Avoiding Cross-Contamination: Home Cooking is Your Best Bet

     If you’ve recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, it is likely you’re still adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle. It may seem overwhelming at first to a celiac patient to begin the gluten-free road to recovery, as there are many challenges to face in adjusting to your new gluten-free diet. One of these challenges is avoiding gluten that can get in your food through cross-contamination. Although cross-contamination is an issue in the home, celiac people adopt home cooking for their gluten-free diet.

     This takes the uncertainty out, as you’ll have much more control over the ingredients and the food preparation. I recommend using fresh foods and foods that are minimally processed in a gluten-free environment.

     Starches can be useful in frying and baking, such as cornstarch, potato starch and tapioca starch, as they have been processed to remove the protein. There may still be a small amount of residual protein, most of which would be from, for example, the corn, potato or tapioca used to make the starch, but not from contaminating wheat. Wheat starch is not safe, however. You can find a cookbook that uses starches only to get some recipe ideas. Also Chebe Bread is an excellent line of bread mixes made with tapioca starch. If you have the time, consider milling your own flour. This will allow you to inspect and wash the whole grains, which significantly cuts down your chance of contamination in flours.

Tina Turbin

Posted in Advice, gluten-free
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30 Responses to Avoiding Cross-Contamination: Home Cooking is Your Best Bet

  1. Sadie says:

    I entirely agree that homecooking is the best period. You control the fat, sodium, etc. of your meals. I’m not gluten-free, but I sure do prefer to cook at home!

  2. Deanna Miller says:

    I entirely agree. Eating at home saves you a lot of money and time too!

  3. Felicity Guevara says:

    I used to be soooo LAZY on the gluten free diet, thinking that home cooking was so hard and time consuming, but once I hired a nutritionist and saw how you can come up with simple meals and leftovers, I never turned back!

  4. Silva says:

    You really do save so much time in the end. By the time you drive to a restaurant, wait to be seated and order, and then drive home, you could be getting so much more stuff done at home!

  5. Carrie says:

    A great tip, thank you! Plus you get better and better over time at cooking gluten-free. Practice makes perfect!

  6. mirabelle says:

    I am not gluten sensitive but I love to eat home myself because honestly after all these years my cooking has gotten pretty darn good:) I think I could contend with many restaurants out there, and you save so much money cooking at home!

  7. Peggy says:

    There are so many amazing GF recipes out there these days in GF cookbooks that it’s so much fun and so satisfying to eat at home. I recommend checking out Tina’s reviews on her blog at http://glutenfreehelp.info, plus you can find some great recipes online. Yum!

  8. Jess says:

    GF home cooking is the best! I recommend Tina’s recipes at http://glutenfreehelp.info and even All Recipes has some gluten-free recipes too!

  9. Jacklyn says:

    So I was wondering if anyone can recommend some good cookbooks. There have been some great recommendations on glutenfreehelp.info, but the more recipes the better!

  10. Renee says:

    You’re not missing out on a thing by not eating out, trust me! At first you miss it until you perfect all your favorite dishes at home!

  11. Kelly says:

    When I first went gluten-free 12 years ago, I was very unhappy about having to cook. Back then eating out was much harder than now. Turns out homecooking was the best thing for me! I got so good at gluten-free cooking that I started teaching GF cooking classes 5 years ago and I just got an agent to sell my first cookbook. With enough practice, anyone can be totally satisfied with homemade gluten-free food!

  12. Mollie says:

    Thanks Tina and everyone who has commented. I was just diagnosed with CD this past July and I still buy a lot of processed GF foods. This Christmas though I think I’m going to cash in my gift cards for GF cookbooks and some cookware so I can really learn how to make home-cooked meals from scratch. The time is now!

  13. Dana says:

    I entirely agree with you Tina. Eating out can be done and it’s fun sometimes, but it is a hassle, and you just never know what’s in your food…

  14. Nancy says:

    Thanks Tina your advice is always much appreciated and well followed in my household!

  15. Heather says:

    Great post! We loooove Danny so much and are so happy to hear about your awards. Can’t wait for more books!

  16. Fran says:

    I really couldn’t agree more with you Tina! LOVE cooking @ home too!

  17. Patricia says:

    You speak the truth, I’m tellin’ you. The only times I’ve ever had accidental gluten ingestion were restaurant visits and a couple of dinners out.

  18. Sadie says:

    I’ve actually tried gluten-free cooking since I hear so much about it on your blog, and it’s been fun! I feel much more energetic I’ve noticed and my husband and I have both lost a little weight!

  19. Vanessa McCoy says:

    A highly valuable tip here. Home cooking is really a necessity for the gluten-free diet, if you want to avoid processed foods and stay healthy (and save money!).

  20. Babs says:

    I have been meaning to mill my own flour, and now that I’m working from home, I think I’ll give it a try!

  21. Sharon says:

    I host Christmas now and lots of birthdays at my house just because I know we can keep all the food gluten-free and safe for my two celiac twins. It’s not so bad being the central hub of the family!

  22. Alicia says:

    Hi Tina thanks so much for these great gluten-free tips. My family loves Danny and we’re gluten-free!

  23. Vicky says:

    PLUS you don’t have to worry about what you look like, and you get to have private conversations in the privacy of your own home! Eating at home is really a good idea most of the time!

  24. Cindy says:

    Hi Tina I definitely had to leave a comment on this one. It took me years of terrible accidental ingestion of gluten to finally figure out that the only one I could trust was myself! After mastering home cooking I now love cooking, am good at it, and I no longer get sick!

  25. Mina says:

    You know what I need? GF cooking lessons!

  26. melissa newman says:

    Hi Tina thanks for this important message. I’m not celiac but I know how dangerous it can be too ingest this when you do have celiac disease, though.

  27. Vanessa McCoy says:

    I just wanted to add that eating out is actually really time consuming in the end if you go to a sit-down restaurant, although people think it saves time. But by the time you drive there and back, wait to be seated and order and wait for your food, and wait for check at the end, you could be all done with dinner at home well before then. The only benefit of eating out is not having to do the dishes!!!

  28. Claire says:

    Hi Tina thanks so much for this piece. @Vanessa M. totally agree with you!

  29. Lori says:

    Thanks Tina for all your efforts to raise awareness for the gluten free community and for those with celiac disease. Keep it up!

  30. Lucinda says:

    Hi Tina I have a celiac niece whom I see about twice a year and reading your blog has really opened up my eyes to how much you have to put into maintaining a truly gluten-free diet. I will be extra attentive from now on about avoiding cross-contamination when she visits!

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