The grain-free diet seems to have become quite popular of late.  I personally accepted grain-free cooking by using elimination diet when trying to heal my thyroid disease.  Once I started eating grain and dairy-free, I felt much better and I found lots of alternatives to grains and dairy to make delicious and satisfying meals. There are many delicious foods you can use to substitute for grains in cooking, baking and making sauces:

Grain alternatives

– Almond meal or any other nut meal. (OK for paleo, GAPS or SCD)

– Arrowroot
– Cassava, Manioc or Tapioca flour
Coconut (used in flours) (OK for paleo, GAPS or SCD)
– Dal flour (in Indian cookery used split pulses, in particular lentils)
– Bean – fava, black, white bean flour
– Flaxseed meal (OK for paleo, GAPS or SCD)
– Gram flour (chickpea or garbanzo)
– Potato Starch/Flour
– Sago flour is a starch extracted from tropical palm stems
– Sesame seed flour
– Sunflower seed flour
– Taro flour
– Soy flour
– Plantain flour (can get at African grocers)
– Yam flour (can get at African grocers)
– Mesquite flour

Dairy alternatives

– Milk can be substituted with Coconut milk, Almond milk, Hemp milk
– Yogurt can be substituted with unsweetened applesauce, fruit puree, coconut cream
– Sour cream can be substituted with coconut milk with a few drops of lime juice

Favourite grain-free, dairy-free recipes

Multi-seed crackers

I love a good cracker.  They are great with spreads (like Creamy Broccoli Spread (vegan))or just to munch on generally.  So after going grain free it was great to realise that there are plenty of grain free options for this handy snack. The idea for these gluten free crackers is from Elana Amsterdam.

•       ½ cup blanched almond flour
•       ½ cup macadamia nuts
•       1 tablespoon coconut flour
•       ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
•       2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
•       2 tablespoons sesame seeds
•       2 tablespoons hemp seeds
•       1 tablespoon ground golden flax seeds
•       ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
•       1 tablespoon palm shortening
•       ¼ cup water

Pulse almond flour, macadamias and coconut flour in a food processor until well ground

Pulse in seeds, flax meal and salt until almost fully ground (leave a little texture for crunch)

Pulse in shortening, then water; dough will form a ball in food processor

Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to ¼ inch (or less) thick

Cut into 2-inch squares, 5 rows each way

Bake at 150°C for 20 to 25 minutes

Grain-free lebanese tabouli salad

Tabouli (also spelt Tabbouleh) is a traditional parsley salad with its origins in the Arab world. There are various versions in most Arabic cultures, and it usually contains burghul, which is a variety/form of wheat or sometimes couscous (also from wheat).  This recipe is adapted to made grain-free and of course gluten-free.

  • 1 head cauliflower or 1-2 jicama
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1-2 bunches fresh parsley
  • 1 handful coriander (optional)
  • 1 handful chopped firm tomato
  • 1 handfull chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 onion or 2 scallions chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayyene pepper (optional)

Place chopped cauliflower in a food processor and chop to a rice consistency.

Place herbs in a food processor and chop finely, but don’t make into paste

Place chopped cauliflower, herbs with cucumber and tomato to a bowl and mix with oil, lemon juice and spices.

You may add hemp seeds, chia seeds or pine nuts for extra protein and served with Grain-free Tortillas  if you are looking to have a vegetarian meal or add BBQ chicken or lamb and lots of garlic sauce for the complete non vegetarian experience.

grain free dairy free recipes

Cauliflower rice

Perfect as a main meal or a side dish to chicken or fish.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped in food processor
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • Fresh herbs like parsley, thyme or basil finely chopped

Variation: Spanish cauliflower rice

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat

Saute onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft

Add celery to skillet and saute for 5 minutes

Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a food processor with the “S” blade and process until the texture of rice

Add cauliflower to skillet, cover and cook 5-10 minutes, until soft, then add salt

Garnish with herbs

Flourless nutbutter cookies

Taste these and you won’t miss the flour in these simple, grain-free chocolate chip cookies! Only 5 ingredients needed to make them.

  • 1 large egg or can use egg substitution
  • 1 cup (250g) nut butter, at room temperature or cold (not warm)
  • 1/2 cup (90g) palm sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (190g) dairy free dark chocolate drops
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the nut butter, baking soda, and sugar. Mix everything together very well. Fold in the chocolate drops and nuts until combined.

Scoop the dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheet. Bake two batches – 6 cookies on each baking sheet each. Gently press down on the dough mounds with the back of a spoon. If you find the cookie dough balls are oily-looking from your nut butter, blot each with a paper towel.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked, but that’s ok. For crispy cookies, bake for up to 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies stay fresh stored covered at room temperature for up to 7 days. Cookies freeze well, up to 3 months.

Baked grain-free Doughnuts

Idea for this recipe comes from Danielle Walker book Against All Grain.

•       5 large eggs
•       ½ cup coconut milk
•       ½ cup pure maple syrup
•       ½ cup pumpkin puree or mashed baked sweet potato
•       ¼ cup coconut oil
•       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•       ¾ cup blanched almond flour
•       ½ cup coconut flour
•       1 teaspoon baking soda
•       1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•       ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
•       ½ teaspoon ground ginger
•       ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
•       ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
•       ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and oil the insides of your doughnut or muffin pan really well. I find melted coconut oil works best.

Place the eggs, coconut milk, pumpkin/sweet potato, maple, coconut oil and vanilla in a blender and blend until frothy, about 15 seconds.

Add the dry ingredients, then blend on low for 10 seconds and on high for about 20 seconds.

Pour the batter into the pan, filling each cavity 2/3 of the way full and bake for 20 minutes. Let them cool for 10 minutes before removing the doughnuts from the pan and cool on a cooling rack.


Would love to hear your experiences with grain-free, dairy-free cooking. Click my profile to contact me!

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