The 5 Best Gluten-Free Flours and why you should be using them
There are plenty of gluten-free flours to choose from, but not all of them are with the same nutritional benefits. Some gluten-free flours are highly absorbent and require additional moisture in the recipe while others are so dense that they need extra leavening.
Here is an overview of the top 5 gluten-free flours and what you should know about them.
Buckwheat, despite its name, is not wheat. It is actually a seed!
Buckwheat flour is not derived from wheat and it doesn’t contain any gluten. It is an excellent source of nutrition, containing high levels of protein and minerals such as magnesium and copper providing a rich, earthy flavour.
Due to its lack of gluten, it tends to be crumbly in nature. It contains a variety of B-vitamins and is rich in the minerals iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, manganese and fiber.
Buckwheat flour is also high in antioxidants, specifically the polyphenol rutin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Buckwheat Flour Applications
• Ideal substitute for all-purpose flour
• Commonly used in pancake mixes
• Works best when combined with other whole-grain flours
This gluten-free flour has a nutty, earthy flavour on its own and it tends to absorb the flavour of other ingredients. Rich in fiber and protein, amaranth flour also contains plenty of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and iron.
Amaranth Flour Applications
• Can be used to replace up to 25% of flour in recipes
• Combines well with starches and other non-grain flours in gluten-free baking
• Used as a thickener in sauces, gravies, soups and stews
Teff is the world’s smallest grain and is 1/100 the size of a kernel of wheat.
It comes in a variety of colours, ranging from white to red to dark brown. Light colours have a mild flavour, while darker shades are more earthy in taste.
Teff flour is high in protein, which promotes a feeling of fullness and can help reduce cravings. What’s more, it contains more calcium than any other grain, contains vitamin and it high in fiber. It can be substituted for 25–50% of wheat or all-purpose flour.
White Teff Flour Applications
• Can be used in both sweet & savoury dishes.
• Commonly used in bakery products such as breads, cakes, cookies & brownies.
Rice Flour is considered a whole-grain flour and contains the bran, germ and endosperm. This type of flour is rich in dietary fiber, protein, and a variety of other nutrients.
Rice contains many valuable nutrients such as protein, vitamin B, manganese, magnesium and iron.
Rice Flour Applications
• Often used in the manufacture of snacks, breakfast cereals, bakery products and food coatings.
Cassava flour is made by grating and drying the whole root. It is gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free while also being low in calories, sugar, and fat. It is rich in vitamin C, manganese, potassium, folate, and magnesium but not particularly high in fiber.
It’s most similar to white flour and can easily be used in recipes calling for all-purpose flour. It has a neutral flavour and consists of mostly carbohydrates
Cassava Flour Applications
• Perfect for use in gluten-free baking as it’s performance closely mimics the structure, texture, and taste of wheat-based products.
• Can be used to give products a light colour, smooth surface and closed structure.
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