Guide to Alternative Flours
Hi, I’m Tiffany.
It is my goal to use my extensive education around the human body and nutrition to empower you to learn about how nutrition is linked to your health – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED BAKING WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN REGULAR ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR AND BEEN DISAPPOINTED?
With everyone trying to be gluten free or low carb these days, it’s no wonder that so many obscure flours are becoming more popular. Some of these flours have different levels of protein or are lower carb than others but they can’t all necessarily be used like you’d use regular wheat flour. I’m going to start with a simple guide to using alternative flours to help get you started. Today, I’ll address Almond Flour, Coconut Flour, and Amaranth Flour. Check back as I’ll be updating more as time goes on. Whatever you choose to try, you may need to spend some time to experiment a little here and there. Finding options you like for you and your family will be well worth the time.
Amaranth flour is made from the amaranth seed and was used by the Aztecs and Incas in religious ceremonies. It is higher in protein than other flours and also contains a good amount of calcium, iron, and fiber. This mild, nutty flavor flour is great for baking breads and crackers and can be substituted 1:1 for other gluten-containing flours. Try this amazing gluten free cheese cracker recipe rather than buying crackers with a ton of questionable ingredients.
Coconut flour is made from the dried coconut meat from the production of coconut milk. It is high in protein, fiber and fat which makes it a great alternative for those eating a gluten free diet and watching their carbohydrate intake. Bakers need to be careful, though. This flour is so absorbent that you often only need about ¼ of what you use in a regular flour recipe. You will also need to add quite a few extra eggs. Here’s a delicious recipe for pancakes using Coconut Flour.
- ¼ C Coconut flour
- ⅛ t baking soda
- ⅓ to ¼ C coconut milk
- 2 T coconut oil, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1 T honey
- ½ to 1 t vanilla
- Pinch sea salt
- Butter for cooking
- Mix eggs, honey and coconut oil together.
- Add the coconut milk and vanilla.
- Add coconut flour, soda, and salt. Mix well until ingredients are just blended.
- Add butter to pan and using a measuring cup, to pour the batter. Check the underside before flipping pancakes. This flour mixture won’t bubble like regular wheat flour. These are best served right away. You won’t want to wait anyway. Add a little real, maple syrup or almond butter (or both) and you have a low carb, nutrient dense alternative flour breakfast! Enjoy.
Nut flour is made from grinding the nuts after the oil is removed. I like to use almond flour because it very hearty and this makes you feel more sated when you eat items made with this flour. It also has a mild flavor and incorporates well. Almond flour is perfect when you’re wanting to keep moisture and tenderness in your baked good. If you are baking cookies or pancakes, or even pizza crust, almond flour is a viable option but it’s not the best option for yeast bread recipes. You need to add more leavening agents like baking powder or soda to deal with the density of the almond flour. A general rule of thumb is to replace wheat flour with almond flour in a 1:2 ratio (1 Cup all-purpose flour: 2 Cups almond flour). Try this easy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe made with almond flour.