In case you haven’t noticed, gluten-free is the new buzzword when topics of healthy eating arise. That’s because gluten can cause adverse effects in individuals who are intolerant to it, including gut inflammation, skin problems, intestinal issues, and even brain problems.
Typically seen as an ingredient to avoid for those with Celiac disease, gluten can also be harmful for diabetics. Due to its widespread popularity, locating alternatives to gluten has become increasingly easier to find.
One alternative that has been popular for some time is baking with gluten-free flours. The subtleties in texture and taste are so minimal, you’ll never know the difference. However, certain gluten-free flours are best used for specific baked goods. The best part is that you no longer have to create them from scratch.
In the old days, baking with gluten-free flours was a long and complicated process of mixing your own blend of tapioca, rice, or potato starch flour with eggs and hoping for a miracle. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, and there are now plenty of gluten-free flours on hand at your local market.
Gluten-free alternatives for baking
So, what is the best gluten-free flour? That depends on what you are baking. We’ll give you a quick rundown of the types of flours that are available and what they are used for.
Coconut is trending everywhere. From oils to beverages, coconut has numerous health benefits. It is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks while boosting metabolism and immunity.
Coconut flour is created by removing the husk, and drying and grinding the inside contents. It is high in healthy fats and perfect for individuals with nut allergies and those looking for a lower carbohydrate diet. This flour is very absorbent and best used in cakes, bread, cookies, muffins.
For all the vegans out there, bean flour is a perfect substitute to wheat flour. It comes in several varieties like garbanzo, white, lentils, pinto, and soy to name a few. Particularly, chickpea flour has super binding powers, adding great texture to baked goods like bread, muffins, and cakes.
Yellow and white are two types of corn flour that can be used for baking in combination with other flours. Primarily utilized in bread and corn tortillas as a thickener, binder, and filler, it is rich in antioxidants and fiber. Made from corn, it is easy on the digestive system and is high in carbohydrates.
Arguably one of the best gluten-free flours to use in baking, it is incredibly versatile. Its high-fat content is perfect for baking moist bread, cakes, cookies, biscuits, scones, and even pancakes.
Made from finely milled rice, rice flour is popular in Asian and Indian countries. It is high in nutrients and easy to use in cookies and cakes. You can use white or brown rice flour. Brown rice flour is courser and much higher in vitamin B, fiber, and iron.
This wheat flour alternative is incredibly high in fiber, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Made from whole grain kernels, it has a mildly sweet flavor and perfect for use in flatbreads, pizzas, porridge, and muffins.
This chemically developed product from corn or sugarcane resembles baking soda and is used as a binding agent. When this flour is added to liquid, it creates a gum that ultimately keeps the baking batter together and prevents crumbling. It is more expensive than other gluten-free flours but lasts a long time.
Gluten-free baking mix
Lastly, this flour is meant to imitate regular flour and is a blend of several ingredients including beans, potato starch, and grains. Use this flour to bake any of your favorite desserts, bread, muffins, or cupcakes.
With so many choices, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing taste when substituting gluten in your recipes. As you can see, many of these flours can be used for multiple purposes, mixed or exchanged, depending on the texture you’re looking for.
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