Has your naturopath advised you to go grain free? Are you doing a detox or cleanse? Does your gut need healing? Are you experiencing digestive issues? Have you recently discovered that you have gluten intolerance or coeliac disease? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this post is for you. I believe many of us are eating too many grains, especially gluten. A typical ‘healthy’ day consisting of avocado on toast or weet-bix for breakfast, a salad sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner equals a lot of gluten. Gluten is difficult to digest, which is why many people feel better when they eliminate it from their diet.
Please take note, I do not recommend self diagnosis and completely going grain free. Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. I do however, believe we are eating too many grains, especially gluten. Gluten is not meant to be consumed 3 times a day. No wonder we have compromised digestive systems and many people are developing intolerance. Enjoy grains and gluten when your body needs them but don’t overdo it.
The following ideas will help you to reduce your intake:
Swap rice for lentils (great in curries), buckwheat (great in risotto) or quinoa (great in a stir fry or salads).
Swap cous cous for polenta (great with stews and casseroles).
Swap wheat pasta for mung bean pasta or quinoa pasta (ask at your local health food shop) or make your own besan (chickpea) flour pasta – recipe by Foodie Fiasco here.
Swap noodles for 100% buckwheat soba noodles, kelp noodles (made from seaweed), zucchini noodles (see recipe by Jessica Sepel here), acorn noodles (made using acorn flour and buckwheat flour), bean threads (made using mung bean starch), buckwheat vermicelli, harusame (made from potato, sweet potato or mung bean starch), shirataki (made from the konjac plant), sweet potato vermicelli (made from sweet potato starch) or tapioca noodles (made from tapioca starch).
Swap wheat flour for besan (chickpea) flour (great for savoury dishes) or coconut flour (great for baking but be sure to use a lot of eggs – coconut flour is extremely dry and soaks up A LOT of moisture – see Pear and Walnut Muffin Recipe by Jessica Sepel here). Almond meal is also great for baking, see Orange and Chia Seed Cake Recipe by Nat Kringoudis here or Banana Bread Recipe by Jessica Sepel here.
Swap bread for Spinach Bread, (recipe by Supercharged Food here), The Life Changing Loaf of Bread (recipe by My New Roots here), Sunflower Bread (recipe by Monique Pollard here) or Banana Nut Protein Loaf (recipe by Jessica Sepel here).
If you’re out and about and there are no grain free dishes on offer, spelt and rye are the easiest grains to digest as they contain low levels of gluten. Sourdough is also great for digestion as the grains have been through a fermentation process. So spelt and rye sourdough is probably your best option.
Let me know how you go! What’s your favourite grain free recipe?