Health

Healthy gluten-free whole grains and how to use them

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Health

Healthy gluten-free whole grains and how to use them

By: Canadian Living

Grains Whether or not you’re gluten-free, you can grow tired of eating the same grains all the time (sorry, rice, oats and pasta). And your body can actually grow tired of it too. Since you need variety in your diet to get all the nutrients you require, it’s a good idea to switch things up once in a while. Look for new whole grains in your grocery store or bulk food store. While some of these alternatives don’t technically fall into the grains category (many are seeds), you can eat them as grains, and your body will thank you for it! Amaranth: This is one of the most nutritious yet least used grains. Filled with iron, calcium and magnesium, it’s super healthy. It also has nearly twice as much protein as whole grain rice, and more than twice the fibre. If you’re extra adventurous, try making popped amaranth (a tinier, healthier version of popcorn)! Buckwheat: Despite having the word “wheat” in the name, buckwheat contains no wheat or gluten. Buckwheat groats are a bit larger in size than rice, and work great in salads or dishes that usually use rice. Buckwheat is packed with important minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium and fibre, plus it’s been linked to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes risk. Millet: For years we’ve been feeding birds millet, but there are many reasons to add it to your own diet. The grain, which cooks up creamy, is rich in magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants like those you would find in fruits and vegetables. Plus, millet is filled with insoluble fibre, which is a great natural detoxer. Teff: This grain is a bit harder to come by, but if you find teff, try it! If you’ve ever enjoyed Ethiopian food, you’ve likely had the spongy bread made of teff. Teff’s claim to fame is its huge calcium content and its unique fibre content that can help control blood sugar and keep your colon healthy. Quinoa: Sure, you’ve tried quinoa before—but have you used puffed quinoa or quinoa flakes? Puffed quinoa is popped with air to give it a light and crispy texture, perfect for making homemade granola bars, while the flakes are produced by steam-rolling the grain, making them quick-cooking, ideal for a morning cereal. Quinoa is hailed for its protein content, and it’s got lots antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power. To step it up a notch, try black quinoa. Not sure how to use all these new grains? Here are a few ways that you can eat almost any whole grain. 1. Hot cereal You’ve eaten oatmeal for breakfast, but why not try another whole grain? You can top quinoa, buckwheat or any other whole grain with the same fruit, cinnamon and sugar (or syrup or honey) that you top your oatmeal with. If you prefer cold cereal, try new grains to make homemade granola (buckwheat is ideal for this). 2. Salads Pasta salads are always a hit in the summer, but the grains that go into pasta—even if you buy whole wheat—are processed considerably. Instead of pasta, make the base of your salad a whole grain (try cooking it in vegetable broth to give it some flavour), then add whatever other ingredients you would normally use. 3. Breading Use quinoa (or another grain of your choice) in place of breadcrumbs for chicken fingers or other breaded foods. Check out our recipe for Crunchy Gluten-Free Chicken Strips for instructions on how to get the perfect breaded crunch. (Photography: Thinkstock)
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Healthy gluten-free whole grains and how to use them

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