Wheat Flour Substitute

One of the main reason why a lot of people choose to look for wheat flour substitute is due to gluten intolerance. Sensitivity to gluten results in inflammation in the entire body and it all begins in the gut. There are plenty of gluten intolerance symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, acne, canker sores, autoimmune disease, heart disease and even mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, migraines, epilepsy and autism. Not all people suffer and really look for a wheat flour substitute, but there are certainly a lot of different healthy flours that do make good substitutes. One of the worst things you could ever even reckon as a wheat flour substitute is white flour. This is a most definite hazard to your body as it actually can lead your body to suffer from nutritional deficiencies and consequent chronic illnesses. And as much as these products might taste to you, the health hazards of eating those are so bad that your fancy to its taste will long be gone when you know about them. Food substitutions, hence, should be done after proper research of the after effects.

There are various flours that can make quite a healthy and tasteful wheat flour substitute or whole wheat flour substitute, whether it is that you’re just plain bored of blasted old wheat flour or are intolerant to it (both probably the same thing). Here is a list of wheat flour substitutes that is healthier and one or more of them will probably suit your palate very well and that is certainly flour power.

Amaranth Flour
Amaranth comes from the word amaranthine means ‘undying’ or ‘unfading’. Part of a very ancient civilization of the pre-Columbian Aztecs.

It now continues to be used in making pastas and breads. One part of amaranth flour, however, needs to be mixed with about three to four parts of other grain flours in order to be used as a wheat flour substitute to bake cakes and yeast breads as it doesn’t contain any gluten. Amaranth flour is high in protein, fiber and also contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and vitamins A and C. It is best to store Amaranth flour in tightly-sealed glass jars in a refrigerator in order to avoid its fatty acids from turning rancid.

Arrowroot Flour
Arrowroot being a starch lacks protein and is aplenty with carbohydrates. So if you compare it to wheat flour in terms of nutrition, it isn’t as nutritious. It doesn’t quite mix too well with dairy, resulting into a slimy mixture. Immensely full of soluble and insoluble fibers, gluten-free arrowroot flour is great for baking healthy biscuits, cakes, bagels and breads, pancake and cereals that are easily digestible, and hence does very well with little children too. Better than having a hyperactive, beefing after too much white-flour and sugar, swinging from every piece of furniture kind of shrieking child; hence still a good wheat flour substitute.

Barley Flour (with gluten)
Nutty-flavored barley has just the right amount of fibers to make a snail-paced digestive system to be up and about, and in line with an optimum metabolism that your body needs. Barley flour is great for making breads, but you might have to add some other grain flour which has more gluten in it, in order for it to come out looking like a bread. It can also be used in some soups and stews. Barley and barley flour prevents cardiovascular ailments in post-menopausal women.

Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat and products made out of buckwheat flour increase the amount of friendly bacteria in your gut, thus improving your immune system. Waffles make a great breakfast if you’re looking for a wheat flour substitute for those. Also there is many a buckwheat pancake recipe. Pastas can also be made using buckwheat flour. The French galettes made out of buckwheat do make very savoury dishes too.

Corn Flour
Corn flour or corn starch is another gluten-free thickening agent used in making soups or to make a light batter coating fish and meats. It has twice the amount of thickening capacity. If one is to prepare bread from corn flour, it needs to be mixed with other grain flours that do have gluten in them, unless, of course, you want to stay away from gluten. It is used to make cornbreads, muffins, polenta and tortilla recipes.

Coconut Flour
Coconut flour, also gluten-free, has five times the amount of fiber than brown rice flour. The protective fats in coconut flour are antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal. A lot of people love the taste coconut flour imparts to the muffins, pancakes or pound cake that are made from it than the usual whole grain flours. In order to bake with coconut flour, one may twice the amount of eggs (according to a source, eight eggs per cup). It also is quite a pleasantly flavored thickening agent to make soups, stews, gravies and casseroles. Coconut flour has a long shelf-life if stored in the refrigerator, upto a year.

Millet Flour
Another gluten-free flour is millet flour. It was used in India and Africa for thousands of years and their peoples have known how to cook millet for a long time now. The health benefits of millet flour are many as it is has Vitamin B-complex and is particularly high in minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. The high fibrous value of it makes it easily digestible. As millet flour deteriorates quickly if not stored properly, it’s always best to grind it just before you want to use it. There are people who’ve managed to make millet waffles, millet pita and millet bread and all well enough to be award-winning recipes.

Oat Flour
‘The oat is the Horatio Alger of cereals, which progressed, if not from rags to riches, at least from weed to health food’- said writer and journalist, Waverley Root. Meals and breakfasts and sundry of the like made of oat flour is certainly most fibrous, nullifying some harmful bile acids. They make you feel full quite quickly and are great for those wanting to lose some pounds. They do pose as great diuretics and laxatives, hence oatmeal serves as quite a good thing for breakfast. Oat flour is used in the making of scrumptious cookies and breads.

Brown Rice Flour
If you’re looking for another gluten-free wheat substitute, brown rice flour wouldn’t unseat your health. In Japan, it has been found out that the rate of cardiovascular diseases is quite to a minimum due to the intake of unpolished brown rice. A natural compound found in the tissue of brown rice ousts an endocrine protein or peptide called angiotensin II that causes blood vessels to constrict, consequently increasing your blood pressure. Polished white, white rice is something I’d like to call ‘worn-out rice’, as this tissue is abraded in the process of polishing and this particular compound gone making worn-out rice flour of absolutely no benefit. Brown rice flour is again very fibrous, ample in Vitain B content, gluten-free and makes great dense cakes and can be used in pound cake recipes.

Fermented Soy Flour
Whilst reading a few things, I came across a particular that said soy when fermented is healthier than non-fermented soy. Like all legumes, soy beans, in their natural form, contain some phytate (phytic acid) that function to the benefit of the immune system of the plant as it aids in fighting against radiation, harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. This is essentially an anti-nutrient for the human body and can cause a lot of trouble without us even knowing what is causing it. Soy flour that comes from unfermented soy can cause digestive disorders, weaken the immune system, allergies, reproductive problems for men and women, heart-disease, cancer, hamper production of your thyroid hormone and decrease of libido and is especially bad for elderly people. The tasteful and highly nutritious fermented soy products such as soy sauce, tofu, miso and miso , tsoup, gochujangempeh are highly beneficial and, especially, to menopausal women. Fermented soy flour is also a great wheat substitute as it is gluten-free and has twice the health benefits.

Spelt Flour (with gluten)
Native to Iran and Central Europe and moderate is its gluten content, triticum spelt or spelt flour can also be a great wheat flour substitute. Highly fibrous and containing quite a bit of copper, niacin and protein, this robust flour helps lower LDL cholestrol by getting rid of the bile acids in your tum. The tough hull of spelt makes it climb the flight of nutrition-stairs. It is found in many an organic store if you’re looking pastas and makes for good cereal, granola recipes and blinies.

Tapioca Flour
Made from the extract of the starch of the cassava plant, tapioca flour can be used for making various dishes like casabe a flat bread originally Native American people from the West Indies called the Aravak people and also in parts of the Caribbean. Now it is still made in Venezuela and Native American ethnic groups. Tapioca and tapioca flour are widely used in still in the West Indies, India, Southeast Asia and their products are being exported around the world. Tapioca cannot be eaten raw as the plant has cyanide for protection against animals. Much of the cyanide is fortunately taken away in the process of soaking, fermenting and cooking; but some of it remains of processed wrongly. Though, tapioca flour is gluten-free, to be perfectly honest, the nutritional value of tapioca flour isn’t top notch. It has no protein and is full of starch. It is best used as a thickening agent and may correct a sauce if you’re rushed right before serving as it thickens quickly and goes well with milk, vanilla flavours and sugar as it is flavourless. Diabetics, though, would have a fine time staying away from tapioca flour as it is full of carbohydrate which invariably turns to glucose.

Teff Flour
Originally from the old days of Ethiopia, gluten-free teff is quite a versatile grain that can be used in baked foods as well as a thickening agent for soups, gravies, stews and puddings. Teff flour has a high content of calcium and minerals such as aluminium, boron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron and thiamin. One can make pancakes and cookies from teff flour by adding some other whole grain flour to it too. It is full of amino acids that give you a long life.

Sorghum Flour
Gluten free Sorghum flour is another great wheat flour substitute of whose use is made in fermented and non-fermented flatbreads. Native to the tropical and subtropical parts across the world, it is also found in the Southwest Pacific and Australasia. Sorghum flour can be used to make applesauce oatmeal muffins, cranberry bread, peanut butter cookies, ginger snaps amongst many others. Sorghum beer, too, is made out of the sorghum grain. Sorghum flour has anti-oxidants and there are also compounds called policosanols that reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol, making it specially beneficial to diabetics.

Rye flour (with gluten)
Rye flour is not gluten-free, though it has less gluten that wheat and can make a very richly flavored and dark bread- popular in Russia and Poland. In Germany, schwarzbrot is quite a favorite that is made from rye flour. Rye flour is nutritious and has a lot of calcium, iron and zinc. It also has a high level of vitamin B content. Rye flour contains fructans which are a type of fructose that give rye it’s slightly saccharine taste and also has short-chain fatty acids that give an impetus to the functioning of your immune system. Rye flour is used to make blinnies, muffins, some of the best scone recipes and pancakes.

This is the list of various flours that could be wheat flour substitutes. A touch of the creative and the culinary, a horde of tingling taste buds, the need to change an unhealthy lifestyle is all it takes to whack up a good recipe which, I’m sure, you’ll come up with in no time. It certainly won’t be a dish that would top the list of the dull and mundane run-of-the-mill! Bon appetit!

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