Guide to Cooking with Gluten-free Grains

polentaWe prepare several dishes at the market featuring gluten-free grains such as polenta and quinoa. We get lots of questions about cooking with gluten-free whole grains, so we put together this guide for the next time you’re inspired to try it at home!

COOKING WITH GLUTEN-FREE GRAINS

  • Always cook grains in seasoned water or broth.
  • If you stir grains while they are cooking, they release starches and become creamy. This is good for oats and polenta or risotto, but not rice.

Wild rice has a nutty, chewy texture. It takes a while to cook. It’s worth it.

  • Boil 4 cups of salted water.
  • Add 1 cup wild rice to boiling water.
  • Reduce heat and simmer about 1 – 1 ¼ hours or until rice is tender (should butterfly slightly). If necessary, add hot water to the pot over time. The rice absorbs a lot of water and you want it to boil freely, like pasta.
  • Drain rice in a colander.

Short grain brown rice can can also be cooked in a big pot of salted boiling water, like pasta, and then drained in a colander. OR…

  • Boil 1 ¾ cups of salted water.
  • Add 1 cup rice to boiling water.
  • Bring mixture back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Quinoa is a rich source of protein and is prepared like brown rice, but takes much less time to cook.

  • Boil 1 ¾ cups of salted water.
  • Add 1 cup quinoa to boiling water.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

 Kasha (hulled buckwheat kernels) can be substituted for most grains in a wide variety of recipes.

  • Boil 1 ¾ cups of salted water.
  • Add 1 cup kasha to the boiling water.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

Polenta (Cornmeal) can be used as a pasta substitute (prepare polenta very thin in a sheet pan and slice it into rectangles or squares for mock lasagna) or as a tortilla replacement in Mexican cooking (prepare your favorite burrito filling and serve it over polenta). Dried cornmeal can also be seasoned and used to coat fish for pan frying.

  • Boil 4 cups of salted water.
  • Slowly whisk 1 cup of corn meal into boiling water.
  • Stir constantly, over medium/low heat, for about 20 minutes. Mix in some grated Parmesan cheese. We love cheese!

White Rice does not require a rice cooker! Simple visual cues are all you need. We buy long grain white rice or basmati rice.

  • Put 2 cups of salted water and 1 cup of rice in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to boil (no lid).
  • Once the water has reduced to the same level as the rice and you can see little divets in the top of rice (there is still water in the pan!), it’s time for the next step. This usually takes just a few minutes, so watch it.
  • Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off. Leave the pan covered. Allow rice to steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2 Responses to Guide to Cooking with Gluten-free Grains

  1. Amy Hunter June 18, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    This is a very helpful guide to cooking with gluten free grains. Would you consider doing this type of guide for baking with gluten free flours?

    Thanks so much, planning a trip from Boulder, CO to visit your new store, can’t wait.

    Amy Hunter

    • Kristen Desmond July 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      Hi Amy! We plan on sharing our recipes for gluten-free baking in our cookbook – a work in progress. Look forward seeing you here in SB!

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