Flour Power

A huge part of improving our diet starts with making healthier swaps for the foods we love. One awesome way to do this is with flour! In place of refined white flour, use an alternative whole grain, bean, or nut flour to supercharge your baked creations with flavor and nutrition. Making pizza? Try making a Greek style pie with a chickpea flour crust; you’ll get more protein, fiber, and it’s flavor appropriate! I call this getting the most nutritional bang for your buck. Check out some of my favorite off the grid flours, and swap one in next time you pre-heat the oven!-

Coconut Flour 
With a low glycemic index, higher protein, and lower carbohydrate content, coconut flour is Paleo-diet and waist watcher approved. It works great for those morning biscuits and cacao nib cookies because it naturally has a slightly sweet taste. Did I mention it’s also gluten-free?
Tip: Swap up to 20% of the flour in a recipe with coconut flour (but make sure to add the same amount of liquid!)

Teff Flour 
Teff is a tiny grain that originates from Ethiopia and boasts high contents of dietary fiber, protein, amino acids, iron, vitamin C, and calcium. The flavor is light and a bit nutty. It’s a great gluten-free and nutritious addition to any baked good. Sub about ¼ of the flour in your favorite recipe with Teff.
Tip: delicious in anything that also calls for nut butter! 

Garbanzo Bean Flour 
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are super creamy beans that make a wonderful protein packed flour! Use as a wholesome breading substitute, to thicken sauces and gravy, or blend into breads for incredible flavor with more fiber to boot.
Tip: Replace 25% of flour called for with chickpea flour.

Hazelnut flour/meal 
Infamous for it’s chocolate pairing in Nutella, hazelnuts have a rich nutty flavor that work beautifully in baked goods or for crusting fish and meats. Hazelnut flour (or meal) will add healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, vitamin E, and luxurious flavor to your culinary creations.
Tip: Pass on the Nutella and use up to 30% hazelnut meal in leu of the flour called for in any of your favorite recipes. 

Spelt is an ancient heirloom grain that has never been altered or hybridized. This means it’s a reliable source for hearty flavor and a dense nutritional profile. While spelt isn’t gluten-free, it is easier to digest than conventional wheat and some who are sensitive to gluten can tolerate it (similar to sprouted grains). Add to breads, crackers, and muffins to get a high dose of fiber, manganese, and iron.
Tip: The nutty flour can be swapped for the equivalent of wheat flour called for in a recipe.

In the comments below, share how you plan to use an alternative flour (or how it went) to inspire us all! 

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under NOURISH, Nourish Tips/Advice.