Alternative Flours and How to Use Them

With so many allergy friendly recipes floating around you’ve probably seen some that use alternative flours. They aren’t ingredients to be afraid of, but they definitely bake differently than traditional all-purpose flour. If you are not gluten free or disinterested in alternative flours I recommend using whole wheat flour to bump up the nutrition with one simple exchange!

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My Top 6 Alternative Flours

  1. Almond flour – Almond flour is made of blanched almond that are ground into a meal (you may see it labeled as almond meal). Because it’s made from almonds this flour is high in protein, healthy fats and vitamin E. This is a great alternative for bread crumbs and it works well in baked good such as brownies, banana bread and pound cake.
  2. Coconut flour – Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat that is ground into a flour. Coconut is high in fat and fiber so the flour is as well. This type of flour has a slightly sweet taste and works well in baked goods that are dense. It should be used in combination with other flours and ingredients that help recipes rise, such as eggs.
  3. Oat flour – Oats are gluten free if they are labeled as such. Oat flour is made from ground oats. The bonus to this flour is that you can make it at home from regular old oats! If you’re in a pinch this will work just fine in most recipes. Grind oats in a food processor until it forms a fine powder.
  4. Buckwheat flour – Buckwheat is also gluten free even though it contains the word “wheat.” Buckwheat seeds are ground to make buckwheat flour. This flour has a slightly nutty flavor and it is rich in fiber, calcium and protein. Use this flour in recipes that do not need to rise, such as pancakes and cookies.
  5. Chickpea flour – Chickpea flour (gram flour) is made from ground garbanzo beans (chickpeas). This flour is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. It does taste like chickpeas so it is great to use in chocolate baked goods and pizza crust. You can even use it to make a super easy hummus. It should be combined with other flours in recipes that need to rise. This flour is high in fiber.
  6. Quinoa flour – Quinoa flour is made from ground quinoa seeds. Quinoa is a complete protein meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. This is another type of flour that you can make at home! Quinoa flour should be combined with other flours in most recipes.

P.S. Ground flaxseed is one of my favorite things to add to baked goods, salads and other meals to add fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Raquel

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