Let's Talk About Baking!
Come on. It’s the pandemic. We have all somehow turned into baking fanatics or masters in the past year. What flour do you use the most in your baking? Do you know that traditional white and all-purpose flour is not the healthiest choice? It is refined to remove the bran and germ from the wheat, which stores most of its natural fibre and nutrients. More people are now replacing white flour with more nutritious and often gluten-free options for baking and cooking! Some popular flours aren’t made from grains at all but rather nuts or seeds.
Here we have 6 of the healthiest alternative flours for every purpose:
- Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour is made from delicious garbanzo beans that lends a sweet, rich flavour to baked goods. Chickpeas are loaded with protein and dietary fibre and are a good source of iron (just 1 cup of chickpea flour provides 4.5 mg of iron!). Because of its slightly beany flavour it works best in savoury baking applications, including pizza crust, flatbreads, and quick bread. As it’s made with beans and not wheat, chickpea flour is of course, gluten-free!
- Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is a grain- and gluten-free flour made by grinding dried coconut meat into a soft, fine powder. It offers a rich source of fibre: 1 cup of flour contains 56g of fibre, that’s 16 times the fibre you’ll find in the equivalent amount of white flour! This flour is also a good source of protein, healthy fats, antioxidants and minerals, including iron and potassium. Coconut flour works best in sweets like cakes, cookies, and muffins!
- Spelt Flour
Spelt is a type of wheat, and spelt flour is a type of whole wheat flour made from the entire grain, bran, endosperm, germ and all. In the wide world of whole wheat flour, spelt performs the closest to all-purpose white flour while bringing a lot more flavour and nutrients. It has a wheaty, nutty flavour and contains more fibre, vitamin and mineral benefits than regular all-purpose flour.
- Almond Flour
Almond flour is a tasty and nutritious gluten-free alternative to traditional flour. Because it’s made with almonds, it is lower in carbs and higher in unsaturated fat and protein than many other types of flour. In addition to healthy fats and plant protein, it provides magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can protect your brain health, is also found in flour. Because of its slightly sweet flavour and silky texture, almond flour is ideal for treats like cupcakes, cookies, and macarons!
- Rye Flour
Rye flour is more nutritious than wheat and contains more minerals with fewer carbs. It is also incredibly high in fibre— 1 cup of serving of rye flour provides 30g of fibre. You can buy rye flour in light, medium, and dark varieties. Darker rye will have a more robust sour flavour and thicker texture than lighter varieties. In general, rye flour works best in savory goods, like bread, crackers, pasta, flatbreads, and even pie crusts.
- Quinoa Flour
The flour is milled from quinoa, a nutritious, gluten-free seed with a nutty, earthy flavour. Quinoa acts as a complete, plant-based protein source, which means that it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own! Quinoa flour is also rich in fibre and nutrients like magnesium, iron, and B vitamins. Furthermore, it boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that benefit digestive health, inhibit tumour growth, and lower overall disease risk.
Time to replace your traditional white flour with some healthy and delicious alternatives, FoodCraft offers you a wide range of options, perfect for all you bake lovers!