5 Gluten-Free Flours to Upgrade Your Baking
December 12, 2017
Muffins, cookies, quick breads—just because you’ve gone gluten-free (or paleo) doesn’t mean you have to give up the baked goods you love. Grab one of these 5 grain-free flours, preheat your oven and get ready to enjoy healthier versions of your fave treats.
Probably the most commonly used non-grain flour, it’s simply almonds ground up. The finer the grind, the lighter and less crumbly the texture of your baked goods will be. Blanched almond flour means the nuts’ skins were removed before grinding, and you can expect a softer, lighter end product, most similar to regular flour. Unblanched is fine to use if you don’t mind a heartier muffin, quick bread, or pancake.
Use it in: Cakes, muffins, pancakes and waffles, quick breads, cookies, brownies/bars, breading, binder for meatballs
This light, slightly sweet, powdery flour, which is high in fiber and has some protein and healthy fats, is highly absorbent, so you use very little in a recipe with a lot of liquid. For this reason, it isn’t interchangeable with almond or other flours. Stick to recipes that call for it rather than trying to swap it in for another flour.
Use it in: Cakes, muffins, quick breads, cookies, brownies/bars, pancakes and waffles, binder for meatballs/meatloaf
Cassava is an excellent place to start if you’re new to grain-free baking because it works similarly to white flour and is easy to swap into recipes that call for traditional all-purpose flour. It has a fairly neutral flavor, and it’s nut free. It’s also easy to digest, so if you’re off gluten because of a digestive issue, cassava can be a good option. It’s lower in fiber and protein and higher in carbs than almond or coconut flour.
Use it in: Any baking recipe. Also makes great homemade tortillas and crepes
Grind dry-roasted chestnuts into a fine powder, and you have chestnut flour, a popular ingredient in parts of Italy. It’s pretty dense, so it’s best swapped in for only part of the flour in a recipe (i.e., if you’re making something gluten-free, substitute it for some of the rice flour or other base flour, but not all). It’s fairly high in calories, rich in fiber and protein with moderate fat.
Use it in: Cakes, crepes, pie crust, muffins, quick breads, brownies/bars, pancakes or waffles
Don’t be fooled by the “nut” in the name; tiger nuts are not nuts, but rather tiny, nutrient-dense root vegetables. Tiger nut flour is ok for people with nut allergies (but check the label if cross-contamination at the factory is a concern). High in fiber, healthy fats, and iron, tiger nut flour is fairly simple to swap into baking recipes that call for traditional flour, but it is coarser than all-purpose flour, so your baked goods will come out with more texture.
Use it in: Quick breads, muffins, cookies, pancakes and waffles