There are many different grains and pseudo-grains out there that support a gluten-free lifestyle and/or add variety to the usual duo of white rice and pasta. New ingredients can be a little daunting, especially when they are meant to replace such beloved (read: regularly consumed) ingredients.
I thought I’d share this list of 6 gluten-free grains/pseudo-grains from Homemakers.com. I’ve had luck with all of these and now use them regularly. I’ll add my own trials and tribulations with other grains as I try them. Keep in mind too I’m talking cooking, not baking…I have yet to delve into the world of gluten-free baking with the exception of this Chocolate Quinoa Cake that is simply amazing!
Homemakers.com’s 6 Gluten-Free Grains (summarized by moi)
Part of the pseudo-grain category as it’s actually a seed. You can pop it like popcorn, sprout it for salads and sandwiches or buy it puffed and make puffed millet squares! I like to toast it in a heavy pot, no oil, before adding broth or other liquid and cooking it like rice. It’s high in protein, iron and calcium and has three times more fibre than wheat. Try this rice pilaf recipe with amaranth instead.
Brown rice is white rice with the bran and germ still intact, thus maintaining fibre content and nutrients. Wild rice is a close relative of Asian rices, and is a species of grass. Both brown and wild rice require more cooking time, usually around 40 minutes.
Brown and wild rice are nutrient-dense, featuring B-vitamins and minerals like magnesium. Make rice pudding, wild rice salad, or pilaf as a side dish. You can also use rice flower as a lighter substitute to wheat flour to bake with.
Buckwheat, also known as kasha, has a mildly nutty flavour and when cooked has an interesting texture that works well in things like pilafs, porridges and salads. Buckwheat contains protein, B-vitamins, iron and calcium. Try this Buckwheat and Tuna Salad – delish!
Millet is a staple in birdseed and is good for humans too! It is high in protein, B-vitamins and minerals like magnesium. Add pearled millet into salads and soups, substitute it for couscous, top it with stir-fry or mash it with other soft vegetables (like cauliflower) in place of mashed potatoes.
Oats are a versatile staple for breakfast, any baking, and even dinner! You can make your own oat flour — just pour some flakes in a blender and grind. Oat flour added to your muffins and bread will boost fibre and nutrition. Oats contain protein, B-vitamins, iron and zinc. You can eat oats raw (Muesli or soaked overnight), cooked in porridge, toasted in granola, or as a substitution for flour in meatloaf. Or try Homemakers.com’s suggestion: “Soak 1 cup oats with 1 cup water overnight. In the morning, mash a banana into the soaked oats and sprinkle with cinnamon. Fry the mixture by the tablespoon in virgin coconut oil for heart-healthy oatmeal pancakes.”
Quinoa, like amaranth and millet, is actually a seed. It cooks up just like rice and is easily substituted for rice, couscous or as an addition to any salad, curry or soup. Quinoa contains protein, iron, calcium and B-vitamins and when combined with meat or bean protein is a well-rounded meal. Quinoa makes a delicious porridge with apples added and cooked in coconut milk. It also goes practically undetected in this Chocolate Quinoa Cake — the most delicious cake ever!
For some creative baked-good recipes, check these out (click the photos to jump over to the recipe):