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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.

Almond Flour

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 meatball​s​

Coconut Flour

Th​is 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 recipe​s​ 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 Flour

​​Cassava​ is an excellent place to start if you’re new to grain-free baking ​because ​it works similar​ly​ 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

​Chestnut Flour​

​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

​Tiger Nut Flour​​

​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​

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