Who else gets over-whelmed when walking down the baking or organic aisle at the grocery when searching for ingredients for recipes? Consumers can easily be faced with choices such as coconut flour, almond flour, all-purpose flour; arrowroot- is your head spinning yet? I’m sure most of you and including myself were raised cooking and baking with all-purpose white flour, whole wheat flour and corn starch, just to name a few. Traditional baking ingredients are not nutrient dense. When I made a very brief switch to the Paleo style of eating, I ended up doing a complete re-haul of my pantry and did a bit of research on these “new to me” flours. Although I enjoy using grain-free flours in my day to day cooking and baking, I still use many products that contain whole wheat and oat flour. I believe everything in moderation. The items on this list can be found in your organic aisle at the grocery story, Trader Joe’s and on Vitacost.
I’ve come to really enjoy and prefer baking with Coconut flour. It appears to be light and fluffy but do not let that deceive you. It is actually quiet dense and fiber rich. A little bit goes a long way. A good rule of thumb that I follow is 1 egg for each tablespoon of coconut flour. Since coconut flour has a very high fiber content, it sucks in a ton of liquid and requires more eggs than baking with whole-wheat flour. Coconut flour replaces wheat flour at a 1:4 ration.
Click here to purchase this Coconut Flour.
Blanched Almond Flour
This flour is made from blanched finely ground nuts and can be used to create everything from fluffy pancakes to crispy cookies. Almond flour is high in protein, vitamin E, B vitamins, protein, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium. Almond flour can replace wheat flour at almost a 1:1 ratio. You may need to adjustment some of your liquids as necessary. Almond flour is very heavy and I prefer not to use them for cakes.
Click here to purchase this Almond Flour.
Almond Meal should not replace almond flour in baking because the result will be coarse and heavy. Almond meal is simply skin-on almonds that are milled into a coarse flour. Since the nuts have not lost their skin, they retain their nutty flavor which would be great for meatloaf, chicken fingers, and in crumbles because of their coarse-like texture.
I use Trader Joe’s Almond Meal.
Arrowroot Starch Flour
This is wonderful for giving a light, airy texture to baking and works very well to thicken sauces without changing the taste. Arrowroot starch is generally used as a thickener for sauces and can easily replace cornstarch at a 1:1 ratio. It has a neutral taste and should not make your goods taste “starchy.” If replacing wheat flour with arrowroot flour to add lightness to a recipe, replacing up to ¼ of your flour with arrowroot is typical.
My choice for Arrowroot flour is Bob’s Red Mill.
Garbanzo Bean Flour
Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas) are one of the creamiest and tastiest of beans. Garbanzo flour is high in protein and is a great alternative for those following a gluten free or wheat free diet. I love making Socca and home made tortillas with this flour. I posted a recipe on my Face Book page a few months ago for a really tasty Socca Pizza that you must try! Click here to purchase this flour.
I thought it would be only appropriate to share one of my favorite coconut flour based pancake recipes. Enjoy!
- 4 TBS Coconut flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ TBS psyllium husk powder(optional)
- 1 egg
- 4 egg whites
- ⅓c unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 5 baby carrots shredded
- Stevia powder or liquid
- Icing ingredients
- 3 TBS fat free plain or vanilla greek yogurt
- 2 TBS vanilla protein powder
- Combine all dry ingredients.
- Add all remaining wet ingredients except carrots.
- Stir until well combined.
- Add more liquid if you needed.
- Stir in your shredded carrots.
- Cook your pancakes.
- Prepare your icing.
- Spread greek yogurt in between each pancake layer.
- Save some for the top.
- Sprinkle extra carrot shreds and any other toppings that you want to include like Reddi Whip, sprinkles, maple syrup- have fun with it!