Like almond flour, coconut flour is a sweet, gluten-free alternative to conventional all-purpose flour. It’s often made from the by-products of coconut milk and, according to one review, is a rich source of fiber. With 28g of fiber in half a cup – that’s almost five times the fiber you can find in the equivalent amount of whole wheat flour – coconut flour is an excellent source of this nutrient.
Coconut flour is best for sweets like cakes, cookies, and muffins. However, there is a chance that baked goods may add a more unique taste than other types of flour. So you should stay away from coconut flour if you’re not crazy about the taste, says Harbstreet.
Typically, you can swap about ¼ to ⅓ cup of coconut flour for 1 cup of regular flour per Bob’s Red Mill.
You can find the following in ½ cup (60 g) coconut flour per USDA:
- Calories 240
- protein 12 g
- fat 8 g
- carbohydrates 36 g
- Fiber 28 g (an excellent source)
Try this recipe: Paleo Strawberry Shortcake (Fit Mitten Kitchen).
5. Quinoa flour
This flour is ground from quinoa, a nutritious, gluten-free seed with a nutty, earthy taste, according to the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council. Quinoa is often viewed as a grain.
According to Pizzmont Healthcare, quinoa acts as a complete plant-based protein source, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot make on its own.
Quinoa – and quinoa flour in its broader sense – is also high in fiber, as well as nutrients like magnesium, iron, B vitamins, and antioxidants, Hartley says.
Try quinoa flour in pancakes, waffles, and muffins. “I especially love [quinoa flour] in recipes that have chocolate and spices that go well with the taste of quinoa, ”says Hartley. Replace half of the all-purpose flour in regular recipes with quinoa flour to add nutrients and a slightly nutty flavor.
Here are the nutrients you can find in half a cup (56 g) of quinoa flour, according to the USDA:
- Calories 220
- protein 8 g
- fat 3 g
- carbohydrates 36 g
- Fiber 4 g (a good source)
Try this recipe: Morning Glory Quinoa Breakfast Bar (Simply Quinoa).
CONNECTED: 6 reasons quinoa is better than white rice for weight loss
6. Chickpea flour
Chickpea flour is made from ground chickpeas (also known as chickpea beans) and has a mild, nutty taste. It’s also packed with protein, fiber, and iron, says Rizzo. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that, according to the NIH, carries oxygen around your body. Just 1 cup of chickpea flour provides 4.5 mg of iron – an excellent source of nutrients, according to the USDA.
Chickpea flour is a popular flour option in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, says Hartley. “Because it has a slightly bean-like taste, it’s best for hearty baking uses like pizza crust, flatbread, and quick bread,” she says.
Swap 25 percent of all-purpose flour for chickpea flour to add flavor, fiber, and protein to standard baked goods. Bonus: Because chickpea flour is made from beans rather than wheat, it’s gluten-free.
According to the USDA, in half a cup (46 g) of chickpea flour, you’ll find the following:
- Calories 178
- protein 10.3 g
- fat 3.1 g
- carbohydrates 26.6 g
- Fiber 5 g (a good source)
Try this recipe: Chickpea Flour Crust Pizza (Pinch Me Good).
7. Spelled flour
Spelled is a close relative of wheat, but has a higher protein profile than common wheat, according to the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council. Whole wheat spelled flour has a lighter texture and a sweeter taste than whole wheat flour. “If you’re not a whole wheat fanatic, this is a great introduction to whole wheat flour,” says Hartley.
Like normal wheat flour, spelled flour is available in refined and whole grain varieties and contains gluten. By choosing the whole grain type, you can ensure that you are getting the benefits of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Use spelled flour in any baking recipe that calls for all-purpose or whole wheat flour. For less structured recipes like muffins and pancakes, use spelled flour in a 1: 1 ratio for all-purpose flour, Hartley says. For more structured recipes (like bread), you may need to use less liquid and less flour, she notes.
According to the USDA, half a cup (60 g) spelled flour contains these nutrients:
- Calories 220
- protein 10 g
- fat 1 g
- carbohydrates 44 g
- Fiber 8 g (an excellent source)
Try this recipe: Vegan Blueberry Muffins (Connoisseurus Veg).
8. Rye flour
“Rye flour is ground from rye berries, a type of wheat with a deep, earthy taste,” says Hartley.
You can buy rye flour in light, medium and dark varieties. The darker the rye, the more bran and germ it contains. The closer he gets to a whole grain, says Hartley. Darker rye also has a stronger sour taste and texture than lighter varieties.
Don’t directly replace all-purpose flour with rye flour, Rizzo notes. Instead, swap 25 percent of the all-purpose or whole grain flour for rye flour for a blend. Since rye flour has a bold taste, you can definitely go for a mixture, says Hartley.
In general, rye flour works best with savory products like bread, crackers, pasta, flatbreads, and even pie crusts. That said, it can add complex flavor to sweets like cookies and cakes – not to mention fiber – Hartley says.
Dark rye flour contains these nutrients in ½ cup (64 g) per USDA:
- Calories 208
- protein 10.2 g
- fat 1.4 g
- carbohydrates 44 g
- Fiber 15.3 g (an excellent source)
Try this recipe: Homemade Rye Bread (House of Nash Eats).
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