When you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, (NCGS for short), there are just so many questions that you may have. I know I did, but back when I was diagnosed, I had a lot of trouble finding the answers. One of the questions I get a lot is, I’m gluten-free, does my kitchen have to be also?
The short answer is no, but if your whole kitchen is not going to be a gluten-free zone, then you’re going to need to make some strict rules for everyone else to follow. My kitchen is not a strictly gluten-free zone. My husband eats regular glutenous bread, but we have some rules that he has to follow. If you are going to have a duel duty kitchen then you will need to make sure that your gluten-free food doesn’t get contaminated with gluten. So following are a few tips to ensure that that doesn’t happen.
- I have a separate cupboard that I keep my gluten-free foods in. I also store things like my gluten-free flour and pasta in airtight containers or glass mason jars.
- Label EVERYTHING! I make sure that all gluten-free food is clearly labeled as such. That way there is no question if it is safe for you to eat.
- I have separate containers of butter, peanut butter, jelly and anything else that may have a glutenous knife find it’s way into, clearly marked as gluten-free. If I’m having guests that may be helping in the kitchen, I hide my gluten-free containers way in the back of the fridge, so that there is no accidents.
- For other condiments, such as ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, I use squeeze bottles. But here again, you need to make sure that your family understands that they cannot touch the tip of the bottle onto their glutenous bread or bun.
- You must have your own dedicated gluten-free toaster. You can also use a toaster oven with a tray that can be removed and washed, but I’d still be concerned about accidental cross-contamination. They now also have reusable toaster bags. I bought these ones to take with me when traveling: Kitchemy Toaster Bags *
- Make sure that the counter area is clean. Washed and free of glutenous crumbs, or flour dust. This isn’t a worry in my kitchen, because my husband has his own counter area for his glutenous food and I don’t allow regular glutenous flour in my house. It’s entirely too hard to control the flying flour dust.
- Cutting boards and colanders are another area of concern. You simply cannot clean them thoroughly enough to rid them of all of the gluten. So just be safe and buy a separate one of each just for your gluten-free cutting and draining.
- As long as you thoroughly scrub your pots, pans and utensils, before using them on you gluten-free foods, there is no need to have a separate set. However, I would replace chipped, or scratched, non-stick cookware if it has been used for glutenous foods, and replace cracked or broken nylon and wooden utensils.
- If you are preparing glutenous and gluten-free foods, I would suggest preparing the gluten-free food first, setting it safely aside, and then preparing the glutenous foods. That way, you are less likely to cross-contaminate your gluten-free food. Also, when serving, be sure to use separate utensils for your gluten-free food.
With a little forethought and planning, it is possible to live in a glutenous and gluten-free home, and not get sick.
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