The Best Gluten-Free Flours

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Exploring the realm of gluten-free baking is a rewarding yet complex endeavor – the end product can be scrumptious, but it may take a bit of experimentation to determine the right blend of gluten-free flour and understand when to use each one. The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program does not contain any gluten, and a full section is focused on gluten-free baking and desserts. To put it another way, gluten-free flours are essential for nutritious cooking!

We have put a lot of effort over the years into experimenting with both the sweet and savory types of gluten-free baked goods (which we are sure is not an easy job) and we have gained a substantial amount of knowledge throughout this process. This A to Z gluten-free flour guide allows you to bypass the failures and hard-as-a-rock gluten-free muffins in order to get to deliciousness.

It is essential to understand that combining multiple flours is necessary to get the best results when working with gluten-free flour. If one type of gluten-free flour is utilized, the cookies created will be hard and unpalatable. Generally, when replacing wheat flour with gluten-free flour, or one gluten-free flour for another, experimentation is required to get the best results.

Without any more delay, take a look at the following gluten-free flour choices that we all enjoy, and find out the most effective way to use them.

Amaranth Flour

These diminutive grains that make for an unexpected cereal can be milled into a powdery flour too. Amaranth has a lot of protein and possesses a flavor reminiscent of the outdoors.

Utilize its grassy taste in savory meals like pizza crust. Swap it 1:1 from glutenous flour.

Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour is a delicate powder obtained from the arrowroot plant, which can also be labeled as arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder. It is reminiscent of corn starch, potato starch, and tapioca starch.

Substitute corn, potato, or tapioca starch with it as a thickening agent. It can be beneficial to use when you need anything that needs to be stuck together. You can replace corn, potato, or tapioca starch with arrowroot flour in equal proportions. Try to keep your gluten-free flour mix under 20% arrowroot when baking.

Bean Flours

Legumes such as beans can be made into flour, just like other grains. Chickpea flour sometimes referred to as garbanzo bean or ceci flour, is employed to create flatbread in the southern region of France. Lentil flour shows up in Indian cuisine. Fava beans are ground into flour and can be found in some store-bought gluten-free baking mixes. They are all rich in protein and fiber.

Bean flours can be incorporated into both sweet and savory recipes but should be added sparingly since their taste can be quite intense. Mix in up to a quarter of bean flour with gluten-free flour.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flour is made from ground buckwheat. It has a distinctive, delicious taste and is extremely good for you, so it is widely used in several countries, particularly in Asia. The buckwheat plant bears a fruit, and this fruit is in no way related to either wheat or grasses. Therefore, buckwheat flour is completely free of gluten. Incorporate up to 50% buckwheat flour into your gluten-free flour mixtures.

Coconut Flour

This flour is produced without gluten and is created from coconuts that have been dehydrated and processed into a powder. This flour is extremely thick and contains a high amount of protein. Additionally, it has the highest amount of fiber out of all the flours. You will need to include additional liquid in the amount of at least one-quarter of a cup when using this in recipes. It is a common ingredient in Paleo diets, going well with eggs–thus, it is not an ideal component for vegan dishes. You can substitute 1/4 cup of coconut flour for 1 cup of wheat-based (or other gluten-free) flour since it absorbs a lot of fluid. You will have to include an additional 1/4 cup of liquid.

Oat Flour

One can make oat flour by processing whole oats in a food processor or blender. This foodstuff is high in soluble fiber, which assists in maintaining the equilibrium of glucose in the bloodstream. Make sure that the oat flour you use is entirely free of gluten. Although oats don’t ordinarily contain gluten, they are often grown and prepared close to wheat, which can cause them to be contaminated. Obtain certified gluten-free oats to be processed into a powder, or acquire certified gluten-free oat flour.

Quinoa Flour

As a grain, quinoa is nutty and delicious. As flour, quinoa is a little bitter. The protein content in it is high, but it makes gluten-free baked goods more dense in texture. Mixing a small amount of quinoa flour with other types of gluten-free flour can give you a good supply of protein without any bitter taste. You can also brown your flour in the oven to increase the taste.

This product has a high protein content, so you can substitute it for wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio, though we suggest that you only use up to a quarter of it in any baking mixture.

Teff Flour

The tiny seeds of teff make a fascinating porridge. This whole grain porridge, dark brown in color like molasses, has a hint of chocolate for flavoring. Not only is it an excellent breakfast option, but it is also sure to leave you full and satisfied. As flour, teff is nearly miraculous. The flour, which is finely ground from the minute seeds, practically melts when baked, giving it a jelly-like texture. It connects the baked goods in a way that is somewhat comparable to gluten.

What About Arsenic in Rice Flour?

Arsenic is a weighty metal present naturally in water and on the ground, and historically, it was frequently administered as a toxin. It is a carcinogen, and due to the fact that rice fields are inundated with water, the grain is allowed to absorb more of it.

Researches indicate that arsenic is present in a lot of types of rice, and some products that are marketed for little ones and toddlers have amounts of arsenic that are worrying.

Arsenic in rice is something to be mindful of, but there are a few ways to mitigate the potential risk:

  • Rotate through different gluten-free flours, so you’re limiting exposure and not eating rice (or other rice products and rice-based baked goods) daily or multiple times a day.
  • Basmati rice is lower in arsenic than other varieties.
  • There are certain rinsing and cooking methods for rice that massively lower the amount of arsenic.

Rice Flour

Rice flour is a gluten-free flour staple! I blend together both brown rice and white rice flour in my gluten-free mix to create a more appealing appearance in the result of my baking.

The end result is much less pale or white and turns a lovely shade of brown. I get both my brown rice flour and white rice flour from Bob’s Red Mill.

Tapioca Starch or Flour

Tapioca starch and flour are essentially identical; they can be used synonymously.

I incorporate tapioca flour into my mixture of gluten-free flour. The addition of the rice flour helps to make the mixture lighter and acts as a binding and holding agent.

Tapioca Flour/Starch is an essential component of a few of the dishes I enjoy. I put it in the dairy-free Brazilian cheese bread that I’ve been making for years, which was a hit with the family, along with the gluten-free blue corn muffins.

Potato Starch (Not Flour)

The starch produced from the liquid drained off of potatoes that have been air-dried is referred to as potato starch. Potato FLOUR is dried potatoes ground up.

They are very different things and are not interchangeable. I incorporate potato starch into my mix for gluten-free flour.

If you don’t want to or can’t eat potatoes or other nightshade vegetables, it would be best to substitute in tapioca, arrowroot, or cornstarch.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is not a type of flour, yet it is absolutely essential. In traditional bread and baked goods, gluten is what gives the items their structural integrity and gives them a pleasant texture.

Without the structure, things are flat and crumbly messy.

Or hockey pucks.

Xanthan gum works to give your pastries, cookies, and other baked goods the solidity they require without using any gluten. I don’t know how I’d live without it.

I almost exclusively use Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum. I can easily find it at the organic shops near me, and I’ve also bought it on the internet.

Certain individuals have an unfavorable response to xanthan gum and will substitute guar gum as an alternative. Pamela’s offers an alternative to Xanthan and Guar that I have used interchangeably in my recipes with the same success.

Gluten Free Oats

Another not-exactly-a-flour, but still an essential gluten-free pantry item. Many brands of oats are not free of gluten due to the likelihood of cross-contamination with wheat, barely, and rye during growing and handling.

This protocol states that oats produced are grown on fields that are specifically for gluten-free products, and all harvesting and processing must be done with equipment solely for gluten-free goods.

The brand I trust is GF Harvest. I always keep shelves of gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (or organic gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats) and gluten-free quick oats (or organic gluten-free quick oats) in my kitchen so I have them on hand for baking and to make oatmeal for breakfast.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is something that I consider crucial to have in my pantry, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be in yours.

I love using almond flour to bake muffins.

Almond Flour offers a higher protein and fiber content than many other flours, making it an excellent choice for breakfast muffins. You’ll exclusively use it when making my gluten-free chocolate hazelnut muffins and grain-free lemon poppyseed muffins.

It is not possible to simply exchange almond flour for either a gluten free recipe or a normal recipe without adjusting the recipe significantly.

Substituting almond flour for other kinds of flour should not be done indiscriminately, as it often needs extra eggs and moisture.

I typically get my almond flour from Costco or either of the brands Honeyville or Bob’s Red Mill.

Coconut Flour

I’ve used coconut flour in a handful of recipes. It is a great grain-free lower, carb flour.

It is impossible to swap out coconut flour for either standard or gluten-free recipes without making numerous modifications to the recipe.

I have uncovered that different brands vary in how much they take up, so exercise your discretion when preparing food with it.

I recently changed the recipe of my coconut flour cookies to accommodate this situation. Many people who cooked my cookies had a dough that was too moist or greasy because the coconut flour that was used in the original trial of the recipe was very absorbent.

Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes so it has the chance to soak up any extra moisture if you feel the recipe is too moist.

If your mixture is not the consistency that the recipe says it should be, try adding an extra tablespoon or two of flour.

Sorghum Flour

I employ Sorghum flour to make a completely gluten-free pie crust that is enriched with butter. A greater proportion of protein produces an excellent flaky pie crust.

When concocting your own gluten-free flour, you can substitute sorghum for some or all of the rice flour if you wish to include more whole grains.

The taste and texture will be slightly changed in a manner similar to using whole wheat flour in comparison to white flour in traditional baking.

I also enjoy incorporating sorghum flour when I am making gluten-free graham crackers. It gives them a more traditional taste and texture.

Millet Flour

Millet flour can be used as a substitute for rice flour when creating a homemade gluten-free flour blend.

It contains a greater amount of protein than rice and can give a soft and delicate texture to baked goods while having a less powerful taste than sorghum.

I also add millet flour to my crust for a delicious gluten-free pie. Use Bob’s Red Mill Millet Flour.

Coffee Flour

Coffee flour is an entertaining and eco-friendly method of increasing dietary fiber intake.

Its taste is quite particular, reminiscent of cherries and almonds.

Don’t worry that you’ll get a jolt of excessive caffeine levels in your body. It contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as eating dark chocolate, since it’s made from the coffee fruit, not a coffee bean.

I wouldn’t rely on this flour alone in a recipe unless it is combined with something like a cocoa powder as I did with coffee flour for my coffee flour cookies.

I had a blast experimenting with coffee flour, so I’m looking forward to devising additional recipes using it.


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