September 13, 2019

Did you know that more foods are made with wheat than any other grain? A staple in the Western diet, wheat is the favored ingredient for most bread, pasta, cereals, crackers, cookies, and more. But, wheat contains the protein gluten, which many individuals now try to avoid due to food sensitivities and the growing number of people with Celiac Disease. The good news is there’s actually a wide variety of ancient whole grains that can be used as wheat substitutes. There are several grains that are naturally gluten-free that can be used for gluten-free bread, baking, cereal and more!

Experts often stress the importance of a balanced diet with a wide variety of foods from each food group. We love a diverse diet with different flavors, textures, and colors on our plate. Whether you have a gluten-intolerance or are looking to add more variety to your diet, here are six gluten-free grains you can try that are delicious, versatile, and fit for a gluten-free diet.

quinoa

Quinoa

Quinoa has gained the most attention in recent years, becoming a staple in many Americans’ diets. Since it’s quite neutral in taste, it can be consumed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner depending on how it's flavored. Check out our favoriteApricot Quinoa salad from ourAnything But Boring Spring Salads blog post.

millet

Millet

Millet is actually the main ingredient in birdseed. But it’s not just for the birds — it’s pretty good for us humans, too! It’s used to make gluten-free breads, porridges, and beer. While technically a seed, it functions like a whole grain, and can be prepared the same way as rice or quinoa. Also available in a flour, you can use it to makegluten-free flatbreads like this recipe fromIndiaphile.

sorghum

Sorghum

This cereal grain grows tall like corn, and has traditionally been turned into a syrup and used as a sweetener. But, there are many different ways to use sorghum. It can be ground into a flour to be used like all-purpose wheat flour, or cooked into a whole-grain side or salad. For a light and flavorful salad, try thisRoasted Cherry Tomato, Arugula and Sorghum Salad fromCookie and Katie.

buckwheat

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is known as a pseudocereal, which means it’s consumed as a cereal grain but doesn’t grow on grass. Rather, it’s a seed, just like quinoa and amaranth. Despite having wheat in its name, buckwheat is gluten-free and totally different than wheat. That being said, you can use it the same as wheat and make these deliciousdairy-free and gluten-free pancakes fromThe Spruce Eats!

amaranth

Amaranth

Amaranth is another pseudocereal with a nutty flavor that works well in a variety of dishes, especially as a hot cereal. Mixed with milk or your favorite milk alternative, it’s similar to cream of wheat. If you get tired of your regular overnight oats, try this yummyamaranth cerealrecipe byThree Many Cooks.

teff

Teff

Teff is a super-fine grain — about the size of a poppyseed — that’s native to several African countries. Teff flour can be used for baking hearty loaves of bread, just like this Teff & Oat Bread byPower Hungry. It’s quick, simple, and yields four small loaves for delicious gluten-free goodness!

Here in North America, we consume a huge amount of wheat while ignoring other ancient grains like buckwheat, sorghum, teff, millet, quinoa, and amaranth. If you’re looking to diversify your diet, try to incorporate these naturally gluten-free grains to your meals. Because it’s true what they say, variety is the spice of life!


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