One of the hardest things for me when I started my AIP journey was letting go of grains. I imagine it is for a lot of people. I’m not just talking about passing up bread, here. With AIP, there are NO grains of any kind. No pasta, no wheat, no corn, no oats, no rice, no quinoa. And although potatoes are technically a vegetable, they aren’t allowed either. It’s a tough adjustment to make for anyone who loves their starches. And let’s be honest, that’s pretty much everyone!
Right from the start, I had to find a way to satisfy those cravings and trick my mind into thinking it was eating grains. So I started to get creative with my veggies and I’ve found some great ways to get that “grain” sensation. For anyone who is considering making the transition to AIP, I wanted to share my list of go-to grain substitutes. I know how hard it can be to make this change and I want you to succeed with it. So check these out!
Cauliflower Mash: If you’re craving mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower! It’s a great side with any meat and very easy to make. Just steam until very soft, then food process! I make mine with ghee and fresh rosemary. If you like sweet potatoes, try this Roasted Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Mash
Cauliflower Rice: This is great for a side or with any dish that would normally call for rice. I use it with Asian dishes all the time! You can use fresh cauliflower and food process to rice-sized pieces or, a lot of grocery stores carry fresh or frozen riced cauliflower in a bag! Just sauté in coconut oil or EVOO. Flavor with ginger, lemon and fresh herbs or just a little salt and garlic! Perfect pairing for any Asian dish or as a side to pretty much anything!
Zucchini Noodles: These are a great substitute for pasta dishes! Use a veggetti or mandolin to slice the zucchini into noodles and sauté in EVOO. These go great with just some EVOO and fresh herbs if you aren’t able to eat nightshades! Or check out this delicious Butternut Squash & Rosemary Cream Sauce. You can also eat these uncooked in a cold “pasta” salad.
Spaghetti Squash: These are so easy to make! When they’re in season, I make them once a week. Just cut in half, bake and shred the flesh! It shreds easily with a fork!
Faux Mein: I buy bags of organic broccoli slaw at Trader Joe’s and they make the perfect Asian noodles. Just sauté in coconut oil until soft. Top with any AIP friendly Asian meat dish! Here’s one of my favorites, Ginger Orange Chicken
Gingerbread Cookies: Treats have to be kept to a minimum on AIP, but we all deserve a cookie once in awhile! These Gingerbread Cookies aren’t exactly AIP, but you can omit the vanilla & cloves and the flavor is still great!