How to Stock a Gluten-Free Kitchen
1 of 7 in Series: The Essentials of Sharing a Kitchen with Gluten
If you or someone in your household is gluten-intolerant, you need to know what supplies to keep on hand in your gluten-free kitchen. Maintain a few specialty-made staples in the pantry for those days you don’t feel like baking your own gluten-free goods.
Bagels: These bagels usually come frozen, but if not, stick them in the freezer. They’re not always sliced, so you have to thaw them a little (remember, too long in a microwave makes them soggy and tough), cut them in half, and then toast them.
Bread: You can buy pre-made gluten-free bread online, at natural foods stores, or in the specialty sections of some grocery stores. If the bread’s not frozen when you buy it, put it in the freezer when you get home. Some breads are definitely better than others, so be prepared to experiment with a few varieties before you find one you like.
All gluten-free bread is best if you toast it first, even if you plan to eat it later (like in a lunch box).
Cereals: Not too many big-company commercial cereals sold in regular grocery stores are gluten-free, other than the colored sugar flakes in a box. But peruse the aisles of a natural foods store or health food aisle of your grocery store, and you’ll probably find lots of gluten-free cereals to choose from.
Aside from the obvious no-nos like wheat, the usual glutenizing culprit in cereal is malt or malt flavoring. Malt can be derived from corn, but it usually comes from barley which celiacs can’t handle.
Cookies: Gluten-free cookies are taking up more of the shelf space at natural foods stores and even specialty aisles of grocery stores. Most of them are excellent.
Crackers: Rice crackers are easiest to find — sometimes as a high-end specialty product and other times as an Asian cracker. You can also buy nut crackers, corn crackers, and even Ritz-type crackers, though you may have to order these online.
Donuts: They usually come frozen, and you just defrost them in a microwave on a very low power for a few seconds until they’re ready (or better yet, let them sit at room temperature for about half an hour).
Pasta: Gluten-free pasta these days comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Made from white rice, brown rice, corn, quinoa, potato, and blends of all the above, you can find lasagna, penne, spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccini, macaroni, and any other cut of pasta you’re looking for.
Pre-made pizza crusts: Just take them out of the freezer; add your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings; and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.