Being gluten-free myself, I have experimented with many gluten-free and grain-free flours over the years. Gluten is the general name for proteins found mainly in wheat, rye and barley and it helps foods maintain their structure and shape. Gluten is found in many other types of foods too so check your labels carefully if you are avoiding gluten altogether. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they are grown side by side with wheat, rye and barley so make sure to buy certified gluten-free oats. Here are my favourite grain-free gluten-free flours to substitute with in your baking and cooking recipes.
Almond flour is probably the most well-known grain-free flour alternative and it’s a great source of protein and prebiotics (food for the good bacteria in your gut). Almond flour has a nutty flavour and has a 1:1 substitution in cakes, bread and cookies. You can either make your own almond flour or buy it from most local grocery stores in the health food aisle.
Cassava flour is made from the yucca root and is rich in prebiotic fiber. It has a 1:1 substitution to wheat flour and is very popular for baking as it has a similar result in terms of texture as wheat flour. This type of grain-free flour substitute is harder to find in grocery stores, but can be purchased online on many health food websites.
Coconut flour is made from the meat of coconuts and is rich in dietary fiber. My favourite way to use coconut flour is as a thickener in plant-based gravies and soups and it is widely available in grocery stores. If you are a fan of coconut, try out this grain-free flour alternative.
Buckwheat flour is actually not a wheat grain, but rather a seed that is grain-free and therefore gluten-free. Buckwheat flour has an earthy flavour and works well in most bread recipes. Buckwheat flour is crumbly in nature and is sometimes combined with other grain-free flours to improve the quality of the product.
Chickpeas are part of the legume family and are a great source of fiber and protein. Chickpea flour is made from dry chickpeas and can be used to make falafels, hummus and socca flatbread. Try out this grain-free flour if you are looking for a boost of plant-based protein in your recipes.
Lemon Raspberry Coconut Muffins
Recipe makes 6 large muffins
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
- 1 cup raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin.
- Mix all ingredients together (except raspberries) and stir until combined.
- Gently fold in the raspberries and then divide batter between muffin trays.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until muffins are set and golden. Enjoy!
Like what you’ve read? Check out my favourite non-dairy substitutes for milk here.