Monday, November 1, 2010

Tips for an Allergy Free Kitchen

Tips for the allergy free kitchen:
  1. We cannot use cooking spray due to the soy content – I used this to my advantage by making various flavored oils to keep beside the stove.  It’s easy to do.  I buy our allergy free oil in bulk and place in small sauce pans on the stove.  Add favorite herbs and/or spices to oil and simmer for an hour.  I buy the oil bottles and add oil and at least one piece of herb to help identify.  I usually keep a silicone brush beside the stove to brush oil in cooking vessels that will need it.  It’s easy to do and adds a little more flavor. 
  2. Do the same with your vinegar!  As well as the oils, I also add herbs and/or fruits to plain vinegar.  Seal into mason jar and shake periodically for a few days, the longer it sits the stronger the flavor will be.  Strain into bottles for storage.  These are great for those salad dressings you have to make.  My daughter’s favorite combination for salads are the lemon vinegar with the basil oil.  Add to small jam jar with a bit of salt and cracked pepper.  Keep in fridge and shake to combine before pouring.  I love making these different combinations.  They are great for pasta salads and potato salads as well. 
  3. I use Method Cleaners in my house.  They are completely non-toxic and smell great!  My kids are to the age where we are starting chores and allowances for such.  These are perfect for them, I don’t have to worry about her allergies or hypersensitivity with these products.
  4. Accessibly storage.  I learned this the hard way.  The more food allergies you are challenged with, the more ingredients are involved with everyday cooking.  I bought large clear jars and containers to store the different flours, starches, beans, and rices in.  They are now labeled and placed on a shelf within easy reach.  It makes for easier cooking as well as being rather decorative.  If you have already discovered favorite mixes, buy in bulk and store in containers.  It’s also a great way to store your favorite homemade granolas!
  5. Write down your recipes.  If you are like me, I love to try new things.  Sometimes they are great, sometimes not so much.  My husband always makes the statement that if it’s good, I probably won’t make it again.  He was right!  I can’t tell you how many times I have found great combinations and never thought to write it down.  Nowadays, I have a little notebook on my kitchen counter that is full of little notes for recipes.

I am definitely not an expert!  I am just a mom who tries very hard to do and know as much as I can.  It’s my nature, I like to control things and this is my way of having a say in the kitchen.  These tips may  not work for everyone, but they may lead to something that will.