Good day to you. In this blog I would like to go back to the basics and explore what should be in a well-stocked Kitchen for you, celiac – tools!
Why do I mention tools? Everybody mentions food, recipes, nutrition, and how healthy celiacs and autoimmune disease survivors should be on Twitter and blogs. However, I don’t hear much of a mention on what you should have on-hand, in regard to tools, to make all of the great recipes that are available to you, celiac.
I remember moving into my first apartment and the lack of kitchen tools I had. That was after I thought I had gotten all the “basic” stuff I felt I needed when I moved into that apartment! With that said, what should the newly independent-living chef have in their culinary toolbox? Here are some tips:
- A set of knives. If you are just starting out as a newly independent chef, purchase the best-quality of knives your budget will allow. I recommend a set which comes with steak knives in a wooden holder. You will not be able to dice, chop, slice or otherwise prep your healthy food without this tool-set.
- A dedicated “gluten-free” cutting board. Other than stating cross-contamination issues with gluten, I don’t think any other explanation is needed in regard to the need for acquiring this tool.
- Pots and pans with lids. A complete necessity. When starting out, you will need at least a small and large sauce pan, a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet, and a dutch-oven or stewpan. Over time, you can add other items such as a double-boiler pan, medium sauce pans, other sized sauté pans, etc.
- Baking pans and dishes. For basic home cooking, you will at least need a few varying sizes of casserole and/or baking pans. In USA, 8 inch by 8 inch and 9 inch by 13 inch dishes (both square) are popular. Also popular here is the 9 inch, 2 quart circular casserole dish with lid. If you want to bake your own bread, guess what? You’ll need to invest in a loaf pan or two. What about cookie sheets for those home-made cookies and dessert bars you crave? I would also suggest getting cooling racks for your bread and cookies. Another nice item offered in the USA is an 8 to 10 inch pie pan.
- Cooking spoons, spatulas, and tongs (metal, plastic, or silicone). Once you have your pots, pans, and baking pans and dishes you’ll need to be able to stir, fold, and turn-over whatever you are cooking or baking.
- Measuring cups – liquid and dry. Yes, there is a difference if you are a beginning chef. I recommend the basic USA Measure Cup system, British Measure in Ounces, or otherwise Metric in millilitres for liquids. I also recommend you getting at least one larger measuring cup for quarts, pints, and litres for liquids. In addition, I recommend the basic US Measure Cup system, British Ounces, or Metric in grams for dry ingredients. This item is generally offered as a set of graduating larger measures.
- Measuring spoons. I recommend the basic USA Measure system, British Measure in Ounces, or Metric in grams for wet or dry ingredients. This item is generally offered as a set of graduating larger measures.
- Mixing containers. You will need varying sizes of mixing containers (plastic, metal, glass, or ceramic) depending on the size of your healthy recipes. At a minimum, I would recommend the universal “small, medium, and large” sizes. If you are a more intricate chef, then expand accordingly as your budget allows.
- Food container bowls for left-overs. In USA, these usually come as a set in gradually larger sizes with lids. You don’t need to go to great expense for this item. If you are like most home chefs, you either lose the lid, the container, or both to the same place the one sock goes to from your laundry!
- Other helpful, needed tools: can opener, whisk, baster, cooking brush (to apply sauces or glazes), kitchen shears, meat and baking thermometers, oil/fat separator, colander, rolling-pin, oven mitts and pads (cloth or silicone), and serving spoons, forks, and ladles.
- Small appliances. You will need at least a hand mixer to help you beat or blend ingredients. If possible economically, a stand mixer would be a delightful addition, especially with making gluten-free bread. Another helpful appliance is the food processer; which will help you chop, dice, and purée your way to a healthful life. A blender or juicer may be a more luxurious item, and helpful for nutrition and health. The need for a microwave requires no additional explanation. As a superlative luxury, a small appliance wish should be a bread-maker. You should choose that item carefully based upon economic and dietary needs and desires.
While I’ve given you many tips on how your Kitchen should be stocked with tools to cook and work with, I know I don’t live in your household. You may need other tools I haven’t mentioned. Please research the Internet, and your Lifestyle, to know what is best for you in regard to stocking your Kitchen with the best tools for you. Live well and be Healthy.
Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free – and autoimmune disease awareness for March.
Peace be with you.