Five Simple Tips for a Gluten-Free Kitchen

Gloria Tsang newFor those with celiac disease, gluten-free eating is a requirement. But many others are exploring the gluten-free lifestyle these days, for various health and diet reasons. When you first make the switch to a gluten-free diet, it can be a bit tricky to know how to stock and set up your kitchen. Here are five simple pointers to help you set up a gluten-free kitchen so you’ll be ready to create healthy gluten-free meals at home.

1. Get to know gluten-free whole grains

Whole grains are packed with antioxidants and fiber, and there are many options beyond whole wheat. Look for amaranth, millet, quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat. Not sure what to do with them? Try using the first three in pilafs or salads, use buckwheat noodles for gluten-free pasta, and try this tasty side of brown rice and lentils.

2. Stock your pantry with gluten-free flour

Most gluten-free eaters stock cornstarch or potato starch, tapioca starch, and sorghum flour as their basic mix and add on other flours as needed. But the biggest concern I hear is that there are too many bags of flour sitting in the pantry! If you’re just starting to go gluten-free, consider using a commercial gluten-free mix instead of mixing your flour yourself.

3. Zest up your baking with lentils

Gluten-free flour mixes are easy to use, but unfortunately some of them lack the nutritional value of traditional whole wheat flour. Adding lentil puree to your baking can up the protein and fiber. Here are three staple recipes to get you started (use a gluten-free flour mix instead of the regular flour):

4. Check your sauces and marinades

Many sauces, including soy sauce, pasta sauce, taco mix, and pre-made marinades contain wheat or flour ingredients. Check the ingredients and look for alternatives.

5. Keep your bakeware safe

Cross-contamination may be a concern for people with celiac disease. If not everyone in your house is gluten-free, you may want to consider having a separate set of bakeware, baking utensils, and bread machine.