Why do you need gluten-free alternatives to flour? Flour can be found in most of our favorite foods, pizza, pancakes, waffles, bread, you name it. The trouble is, white flour is not the best thing to consume healthwise.
As a refined grain, white flour offers us no nutritional benefit, in fact, quite the opposite. Having a diet high in refined food products can increase levels of inflammation in our body and contribute to a range of health problems. You may also want to avoid white flour if you have an intolerance to gluten. Below are some of the best gluten-free alternatives to flour.
Almond flour is made by grinding blanched (no skin) almonds. This is one of my favorite alternatives to flour as there are so many things you can make with it – I keep seeing more and more recipes containing almond flour. It’s not surprising.
Almond flour contains all the amazing health benefits of almonds, including being full of vitamins and minerals. It makes a great alternative if you are following a low-carb diet.
I don’t know about you, but I had never heard of amaranth flour before writing this post. A popular staple for the Aztec civilization, amaranth flour is made from grinding the seeds of the amaranth plant. Amaranth is high in protein and a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B5.
Arrowroot flour is similar to cornstarch in terms of texture and uses but is considered a healthier alternative. Arrowroot is low in calories, high in protein and a good source of vitamins, including B-complex.
Arrowroot is typically used as a thickening agent for sauces and soups – it’s one of the best thickening agents as it doesn’t make your food go cloudy. Nowadays, arrowroot is being used for various recipes, including pancakes.
If you’re not a fan of bananas, the good news is that banana flour doesn’t actually taste like bananas. Made from green bananas, it is popular among paleo dieters as it is a source of resistant starch, a starch that has a similar effect as fibre when consumed.
Banana flour can actually be used as an alternative to traditional flour in most cooking and baking recipes.
Don’t let the name fool you. Buckwheat flour is not a form of wheat but actually related to rhubarb and sorrel. Buckwheat flour has many health benefits as it is full of nutrients – like calcium- and is a very good source of fibre.
Unlike some of the other flours, buckwheat has a distinctive, nutty flavor. This means it may not work as a great substitute in certain recipes, although I have seen quite a few I’d like to try.
Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour, is made from ground chickpeas. It is often associated with South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Chickpea flour has got a particularly strong taste, so think wisely when using it as a substitute for flour, especially in sweet dishes. It does work well in savoury dishes.
The good thing about chickpea flour is that if you don’t like it, you can actually use it as a face mask, which is supposed to be pretty effective. The bad thing about chickpea flour is that although it’s gluten-free, it is high in carbohydrates so should really be avoided if you are on a low-carb diet