Gluten Free For Good


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I have a thing for farm-fresh food.

I was in San Diego last weekend, attending the Celiac Sprue Association’s national conference. These conferences usually feature one or two celiac rock stars from the medical community. This year was no different as Dr. Peter Green from Columbia University was the keynote speaker. Yes, he’s brilliant, charming, knows his way around intestinal micro-villi, and is one of the top celiac researchers in the world. Plus, he has an Australian accent. Total swoon-potential, if you’re into that kind of thing.


I’m into farmers.

No disrespect to the docs, but it’s the farmers who rock my world. Good nutrition is about good agriculture. Our health and the health of the environment depends on what happens out in the field. It’s all linked. We can talk about medical advances, pathology, and pharmaceuticals until the cows come home (sticking with my farm theme), but it’s the quality of the food we eat that holds the promise to better health.

While in San Diego, I reconnected with some farmer friends (I admit, I’m an ag groupie) from Montana and bought some Toasted Oat Bread Mix to experiment with. Yesterday I baked a loaf of whole grain, toasted oat bread and, I’m not kidding, the smell drifting from my kitchen window was intoxicating. The UPS guy asked me to marry him.

I used pastured eggs from Grant Family Farms, the toasted oat mix from the Montana farmers, and local Madhava honey to make the bread. Once cooled, I used fresh, organic pears from my Grant Farms fruit share and smoked gouda cheese. I ended up with the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich ever. In fact, this is the best loaf of bread I’ve ever made and that includes the whole wheat bread (little did I know) I made from scratch back in my hippie-girl days.

gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich (gourmet comfort food)
2 slices toasted oat bread (I made the mix in my breadmaker)
sliced pear (not-quite-ripe is best)
thin slices of smoked gouda cheese

Melt butter in a sauté pan on low-medium heat. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Assemble sandwich and grill in sizzling butter on both sides. You might have to put a lid (askew so it doesn’t get moist) on the pan to fully melt the cheese. Sniff, slice and drool.

Other gluten-free grilled cheese ideas—
• Peaches, raw cheddar, thinly sliced almonds
• Goat cheese, figs, sliced pears
• Roasted green chiles, tomatoes, colby cheese

For more on Montana Gluten-Free Products, check here.

For more information on oats and to be included in a focus group on oats, please read on.

If you have celiac disease and are unsure about adding oats to your diet, take part in the nationwide focus group on oats (check with your doctor first to make sure this is appropriate for you). Click here for details. If you fit the criteria, you’ll get a free (yes, free) bag of Montana GF PrOatina oats to try. Deb from the blog NotEvenACrumb has joined forces with the Montana farmers to help conduct a survey determining the gluten-free community’s tolerance to PrOatina, the farmers’ trademark oat product. I have no problem with oats and, as a nutritionist, feel they are a wonderful addition to the gluten-free diet. If you want to experiment with GF oats, start slowly so you don’t confuse too much fiber with a sensitivity to the oats. Montana GF products are certified gluten-free and processed in a dedicated facility. Their products are also free of dairy, corn, soy, nuts, and are GMO-free. Check here for details.

Disclosure: I’m thankful for farmers and appreciate and respect their hard work. I like knowing where my food comes from and I support the farmers who are doing it right. This is about passion and the future of our food supply, it’s not about money. I get nothing if you click any of these links, not even a free pear or a loaf of bread. This is not about that, it’s about supporting the people who are growing our food. We need to do that. They deserve it.

If you want to try a loaf of toasted oat bread, you can get the mix here. This is my new favorite bread mix. It’s wonderful. Seriously. Go, try it now and be prepared to be flirted with if your windows are open.

Peace, love and grilled cheese sandwiches on toasted oat bread. What’s your favorite?

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18 Responses to “farmers food and focus groups”

  1. Oh my goodness, Melissa, just the sound of that bread is amazing. And that grilled cheese sandwich? Completely over the top. You could win both one of those food network show competions AND a husband with such fare, not to mention friends who would be loyal for life! 🙂

    I truly love how you support your local farmers who are doing so much good for those who want to eat real food and those who are gluten free. (It’s so lovely when that group is “one and the same”!) I had actually just read Deb Wheaton’s post after she share the link on the celiac listserv. I was impressed with her experience with the Proatina Naked Oats after not being able to consume any oats previously. So I already ordered my free sample and also shared Deb’s post on my gfe Facebook page. Now I’m off to share yours. 🙂

    I really love that photo, dear, and I’m just imagining the wonder of this oat bread! Thanks so much for sharing all of this info. I predict that there will be lots of orders for this oat bread mix and perhaps some proposals … or at least happy husbands and families. 😉


    • Melissa says:

      Thanks, Shirley. I know you feel the same way! This bread is honestly good. In fact, I don’t eat a lot of bread, so I’m going to have to be super careful not to overdo it. I made those grilled cheese sandwiches last night for dinner, then had the bread toasted for breakfast and topped with 2 cups of sautéed greens and poached eggs. OMG, it was divine.

      Here’s what a dork I am. I’ve never checked out the list-serve. I better get with it and do that. Sounds like a good place to share information. =)

  2. Deb Wheaton says:

    Hi Melissa. Thanks for another great post! And I agree, this Naked Oat bread is simply the best. And how awesome that it is so good for us too. Comparing it with others I think it has more protein, fiber and B vits. (good stuff often missing links in our GF diet)

    • Melissa says:


      You’re welcome and thanks for your comment. I’m an oat fan and have been forever, so having such high-quality oats to add to our arsenal of nutrient-dense GF foods is a plus. And yes, this bread is delicious. I just ordered 6 more bags. =)

  3. Alta says:

    I love oats. While I rarely indulge much anymore, much les indulge in bread, this sounds like an indulge-worthy treat for sure – both the bread and your sandwich! Yum. I’d probably propose marriage too if I was the UPS guy. It’s so wonderful that you are connecting with farmers that care so much about such a quality product. I love my local farmers – they work so hard to provide good, wholesome food, and I want to do all I can to help them out. Off to help out your farmers too!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks, Alta. I (and they) appreciate your support. That’s what it’s about at this point. We need to vote with our forks. Skip the crappy processed stuff loaded with cryptic ingredients and additives and choose whole foods, healthy flours and grains, and take control of what you eat. I too, have to go easy on the bread products, but every so often, it’s a real treat to have a grilled cheese or French toast.

      OMG, I just realized this bread will make killer French toast! Okay, I have to control myself since I had two pieces of the bread last night and two pieces this morning. Tonight will be a huge salad. And Sunday—Sunday will be French toasted oat bread toast. I can’t wait.

  4. Maggie says:

    You are so sassy Melissa! I like it. And I really really want some toasted oat bread. Oh my, it sounds amazing. I too have a thing for Farmers. Man oh man, I am so thankful for them and all of the love and hard work they put into the land. There’s been a great campaign here in Ontario called Farmers Feed Cities. It’s awesome!
    There’s a few cute farmers at our market. I’m not gonna lie.

    • Melissa says:

      Sassy? Me?

      You crack me up. I love your sense of humor. We do have some common threads! I’m going to look up your “Farmers Feed Cities” campaign. That’s very cool. Change starts from the ground up (the soil up), so supporting this movement of small farms, farmer’s markets, CSAs, etc. is important. And yes, farmers are kinda cute, aren’t they?!

      Thanks, Maggie! xo

  5. First I think I should become your neighbor. You have access to amazing foods and also I would totally be knocking at your door to come and eat. I really want to try that bread mix. I sounds wonderful. Love the farmers too. Now I need to find some of that Madhava honey and I’ll make my sandwich with the new raw milk cheese I found at the farmer’s market too. Can’t wait!

    • Melissa says:


      If you were my neighbor, you could come over right now for tea and toasted oat bread topped with sautéed chard and poached eggs. Of course, it’s only 4:15 AM, so odds are you wouldn’t be awake. Remember, I’m the one with bizarro biorhythms?

      Do try this bread. It’s a winner, no doubt about that. I made it in my bread machine, just because I didn’t have time to deal with it and it came out perfect. I also have an old bread machine with no GF setting, so I’m thrilled with the outcome, even though I couldn’t do it exactly as indicated on the recipe.

      Thanks for your input!

  6. I saw these guys at a Celiac conference, but had forgotten to check out their website. Thanks for posting about this Melissa!

    I’ll pass on the grilled cheeses 🙂 but I’m definitely going to check out their oat products!

    • Melissa says:


      I’m sure you could come up with some awesome dairy-free recipes using those oats. Make sure to get yourself a free bag to try. I do like these guys. They are hard-working, salt-of-the-earth characters. My favorite kind!

  7. Awesome, Melissa. I am fortunate enough also to tolerate gluten free oats just fine, and am going to have to give this bread a shot! It sounds incredibly good…although like you, I don’t eat bread very often at all. This sounds worth it though 🙂

    • Melissa says:


      I like having the option of GF oats in my arsenal of ingredients for healthy “power bars” and breakfasts, but I really do have to go easy on the baked goods. Even the healthy ones. I “feel” the addictive potential of baked goods, unless I’m doing something physical, like climbing, skiing, or hiking. This bread makes for a good “hiking” sandwich! It really is good.

      Thanks for your input. I always like hearing your opinion on things (nerd girl). =)

  8. Nadya says:

    I have gotten GF oats from Bob’s Red Mill – right now my N F store is out of the regular GF rolled oats, & just have the quick cook (which I just don’t want!)
    I took a field trip to B R M with friends a few months before going GF, & was intrigued when a gal was asking where the GF rolled oats were – “I always thought oats were GF …” – fairly quickly found out!
    This bread does sound awesome!!

    • Melissa says:


      Oats are interesting. Normally the problem is cross contamination, but some people react to the protein in oats and can’t tolerate them. I also think people aren’t used to the fiber and sometimes mistake an increase in fiber to a sensitivity to the oats. If you’re not used to them, you do have to start very slowly. I bet it was fun seeing the BRM plant. They have a separate GF facility, don’t they?

  9. Tevis says:

    Hi Mom!! I see our grilled cheese conversation became inspiration for a post! I want to try this bread, but I have to tell you my fav grilled cheese combination:

    goat cheese
    raw cow cheese (I get this from the farmers market, no clue what it’s called, but it’s AMAZING)

    that has been my weekly habit as of late. so good!! and add a Green’s gluten free beer…HEAVEN.

    • Melissa says:

      Hey Tevis,

      Yes, especially on this bread, which is wonderful! You can try it when you come in October. Avocado! Oh my gosh, that sounds wonderful. Especially with tomatoes and arugula! I’d rather pair it with a glass of red wine. =)

      Nothing like melted cheese as comfort food! =)

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