How Do I Make My Kitchen Gluten-free?
This is an excellent question. It shows that you are aware of cross-contamination and how gluten ingredients may accidentally end up in your gluten-free food. Food storage and preparation is one of the key components in ensuring that the food you consume has no gluten in it.
Since most food preparation is done in the kitchen, making it gluten-free is essential. If you live alone, you will be able to keep it gluten-free quite easily. If there are other family members in the same household, you will need to explain to them the importance of keeping the kitchen gluten-free.
There will be rules to abide by and any errors that may occur will affect the gluten intolerant person’s health. Since a family’s health is at stake, most family members will walk on eggshells when it comes to complying. Even then, mistakes may happen. So, you will need to be watchful and alert.
The first two things you will need to do are elimination and segregation. You will eliminate any gluten containing products in your kitchen. Give away your flours, baking supplies, etc. Any flours and baking ingredients you use should be gluten-free. If you are living alone, you can eliminate every single gluten containing product in your entire house.
If you have family members, you will need to segregate your food from theirs. You will need separate containers to keep foods such as butter, jams, etc. It would be an excellent idea to use different utensils and store them in a separate place too.
All this might seem like a hassle and it is. Yet, it’s the only way to ensure that gluten doesn’t accidentally get into your diet.
Get a toaster just for gluten-free bread. This is not an area to compromise regardless of your budget constraints. Grills, toasters, etc. that are used to prepare gluten containing foods will always have remnants left behind. Since you can’t wash a toaster thoroughly, there is absolutely no way to toast gluten-free bread and keep it in pristine gluten-free condition if other family members are using the same toaster to toast their normal bread
The crumbs from the normal bread will definitely end up on your gluten-free bread. If you eat it, you might as well be eating normal bread because the cross-contamination will be negating any attempts at living a gluten-free lifestyle.
Get different pots, pans, chopping boards, bread boards, etc. for your food preparation. You may think that you can use the same pots and pans as long as you wash them thoroughly. What many people don’t realize is that over time, there are scratches and little dents in the pots and pans. No matter how well you wash them; there will be some residue in these miniscule cracks. There will be gluten containing residue which will end up in your gluten-free food if you’re using the same pots and pans to whip up your meals. The same applies to cutting boards, bread boards, etc.
Initially, it may all seem troublesome and even a little expensive since you will have to have two sets of utensils, toasters, etc. However, once all is settled and you have your own items, you’ll not have any other issues as far as food preparation or cross-contamination goes. Put in the initial effort and expense. Over time, you will reap dividends many times over.