5 Quick Start Tips for Gluten Free Beginners


1. Know what ingredients to avoid

Barley, bulgur, cake flour, couscous, durum, einkorn, farina, frumento, graham, hydrolyzed wheat protein, kamut, malt, matzah, oats, rye, seitan, semolina, soy, spelt, triticale,wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat starch

2. Common foods with hidden Gluten

Alcohol, some not all look into processing with wine in particular
Breads, crackers, muffins, pastries and pretzels
Breaded anything
Cream soup
Deli meats
Flavorings/ Artificial flavorings
Flavored coffee
Gravies, sauces, salad dressings and marinades
Ice cream
Imitation anything
Instant drinks
Malt anything
Paper Straws
Play dough
Processed Foods
Roasted Nuts
non GF yeast
Soy Sauce
Veggie Burgers
Wine coolers

3. Read labels

Read the lable thoroughly.
Read even if you have been buying the product for years…manufactures frequently alter their ingredient list in the name of improvement without considering the gluten aspects of the ingredients in the formula.
So read, read, read the lable.
Start with is it labeled gluten free vs. gluten friendly?
From there just check thru the list for any concerning ingredients like artificial flavorings, malt, hydrolyzed protein, yeast(not labeled as gluten free).

4. Get familiar with how food can be cross contaminated

Let’s look at each area and identify the concern and have a plan for cross contamination elimination or if you are sharing your kitchen with Gluten eaters how to minimize issues.
Utensils – Metal is the way to go – metal is not porous and can be thoroughly sterilized in the dishwasher for shared use.
However, Shared use is not recommenced. if you can afford two sets of cooking utensils do it and designate one set for strict GF use only.
Preparation surfaces – although I’m not a fan of plastic…plastic Non porous prep and cutting surfaces are best for mixed households.
Designate between GF and Gluten Boards with color or labels.
Replace them regularly if they begin to have cut marks in them to avoid nooks for Gluten to hideout.
Food Storage – I prefer glass…It can be thoroughly cleaned and they now come in a large variety of brands and sizes that stack well for easy storage in both the cabinet and refrigerator.
Countertops and other kitchen equipment – All food prep surface are potential areas of cross contamination Counter tops, mixers, food processors, baking pans…if you are a mixed house these surfaces will need to be thoroughly cleaned after use…designated prep areas will be your best solution as well as designated equipment.
If you use nonstick pans, once scratched thy will need to be replaced to eliminate spots for gluten to hide.
So check out the ingredient list in your pet food.
Gluten can be inhaled from airborne particles.
Separate everything for prep, storage, and cooking

5. Gluten in other areas of your home

What you clean with may also contain gluten…from cleaners to sponges…just like with toiletries, many cleaning products contains gluten as well.
Check your cleaning agents for possible Gluten ingredients…
Sponges harbor lots of unwanted cross contaminates from food particles, to raw chicken or egg( salmonella) and of course gluten…consider using disposable cleaning wipes or using washcloths that can be washed as an alternative to sponges if you have a joint home.
Oven and grill, like the toaster – are a cross contamination playground.
Treat it the same as you would the toaster.
Not many of us can designate and oven or a grill for sole use so you will need to clean this equipment after use with Gluten items…so cook gluten foods first to stay safe.
Pet food – an item that never entered my mind until recently when a friend who, on our same journey to fine-tune his GF diet, was recently tested for gluten and came up with significant gluten levels despite his strict watch.
After a complete investigation into daily routine -food, food prep, toiletries cleaning agents…the simple act of feeding dry dog food was the culprit.
You take you seriously and so will everyone else.
Stay vigilant and stay healthy!