If you’re gluten-free and getting married, now is the time to wisely stock your wedding registry. Though there’s plenty of talk about how to create a gluten free wedding, little is mentioned about what you should ask for!
I cannot stress how important making the right choices for your registry are! The perfect selection of invaluable items will make your gluten free cooking easier for years to come.
When I got married, my registry was filled with items that I’d probably not normally buy (since they’re expensive), but have been used nearly every day since my wedding in 2010. I even share an extensive list of “must have” items in my book “The Savvy Gluten-Free Shopper:How to Eat Healthy without Breaking the Bank” because they can help you save money too!
Why your Gluten Free Wedding Registry is Important
Since I often get asked, “What should I ask for?”, I thought I’d compile my suggestions here so that you could refer to this for yourself or share it with someone you know who’s in the planning phase of a gluten free wedding.
Allow me to stress something here — getting the right stuff saves you time and headache, plus you’ll enjoy it more because it’s actually what you need. There’s nothing more annoying than asking for a pricy gift only to find out after you used it for awhile that it wasn’t the right item as I shared last week about my juicer debacle.
And if you worry about the price tag, don’t. Your friends and family can always split items and give group gifts or they can give you a gift card toward the store of your choice so that you can pool the cards you get in order to purchase these type of items.
Bottom line? A wedding is a great time to ask for the kitchen items that will make cooking easier, efficient, enjoyable and cost-effective. Plus, this is a time to create the home and kitchen you’ll love for years to come. For someone who may not have cooked often before going gluten-free, this is the ideal time to get what you really need and replace questionable items that might be contaminated (if you haven’t done so already).
The Best Gluten Free Wedding Registry Must-Have Items
Though I have a Vitamix, everyone seems to own reasons to love each of these blenders. They are not at all the same nor comparable to a typical blender. I use my Vitamix daily and can quickly purée soups, make nut and coconut milks, create creamy smoothies, whip up soft serve ice cream from fruit in less than a minute (make sure to get the one with the variable speed so you can do this), and even make hot soups (just leave it blending on high for 5 minutes or so).
Even Caroline Shannon-Karasik, author of The Gluten-Free Revolution raves about this must-have item- “My Vitamix was my favorite wedding gift we received from our registry and it’s easily my most-loved kitchen gadget! It’s one item that can transform your kitchen experience. Not only can you blend smoothies, soups and nut butters in a flash, but if you also receive the dry mix container, then you can make homemade gluten-free flours from rice, quinoa, almonds, and other grains, seeds and nuts.”
With a 7-year warranty, you’ll be a very happy camper!
Slow cooker / Crock Pot
One of the most used items in my kitchen, I’m not entirely sure what I’d do without my slow cooker. Even Pam Jordan, author of Succeed at Living Gluten Free: 65 Tips to Help You, recommends getting a slow cooker (or two!) for your home and kitchen which comes in especially helpful in a busy family with both spouses working.
The model I have is incredibly simple (and I doubt it was expensive all those years ago that I got it as a gift from my father for Christmas). It works well without too many options and gets the job done. You can certainly find the right fit for your gluten-free kitchen based on an array of features and price points available from models which are pretty inexpensive to some that very high-end. I’d suggest getting one that’s at least 6 quarts.
Though I do not have one of these, it’s on my own wish list. You can basically make healthy pasta out of things like zucchini and even sweet potato.
To get the low down, I asked Caroline about hers — “I am completely obsessed with my Paderno Spiralizer. For around $40, the versatility of this tool is well worth it’s price tag. I use mine to slice fresh apples for a breakfast bake, and peel zucchini or squash to make veggie “pasta.” You can also use it to make curly or sliced potatoes, and bake them for homemade fries.”
Food processors are a must, but I’d suggest getting two different sizes. I’ve found that one size just doesn’t seem to do the trick, so I have a small one for making sauces and chopping up nuts and a larger one that’s able to deal with a bigger load (like pulsing cauliflower to make cauliflower rice) and has several different blades. Though I use the small one more often, I still need the larger one around. And please note that it’s not a good idea to assume you don’t need a food processor because you’re asking for (or already have) a Vitamix. Food will get stuck under the blade which doesn’t allow it to evenly process food the way you’d want.
Caroline shares, “I love this tool for making homemade pesto, and even no-bake food bars- I pop almonds, dates, unsweetened coconut, fresh lime juice and other ingredients into the food processor, pulverize and press the mixture into a baking dish. Then, I just refrigerate and slice bars for an easy on-the-go snack!”
Another inexpensive tool I highly recommend is a rice cooker that includes a steaming basket. Used weekly, this simple gadget cooks rice for me while I’m away doing something else. The steaming basket allows you to steam veggies and protein options (like chicken or fish) while cooking rice.
They certainly last for a long time as my rice cooker is going on 9 years old! Though there are varying prices based on what you’d want it to do, something like this Oster model works just fine.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… get yourself good knives. Now is the time because they aren’t cheap. The wrong knives (as well as cheap ones) are pretty much a guarantee to end up cutting yourself.
I have an 8-inch Chef’s knife from Wüsthof and a smaller paring knife (and they also comes as a set). They are really the most important knives you can ask for. And do yourself a favor and get a knife sharpener because even a good knife will dull with use. Dull knives (as well as those not intended to chop and prep food) can cause you to get hurt and nobody wants that.
Stainless Steel Pans
If you’ve got coated (or teflon) pans, please get yourself some made of stainless steel. I realize they might not be as convenient as non-stick pans, but old coated pans can have gluten jammed in the scratches and most of the coatings (including teflon) are really bad for you. You can opt for a full set or you can just get individual pans that you will use. My husband and I picked 4 pans that we knew we would use and asked for them separately.
Another options to consider is getting a stock pot, especially if you plan on making your own soup stock. I got this one from All-Clad for my wedding and absolutely love it. The baskets make it easy to remove and instantly strain out the bones/carcass and veggies from the broth.
One of my favorite pots, I use this heavy-duty cast iron beauty on the stovetop (to make soups or sauces) and in the oven for braising recipes. Incredibly versatile and useful, a cast-iron dutch oven will last you for years if you take care of it properly. Again, I’d suggest to get a 6-quart option from companies like Lodge Oven or even Martha Stewart.
If a juicer is something you’d love to have, do yourself a favor and get a masticating juicer like those from Omega. As I mentioned last week, I asked for the typical Breville juicer sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond and had no idea that you can’t save the juice after juicing. There’s simply too much air that permeates the juice leaving you no option, but to juice and drink. That’s all well and good if you’ve got lots of time to juice, but for the busy person who would love to juice a bunch and have it over the course of a few days (or weeks if you want to freeze it for later), that’s not an option unless you get a masticating juicer.
Whole spices last longer than do those with are pre-ground. If you want to save money long term, buy your spices whole and grind up a bunch as you need them. I use a spice grinder (which is great for coffee too if you drink it) to do the job. Definitely not expensive, one of these will be great to have around the kitchen!
For the Baker
Since I don’t bake, I asked Caroline to share with you a couple of her must-have items…
Silicone Baking Mats
“Sure, parchment paper is an option, but if you are always whipping up a new gluten-free cookie recipe, then you will love these silicone baking mats. Not only do they save you money (no more parchment paper waste), but are easy to clean and leave baking sheets mess-free.”
“This might sound like a no brainer, but rubber spatulas are a kitchen must. Plus, if you’re partner is not gluten-free, then you’ll want to have extras in the kitchen to avoid cross contamination. You’ll use them for everything!”
I didn’t know how great Corningware was until my mother-in-law gave me a set for my wedding. You can bake, serve and store food in these elegant white bowls. I use them all the time to hold food in the refrigerator (rather than using plastic) and they wash up very easily. I’d definitely recommend getting a small set because they are just so useful.