Archive for Healthy Eating

My Gluten Free Saga

I don’t have to tell you that Gluten Free eating has become extremely common—it’s everywhere! Much to my own surprise, I switched to a gluten free diet last year after I was diagnosed with an illness for which I had no symptoms. Rather then go on medication as my doctor prescribed, I met with a naturopath who put me on a gluten free diet. Since I’ve been eating gluten free, along with dairy free and (mostly) sugar free, I feel great and I have definitely noticed improvements in a few areas.

gluten free challah, challah connectionHowever, as a baker and lover of baked goods, this transition has been a test in fortitude! I bake challah every Friday and since I have yet to find a gluten free challah recipe that looks remotely appealing, I bake full-flour challah for my family and watch them enjoy it. It’s the same for cookies, cakes, rugelach—I love them all but haven’t had any in over a year! When I tell you that the biggest treat I have had over the last year is a Larabar (peanut butter chocolate chip my favorite), I am not exaggerating. I have one just about every day. But recently, my GF “treat” situation changed for the better.

Recently, I was shopping at a farmers market on the Upper West Side of New York when much to my excitement, I found a vendor with gorgeous Gluten free rugelach, Challah Connectionchallah and rugelach (shown above and right)—gluten free and kosher! I bought a bag of the rugelach, gave my business card to the shopkeeper and went home to “taste” the rugelach. I thought I would have 1 piece but then I had another and soon I had convinced myself that 5 was really fine since I had been deprived for a year and a half.

Long story short, we are now carrying this line of gluten free baked goods. They are from Las Delicias of the Bronx, and we are thrilled. The challah is outstanding as well as the rugelach, cookies and brownies. Recently, the owner of the bakery Debbie Brenner, visited us with armloads of samples and to tell her “gluten free story,” which of course was fascinating.

If you or someone you know eats a gluten free diet and enjoys Jewish baked goods including challah (pictured above)—truly braided and not using a mold—please send to challahconnection. You will be doing a mitzvah! With all of these samples here, I could use some help.

Debbie Brenner, Owner, Las Delicias and Ann Delaurentis, Director, Customer Service, Challah Connection

Debbie Brenner, Owner, Las Delicias and Ann Delaurentis, Director, Customer Service, Challah Connection

Written by Jane Moritz (, Chief Maven Officer, Challah Connection

Challah Connection is the premiere online kosher gift company specializing in Jewish traditional gifts for Jewish Holiday, Shiva, Jewish Birthday and all Jewish gift giving occasions . “Creating Kvells Since 2002”

Leave a Comment

New for 2012: Yiddish Yoga Hanukkah Gift Baskets

An Inspiring Jewish Holiday Gift for Fun and Fitness

Hanukkah gift basket yoga wellness

Boy did we love putting these Hanukkah gift baskets together as a new product this year! I had fun making this combination of Yoga and Yiddish – I just think it makes a super Jewish holiday gift for just about any fitness-minded person on your gift list.

This new kosher Hanukkah gift is an inspiration for the older person on your list especially. It includes a fun book, “Yiddish Yoga,” about a yoga skeptic whose granddaughter gives her a gift of yoga classes. Kvetching, stretching and schvitzing follows as Bubbe starts to find yoga exhilarating. As a yoga lover myself, I know how she feels! The grandma winds up meeting new friends and even changing her outlook on her future – all from a gift given by her granddaughter. Now that’s an inspiring Jewish holiday gift!

Who wouldn’t love to receive this great Hannukkah gift that combines this sweet story with a Yiddish mug, tea with Sarabeth’s honey, and snacks for after yoga? Keep it in mind for any health-conscious people on your Hanukkah gift list. It’s really super for a  young-at-heart grandmother, but I really think anyone who likes yoga would love this Chanukah gift basket!

Get it There by December 8th (First Night of Hanukkah)!

Remember, when you sign up for the Challah Connection newsletter, you automatically get holiday discounts and shipping priority. This means if you are on our list we will ensure your kosher Hanukkah gifts arrive by the 1st night of Chanukkah (December 8th), if that’s what you request. Don’t forget to sign up!

Leave a Comment

Going Gluten-Free and Kosher Too!

The spirit of the Jewish holidays is in full swing at Challah Connection. We welcomed Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and embraced the more solemn occasion of Yom Kippur. Not far behind was the applause for the fall harvest during Succos and the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah. We now look forward to finishing the year with more festivities, starting with Thanksgiving and concluding with Hanukkah.

As we prepare our holiday meals, we are focusing on healthy eating. In our own families, we have become very aware of Celiac disease (CD), also referred to as gluten-sensitive enteropathy (GSE), which is intolerance to gluten. According to, it is considered to be the most under-diagnosed common disease today, potentially affecting 1 in every 133 people in the United States.

Healthy eating, however, does not mean compromising good taste. Sherry Jonas, Challah Connection Director of Customer Service, made our noodle kugel recipe for Rosh Hashana, but substituted egg noodles with gluten-free brown rice penne for her mother, who has Celiac disease. The response from her family was overwhelmingly positive. Her mother enjoyed it as did her two daughters, ages 7 and 10. She brought some leftovers to work and I concur, it was delicious! Gluten-free kugel is now a part of her family’s holiday tradition and she will make this again and again.

We plan to add more gluten-free products to our current offerings of nuts, cookies and an apple pie snack bar. Our Divine Kosher Cookbook includes over 450 recipes including 70 gluten-free and 300 lactose-free (pareve). Do you have any gluten-free recipe suggestions? Please leave them in the comments section.

Leave a Comment