Several weeks ago, dear readers, I shared 8 natural sugar alternatives to satisfy a sweet tooth. I hope you’ve had an opportunity to try some of them in your favorite recipes. If so, drop me a line to share the results with us as I’m anxious to hear your stories!
This week I’ve listed 9 different flours to use instead of unbleached wheat flour. If you are gluten sensitive or intolerant or following one of the versions of the Paleo Diet I’m sure you are already familiar with some or all of the flours listed. Many gluten-free products can be found in grocery stores and online, but there may be times when you want to prepare your own gluten-free version of your favorite foods. This list will give you a variety of different flours to try.
How do these flours compare to wheat flour?
You may wish to lower your carb content, and if that’s the case, keep in mind that 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons of unbleached wheat flour contains 25 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. fiber, (24 g. net carbohydrates), 4 g. protein and 124 calories.
Flours such as coconut flour, almond flour, and soy flour are lower in carbohydrates and contain more nutrients and some flours (especially nut flours and rice flours) are more calorie dense. In these cases, decide which numbers are more important to you: carbs, fiber, protein or calories. Nut flours also contain fat grams. If you are diabetic, the carbohydrates are important because carbohydrates convert to sugar and sugar spikes insulin.
One of the most important things to remember when substituting any flour in place of wheat flour is that they will not behave like wheat flour, especially in baked goods. If you are interested in replacing wheat flour, definitely follow a recipe specifically developed for using an alternate flour. The internet and Paleo cookbooks can be your best friends for finding recipes using these (and other) alternate flours. The Ditch the Carbs website, https://www.ditchthecarbs.com/low-carb-flours/ , is also a good resource for low carb flour information as well as for low-carb recipes.
9 Flour Alternatives:
- Coconut flour: High in fiber, when used in baking increase liquids; cannot be substituted 1-for-1 in place of wheat flour.
- Tapioca Flour: Also called cassava flour, versatile and gluten-free.
- Chickpea flour: AKA garbanzo bean flour. Use in place of regular wheat or other gluten-free flours. High in folate, B vitamins and potassium, iron and selenium.
- Buckwheat flour: Gluten-free, adds bulk and nutrients, no digestive issues. Good source of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. Aids digestion, relieves constipation, lowers cholesterol and reduces hypertension.
- Quinoa flour: Gluten-free, vegan, “superfood”. Contains all 9 essential amino acids and is a complete protein. Rich in insoluble fiber.
- Rice flour: Non-allergenic, easy to digest. Rice pasta is a good pasta alternative to wheat pasta.
- Almond flour: Easy to use, gluten-free for baked goods. High in minerals, supports skin health and brain function, controls blood sugar levels, supports healthy metabolism.
- Banana flour: Gluten-free, contains natural vitamins and minerals, rich in potassium. High in resistant starch, helps manage Type 2 diabetes. Use ¾ cup to every 1 cup of wheat flour.
- Sunflower seed flour: Rich in linoleic acid, excellent fiber, amino acids, best natural source of Vitamin E. Gluten-free, vegan, paleo and good for people sensitive to almonds and other nuts.
You might be diabetic, you may have gluten issues, but you also have choices when you shop, cook and eat. Choose natural sugar alternatives and gluten-free products to transform your “guilty pleasure” foods, and ditch the guilt!