Have a GF Kitchen and Avoid Cross Contamination
How to have a gf kitchen so you can avoid cross contamination with a Celiac.
Do you want to eliminate gluten from your kitchen and avoid cross contamination? If you’ve just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, then you now have a name to your problem and you definitely need to come up with a plan forward. There is no solution or cure for Celiac Disease yet, but there are so many options for diet changes and really things you can do to avoid any contamination.
GF Kitchen and Our Journey to Avoiding Cross Contamination
Changing your diet when you have Celiac Disease is the easy part. The hard part is avoiding cross contamination of gluten. Really, all it takes is one crumb to instigate a reaction. That’s why it’s important to learn how to organize your kitchen to be gluten free and eliminate all gluten and avoid cross contamination.
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When our daughter, Serena, was diagnosed with Celiac, we decided that we were going to be a gluten free home. Essentially this meant that we would not be cooking any gluten at home; but we had a lot of loop holes with this rule, including that we can still bring gluten into the house. HELLO, TACO BELL!
This worked for a little while, but when we moved, we decided to be a celiac safe home. To us, that meant there was absolutely no gluten cooked or brought into the home (so bye-bye to GrubHub and UberEats deliveries). This decision really helped ensure that she would thrive and be healthy. We have a lot of young kids at home so if I bought some gluten chips at home, then I run the risk of the younger siblings spreading crumbs from the table to the couch or even playing with her and cross contaminating her.
Here is what I recommend to get your kitchen ready to be gluten free:
Remove all gluten flour and baking products from the home.
All purpose flour essentially cannot be contained because the particles are so small and can really trigger pain for celiacs. If you remove all lose gluten flours from the home, you have already reduced the chances of cross contamination drastically. Instead, try using an alternative gluten free one to one flour. If you’re a serious baker, then I think quality is worth the investment.
Buy a separate microwave, toaster, and toaster oven.
Yes, this takes up a lot of counter space or space in the pantry, but trust me when I say this is key. 20 parts per million is what you need to be considered gluten free. Let me tell you that my daughter has been glutened by just breathing in an Italian restaurant. I’m not even kidding. The tiniest little bit, even the crumbs at the bottom of the toaster will hurt. And no, you cannot just have a designated side of the toaster. There are still crumbs at the bottom! We have our favorite toaster because it’s small and it’s super inexpensive.
Replace all nonstick pots and pans.
Since everything but glass and stainless steel is porous, it’s highly likely that particles have been captured in the microscopic holes of the nonstick materials. Oh, and same for plastic utensils and and tupperware. Chuck it. We use glass tupperware with suction instead and use a top of the line pots and pans. Worth the investment!
You know what else is porous? That wooden cutting board you’re using. And those wooden stirring and serving spoons.
Yea it’s contaminated and can lead to cross contamination when you’re cooking in the kitchen. You’ll want to get a non porous one to make sure that cross contamination is a nonissue! Love that it comes in a set and different sizes.
All of those cast iron pots and pans you got, you’ll want to chuck those, too.
You could say that it’s possible to strip the pan and re-season but how would you know that you eliminated the gluten particles 100%? This one is actually 50% off.
And I bet you didn’t think of changing your silverware divider or utensil holder.
Yep, those are also guilty of cross contamination. The thing is, you cannot say with 100% certainty that the plastic or wooden divider and holders never held a crumb of gluten. We replaced ours with an expandable one because it expands and we just have mad utensils.
Label all your gluten foods.
Look, in the beginning, it’s hard to let go of your (insert gluten food item here). I get it. But until you get to the point that you don’t want to feel the pain or risk it at all, label the hell out of your pantry. Use bright-colored labels that scream GLUTEN FREE!
Do What Works Best For You
I am not a medical professional. I spoke to a few and heeded their advice after learning more about what impacts a reaction. This is what works for us. This is what I do in our home.
Honestly, I’m just a mom with a kid that was just diagnosed with Celiac and went on a furious search to figure out how the hell to stop her daughter from feeling pain. I wanted her to feel safe at home and know that she can eat and touch anything here without having the fear of cross contamination of gluten.
Do what works best for you, always.
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