Making your kitchen gluten-free all begins with getting rid of the old and making room for the new. Start with the pantry and cupboards. Remove all food and nonfood products from the cupboard, placing them on the counter so you will have a completely empty cupboard to clean. Thoroughly wipe down all shelves with warm soapy water, removing all crumbs (gluten!) or sticky residue from bottles and sauces. Let dry. With a clean cupboard and pantry you’re now ready to begin sorting through the products you can keep and setting aside those you can no longer eat or use. Analyze each food to determine its gluten-free status using your label reading skills from Chapter Four. Any products in question need further investigation before being granted reentry into your cupboard! Follow the same process above for your refrigerator and freezer.
Now, make a list of the products that did not pass the test of entry into your new gluten-free cupboard and refrigerator. This will begin your restocking phase. Based on your list, find and buy the gluten-free versions of those foods to replenish your kitchen. Refer to Chapter Six: Food Products: What Are Your Options? for tips on gluten-free brands.
But you’re not done yet. You must thoroughly clean or eliminate equipment and utensils that have been used to handle gluten to ensure safety from cross-contamination before you are in full operation again.
If you’re the only one in the household eating gluten-free, designate cupboard and refrigerator space for your gluten-free foods to keep them separate from the gluten-based foods your family eats. Also, be sure to designate equipment, utensils, and storage containers as gluten-free and store them in an area that does not share space with equipment that does have contact with gluten.