Quinoa- pronounced ‘keen-wa’ is an ancient South American grain, native to the likes of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse, containing loads of protein, its is a good source of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron and is low GI unlike most traditional wheat options. Quinoa is a small beady grain that can be white, creamy coloured or red. It is very easy to cook, as you cook it in the same way as rice and has a pleasant nutty flavour.
Brown Rice- unlike white rice which is a relatively basic alternative to gluten, brown rice is less processed and full of good stuff. Brown rice has been known to lower cholesterol, reduce the incidence of heart disease and diabetes and is high in fibre, magnesium and selenium. It is easy to cook, cheap and goes well with curries or casseroles.
Buckwheat- a gluten free grain often used in flour form for gluten-free baking and cooking, buckwheat can be used instead of rice and made into porridge. Rich in minerals such as manganese, magnesium and fibre. Buckwheat helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes.
Millet- another great gluten free grain full of fibre, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Millet comes in lots of varieties and is a fantastic addition to many meals. Millet looks like tiny, round grains with colours ranging from white to red. It is good for protecting you from diabetes and heart disease.
Amaranth- is not actually a grain, but a seed. It is full of protein, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, fibre and calcium. It is cooked in the same way as rice, but be careful not to overcook it because it will go sticky. Amaranth is also used in flake form as the base for lots of gluten free cereals or muesli’s.
Other gluten free grains include corn and sorghum. BEWARE! Although corn is indeed a gluten free grain, once processed some people with gluten sensitivities (like me) are also sensitive to corn. There is more and more evidence finding this link between gluten and corn sensitivity and intolerance. If you find you feel ill or unwell after eating corn products, or if you have any reaction at all then it is likely that this is the case.
Grains that contain gluten are wheat, barely, rye, spelt and oats. Oats are listed because they are processed on the same machinery that processes gluten-containing grains and therefore becomes contaminated, but oats themselves don’t contain any gluten. You can buy gluten free oats at speciality health stores or in the health food section of some supermarkets.
Hope this helps for those who are looking to lead a gluten-free lifestyle. Enjoy your yummy whole grains!
Keep healthy! :)