If you recently discovered that you have a gluten sensitivity – don’t panic: you have options.
When you first embark on a gluten-free diet, whether by medical necessity or personal preference, the focus tends to be on what you cannot eat. No more wheat, rye, or barley. However, once you learn what grains to avoid, take a look at all the grains you can enjoy as part of a healthy gluten-free diet, and thankfully there are plenty of great options out there!
- Rice. Rice tops the list of great gluten-free grains for several reasons. It’s hard to beat how easy, readily available, and inexpensive rice is. Opt for whole-grain brown rice for maximum nutritional benefits.
- Don’t let the name fool you; buckwheat is not related to wheat in any way. The nutritious seeds of the buckwheat plant can be used for hearty breakfast cereals, ground into flours for a variety of recipes, and made into creamy pasta.
- Often thought of for its use as a syrup, sorghum has now made its mark on the gluten-free world because of its usefulness as flour in gluten-free baking. Its mild flavor makes it an excellent option for many recipes, but for best results, you need to add a binding agent to recipes.
- This starchy grain is not as nutrient-dense as other gluten-free grains on the list, but it makes the list because of its widespread availability and low cost. Ground corn can be used for inexpensive tortillas for flour tortillas, as well as blended with other gluten-free grains for tasty pasta alternatives. Because corn is one of the most common genetically modified (GMO) crops, your best bet is a shop for organic or non-GMO corn products.
- Quinoa. Though it is technically a seed, quinoa acts more like a grain, and a superfood grain at that. Quinoa’s fiber and protein content make it a great addition to any meal, from breakfast to dinner.
- Oats. Oats are at the end of the gluten-free list because they are so often cross-contaminated with gluten during the growing process. While you can purchase oats that are certified to be gluten-free, anyone with a higher level of sensitivity to gluten should skip conventionally grown oats.
Bonus: Almond Meal and Coconut Flour: No, these aren’t grains at all, but they make the list because of their usefulness as grain replacements. Try substituting one or both of these options in your gluten-free baking for tasty and nutrient-dense options.
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If you recently discovered that you have a gluten sensitivity – don’t panic: you have options. Learn what’s on the market, look into nutrition, check out our spotlights and reviews – make an educated choice!