The Christmas season is quickly approaching, and to help you out a little, I thought I would create a Holiday Gift Guide to give you a few ideas for the gluten free baker in your life.
I love shopping, but I’m not a typical shopper. I hate furniture shopping. I loathe clothing shopping. But I love shopping for kitchen gadgets. I am a kitchen equipment fanatic! To help you out this holiday season, I thought I would put together a Holiday Gift Guide of some of my favourite kitchen items, many that I use daily. If I don’t use it, and LOVE it, it won’t be on this list.
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My husband bought me this set of 3 KitchenAid Professional Series Mixing Bowls for our anniversary this year. Mine are a beautiful bright blue colour, and I absolutely LOVE them. The sizes are very convenient for whisking up sauces, wet ingredients, or muffins. They have a pouring spout, which makes it easy to add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. They also have a non-slip base, so you can whisk without holding onto the bowl and it won’t slide around on you. The handle is also perfectly shaped so that when you lift and pour, it feels secure – not like it is going to slip out of your hand.
I own 3 or 4 full sized Bundt pans, but this 12 cup Nordic Ware Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan is the one that gets used the most often. It is the classic Bundt shape, holds recipes that call for both 10 or 12 cup pans, and is perfect for baking Bundt cakes or my favourite gluten free Monkey Bread in. It is also very durable, made with cast aluminum.
I use Cookie Scoops on a nearly daily basis. I have all 3 sizes – small, medium, and large. Not only are they great for making small or large drop cookies, so they are all uniform in size, but they also work great to create meatballs, scoop muffin batter, or make some decadent truffles, fried doughnut holes, or New Year’s Cookies. Definitely a great addition to the kitchen gadget drawer.
I hadn’t heard about Pullman Loaf Pans until this past summer, but as soon as I learned what they were, I had to have one. These heavy loaf pans, made by USA pans, have a lid that slides over the top of your loaf. After letting the bread rise to within 1-inch of the top, you slide the greased lid on, and bake the bread. The dough will continue to rise, filling in the corners as it bakes, giving you a perfectly square loaf of bread. The 4″x4″x9″ loaf pan holds a single recipe of my Gluten Free Millet Sandwich Bread perfectly. Bake it an extra 5 minutes, and there is no sinking loaves either. Pure genius!
I couldn’t write a gift guide without suggesting that you gift your loved ones with a copy of my book, the Everything Guide to Living Gluten-Free. Although the book is geared towards those new to the gluten-free life, there is plenty of information for anyone. In addition to all the info on how to transition to a gluten-free lifestyle, you will also find over 100 recipes! You can read more about the book HERE.
One of the few things that I miss since I began living gluten free is doughnuts. Thankfully though, I learned about baked doughnuts, and now I can enjoy fresh, warm doughnuts in less than 30 minutes thanks to these Doughnut Pans. Which would you chose first? Chocolate, Vanilla, Pumpkin, or Lemon?
I love making waffles for breakfast or dinner. If your loved one already has a Waffle Baker, but is new to eating gluten-free, a new waffle iron would be the perfect gift. The old one, used to make gluten-filled waffles, will be impossible to clean well enough to remove all the gluten. Making waffles on that old waffle iron may make them very ill. The great thing about the square-shaped waffles – they fit perfectly into the toaster for a quick meal. So when you make waffles, make extras and freeze them in a single layer on a baking pan, and take out one or two waffles as you need them. Need a great waffle recipe? I’ve got some that I think you’ll love!
A definite “must have” in my kitchen is my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. I actually bought mine a few months before I was diagnosed, but since my diagnosis it has earned the cupboard space in my kitchen. I use it daily to mix gluten free cookie dough, bread and pizza dough, shred chicken – you name it, it can mix it. I know that the KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a huge financial investment, but seeing as the gluten free diet is a life-long change, and the best gluten-free food you’ll ever get is made in your own kitchen, I think it is well worth it. I do have less expensive Hamilton Beach stand mixer as well, but since my KitchenAid has never quit running, it hasn’t made it out of the box yet.
Another thing that will help any gluten free baker have success in the kitchen is a Digital Kitchen Scale. This OXO Good Grips Food Scale is the one that I have in my kitchen, and I really like it because it has an 11 lb capacity and the display actually pulls out so it is easier to see because it isn’t hiding under the bowl. It also has a zeroing function, so you can add one ingredient, zero the scale, and add the next ingredient. You may have noticed that this past year, I have tried to include weights with all the flour measurements. That is because the way we all measure flour is different, and that can result in our baked goods turning out differently. I find that it is especially critical with bread recipes. The more accurate your measurements, the better, and more consistent, your gluten free baking will be.
There you have it! What else would you add? I’m always on the look out for new-to-me kitchen gear. Please leave a comment with your suggestions, I’d love to hear them.