Healthy cooking is a passion: just like the love of good food, it’s a great feeling to know you’ve served up a side of “good for you” with your family’s favorite meal. Sometimes, allergies mean we need to modify our diets even further. The words “gluten intolerance” used to sound like funeral bells for fresh, warm bread or a comforting bowl of cereal, but now there are delicious alternatives available on the market. May is Celiac Awareness Month, so we want to inspire you with easy, natural ways to go gluten-free. Even if your body can process gluten, diversifying your diet always gives your body a chance to take in different combinations of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements – and you may find a new favorite food in the process!
Oats: You can still enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning! Just know that while oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often contaminated from being processed near wheat products. Stick to buying oats (preferably steel-cut) from a supplier that labels them clearly as gluten-free.
Buckwheat: Don’t let the name fool you! Buckwheat is a closer cousin to rhubarb than wheat, and is a nutritious, satisfying option to replace wheat flour. Try it in pancakes!
Wild Rice: Another tricky name, wild rice is actually a seed, and higher in fiber and flavor than white rice. Pair it with vegetables or use it in a hearty soup.
Millet: These seeds are rich in B vitamins and absorb the flavors of the foods around them – use them to put a tasty spin on stuffing.
Amaranth: Densely nutritious and a good source of protein, amaranth works best when mixed with other ingredients. It’s great when combined with rice or quinoa in a stir-fry!
Teff: A little-known grain from Eastern Africa, teff is rich in calcium, iron, and other essential minerals. The tiny seeds can be ground into flour and used to bake bread or thicken soup.
Quinoa: Quinoa is one of the most famous gluten-free grains, but recent studies suggest it may actually irritate people with gluten sensitivities. If you have a gluten intolerance and haven’t yet tried quinoa, you might want to discuss it with your doctor before leaping into the unknown.
Rice isn’t exactly an uncommon food, but it does come in many more varieties than just white or brown! Broaden your palate by trying Malaysian red rice (excellent when simmered in coconut milk), fragrant jasmine rice, or even antioxidant-rich Chinese black rice!
Everyone enjoys satisfying breads, noodles and other traditionally glutinous goodies. Even if your body needs to skip the gluten, you don’t have to miss out on your cravings anymore! Hungry for a hot plate of pasta? Try Japanese soba noodles, made of naturally gluten-free buckwheat! Tempted by toast? Have a slice of millet toast with creamy almond butter!
Yara’s new book, Health On Your Plate, includes many original recipes that can be adapted to be gluten-free, just by substituting one or more of these great grains for glutinous ones. Taking gluten out of your diet doesn’t mean taking the joy out of it! With a little creativity and a willingness to explore your supermarket, you won’t even miss it!
About the Author
Yara Shoemaker is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary appetite for knowledge about healthy living. She decided to dig deep into the facts of nutrition and health to learn how every bite would affect her and her loved ones. As a result, she created an ideal lifestyle centered on natural nourishment with real flavor. The principles are simple: savor the things you love and keep everything in proportion to be healthy and happy. Find mouthwatering recipes, healthy advice and more at her blog: Yara’s Way!