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Gluten Free Foods – Root Vegetables

by Allergy Guy

Gluten free diet starch replacement leads directly to root vegetables.  These are perfect gluten free foods.

This website already has a long article about potatoes.  There are so many varieties, and that long article just scratches the surface.  See Gluten Free Foods – Potatoes for the whole article.

There are so many other root vegetables to choose from.  This article will focus on the gluten free foods which are similar to potatoes.

If you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease, take a look at this and other related articles for some great ideas which will enhance your gluten free diet.

This list of root vegetables are more like potatoes and less like carrots.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are tasty and nutritious – the perfect gluten free food.  They tend to be less gluey than some types of potato and have a less neutral taste.  They are high in vitamins A and C.

Cream-coloured flesh and orange flesh types are both available.  The orange type is higher in the antioxidant betacarotene (also found in carrots).

Larger sweet potatoes can be fibrous so choose small and medium sized ones.  Do not buy unless firm.  They should keep for at least a week and often longer.

You can boil, mash, roast or bake sweet potatoes.  You can also deep-fry them.  This makes for the basis of an easy gluten-free meal.


Yams are similar to sweet potatoes in many ways, but are not related as yams grow on a vine.  They are sweeter, starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.  They have less nutritional value and are sweeter.

The skin of yams must be removed because they contain diocornine, a toxin.  It is destroyed when cooking but is best removed.

You can boil, mash, roast or bake yams.  Or cut them into thin disks and dry roast them in the oven.


Taro have dark shaggy skin and dark brown flesh streaked with faint purple lines.  They have a mild but distinct taste.

Taro is great boiled or in stews.


Cassava is used to make tapioca.  The cassava root is also great as the basis of a gluten-free meal.   Cassava have brown waxy skin.  They look like they should keep well for a long time, but they don’t.  They will keep for a few weeks but don’t expect them to store as well as potatoes.

Cassava is used in Caribbean cooking, which is good to know when looking for recipes.

Cassava can be boiled and mashed, baked or fried.


Jicama has sweet nutty flesh.  It can be eaten cooked or raw and is good in salads.  Or cook it much as you would a potato.

Jerusalem Artichokes

Not to be confused with globe artichokes (from an unrelated plant) these tubers are from the sunflower family.  They are at their best in the winter and early spring.  They are always knobbly, some more than others.    They keep well if stored in a cool dry place.

They can be cooked in a similar manor to potatoes, although they are softer.  They are also good in soups and stews.


Root vegetables are a great source of gluten-free starch.  Unlike other foods like gluten-free grains, peas, beans and similar types of food, root vegetables are handled by different equipment, and can be pealed, making them very low-risk as far as gluten contamination goes, and depending on how they are prepared.

They are an excellent choice and safe gluten free food for home cooking, although when prepared at a restaurant, cross contamination could puncture your gluten-free diet.

What is your experience with these foods as part of your gluten free diet?  Please leave a comment.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Holly March 2, 2018 at 18:39

I live in the Dominican Republic. I am on a vegan anti inflammatory gluten free diet I cannot eat potatoes. So here I am always trying to figure out which root is the best to use as a potato substitute. There are many roots here and I try different ones but I have yet narrowed it down for certain. Something that tastes like home fries when fried, mashed potatoes when mashed and boiled potatoes when boiled. Thanks!


2 Allergy Guy April 1, 2018 at 21:13

Holly, I would love to hear your favorite root vegetables so far, even if not perfect substitutes for potatoes.


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