Healthy gluten-free bread made easy

Jul 5, 2010 at 1:32 p.m. ET

Being diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance and having to adapt to a gluten-free diet can initially seem an unpleasant sentence to a grain-free diet. However, there are many great tasting gluten-free grains that can replace the wheat, rye and barley products you now have to eschew. Bread is a staple in the American diet and, though gluten-free varieties can be purchased at the store, you can easily make your own gluten-free breads at home. If you have a bread machine, your healthy gluten-free bread baking just got easier. Here’s more on gluten-free grains and how to bake gluten-free bread in a bread machine.

Gluten Free Bread

Whole grains are part of a healthy diet

The US Department of Agriculture's MyPyramid, recommends that adults eat a total of six ounces (120 g) or equivalent of grains every day (based on a 2,000-calorie diet). At least three ounces (90 g) of this should include whole-grains. Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating recommends that children and adults eat three to eight servings from the grain products group, depending on age and sex. Half of these servings should be low in fat, sugar and salt. One serving equals one slice of bread.

What is a Whole Grain?

According to the Whole Grains Council, a whole grain is the entire seed, including the naturally occurring nutrients of an edible plant. The size, shape and color of the seed, also referred to as the kernel, vary with the species. A grain is considered a whole grain when it contains all three seed parts: bran, germ and endosperm. Gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, rye and barley are considered whole grains when in an unprocessed state, but there are many other whole grains that don't contain gluten.

Eating Gluten-Free

A gluten-free diet requires modifying the grain products (and any other foods that contain gluten) that you eat. When you omit wheat, rye and barley from your diet, you are eliminating the fiber and B vitamins these grains contain. In order for your body to function properly, and to avoid vitamin depletion, you must be sure to eat other grains that contain these important nutrients.

Gluten-free whole grain choices include:

  • amaranth
  • buckwheat
  • corn, including whole cornmeal
  • millet
  • Montina (Indian rice grass)
  • oats, including oatmeal quinoa
  • rice, both brown and colored
  • wild rice
  • sorghum
  • teff

One of the easiest ways to add gluten-free whole grains to your diet is to bake your own bread in a bread machine. It is not only less expensive that commercial bread, it is often more nutritious.

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