101 Clever Ways to Go Grain-Free

Find out easy ways to cut grains out of your diet.

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Craving Chocolate? Try This Grain-Free Dessert (2:19)

Get creative with the ingredients in your pantry to create healthy grain-free snacks and meals. For even more recipe and diet ideas, download the Dr. Oz app here!

1. Use Lettuce as a Wrap

Give your wrap more crunch by skipping the tortilla and putting grilled chicken, fish, and veggies inside leafy greens. You can choose among Bibb, romaine or cabbage leaves to cut down on carbs and load up on veggies. Try these crispy chicken and lettuce wraps.


2. Make a Burrito Bowl

Toss the ingredients you would regularly wrap in a tortilla into a bowl for a healthier no-carb, no-mess option. Load it up with veggies, beans, and ground meat and top with a dollop of sour cream and chives.

3. Replace Regular Flour With Almond Flour

Almond flour has changed the way we make meals and baked goods. It contains lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E that can reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.  It also can reduce hunger and help you shed off some extra weight. You can buy it in a store or make your own by placing soaked and dried almonds in food processor or blender on high and pulsing for 15-20 seconds. Be careful not to over-process or you will end up with almond butter instead!

4. Use Coconut Flour

Replace regular flour with coconut flour for a healthy alternative that is high in nutrients and low in calories. Coconut is rich in fiber and beneficial fats that can promote a healthy metabolism. You can make your own flour by blending together coconut and water, straining the mixture, and dehydrating the coconut meat. Save the coconut milk for other recipes.

5. Make Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles are perfect for pasta lovers who are looking for a low-carb alternative. Use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini lengthwise into long strips, and then cook in a skillet with olive oil until it is soft. Get the full recipe.

6. Make Grain-Free Granola

Skip the oats and make protein-packed granola clusters with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Make the granola into hearty breakfast bars or throw it on top of chia seed pudding.

7. Use Bean-Based Noodles

You can still enjoy your favorite pasta dishes while following a grain-free diet. Cook bean-based noodles like black bean spaghetti or soybean noodles. Beans are a protein-packed superfood that can fight cancer and prevent heart disease.

8. Use Portobello Mushrooms as Burger Buns

Sometimes skipping the bun just doesn’t cut it when you want a dense burger with no carbs. Use the caps of two roasted Portobello mushrooms to sandwich together veggies and a patty of your choice. Portobello mushrooms also have antioxidants that reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.

9. Make Cauliflower Rice

Why order takeout when you can make your own fried rice with only a fraction of the calories? Cauliflower rice is super easy to make, and there’s so much you can do with it. Grate a cauliflower head into small granules, and then roast or stir fry it. You can also use riced cauliflower to make a flavorful pilaf. Get the full recipe. 

10. Order Wine Instead of Beer

Don’t forget about drinks when it comes to a grain-free diet. Beer is brewed from several different grains while wine is made from fermented grapes. Plus, red wine is more beneficial to your health. Red wine reduces risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

More: 99 Ways to Use Wine

11. Have Dark Chocolate for Dessert

You don’t need to binge on cake, cookies, or brownies for dessert to satisfy your chocolate cravings — snack on dark chocolate instead! In addition to tasting delicious, dark chocolate has a wide range of benefits. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants, and may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Try to buy organic dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.

More: Good Chocolate, Bad Chocolate, and How to Tell the Difference

12. Make Egg Patties

Add even more protein to your breakfast sandwich by replacing English muffins with egg patties. Place a round metal cookie cutter on a greased pan and pour in whisked eggs. If you don’t have a cookie cutter you can use canning jar rings. Get the full recipe.

13. Eat Your Favorite Sandwich as a Salad

Craving a BLT? Toss some fresh tomato slices and cooked bacon bits into a bowl of fresh lettuce. Top with chopped nuts and finish with a lemon dressing drizzle.

14. Use Nuts for Croutons

Nuts are a great substitution for croutons in a salad because they give you the same great crunch, without any grains. Add almonds, pistachios, or walnuts on top of your next salad for added flavor. 

15. Bake Sweet Potato Muffins

Flourless muffins are a great grain-free snack that can be enjoyed at any point throughout the day. Mash up sweet potatoes and bananas, and throw them in the blender along with almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and an egg. Pour into a muffin tin, bake, and enjoy!

16. Make a Steamed Vegetable Dish

Instead of a pasta dish, make a heaping bowl of steamed vegetables. If you aren’t too excited over a veggie bowl, add olive oil and pesto sauce for more flavors. This crunchy dish ensures you are getting your all off your daily nutrients while reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases. 

Watch: Vital Veggies for Women

17. Make Spaghetti Squash

Get more vegetables in your diet with pasta-free spaghetti. One cup of plain spaghetti contains approximately 220 calories, 42 grams of carbohydrates, and very few nutrients. In comparison, one cup of cooked spaghetti squash provides about 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and important nutrients such as vitamin A and potassium. Spaghetti squash is super easy to make, and goes perfect with pesto sauce. Get the full recipe.

18. Make Chickpea Flour Flatbread

Swap your store-bought tortilla or wrap for a low-calorie flatbread that replaces regular flour with chickpea flour. You can wrap up your favorite veggies, bake a flatbread pizza, or just dip it in hummus for a healthy snack. Get the full recipe.

19. Make Cabbage Spring Rolls

Replace rice wraps with cabbage leaves to give your spring rolls more crunch. Rice wraps are thin and don’t have too much flavor, so it’s time to get rid of unnecessary carbs. Roll up some veggies in cabbage leaves and dip in a warm ginger sauce.

20. Make Grain-Free, All-Purpose Baking Mix

From baking scrumptious cookies to creating a mouthwatering pizza, the possibilities are endless with this gluten-free baking mix recipe combining almond meal, coconut flour, and flax seeds. Unlike white flour that has little to none nutritional value, this flour can be used as a nutrient-rich substitute. It’s super easy to make, and contains no added chemicals.