It’s obvious that gluten-free food is wildly popular in the health industry. As a Paleo community, this is excellent news, as it signifies a certain turn in the best direction.
However, although gluten-free options for bread, noodles, and other grain favorites line the racks, they’re frequently still greatly processed. They’re likewise typically packed with non-gluten grains that contain substantial amounts of simple carbs (aka sugars) and empty calories.
The Advantages of Whole Food Alternatives
Making food swaps in favor of whole food-based alternatives has numerous benefits. Check them out below.
Unlike the processed “gluten-free” options in stores, vegetables provide lots of nutrition for few carbohydrates and calories. This opens up more room in our diets for nutrient-dense foods while likewise upping our micronutrient consumption.
Low Glycemic Index
Unfortunately, most grains and gluten-free packaged products still include considerable quantities of carbohydrates. While moderate carbohydrate intake is fine on a Paleo diet plan, you actually want to get your carbs from entire food, nutrient-dense sources such as beets and squashes, which have a low glycemic index, instead of from empty simple sugars. This will help keep your blood sugar steady while also potentially enhancing state of mind and decreasing swelling.
Vegetables add lots of volume to meals for few calories. For instance, one cup of broccoli includes only 31 calories and 6 grams of carbohydrates, while just one piece of gluten-free bread contains approximately 60-70 calories and 15 grams of carbs a slice. This is why you may likewise experience weight loss when making a food swap in favor of veggie options.
Swapping carbs for veggies adds volume to your meals with less calories.
10 Gluten-Free Food Swaps
Now, on to the great stuff. Below are some innovative ways to create wraps, buns, noodles, and more, all using whole, grain-free foods.
1. Swiss Chard Tortillas
While gluten-free, most tortillas on the market still include a large dosage of carbohydrates and processed grains. Different lettuces often make decent options, but it can be hard to discover one that holds together well adequate to qualify as a tortilla or wrap.
Get in Swiss chard. Its leaves are strong sufficient to hold and wrap different meats and veggies (plus the genius “rice” alternative discovered listed below) and can be dipped into homemade sauces without falling apart. Plus, they consist of only seven grams of carbohydrates per cup and are high in vitamin K, A, C, in addition to a variety of important minerals.
2. Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a lifesaver for Paleo folks seeking to add “bulk” to a meal without including carbohydrate-dense grains. It can be made into a fried rice dish by sautéing with meats and veggies and even used in Paleo sushi coming in location of high-carb sticky rice.
Making a gluten-free food swap from rice to cauliflower will conserve you about 30 grams of carbohydrates per cup.
3. Zucchini Lasagna
A lot of us crave comfort food without the unpleasant results of consuming grains. Slicing zucchini into sheets that simulate pasta layers conserves you the pain that can arise from grain-based versions.
Slice zucchini the long way for sheets that imitate lasagna noodles. Zucchini includes about 4 grams of carbs per cup, which is a far cry from the average 35 carbohydrates for every single two ounces of pasta.
4. Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes
Cauliflower steps in once again to remind us that enjoying home cooking can be completely Paleo. Here, rather of mashing high-carb, high-calorie potatoes with butter at Thanksgiving (or any day of the week, actually), we can boil or steam cauliflower and mash it up with a dash of olive oil or coconut spread.
Cauliflower consists of only five carbohydrates per cup as compared to mashed potatoes, which contain roughly 30 grams.
5. Portobello Mushroom Buns
The battles of taking pleasure in hamburgers without the bun. Lettuce is fine but has the tendency to lack the thickness associated with grain-based buns. Even the gluten-free ranges include high amounts of grain-based carbs (roughly 15 a piece) and calories.
Portobello mushroom caps relieve bun deprivation by providing a durable place to rest your hamburgers. They’re also an outstanding source of B vitamins and a variety of minerals as well as being low in carbohydrates and calories.
6. Zucchini Pasta
A single zucchini and a spiralizer can bring pasta back into your diet in as low as 10 minutes. These “noodles” hold together well, and can be eaten raw in a light “pasta” salad or sautéed and covered in marinara for a comforting bowl of Paleo spaghetti.
Zucchini pasta will also save you an average of 30 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Invest in a spiralizer and have Paleo-friendly noodles prepared in just 10 minutes.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to make thicker noodles, beets are another pasta option. While beets are a little starchy, they’re likewise packed with phytonutrients, folate, manganese, potassium, and copper.
Merely run pieces through a spiralizer and sauté with veggies and ground beef, or utilize them in a noodle soup.
7. Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
While spaghetti squash has made its credibility as a low-carb spaghetti alternative, it also works wonders as a hash brown substitute. You can quickly fill the hash brown job alongside your eggs and bacon by forming baked squash “patties” and cooking them in coconut oil over medium heat till brown on both sides. Add a little salt, and you’ll rapidly ignore the greatly processed variation.
To compare, spaghetti squash has only 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup, while regular hash browns consist of 18 grams per cup.
8. Almond Meal Breadcrumbs
It’s taken a while to discover a breadcrumb alternative for the simple fact that, well, bread is bread and it’s not Paleo. Now, however, the days of breadcrumb-free casseroles are over: almond meal makes a hearty and, when toasted, crunchy breadcrumb option without the gluten or grains. It also gives you a good dosage of healthy fats, vitamin E, plant protein, and only 10 grams of carbs per half cup.
9. Baked Zucchini Fries
French fries are the essential burger side. And, as Paleo foodies concur, we eat a lot of grass-fed burgers. Swapping out potato french fries– which are frequently fried in extremely inflammatory veggie oils– with baked zucchini french fries as a side will save you calories, carbohydrates, and swelling.
Merely pre-heat your oven to 425ºF, piece zucchini and eliminate the seeds, toss with a dash of olive or coconut oil and almond meal breadcrumbs, and bake till golden for 15 minutes.
10. Apple Chips and Nachos
Dehydrating apple slices to make chips will spare you calories and inflammatory vegetable oils, while also suppressing even the strongest crunch yearning.
The flexibility of apples doesn’t stop there, however. Attempt making apple “nachos” utilizing horizontally sliced apple slices topped with almond butter, dark chocolate chips, and coconut shreds for a sweet motion picture treat.
Apple slices contain 15 grams of carbohydrates, as compared to roughly 60 grams in 4 ounces of chips.
Swapping grain-based bread, covers, and type of pasta for veggie options can conserve you dollars, excess carbohydrates, calories, and swelling, while also upping your nutrient consumption. Not to mention, they’ll certainly have you daydreaming about tortillas and pasta without guilt.