Which Gluten-free Flour Should I Use For the Best Results?
Finding gluten free alternatives to flour can be a daunting prospect, there are so many options nowadays which vary in taste, texture, absorbency and colour. Gluten free flours have previously have had a bad rap, especially in ready-made gluten free products, where they haven’t been used correctly. Resulting in dry, tasteless and heavy foods, however this doesn’t have to be the case!
It can be difficult to find the perfect flour or combination of flours for a recipe but once you know what works well with what it can be so simple and fun to create perfect, delicious gluten free recipes. So here is a little bit of information about some of the best gluten free flours on offer and suggestions for how to use them to show that gluten free cooking can be fun too. Whether you have Coeliac Disease, a gluten intolerance or are avoiding it as a lifestyle choice you don’t have to miss out on amazing flavours and textures!
A Guide To Gluten-free Flours
Brown Rice Flour -
Brown rice flour is probably the best gluten free alternative to all-purpose plain flour due to its subtle taste, absorbency and similarities in texture. It’s perfect for batter, cakes, baked doughnuts and biscuits, especially shortbread and crunchy cookies. Try combining it with walnut flour or coconut flour for a delicious and light cake.
Chickpea Flour -
Also known as ‘gram flour’, chickpea flour is made from finely ground chickpeas and gives any recipe it is added to an amazing yellow colour! It has a wonderfully nutty taste that is perfect for savoury recipes. It works so well on its on and is a very popular gluten free flour option for deep frying. Also try using it to make breads such as flatbreads, savoury pancakes, wraps and pizza bases (in particular ‘Socca’ pizzas).
Coconut Flour -
Coconut flour is one of the most popular flour options among those looking for a low-carb gluten free alternative. It has a naturally sweet, coconutty flavour meaning you don’t need to add as much sweetener, which is always a bonus! Coconut flour has a very high absorbency, similar to nut-based flours, so you will need to add extra liquid when using and often an extra egg. Try making pancakes by simply adding an egg, a banana and a little almond milk. It also works really well when combined with brown rice flour in cupcakes and cookies as you would with ground almonds.
Flaxseed Flour -
Ground flaxseed is another great low-carb option, it is also really high in fibre keeping you satisfied for longer! It has a very high soluble fibre content meaning it is a great vegan alternative to eggs. Try replacing an egg in any baked recipe with 1 tbsp of flaxseed flour soaked in 2 tbsp of cold water for 5 minutes. The high fibre content also means it soaks up lots of liquid when simply used as flour, resulting in an amazing nutty, crunchy texture. Try combining it with quinoa flour or soya flour to make crackers and biscuits or add it to granola to create big crunchy clusters!
Quinoa Flour -
Quinoa flour is made from finely ground quinoa, a naturally gluten free seed that is used in a similar way to grains when in it’s whole form. It has a distinct earth and nutty flavour that works so well in sweet and savoury recipes. Like brown rice flour, it’s a really great alternative to traditional flour but with a slightly stronger taste. Try using to make pasta, a loaf of bread, a pizza base or a quiche crust, or even combine it with brown rice flour and walnut flour for a lovely nutty cake!
Soya Flour -
Soya flour is made from soya beans and has a pale yellow tint to it. It is a very versatile flour and a common ingredient in shop-bought breads, crackers and cakes. Soya flour is another great alternative for regular flour in terms of texture when baking or try using it to add bulk to meatballs and burgers (and veggie burgers!) or to thicken sauces.
Walnut Flour -
Walnut flour is a very underrated gluten free flour, it doesn’t have the same popularity as ground almonds but it definitely should! Like other nut-flours it has a very high absorbency so you will most definitely need to add extra egg and/or liquid when using it. It has an incredible sweet nutty taste that stands out when baked, and gives your recipes a dark colour similar to regular wholemeal flour. Try using it combined with brown rice flour or quinoa flour in cakes and cupcakes, in particular carrot, coffee and Christmas-themed bakes!
Purple Corn Flour -
As the name suggests, purple corn flour is made from ground purple corn kernels and will lend an incredible, unique, deep purple colour to your creations! It can be used in a similar way to regular cornflour to replace regular flour in both sweet and savoury recipes. Try adding it to pancakes, crepes, muffins, breads, flatbreads and tortillas!
By blogger Nutritiously Naughty
Nutritiously Naughty is a food blog authored by the lovely Ruth, and she specialises in delicious, coeliac friendly, gluten free, clean-eating recipes. The majority of her recipes are influenced by the low-fodmap diet which is well known for making life with IBS and food allergies more manageable. Vegetarian and vegan recipes also feature regularly for those looking to avoid animal products.
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