Whole grains are a big part of a healthy diet. They make up a large part of the bottom of the food pyramid. But it’s not just whole wheat and brown rice. As you take on the wheat-free lifestyle, you soon discover the wide variety of grains to choose from.
In recent years there has been a frenzy of interest around quinoa. It’s just one of the grain alternatives you can choose from. All of these are healthy swaps in your favorite breads, pastas and side dishes.
Quinoa an alternative to wheat flour.
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)This is a nutritious super-food that’s actually a nut from Peru. Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor. It cooks faster than rice, in about 15 minutes. It’s a versatile ingredient that’s good as a hot cereal or ground into flour. It adds moisture to baked goods. Try it in a dish like Autumn Root Vegetables with Quinoa.
FlaxseedThis seed has a nutty flavor. They need to be ground to get the most nutritional fiber value, although they can be toasted whole first than Flax seed an alternative to wheat flourground for later use. Add them ground to add to salads, cereal and bread dough.
Liquid flaxseed oil is also available. Try this recipe Buttermilk Marinated Chicken Breast with Flax and Wheat Germ Breading.
BuckwheatThis alternative to wheat is not a member of the wheat family and it isn’t technically a grain, but it’s often used in place of grains. It’s a good alternative for those with wheat allergies. Diets rich in buckwheat seem to promote lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Buckwheat is sold both roasted and raw and used whole, cracked or ground into flour. Use as a flour in pancakes with this recipe Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes.
AmaranthThe amaranth is a broad-leafed, bushy plant that grows about six feet tall. It has brightly colored flowers that can contain up to 60,000 seeds. The seeds are nutritious and are ground into flour. Not a true grain, amaranth is often called a pseudo-cereal. Amaranth belongs to the plant family that includes beets, chard, spinach, and some weeds. Try these recipes made with Amaranth flour, like Amaranth Pasta , Amaranth Pancakes, or Traditional Amaranth Atole Recipe.
Rice flourRice flour is used to enhance other grains. Available in both white and whole grain brown, rice flour is finer than wheat.
MilletMillet is a drought-tolerant grass. The seeds can be used as a sorghum substitute. It can be used like rice, served creamy or fluffy.
Oat FlourOat flour is another great alternative to wheat. When using oats you should select gluten-free oats. These are specially-selected varieties that have eliminated the cross-contamination with wheat, barley and rye.
There is also Almond flour and Coconut flour that are becoming the top of the list alternatives to using wheat.
These are the most popular whole grains or other plant sources you can find to substitute for wheat. Each has its own unique flavor and can be used in many different ways to add variety to your cooking and baking.