If you, or a family member are wheat or gluten sensitive, you may wonder about using alternative flours in baking. Even if you're not sensitive, alternative flours can bring some much- needed variety into the diet! In using gluten-free flours, some experimentation is required. Blends of flours are often used to balance flavor with leavening. There are several gluten-free baking blends available premixed in health food or specialty stores.
The following are just three of many gluten free flours and their suggested use.
Amaranth: A grain free flour with a light and nutty taste. A baking flour that is good for breads, and excellent for most other baking, especially when blended. Substitute for 25 to 50 % of total flour in a recipe and use quinoa, buckwheat or another grain flour for the remainder.
Brown rice: Often considered the least allergenic of the flours, brown rice is great for cookies, pie crusts and tortillas. It does not make a good bread, however, and it needs to be combined with another flour if leavening is required.
Arrowroot: Essentially flavorless, this flour is excellent for thickening sauces and gravies. It is also great for baking, producing a golden coating. However seasonings may be necessary to compensate for the lack of flavor; works well in combination with other flours and can be interchanged with tapioca starch flour in most recipes.
Remember, flour is prone to rancidity and you may find that alternative flours expire more quickly than wheat flour. Ensure the product is fresh when you purchase it and keep it tightly sealed in the fridge to help prolong its shelf-life.
Hi, I'm Shara Vickers, a Nutritional Health and Fitness Specialist located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Please have a look around to find out more about my approach to health and the coaching and consulting services I offer to both local and long-distance clients.