Editors note: For those of us who are gluten sensitive or who have elected to live gluten free, these tips are for you. It’s important to note that celiac sufferers must always have a gluten-free kitchen.
Did allergen items find their way into your kitchen over the holidays? It happens to the best of us. A bag of cookies, a cake mix, or some crackers innocently on a shelf can completely derail a gluten-free diet, starting a spiral that is hard to curtail.
As much as we all hate to throw food out, sometimes it’s best to get a little brutal and toss anything that is not allergen-friendly for your household and fill your pantry with gut-friendly foods again. But don’t despair! Purging the gluten-laden goodies is a great start to leading your gluten-sensitive family members back to a healthy diet.
Here are three quick ways to refresh your gluten-free pantry.
Tips for Refreshing Your Gluten-Free Pantry
ADD FRESH COLOR
In the winter, we tend to get stuck with the usual produce blend of root veggies, apples, and bananas but there are some amazing winter fruits and veggies that can liven up your taste buds and satisfy your palette.
During late winter, fruits like golden and green kiwi are in season and the first crop of blueberries and raspberries are starting to be imported from Mexico. Also, oranges are at their peak. For something new, consider a different color and variety of oranges like Cara Cara or blood oranges.
Digestive tract cleansing asparagus is starting to come in and fresh lettuces are nice this time of year. Crunchy, sweet broccoli heads are also starting to become available in stores.
REMEMBER YOUR FIRST LOVE
When you first embarked on your gluten-free lifestyle, you likely had some tried and true favorite recipes and snacks. Go back through your recipe book and stroll the gluten-free aisles of the grocery store to refresh your memory. Menu plan a few recipes that you haven’t made in a while and grab some family tested snacks.
Did you have a favorite restaurant you visited that offers spectacular gluten-free menu options? Celebrate this diet refresh with dinner out!
TRY SOMETHING NEW
The online world is exploding with new gluten-free recipes and store shelves are bursting with gluten-free options. For every pantry item you toss, try to replace it with a new snack or food that is nutritionally sound and healthy for your family. To add interest and take your mind off of the missing cookies, try some new recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth. Flourless chocolate cake and gluten-free granola bars are a good place to start.
With a little determination and ingenuity, you can refresh your pantry and fill it with foods that will satisfy your family and help you feel good about what you are feeding them. Although it takes some work and planning, once you are in the swing of things again, it’ll become a habit as it once was. You’ve got this!
Off to purge the cookies out of my own pantry!
Tandy Hogate is a work from home wife, mom of four, and grandma to two. She lives on a farm in Alaska with her family and critters (her favorite critter being her rather large dog Fezzik). She enjoys traveling, writing, studying the bible, reading, hiking, working on the farm, sewing, and spending just as much time as possible with her family. Her favorite place is the river and her favorite sound is laughter.