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Its apparent these days if you haven’t jumped on the isolation baking train then you just ain’t doing isolation right! So I thought it was timely that I share with you some of our favourite alternatives to wheat flour that work equally as well in baking and are gluten and grain free and super nutritious!
Coconut flour is a popular alternative to wheat flour because it’s relatively low in carbohydrates whilst being high in protein and fibre. It is a natural by-product of coconut milk production. When a coconut has been pressed for its milk, coconut meat remains. This is dried at a low temperature and ground to produce a beautifully soft, naturally grain and gluten-free flour suitable for baking.
Full of healthy fats, this flour is considered to be good for blood sugars and is often used with low allergy diets. It is delicious in biscuits, cakes, muffins and bliss balls. However, unless you are following a recipe specifically using coconut flour, it can be tricky to substitute for all-purpose flour. It is highly absorbent so extra liquids and plenty of eggs when baking are recommended.
Our favourite tasting gluten and grain free flour is almond flour, also known as almond meal. Made from ground up almonds, it is low in carbohydrates, suitable for paleo diets and has the added benefit of being high in fibre and healthy fats. It makes for a nutrient dense alternative to wheat flour.
Not only can you use this flour in your baking but it is also works well as a crumb for fish and chicken.
Despite its name, the buckwheat plant is neither grass nor grain and has nothing to do with wheat. Ticking the gluten-free and grain free boxes, buckwheat flour has more protein (amino acids) than rice, millet or corn flour.
It is a nutrient dense flour thanks to a wealth of vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids such as quarcetin, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and iron to name a few. Considered low glycemic this slightly nutty flavoured flour can be used for baking pancakes, muffins, breads and other foods.
It is important to note that replacing all of the wheat flour in a recipe with buckwheat is not that straightforward and following a buckwheat specific recipe is recommended.
Green Banana Flour
This is one of the newer grain and gluten free flours on the market, which is made, as the name suggests, from dried and ground green bananas. There are millions of bananas that go to waste because they are simply not pretty enough for our fussy supermarkets so the good news is that they are now being turned into flour, making green banana flour a very sustainable choice.
While raw banana flour has a slight banana flavour to it, baked banana flour actually has a rather neutral, mild and earthy flavour meaning you can use it for both sweet and savoury dishes.
Not only does this flour contain iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamins A, B and C, it can also help to maintain blood sugar levels.
Rich in protein and fibre, quinoa flour is a wonderful gluten and grain-free flour with the added benefits of Vitamin B and many minerals. The protein in this flour helps to provide structure and rise to baked goods so its wonderful used in cakes, cookies, breads and even pizza dough.