April 29, 2011

For the average person who has no dietary restrictions, getting the recommended 48 grams of whole grains a day can be a challenge. But what about the 3 million Americans with celiac disease who can’t eat gluten, a protein in wheat and related grains such as

I took baby steps and started at the grocery store. With a little trial and error I found some tasty discoveries—a gluten-free whole-grain bread and English muffins. A few slices of whole-grain toast for breakfast contributed to my

As long as I was giving up white starches like noodles and pasta, it made sense to replace plain white rice with a more nutritious grain. Brown rice and wild rice blends are even more flavorful on their own. Brown rice, like most whole grains, requires a longer cooking time than its refined version. This month, I’ve enjoyed trying recipes with brown rice and quinoa. Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts makes great leftovers and Quinoa and Parsley Salad (pictured above) works in my menus as a starch and a salad. Quinoa cooks relatively quickly and can replace rice in most recipes, so it is a good first choice if you’re a newbie trying to switch over to gluten-free whole grains. It’s known for its exceptional nutritional profile because it has a protein profile similar to cow’s milk. It is also an excellent source of iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber. They’re now two of my go-to recipes when I need an easy weeknight supper or unique side dish.

Next on my list of whole grains to try: millet and amaranth. The gluten-free whole grain replacements have added not only variety and more nutrition to my meals but inspired me to think beyond wheat bread and white rice.

- Learn more about gluten-free diets.

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