Have you noticed that there are many kinds of flours readily available in most grocery stores now? The choices go way beyond just wheat and white! There are nut flours, bean flours, rice flours, coconut flour and many more. This is great news if you have developed an intolerance to wheat gluten, or simply want some variety and better nutrition in the foods you prepare. I have recently tried a couple of these flours in my home and was pleasantly surprised with the results.
My first experiment was with almond flour. Almond flour is packed with protein and healthy fats, as well as low in carbohydrates and free of gluten. My experiment was with pancakes. The texture is quite different from regular whole wheat pancakes that I usually make – more of a chewy texture than fluffy – but they tasted good and gave us a nice balanced breakfast when paired with a banana or fresh fruit smoothie. Here is the recipe I used:
1 cup almond flour or meal
¼ cup milk (or I’ve heard you can use sparkling water for fluffier pancakes)
2 T. canola oil
1 packet of Stevia
Mix all ingredients together and cook in a skillet as you would other pancakes, except keep the heat a little lower and flip when partially set to prevent burning.
Another flour I tried was Garbanzo Bean Flour. I wasn’t too sure about this one since I normally don’t care for garbanzo beans, and when I mixed water into it I really didn’t like how it smelled! But I made my garbanzo bean pizza anyway, and was pleasantly surprised that I liked it! I think the combination of rosemary, tomatoes and parmesan were great together, and the flour taste was not overpowering like I thought it might be. Garbanzo beans are another good source of protein and low in fat. This flour can be used as a replacement for wheat flour for gluten-free baking (denser, but can be sifted for a lighter texture).
The recipe for the Garbanzo Bean (Chick Pea) Pizza that I tried can be found at the Food and Wine website here: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chickpea-flour-pizza-with-tomato-and-parmesan
So go ahead and be a little adventurous! Please share your own cooking and baking successes using alternative flours in the comment section below!