By Milagros Cruz
Cutting gluten from your diet may seem like an unbelievable task if you have Celiac disease or want to try the gluten-free diet, but it doesn't have to be. There are foods that are naturally gluten-free that you can enjoy—and luckily for you, some of those foods can also be turned into flour! You don't have to cut bread and baked goods from your life completely; you just have to learn how to modify your recipes.
Rice, corn, tapioca, beans, and nuts are just some of the naturally gluten-free foods that you can enjoy that have also been turned into flour. Rice flour (brown or white) is a great alternative for wheat flour, and it has a nutty flavor and can be used to thicken sauces. Almond flour is a nut flour that is perfect for baking, and it's made from ground blanched almonds. All of the food that you love and know can still be enjoyed with a few modifications. Every recipe you try will not be an exact 1:1 measurement with regular flour, so you may need to do some experimenting with recipes to see what works best. Try 'em out and be sure to also take a peek at these 10 Gluten-Free Recipes for Weight Loss.
Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour is made of ground brown rice and is a nutritious alternative to wheat flour. It's a great source of protein, iron, fiber and vitamin B, and it's also rich in manganese which helps with bone development.
Brown rice flour has a nutty flavor and it can be used to make a roux, thicken sauces, or dredge proteins.
White Rice Flour
White rice flour is the refined version of brown rice flour, but has a milder taste, is lighter, and is easier to digest than other flours. White rice flour and brown rice flour can be used interchangeably in recipes.
White rice flour is also seen in a lot of Asian cuisine. The flour can be used to make a number of Asian dishes, like rice noodles.
While you may not be too familiar with acorn flour, it is surely a gluten-free flour you should try. Acorn flour has a great source of fiber and has large amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and good fats.
Acorn flour is perfect for homemade pancakes; simply substitute the white flour in your recipe with acorn flour and you'll have fluffy gluten-free pancakes everyone will enjoy.
Cashew flour is the perfect alternative to wheat flour. This flour is rich in protein, can assist in bone health, and it is lower in omega-6s than any other nut flour. You can use cashew flour in all of the same recipes you would use almond flour, which means it's great for baking cookies, bread, and more!
Peanut flour is made by grinding up roasted blanched peanuts into the perfect consistency. Peanut flour has a great source of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat, so you wind up feeling fuller longer and are less likely to overeat. This flour has a deep peanut flavor and can be used in any peanut-based dessert, as a substitute for bread crumbs, or as a thickening agent (like for soups).
If you're on a low-carb, Paleo, and/or gluten-free diet, this is the flour you should be using. Hazelnut flour is low in carbohydrates, has a good amount of vitamin E, and has a healthy serving of monounsaturated fats per 1/4 cup.
You can use hazelnut flour in to make pastries, pie crusts, cakes, and quick breads; your baked goods will have a rich buttery flavor when you choose hazelnut flour.
Black Bean Flour
Black bean flour is high in dietary fiber, iron, and magnesium. Using black bean flour will give your dishes a rich earthy flavor and can be utilized in a number of Mexican dishes. Make a black bean dip using black bean flour, spices, water, and salsa; you can even incorporate the flour into taco and burrito recipes.
Potato flour is made from ground and dehydrated potatoes. Potatoes are a natural source of fiber, B vitamins, and iron, making this a healthy gluten-free bread baking option. It attracts and holds water better than any other gluten-free flour, creating a moist yeast bread with a long shelf life.
This is one of the most nutritious grain flours available. This flour is high in protein and provides you with all of the amino acids that quinoa has. It is the ideal flour for people following a gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian diet. Quinoa flour's best uses are for biscuits, tortillas, bread, and pizza dough.
Amaranth flour is a stone ground flour that is widely used by the Aztecs and Inca civilization. It is produced by grinding seeds from the amaranth plant into a fine powder. The best uses for this flour is to make tortillas, pie crusts, and bread.
Pistachio flour is a nutritious addition to your everyday diet. It has an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, and iron. It has a mild nutty flavor and adds a small green hue to your baked goods. Pistachio flour is the perfect flour to use if you want to bake gluten-free macaroons.
Chai flour is made from ground chia seeds, giving you an excellent source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids; it can also control blood sugar levels and lower your blood pressure. Chia flour can be incorporated into baked good and you can also use it in porridge recipes. You can make porridge with gluten-free oats, nuts, fruit, and chia flour—a super simple and delicious recipe for any busy morning.
Almond flour is made of ground blanched almonds—a great source of vitamin E and magnesium. Almond flour is wonderful for use in French macaroons and financiers, pie crusts, cakes, cookies, pancakes, and quick breads. It can also be used in savory dishes, like instead of using bread crumbs in meatball recipes. You can also dredge your chicken or fish in almond flour before baking or frying.
Millet flour is a grain flour that has a good source of protein, amino acid, and dietary fiber. Millet is also alkaline, which makes it an easy grain to digest and helps balance the body's natural tendency towards acidity. A good use for millet flour is in your sweet or savory baked goods because it will give your cakes a crumb-like consistency that's perfect for coffee cake recipes.
Chickpea flour (also known as Garbanzo bean flour' gram flour, or cici bean flour) is very popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. You can use chickpea flour for falafel, hummus, or socca; a Middle Eastern flatbread. Chickpeas have a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and iron.
If you weren't aware, buckwheat seeds are not a type of wheat grain; they are actually related to the rhubarb family. Buckwheat flour is a great gluten-free flour option. Studies have shown that it helps slow down the rate of glucose absorption after a meal and it is a great source of fiber. Buckwheat has a very assertive flavor that works well for quick and yeast breads, and it will add a rich, earthy flavor to your bread recipes. You can also use buckwheat flour in traditional Russian blini or buckwheat crepe.
Coconut flour is the perfect alternative to wheat and grain flours. Coconut flour is made from dried coconut flesh; just two tablespoons yields five grams of fiber and only eight grams of carbs. This is the ideal flour for anyone who is gluten-free and on the Paleo diet. The light coconut taste in the flour allows it to be a tasty gluten-free flour for baked goods, making it perfect for muffins, scones, or banana bread.
Masa is the traditional dough used to make tortillas. Gluten-free masa harina is made with dried corn kernels or hominy that have been cooked and soaked in limewater. You can make fresh tortillas with masa harina or you can make a Venezuelan-style arepa recipe.
Tiger Nut Flour
The tiger nut—an excellent resistant starch— is a small root vegetable that grows in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Its flour has a sweet and nutty flavor that works in chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cakes.
Oat flour is made from ground oats, but oats are often subjected to gluten from cross contamination, so be mindful of choosing a package that says it was prepared in a gluten-free facility.This whole-grain flour gives your brownie, cookie, and cake recipes a mild oat flavor.