Stocking a Gluten Free Kitchen

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by on February 3, 2014

Gluten Free PantryMany people are eliminating gluten from their diets, either from necessity or choice. It’s not uncommon to find restaurants offering a gluten-free menu and special gluten-free sections of the supermarket. Making the switch however, can be daunting. Here are some tips for stocking a gluten free kitchen that should help you with this transition.

Stocking a Gluten Free Kitchen

If eliminating gluten is due to an allergy then several steps should be taken to make your pantry and kitchen safe. For someone with a gluten allergy it is important to clear out any and all items from the home that contain gluten. Many families that have a member with a gluten allergy find it easier to make their home 100% gluten-free than try to maintain separate spaces for gluten free items. All countertops and cooking implements in the home should not be shared with items containing gluten. This is one reason why simply making everything gluten-free is easier. Imagine having two sets of cooking pots and pans, cutting boards, and utensils! Even with careful cleaning it’s still possible to cross contaminate – a dangerous situation for someone with celiac disease.

What is Gluten?

Gluten can be found in wheat, rye, and barley. For someone with a gluten allergy or sensitivity anything containing these grains, or a derivative of them, should be avoided. Some other foods you may not be aware contain gluten include;

  • Bulgur
  • Durum (type of wheat)
  • Farro/Faro
  • Malt, malt extract, malt syrup, and malt flavoring
  • Malt vinegar
  • Malted milk
  • Matzo meal
  • Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, and whole oats (unless indicated gluten-free. These do not contain gluten in their natural state, but are often cut using flour)
  • Seitan (A meat-like food derived from wheat gluten used in many vegetarian dishes)
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

When first starting to eat gluten-free, using convenience foods like pre-made gluten free bread, crackers, or pasta may be very helpful. You will still be able to eat most of the foods you previously enjoyed with little effort. For some people, having many packaged, prepared foods on hand helps maintain a gluten-free diet. However, these items can also be very expensive. After you have some experience under your belt and are comfortable identifying items that contain gluten, it makes sense to begin experimenting.

Some other items to keep your pantry stocked:

  • Produce-fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free.
  • Grass fed meats – grass fed is important, as animals that have been fed gluten containing items such as wheat can pass the protein to humans when they consume animal meat.
  • Spices and gluten-free condiments to make meals more exciting. You’ll want to make sure that these do not include gluten. If you’re unsure, call the manufacturer to verify.
  • Rice (brown or white), potatoes (sweet or white), and/or quinoa.
  • For those who want to try baking their own goods gluten free grain flours and nut flours.
  • Dairy products such as milk and butter are generally gluten free, however many people who have a gluten allergy also have a dairy allergy. If you’re unsure please, check with your doctor.

Purchasing organic dairy, meat, and flours will help reduce the risk of cross-contamination with gluten containing products. While beginning a gluten-free lifestyle can often feel overwhelming, you will discover most of the foods you love can still be enjoyed.

What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing living gluten-free?

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