I love to bake, but always use the standard white flour. I have been considering trying some healthier alternative flours. It may take several attempts when changing to a new type of flour because it will have a different texture, taste, and bake differently. Here’s what I learned from an article on the website www.onegreenplanet.org.
White flour is not the most healthy of foods. Because white flour breaks down in the body like sugar it may lead to these health issues:
- High blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol
- Cancer and inflammation
- Fatty liver disease
- Suppressed immune system
- Fatigue, depression, and hypoglycemia
Healthier flour choices for baking:
- Whole Wheat Flour – Be sure to get Whole Wheat not Wheat Flour.
- White Whole Wheat Flour – Made from white wheat berries
- Spelt Flour – high in protein. Don’t overmix this flour or it will break-down.
- Brown Rice Flour – better when combined with other flours
- Coconut Flour – gluten free, high in fiber, low carb, good source of protein. Use more liquids and less sugar.
- Millet Flour – gluten free, mix with other flours or it can be gritty.
- Buckwheat Flour – gluten free and grain free
- Almond Flour – made from almonds, gluten free and grain free. Sprouted Almond Flour is better for baking.
- Quinoa Flour – gluten free and grain free. One of the most nutritious flours but best mixed with other flours.
- Chia seed meal – When used in gluten-free baking, liquid levels and cooking time may need to be increased.
- Pumpkin seed meal – gluten free, grain free, nut free
- Flax seed meal – is a wonderful fiber and is a great binder in egg-free baking.
Tips for using Alternative Flours:
- Sift the flour two or three times to incorporate air.
- Add a little bit of vital wheat gluten.
- Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of flour to lighten recipes.
- Add a healthy fat to recipes. It can help keep the final product light, as in pancakes.
- After combining wet and dry ingredients, let the batter sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid.
Here’s to Healthy Baking!
Kim Lowrey, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist
Colon Hydrotherapy Center, Fayetteville, AR