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What Goes into a Gluten-Free Kitchen?

Celiac.com 07/19/2013 - Those diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance need to give their kitchens a thorough inspection and take some precautions to ensure that they will not be exposed to gluten in their homes. Even if you are just cutting gluten out of your diet because of personal preference, reconsidering your food preparation environment is essential if you really want to keep gluten out of your food and avoid allergic reactions or celiac disease symptoms.

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Photo: CC--SWIMPHOTOLearning what goes into a gluten-free kitchen takes a bit of research. Since you might overlook certain precautions, consider the following list of ways to ensure your kitchen is gluten-free.

  • Thorough cleanings – When you first decide to make your kitchen gluten-free, give your kitchen a good cleaning and set up an appropriate food storage system. If you live by yourself, get rid of food products that contain gluten and wash any dishes or containers that held gluten products. If you share your home with others who will continue to eat gluten-containing products, properly label items and keep gluten-free products separate at all times to avoid cross-contamination. After this initial cleaning, regularly clean any surfaces where you have placed gluten-containing foods before you place gluten-free products on them. 
  • Toaster – When you have to switch to a gluten-free diet, buy a new toaster and use it only for gluten-free foods. Take care to remind everyone in your home that breads and products that contain gluten are not to be placed in the new toaster. 
  • Inventory – Obviously, the products on your kitchen shelves are going to have to change dramatically when you begin your gluten-free regime. Take a detailed inventory of what gluten-free products you already have and determine what you need to buy. Do some research to figure out how you are going to meet your nutritional needs and eat the foods you enjoy while still avoiding gluten. Research manufacturers of gluten-free foods and find out where gluten-free products are available locally. Although it might take some effort, you should be able to find a gluten-free equivalent for all of your favorite foods.
  • Education – Now that you are eating gluten-free, some grains are available to enjoy and some must be avoided. Familiarize yourself with what you can and can't eat. Examples of gluten-free grains include amaranth, millet, oats, corn, and buckwheat. Grains to avoid include wheat, barley, and rye.
  • Gluten-free mixes – A variety of gluten-free mixes are available that allow you to prepare your own baked products. Preparing baked goods such as breads and cakes from gluten-free mixes is a good introduction into the world of gluten-free cuisine.
  • Cookbooks – Unfortunately, you may have to toss out many of the recipes in your old cookbooks, so buy a new cookbook that contains a variety of gluten-free recipes.  Buy at least one and browse through it to get an idea of what goes into a gluten-free kitchen. 

Once you have set up your gluten-free kitchen, you will be able to once again cook, eat, and bake to your heart's content without worrying about your celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Part of what goes into a gluten-free kitchen is vigilance and attention to detail. Keep yourself as healthy as possible by doing everything you can to keep gluten out of your foods and out of your body. 

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4 Responses:

 
Susie
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said this on
22 Jul 2013 4:31:46 AM PDT
Good condensed article, I just wish you had mentioned that flour dust can stay in the air for hours especially when you have forced air heating, fans and air conditioning.

 
Denise Franks
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said this on
23 Jul 2013 4:50:42 AM PDT
I enjoyed the article. I am presently doing a complete household detox to avoid any cross contamination relapse. My entire household has cut gluten out of their lives. It's so worth it taking the time an energy to do this. You will live better and with less fear of cross contamination. Ironically, the choice for our entire house to go completely gluten-free came after one of my children decided to cook and ended up dropping flour into a large bowl for mixing. We saw the flour bomb end up rising into the air as well as all over the kitchen counters and floor. I have an open concept home. So the family room was affected too. I got terribly sick straight after for many days. I felt like I was back to square one. As the comment above states every detail with this disease is important. If you are going to co exist with gluten in your home, teach people how to properly prepare foods and maintain a contamination free home.

 
Maggie Nowakowsak
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said this on
22 Jul 2013 5:46:44 PM PDT
Pack those old cookbooks away. Don't throw them out (or, better, donate them to a library sale or a charity) because after you've become more comfortable and knowledgeable cooking gluten-free, you'll be able to alter many old, favorite recipes in a safe way. And, if you do decide that a book has to leave, go through and look for recipes you can still use, copy them, and then donate them!

 
Bea
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said this on
30 Jul 2013 12:32:17 PM PDT
Don't forget you also need to dispose of any non-stick pans or pots that have had gluten exposure. The porous surface can absorb the gluten and transfer it to other foods that would have been safe otherwise. The same goes for ceramics and pizza stones.

We solved the non-stick problem in our kitchen by using regular non-stick pans for gluten containing foods and purchasing green colored non-stick pans for gluten-free cooking. Having different colored cooking implements really helps cut down accidental cross contamination.




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Celiac.com Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Forum - All Activity

Hi Allie and welcome First off, I know 3 years was a long wait, but at 17 you've figured out celiac way before many people do. That should make a big impact on minimising its effects and helping you with the diet, so, bizarrely enough, congratulations! A lot of good advice has been brought together in this thread: Don't worry that your symptoms are bad now. As you follow the diet your body will begin healing itself and you're still very young so hopefully this will go really smoothly. Think in terms of the next 6 months rather than weeks however, recovery will likely take a little time. Eat as healthily as you can, lots of whole foods and try to avoid the gluten free processed substitutes as your digestive system needs all the help it can get at this moment. You may want to avoid dairy as well for now and think about reintroducing it later. This site has been really helpful to me and others. I hope you find it just as useful. Best of luck! ps, your increased reaction to gluten during the challenge phase was perfectly normal. Many find that reintroducing it much worse than the initial affects and take some time to get over the challenge. That's why you'll see lots of posts here urging folks to 'stay on gluten' till their testing is complete!

Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!

Hi yall! New to this blog, but really glad it exists because I have lots of questions. First off, I'm Allie! I'm 17 and newly diagnosed Celiac after about 3 years of searching for answers. I initially went gluten-free on the recommendation of a friend, I felt better in about a month and then my pediatric gastroenterologist had me do the gluten challenge, and my symptoms were the worst they have ever been, and ones I barely noticed before became very present. I did the biopsy and was diagnosed, it's been about 2 weeks and my symptoms are still pretty bad, although my diet has no known sources of gluten or cross contamination. Wondering if anyone has any input on healing post gluten challenge, any tips or how long it took for you would be quite helpful! Thanks

Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.