8 Alternative Flours for Gluten-Free Baking

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

Flour. It’s a baker’s best friend.  After all, it’s among the most essential ingredients—if not the most essential ingredient—in recipes for breads, cakes, cookies, pastries and all manner of baked goods. There are many common types of flours, including all-purpose flour, bread flour, cake flour, enriched flour, pastry flour and semolina flour—all of which are made from wheat.

Gluten-Free Flours and Ingredients for Baking www.vitacost.com/blog

But not everyone is able to tolerate the gluten (protein found in wheat) in these popular flour varieties. And some people simply prefer gluten-free baking recipes. Are these folks condemned to a life without pizza, pasta and pie? Not a chance!

Alternative Flour Power

Good news for those steering clear of gluten! Flour can also be milled from a variety of other sources, including nuts, legumes, plants and even some fruits. Following are healthy, gluten-free flours to sub in for traditional wheat flours:

Almond flour

This type of flour tastes like—you guessed it—almonds! You’ll go nuts for NOW Real Food Raw Almond Flour, which “adds a rich texture and color to your favorite baked goods.” Substitute equal amounts of this wholesome, low-carb, protein-rich flour for wheat flour in most recipes.

Amaranth flour

Made from seeds of the amaranth plant, amaranth flour is very dense with a robust, nutty flavor. It’s packed with protein and best when combined with butter, eggs and other wet ingredients. Use Vitacost Amaranth Flour to whip up delicious brownies, cookies and quick breads!

Arrowroot flour

Cultivated from the large perennial herb for which it’s named, arrowroot flour makes a fabulous thickener and emulsifier. Rely on Bob’s Red Mill All Natural Arrowroot Starch Flour to bulk up soups, sauces and puddings. Also use it to replace eggs in recipes and make homemade ice cream!

Buckwheat flour

Despite its misleading name, buckwheat isn’t a type of wheat at all. It’s actually a fruit seed, related to rhubarb and sorrel, that boasts a very intense flavor (similar to that of a hoppy beer). Use Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten-Free Buckwheat Flour “to make an array of nutritional dishes such as soba noodles, blinis, crepes and pancakes.” Yum!

Coconut flour

This sweet tasting, tropical flour has a lot going for it. It’s full of fiber, packed with protein, free from wheat and grains and low in sugar and calories. Plus, the fat it contains if the good-for-you kind. Try substituting a quarter cup of Vitacost Certified Organic Coconut Flour for one cup of grain-based flour in your favorite recipes for pancakes, cookies and more.

Garbanzo bean flour

Made from the mighty garbanzo bean (a.k.a., chickpea), this impressive flour has a subtle flavor that compliments both sweet and savory dishes. Check out Vitacost Non-GMO and Gluten-Free Garbanzo Flour (Chickpea Flour), which helps thicken soups, sauces and gravies and “adds a smooth, creamy texture and satisfying sweet flavor to crusts, breads and crackers.” Plus it packs a whopping eight grams of protein and six grams of fiber per serving!

Sorghum flour 

Not familiar with sorghum? It’s an ancient, gluten-free cereal grain with a sweet, mild flavor. Containing antioxidants and fiber, Vitacost Gluten-Free Sweet White Sorghum Flour will become your go-to flour for pancakes, porridges, flatbreads and other tasty recipes.

Tapioca flour

Extracted from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca flour features a slightly sweet taste and serves as a powerful thickening agent. Add Ener-G Gluten-Free Pure Tapioca Flour to bulk up soups, sauces, fruit fillings and glazes. It’s also great for baking!