Two Gluten-Free Wheat Flour Alternatives
Many people who have trouble with wheat or gluten intolerance still would like to be able to eat some baked goods at least occasionally. There are also a lot of folks who have seen that even if they don’t have an overt gluten intolerance or Celiac disease they can still gain a lot of health benefits by eliminating their consumption of grain products to very little or none at all. Happily there are a few options out there that are pretty decent from a health perspective.
You don’t want to go overboard with these and most of your nutrition should come from quality meats and vegetables but there are a couple good wheat flour alternatives out there.
One of the first that comes to mind is coconut flour which is surprisingly useful in a range of cooking situations. Coconuts are pretty easy to turn into a number of products without high levels of processing like you will find applied to other types of foods common in the American food system such as soy, wheat and corn. You can drink the juice of the coconut as well as squeeze a high quality oil from it that is very stable for cooking purposes. Coconut flour is made from the dried, ground “meat” of the coconut.
If you are interested in getting more fiber in your meals this type of flour also has plenty of that. You’ll find that one hundred grams of coconut flour will give you 413 calories from 8 grams of quality fat, a bit over 38 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein.
Baking with coconut flour does require some eggs. Perhaps more than you are used adding to a recipe. For example you can make coconut flour pancakes by using a ripe banana, four tablespoons of coconut flour and mixing in four eggs. Once your ingredients are mixed and mashed you can brown them up in a skillet or griddle and throw some fruit on top along with some whipped cream.
You may also want to check out almond meal or almond flour as a gluten free alternative. It’s note ideal to eat too many products made from almond flour on a daily basis since you will tend to throw your omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratios out of balance since almonds are higher in omega 6 fats. They also contain a substantial amount of phytic acid which is one of the downsides of grains since it tends to keep minerals from being used by the body which isn’t a good thing for your bones and teeth. You’ll find that baked goods made with almond flour have a nutty flavor and tend to be heavier rather than the lighter, fluffier products you get from coconut flour.