Bewilderment is a natural reaction when first charged with the task of finding gluten-free replacement foods. But as you become more familiar with various gluten-free brands on the market, as well as beginning to think outside the box to come up with your own alternatives, your kitchen will become a well-stocked place that serves your needs nicely.
To get started, think about your eating habits and cooking needs before going gluten-free. If you like to primarily bake and cook from scratch, your needs will be different than if you prefer to bake and cook using prepared foods and mixes. Like most people, if you do a combination of both, your kitchen will need to support both aspects.
Following are some ideas for stocking your kitchen in the beginning:
• Keep gluten-free pastas on-hand for convenient meal preparation. They come in a variety of different shapes to make virtually any pasta dish you were accustomed to.
• If you like pancakes and waffles, there are a variety of gluten-free mixes on the market that are extremely versatile. Some mixes make pancakes as well as cookies, muffins, crepes, and scones. If you like cereal, you can find both hot and cold versions widely sold in natural food markets.
• Have a collection of individual gluten-free flours on-hand, such as brown rice flour, corn starch, and arrowroot starch, to replace wheat flour when you want to thicken gravies and sauces. If you like to bake, of course you will have to stock your kitchen more thoroughly with a variety of gluten-free flours, starches, and baking aids (see Chapter Thirteen).
• Gluten-free breads can be made from mixes or purchased in
• Stock your refrigerator with gluten-free salad dressings, and have gluten-free packaged snacks available in the cupboard such as cookies, crackers, and breakfast bars.