By Cheryl Hodgson
Everyday, more people are eliminating gluten from their diet. Whether suffering from Celiac disease or otherwise gluten intolerant, the task of purging any-and-all gluten from one's diet can seem daunting at first. After all, what doesn't contain gluten?! Did you know that both tofu and soy sauce boast gluten? With all the not-so-obvious products containing gluten, what's a gluten-phobe to do? Then there are the dozens of "gluten free" packaged products that may eliminate the gluten, but are full of sugar and other fillers that are anything but healthy.
Whether looking for substitutes for some of your longtime favorite recipes or perusing the ingredient list of grocery store products, here are six grains sans wheat to look for in your healthy gluten-free lifestyle.
Amaranth has a mild and nutty flavor and provides a complete protein. Amaranth has more protein than wheat and is an excellent source of calcium, potassium and vitamins A & D. Amaranth flour is a great substitute for wheat flour.
Buckwheat, despite its name, is gluten free and not wheat at all. Buckwheat comes from a plant related to rhubarb. Buckwheat groats can be a great cereal, or flour for baking. They're nutritious and a source of easily digested protein. Buckwheat is high in fiber and said to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Corn flour and meal can be used for tortillas, and of course to make polenta, a great alternative to gluten based products.
Millet feeds up to one third of the world's population. It makes a great flour and porridge, and has a mildly sweet, nut-like flavor. It is high in fiber and B complex vitamins. Millet bread recipes abound!
Quinoa is a cereal grain from Peru believed to have been a staple in the Inca diet. Quinoa provides a good source of non-acid protein. Instead of cooking, try soaking quinoa in water, then using it uncooked in a chopped raw vegetable salad for a delightful raw foods creation.
Rice of course is a staple in many of our diets and there are some terrific rice breads available commercially.
Not sure about all this gluten-free mumbo jumbo? Check out The Gluten Free Diet: Is It Right for You?