Nourish - 4 Gluten-Free Alternatives You Might Not Be Using But Absolutely Should
For some, going gluten-free is a personal choice, for others, it’s not. But whether you decided to ditch the gluten because you’re intolerant, or if it’s because you’re choosing it for your health, there’s always room in the kitchen for some new recipe inspiration!
Today we’re covering 4 Gluten-Free Alternatives You Might Not Be Using But Absolutely Should.
Millet is a small yellow grain that is naturally gluten-free with a slightly nutty flavour. Though technically a seed, millet is used just like other whole grains, such as rice.
It’s an alkalising grain (non-acid-forming) and is considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available. As a result, this makes it an absolute must for anyone:
- with celiac disease
- with a gluten/wheat sensitivity
- for anyone with troublesome digestion
Millet provides a great supply of nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus, folate, iron and B vitamins. Plus, it provides a good source of protein, fibre and antioxidants. These help to prevent oxidative stress and damage in the body caused by harmful free radicals.
Millet is super easy to prepare and delicious to chow down on. Check out this blog post on How to Cook Millet for some tips.
Add this fluffy, nutty-tasting nutritious grain into your soups, salads, stir-fries, veggie burgers or as an accompaniment to main dishes.
Here are some recipes from our archive for you to try out:
- Millet & Butter Bean Burgers
- Millet Porridge with Stewed Rhubarb
- and Millet Salad with Roasted Peppers, Red Onions, Garlic and Seared Courgette
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually a pseudo-grain. That’s because although cooked and consumed like a grain, it’s actually a seed. You heard it right, it’s a seed!
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and has held quite the superstar status for some time now, and quite rightly so because it’s SO nutrient-dense. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre. Plus it’s packed with protein. In fact, it contains a well-balanced mix of all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
Because of this, quinoa is fantastic at balancing your blood sugar levels and keeping them from spiking. This allows you to slow burn that energy and sustain you for a long time.
Quinoa is also really easily digested, so for anyone with a sensitive tummy or digestive issues – quinoa is your new BFF.
So now you’ve purchased yourself this well-touted grain (I mean, seed!), what do you do with it now?
Unlike the pronunciation, the cooking part to Quinoa isn’t complicated at all, and you can whip up a batch in 15-20minutes.
First things first, it’s very important to rinse your quinoa before cooking. Quinoa has a naturally bitter coating called saponin that needs to be rinsed away before cooking. If you don’t, your cooked quinoa will not taste quite right and have a slightly bitter undertone. Optionally, soak your quinoa overnight or for roughly 8 hours before rinsing and cooking to enhance their health benefits. Learn more about it here on my blog post What is Sprouting.
Read about how to make it in the recipes below.
Use it just as you would any other grain in salads, main dishes, or as a really great porridge alternative.
Try out the following:
Or try cooking quinoa in nut or coconut milk and make it into a creamy porridge.
Additionally, try out some gluten-free baking with quinoa flour, puffs or flakes.
I cannot boast about the benefits of chia seeds enough. They might not look like much, but these tiny seeds are so full to the rafters of nutrients they’re absolutely bursting with goodness.
They are super high in dietary fiber. As a result, this makes them great for digestion and healing digestion issues like constipation/diarrhoea/IBS. These powerful seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fibre which are both important for gut health. The soluble fibre helps to form a gel-like solution that moves through the body and cleans up as it goes. Basically working like an intestinal broom, cleaning the digestive tract, eliminating waste and toxins from the body.
Furthermore, the fiber in these mighty seeds expands in the stomach. As a result, it’s great for increasing satiation, meaning you feel fuller for longer. Plus it helps regulate bowel movements and digestive complaints like constipation. This combined with the high protein levels of these small seeds will help reduce appetite, improve muscle repair and keep those blood levels from spiking.
Chia seeds also contain plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for:
- a healthy brain
- heart health
- eye, hair and skin health
- immune health
- reducing inflammation in the body
Chia seeds are super high in antioxidants which helps fight free radical damage in the body, plus they’re home to high levels of several nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.
Add chia seeds to:
- baked goods (as an egg replacement)
- soak in water or milk to make a chia pudding (see below)
For more ideas try out these:
Despite its name, Buckwheat is actually a seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel and not related to the wheat grain.
It’s naturally gluten-free and is a great substitute for those who are sensitive or allergic to grains containing gluten.
Buckwheat is a great addition to any diet because it’s jam-packed with goodness. Buckwheat groats are rich in protein and fibre, as well as being rich in a whole host antioxidants and beneficial nutrients. These include manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, folate, and vitamin B6. Plus it’s a complete protein (making it a fantastic plant-based protein). All of which make Buckwheat an amazing food for keeping your blood sugar levels in check, keeping you full and energized.
When you’re shopping for buckwheat, notice that there is both raw buckwheat groats and toasted groats, known as kasha available. Raw untoasted buckwheat is a pale white, greenish colour with a mild taste. Toasted buckwheat, aka kasha, is dark brown in colour with an earthy flavour as a result of toasting.
Buckwheat is incredibly versatile. Try it in:
- Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Granola
- Buckwheat, Fennel and Carrot Salad with Orange Dressing
- Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad
- Courgette and Spinach Tart with Buckwheat Pastry
- Buckwheat Russian Pancakes (Blinis)
Buckwheat is also wonderful in porridge, added to energy balls and in pancakes.
I hope you learnt something new or gained some recipe inspiration for some gluten-free experimenting in the kitchen from this blog post 🙂
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication