best gluten-free substitutions

Trying to figure out which foods contain gluten?

gluten foods list


What's a person to do? It looks like gluten lurks in just about everything.

Being gluten-free doesn't mean your life has to stop or that your tastebuds have to suffer. The great news is that nature didn't add gluten to any whole food except wheat, rye, and barley. That opens up a whole realm of alternative grains, delicious fresh produce, plant-based proteins, nuts, and seeds that are - by design - gluten-free!

Whether you or your child are newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease, you have a non-Celiac gluten-sensitivity, a digestive disorder, or you simply want to explore what it feels like to have more energy than you thought possible, clearer skin, and clearer thoughts, check these out. Here are some of my favorite substitutions for the that ubiquitous little protein. 

Instead of pasta: consider brown rice pasta or quinoa flour pasta. They’re heartier (and more flavorful) than wheat pasta, and with the added protein in each, they can be more filling. There are also a number of great bean-based pastas on the market, including black bean and mung bean noodles. This mung bean pasta recipe is one of our favorites.

Consider swapping in other whole grains, too, like millet; red, black, or white quinoa; gluten-free oats; amaranth, brown rice, and buckwheat. You can also swap in spiralized zucchini or sweet potato for extra nutritional goodness and a crunchy texture.

Instead of wheat-based baked goods: look for varieties made with almond flour, chickpea flour, coconut flour, and brown rice flour, or experiment with baking at home. These alternative flours can be found at most natural food stores. 

Instead of wheat bread and wraps: sprouted grain breads or brown rice wraps will envelope your sandwiches just like wheat bread did (but without the discomfort! Bonus.)  These Burgadillas are right at home in a brown rice wrap. 

Instead of cereals: swap in whole grains with your milk of choice and some cinnamon, heated or cold. If you’re sticking to boxed cereals, explore the organic, low-sugar gluten-free varieties available. Remember that Corn Pops and Count Chocula are not healthy, regardless of how little gluten is in there. Explore the least processed brands you can, like steel cut gluten-free oats or gluten-free muesli. Nuts and seeds also make a great substitute for cereal. Try this hemp and cacao bowl!

Instead of tempura or breadcrumbs: try a blend of brown rice flour and coconut, almond flour, or cornmeal for that crispy texture. This crunchy tofu recipe is pretty darn yummy.

Plus, some awesome alternative carbohydrate choices: because sometimes these cravings hit and you need something very specific to satisfy them. Sweet potatoes, turnips, beets, parsnips, and carrots can often fill a craving for carbohydrates. When the body sends a signal that we interpret as ‘bread’, it might really be asking for ‘unrefined complex carbohydrates’. Try out a colored starchy vegetable to see if that feels good. This parsnip fry recipe is simply delicious - and these curried sweet potatoes? Kid- and adult-friendly!


To start your own gluten-free transition in four deliciously simple steps, check out the Break Up With Gluten eBook and the free accompanying workbook!

Posted in gluten-free recipes, health coaching info, homepage featured, kid-friendly recipes

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