When you have not been feeling well for some time, it can be helpful to try removing certain food groups in order to see how your body responds. Some people feel better when they remove all grains and grain flours from their diets. Those with certain digestive disease such as Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and Ulcerative colitis often feel better with a complete removal of grains in order to heal.
What is a Grain-Free Diet?
A grain-free diet removes all grains and grain-flours from the diet, and products made with grains such as pasta. This include corn, rice, quinoa, teff, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, oats, wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. A grain-free diet therefore includes fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and healthy fats. Grains can hide in many places so it is important to remove packaged, processed foods that may contain grain additives (baking powder contains cornstarch for example). Additionally, most beer, other than kombucha beer, contains grains (usually gluten-based grains). The easiest way to implement a grain-free diet is to stick with whole, unprocessed foods and to cook most of your meals yourself.
If you are experiencing these symptoms or conditions, then a grain-free diet may be right for you:
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Weight gain
- Weight loss resistance
- Digestive issues
- Multiple mineral deficiencies
What can I eat on a Grain-Free Diet?
Focus on whole, unprocessed foods as the foundation for your meals. Instead of rice for a side dish, bake some sweet potatoes. Choose hard boiled eggs and fruit for breakfast. Cook up a large pot of a bean and vegetable soup to have throughout the week. Choose to focus on meat, seafood, and vegetable meals for dinners. Choose grain-free flours for baking such as cassava flour, almond flour, tigernut flour, coconut flour, hazelnut meal, arrowroot and tapioca flours, and nut butters (yes, almond butter can replace flour in baking!).
Stock your kitchen with these grain-free ingredients:
- Blanched almond flour
- Coconut flour
- Cassava flour
- Tigernut flour
- Arrowroot powder
- Tapioca flour
- Cacao powder
- Fresh and frozen vegetables (EXCEPT corn)
- Starchy Vegetables such as winter squash, sweet potatoes, and potatoes
- All fresh fruits
- Meats, poultry, and seafood
- Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, and ghee
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Nut and seed butters
- All legumes (lentils, chickpeas, split peas, black beans, etc.)
What can I cook and bake on a Grain-Free Diet?
My Flaky Grain-Free Pie Crust can be used to make both savory and sweet pies. Try these Peanut Butter Monster Cookies for a fun family treat. This holiday grain-free cut out cookie recipe is easy to make and especially good with the maple-matcha icing on top. Traditional holiday favorites such as this sweet potato casserole can even be made grain-free! This Hearty Grain-Free Seed Bread is a great replacement for a traditional savory bread. Serve it with Minestrone Soup for a delicious grain-free meal.
For Breakfast, try my Almond Flour Waffles or Banana Pancakes. This Gut-Healing Green Smoothie also makes a great breakfast, especially when you are working towards strengthening your digestion. Meal prep a batch of Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs on the weekend to have for quick breakfasts throughout the week. Grain-free lunches are easy to throw together. Pack leftover Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with leftover cooked chicken over mixed lettuces with your favorite homemade dressing on the side. Add half of an avocado for healthy fats. Try this Orange Vinaigrette or this Creamy Orange Ginger Dressing. This Creamy Chipotle-Lime Dressing is delicious drizzled over just about anything!
Grain-free family dinners are easy! Try this Cast Iron Whole Roasted Chicken and Potatoes and serve it with a Balsamic Apple and Kale Slaw for a simple, nourishing meal. This Paleo Chicken Pot Pie is a family favorite here! Serve it with a chopped romaine and raw veggie salad along with this Creamy Ranch Dressing. Grain-free meals are easy when you focus on unprocessed, whole food ingredients and have good recipes to replace old favorites!
How do I start a Grain-Free Diet?
- Sign up today to become a member to this site.
- When setting up your User Profile, choose Grain-Free, and then add any other food allergens you may have.
- Go to the Recipe Search page and search for meals and desserts to add to your meal plans.
- New grain-free recipes are added weekly to this site so you'll always have something to look forward to. Join our Nourishing Meals Community Facebook Group to get notified with new recipes and more! Everyone is welcome.