The Gluten Free Household
Preparing your home is an important part of going gluten free. For those who will have a gluten free household, you will want to go through items in your pantry and remove anything that contains wheat. Read labels, looking for anything that contains hidden gluten from barley or rye. (Generally things like barley malt, malt vinegar, malted milk balls etc.) Most wine coolers contain barley malt at this time, for example.
There is a section on the website on the Shopping page with instructions for labels. All foods except fresh meat and dairy items are required to list wheat on the label if the product contains wheat in any form under the new FALCPA law of January 1, 2006.
Barley and rye are not covered by this though, so you will need to scan any label that doesn’t say wheat on it for barley and rye ingredients to make sure it is gluten free. Wheat free is a good start, but is not enough. If you are dairy free you will need to check for lactose and casein as well. The newer packages will say "milk" or "derived from milk".
Packages and cans produced before January 1, 2006 do not meet this requirement, so if you still have anything of that age you will need to check carefully or call the manufacturer. Be sure to clean all shelves and/or cabinets to remove any crumbs or flour dust.
The refrigerator will also need to be checked for condiments that contain gluten, such as mustard, ketchup, relish, mayonnaise, and soy sauce (La Choy is gluten free). If it's open, it's best to replace it as it likely has been cross contaminated by prior use. (except squeeze bottles). Any item that contained wheat breads or pastries should be thoroughly washed or replaced. Remember to use gluten free dishwashing liquid. (I use Palmolive.) (Dove soap and shampoo are gluten free and can be made the household soap.)
Refrigerator shelves also may have crumbs to be removed.
A new toaster or a clean toaster oven will be a necessity. Many gluten free breads must be toasted or warmed before use or they will be stiff and brittle because they use gums as binders.
If you plan to bake your own breads, you might want to consider getting some english muffin rings and some mini loaf pans. Gluten free baking is a real challenge, and it is often easier to have it come out edible in smaller baking pans. By the same reasoning, muffin tins work for cornbread muffins better than cake pans for cornbread.
Rice pasta, corn pasta, and quinoa pasta are available for spaghetti, lasagna and other dishes and shapes, and they are a welcome addition to the diet once you have healed a bit. So the new colander will be quite useful.
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