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TTT- Tuesday’s Tasty Tip with Chef David Hall

First off, I would like to say how much I enjoy introducing new contributors to the Gluten Free Frenzy family. This new weekly contributor will be such a great asset to this website. You will enjoy his humor as well as his extensive knowledge on cooking. We will be honored to have tips and information given to us from Chef David in the form of, “TTT-Tuesday’s Tasty Tip with Chef David Hall”. So, without further adieu I introduce you to Chef David Hall of Thyme for a Chef!!!

Chef David Hall has been cooking since he was 9 years old! His first cooking assignment was making biscuits for dinner, cooking alongside his father, several nights a week. He became his dad’s sous chef, learning everything from preparation to grilling to braising to pitting over one hundred pounds of meat for the annual church bar-b-que.

Chef David is a graduate of the Culinary Business Academy and Premier Member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA). He teaches cooking classes at several Whole Foods stores in the Phoenix Metro area. He will be teaching at the next national USPCA conference in Denver, July 2010. He is also one of the Chefs teaching classes at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace. Chef David is a certified gluten-free chef holding the “GF Absolutely” certification to produce gluten-free safe foods.

As a certified Gluten-free Personal Chef, Chef David is actively involved in working with professional health care providers that treat patients with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, as well as Autism (also linked to gluten). In addition to special meal preparation, Chef David is passionately involved in education and training, working with support groups and families that live with these challenging medical conditions, and learning how to live gluten-free. Some of the articles he wrote are found in the Resources page.

Great food should provide everyone with an exciting culinary experience!

Thyme for a Chef, LLC is a Personal Chef Services Company. Chef David does all the work so you don’t have to. He offers dinner parties, events, and in-home meal preparation. You select the meals you want, or let him design a menu tailored around your needs and wants. You will get everything you want and nothing you don’t. He uses all his own equipment in your kitchen and does all the shopping, prep, cooking and clean-up (and for his in-home meal service clients, packaging and freezing).

Email Us at [email protected] Call Us Directly at (602)740-3392 or (480)861-1082. Visit us on the web at and on Facebook.

TTT: Tuesday’s Tasty Tip-4/26/2010

The temperature in Arizona (and other places as well) is on the rise and before you know it, the 110-degree days with lows in the high 80s or low 90s will be here. With those temperatures comes the need for proper hydration. Unfortunately, for many the choice will be to grab for a pop, such as Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, 7-up, Root Beer or other sodas. These all contain high amounts of refined sugar that create a strong glucose spike, headaches and the crash that follows the spike, not to mention they actually make you thirstier.

In a typical 12-ounce can of pop there are between 3.2 to 4.0 tablespoons of sugar in EACH CAN, which equates to 40.5 carbohydrates. Refined sugars rate a 90 on the glycemic index. To calculate the glycemic load, multiply the glycemic index times the number of carbohydrates and divide by 100. Therefore, one 12 oz. can of regular cola has a glycemic load of about 36!

Compare that with 2 tablespoons of agave nectar having 32 carbohydrates and a glycemic index of only 30. Doing the math, you have a glycemic load of only 9.6 for two tablespoons of agave nectar, even though agave is five times sweeter than sugar.

One whole pint of fresh strawberries has a glycemic load of only 6.0, whereas just one apple has a glycemic load of 11.3.

Instead of spending money on colas that only make you thirsty for more and create a higher risk for diabetes later in life, I offer a healthy refreshing alternative – homemade fresh fruit spritzer made with club soda (carbonated water), your favorite fruit, agave nectar, and nothing else.

Chef David’s Cola Alternative


2 pints of fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches or raspberries
4 tablespoons of agave nectar
12-pack of club soda


Run the fruit through a food processer to puree. In a small saucepan combine the fruit puree and agave nectar and simmer for one hour. Chill and store the puree in a refrigerator in a glass container. This should make enough for 12 cans of club soda. To make your drink simply take a cold can of club soda and add a couple tablespoons of the juice puree. Gently stir and enjoy. For a cream-style cola, simply add ½ teaspoon of cream to the glass.

How does this compare to a cola?
It is not as sweet, thick and syrupy like most colas. Instead, it is light and crisp with a subtle fruit flavor.
My alternative cola will typically have a glycemic load of less than 2.0 for a 12 oz. drink.
It quenches your thirst whereas colas do not.
After drinking this for a couple weeks, most people don’t prefer commercial colas (unless they are “watered-down” with vodka or other adult beverages).
There is no caramel coloring which may contain gluten.

For another version of this drink, use my dad’s lemonade recipe, found at but please replace the sugar with agave nectar using a smaller amount than the required amount of sugar.

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