In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in gluten-free eating, with many individuals choosing to avoid gluten due to personal preferences, dietary restrictions or health reasons. However, despite the potential benefits of a gluten-free diet, finding appealing gluten-free bread alternatives can be challenging.
Fortunately, there are a variety of options available for those who wish to replace gluten-containing bread with delicious and satisfying alternatives. This article will explore nine amazing natural gluten-free substitutes that can still deliver the taste, texture and versatility that individuals enjoy in their everyday meals.
Why choose gluten-free bread alternatives
There are several reasons to choose gluten-free bread alternatives. Firstly, hidden gluten can cause digestive issues for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, making gluten-free options essential for their comfort and well-being.
Secondly, some naturally occurring gluten-free alternatives often incorporate nutrient-rich gluten-free pantry ingredients like quinoa, offering a healthier option. Finally, incorporating gluten-free alternatives in your diet may lead to more diverse and exciting meal choices, as it encourages the exploration of new ingredients and flavors. Whether you are a seasoned gluten-free eater or just taking steps to expand your diet to more wheat alternatives, this list of the best gluten-free bread will help you on your journey.
Quinoa bread is a nutritious alternative to traditional wheat-based bread. It’s made with quinoa flour, which is naturally gluten-free and boasts a slightly nutty flavor.
This bread option is perfect for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, as it provides a similar texture to conventional bread without the adverse effects. In addition to being gluten-free, quinoa bread is also a good source of protein, fiber and essential nutrients, making it a healthy choice for individuals looking to diversify their diet.
Rice cakes are a popular gluten-free bread alternative. Made from naturally gluten-free puffed rice, these light and crunchy cakes are perfect for sweet and savory toppings.
You can find rice cakes in various flavors such as plain, salted, cheese, chocolate and apple cinnamon. Some are made with whole-grain rice for an extra nutritional boost. They can be enjoyed with peanut butter, vegetables or sliced fruits for a healthier snack.
“Traditional bread that has been made gluten-free is great when toasted, but outside of that, is super dry. Instead, we do a lot of rice cakes for kid things like peanut butter and honey snacks.”— Shelby, Fit as a Mama Bear
Cornbread is a classic American quickbread, typically made with cornmeal or corn flour, wheat flour, egg, milk and butter. While some traditional cornbread recipes contain wheat flour, to create a gluten-free cornbread, simply replace the wheat flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
For a tender and chewy texture similar to traditional cornbread, choose a blend that includes a variety of alternate flours and starches. Incorporating other gluten-free flours, such as almond meal or coconut flour, can make the texture even more intriguing.
Corn tortillas are a versatile Mexican gluten-free alternative to traditional bread. Made primarily from cornmeal and water, they provide a satisfying texture and flavor for various dishes. They can be used for breakfast tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas or simply as a side to enjoy with a meal.
Preparing corn tortillas at home is simple and requires minimal ingredients. Store-bought options are also widely available and come in various thicknesses and sizes.
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Rice paper wrappers
Rice paper wrappers are thin, translucent sheets that originate from Vietnamese cuisine and are often used to create fresh spring rolls. Made primarily from rice flour and water, rice paper wrappers are a gluten-free choice for people following special dietary restrictions.
To use rice paper wrappers, simply dip them in warm water for a few seconds and then fill and fold as desired. They can then be used for sandwich wraps and even gluten-free pasta dumplings.
Tapioca flour bread
Tapioca flour bread is a unique gluten-free alternative with a satisfyingly chewy texture. One popular example is “pão de queijo”, a Brazilian cheese bread made with tapioca flour.
Creating tapioca flour bread is simple and usually involves combining tapioca flour with other ingredients, such as cheese, eggs and milk. The result is light, savory and completely unique.
“I honestly do not love gluten-free bread that mimics traditional bread for the most part. The hands-down best option is pao de queijo, which we first discovered at Brazilian steakhouses. It’s surprisingly easy to make and a staple in my house.”— Michelle Price, Honest and Truly
Buckwheat crepes are a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional wheat-based crepes. Hailing from Southern France, specifically Breton, they have an earthy and slightly nutty flavor, making them perfect for savory breakfasts and sweet desserts.
To make buckwheat crepes, simply combine ingredients like buckwheat flour, milk or a dairy-free substitute, eggs and a pinch of salt in a blender and then proceed to cook them as you would regular crepes. They are a nutrition powerhouse, on top of being sturdier than traditional wheat crepes.
Cloud bread is a popular low-carb alternative to traditional bread. Made from simple ingredients like egg whites, sugar and cornstarch, this fluffy baked good has gained popularity due to its airy texture and light taste.
The key to achieving cloud bread’s signature fluffiness lies in the whipping technique used to create its unique batter. This bread is also keto-friendly and can be easily used in sandwiches or as a side dish.
Chickpea flatbread, or “Socca”
Chickpea flatbread, or socca, is a gluten-free and vegan bread alternative originating in Southern France and north of Italy. Made with chickpea flour, this thin, unleavened bread has a sturdy texture and herbaceous flavor.
In summary, there are several delicious natural gluten-free bread alternatives, providing a satisfying experience for those following a gluten-free diet. These can help diversify one’s meals while providing filling bread-like options for those who must avoid gluten daily. By exploring these alternatives, individuals can enjoy their favorite recipes without compromising taste or nutrition.
Ksenia Prints is a food writer, blogger, photographer and recipe developer from Montreal, Canada. She blogs over At the Immigrant’s Table, a food blog showcasing healthy, beautiful international recipes for adventurous home cooks. She loves to highlight ethnic cuisines and immigrant cultures by working with chefs from relevant countries and adapting those recipes to gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, sugar-free and other dietary restrictions.