Gluten-free doesn’t mean grain-free

November 5, 2013

in Health,Recipes

Bread group

Many people are adopting gluten-free diets for a variety of reasons. I’m not eliminating gluten from my diet, but I am decreasing the amount of gluten that I eat.

While such a diet means passing on foods that contain wheat protein, such as certain breads, crusts and baked goods, it doesn’t mean giving up on grains entirely. Many grains are acceptable for those adhering to a gluten-free diet, and such grains can help fill the void left by avoiding wheat products.

While people with Celiac disease have to avoid foods that contain gluten, many more people choose to remove gluten from their diets. This includes people with gluten allergies or sensitivities that are not as severe as Celiac disease but can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort.

To avoid gluten,you have to remove wheat products, barley, spelt, rye, and triticale from your diet. However, there are many other foods that can be eaten. Plus, flours made from grinding other grains can be used in place of wheat flour in recipes. The finished products may just have less of the doughy or elastic consistency that is a hallmark of gluten. Here are some grains men and women on gluten-free diets can still enjoy.

* Oats: Though they are traditionally gluten-free, oats are often processed on the same equipment that processes other grains. Therefore, there may be some cross-contamination. Oats that are certified gluten-free can be more costly.

* Buckwheat: Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to regular wheat and is not exactly a grain. It is a relation of rhubarb. In its whole form it can take the place of pasta. In its roasted form, buckwheat takes on a nutty flavor.

* Millet: This is a seeded plant used for grain and cereal production. Millet is typically sold in pet stores as a treat for birds. Millet is generally flavorless and can be grainy. It can be mixed with other gluten-free flours.

* Quinoa: This is not a grass plant or cereal grain but is actually related to leafy vegetables. Quinoa is often eaten like you would eat rice or pasta, but it can also be baked into bread and cakes.

* Montina: This is made from Indian rice grass and can be milled into flour or combined with other flours in a baking blend. Montina bakes up into a springy texture, which makes it popular in breads.

* Rice: Many people avoiding gluten turn to rice as an alternative. Rice flour can be substituted for wheat flour in many recipes. Rice can also create a sense of fullness that comes with eating a starchy grain.

* Corn: Cornmeal can be used in baked goods. However, it will offer a grainy texture.

* Amaranth: This is a tiny, ancient grain. It is a complete protein and has more iron than most grains.

Have you elected to have a gluten-free diet? What did you think?

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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