How to Cook for a Celiac Diet
There is a level of complexity to being diagnosed with celiac disease. It’s good to understand why your digestive system has been struggling, but it’s also a bit overwhelming to face a lifetime of cooking for a specialized diet. But while it may feel like gluten is in everything, it’s not as hard as you think to switch to a gluten-free diet. There are actually lots of options for delicious meals that your whole family can enjoy together.
Tips for Starting Out
It’s important to understand how to avoid cross-contamination when preparing food for someone with celiac disease. Here are a few simple tips:
- Designate some gluten-free kitchen tools, including cutting boards, pots and pans, spoons, etc. If this is impossible for your situation, then at a minimum you need to ensure that these items are thoroughly cleaned after each use and that they do not have any scratches on. Small amounts of gluten can get inside of hard-to-see areas and nicks.
- You should have a separate toaster, that’s only used for gluten-free items. It is incredibly easy for bread to crumble when toasting, and toasters are very hard to clean, so cross-contamination is rife here.
- Avoid using a convection oven, because it can easily make food airborne, which can lead to gluten landing directly on gluten-free foods.
While it may seem painstaking at first, taking these small precautions will go a long way in ensuring that your meals are actually gluten-free.
Foods You Can Eat
While you’ll quickly understand that you must avoid wheat, consider all of the foods that you can still safely enjoy. Foods that are gluten-free include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Plain meats
- Oils and butter
- Honey and sugar
This list is a great place to start if you are brand new to the celiac diet.
Cooking with Compassion
Whether you are a person with celiac disease, or are cooking for a loved one, keep in mind that this is a new process for all of you. Mistakes will likely be made, and it can be a challenge for everybody involved. A degree of compassion and understanding needs to be remembered as everybody learns more about the proper foods and procedures needed for a gluten-free diet. A dietician may be able to help lighten the load, and offer insight into how you can transition to a gluten-free diet.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out some of our most delicious gluten-free recipes:
You’ll notice that many of these recipes rely on using gluten-free flours like almond flour or coconut flour. It’s small changes like this that yield the biggest results when it comes to cooking for a gluten-free diet.
It can feel shocking to be diagnosed with celiac disease, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your culinary adventures. There are so many gluten-free recipes to choose from that you are sure to find some new favorites to curb your hunger and satisfy your cravings!