Eight Great Gluten-Free Food Alternatives Better Than the
Beer is typically made with wheat, barley, or rye. Unfortunately, these ingredients all contain gluten, which means that anyone who has Celiac disease or whose avoiding gluten can’t drink regular beer. One way around this is to brew using alternative grains, such as sorghum, millet, buckwheat, and quinoa. Though gluten-free brewing is still in it’s infancy, these gluten-free ingredients have the potential to produce unique, great tasting beer unlike anything that’s currently on the market.
Beer isn’t the only thing that can benefit from using alternative, gluten-free ingredients. Check out our list below of eight great gluten-free substitutes (that are arguably better than that what they’re replacing):
- Chestnut/Quinoa/Buckwheat Pancakes: Pancakes are delicious, but I’ve always felt traditional flour pancakes (especially the ones from a box) a bit, well, boring. They’re sweet and light but don’t offer much else. For more flavor and texture, you can use quinoa, chestnut, and buckwheat flour (coincidentally, all ingredients that can be used to brew beer). Add gluten-free oats for additional crunch. You use these flours as substitutes in most other recipes as well. The above photo is of quinoa pancakes, courtesy of the food blog Withthegrains.com.
- Lettuce tortillas: Ever had an Asian lettuce wrap? Delicious right? Well, imagine the fresh flavor and portability of those lettuce wraps applied to the awesomeness that is Mexican food. Some taco sauce, beef, cheese, sour cream, and the lettuce wrap makes an excellent dish. You can also go the more conventional route and use corn tacos instead of flour tacos, but that’s not nearly as fun.
- Eggplant lasagna: Next time you crave some Italian, try making some eggplant lasagna by substituting eggplant for pasta. Cut the eggplant into thick slices for something closer to eggplant parmigiana or thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler for more traditional lasagna.
- Chopped nuts for granola: The oats in granola are often processed with gluten-containing grains, making them unsafe for those avoiding gluten. A great granola substitute, particularly on yogurt, are chopped nuts and seeds. They even add an extra dose of protein.
- Grits: For a bit of Southern flare, try substituting grits for your regular hot breakfast cereals like oatmeal.
- Walnut pie crust: Try making a pie crust out of chopped walnuts and brown sugar for a crumbly, delicious pie crust. Then fill it with a frozen whipped cream and fruit filling which will help satisfy your cake cravings. Check out a great recipe here.
- Spaghetti Squash: Need to get your pasta fix? You could try buying some gluten-free noodles, or you could cook up some spaghetti squash. When baked or cooked in the microwave, the flesh turns into thin, pasta-like strands. This makes a great tasting, nutritious substitute for angel-hair pasta.
- Quinoa couscous: Like tiny little balls of pasta? They’re not my thing, but if you’re a fan of couscous, a great substitute is quinoa, which is packed with protein and vitamins.
What are your favorite gluten-free substitutes? Let us know by posting a comment below!