The best gluten-free cereals and grains for coeliacs (and not coeliacs)

I can imagine how confusing and difficult it must have been until a few years ago to discover that he was celiac, when there was hardly any information about it and society was not yet aware of the need to offer gluten-free products. Fortunately today that is changing and, although there is still much to improve, it is easier to find gluten-free alternatives for daily food. The theme of cereals and grains It is, in principle, the most complicated, but there are many gluten-free options perfect for coeliacs and also for non-celiac.

I do not intend to compare both conditions, but I like to point out that lactose intolerance has also given me positive things. Having to worry much more about what you eat, what you buy or cook takes you to know better the food, its nutritional value and its possibilities in the kitchen, and also encourages you to discover many new products. Therefore I encourage everyone to try these cereals and grains, to introduce a greater variety in our diet and show that there is life beyond wheat and rice.

Buckwheat or buckwheat

I recognize that it is my favorite of this list in its form of wholemeal flour. I discovered its flavor with delicious galettes in Toulouse years ago and since then I add it to breads, biscuits and cookies without problems, combined with other cereals or by itself. Although its name may lead to error, by including the word "wheat" in one of its denominations, buckwheat does not contain any gluten. Is a pseudocereal that in its grain form has a curious triangular shape, is very rich in vegetable proteins and stands out for its lysine content.

Buckwheat flour is very characteristic for its dark, slightly roasted color, almost with violet or grayish hues. It brings a somewhat rustic touch to the masses in its texture, with a sweet taste reminiscent of ripe fruit, with some bitter nuances. It is perfect for recipes that do not require the action of gluten as a binder, such as crêpes, pancakes, blinis, waffles, cookies or pasta. It can be combined with other cereals without problems, and in sweet it makes a good couple with aromatic fruits and chocolate.

Son

Millet is a very small grain that can remind us of the usual couscous that we find in any supermarket, but with a more prominent yellow color. Actually there are several types of millet, but they are all gluten free and offer similar features. In Europe, more consumption is beginning now, although in many countries in Africa and Asia it has long been a fundamental source of food thanks to its easy cultivation and high nutritional content.

Millet can be consumed as if it were rice or oatmeal, leaving a looser or creamy texture, or adding it to soups and stews to add nutrients and give a touch of different flavor and texture. In cold and temperate salads it offers very good results, for example preparing a kind of tabouleh or combining it with vegetables in a sautéed. Because of its small size it is also suitable for adding to bread or pastry doughs, especially combined with other cereals and seeds. Keep in mind that when cooked in liquid it can almost quadruple its volume.

Amaranth

It is also considered a quinoa-like pseudocereal, and it is rich in vegetable and mineral proteins such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. Its small grains are rounded and also remind raw quinoa or millet. The amrantoproviene of Centoamérica, where its cultivation dates back up to several thousand years ago, since it was one of the most appreciated and consumed products by pre-Columbian cultures, especially Mayan and Aztec.

The grain can be prepared as if it were rice or couscous, cooking it in water and using it as a side dish or accompanying it with other ingredients, for example in a sautéed or soup. In the form of flour it has a pale yellow color and has aromas of field and mineral, it combines very well with cornmeal and is perfect for masses of salty cakes or somewhat rustic biscuits with nuts, honey and aromatic spices.

Corn

I thought I did not like corn because it gives me some repelús, but it turns out that I love it naturally and in the form of cereal and flour. You have to be careful in the recipes for do not confuse cornstarch with flour, which is also sometimes sold precooked or with different thicknesses. What we know as cornstarch is starch, and although it also serves to make breads and sweets, its majority use is as a thickener. The grilled corn cob is a delight that I recommend to everyone, but it is also a good idea to add your flour to the pantry.

Flour as such has a more grainy, fine texture in case we use it as if it were wheat or rye flour, with a very characteristic yellow color. It is a basic ingredient in many cultures, and does not miss the amount of traditional recipes that use cornmeal as a base in Mexican cuisine. It is a grain rich in fiber and stands out for its vitamin A content, in addition to being very energetic and satiating. Regardless of the texture of its thickness, cornmeal provides a somewhat sweet taste that makes a good match with dairy ingredients and fruits.

Teff

It seems that the latest trend among international celebrities is to go to teff, perhaps precisely because it is naturally gluten free. In any case, it is a very small grain that is grown mostly in Eritrea and Ethiopia, where it is the fundamental ingredient of one of its staple foods. The injera It is a kind of crêpe for daily consumption, as essential in your diet as our bread, essential to accompany soups and stews of all kinds.

Teff It is one of the richest grains in minerals, especially calcium, and vitamin C, in addition to fiber and iron. Because of its small size it is easy to add it even in the form of grain directly to bread doughs, biscuits or biscuits, and its flour offers the same qualities as the cereals discussed above. It is also sold in the form of flakes, perfect to add to the breakfast bowl with fruits and yogurt, to make homemade energy bars or to enrich smoothies and creams.

Sorghum

Sorghum begins to sound more and more among the lists of trendy foods, a grain from tropical areas of Africa and Asia, where it is one of the main sources of livelihood. Different varieties are cultivated that have different shades of color, from pale yellow to violet and red. Its outer layer is edible, so it contains more fiber than other cereals, and also stands out for its contribution of antioxidants.

Have a very soft subtle flavor that makes it easy to add to the diet, also in its flour form, although it makes the dough somewhat denser and needs to be combined with other ingredients if we look for spongy crumbs. Yes it is a suitable flour to make flatbreads, pancakes, crêpes or cookies. It is very satiating and has a low glycemic index, so it is also gaining fans to use this grain to prepare porridge or breakfast porridge.

Rice

It is clear that rice is the best known cereal on the entire list, but for its fundamental importance in the diet of celiac and non-celiac worldwide, it is worth reviewing. There are many varieties with specialties in different cultures, and we usually differentiate them in cooking by their size and their ability to absorb liquid. It is very energetic, satiating and versatile, with which we can prepare many sweet and savory dishes. My father often says that with a little rice and what he gets in the pantry it is easy to improvise a meal or dinner rather than decent.

As for rice flour, we can compare it with cornstarch, since it has a very fine texture and contains a lot of starch. It serves us so much like another gluten-free thickener, and in batters it helps to get lighter and crunchier textures. If combined with other flours it can give very good results in cake and cake doughs, with more fluffy and light crumbs, and the glutinous variety - which does not mean that it contains gluten - is used in Asian cuisine for certain dishes, such as Sweet Japanese mochis.

Quinoa

I think I discovered it almost ten years ago, but it really became fashionable about five or six years ago, when it began to be installed in supermarkets and on the daily menus of the most daily restaurants. Today we have normalized its consumption more, and fortunately the crops have spread all over the world. Another pseudocereal that is rather a seed, Quinoa is a great source of nutrients, especially protein With a good load of essential amino acids, it is very satiating, energetic and versatile.

Quinoa can be found in its white, black and red varieties, with subtle differences in taste but interchangeable with each other. It's harder to get a dry and loose texture after cooking, but for me I really like salads with vegetables, vegetables or fresh fruits. It can be combined with other cereals or added directly to soups and potajes, for example in the recipes of stewed vegetables. It is also found in flakes and in the form of flour, which has a somewhat stronger aroma than usual with notes of moist earth. It is perfect to give a rustic touch to the autumn oven recipes, with many nuts, honey and spices.

Wild rice

Despite its name, it is neither rice nor wild, at least today. It belongs to a different genus of plants called Zizania, although due to its size and shape we associate it with rice, it is usually sold mixed with it. By itself it may collide a little to the one who tries it for the first time, since it has a harder, crunchy texture, and is much more aromatic Than everyday white rice.

As long as we do not intend to make a paella or a rice pudding, the wild can be used as if it were another ordinary cereal. A handful adds texture to a soup or cream of vegetables, it looks great in salads mixed with green leafy vegetables and It is perfect to combine with nuts and root vegetables, especially if we play with color contrasts. Nutritionally we can highlight a slightly higher protein content in rice, and much more fiber.

Oats

Celiacs should be very careful with the consumption of oatmeal, since although it does not contain gluten in its natural form, it usually suffers cross contamination and it is difficult to ensure with certainty that it is suitable for gluten-free diets. But it is worth looking for brands that have the hallmark, as it is one of the most interesting and versatile cereals on the market. Associated with porridge and porridge, also with muesli and the diet of athletes, oatmeal is without a doubt my favorite cereal.

Today it is a most common product, but when I was little and my father, as a good Swiss, looked for it in stores, it was not easy to find. The best known form are the flakes, which can be of different sizes, but tWe can also buy it in whole grain or in the form of flour. It is actually easy to make homemade oatmeal by crushing the flakes with a chopper or ordinary grinder. It has a sweet but soft taste perfect for all kinds of sweets, breads and other doughs. The cooked flakes and whole grains add a very rich texture point in crumbles, streusels, cereal bars, mixtures of muesli and granola and even in batters.

As you can see, there are actually more cereals and grains naturally gluten free than the opposite Celiacs have many healthy options for their daily diet, and those who can consume gluten can also add them to our diet to give them more variety and discover new flavors and textures. What is your favorite cereal?

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