When people think about gluten-free meals, they might often think about traditionally gluten-rich foods that have somehow been altered or replaced to satisfy the gluten-free label. The truth is, many of the tastiest foods and ingredients used in cooking are naturally gluten-free in the first place.
Gluten sensitivity or the desire to live gluten-free often encourages people to explore more of the delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free. Here’s a quick list.
Rich in Vitamin E and flavour, these savory sweets bake into snacks for kids and grown-ups, melt into sophisticated soups and stews, or mash down to a simple source of complex carbs.
Young, tender green beans and wax beans, cooked just enough to brighten the color, make delicious salads and side dishes. Mature beans, rich in protein, go into salads, main dishes, and loaves.
Coconut is rich in one of those “tropical oils” that some people don’t digest well. Not all gluten-sensitive people tolerate coconut. Some, however, bake with coconut; it’s naturally candy-sweet, crunchy, and nutritious, and adds a nice light texture to baked desserts. Coconut mixes well with fruit and chocolate, but also makes a flavor-boosting garnish for soup, fish, or even steak.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens are delicious raw, in salad mixes, or cooked, for side dishes. They’re also the gluten-free way to hold wraps and sandwiches. Kale is trendy this year. Gluten-free people also learn to love leaf lettuce, romaine, baby spinach, endive, and arugula.
Butternut squash and pumpkin are closely related vegetables. Their mildly sweet, orange-colored flesh is rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, carotene, and flavor. Either can be made into pie, baked as a hearty, savory vegetable, or stewed and mashed into an unusual, tasty soup.
North America’s supplies of rice and corn are increasingly contaminated with plants that have been genetically modified to resemble wheat. For those who can’t get natural rice, quinoa is still natural and can replace rice in salads, pilafs, casseroles, and side dishes.
Like peaches, plums can be bought fresh, peeled, sliced, and eaten raw in summer, or preserved for use outside of their growing season. Plums contain resveratrol and have a cleansing, healing effect on the body, and they make delicious desserts.
From peanuts to almonds to hazelnuts, tree and ground nuts are a tasty addition to a wide variety of meals. They are naturally gluten free and packed with nutrients such as iron and protein.
A raisin is a little package of California sunshine. If you’re not getting the iron, resveratrol, and other benefits from raisins because you’re not eating them on their own (they can be quite sweet), try chopping them up to mix into less sweet foods, like a pilaf served with meat.
An apple a day …also replaces most of the added fat and much of the sugar in baked goods. Applesauce is a secret ingredient in many gluten-free breads, and chunks of apple star in some great desserts.Top of Form
If you browse our gluten-free recipes section, you’ll notice that many of our tastiest dishes contain these naturally gluten-free ingredients.