10 Easy and healthy wheat flour alternatives

There are many reasons you may want to explore wheat flour alternatives. Here are some easy and healthy options for you to try out

Wheat flour has been the primary ingredient in baking cakes, cookies, pies and other pastries. Whether you have gluten intolerance, coeliac disease or have chosen to follow a healthy eating plan, you’ll be happy to learn about wheat flour substitutes while enjoying the deliciousness of the food we love.

The list below provides wheat flour alternatives, which are both gluten-free and wheat-free.

millet flour

Millet is an ancient, drought-resistant grain and widely grown in China, India and Africa. Millet has a protein structure similar to wheat, making it a fantastic substitute for wheat flour. It has a sweet and cornmeal-like flavor. In addition to giving gluten-free meals, millet is also rich in iron, dietary fiber, B vitamins, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Wheat lacks many of these nutrients. Unlike wheat, millet can be stored at room temperature for over a year.

Millet flour is full of nutrients

Although millet can be a direct substitute for wheat, it is best to combine with other gluten-free flours to create a versatile all-purpose blend.

Sorghum flour

Sorghum flour is similar to millet and is ground from sorghum grain. Sorghum is commonly used in Africa and India to make porridge, flat, and unleavened bread. It has a slightly sweet taste making it great for people looking for alternative flours with a sweet taste.

Sorghum flour is rich in antioxidants, iron, dietary fiber, B vitamins, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc Sorghum is common in making gluten-free beers.

Arrowroot flour

Arrowroot flour is ground from the roots of an arrowroot plant. Arrowroot flour is a tasteless, odorless and gluten-free powder, which is used to thicken sauces, soups, and other foods like jellies and fruit fillings. Arrowroot flour has twice the thickening power of wheat flour.

It is an excellent choice for thickening sauces like cranberry sauce and sweet and sour sauce since arrowroot flour can stand up to acidic mixtures. Arrowroot flour is used to make homemade ice cream, as it is not affected by freezing temperatures.

“Arrowroot flour is an excellent choice for thickening sauces like cranberry sauce”

It is added at the end of cooking time since extended heating will cause arrowroot powder to lose its thickening capability. Arrowroot is rich in B vitamins, iron and potassium, but lacks protein, which gives it great thickening capability.

Coconut flour

Coconut flour is ground from dried meat of coconut. It is rich in protein, fiber and fat with a light coconut flavour. These three nutrients make coconut flour so filling. It contains fewer carbohydrates, making it a great substitute for wheat flour, particularly for those people following a keto diet.

It is gluten-free and wheat-free and can be used to make baked cakes, cookies, bread and muffins. Coconut flour is highly absorbent. This means using this flour alone will lead to a dry and densely baked product.

To avoid this effect, you need to add more eggs and additional fat or liquid to obtain a perfect texture for your baked products.

Almond flour

Almond flour is gluten-free and wheat-free flour made by grinding dried almond nuts. It is a great source of healthy fat and protein.

Almond flour

Almond flour is made of ground almonds

It contains high calories making you feel fuller for a long time.

Almond flour can be used in baking, raw desserts and breads. Use 3/4 cup almond flour with 1/4 cup of arrowroot flour to substitute a cup of all-purpose flour and to provide an additional flavor.

Amaranth flour

Amaranth flour is gluten-free, wheat-free flour made from the seeds of Amaranth plant, which is a leafy vegetable. Amaranth flour is highly rich in protein. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.

While not a grain, amaranth flour has a dense grain with a slightly earthy flavor, so do not use a 1:1 ratio when using it to replace all-purpose flour.

“Amaranth flour is highly rich in protein. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus”

Since amaranth flour is dense, it is preferred to combine Amaranth flour with almond flour to get a nutty, earthy flavor in your baked items.

Cassava flour

Cassava flour is another great gluten-free and wheat-free substitute for wheat. It is made from the roots of cassava plant. It adds sweetness and chewiness to baking. It can also be used as a thickener.

It is absorbent, though, which means you will need to use less of it to avoid a dry baked good. Cassava flour stores well under room temperature.

brown rice flour

Brown rice flour is a natural, gluten-free substitute for wheat made from unpolished brown rice. It has a higher nutritional value than white rice. It contains the bran of brown rice making it rich in fibre. This also means that it has a noticeable texture, a bit grainy. It is great for making cakes, cookies and bread.

brown rice flour

Brown rice flour is great for making bread

Brown rice absorbs more moisture than all-purpose flour. It is therefore important to add liquid or use more eggs to make great products.

Brown rice flour rises very quickly, so it is advisable to avoid any rising agent while baking.

Potato flour

Potato flour is gluten- and wheat-free, and is a great alternative to wheat flour. Potato flour possesses a very strong potato flavor, as well as the heaviness of potatoes. For these reasons, a little goes a long way in a recipe. It also has a short shelf life, so buy it only when you plan to use it.

“Potato flour does not perform well when used alone in recipes”

It is also used as a thickening agent for sauces, gravies and soups. Potato flour does not perform well when used alone in recipes, therefore it is advisable to combine it with other gluten-free flours.

banana flour

Banana flour is made from unripe green bananas that are dried flour and milled to create a bran-like taste instead of a banana taste. Banana flour is used for cooking and baking. It is useful for thickening soups and sauces.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Coeliac disease

Read more: Are free-from diets become the new “normal”?

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