If you’re following a grain-free diet, it can be a challenge to enjoy splurge-worthy versions of baked treats such as cupcakes, brownies and biscuits. The good news is that you don’t have to be a master chef to enjoy 100% grain-free versions of traditional favorites. Many grain-free packaged mixes taste as good as — or better than — than the originals. We talked to chefs and nutritionists to find which grain-free mixes they love most.
Grain-free and gluten-free — what’s the difference?
You might be wondering if a grain-free product is the same as a gluten-free one, so let’s get that cleared up right away. “Gluten-free” means that a product doesn’t contain any of the specific “storage protein” found in wheat, spelt, triticale, rye and barley. People who have to avoid gluten include those with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder. Others may have a gluten sensitivity, so they avoid it whenever they can. Still others just prefer less gluten in their lives. There is such a thing as gluten-free grains, and those include amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats that are produced and packaged as gluten-free, quinoa, rice, sorghum, teff and wild rice.
Grain-free foods take things a step further. They’re made without the seeds from any grasses, so they exclude things like corn, millet, rice, sorghum and oats. A grain-free product will naturally be gluten-free and corn-free, but a gluten-free product will not necessarily be grain-free. Everything we’re showing here is grain-free, so these products are often made with ingredients like almond, cassava and coconut flours, and they’re often sweetened with coconut sugar.
Most people following a paleolithic (paleo) diet don’t eat gluten or other grains such as oats, rice and corn. Most people following a ketogenic (keto) diet eat very few, if any, carbohydrates from grains or legumes and seek out low-carb, high-fiber foods instead.
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