White flour is a big part of most people’s day – we eat sandwiches, pastry treats and biscuits. And while we love our white flour, this ingredient can be harming our bodies and making us unhealthy.
You don’t have to give up flour altogether – healthier options do exist and you can find replacements that still allow you to bake delicious food.
Whether you’re gluten-sensitive or just want to avoid the white stuff, here are 15 great options to try instead:
1. Almond flour
Naturally grain-free, this Paleo-friendly flour contains protein, healthy fats, and 35 per cent of your RDA for vitamin E. One little tip: refrigerate or freeze it after opening to prevent spoiling. It is best for coating chicken or fish; in meatballs, or anywhere else you’d use bread crumbs; or for replacing up to one-fourth of the white flour in cakes, muffins, pancakes, and cookies.
2. Soy flour
Ground soybeans deliver calcium, fibre, and more than triple the protein of white pastry flour. Best for thickening sauces, gravies, or soups; or swapping in (up to one-third the amount) for white flour in non-yeasted recipes.
3. Quinoa flour
This nutrient-packed flour contains a complete protein: one that provides all of the essential amino acids. To get rid of quinoa’s natural bitterness, grind your own flour, baking the quinoa first on a parchment-lined sheet at 90°C for 10 minutes. Best for upping the healthiness of cookies and cakes. Cut it with an equal amount of white flour – the texture will be a bit more grainy than usual, but the result will be so much better for you.
4. Barley flour
High in fibre, barley can help lower blood cholesterol and sugar levels. Just make sure to look for a whole-grain variety. Best for fluffy biscuits, breads, and pancakes that are less dense than you’d make with wheat flour.
5. Spelt flour
Made from one of the so-called ancient grains, spelt flour has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and bakes up lighter and softer than whole-wheat flour, but it’s still fibre-rich (Be sure the label says wholegrain—not all varieties are). Best for baked goods, pizza crusts, and breads. Unlike some other flours (soy, quinoa), spelt can be subbed for white flour one-for-one without changing the consistency of the end product.
6. Whole-wheat flour
Be sure to choose whole wheat flour, not wheat flour.
7. Brown-rice flour
Especially good when combined with other flours, such as teff, buckwheat or sorghum. Has a slightly nutty flavour and can be used to thicken soups, also gluten gree.
8. Coconut flour
This type of flour is high in fibre, 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.
9. Millet flour
This type of flour adds a subtle flavour and creamy colour, plus added vitamins and minerals. It’s best used with a mix of other flours because it can be gritty.
10. Flax seed meal
This flour alternative is made from ground flax seeds.
11. Corn starch
This is a flour-like substance made from wheat or corn. It is used as a thickening agent and is gluten free.
12. Hemp flour
This type of flour is made from ground hemp seeds and has a mild, nutty flavour, that is gluten free.
13. Amaranth flour
This type of flour is high in protein and gluten free.
14. Buckwheat flower
An herbal plant that is tasty and gluten free.
15. Banana flour
This type of flour can replace any plain or self-rising flour. It has a great nutty taste.
Sources: Onegreenplanet.org+ Womenshealthmag.com
Have you used any of these flours? What do you use instead of white flour? Tell us your tips more below!