If your one of those individuals who suffers from celiac disease or if you just have a mild sensitivity to gluten, which is a protein naturally found in wheat, barely and rye, we would like to suggest some great substitutes. These alternatives to flour are some interesting and lesser-known grains used in everyday cooking. Here are those five grains and some great suggestions on how to use them.
1. Using Gluten Free Buckwheat
Buckwheat grains are small, triangular, and not related to wheat at all. However, just like wheat, it is used in my foods throughout the world. You will find buckwheat in Japanese noodles and French crepes. Roasted buckwheat is very popular here in the United States and sometimes goes by the name of kasha. With an earthy, smoky flavor, roasted buckwheat is a great alternative for stuffings and side dishes. Try mixing roasted buckwheat with sautéed mushrooms and a sprinkle of olive oil.
2. Using Gluten Free Corn
When taking dried corn and grounding it up you come up with cornmeal, which is popular in cornbreads or the creamy side dish, polenta. You can find polenta in plastic wrapped, pre-packaged tubes for easy cooking. Try slicing half-inch thick rounds of polenta and pan-fry in olive oil. Top with sautéed spinach and some crumbled feta cheese.
3. Using Gluten Free Millet
Millet is a small, yellow seed packed with lots of vitamin B. Millet is a grain with a slightly sweet, almost corn-like flavor that is as simple to cook as ordinary rice. Millet is great if you cooking something either sweet or savory in a meal. Try preparing millet as you would cook oatmeal. Top it off with some milk and honey for a great breakfast.
4. Using Gluten Free Quinoa
In South America, quinoa has been known as the “mother grain” for centuries. Quinoa is simple to prepare and only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to cook. As a side dish quinoa is a more nutritional alternative than couscous packing more protein, fiber, and iron. Try mixing quinoa with some black beans, salsa, avocado, shredded romaine and some corn for a great side dish.
5. Using Gluten Free Sorghum
Sorghum flour is made from a grass that has been ground up. Sorghum is a pale colored flour with a very neutral taste that is a great alternative for baked goods. Most recipes that use sorghum flour will call for xanthan gum, which acts as a binder for most baking. Try using sorghum flour in your cookies and cakes. Remember to add a half-teaspoon of xanthan gum and one and half teaspoons of cornstarch per cup of sorghum flour.