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5 TYPES OF FLOUR: HOW TO MAKE THEM PART OF YOUR WELLNESS PLAN

June 07, 2020 by Renee Tavoularis

5 TYPES OF FLOUR: HOW TO MAKE THEM PART OF YOUR WELLNESS PLAN

There was a time when white, wheat, baking, and all-purpose flours were the primary options, but the flour aisle has expanded exponentially in the past few years. As gluten-free and autoimmune diets become increasingly common, we can now find a wide range of new and healthy choices, such as coconut, chickpea, and almond flours. 

HEALTHY VS. UNHEALTHY FLOUR: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? 

Flour is a fine powder made from ground or milled wheat, nuts, or seeds. Flour is considered healthy when its nutrients are left intact. Whole-wheat flour, for example, retains its bran, germ, and endosperm, so you get all the minerals and fiber of whole wheat. Conversely, white flour has been refined and stripped of its bran and germ, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Refined ingredients are nutritionally deficient and can lead to weight gain and blood-sugar issues.

To reap maximum benefits, it’s important to select flours that are as minimally processed as possible. It’s also smart to choose organic products to avoid pesticides and GMOs. Since all types of flour contain their own array of nutrients, keeping a few different healthy flours on hand will enable you to obtain an assortment of benefits, and prepare a variety of appetizers, meals, and desserts.

HOW TO STORE HEALTHY FLOUR

Healthy, whole flours are more susceptible to spoilage than refined flours. This is because the oils have not been removed, and those oils are prone to oxidation. But there are a few things you can do lengthen your flour’s shelf life:

  • Transfer the flour to an airtight container.
  • Be sure to label and date the container.
  • Store the flour in the freezer. 

Inventory your flours after a few months. Do they still look, smell, and taste fresh? When in doubt, throw them out! If you don’t use flour often, you can reduce waste by purchasing small bags of flour or buying just the amount you need from the bulk bins. 

5 TYPES OF FLOUR FOR COOKING AND BAKING 

Check out Well Within Beauty’s list of healthy flours, and learn how to incorporate them into your dishes and desserts. 

WHAT IS IT
WHOLE-WHEAT FLOUR: A staple ingredient in many kitchens, whole-wheat flour is made from hard red spring or winter wheat. It does contain gluten, so it’s best to avoid if you’re on an allergy-friendly diet. 

WHAT IT DOES
Whole-wheat flour is an excellent source of fiber, manganese, magnesium, and fiber. Unlike refined white flour, whole-wheat flour won’t spike your blood sugar. Instead, the carbohydrates release slowly into your bloodstream, providing sustainable energy and satiation. 

HOW TO USE IT
Use whole-wheat flour to make hearty breads and pizza crusts. For a simple substitution, use about ¾ cup of whole-wheat flour for every cup of white flour.

 

WHAT IS IT
SPELT FLOUR: Spelt is a nourishing ancient grain that’s 7,000 to 8,000 years old! 

WHAT IT DOES
Whole spelt is high in protein, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and fiber. It does contain gluten, but it’s easier to digest than wheat flours. Spelt flour also boosts circulatory, bone, and immune health.

HOW TO USE IT
Look for spelt cookie, pancake, and muffin recipes. Alternatively, you can replace about half of your recipe’s all-purpose flour with spelt flour to increase the nutritional profile.

 

WHAT IS IT
COCONUT FLOUR: Made from ripe coconuts, organic coconut flour is a wholesome grain-free, gluten-free superfood. 

WHAT IT DOES
Coconut flour contains fiber, protein, and medium-chain fats. These fats support brain, metabolism, and blood-sugar functions. Coconut and raw coconut products are also anti-inflammatory, and therefore, beneficial for those following an autoimmune protocol.

HOW TO USE IT
Coconut flour is extremely absorbent, so it can be a little complicated to swap other flours for coconut flour. Instead, search for coconut flour recipes and try your hand at gluten-free muffins, brownies, and crepes. Or use it as a thickener for veggie burgers or a coating for pan-fried tofu. 

 

WHAT IS IT
ALMOND FLOUR: Another popular gluten-free alternative, almond flour lends texture and flavor to sweet and savory dishes.

WHAT IT DOES
Made from blanched almonds, almond flour is a vital source of vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, and heart-healthy fats. These incredible micro and macronutrients give your body an extra boost of energy.

HOW TO USE IT
Almond flour is widely used in many healthy store-bought products, such as crackers and baking mixes. It’s also a staple ingredient for healthy homemade desserts and snacks like fruit crumbles, banana bread, and zucchini fritters. You can even make your own almond flour by grinding blanched almonds in a high-powered blender.

 

WHAT IS IT
CHICKPEA FLOUR: Like whole chickpeas, chickpea flour is full of plant-powered protein and fiber. It’s also a starring ingredient in many vegan dishes.

WHAT IT DOES
Chickpea flour contains iron, selenium, potassium, and calcium, to name a few. A fiber-rich food, chickpea flour can improve digestive function, blood-sugar regulation, and weight loss. Since it’s nut and gluten-free, it’s also ideal for those on a limited or allergy-friendly diet.

HOW TO USE IT
Have fun experimenting with all sorts of chickpea recipes. From fritters and crepes to falafel and flatbreads (also known as socca), there are so many creative ways to incorporate chickpea flour into your menus. Try Well Within Beauty’s Grilled Radish Socca recipe for an easy and elegant side dish or snack.


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