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

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