Alternative Flour options useful in baking

Alternative flour options

White flour/ Apf is mostly used in light pastry and it gives you a feeling of I want more, so you end up eating more and more because it is light and without watching calories and your pocket.  Does it make you feel fuller or are you still sleepless thinking about what next to consume? At a party or at a fair or for that matter in a shop you do not have too much of a choice but at home do not make it a habit on a regular basis.  The reason being when you eat out or at a party the entire pastry is distributed among guests but at home when you are tempted you eat the entire cake alone:) Anyways, the best part is you won’t say no, when offered next time, Right!

 Here are some healthy baking flour alternatives to keep you guilt free at home

To make it healthier at home you can use whole grain flours. Here are some flour options, including gluten-free flours:

  • Whole wheat flour.Be sure to choose whole wheat flour, not wheat flour.
  • White whole wheat flour.This type of flour is made with white wheat berries and is more mild-tasting than regular whole wheat.
  • Spelt flour.This type of flour has fewer calories than wheat and is higher in protein. When using spelt flour, you don’t want to over-mix it because it will break down.
  • Oat flour.When used in recipes, more liquid needs to be added.

Gluten free flours:-

  • Brown rice flour.Especially good when combined with other flours, such as teff, buckwheat or sorghum. Has a slightly nutty flavor and can be used to thicken soups.
  • Coconut flour.This type of flour is high in fiber, low carb and a good source of protein. Recipes will likely need more liquid when using coconut flour but will require less sugar (or other sweetener) because coconut has a natural sweetness to it.
  • Soy flour.This type of flour has more protein and adds a subtle, nutty flavor to recipes. Can be used to thicken recipes.
  • Finger Millet/ Ragi Flour – It’s best used with a mix of other flours because it can be gritty.
  • Amaranth flour- This type of flour is high in protein.
  • Arrowroot flour.This type of flour is tasteless and good for thickening recipes.
  • Teff flour.This type of flour has more protein and more nutrients than wheat flour.
  • Buckwheat flour.An herbal plant.
  • Rye flour.This type of flour is darker than most other types of flour.
  • Banana flour.This type of flour can replace any plain or self-rising flour. It has a nutty taste.
  • Garbanzo bean / chickpea/ gram flour – Can be used for savory bakes
  • Tapioca flour.This type of flour adds a sweetness and chewiness to baking. It can also be used a thickener.
  • Almond flour.This type of flour is made from ground almonds.
  • Pumpkin seed meal.This flour alternative can be used to thicken soups and to add a nutty flavor to recipes.
  • Sesame seed meal.This flour alternative is made from ground sesame seeds.
  • Sunflower seed meal.This flour alternative is made from ground sunflower seeds.
  • Chia seed meal.This type of flour is made from ground chia seeds. When used in baking, liquid levels and cooking time may need to be increased.
  • Flax seed meal.This flour alternative is made from ground flax seeds.
  • Hemp flour.This type of flour is made from ground hemp seeds and has a mild, nutty flavor.
  • Quinoa flour.It is one of the most nutritious flours but should not be used alone. It has a light, nutty flavor.
  • Corn meal flour – Can be also corn meal flour made from unbleached corn (Information from hearts to win treats)

To get the most health benefits, use sprouted, whole-grain flours: Read why you should bake with sprouted-grain flour.

Sprouted flours make the product more digestable and are absorbed faster in the system – note by hearts to win treats

Tips for Using Alternative Flours

When using white flour substitutes and gluten-free flours, you usually have to combine several flours to get the same or similar texture and taste.  Here are some tips:

  • When using whole wheat or other flours, sift the flour two or three times to incorporate air into for baking.
  • Try adding a little bit of vital wheat gluten to alternative flours.
  • Try adding 2.5 tsps of baking powder per cup of flour to lighten recipes.
  • Adding a little more fat (preferably the healthy kind) to recipes can help keep the final product light, as in pancakes.
  • After combining wet and dry ingredients, let the batter sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid.

Source – Adapted from Onegreenplanet.org

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