REPs UK PTIA REPS NZ

Great Gluten-Free Grains

by Sarah Kruse on Mar 15, 2011

Food for Thought

If you must avoid gluten because of Celiac disease or if you’re interested in adding different whole grains to your diet, experiment with these gluten-free options. In their nutritional profiles, these ancient grains surpass the staples of wheat, corn, oats and rice in the American diet.

Amaranth comes from Central and South America and while technically a seed is used like a grain. Light tan in color, this tiny seed has a nutty flavor and unique texture. High in protein, with 25% more fiber than whole wheat, amaranth contains high amounts of iron, magnesium, zinc and folate.

Cooked amaranth can be used as a hot cereal or added to pilafs and soups. The flour can also be added to baked goods for a nutrition boost. The seeds can be popped like popcorn in a dry skillet and coated with honey for a sweet treat.

Buckwheat is a relative of rhubarb and not related to wheat at all. Actually a fruit seed, buckwheat is a good source of protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, as well as magnesium, fiber, calcium and iron. Buckwheat also contains the entire range of B-complex vitamins. When toasted, this triangular-shaped grain is called kasha.

The cooked grains (often called groats) make a hearty breakfast cereal. In Slavic countries, buckwheat is used in soups and savory dishes. The flour can be used to make buckwheat pancakes or crepes. Look for Japanese soba noodles, which are made from 100% buckwheat flour.

Millet contains more protein than wheat, corn and rice. Yellow in color, the small grains are also a good source of fiber, iron and B vitamins. Widely used in Africa, China and India, millet is a versatile grain with a mild flavor.

When cooked, the grain can be used as a pilaf or rice substitute. Increasing the water and cooking the grain longer create a creamy breakfast porridge. Millet flour lends a light flavor to baked goods.

Try this month’s “Recipe for Health”—potato millet casserole—for a savory side dish.

Quinoa, like amaranth, is native to South America and technically a seed; it is related to the beet, chard and spinach plants. Considered a “super grain,” quinoa contains all eight essential amino acids and has a protein profile similar to milk. Quinoa also has more calcium, iron and magnesium than whole wheat. The small round grain is available in white, red and black varieties.

Quinoa cooks faster and has a lighter texture than most grains. Use in pilafs, soups or warm or cold salads, or as a gluten-free substitute for bulgur wheat and couscous. Quinoa pasta, often mixed with corn or rice flour, is also readily available.

Teff is the world’s smallest grain and is native to Africa. Ethiopians use teff to make injera, a flat spongy bread. Key nutrients include protein, fiber, calcium, iron and vitamin B1, zinc and copper.

Because of its size, teff works well as a breakfast cereal or mixed with other grains for side dishes. The mild nutty and slightly sweet flavor makes it a good choice for a variety of baked goods.

—Sarah Kruse

Sarah Kruse is a freelance writer and certified natural chef who prepares gluten-free and dairy-free meals for her son. She is a guest blogger at www.therapeuticchef.com.answer

IDEA Fitness Journal , Volume 8, Issue 4

© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Sarah Kruse IDEA Author/Presenter

Sarah Kruse is a freelance writer and former senior editor at IDEA.

0 Comments

Trending Articles

Eight Fascinating Facts About Fascia

Fascia has been enjoying the limelight in the fitness industry as one of the hottest topics in recent conference programming, workshops and ...

Breathe to Lose Weight?

When a person loses weight, have you ever wondered where it goes? Scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia have put toge...

Does Exercise Order Really Matter in Resistance Training?

Research on resistance training design finds that the chief variables include intensity, volume, recovery between sets and exercises, workout frequency, equipment and speed of movement (Simão et al....

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet

Crous-Bou, M., et al. 2014. Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: Population based cohort study. British Med...

Cardio and Creative Core

Group fitness participants can’t seem to get enough of creative core and cardiovascular exercises. If you need innovative ideas to cha...

The Mythology of Modern-Day Dieting

Whether it was Rita Mae Brown or Albert Einstein who first said it, the quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again an...

Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis: More Than Just Bad Posture

Excessive thoracic kyphosis (ETK) is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thorac...

Anaerobic Training: Program Design

Most personal trainers design anaerobic workouts for their clients—it is an innovative strategy that helps many people reach their goals. Competitive athletes have been training anaerobically fo...

Wake Up Your Glutes!

It’s a sad fact of modern life that the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body, often becomes inhibited and “turns off.” Ironically, this inhibition can be the culprit behin...

Stress-Fighting Foods

Stress and pain diminish quality of life for millions of Americans and cost billions in healthcare expenses and lost wages.

Next