Some people are allergic, some people just want to be more fit. Whichever it is for you, there are some great grain alternatives available.
Currently, many individuals are opting to go grain free, either aiming to improve weight or health status, or out of necessity due to allergy and sensitivity. Whether you are completely avoiding grains, or if you simply wish to decrease the amount you are consuming, these grain alternatives are delicious, yet they are still highly nutritious and not highly processed like many other grain alternatives can be.
An important thing to consider when aiming to go grain free, is that just because a food or a product is grain free doesn’t necessarily qualify it as a health food. When going grain free, an important thing to understand is that the goal is to increase the amount of vegetables, fruits, and other sources of fresh, real, wholesome foods. Relying on grain free processed alternatives, such as gluten-free crackers, cereals, or bars, is not the ideal. These foods, though grain free, are highly processed, high in starch and sugars, and provide little to no nutritional benefit.
Going grain free, or eliminating grain intake, doesn’t need to leave you feeling deprived. Some simple and fun tricks can be adopted to help give you the grain feeling, without actually consuming any grain! Below are some top nutritious grain replacement ideas!
Instead of using grain tortillas or taco shells, use delicious and crisp lettuce leaves! Romaine lettuce in particular can be a delicious and simple replacement for tortillas; you can load up a lettuce leaf with the same ingredients you’d fill in a tortilla, wrap it up, and enjoy! Nice, simple, fresh, and delicious!
Zucchini, when sliced thin, can be a delicious grain alternative when used in dishes such as lasagna. Make your lasagna as you normally would, with the only difference using your thinly sliced zucchini in place of the traditional noodles. You’ll hardly notice a difference. In place of a processed grain, you’ll be getting a nutritious vegetable!
You can easily use a spiralizer to strip veggies such as sweet potatoes, zucchini, or other vegetables of choice into the shape of spaghetti noodles. These spiralized vegetables can be used raw or heated (from sautéing or using other cooking methods). You can mix your vegetable noodles mixed with whatever other toppings you typically enjoy!
Another great option for replacing traditional noodles is to use spaghetti squash instead! Equally as delicious, spaghetti squash is simple and is lower in carbohydrates and higher in nutrition and comes straight from nature, with no processing! Top prepared spaghetti squash with any toppings of choice, just as you would regular noodles!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Rather than relying on processed grain pizza crusts, making your own cauliflower pizza crust is fairly quick and simple and is incredibly delicious! You wouldn’t even know you were missing any bread, as the cauliflower crust looks and tastes almost identical to a traditional grain pizza crust! It’s also an easy way to sneak in some extra hidden vegetables or herbs such as onion, garlic, tomato, and basil.
Instead of any rice options, raw or cooked cauliflower can be placed in a food processor and can quickly and easily be “riced” to give a very similar appearance, texture, and taste as traditional white rice! You can use riced cauliflower in place of any rice dish you would normally make, including things such as “fried” rice, but without the grain and with more nutrition!
Cauliflower Mac ‘N Cheese
Instead of using noodles to make macaroni and cheese, pour your cheese (or cheese-like sauce) over steamed or roasted cauliflower for a delicious and satisfying macaroni and cheese meal!
Cauliflower is an incredible versatile vegetable that can easily be prepared to replace many traditional grain products. Similar to the cauliflower pizza crust, you can use cauliflower to make tater tots, bread, breadsticks, bagels, rolls, naan, wraps and tortillas.
The natural replacements for grains can be many, and especially with the use of the delicious and very versatile vegetable cauliflower, the options can be nearly endless! Have fun experimenting with new ways to replace your processed grain with healthy alternatives!