Another popular gluten free grain, oats are high in fiber and protein. Though many oats are contaminated with gluten because of crop rotation practices, certified gluten free oats are safe for most people with gluten intolerance. Use whole oats in oatmeal, cookies and breads, or use oat flour in a GF flour blend.
This tasty and nutritious grain is actually not rice at all, but instead a water-grass seed. Found in Minnesota and Canada, wild rice was a staple in the diets of many Native Americans. Use wild rice in the place of white rice in a variety of dishes, or in pilaf or casseroles.
Organic brown rice
One of the most popular gluten free grains, brown rice is an inexpensive choice for many. Gluten free rice can be boiled and eaten as a side dish or milled into flour. Brown rice flour is a popular choice for gluten free flour but should be mixed with other GF flours, particularly high protein ones, for best baking results.
Found in many forms from popcorn to corn flour, corn is another popular gluten free grain. Corn is often genetically modified, so organic varieties are preferable. Use corn meal for breading, corn flour for tortillas, and popcorn for popping!
High in protein calcium, phosphorous, iron, fiber and B vitamins, quinoa has a slightly nutty taste and can easily take on the tastes of what it’s cooked with, similarly to rice. This seed can also be milled into flour for baking.
Sorghum originated in northern Africa and is now cultivated in many parts of the world. With a slightly sweet taste and whole wheat-like texture, Sorghum flour is ideal for ginger cookies and spice cakes. Sorghum can also be used to make GF beer.
An ancient Aztec food, Amaranth is very high in the essential amino acid Lysine which makes it a great companion to other less protein rich grains such as corn or sorghum. With an earthy, nutty taste, Amaranth seeds can be cooked, ground into flour or puffed into breakfast cereal.
A fruit rather than a grass, buckwheat has been part of many ancient cultures diets. This gluten free grain has a strong wheat flavor that is best combined with other gluten free flours. Add buckwheat flour to bread recipes to add a whole wheat taste and texture.
A staple food of Ethiopia, Teff is a powerhouse of nutrition, rich in protein, iron, and calcium. With a mild nutty flavor, Teff flour can be used for baking pies, cookies, and breads. Teff grain can also be eaten whole as a side dish or main course.
With a mildy sweet and nutty flavor Millet flour is a great addition to GF baking. Because of its light texture it’s ideal for recipes containing yeast. Millet grains can also be cooked and served like many other grains (boiled and seasoned to taste).
A gluten-free diet may seem daunting at first
But I’m here to tell you that a gluten-free diet is absolutely manageable. A good place to start is with naturally gluten-free foods (fruits and veggies, nut butters, etc), and then slowly add in new gluten-free whole grains. Then when you’re up for it, try baking with gluten-free flour, too.
The trick is to get the blend right
The challenge with gluten-free baking is getting the right blend of flours together. There are many gluten-free flour blends available to purchase, but if you’re hoping to make your own, a good rule of thumb is to not include more than 20 to 30 percent of any one flour.
How about you?
What are your favorite gluten-free grains? How do you use them? Share with us in the comments below!