If you cannot eat foods containing gluten, you may start to feel a bit limited as to what you can eat. So many foods are made with wheat and wheat flour! Thankfully, cornmeal is a cereal grain product that does not contain gluten. Some cornmeal is processed on machines that also process wheat, meaning that it may contain traces of gluten. But if you purchase cornmeal that is specifically labeled as "gluten-free," you can trust that it has been processed safely.
Cornmeal can actually be a great ingredient to work into your diet if you are someone who can't eat gluten. Here are some ways you can use it to add variety to your meals and snacks.
Make Cornmeal Pancakes
Are you tired of watching everyone else eat pancakes while you sit idly by? You can make gluten-free pancakes using cornmeal instead. For this purpose, you generally want finely ground cornmeal, but you can incorporate some coarser cornmeal into the batter for texture, too. Use any favorite pancake recipe and substitute cornmeal for the flour. You may want to use a little less sugar than the recipe calls for since cornmeal is naturally sweeter than flour.
Coat Your Chicken and Veggies
Most boxed coatings for chicken and veggies contain wheat flour, and therefore they contain gluten. That does not mean you can't ever enjoy coated chicken or veggies again. You can simply make your own coatings with cornmeal! Add about a cup of cornmeal to a bowl. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper, and then add whatever other seasonings you prefer. Garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme work well. Dip your food in lightly beaten egg, and then into the cornmeal mixture. Bake as desired, and enjoy!
It's tough to find good, gluten-free crackers in the store, but you can make cornmeal crackers in your own kitchen. There are a lot of great cornmeal crackers recipes out there. If you are looking for a simple recipe, combine 1 cup of cornmeal with 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir the ingredients together, knead the dough for 2 - 3 minutes, and then roll it out to 1/4 inch thin. Slice the rolled-out dough into strips, and then cut it into squares. Bake them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. They should come out crispy and delicious.
There are lots of ways to incorporate cornmeal into a gluten-free diet. Try the ideas above, and go from there. For more information about using gluten-free stone-ground cornmeal products, contact a local supplier.