Let me begin by saying that I love bread. In essentially all shapes, sizes and forms; bread, rolls, muffins, bagels… You name it, I love it. But in a rather tragic turn of events, my body has decided over the last few years it’s not so crazy about gluten.
Total bummer, I know. As a result, I’ve really had to change some things in my diet. At first, I was a little distraught wondering how in the world I would adapt. Bread has always been my favorite edible vessel for toppings and fillings, like in wraps and sandwiches. And is there anything as comforting as a thick slice of loaded avocado toast? Or jam on toast? Or just toast by itself in general?
Fortunately, whether you’re limiting your bread intake to go low-carb or also struggling with a food sensitivity, all hope is not lost. There’s actually a pretty wide range of options out there for shuttling those tasty toppings from your plate to your tummy. Life after toast is possible, my friends. So today, I’m sharing five gluten-free bread and wrap alternatives that I’ve been enjoying on my own journey to less gluten.
Ah, poast. Or as you might know it, sweet potato toast. Personally, I’m hoping that I can make “poast” catch on in the way that Gretchen was never able to do with “fetch”. (So far I’m pretty sure I’m still the only one using it, but I’m staying optimistic.)
I hopped aboard the poast trend earlier this year and discovered these little guys are excellent vessels for transporting a wide arrangement of sweet and savory toppings. They’re also a great source of complex carbs to help fuel you through the day. There’s definitely an art to producing the perfect slice of poast, so be sure to check out my Perfect Sweet Potato Toast tutorial.
Lettuce is probably one of the more classic bread substitutes for counting calories or watching carbs. It’s also a pretty versatile gluten-free substitute for wraps, hot dog and burger buns and flour tortillas. If you’ve only been using lettuce in salad form, you’ve been missing out on the full utensil-free meal options lettuce has to offer.
Try using Romain lettuce leaves for wraps, hot dogs and tacos (like in these Naked Fish Tacos) and larger pieces of iceberg lettuce for burgers and sandwiches. I find the key to a solid lettuce wrap is stacking a few layers together until you can get a nice, sturdy grip on everything so that you don’t lose any of those filler ingredients. If you’re dining out, most restaurants are usually happy to swap out lettuce for a bread bun if you ask.
3. Corn Shell Tortillas
The corn tortilla has been a favorite of mine since childhood. (Personally, I tend to say go crunchy or go home, but you also can’t go wrong with a couple classic soft shell corn tortillas.) If corn jives well with your digestive system, these little guys are the way to go.
You can find them in all different shapes, sizes and textures or even try your hand at making some of your own at home. They’re great to incorporate for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time and of course, on your next Taco Tuesday. I’m all about brunch-time tacos and love topping them with some of my Easy Mango Salsa.
4. Rice Cakes
These are currently one of my favorite toast substitutes at the moment. I actually had them this morning with breakfast! You might find yourself cringing at the thought of rice cakes, but they’ve come a long way over the years in terms of craveability.
When I was a kid, I remember trying one of my mom’s rice cakes and thinking I had just bitten into a piece of styrofoam. (Which, for reasons that shall remain vague, I can just tell you that at that time in my life as a 7-year-old with three brothers, I was indeed acquainted with the taste of styrofoam.) These days you can find them in all kinds of sweet and savory flavors.
Do you love you a slice of savory loaded toast? Try a tomato basil loaded avocado rice cake or smoked salmon and a poached egg on a white cheddar rice cake. Looking for a sweet tooth fix? Try apples and honey over a cinnamon-apple rice cake or peanut butter and jelly on a frosted rice cake. Trust me when I say you don’t want to write them off as a bland substitute.
5. Nori Sheets
Nori seaweed sheets are typically used for making sushi. If you haven’t tried Nori before, it has a unique flavor and texture. I happen to adore it and when I’m not making sushi, will sometimes even just eat the sheets by themselves as snacks. (Which sometimes ends up being the reason I’m not making sushi, because I’ve snacked myself out of Nori…)
I also like to use them Temaki-style as a wrap substitute. A Temaki sushi roll is a hand roll where the seaweed is wrapped like a cone and filled with sushi rice and fillings. If I’m wanting to load up on carbohydrates earlier in the day before a workout, I’ll fill it with rice and a protein source and if I’m going low-carb, with veggies and protein (like in this chicken and cauliflower rice stir-fry hand roll). To learn what type of Nori I used and where you can order some for yourself, check out my How to Make Easy Sushi tutorial.
And there you have it! My go-to 5 gluten-free bread and wrap alternatives! What about you? Do you have any favorite gluten-free substitutes that you use at home? Or any other clever substitutes in your kitchen cabinet that you use to work around food allergies, sensitivities or dieting goals? I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comment section below!
Cover photo image contribution of Pixbay. All other writing and images copyright © 2018 Rachel Elise Weems Woods