Alternative Flours

Alternative Flours

Trying to reduce or remove wheat from your baked goods? Here are some tips on some alternative flours to try this year.

Amaranth Flour

This flour is high in protein, but strongly flavored. Amaranth flour can substitute up to 25% of the total flour in a recipe before it begins to change the texture. It has a high absorption rate so add extra liquid or some applesauce into your recipe so the bake good does not become dry and hard.

**If you have never tried amaranth flour before, ease into it by trying some amaranth seeds in oatmeal or cookies to help get use to it's strong flavor. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the seeds before using them in recipes.

Barley Flour

This is a delicate flour that is high in fiber. It is not gluten free, but has a very low gluten content so it can not provide enough rising action if used on it's own. It is best when barley flour is mixed with other flours to produce a leavened product. If you are trying to use barley flour in a bread recipe, substitute only up to about 20% of the wheat flour. If using in baked goods such as muffins or cakes barley flour can produce a wonderfully tender crumb, but only replace up to 1/2 the regular flour portion called for in the recipe or the structure in your baked good may become too soft.

**Store barley flour in the refrigerator or freezer to help extend the shelf life because this is a flour that turns rancid quickly.

Buckwheat Flour

It is a relative of the rhubarb family and has a strong flavor so buckwheat flour can be overpowering if used on its own. It is best used in sourdough breads, crepes and pancakes.

Chia Flour

This powerhouse contains fiber, protein and omega 3. Make chia flour by grinding seeds in a spice grinder. This flour is a good binding agent, but be careful when using in baking because liquid and baking times may need to be increased. Keep a 1 (chia flour) to 3 (other flours) ratio when baking so the product does not turn gummy.

Example: 1 cup of flour needed for recipe - substitution will = 1/4 cup Chia Flour and 3/4 cup of Flour

Coconut Flour

Naturally sweet and high in fiber. Sugar in recipes can be reduced when using coconut flour. Coconut flour is usually used with other flours and substituted only up to 20% of the flour measurement in a recipe. This flour has a high absorption rate so it can create a heavy texture and dry out a baked good very quickly. Recipes usually add additional eggs and liquids when coconut flour is used.

Millet Flour

This flour is best used in flatbreads and pizza crusts. Millet can replace up to 50% of the wheat flour required in a recipe.

Spelt Flour

Spelt flour can be used as an equal replacement and is an excellent flour for yeast breads. This flour is not gluten free, but it is wonderfully nutritious.

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