These days everyone is looking for easy ways to change their diet. One way to improve your diet is by pinpointing appropriate substitutions to use in foods you love.
One of the biggest misconceptions in our society’s diet is based upon the nutrition values of white flour. It is used in all types of recipes, breads, baking and gravies.
For example; people tend to have this allure to places that provide “healthy” sandwiches rather than your typical slice of pizza. When in actuality, it’s the density of the bread that can prove to make your meal even worse for you than what you may think.
White flour is high in carbs, has less nutrition than whole grain products, very fattening and harder for the body to digest. By using healthier flour choices you can avoid this unnecessary mess you are inadvertently creating for your body to handle.
Following are a few substitutions to white flour you can consider next time you are baking or cooking!
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour is a healthier choice than white and can be used as a substitute in baking and cooking.
This is a great option for people following a gluten-free diet. Its density and ability to rise can make it a perfect substitute for most baked goods. It also has a fraction of carbohydrates as compared to white flour.
Ideal for pancakes, muffins or cookies; this substitute could be what you have always been looking for in regards to a healthy alternative to white flour.
The natural almond flavor helps to add sweetness to your recipe. This is something unique to almond flour and a great tool to keep in your pantry. Furthermore, if used in large quantity the flour can act like a cake batter and create a light cakelike consistency for you to work with.
This type of flour is an exceptional tool for use in baking breads and for dough’s. It compliments other flours well and works in a way that it helps to create a more whole-wheat feel to any recipe. Also, it is ideal for thickening gravies and sweetening sauces.
A little added trick is to lightly toast the flour before use to accentuate the hidden flavors that barley flour secretly has. Also, if used in the right way, it can add a little sweetness to your recipe as well.
Despite the name, buckwheat flour is gluten free and wheat free. This makes it a good option for whole wheat substitutes. The thing that you need to watch out for in this product is its dense qualities and strong flavor.
This means it is great for use in products, such as, pancakes or pastas but you cannot use it as a thickener for a sauce because it will be too rich. Its earthy flavor can be good at times, but, can also overpower any good recipe, so try combining buckwheat with white flour in recipes.
Chickpea (Garbanzo) Flour
When it comes to gluten free substitutes, this is a common go to for vegans and those with Celiac disease.
This flour is high in protein and calcium which allows you to balance out your diet. Its uses are abundant, including, for crepes, flatbread or hummus.
I use coconut flour regularly in my cooking. It is low starch, gluten free, high fiber, and it is lighter than almond flour which makes it perfect for baking.
I must warn you that coconut flour can be a little on the dry side compared to other flours so you’re substituting it, you’ll need to make some adjustments.
When substituting coconut flour for all purpose or whole wheat flour, use the same amount of flour but add 1 extra egg (on top of what’s called for in the recipe) for every ounce of coconut flour. On average, 1/4 cup of coconut flour is equal to 1 ounce. It may seem like a lot but trust me the flour is very absorbent.
This is probably your classic and most dependable option when it comes to healthy flour substitutes. Oat flour is all natural and helps to create a whole wheat product.
Depending on which company processes it, this product can be gluten-free or low-gluten. It is optimal for use in cookie and other baked goods recipes.
In summary, these are all great options for you to use as a substitute to white flour but it is important to remember that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.
Unless you have Celiac disease, your body can naturally handle a bit of gluten on a regular basis, but, you should focus on the nutritional aspects of your diet if you are going to begin substituting for white flour. Remember, the key to being healthy is balance.
For more healthy meal substitutions make sure you check out my new book “The Fit and Flavorful Kitchen” at www.FitandFlavorful.gr8.com and download your FREE Beginners Guide to Clean Eating.