There are many reasons why you might want to cut bread out of your diet, aside from being gluten intolerant. You may be trying to reduce your carbohydrate intake, or at least trying to eat more complex carbohydrates instead, or you may be trying to avoid processed foods of any kind, which often means cutting out breads. If you’ve been thinking about reducing your bread consumption but have been too afraid to take the plunge for fear of missing out on some delicious meals — sandwiches, toast, or even something to dip in your soup — then these 9 healthy bread swaps may just be the inspiration you need. That’s right — you can have your sandwich and eat it too!
1. Lettuce Wraps
Simple leaves of romaine or iceberg can make a great bread substitute. Just fill with whatever you would normally put inside your sandwich, roll it up, and eat it! The great thing about lettuce wraps is they are super light, which means you can fill up on more of the good stuff. For a larger, more sturdy wrap, try collard greens instead.
2. Dehydrated Onion Bread
The great thing about this bread alternative is that as well as being delicious, it is also raw. The only thing you need in order to make this, aside from the ingredients themselves, is a dehydrator. If you’ve been thinking about incorporating more raw foods into your diet, then I highly recommend getting yourself a dehydrator. A whole world of opportunities will open up to you if you do.
3. Buckwheat Flatbread
This was something I discovered after being diagnosed with candida overgrowth. I wanted bread; I wanted pancakes; I wanted everything that I wasn’t supposed to have. Then I learned that buckwheat isn’t actually wheat at all, or even a grain, but rather a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb. Buckwheat is wheat- and gluten-free, high in protein, and very low carb, making it an excellent substitute for bread, pancakes — you name it! Recipe.
4. Sliced Sweet Potato
Someone shared this idea with me on Facebook, and when I saw it, my brain nearly exploded. It’s such a simple yet brilliant idea — why didn’t I think of it before? A whole new world full of open-faced sandwiches was now at my disposal, and now yours too, and sweet potatoes, loaded with many beneficial vitamins and minerals, are a great vegetable to be incorporating more of into your diet. To make sweet potato bread, simply slice a large sweet potato into half inch slices, pop in the toaster, and toast until cooked! You now have roasted sweet potato slices ready for you to top with hummus, guacamole, sprouts, nut butter, jam, or whatever your little heart desires.
5. Chickpea Flatbread
Chickpea flour makes an excellent gluten free flour. Made from dried and ground chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, it is loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and protein. Chickpea flatbread also tastes amazing and has a fairly neutral flavor so it can be quite versatile for all of your sandwich desires. Recipe.
6. Rice Wraps
Have you ever had delicious cold spring rolls at your favorite Thai or Vietnamese restaurant? Well these tasty little treats actually couldn’t be easier to make, and the wrapper, made from rice, should be readily available in the Asian section of your grocery store. The best thing about these wraps is they come dry and then you sort of activate them in water, load in your ingredients, and roll them up. They are sticky so they are easy to work with and generally stay closed once rolled.
7. Cauliflower Crust
If you are looking for a gluten-free alternative to pizza crust, then look no further! Cauliflower is actually extremely versatile this way and makes an awesome low-carb, gluten-free pizza crust. Even if you are not really a fan of cauliflower, I suggest giving this a try. Once it’s made you can top it with your favorite pizza toppings and bake just as you would a normal pizza. It tastes so good you might even forget that it’s made of cauliflower! The best part is, it won’t leave you feeling super full and sluggish afterwards. Recipe.
8. Portobello Mushrooms
While portobello mushrooms can make a great burger substitute, have you ever thought of substituting them for the bun itself? Once grilled up you can easily use two portobello mushrooms in place of a bun for your burger or you can even use just one for an open-faced style sandwich with avocado, tomato, and lettuce. Yum!
9. Nori Wraps
Nori wraps, made from nori seaweed, are what keeps your sushi rolled up. You can use these for many different things aside from just rice and fish. Try stuffing them with cucumber, quinoa, carrot sticks, and sriracha, or maybe rice, cucumber, avocado, soy sauce, and sesame seeds if you want something more like sushi. So simple, yet so effective.
Even if you do eat bread, it never hurts to try something new. Most of these substitutes offer an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, which is never a bad thing. Do you have any delicious bread-free alternatives you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments below.
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