Alternative Flours for Extra Nutritious Boost

Ever since the gluten-free diet has become popular the different types of flours have become more and more abundant. I want to first tell you that the gluten-free diet is not proven to help specifically with weight loss; it is to help those with Celiac disease manage their disease state. Following the diet has become popular because some people have experienced weight loss. However, gluten-free related weight loss is most likely a result of a very restrictive diet and no longer eating high-calorie junk foods. If you like or prefer gluten-free products that is ok! I wanted to share with you some gluten-free alternative flours that provide extra protein and/or fiber.

Millet: Millet flour is a good substitute for wheat flour and has high protein, high fiber and non-starchy polysaccharides - which are good for controlling blood sugars. Millet also has a high antioxidant content. Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative stress which, for example, can be seen in wounds and inflammation. One of the many ways you can use millet flour is in baking. Because it has a very similar protein structure to wheat flour, millet flour can be used as a direct 1:1 substitute. However, when you are baking it’s better to use millet flour in a mixture of other gluten-free flours for breads and muffins for proper texture.

Chickpea: Chickpea flour is another good substitute for wheat flour. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, low on the glycemic index & lower in carbohydrates than wheat flour. Chickpea flour is a good source of fiber and higher in protein than other flours. Chickpea flour can be used for bread-making, sweet or savory baking, and mixed with other gluten-free flours will help the baked goods more resemble the same texture as wheat-based baked goods.

Oat: Oat flour is one of the wheat-alternative flours that you can make yourself with a food processor or high-powered blender! It’s also available in stores. Oat flour contains soluble fiber (beta-glucan) and can help decrease LDL cholesterol, control blood sugars and insulin levels, and is a good source of protein, magnesium, phosphorus, B Vitamins, and antioxidants. If you can’t eat gluten make sure to find products that are certified gluten-free. Oat flour can be used for making pancakes, muffins and other baked goods, and when mixed with other gluten-free flours it’s optimal for baking to better resemble wheat-based baked goods.