Cooking with all-purpose flour is practically a given for most recipes. However, with alternative diets rising in popularity, you may be curious about flour alternatives, as well, like wheat flour, quinoa flour, or oat flour. Whether you’d like to experiment with new ingredients, or you need to make a last-minute substitution, it’s handy to know how to use these flours. Here are a few basics about 5 popular alternative flours.
Whole Wheat Flour
Interestingly, whole wheat flour is higher in protein content than all-purpose flour, making it more nutritious. When it comes to flavor, it has a wheat-like, slightly nutty taste. Because whole wheat flour is derived from the same product as all-purpose flour, this flour alternative tastes and behaves most similarly to all-purpose.
Flour made from quinoa is high in fiber, rich in protein, and contains plenty of amino acids. Wow! You can use quinoa flour for cookies, muffins, cakes, and loaf breads. Don’t use it in yeasted bread, which will not benefit from quinoa flour.
Oat flour has a flavor profile similar to that of whole wheat flour: mild, nutty, and great for pancakes, waffles, bars, and breads. Oat flour also has soluble fiber, which helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, won't impact blood sugar levels on its own, and aids digestive health.
Need a low-carb baked good? Turn to almond flour, which performs well in baking and is a good source of Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Almond flour is also compliant with a lot of different diets, including low-carb, paleo, and gluten-free.
This alternative flour is derived from dried coconut meat, making it powder-like, naturally grain-free, and ultra-fine. If you’re all out of all-purpose flour, you’ll love knowing that coconut flour has an ideal 1:1 substitution for cookies, bars, muffins, and cakes. However, keep in mind that coconut flour is so high in fiber, it needs extra moisture to hold your recipe together.
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