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Natural Gluten-Free Alternatives

by Holly Nall on May 2, 2013, 34 comments

People avoid gluten for a variety of reasons: celiac disease, intolerance, or for general good health. Eliminating such an ubiquitous ingredient from your diet can be challenging, so a number of food producers have begun manufacturing alternatives to traditionally wheat-based foods.

These products don’t appeal to everyone, however, due to their higher cost and processed content. Fortunately, there are a number of simple, affordable substitutes you can create using only vegetables.

Instead of noodles: Zucchini or Spaghetti Squash

baked-spaghetti-squash-garlic-butter-4574

  • Using a julienne slicer, create long shreds of zucchini. These can be stir-fried, or briefly boiled (one minute) and topped with sauce.
  • Instead of lasagna noodles, use a mandoline slicer to create thin slices of zucchini. Layer as you would noodles in lasagna or casseroles.
  • Tip: To reduce the moisture in the zucchini “noodles” before you cook, lightly salt them and place between paper towels or cheesecloth for 15 minutes.
  • Instead of spaghetti noodles, simply bake a spaghetti squash and top with the sauce of your choice.

Instead of bread: Leafy Greens

  • Use lettuce, kale, or other greens to wrap burgers instead of using buns.
How to create a perfect lettuce (or kale) burger wrap

How to create a perfect lettuce (or kale) burger wrap

  • Use large-leaf greens to create wraps in lieu of sandwiches and tacos.

Instead of crackers or chips: Vegetable slices

Vegetable Chips

  • Skip the rice crackers or corn chips and dunk slices of cucumber, carrot, or other vegetables into the dip of your choice.
  • If you have a dehydrator, you can create crispy chips from sliced sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, parsnips. Simply slice, lightly salt, and dehydrate.

Instead of croutons: Nuts

  • To add some crunch to your salad, opt for high-protein nuts instead.

With a few simple swaps you will be well on your way to eating a lighter, healthier, less processed gluten-free diet. Have any clever substitutions of your own? Share them in the comments!

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