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.

Storage:

  • 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.

 Meal Prep:

  • 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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