The Best Gluten-Free Whole Grains



Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium quinoa plant and is pronounced Keen-wah.

The United Nations named 2013 as ‘The International Year of Quinoa’ due to its nutritional value and its potential to fight world hunger.  

Quinoa was a vital crop for the Inca Empire. In fact, they named it ‘The Mother of all Grains’.

Quinoa is actually a pseudo-cereal, which means it is a seed that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.

Quinoa has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant properties. It also packed with antioxidants and contains magnesium, folate, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin E, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphate, copper, zinc, and manganese.

Quinoa is also one of the few plant foods to contain all nine essential amino acids – which means it is a complete protein.

Quinoa may:

  • Reduce blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Aid weight loss

Quinoa is also low GI.

How to Prepare Quinoa

Prepare quinoa at a ratio of 1:2

  • One cup of quinoa
  • Two cups of water
  • ¼ tsp salt per cup of quinoa

Bring to the boil over medium heat.

Simmer uncovered until all the water has absorbed – 10 to 20 minutes depending upon the amount you are cooking.

Remove from heat.

Cover and let steam for 5 minutes.

Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Serving Suggestions

  • Add a drizzle of olive oil and a clove of garlic
  • Add fresh or dried herbs and spices
  • Add grated or crumbed dairy-free cheese


Cooked quinoa will keep refrigerated for four to five days.

You can also purchase quinoa flakes and quinoa flour.



Teff if a traditional tropical grain crop of Ethiopia, belonging to the grass family Poaceae. Teff is drought resistant, highly nutritious, and naturally gluten-free.

Teff is the world’s smallest grain at only 1/100th the size of a kernel of wheat. It has an earthy, nutty flavour and is usually eaten as a whole grain due to its size. Teff is also made into flour for cooking and baking.

Teff flour is a great gluten-free alternative to wheat flour for baking bread and making pasta. It is also excellent in pancakes, cookies, cakes, muffins, and egg noodles.

Teff is high in protein, iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, and selenium. It also contains all nine essential amino acids and is low GI.

How to Prepare Teff

Rinse and drain Teff before cooking.

  • One cup of whole grain Teff
  • 1.5 to 4 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt


Bring 1.5 cups of salted water to the boil.

Add Teff and stir.

Simmer until water is absorbed – 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Fluff with a fork.

Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.


Bring 4 cups of salted water to the boil.

Add Teff and stir.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 – 20 minutes.



Amaranth is an ancient grain and was a staple in Inca, Maya, and Aztec diets. Like Quinoa, Amaranth is a pseudo-cereal meaning it is not actually a grain but a seed which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.

Amaranth is a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, selenium, copper, and protein. Packed with antioxidants, Amaranth may:

  • Assist brain function
  • Fight chronic disease
  • Help protect the liver
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Aid weight loss

How to Prepare Amaranth

Cook at a ratio of 1:3

  • One cup of Amaranth
  • Three cups of water

Bring Amaranth and water to the boil.

Simmer until all water is absorbed – approximately 20 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

  • Use instead of rice, pasta, or couscous
  • Add to soups and stews
  • Add to smoothies
  • Make a breakfast by adding fruit, nuts, and cinnamon


Sorghum is another ancient grain and also belongs to the grass family Poaceae. There are many species of Sorghum, native to Africa, Australia, India, and South East Asia.

Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, Sorghum also contains protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.

Sorghum may:

  • Aid metabolism
  • Aid neural development
  • Assist skin and hair health
  • Promote gut health
  • Stabalise blood sugar levels
  • Aid weight management

Sorghum can be cooked like Quinoa and Rice.

You can also purchase Sorghum flour and flakes.



Another member of the grass family Poaceae, Millet is drought and pest resistant and widely eaten in Africa and Asia.

Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, Millet also contains protein, phosphorous, magnesium, folate, iron, essential amino acids, and calcium. If fact, Millet is contains more calcium than any other cereal grain.

Millet may:

  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improve heart health

How to Prepare Millet

Prepare Millet at a ration of 1:2

  • 1 cup of Millet
  • 2 cups of water

Bring Millet and water to the boil.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

You can also purchase Millet flour.



Buckwheat is another pseudo-cereal, and although it does have ‘wheat’ in its name, Buckwheat is not related to wheat and is naturally gluten-free.

Buckwheat is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains protein, fibre, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous.

Buckwheat may:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce cancer risk
  • Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Improve heart health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Control blood sugar levels

How to Prepare Buckwheat

Prepare Buckwheat at a ratio of 1:1¾

  • 1 cup Buckwheat
  • 1¾ cups water

You can also add 1-2 tablespoons of dairy-free spread to the water and/or ½ teaspoon of salt if desired.

Rinse Buckwheat and drain.

In a medium saucepan, bring buckwheat and water to the boil.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

Buckwheat comes in groats, flour, and noodles.


Brown Rice

Rice is the most widely consumed staple food in the world. It is the seed of the Oryza glaberrima (African rice) or Oryza sativa (Asian rice).

Brown rice is less processed than white rice and therefore has more nutrients, including fibre, protein, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, folate, potassium, and calcium.

Brown rice is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and may:

  • Assist bone development
  • Aid wound healing
  • Improve nerve function
  • Control blood sugar
  • Reduce cancer risk
  • Reduce signs of premature aging
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Aid weight loss
  • Improve heart health
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure

How to Prepare Brown Rice

Prepare brown rice at a ratio of 1:2½

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 ½ cups water

Bring water and brown rice to the boil

Simmer for 45 minutes

Stand for 10 minutes before serving

How to Add More Brown Rice to Your Diet

  • Make a nourish bowl with brown rice, vegetables, and protein (eggs, white meat, or tuna)
  • Top brown rice with eggs, salsa, and avocado for a healthy breakfast
  • Use brown rice as a porridge
  • Use brown rice in sushi rolls

Brown rice can also come flaked or milled into flour.

brown rice
Brown Rice

In Conclusion…

Just because you are no longer eating gluten containing grains does not mean you have to miss out on all the delicious recipes you used to love.

A simple substitution is all it takes to make your favourite meals gluten-free.

In fact, you may actually find some new family favourite recipes along the way!



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The content on this website is for general information purpose only.

By providing the above information, we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before commencing any type of natural, integrative, or conventional treatment we advise you seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner.

For healthy gluten-free recipe ideas using whole grains, check out our ebook

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