January 31, 2013

Gluten Free Alternatives to Bread Crumbs

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gf bread crumbs
Before we went gluten free, I didn't give much thought to bread crumbs. I mean, why would I? But once we were avoiding gluten-- and, therefore, traditional bread crumbs-- I realized just how many recipes call for it. Meat loaf, chicken nuggets, broccoli casserole, squash casserole, fried fish. Okay, full disclosure: I'm pretty sure I've never made fried fish, but still, lots of recipes call for bread crumbs. 

At first, I just avoided making anything that called for bread crumbs or I left the bread crumbs out. But, let's face it, broccoli or squash casserole just aren't the same without that satisfying crunch on top. So, I had to find alternative sources of crunch. Luckily, there are several gluten free options!

Gluten Free Corn Cereals

Prior to going gluten free, I often used Kellogg's Corn Flakes for making oven fried chicken and fried chicken nuggets. Unfortunately, Kellogg's uses barley malt in their Corn Flakes, making them a no-no on a gluten free diet. Luckily, there are gluten free brands of corn flakes and corn squares:
To use in recipes, simply crush in your food processor or blender. You can also crush them in your pestle and mortar. If you don't have any of those things, place the cereal in a plastic bag and roll it with your rolling pin. You can also buy the corn flakes already crumbed from Southern Homestyle.

Gluten Free Rice Cereals

Rice cereals also provide a satisfying crunch and, since their flavor isn't overpowering, they can work just as well in recipes. I like to use them for items that need to be fried or oven fried. Some brands to try:
  • Rice Chex
  • Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
  • Kellogg's Gluten Free Rice Krispies (check the box; not all are gf)
  • Nature's Path Organic Crispy Rice

Gluten Free Cornbread

When I'm making meatloaf, kofta, broccoli casserole, squash casserole, or anything else that requires a binder or a crunchy topping, I like to make gluten free cornbread. You would think that all cornbread would be gluten free, but some actually use wheat flour. This is a completely unnecessary ingredient, so you can make gf cornbread at home. If you want to start from a mix, try one of these:

Day-Old or Stale Gluten Free Bread

Gluten free bread can be pretty pricey, so you probably don't want to make up a loaf just for bread crumbs. However, if you have some stale gluten free bread or you bought a loaf that's simply too hard to use (it happens, unfortunately), don't toss it out. Instead, put it in your food processor or blender, pulse it, and turn it into bread crumbs.

Commercial Gluten Free Bread Crumbs

There are also several on-the-ball companies now offering ready-made gluten free bread crumbs. I haven't seen these at my local stores, but they're available at Amazon and other websites:
  • Schar
  • Glutino
  • Gillian's Foods
  • Kinnikinnick Panko Style Bread Crumbs
  • Ener-G
  • Aleia's Gluten Free Italian Bread Crumbs
I was so happy to discover these alternatives to bread crumbs. I promise you, these are so good that you won't even notice the difference. You can add Parmesan cheese and spices to get the taste you want. What's your favorite gf bread crumb substitute?

This post is being shared on Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

1 comment:

  1. I am tired of making food that is boring. I would like to make delicious and tasty foods that's finger licking good. so I made breaded chicken and chicken Parmesan with Gluten free breadcrumbs. My family especially my kids like and enjoy my newfound chef skills. I don't even expect that my friends want to know my secret ingredient.