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Creating a Gluten-Free Kitchen PDF Print E-mail

When you start a gluten-free lifestyle, your kitchen will need an overhaul.  We're not talking about a $10,000 renovation, but rather a few minor changes to ensure the safety of your gluten-free food and gluten-free cooking.

The University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center offered a few tips for creating a safe cooking environment.

Creating a "safe" gluten-free cooking environment

In order to become completely gluten-free, it is important to "de-gluten" your kitchen.

1) If you plan to have both gluten containing and gluten-free food in your household, it is important to determine which foods are "SAFE" for the family members who have celiac disease. Use a laundry marker and label "GF" (gluten-free) on all safe foods and condiments.

2) Start by taking out everything in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer (not all at once!) and reading labels.

3) In addition to the previous gluten containing grains, there are also many ingredients to question. These ingredients MAY contain of wheat, rye, or barley. If you have any questions about an ingredient, then contact the manufacturing company to learn about where these products are derived. (Does this product contain: wheat, rye, barley?)

Source: University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center

Other thoughts as you're going through your pantry, you probably want to change out your sugar and other foods that may have been "double dipped" or "cross-contaminated".  A habit of putting your measuring cup in the flour and then not thinking twice before you put the same cup in the sugar, would contaminate the sugar.  Any items you may have like this should be purged, the container washed and you should start "anew".

Purchase a new toaster.  If it's just you, you can throw your old toaster out, or save it for guests.  But if you have a household with some people eating gluten and some not, then you will need a separate toaster for gluten-free items only.

Keeping separate butter, peanut butter, etc. is also important.  Some items like jam and mayonaisse have gone to squirt bottles and that works very well to avoid cross contamination.

Don't share utensils.  Many people are used to using the same utensils for all the items that are cooking on the stove.  This won't work in a combination household.  Get used to having separate utensils for each item you are cooking.