How I Set Up My Gluten-Free Diet Pantry and Kitchen – Part 5
This is the fifth and last post in my Gluten-Free Diet Pantry and Kitchen Series. My apologies! I meant to publish this post several months ago. Sorry, my bad… ! Life happened and I never got around to it. But, here it is now.
Just in case you want to start from the beginning, here’s a link to the first post in the series: “How I Set Up My Gluten-Free Diet Pantry and Kitchen – Part 1.”
Or, click to read the previous post in my “How I Set Up My Gluten-Free Diet Pantry and Kitchen” series.
Here’s today’s FINAL Excerpt:
As I said above, you don’t want to stop to contemplate every move in the kitchen, every time you do something. Here’s a picture of the counter to the right side of my stove. It is where I process my gluten-free items. I’m preparing to make King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust.
Set up your workspaces to take advantage of consistent routines that work for you. Place your knives, cutting boards, measuring spoons and cups, salt and pepper, etc. where they are most convenient for you – in each place. If you frequently use a butter knife to spread peanut butter on the regular, gluten-y bread, then make sure you can reach one easily at the gluten workspace.
If you often peel an apple or a carrot for a snack or serve salsa with some chips at the gluten-free work area, keep a peeler, a knife and some spoons nearby. Keep this in mind for what goes inside your cabinets, but do try to avoid too much clutter on the counter itself. Things standing on the counter need to be cleaned about as often as the counter itself.
Many utensils will need to be in duplicate in a mixed gluten and gluten-free kitchen. Wire whisks, flexible spatulas, wooden spoons, sieves and strainers can be especially hard to clean when that sticky gluten gets on them. It especially sticks in places that don’t receive good circulation, like crevices and cracks in cutting boards, openings in sieves and strainers, inside beaters from the mixer and anything with nooks and crannies. Running your tools through the dishwasher doesn’t always clean the gluten off.
Don’t take a chance on contaminating your gluten-free food – keep a separate set of utensils for gluten and gluten-free cooking and serving. Different colors might help keep them straight, like all red handles for one set or all metallic handles for the other, or maybe buy a different brand of one set of tools so you can tell them from the other set.
You’ll also need to have separate toasters, waffle irons and the like. Anything that you can’t clean thoroughly each time you use it will need to be duplicated.
Mark them as necessary to keep them straight – or use color coding like you might use on your utensils. Things that you will need to keep straight include but are not limited to dishes, mixing spoons, knives, spatulas, lids, plastic dishes and containers.
Do you keep your seasonings and spices in the pantry or cabinet mixed in with the other food, or do you keep them in a place by themselves? Often they are in small containers, and generally I want them at hand while cooking, so I tend to keep them closer to my workspace than most of the food in the pantry.
Wherever you keep them, if you’re going to keep some that contain gluten, you’ll need to be careful to mark them. I’d suggest separating the gluten-free from the gluten-y, too, for the same reasons you separate the other food in your pantry.
The Bottom Line
The underlying rule of having a mixed kitchen, some gluten and some gluten-free, is this. You’re not just aware of gluten inside the food, but you’re careful of where gluten from food may spread to surfaces, utensils, appliances and hands…and then to the gluten-free food. If you have any gluten in your kitchen, you’ll need to keep careful track of it as well as anything that touches it.
Well, that’s it. This is the end of the free excerpt from my newest book.
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