Welcome to Monday, Honey Bunch.
I’m happy you’re back with me today and appreciative of your continued support during this challenging time. It means so very much.
I’m trying my best to continue providing timely information you will find useful in your gluten free journey.
Today, I want to address something many of you have asked about recently…setting up and keeping a gluten free kitchen.
For those of us who must live gluten free, this is a top priority.
Unfortunately, gluten can sometimes creep in when we least expect it, even in our own kitchen. This is especially true if we share a kitchen with family members who eat gluten-containing foods.
To help get our kitchens in tip-top gluten free shape, I have 5 Simple Steps to a Gluten Free Kitchen below.
If you’re new to gluten free living, use the following tips as a checklist to go through your kitchen and remove traces of gluten. If you’re a seasoned gluten-free’er, you may find this an excellent reminder of places gluten can hide. I know for myself, an occasional reminder is welcome (remember my coffee-gluten incident a few months back?) ;)
Also, if you have additional tips and ideas for keeping your kitchen free from gluten (or other allergens), please share them in the comments section for this post so that everyone can benefit from your knowledge. After all, that’s what the Gluten Free Gigi Family is all about…supporting one another in our journey to optimal health.
For more useful information like this, please remember to subscribe to my in-depth print-only newsletter, “Food Solutions”! Each issue is filled with my trademark “Smart Nutrition Backed by Science”, brand new gluten free recipes you won’t find anywhere else, tips for weight loss on a gluten free diet, new products and resources and more! You won’t regret making this small investment in your health! Secure your February issue right now!
Now, let’s get to those useful tips for keeping the kitchen a gluten free safe haven…
5 Simple Steps to a Gluten Free Kitchen
Check these gluten “hot spots” in your kitchen and prevent unexpected gluten contamination.
If you are new to gluten free living and plan on having a dedicated gluten free kitchen (that means 100% free from all gluten), go through the pantry and fridge and get rid of all gluten-containing foods. If you have unused items, offer those to someone who is able to eat gluten if you don’t want to throw them away.
Don’t forget jars of peanut butter, mayonnaise, jam, jelly and other spreads that may have been contaminated with gluten from knives or spoons (for example, from spreading peanut butter or mayonnaise on gluten bread, then dipping the utensil back into the container).
If you previously stored flour, pasta or other gluten ingredients in canisters, be sure to empty and wash them thoroughly before using with your gluten free ingredients.
2. Utensils and cutting boards
Use utensils and cutting boards that are non-porous and easy to sanitize, especially in a shared kitchen. This prevents gluten from hiding in cracks, pores or crevices of items like serving spoons and food prep boards.
Avoid wooden utensils and cutting boards, which are porous and can harbor gluten.
For shared kitchens, separate cutting boards are a great, inexpensive idea. Color coding is also a terrific idea. For example, a red silicone cutting board and utensils make a vivid red alert signal that they are for use with gluten ingredients only and should be avoided by those who must be gluten free.
3. Pots, pans and bakeware and mixing bowls
Just like utensils and cutting boards, porous cookware can absorb and harbor gluten particles. Opt for glass, metal and other non-porous vessels.
Pay special attention to cast iron and clay cookware, as they are particularly porous. You can read about cast iron cooking and get a wonderful gluten free recipe for my Cast Iron Skillet Apple Cake here.
Don’t overlook small appliances used for gluten-containing foods. When going gluten free, it is best to replace the following and dedicate them for gluten free use only:
Toaster – crumbs from gluten breads linger in the toaster and can latch on to gluten free breads without our knowing.
Coffee makers and grinders – some coffees contain gluten (especially flavored coffees; read more about coffee and gluten here).
Waffle irons and pancake griddles – most are coated with non-stick coating, which is porous and can hold gluten particles inside.
Also, remember large appliances like the oven and refrigerator – inside and out. In addition to gluten on the inside, lingering gluten on handles and knobs can cause contamination if not thoroughly cleaned.
If the refrigerator is not dedicated gluten free, consider dedicating one drawer and one shelf for gluten free foods. A top shelf is a good idea, just in case something is spilled onto foods below.
5. Other important areas of the kitchen
Counter tops, cabinet handles and knobs, sink faucet handles and spice shakers are all areas gluten can hide. Be sure to give everything a thorough cleaning before use with gluten free cooking.
If you have a dining table or counter and chairs in the kitchen, don’t neglect the chair backs. If someone eating gluten slides the chair under the table or counter when they’re done and they touched food (like a sandwich), traces of gluten could linger there. This may seem extreme; however, even small traces of gluten can make some of us very ill and we can never be too careful when it comes to our health.
Now that we know how to set up and secure a gluten free kitchen, let’s meet back here Wednesday for a tasty gluten free dish we can whip up in no time! See you then…meantime, secure your February “Food Solutions“, check out the helpful resources I have for you in the online store and drop me a note if you need anything at all. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.