Wheat Free Alternative Grains and Other Plant Sources

Wheat Free Alternative GrainsWhole grains are a big part of a healthy diet. They make up a large part of the bottom of the food pyramid. But it’s not just whole wheat and brown rice. As you take on the wheat-free lifestyle, you soon discover the wide variety of grains to choose from.

In recent years there has been a frenzy of interest around quinoa. It’s just one of the grain alternatives you can choose from. All of these are healthy swaps in your favorite breads, pastas and side dishes.

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)

This is a nutritious super-food that’s actually a nut from Peru. Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor. It cooks faster than rice, in about 15 minutes. It’s a versatile ingredient that’s good as a hot cereal or ground into flour. It adds moisture to baked goods. Try it in a dish like Autumn Root Vegetables with Quinoa.

Flax seed

This seed has a nutty flavor. They need to be ground to get the most nutritional fiber value, although they can be toasted whole first than Flax seed an alternative to wheat flourground for later use. Add them ground to add to salads, cereal and bread dough.

Liquid flaxseed oil is also available. Try this recipe Buttermilk Marinated Chicken Breast with Flax and Wheat Germ Breading.

Buckwheat

This alternative to wheat is not a member of the wheat family and it isn’t technically a grain, but it’s often used in place of grains. It’s a good alternative for those with wheat allergies. Diets rich in buckwheat seem to promote lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Buckwheat is sold both roasted and raw and used whole, cracked or ground into flour. Use as a flour in pancakes with this recipe Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes 

Amaranth plant and seeds

Photo Credit: news.nationalgeographic.com/

Amaranth

The amaranth is a broad-leafed, bushy plant that grows about six feet tall. It has brightly colored flowers that can contain up to 60,000 seeds. The seeds are nutritious and are ground into flour. Not a true grain, amaranth is often called a pseudo-cereal. Amaranth belongs to the plant family that includes beets, chard, spinach, and some weeds. Try these recipes made with Amaranth flour, like Amaranth Pasta , Amaranth Pancakes, or Traditional Amaranth Atole Recipe.

 

Rice flour

Rice flour is used to enhance other grains. Available in both white and whole grain brown, rice flour is finer than wheat.

Millet

Millet is a drought-tolerant grass. The seeds can be used as a sorghum substitute. It can be used like rice, served creamy or fluffy.

Oats

Oat flour alternative to wheat flour

Oat Flour

Oat flour is another great alternative to wheat. When using oats you should select gluten-free oats. These are specially-selected varieties that have eliminated the cross-contamination with wheat, barley and rye.

There is also Almond flour and Coconut flour that are becoming the top of the list alternatives to using wheat.

These are the most popular whole grains or other plant sources you can find to substitute for wheat. Each has its own unique flavor and can be used in many different ways to add variety to your cooking and baking.

 

 

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Almond Coconut Breaded Chicken with Peaches

Almond Coconut Breaded Chicken with Peaches

Those that read Splendid Recipes and More may have noticed our favorite way of using chicken is in salads, and therefore Salad as a Main Course. We bought some Herb Blend salad greens, which are a mix of red and green Romaine, red and green Oak leaf, Lollo Rosa, and Tango. Those are the different lettuce leafs. The herbs included all organic: red and green Chard, Mizum, baby Spinach, Arugula, Frisbee, Radicchio, Parsley, Dill, and Cilantro.

Wow that’s a lot of green and red leafy greens with lots of flavor. Did you know Swiss chard contains fiber and syringic acid, both of which help to regulate blood sugar levels. Its great to the health of your skeletal system, as it contains calcium, magnesium, and vitamin-K.

It has cancer preventative properties because of the fiber, chlorophyll, phytochemicals, and other plant pigments it contains. Studies have found that leafy green vegetables are particularly beneficial against colon cancer.

This leafy green is high in iron, essential for maintaining the health of the circulatory system and the prevention of anemia. The vitamin-K it contains helps with blood clotting and prevents excessive bruising and bleeding.

Research has reported that 30 mcg per day of biotin is great for the health of your hair and one cup of Swiss chard contains about 10.5 mcg. Swiss chard is also high vitamin-C and vitamin-A, both of which assist the hair follicles in the production of sebum.

One cup of Swiss chard contains 9,276 mcg of lutein, an antioxidant that is essential for eye health. It is suggested we consume 6,000 to 10,000 mcg of lutein for excellent eye health and preventing eye degenerating diseases.

The last herb green mentioned is Tango. It is full of vitamin-A, C, and folates. It also has vitamin-k which plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain. So if your worried about getting this age related disease, just do the tango with the Tango green leaf herb.

This is what you need for the – Almond Coconut Breaded Chicken with Peaches -.

almond and coconut flour

Mix the two flours in a medium to large mixing bowl and set aside. Depending on the number of person’s you are serving, you will need 2 to 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

Cut each breast in half, then slice vertically into three slices, and cut each slice diagonally into three pieces.

breading chicken fillets for Almond Coconut Breaded Chicken Salad with Peaches

Now throw some flour out onto a cutting surface, and bread the fillets on both sides liberally.

frying breaded chicken in coconut oil

Place the breaded chicken into a large heated pan with 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil. Cook until done, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Pieces should cook to a golden brown. Plate and set aside.

Herb Salad Mix with avocado oil and lemon

To a salad bowl add 1/4 cup avocado oil, juice of 1/2 of a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt, and 1 teaspoon of dried basil. If you want you could add 2 to 3 tablespoons of wild honey. Next add the mixed greens, about 4 to 5 handfuls. Mix greens with avocado oil and seasoning until the greens are well coated. Adding the oil, lemon juice, and other seasonings to the bowl first, and then the greens last will assure an even coating.

Do this with any salad you make. If you add the greens first, then the nuts, dried cranberries, and grated or chucked cheese, and add the dressing last, it will not coat evenly and the nuts, cheese, and cranberries will always seem to not mix in evenly, with some mixed in and others at the bottom of the bowl.

Always add your dressing or vinaigrette, nuts, cheeses, cranberries and the like first, then the leafy greens last, so when mixed together everything is evenly mixed in the salad bowl.

Hiamalya Salt

You note we mentioned to use Himalayan salt, we posted an image so you can see the difference in regular table salt and rock salt in its original form when ground. In the image you can see darker specks, which are trace minerals apart from the salt. These trace minerals are vital to your diet and your health.

 

Almond Coconut Breaded Chicken with Peaches‏

Plate the herb greens, top with some breaded chicken and some peach slices. We used fresh frozen peaches, when thawed they have the same flavor as a fresh peach. Fresh peaches though, when in season are a better choice. Enjoy!!

 

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Healthy White Flour Substitutes

Healthy White Flour Substitutes

These days everyone, will almost everyone is concerned about their diet. One way to improve your diet is by pinpointing appropriate healthy substitutions to use in foods you love.

One of the biggest misconceptions in our society’s diet is based upon the nutrition values of white flour. It is used in all types of recipes, breads, baking and gravies.

White flour is high in carbs, has less nutrition than whole grain products, very fattening and harder for the body to digest. By using healthier flour choices you can avoid this unnecessary mess you are inadvertently creating for your body to handle.

The following are a few substitutions to white flour you can consider next time you are baking or cooking!

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a healthier choice than white and can be used as a substitute in baking and cooking.

Check out our recipe using whole wheat flour and oat bran: Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping 

Almond Flour

blanched almond flour This is a great option for people following a gluten-free diet. Its density and ability to rise can make it a perfect substitute for most baked goods. It also has a fraction of carbohydrates as compared to white flour.

Ideal for pancakes, muffins or cookies, this substitute could be what you have always been looking for in regards to a healthy alternative to white flour.

The natural almond flavor helps to add sweetness to your recipe. This is something unique to almond flour and a great food to keep in your pantry. Furthermore, if used in large quantity the flour can act like a cake batter and create a light cake like consistency for you to work with.

Check out our recipe that uses almond flour: Orange Almond Cake

Barley Flour           

This type of flour is an exceptional food for use in baking breads. Barley is rich in fiber and zinc and can be mixed together with other flours. Barley is also ideal for thickening gravies and sweetening sauces.

A little added trick is to lightly toast the flour before use to accentuate the hidden flavors that barley flour secretly has. Also, if used in the right way, it can add a little sweetness to your recipe as well.

Keep in mind that barley flour is not gluten free, but still makes a great wheat flour substitute for baking.

The following white flour substitutes are gluten free flours.

Buckwheat Flour

Despite the name, buckwheat flour is gluten free and wheat free. This makes it a good option for whole wheat substitutes. The thing that you need to watch out for in this product is its dense qualities and strong flavor.

This means it is great for use in products, such as, pancakes or pastas but you cannot use it as a thickener for a sauce because it will be too rich. Its earthy flavor can be good at times, but, can also overpower any good recipe, so try combining buckwheat with white flour in recipes.

Chickpea (Garbanzo) Flour

Chickpea (Garbanzo) Flour

Image Credit: Nuts.com

When it comes to gluten free substitutes, this is a common go to for vegans and those with Celiac disease.

This flour is high in protein and calcium which allows you to balance out your diet. Its uses are abundant, including, for crepes, flat bread or hummus.

Check out our recipe that uses Garbanzo flour: Gluten Free Zucchini Cranberry Bread

Oat Flour

This is probably your classic and most dependable option when it comes to healthy flour substitutes. Oat flour is all natural and helps to create a whole what product.

Depending on which company processes it, this product can be gluten-free or low-gluten. It is optimal for use in cookie and other baked goods recipes.

In summary, these are all great options for you to use as a substitute to white flour but it is important to remember that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.

Unless you have Celiac disease, your body can naturally handle a bit of gluten on a regular basis, but, you should focus on the whole wheat and nutritional aspects of your diet if you are going to begin substituting for white flour. Remember, the key to being healthy is balance.

 

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