Tricks & Tips

#FridayFive – five gluten-free alternatives

Gluten? No thank you! Whether in pasta, bread or beer, gluten-free grains and pseudo grains provide a range of alternatives to wheat. Today we feature five new grains, including amaranth and teff.

For guests with a hypersensitivity to the gluten in most mainstream grains known as Coeliac disease, our new Vapiano menu is a welcome surprise with a range of gluten-free options now available. To mark our new nutritional outlook, we’ve compiled our top gluten-free grains to add a twist to your favourite recipes.  



Amaranth: Amaranth is one of the oldest cultivated plants on earth and was a popular choice among the Inca and Aztec people. Anyone fancying a change from wheat should definitely give this nutty, gluten-free alternative a try. It’s best used to prepare patties, bakes or fried dishes but also makes a lovely, crunchy soup topping. Incidentally, just like buckwheat and quinoa, amaranth is classed as a pseudo grain. Although used in the same way as cereals in cooking, from a botanical perspective the three are “non-grasses”.  


Buckwheat: Buckwheat flour is often used to make mouth-watering waffles and pancakes. Prefer something savoury? This gluten-free pseudo grain is also perfect for preparing dumplings or pizza bases. Gently roasted it adds a new flavour to mueslis and salads.


Millet: Once cooked this gluten-free grain is a great alternative to rice. The beer industry has also cottoned on to millet with some manufacturers using it to make gluten-free beer. Millet can’t be eaten raw as it contains enzymes that are hard to digest. Cook or roast it thoroughly before eating.  


Teff: This gluten-free grain tastes sweet and nutty. It works well for sweet flummeries and savoury bakes, or even to thicken sauces. Originally from Ethiopia, people there use teff to prepare “Injera” – a sourdough-risen flatbread.


Quinoa: A filling, multi-talented pseudo grain that has gained a reputation as a superfood. It can be used as a substitute for rice or added to salads, stews and muesli.


Budding chefs – what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and start experimenting!