Rice and corn flours are already staples for cooks using gluten-free flours. Nut flours are growing in popularity as more and more Americans are looking at grain-free options as well. Almond, hazelnut, coconut, cashew and macadamia are just a few nut flours already available for adapting your favorite recipes to gluten-free and grain-free lifestyles.
But what are some of the new alternative flours we aren’t using or maybe haven’t even heard of yet? Get ready to add these gluten-free flours to your pantry.
Gluten-Free Flour: Alternative grain flours
- Teff flour: Teff is a grain commonly found in Ethiopian cuisine, which is high in dietary fiber, protein, iron and calcium. Ethiopia had a long-standing ban on the export of teff that was lifted in 2015 – so now gluten-free cooks can enjoy.
- Millet flour: Millets are a group of grains found mostly in Asia and Africa. The most widely grown millet is pearl millet. You’ll see millet flour being used more frequently, as well as the grain itself in dishes in the coming years.
- Sorghum flour: Sorghum is an ancient grain that’s high in fiber and has relatively little background flavor to mess with the flavor of your recipes.
- Amaranth flour: While not technically a grain, amaranth has similar properties and nutritional makeup as other cereal grains. Native to Central and South America, amaranth is high in protein and becoming more readily available in the U.S.
Note: When buying any alternative grain flours, always look for gluten-free labels and the certified gluten-free mark on the packaging, as naturally gluten-free grains can often be grown and rotated in between gluten-containing grains. Check out Nuts.com for certified gluten-free grain flours.
Gluten-free Flour: Root flours
- Sweet potato flour: You’ve probably seen potato flour before, but now we even have sweet potato flour to look forward to! We like Anti-Grain. If you like sweet potato flour, you should also try butternut squash flour and pumpkin flour! While they aren’t roots, they have similar coloring and slightly sweet flavors.
- Cassava flour: Also known as yuca, cassava is a plant from South America with an edible starchy root. When dried into a pearly consistency, you get tapioca. When you dry and grind even more finely, you get cassava flour. We like Otto’s.
Gluten-free Flour: Fruit flours
- Apple flour: Yes, you can use apple as a flour! Dried and ground apples make up this gluten-free flour. You might think it would only be good for sweets and baking, but can you imagine crusting a pork chop with apple flour and frying it? Yum.
- Banana flour: Unfortunately, you can’t just mash up your bananas at home to make flour, but green banana flour is popping up as a gluten-free flour high in resistant starch. Instead of tasting like bananas, it has a nutty flavor and sellers claim it’s better at managing blood sugar levels than other grains. Check out Zuvii.
Gluten-Free Flour: Futuristic flours
- Coffee flour: Who doesn’t want a little jolt of caffeine in their food? Coffee flour is made from the byproduct of making coffee for drinking – so it reduces food waste. Not only that, but coffee flour doesn’t have that strong roasted (sometimes bitter) taste that coffee has, and it has about the same amount of caffeine as dark chocolate. Win-win-win situation, if you ask me. Try Marx Pantry.
- Cricket flour: Crickets (yes, crickets) are being called the “future of food,” so expect to see cricket flour popping up not just in baking aisles, but also as main ingredients in packaged foods like chips, crackers, cookies and meal bars. It’s high in protein, iron and is sustainably raised. If you can get past the initial ick factor (which is mostly contained to Western cultures – 80 percent of the world’s population includes insects as part of their regular diet), cricket flour can become a protein-packed part of your day. Crickets are only the beginning of the insect flour trend – so start mentally preparing for it!
What other gluten-free flours do you use that are slightly out of the norm? Before baking, remember you can test ingredients with Nima before you cook. Just remember these tips when testing dry or powdery foods like flour.