Can you imagine different types of bread, cakes, and biscuits without flour? There are many foods where different types of flours are used, including noodles, desserts, and bread. Also, these flours are used in thickening soups and sauces too.
Most of these foods are made of wheat flour, and it adds taste and flavour to the dishes. However, wheat flours are not preferred by many people, especially people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Even doctors, too, ask them to stay away from gluten flours. Also, there are fitness enthusiasts who usually avoid flours and prefer a gluten-free diet.
Generally, all purpose flour in Australia is used to make various cakes, biscuits, muffins, and bread. Wheat all purpose flour is also known as white or refined flour, which is made of wheat grains after removing the bran and germ covering. However, this all-purpose flour is not considered good for health.
What is Gluten Free Flour?
In recent times, the trend of having gluten free flour is increasing amongst our community and particularly millennials due to several benefits associated with it. Gluten free flour is made from different nutritious seeds and grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, rice, sorghum, and coconut. There are many gluten free flours available in the market too.
Well, if you don’t want to have wheat or white flour in your diet for whatsoever reasons, you can try some gluten free flour blends available in the market. Gluten free all purpose flour and gluten free bakers flour are quite popular gluten free flour blends to try.
Gluten Free Flours can be very healthy but do not have the binding and elastic properties of gluten. To make your favorite cakes muffins, pastry or bread, a combination of these flours is ideal with the elasticity added by xanthan gum or psyllium husks. Use a combination of light flours as a gluten free all purpose flour for light cakes and pastry or a gluten free bakers flour for bread and muffins.
1. Almond Flour
The skin of the almonds is removed, and the remaining ground, blanched almonds are used to make almond flour. It has a nutty flavour and can be used in making various dishes. You can use almond flour instead of wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio, and one egg should be added while making any dish with this flour. Almond flour is rich in various minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, and manganese. It is also rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. Before you purchase almond flour, ensure that the package labeled as gluten free flour.
2. Buckwheat Flour
Belonging to the family of pseudocereals, this flour is used to make yeast bread, and generally, to make a quality product, other gluten-free flours such as brown rice flour are also added. Buckwheat flour is rich in various minerals such as iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and fiber and also high in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Sorghum Flour
This flour is made of an ancient cereal grain that has been grown for 5000 years and is gluten-free with light colour and texture. The flavour is mild and sweet and generally mixed with other gluten-free flours. Sorghum flour is a rich flour with fibre, iron, and protein and has antioxidant properties.
4. Amaranth Flour
It is also a pseudocereal flour and was considered a staple food in the ancient civilizations of Maya, Inca, and Aztec. While baking, it is recommended to be mixed with other gluten-free flours, and mostly this flour is used to make tortillas, pie crusts, and bread. Amaranth flour contains fibre, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and selenium and is good for good bone health and brain function and DNA synthesis.
5. Teff Flour
Teff is the world’s smallest grain and is available in a variety of colours from white to red to dark brown. It is used to make pancakes, Ethiopian bread, cereals, and snacks. It is high in fibre, and protein, which helps in weight loss, blood sugar maintenance, and decreases appetite. Also, it is high in calcium too.
6. Arrowroot Flour
Arrowroot flour is made by extracting a starchy substance from a plant called Maranta Arundinacea and is mostly mixed with almond, coconut, and tapioca flours for bread, and other desserts. It is rich in potassium, B vitamins, iron, and can help in superior immune function.
7. Brown Rice Flour
As the name suggests, it is made of ground brown rice and has the bran, germ, and endosperm. Mostly, brown rice flour is made to thicken sauces, and also used in making fish, and chicken, cookies, cake, and bread recipes. It is high in protein and fibre.
8. Oat Flour
You can make oat flours by grinding ground oats and it has a chewer and crumblier texture. This gluten free flour will make the end product moist, and you need to add some ingredients to make a light and fluffy baked goods. Beta-glucan found in oat flour can reduce LDL cholesterol and blood sugar too.
9. Corn Flour
A ground version of cornmeal, cornflour, is used as a thickener for liquids and generally used to make tortillas and bread. Available in white and yellow varieties, it is high in fibre, and carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin, which boost eye health. Also, it has vitamin B 6, thiamine, manganese, magnesium, and selenium.
10. Chickpea Flour
It is also known as besan or gram flour and is a part of the legume family. Made from dry chickpeas, it has a nutty taste and is used to make falafels, hummus, and the flatbread socca. It is very famous in the Middle East and Indian cuisines. It has plant-based protein and fibre and also important minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
11. Coconut Flour
Mostly used for baking bread and desserts, this flour is made from dried coconut meat and has a similar light texture to regular flour. It is high in fat lauric acid, which helps in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and the fibre content helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
12. Tapioca Flour
The starchy liquid is extracted from Cassava root, a South American plant, and Tapioca flour are made. It has no flavour or texture and mostly used as the thickener in soups, sauces, and pies. It has fibre, protein, and micronutrients, but is rich in carbohydrates. Its resistant starch content helps in maintaining blood glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
13. Cassava Flour
Also known as Yuca, Cassava flour is made from Cassava, a starchy root vegetable that is grated and dried. It is also grain and nut-free. All the recipes which use all-purpose flour traditionally can be made with Cassava flour. It has carbohydrates, resistant starch, and micronutrients.
14. Tigernut Flour
Tigernut flour is made of small root vegetables found in North America and the Mediterranean and has a sweet and nutty flavour. You can reduce the sugar quantity in the dish due to its naturally sweet flavour. It is a rich source of fibre and also has monounsaturated fat, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Also, it contains vitamins C and E.
15. Rice Flours
White rice has a longer shelf life than brown rice, and that is the primary reason why it is consumed widely in India and other countries. White rice flour is made after the bran and germ have been removed from the rice, and it has a sweet flavour and normal white colour. It has carbohydrates and a small amount of protein and fibre.
The small seeds of finger millet are grinded, and millet flour is made, which is full of nutrients such as minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Mostly, Indian villagers use millet flour in their daily lives to make flatbreads. It is also easy to digest and boosts the immune system.
There are some impeccable health benefits of gluten free flour, and you should adopt this lifestyle of having only gluten free flours. There are many blogs you can find to know how to make gluten free flour. However, you can always buy these gluten free flours online from reputed brands.