Wheat is the staple ingredient when it comes to flour. We use wheat in everything from cookies, bread, pasta, to cereal. But many people may not want to consume wheat or follow a gluten-free diet. You may be surprised to learn that there are many alternatives to wheat flour. Here are nine different plants from which you can make flour.
Chickpeas are a staple ingredient in many middle eastern cuisines. What’s surprising is this common ingredient’s use as flour. In the US, it’s called garbanzo beans. You may have seen these beans sold in cans on your supermarket shelves.
Chickpea flour is very versatile and used for many dishes. If you want quality chickpeas, you can buy beans online. The quality of the chickpeas does translate to better flavour and texture for your meals.
2. Green Peas
Another common ingredient that may surprise you is peas. Peas are very versatile. After turning it into flour, you can use it for many different dishes like pancakes, biscuits, pizza, muffins, and even cookies. For flour, you want to make sure you use fresh peas and not the frozen ones.
Often, there is a perception of chestnuts as a holiday ingredient. But what’s great about them is that you can also use them as flour. There are many different types of chestnuts such as American, Chinese, and hybrids. What’s great about them is that the flour has a sweeter flavour than most flours.
With chestnuts, it may be hard to find them in your local supermarket because of their status as a holiday item. That’s why you’ll want to buy them and buy beans online from farmers. You want to work with fresh and quality ingredients for flour.
Quinoa is a grain that has become more popular over the years. It’s very similar to couscous and is often paired as salads or offered as a replacement to rice. What’s great about quinoa is that it has a lot of protein and fibre. In addition, it has fewer calories and carbohydrates than rice.
You can see that more products like chips and breads are being made with quinoa flour these days. If you’re looking for a flour that can help you keep the weight off, then quinoa flour is a great choice. The high protein content will also keep you feeling full.
Amaranth is another alternative to quinoa. You’ll even notice that they look very similar. Many specialty health stores often sell whole amaranth and even amaranth flour. Like quinoa, it is rich in protein and fibre, so it’s a perfect wheat replacement if you’re trying to trim down.
While you can get amaranth flour in many specialty health stores, you should buy whole amaranth and consider milling them yourself. As with many flours, the milling process oxidizes the product, and a lot of the nutrients are lost. Amaranth stores for a long time, so you can mill whenever you need the flour.
6. Hemp Seeds
Many people are familiar with cannabis and may have heard hemp associated with cannabis. Hemp is actually a type of cannabis plant that contains very little THC. THC is the active compound that produces the high in many cannabis products. As a result, hemp is very safe to consume.
The reason why hemp seed food products are becoming more popular among consumers is because of its nutritional content. There are many healthy fats found in the hemp seeds. They also have a high protein content.
You can make flour with hemp seeds, but you should probably purchase small batches and see if you like it. Hemp does have a distinct taste that some people may not like.
Despite its name, buckwheat has no relation to wheat. It is a plant that has grain-like seeds. Flour is milled with these seeds. If you’ve ever eaten Japanese soba noodles, then you should have a general idea of the taste of buckwheat.
A lot of people like buckwheat because it has a deep flavour. It is earthy and nutty with a very slight bitterness. This flavour is why so many people love Japanese soba noodles. Many people often get hooked to this flavour and use buckwheat as flour for many different types of dishes.
Ryegrass is a very common grass that is grown all over the US. If you’ve had rye bread before, ryegrass is the main ingredient. It is denser than flour, so many people like to mix traditional flour with ryegrass.
Ryegrass is a great replacement for wheat for people who are sensitive to gluten. Keep in mind that it may have trace amounts of gluten, so those that live with celiac disease may have trouble using this type of flour.
Almonds have become a staple ingredient in many households. Many people prefer to drink almond milk over regular milk, especially people who are lactose intolerant. Almonds are rich in nutrients like magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, and potassium.
You probably have come across almonds flour in your local supermarket. The only issue with almond flour is that they tend to be quite expensive compared to many other wheat flour alternatives. It also isn’t ideal for people who are sensitive to nuts.
These are nine plant alternatives to wheat flour. It can be challenging to choose which alternative you will enjoy the most. The best way to figure out which one suits your tastes is to buy small batches of the ingredients and mill them yourself.
Look for recipes that use these ingredients to see how they taste. Consider the texture, your ability to digest it, and the cost of making the flour. If you like the results, then you can opt to buy a bigger batch.
When buying the raw ingredients for flour, it’s a good idea to find a local farm near your area or city. You’ll be able to get great prices, fresh ingredients, and quality crops from farmers that care about their products.