Shannon's health and fitness blog

What Grains Can People With Wheat Allergies Eat? By Kathi Jo Robinson

Not quite as common but still prevalent among many adults especially, a wheat allergy is slightly different than having a gluten allergy.

All wheat products are comprised of four different major protein groups. A person with a gluten allergy is sensitive to one of these four groups, the gluten protein molecule. Someone though with a wheat allergy is sensitive to one or more of the other three protein groups.

It is possible the wheat allergic individual can be allergic to the gluten protein also. This has just lengthened their list of types of grains which add to their allergy triggers.

Which Grains Are Safe?

There is still a good assortment of grains which are available to the wheat allergic. Although some are ready-made store products, safeguards must be checked because some of these flours (potato, rye, barley and oats) all are sold right in the bread aisle. These products though are usually made by larger bakery operations which run all types of baked goods. Cross contamination therefore is an almost positive. You will be safer if you prepare your own products right in your own home.

Some common safe alternative flours with a brief description for your use then are included here:

  • Corn– corn flour is very low in gluten content, many even say it causes them no reaction. It is used predominantly for all general baking purposes. Keep dry and refrigerated to ensure freshness and to prevent it going rancid.
  • Rye– when using rye flour, a gluten product (xanthan gum or guar gum) must be added to achieve the soft texture most people desire in bread
  • Rice Flour– either white rice flour or brown rice flour can be used as a thickening agent in cooking or it is commonly used in breakfast cereals, snacks, batters and cake mixes. Brown rice flour is more nutritious because the outer kernel of bran has not been stripped during processing. Keep dry and refrigerated.
  • Barley– barley is an old-fashioned flour which needs to be blended with other flours for the best final result.
  • Oats– oat flour is an excellent addition to baked goods because it makes your final product much lighter and fluffy.
  • Potato Flour– potato flour is made from the whole potato plus the skins. Use it in small quantities when blending flours for baking. Keep dry and refrigerated.
  • Potato Starch– potato starch is not the same as potato flour. It is made from the starchy content only of the potato. It is best used in baking when combined with other flours. Keep dry and refrigerated.
  • Tapiocatapioca flour comes from the cassava plant. When used, it adds no flavor to your finished recipe. It is also often substituted for arrowroot when none is available. When blending flours, use from 25 to 50% of tapioca flour to your mixed flour blend for baking.
  • Amaranth– commonly used for baking, amaranth yields a nutty flavor to your finished product. Mix only 10 to 25% of amaranth to your flour blend for baking. Keep dry and refrigerated.
  • Arrowroot– arrowroot is a white powder which adds absolutely no flavor to your finished goods. Many people replace cornstarch with arrowroot in baking and cooking.
  • Nut Flours– any type of nuts or seeds can be ground and replaced in any baking goods
  • Bean Flours– this can replace rice flour as a direct substitute in any flour blend. Your finished product though will have a slight bean flavor.
  • Soy Flour– a tan flour which is slightly nutty in flavor that is generally used in baking with chocolate, fruit or nuts as additions. Combine with rice flours or potato starch for best flavors. Keep dry and refrigerated.
  • Buckwheat– choose light buckwheat because it has a less intense flavor when using in baked goods. Use up to 50% in your flour blend. Keep dry and refrigerated.
  • Millet (wheat free)– very high in protein and high alkalinity so this leads to rapid rancidity. Must be kept refrigerated.
  • Quinoa– has a strong nutty flavor which will overpower most recipes. Use 10 to 15% only in flour blends. Keep dry and refrigerated.

Common Substitution Equivalents When Using These Flours
To replace 1 cup of wheat flour in any recipe, use the following amounts as a direct substitute.

  • 7/8 cup rice flour
  • 5/8 cup rice flour plus 1/3 cup rye flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour plus 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 1 1/8 cup oat flour

In wheat free baking, it is common to blend flours for the best results. Experiment and find the flour blend you and your family enjoys the most.

Care must be taken though when in a store to read the entire ingredient label and verify the safety of any product you are interested in purchasing. Extreme caution needs to be used in any type of open bakery environment. Many people familiar with the gluten allergy often do not understand there is a difference between safe wheat flours and safe gluten flours. They are not all the same.

About The Author:Kathi Robinson
Education and knowledge is the key to your safety with this allergy. Read everything you can find to help you maintain your safety. Please visit my site at

Article Source:

Kathi Jo Robinson - EzineArticles Expert Author

January 29, 2011 - Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , , ,

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