6 Ingredients Everyone Looking To Cut Back On Gluten Needs In Their Life

Photo by Leah Vanderveldt

When life gets hectic and stressful, nourishing meals can help us deal with whatever craziness comes our way. No time to prep? No problem—even if you’re on a gluten-free diet. These pantry and freezer staples make it easy to enjoy a delicious, healthy meal, stat, sans the gluten.

1. Beans & Lentils

Beans and lentils provide a satiating hit of fiber and protein, and they’re super versatile. You can make a big batch of dried beans or lentils to have on hand for the week or keep cans of your favorites handy so you can easily just open and use however you like. Cooked beans and lentils can also be stored in the freezer for future use!

For a quick meal, serve beans or lentils with veggies and top off your bowl with an egg. They’re also delicious when added to soups, stews, or chili. Crispy roasted chickpeas make a great addition to salads, in place of croutons or crackers in a soup, or on their own as a snack. They’re super-easy to make: Simply toss with oil, whatever spices you like, and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until crispy. Homemade hummus is also a breeze to whip up. All you need is beans or lentils, olive oil, lemon, tahini, garlic, salt, pepper, and maybe some cumin, paprika, or other spices you want to add.

Don’t forget to scope out bean- and lentil-based pastas—these make a great base for a hearty, gluten-free meal.

2. Gluten-Free Frozen Waffles

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

Enjoy Van's Foods' gluten-free waffles for breakfast by topping with thawed frozen berries, hemp hearts, and tahini or nut butter. You can also enjoy them as part of a breakfast-for-dinner spread. They make a great stand-in for bread when you want to step up your Toast Tuesday routine. Oh, and if you haven’t tried waffles topped with ripe avocado, prepare to have your mind blown.

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3. Frozen Green Veggies

Frozen vegetables save time and let you enjoy organic produce year-round, no matter your location or price range. There’s a whole rainbow of options to choose from, but if you need to pick just a few, start with frozen broccoli, which is a versatile option to add to grain dishes, pair with your favorite protein, or even roast from frozen (yes, way). Frozen greens are another must-have. They can easily be thawed and added to soups, grain dishes, and omelets, enjoyed as a side dish, or tossed into smoothies.

4. Frozen Cauliflower Rice

Cooked cauliflower rice makes a great base for a stir-fry or egg-and-veggies bowl, and you can substitute it for basically any other grain out there. Try it in chili or soup or serve it with your favorite vegetables and protein. Don't forget cauliflower pizza crust! Combine cauliflower rice with an egg, Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.), and cheese, and bake for a delicious, satisfying substitute for flour-based crust.

Cauliflower rice can go sweet, too. Try adding it to oatmeal or pancake batter or using it as a base for nice cream bowls with a rich, creamy texture without any funky cauliflower taste.

5. Tahini

Tahini (ground sesame seed paste) can go sweet or savory, and it’s packed with healthy fat and protein. It adds a delicious warm, nutty taste to dishes like oats, waffles, and grain bowls. It’s also delicious on toast or used instead of butter or coconut oil on a baked sweet potato and can be used as a base for a sauce or dressing.

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6. Gluten-Free Oats

Versatile oats are a nutritious option any time of day. A good source of fiber and key vitamins and minerals, the slow-burning complex carbohydrates will keep you satisfied. Steel-cut oats can be prepared in large batches on the stove or in an instant pot and stored in the fridge while rolled oats can be made on the stovetop or in the microwave. Whichever variety you choose, oats make an easy breakfast with fruit and nut butter or tahini, but you can also enjoy them savory-style with your favorite veggies. Chia seeds, hemp hearts, and ground flax are all simple, delicious ingredients that add heart-healthy fats to your bowl.

Gluten-free rolled oats also make a great swap for breadcrumbs in foods like meatballs and meatloaf.

Keeping healthy options on hand helps you effortlessly throw together gluten-free meals that satisfy your taste buds and energize your brain and body.

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