You tend to fall into a gluten free lifestyle one of two ways:
You’re immediately forced into it after a celiac diagnosis or
You’re sick of feeling sick so you opt to try a GF diet – and many times, end up realizing you’re gluten sensitive.
And no matter which route you take, the fear of never again eating “normal” food takes hold. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious gluten free grains to go around.
Move over rice
Rice has become the “go to” GF grain for many with celiac disease. And I’m admittedly partial to this popular grain and the resulting rice-based flours myself. Not to mention there are more than 120,000 varieties worldwide, so opting for rice makes sense.
But if you want to switch things up for your taste buds, consider these other worthwhile grains too.
Amaranth comes from tall, leafy plants that are native to Peru and also popular in Mexico. It’s known for being a protein powerhouse, with up to 14% protein per serving. Plus it has cholesterol-lowering benefits. Try out this delicious amaranth breakfast porridge.
Used in Asia and Europe for roughly 8,000 years, this cereal-like grain serves up high levels of copper, magnesium, potassium, protein, and zinc. It’s high in soluble fiber also, which makes it a great option for people with diabetes. How about buckwheat graham crackers?
Millet is a seed-like grain with unprecedented antioxidant qualities. Some health professionals have even claimed the grain can control diabetes and lessen systemic inflammation. Who can pass up millet burgers with sun-dried tomatoes?
4. Indian Ricegrass
Once a staple for Native Americans residing in the western United States, this grain has been reintroduced to the marketplace in recent years under the branding Montina™. With a high protein and fiber content, it’s definitely worth trying. And these crepes sound yummy.
Sorghum is an ancient cereal grain that originated thousands of years ago in Egypt. It eventually was transported into Africa and has remained one of the top five grains worldwide. Sorghum is one crop that isn’t grown from GMO seeds either, making it even more appealing. Popped sorghum would make a great snack.
Teff is known for its tiny seeds. So tiny in fact, that it only takes one handful to sow a field. It’s highly adaptable and able to grow in a variety of climates too. Containing calcium levels that rival spinach means this grain has earned its spot in your meal plan rotation. This Ethiopian teff veggie loaf is perfect for Meatless Mondays.
Have you tried any of these gluten free grains? How did it go? Please tell us in the comments below and feel free to share recipes!
Want to incorporate these grains into your Better Batter flour? Mix in finely ground grains at a ratio of 1 part alternate grain to 3 parts Better Batter, for a nutritious ‘hack’ of our great cup for cup product!
Steph Weber is a Midwest-based freelance writer and marketing maven, who also happens to love food – minus the gluten, dairy, and eggs. To hire her or see more of her work, please visit stephweber.com.