Hi everyone, Leanne here again and today we're chatting about gluten-free "safe foods," woohoo! And of course a post wouldn't be complete without a recipe, but we'll get to that in a moment.
When I went gluten-free, I received a small list of the grains that I couldn't have—barley, rye, oats and wheat. The problem was that I had no idea what I could have. Sound familiar? Let's do a quick run-down of my favorite healthy gluten-free grains, shall we?
This cereal grain comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The darker the grain, the better. So when you can, opt for wild rice or a dark brown or red rice to maximize the health potential of your meal. The DeLallo Whole Grain Rice Shells that I used in today's recipe are made from brown rice which provides a whole heck of a lot more nutrients than white rice pasta would.
Recent research has shown that the antioxidant benefits in corn are determined by color of the corn itself. Choosing white, yellow, blue, purple or red corn can yield a different nutrient profile!
Amaranth is a cereal seed with some serious advantages over its gluten-free counterparts. When compared to wheat, it has four times as much calcium, twice as much iron and magnesium and is higher in specific amino acids. I enjoy mixing my amaranth with other grains like buckwheat or millet for a nice porridge. It can also be popped in a skillet like popcorn, which gives it a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
There's no wheat in buckwheat but the name's a bit confusing, isn't it? Buckwheat is a fabulous alternative to rice and goes well in a steaming bowl of porridge. Interesting tidbit - buckwheat is related to rhubarb. Cool, right? Or is it just me that finds these foodie facts interesting? This little fruit seed has a ton of fiber that's been linked to help prevent gallstones, nutrients to assist in blood sugar control, and specific phytonutrients that have been shown to assist in the protection against heart disease.
Sorghum is another tasty grain that's gained popularity over the years, especially in the gluten-free community. One cup of sorghum contains 12 grams of dietary fiber, 21 grams of protein and has a high amount of vitamins and minerals. I enjoy using sorghum flour to make pancakes, cookies, and crackers.
Grains lack amino acids but quinoa more than makes up for the shortcomings with high levels of both lysine and isoleucine which allow quinoa to serve as a complete protein source. Enjoy quinoa on its own as you would rice, use the flakes of quinoa to make a cake, or cook and enjoy as a topping on your favorite salad.
Millet holds a special place in my heart. This tiny grain is creamy, extremely inexpensive, and delicious right down to its core. Another tidbit for the day: the magnesium in one cup of cooked millet provides you with 19% of your daily recommended requirement for the mineral. This high amount makes millet a contender to help those managing heart health and cholesterol levels, too.
*Note: There are many forms of gluten which are contained in all grains. However, the purpose of this list is to address gluten-free grains as it pertains to the gluten-free/celiac diet.