Semolina is a component of couscous, pasta, and sweet puddings made from rough, refined wheat middlings (from the middle of the milling stage) of durum wheat. The name semolina is also applied to coarse middlings from different wheat kinds, as well as other grains (such as rice or maize).
Is semolina gluten free? No! If you’re looking to a gluten free diet, then durum wheat semolina is not for you. As a byproduct of wheat, with four fifths of wheat proteins being gluten, semolina is a nightmare for anyone suffering from celiac disease.
Although not suitable for a gluten free diet, or those with a grain allergy, durum wheat grain composition can be surprisingly healthy. Gluten aside, you can get a number of health benefits from semolina. So unless you’re naturally gluten intolerant, consider carefully about the inclusion of traditional semolina in your diet.
What is Semolina?
Semolina is like many products with gluten, containing grains typically from golden durum wheat grains. Used in bread dough, cookie dough, semolina with foods is not totally uncommon although it is rarer outside of South East Asian cuisines.
You can find semolina bread, semolina in soups, rice semolina, but you’ll be more than likely looking for gluten free alternatives. A semolina bread loaf won’t just upset your stomach with a little gluten, it is rich with the stuff, absolutely filled with gluten proteins.
If you’re allergic to grains, you can enter gluten ataxia. This is a severe allergic reaction to the compounds present in the gluten protein, far worse than any potential non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Ataxia can be fatal, and lead to more than just an upset stomach lining.
Thankfully, you can easily find a list of gluten free products, and a variety of gluten free baking recipes on the internet. If you’re still hard pressed, then the ingredients and contents list of any standard food product will detail exactly what you may end up ingesting.
Gluten free foods can be delicious and enjoyable. So if you’re looking for a soft dough, but want to avoid an adverse reaction or too many trips to the toilet, then we suggest finding alternatives to semolina. Otherwise, that soft dough for whatever you’re cooking could be the end of you!
Health Benefits of Semolina
Provided you aren’t gluten intolerant, there are actually a number of health benefits, to durum semolina. If you aren’t on a gluten free diet, then durum wheat semolina contains a high volume of dietary fibre, promoting solid intestinal and digestive health.
If you struggle with bowel movements, then durum wheat semolina could be the solution. Semolina is also a solid source of protein, iron, and folates. In fact, just a cup of semolina gives three quarters of your daily folate intake. So if you’re a health conscious individual looking to avoid nutrient deficiencies, the inclusion of semolina and semolina based foods could be beneficial.
Be cautious when finding a recipe for semolina bread however, as the size of semolina particles can alter the properties of your food. It can affect the elasticity and texture f something like pasta, while semolina on levels more extreme can even change the colour of a dish.
Alternatives to Semolina
If your intestine rebels against semolina as a result of celiac disease, then you will need an alternative to semolina flour. Thankfully, a number of alternatives to semolina flour exist, and are good ways to remain gluten free with your cooking.
Alternatives to semolina flour range from chickpea flour and caryopsis to cornmeal semolina substitutes. If you need tips for gluten free cooking gluten free flours are widely and readily available in most modern supermarkets.
Allergens are better catered for in the modern age, so you can easily find a protein rich, gluten free flour on most store shelves. If you’re lazy you can find prepared miztures such as a gluten free granola mix with everything all handed right to you, if you prefer. All of these being fine alternatives to semolina flour.
If you’re cooking gluten free pasta from scratch, and need a smooth dough, you can find various other binding agents. Psyllium husk and guar gum among the most popular. You can even have a guar gum gluten free breakfast, replacing your shredded wheat or wheat biscuits.