Healthy alternative flours to make any and every recipe delicious and nutritious. Enjoy all your favorite treats with these gluten/grain-free flour swaps!
These days, there are so many flour choices when strolling through the baking isle that it can be quite overwhelming. Today, I am sharing my healthy flours that I always keep on hand in my pantry. These are my favorite alternatives to make any and every recipe delicious and nutritious.
A lot of people today use white flour, which has no healthy benefits whatsoever. Most flours are bleached, contain gluten which contains proteins that are hard to digest...leading to inflammation, leaky gut, diabetes, fatty liver and allergies, (just to name a few). Regular consumption of these flours can also cause high cholesterol in your bloodstream resulting in several health issues such as high blood pressure, weight gain, mood swings and obesity. These flours are also considered high glycemic foods which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.
Diabetes is prevalent in my family so I knew I had to definitely keep these flours out of my house and use healthy alternatives. I will say though, even if your family doesn't have history with diabetes, it doesn't exclude the possibility of developing this disease. Eating foods made with traditional flours on a regular basis can lead anyone to this possible diagnosis.
But stay with me, I have good news. There are many healthy flour alternatives that you can substitute and make all of your favorite recipes, including baked goods such as cookies, muffins, biscuits, brownies and more. Here are some of my favorite paleo healthy flours that I keep on hand for all of my baking needs.
ALMOND FLOUR is made from blanched almonds that are ground and sifted into a fine flour. It’s gluten-free, high protein, low carb, has a low glycemic index and is rich with nutrients such as vitamin E and magnesium. Almond flour is a heart-healthy option that is suitable for grain-free, low-carb, paleo and keto diets. This is my all time favorite flour to use in my recipes such as my "Chick-Fil-A" Chicken Nugget Recipe and Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You can get the same great taste using healthy alternative flours. My girls even say my nuggets taste better than Chick-Fil-A. Do make sure you use almond flour, not almond "meal". Almond meal has more of a coarse texture than almond flour because the skins are left on the almonds before they are ground into flour.
COCONUT FLOUR is a grain/gluten-free flour made by grinding dried coconut meat into a soft, fine powder. It is high in fiber, protein and healthy fats and low in sugar, carbohydrates and calories...unlike common flours, such as wheat and corn that are higher in carbs. It’s a much better choice for people looking to maintain a healthy blood sugar. Coconut flour is another great option for grain-free, paleo and keto diets. It’s also a great alternative to almond flour for those with nut allergies. I love to use almond and coconut flour together in recipes like my Paleo Buttermilk Drop Biscuits. The flours compliment each other by creating the perfect biscuit texture. It is the best substitute when combined with other gluten-free flours for baking cookies, muffins, brownies, biscuits and even pizza crust.
CASSAVA FLOUR, native to South America and also known as yuca, cassava is a root vegetable, making it similar to parsnips. Cassava flour is very mild and neutral in flavor. It’s texture is soft and powder-like unlike almond flour which is more gritty in texture. It is great in baked goods such as cookies, brownies, pancakes as well as a thickener for sauces and gravies.
TAPIOCA FLOUR is a starch extracted from cassava root, a tuber native to South America. It is naturally gluten-free. Tapioca flour can be used in baking and is great combined with other gluten-free flours. It can also be used as a "thickener" for soups, sauces and gravies...great in baking recipes like my Maple Cinnamon -Sugar Bagels.
ARROWROOT FLOUR is derived from the arrowroot plant and great substitute for cornstarch in baked goods and to thicken soups. It is very much like tapioca flour. Arrowroot and tapioca are interchangeable in recipes like my Creamy "No Potato" Soup and French Onion Soup. These two flours are what I like to use to thicken my sauces and soups.
So there you go, my Top 5 favorite flours that I use pretty much every single day in my recipes.
***I do have one more bonus flour that I'd love to mention...I've been experimenting with it for the past couple of years that I am loving. It works really well in my banana pudding recipe with lots of healthy benefits. I can't wait to share some recipes with you using tiger nut flour. Here's a little info about this flour below.
***TIGER NUT FLOUR is naturally gluten free and Paleo. Tiger nuts are small super-root a root vegetable that grows in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. It is a great alternative for those allergic to nuts and wanting to add protein when baking and cooking. Tiger nuts contain lots of fiber as well as resistant starch, that has prebiotic properties which promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Tiger Nut Flour is ideal for Paleo and Ketogenic diets, it is also gluten and grain free. I will be sharing some recipes very soon using Tiger Nut Flour!
I hope this post has been helpful and has given you inspiration to make a few swaps to live a more healthier lifestyle. Substituting flours is a great place to start. Let me know if you experiment with these flours I've shared with you today. I would love to hear how it goes!
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