Anyone who’s Celiac might hear the word “grain” and immediately flinch – and with good reason, since wheat, rye and barley (you know, the Big Three dangerous sources of gluten) are all grains – and are the most commonly used grains in the foods we know and love. But there are in fact almost a dozen other naturally gluten-free grains out there for you to use in all your favorite recipes. Some of them might sound familiar, but you might just learn a new one or two.
Flickr user Ervins Strauhmanis
You’ve probably heard of this one. Believe it or not it’s actually related rhubarb. One cup of this stuff is only 155 calories, and can even help with heart disease. It goes great in crepes, like these.
Wikipedia user Adrian Ceron
Amaranth has actually been harvested for like, thousands of years, ever since the Aztecs. Its nutritional profile is pretty similar to a cereal, with high amounts of calcium, iron, and potassium, and might even help with heart health. Try it in cornbread!
Wikipedia user Thamizhpparithi Maari
This stuff is scrumptious. Not only does it have all the fiber of a grain, but it’s high in magnesium and phosphorus, and could even lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. And guess what? It makes great gluten-free sandwich bread.
Flickr user SweetOnVeg
You guys have probably heard of this one, but it could always use another mention. Quinoa has just about all the health benefits of whole grain you could want – plus is totally delicious. We proved it, with these three recipes for using quinoa in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Flickr user Stacy Spensley
Most people know that cornmeal, as its name implies, is made from ground corn kernels. And corn has so many health benefits, it’s no wonder people love it so much – it’s got fiber, nutrients, and zero cholesterol. Try replacing it for breadcrumbs on chicken!
Flickr user Arria Belli
This is a big player in the gluten-free substitutions game, but be warned: That fluffy white stuff that you love when you order Chinese? Not the same as whole wheat bread. Stick to the whole grain brown rice as much as you can – it’s said to have properties that can prevent cancer and possibly even Alzheimer’s. Trust us, this Spanish brown rice pilaf will fool you into thinking you’re getting away with something.
Flickr user Starr Environmental
Believe it or not, this stuff is actually considered a cereal. Though you might see it used to make the sweet syrup called sorghum, this grain can actually be cooked and even ground into flour. It’s got tons of protein and more antioxidants than blueberries. Yep, you heard that right. It goes great with black beans and avocado for a summery lunch recipe.
Flickr user SarahTz
Teff is a super tiny grain, which makes it great for grinding into flour. It’s got an insane level of calcium, vitamin C and can even help alleviate some of those ahem, “monthly symptoms” that every female out there dreads. Chocolate banana bread with teff flour? Don’t mind if I do.
Flickr user Daquelle manera
This one comes with an asterisk, because while oats are one of the yummiest naturally gluten-free grains and go great in so many gluten-free recipes, many oats are actually processed in facilities that also make foods with gluten. So just be careful to look for gluten-free oats and you’re all set!
What are your favorite gluten-free grains to eat and cook with? Tell us in the comments below!