at me and all of the things I now have to avoid. I wish there was a "celiac disease for beginners" kind of guide, but I can't seem to find anything like that. My mother's a dietician/personal trainer and is helping me adjust my diet, but she doesn't have any experience dealing with celiac disease and also doesn't really believe in the diagnosis, which isn't helpful.

I know the basic stuff -- obviously, avoid things that list gluten or wheat as an ingredient, so no normal bread or pasta. And I know to check the ingredient labels, and I know how to keep a diet nutritionally balanced, but I feel like I'm missing a huge chunk of information, here -- like what other non-obvious foods commonly contain gluten and that I should avoid when, say, eating at restaurants, or good alternatives to bread and flour for sandwich making/baking/etc, or what would seem like a safe alternative but isn't. I'd love some links to newbie-friendly sites on the matter, or anecdata, or even some awesome gluten-free recipes you might have. Just assume I'm clueless -- any small piece of information is valuable here.

Demographics note: 21 year old female, mixed Portuguese/Moroccan-Israeli descent, with a family and personal history of autoimmune disease (I was also recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis). As for specific details on my celiac diagnosis -- the diagnosis isn't technically complete; my biopsy was definitely positive, but my bloodwork was negative. My doctor told me that a small percentage of celiac patients present with negative bloodwork, so I'm pending a genetic blood test to confirm the diagnosis, but my doctor is pretty confident in the celiac diagnosis. I was negative for IBD, and the other possibility we were looking at was cyclical vomiting syndrome, which doesn't cause the intestinal inflammation that I have. The doctor said that it looks like I'm still in the early stages of celiac disease, because my ability to absorb nutrients hasn't been compromised. I have been lactose intolerant as of a year or two ago, but she said that might be due to the celiac and once on a gluten free diet, I might be able to process lactose again.

Again, any kind of information, anecdote, or resource you can offer would be super helpful. I'd like to do this gluten-free thing right from the start.
posted by runaway ballista to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I don’t have celiac disease, but I have done some reading/research on it. I’ve found this website gives a good overview of the gluten-free diet.
posted by yawper at 1:25 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My aunt has Celiac disease and she mentioned to me that she reads the Gluten-Free girl blog.
posted by ghharr at 1:29 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Watch out for anything with starch in the list of ingredients. I cooked something with boxed beef broth that disagreed with my celiac relative. It must have been the "food starch modified" in the broth. I'd assumed it would be corn starch. Now I check the website for any prepared food to see if it is gluten-free.

Everyone seems to agree that store-bought gluten-free bread is bad, but homemade in a bread machine is a lot better. Oats are often contaminated with wheat, so don't eat oats unless the package is labeled gluten-free. Don't eat barley or rye. Distilled liquor made from barley or rye is okay, but beer is not. My celiac relative often substitutes corn tortillas for bread, or we have potatoes, polenta, or rice instead of pasta. We were happy to discover that Zatarain's Wonderful Fish-Fri breading mix is gluten-free.

It looks like there are lots of books on the subject. There's even a Celiac Disease For Dummies book. You might want to check your local public library.
posted by Ery at 1:32 PM on May 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I was diagnosed with Celiac disease seven years ago.
(Sorry, this got really long - hope it is helpful!)

You absolutely must read this book: Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. It will answer so many of your questions.

As much as people herald it, I would not recommend the Gluten-Free Girl blog. You might find some good recipes there, but until you're comfortable in the kitchen it's not going to be much help. is the website you want.

When you start out with food go hang out in the gluten-free section of your grocery store or health-food/natural food store (if there is such a place available. If not, to the internets!). Yes, homemade food is going to taste better but it's going to take time to re-learn how to cook. The chemistry for gluten-free ingredients is different. You'll need a whole new kitchen vocabulary. These brands are awesome:

Enjoy Life
Tinkyada pasta
Amy's (check the label - not everything in this brand is GF)

Anyone who tells you you can't find good gluten-free bread in a store has not tried Udi's. Seriously - tastes just like Wonderbread.

This is a fantastic list of ingredients that will make you sick. Print it out. Take it with you when you go shopping.

Ingredients that may make you sick (approach with caution):
Oats - even gluten-free ones
Maltodextrin - should be safe if the food was made in the US, but some folks with Celiac have trouble with it
Modified food starch - "food" could mean anything. Usually corn, but sometimes wheat.
Natural flavors - another ambiguous term that could mean anything
Carmel coloring

Also, be aware of the difference between "Gluten-Free" and "Made with gluten-free ingredients." The latter could mean it was made on the same line as food that contains gluten and could make you sick if you are very sensitive.

Eating at restaurants may cause you some anxiety at first. If you get brave enough to try it I've had good luck with these:
Ruby Tuesday (has GF menu on their web site)
Hardees (oddly, but they also have GF suggestions on their web site)
Wendy's (has lots of GF options - again, check it out on their site)
Subway (seriously. Most of their salads are GF. Make sure the "sandwich artists" that touch your food change gloves. I've never gotten sick after eating at Subway)
Timberlodge Steakhouse (they're in the midwest only, but they're so Celiac friendly it's ridiculous. They even have pretty darn good GF rolls available).

PF Chang's has a gluten-free menu as well, but I've never tried it so I can't recommend it. However, I've heard from some people that it's great, and from others that the servers aren't trained well enough to make sure the food is really gluten-free and subsequently they got sick.

If you ever have a question about a food product, just Google it. 90% of the time "(name of food) gluten-free" will get you your answer. If the answer isn't out there don't be shy about emailing the company. I've had very good luck with the companies I've sent messages to.

Make sure your pharmacist knows you need gluten-free medications! Some medications use wheat flour as a binder. My pharmacist actually caught something before filling it for me and called my doctor to get a new RX - one that was free of gluten.

If you accidentally eat gluten I recommend ginger ale and EnerG crackers to soothe your tummy. Your lactose intolerance will probably seem worse during these attacks as well. I can tolerate lactose any time - unless I eat gluten.

Above all be patient. It takes some people months before they see any improvement in their health. It takes even longer to become proficient in the ways of the gluten-free diet. I think it took me about five years before I really felt I had a handle on it. Be strong. You can do it. Your gut will thank you!
posted by geekchic at 2:20 PM on May 26, 2010 [7 favorites]

These noodles rock, best I've found.

And yeah avoid anything with modified food starch, it's in everything from spaghetti sauces to soups etc.

Bob's Red Mill has a great selection of GF flours and is pretty easy to find in most grocery stores.
posted by Max Power at 2:56 PM on May 26, 2010

When I was starting out, I found the Triumph guides to be useful. Also, I think corn pasta is way better than rice pasta. Even the most recommended brands of rice pasta have had an awful mouthfeel in my opinion, whereas the corn pasta feels like wheat pasta. You need a fairly robust sauce with it, though, because the corn taste can be overpowering.
posted by Ruki at 3:03 PM on May 26, 2010

A few suggestions:

(1) Three things you might not expect to be full of gluten, but most of the time are: soups, sauces, and processed meats. It's uncanny just how common flour is in these items.

(2) Regarding eating at most restaurants: approach all food with caution, but also approach all apparently-knowledgeable responses from waitstaff with caution. Far too often, they will claim that something is gluten-free even though they have no idea what gluten is -- e.g., they check lists of ingredients, but only look for the word "gluten" on the list. Or they check the entrée for gluten but not the rest of the food they're serving you (e.g., "There's no gluten in this chicken dish, so here's a salad topped with croutons as appetizer"). Or they make it all up as they go along ("I somehow know every single ingredient in every single dish on the menu"). Or they think it's not that serious ("Just pick those croutons off that salad yourself, sissy") or that you're faking it ("Oh, you mean you just don't like the taste"). The latter two responses are luckily quite uncommon, but the former ones will often catch you off-guard. Over time, you'll learn to fine-tune your bullshit-detector and preempt any unpleasantness.

(3) Try to figure out which manufacturers always list ingredients accurately and in detail (e.g., Nestle is known for this, among others). Some manufacturers just won't list things accurately, or will be very vague. But others will list wheat in any case where it arises, and you can get a good sense of what brands these are just by reading lists of ingredients of a bunch of foods made by the same company.

The most helpful thing, as someone else mentioned above, is to base almost all of your food/restaurant choices on reviews on the internet and/or from nutritional information listed on manufacturers' own websites.
posted by astrochimp at 3:07 PM on May 26, 2010

They make gluten-free beer and they sell it at Rasoi over on Harvard, which has a lot of gluten-free options on their lunch buffet.
posted by NoraReed at 3:10 PM on May 26, 2010

I'm not GF but a close family member is, and I've also worked with a lot of autistic kids whose parents put them on a GF diet.

It's a pain, especially if you're not used to cooking from scratch and/or don't have money to spend on the generally more expensive GF workarounds and flours. That's because the Western cooking tradition is heavily dependent on wheat (breads, crackers, pasta...). So: you need to look to other traditions! That's tons of fun (if you're anything like me). Explore rice noodle dishes (Thai, Chinese), curries (East Indian, Southeast Asian), Mediterranean chickpea-based stuff. That way you aren't having to cough up the, er, dough for hard-to-find or expensive stuff that's finicky to bake and may just leave you missing the "real stuff", and you'll still get your carb fix.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:12 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm not celiac, but I have a few friends that are, and that has definitely raised awareness on my part. I've read a lot of stuff on Gluten-Free Girl (as mentioned above) and she has SUCH a positive attitude about the disease, and how confronting with a positive outlook towards foods she CAN eat has made a difference in her life. Read her philosophy/about page, I think it will give you real comfort!

Also, for my friends that are celiac, we live in a fairly small Midwestern town, and they know a few local restaurants that are really good about serving people with food allergies, etc. Usually when dining out with them we limit ourselves to those places. They always ask for a special menu, or ask the server to point out which menu items can be served gluten free. There are also a few pizza places now that are starting to serve gluten free crusts, etc. I think it is a common enough diagnosis these days that a lot more restaurants (local & national) and major food labels are starting to eliminate gluten from foods that don't necessarily need it (Chex cereal and Stonyfield yogurt come to mind). My friends often bring their own main dish to a party that may not be gluten-free, and maybe have a side of fruits or veggies that are offered up by the host. (They brought some GF cupcakes to a wedding, since they couldn't have the cake.)

Most of all, making your friends and family aware of your disease will help them help you to be healthy. I'm just as willing to make a special dish for a GF person as I would be for a guest that I know to be vegetarian. (But it is also ok for you to say that you'll eat ahead or prepare something in your own kitchen where you know it won't risk contamination.) Making people aware may also help you discover friends or acquaintances that are also GF, and they may know more about local restaurants and favorite foods that are GF.
posted by sararah at 3:22 PM on May 26, 2010

Another long response. We've found that Trader Joe's both is good on labeling and has a fair number of pre-made gluten free items. They are happy to check things for you and have committed to labeling all allergens and giving more information about manufacturing so you can find out if something was made in a facility that also handles wheat. My son is sensitive enough that we try to avoid anything labeled as "made in equipment shared with ..."

It took him a number of weeks before he started feeling better but after a month he was a different person with more energy, not feeling horrible and actually growing after months of not. His doctor recommended that he take supplements to help make up for being malnourished, especially a multivitamin and extra calcium and vitamin D. If you take vitamins be careful to read the ingredients since many have starch which may or may not be safe.

Chipotle is another chain that does well on gf - it's our go-to standard for quick meals out.

The gluten free Ann Arbor yahoo list has a lot of good information - much of which is not Ann Arbor specific. Definitely check out the archives.

I was recently given "1000 Gluten-Free Recipes" by Carol Fenster and like it a lot.

It's daunting at first but it will get easier. Eating at home is easier at first because you have so much more control over ingredients. It's good to eat simply and avoid a lot of prepared foods initially and it's a lot less expensive too. Gluten free is expensive (you can deduct the difference in cost on your taxes if you itemize and have a diagnosis)

My son finds that NOW brand peppermint gels help if he takes them early after ingesting gluten - only thing that has helped. They have ginger and fennel oil in them as well. Have to take it early on and often one doesn't know until it's too late.
posted by leslies at 3:27 PM on May 26, 2010

I have two celiac friends who are in love with this place - they are in the bay area but ship nationwide - Mariposa Bakery.
posted by Wolfie at 3:41 PM on May 26, 2010

I have a GF GF!

I'd not really even known about the condition before I met her. I found that the Coeliac UK Website was very useful. Note the UK spelling, I think the UK is slightly more GF aware than the US, and you might find more information knowing both spellings.

British supermarkets are really on top of the labelling situation, and a lot have dedicated free from sections with stuff you wouldn't imagine existing even 5 years ago.

Eating out is a bit of a different matter. If you're abroad, then this is a brilliant iPhone app. You'd be surprised about how many restaurants are accommodating, especially if you're overly friendly, and give a nice tip.

Anyway, good luck! It's no big deal, really.
posted by derbs at 4:19 PM on May 26, 2010

I have an intolerance to both gluten and dairy diagnosed last year so first off congratulations on getting diagnosed, I started feeling heaps better off the stuff and hopefully you will too.

The best advice I can give is just don't be afraid to ask. When you're in restaurants ask the waiters before you order and again when you get the dish to make sure theres no gluten in it -it may be wise to specify no soy as well, some people might not consider it. If you've got stuff in the cupboard with ingredients that you're not sure about most companies have a toll free number you can call to ask about their products and they're usually very helpful. Make sure you tell all of your friends or anyone inviting you to dinner because it may mean they have to prepare differently.

Also, i found it easiest at the start to not look for substitutes for everything, you may have to accept that some things you like just aren't possible anymore - muesli and yogurt was the only breakfast I ate before being diagnosed, I still miss it but poor imitations just made me want the real stuff more so I gave up on it and bread. Once you've adjusted to the new diet you may want to try to introduce the substitutes, but at the start it will probably just turn you off the food.

Good luck with it
posted by parryb at 6:10 PM on May 26, 2010

Best answer: I have so much to tell you, but not a lot of time. This one will be short and I'll try to come back later.

Both my daughter and I have Celiac Disease. My diagnosis was just like yours. The biopsy was positive and the bloodwork negative. About a year ago my doctor told me that if I wondered about my diagnosis I could just go off the diet for two weeks and see how I reacted. I lasted a week and a half, it was terrible. There is no doubt now.

Keep a food diary. This will help you weed things out. Every person is different. My daughter can have things with oats, but I react. She's also more sensitive to milk than I am. Pare your diet down to basically meat and vegetables, then slowly add things in one at a time. Give yourself a week and see if you have a reaction. If there is no reaction then you are probably okay. I've had to do this a few times. I've also noticed that if I get gluten once it's not such a big deal, but the second time is killer. I compare it to salt in a paper cut. The paper cut doesn't hurt too bad, but when you get salt in it it's murder.

You'll get good at reading lables. Watch for anything that says Malt or Malt extract. That's barley. Oats, barley and rye are not on the government list of allergens, so just because the lable doesn't say wheat it doesn't mean that it's okay.

Chex brand just came out with some tasty GF cereals, Betty Crocker has some really good mixes that are GF, and Progresso Soups have some canned soups that don't have any gluten ingredients. I especially like the Progresso Chicken Corn Chower.

Please MeMail me for more info. Really, I want to help.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:42 PM on May 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'm not that far ahead of you on this journey, so know well the mental overload that comes at the beginning. Number one, know to take it easy on yourself. Going gluten free isn't something you accomplish immediately. It involves takes major lifestyle changes; it's normal that it takes time to get the hang of it.

Here's something I was surprised to learn: most adult celiacs find that it takes around two years to feel like they truly got the diet mastered and for the blood/biopsy results to show that their body has fully recovered. Of course, individuals vary, and it's inspiring to hear the stories of those who seem to take to it all very quickly and easily. But medically, a few months is really uncommon. Starting to feel better in a few weeks or a few months, yes. But being truly healthy and staying consistently so...? Nope. So when you make a mistake, or when someone accidentally serves you something that's contaminated, accept the experience as another step in your learning/adaptation process. Don't get discouraged by it.

The hardest part, for me, has been eating out. Servers and managers often overestimate their understanding of what goes on in their kitchen, and they underestimate how many opportunities there are for cross-contamination. For many people, "gluten" gets mentally translated to simply "bread" -- if they don't notice anything obviously bready on the plate, they don't always get why there'd be a problem. So you'll need to develop skill about being detailed and persistent in questioning. Either that, or consider just bringing your own food with you. Sometimes it's the path of least resistance. The important part is to enjoy a meal, regardless of where it came from, and getting the joy of spending quality time with friends.

I've voraciously read many books about celiac and the gf diet. Some personal favorites in the "celiac 101" category:

Dr. Peter Green's book is the best I've seen about the medical side including much more detail about each of the diagnostic tests than I've ever managed to get from my own doctors. He also discusses long-term health management including nutritional deficiencies, bone density, etc. The info is comprehensive, and yet is presented very clearly.

For lifestyle coping, (and I wish it were otherwise, both because this book is controversial for certain claims that are unsupported and I personally find the author's onscreen persona downright odious, nevertheless...) Elizabeth Hasselbeck's book had a bonanza of useful practical tips about dealing with restaurants, traveling, unsupportive family members, sharing a kitchen with gluten eaters, etc.

The internet has insane numbers of great recipes, so don't be in a rush to get new cookbooks. But it was Betty Hagman's cookbooks that were the first to give me hope and confidence about adapting to new ways of cooking. All of her books started with a survey of alternate flours. Very enlightening. A lot of the more contemporary writers promote delicious gourmet recipes, which is great. But Betty filled a different niche, giving lot of recipes for comfort foods and DIY "instant" mixes (soups, biscuits, etc.) that make it feasible to throw together meals quickly. Of course it's not a good idea to eat like that everyday, but with so many commercial processed foods off-limits it was a relief to know that not every meal need be expensive or elaborate. That said, I actually enjoy baking more than ever now. It was a bumpy ride at first, but it's actually exciting to have opened up so many new possibilities! Why isn't everyone baking with bean flours, corn flour, sorghum, etc?? And xanthan gum is freakin' magic stuff. If more people understood what it can do, they'd be all over it. Which would be nice for us, because if everyone were buying it, it'd probably get a whole lot less expensive...

You'll notice that there recipes often call for this specific GF flour mix or that specific one. Don't sweat it much. For the most part, they're all interchangeable. Choice of mix often comes down to cook's preference, including what tastes good to you, how much nutritional whallop you're looking to pack into your wheat flour substitute, and which alternatives you can afford. So whatever works for you, feel free to stick with it. (The main exception is recipes that call for a "featherlight" mix. Basically, it's the equivalent of calling for a cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Most GF cookbooks suggest a favorite featherlight mix formula. It'll be lighter and starchier than the standard mix.)

Most major supermarkets these days have a gluten free product guide available. Look for one at your store's website. It does make things easier. The first time I went shopping, I wanted to burst into tears. Between wheat, rye, barley, oat, and dairy cotent, it felt like virtually everything in the store was forbidden. It's not actually true, but it takes time to learn which brands to seek out and which ones to skip right over. When in doubt, focus on the produce aisle, butcher case, and seafood case. There are so many yummy things around, completely safe! And they will give you time to learn how to adjust your shopping skills for the more complex ingredients.

A tip about asian cooking: the standard recommendation is to use tamari as substitute for soy sauce. Head's up! There is "wheat-free tamari" but there is also (for at least one brand...) a nearly identical bottle that is actually a _wheat-based_ tamari. The distinction is subtle. Easy to get tripped up by that one. But if your tamari doesn't cost 2-4 times as much as regular soy sauce, it's probably not the wheat-free stuff.

Consider joining support groups, in person and online. It can be comforting to hear other people's challenges and exciting new discoveries, and frequently there are free samples of gf goodies at meetings.

MeMail me any time. Sometimes it's nice to have someone with whom to chat, or vent, or ask what the heck to do next. A nice perk of having gotten over a hump or two is getting to help make it easier for the next person get the hang of it. We're all looking out for each other. :-)
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:43 PM on May 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

One of my friends is gluten-sensitive, so I've discovered a few things as a result. The above advice is all fantastic.

I second the Trader Joe's suggestion. They have a quinoa bread, for instance. They also have gluten-free options in their frozen foods section, which is good because it allows you to stock your freezer up with "lazy" foods -- stuff that you can eat when you don't feel like cooking without worrying about what's in fast food.

There are several gluten-free beer options. There's a brewery in San Jose, and the beer was fairly passable. I recommend Redbridge. Bard's Tale was pretty good, but the taste was a bit weird to me. If you find yourself at a bar, your options are cocktails and hard ciders (pear, apple, etc).
posted by spiderskull at 12:07 AM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sources of hidden wheat, off the top of my head (based on stuff I've had to look out for while on low carb -- I have only a minor wheat allergy -- and things that have nearly killed my friend):

- some ice-creams. This blew my mind, but a batch of off-brand vanilla ice-cream really did a number on my friend. Turned out it had wheat in it, god knows why -- perhaps a thickener -- because it was just vanilla. This is unusual enough that after a lifetime of having a deathly allergy it took over twenty years for a pint of ice-cream to attack her. So just remember, wheat is everywhere, read labels even if you know it would be ridiculous for wheat to be in something.

- soups. Flour is often used as a thickener. Check cans, and ask at restaurants. Most restaurants aren't too cheap to use cream, but you never know. Make it clear that you have a serious allergy.

- cheesecake. And I'm not talking the crust, either; flour is often used as a thickener in the actual cheesecakey part of it.

- alfredo and other cheese sauces. Sometimes used as a thickener. So if you find a rice pasta, or else get a cheese sauce on some vegetables at a restaurant, know to read the label or ask.

- corn tortillas, shells. And you thought these were safe! They often are; my friend has to eat them more often than she'd like when there aren't other options. But even these are not always wheat-free.

In all the above, it's pretty lame to put wheat in any of these things and usually it's because someone sucks at cooking, or because wheat is cheaper than something else, or because they're trying to make it "healthier" by using a non-fat thickener. Internalize, right now, that the world is stupid. ;-) Always be on the lookout.

But things you CAN eat! This is a great recipe blog: Healthy Indulgences. Never tried something from there that wasn't awesome, and I've made probably a dozen of the recipes or more.

It's technically a low-carb blog, but you can replace the erythritol/Stevia combinations with an amount of sugar equal to the amount of erythritol if you don't want to do low sugar (although it's easy to do, so you might want to try it out). I'm hesitant to say 100% of the recipes are gluten-free because I might have forgotten something, but typically she notes which ones are gluten-free and I kind of think they all are.

Anyway, what you need to know is you can make cake that's indistinguishable from real cake by using black beans and coconut flour. And when I say indistinguishable, I mean it: I modified her black and white cake recipes to make a red velvet cupcake recipe, made sugar-free even, and took it to a brunch. I had to print out ten copies of my recipe to bring the next week because that's how many people LOVED the cupcakes.

So here you go, my red velvet adaptation; observe the erythritol/Stevia replacement rules above if you want:

Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes
Adapted from

Makes 12 cupcakes (or one layer of cake)

15 oz can black beans
5 large eggs plus 1 yolk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract (NuNaturals brand)
¾ cup erythritol
2 packed tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon red food coloring
6 packed tablespoons coconut flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rise beans in a fine mesh sieve and shake off the water. In a food processor, blend beans with the eggs, vanilla, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, cream softened butter and sweetener until light and fluffy. Beat in pureed mixture.

Beat in the rest of the ingredients, in order, then beat for a minute or two until fluffy. The batter should be thick enough to hold a peak; not runny.

Spoon batter into paper liners; each cupcake takes roughly ¼ cup of batter.

Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes, or until springy to the touch.

Let cupcakes sit for 8 hours, so that all the bean flavor disappears. This is important! (And it really does all disappear.)

Sugar-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from

8 cream cheese
½ cup erythritol, powdered in a food processor or coffee grinder
1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract
½ stick organic unsalted butter, softened

Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Beat until smooth and creamy, then add powdered erythritol and beat for about 2 minutes, or until erythritol is dissolved and the mixture does not feel gritty to the touch. Beat in butter just until smooth and incorporated.
posted by Nattie at 10:23 AM on May 27, 2010 [6 favorites]

By the way, if your lactose intolerance is confirmed, that same blog has a ton of recipes that are also dairy-free, or can be made dairy-free by a few substitutions. She usually notes those substitutions.
posted by Nattie at 10:25 AM on May 27, 2010

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