It is often difficult to give up old habits and take a bold step to try out something new. What prompted me to write about ‘Flours’ of all things way more nice and sexy in the culinary world is simply because this one ingredient is the main component of so many delicious food items; cakes, cookies, biscuits, breads, cupcakes and so many others. We are getting to know Flour as we traditionally know is not one of the most healthy things around but we still continue using it. It’s time we take a step back think opt for the less harmful substitutes of the famed ‘White or refined Flour’ originating from wheat.
People across the globe have realised that the refined flour you buy at supermarkets is stripped of nutrients and all that’s left behind is pure starch. Your body reacts to pure starch the same way it reacts to pure sugar and contributes heavily to obesity. Using regular flour to make meals also causes inflammation, slow metabolism and gut disorders other than gluten allergies and intolerances. To combat these issues and still enjoy the delicious dishes, you should make the switch to healthier forms of flour which are rich in nutrients and devoid of refinement.
Here are a few types of flour you must invest in:
Packed with L-arginine, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, potassium and healthy fats, almond flour is the best investment you can make. The best part is that you can make it yourself by blanching the almonds and then tossing them in a mixer or grinder to turn the nuts into flour-like consistency. Almond flour is a great substitute to breadcrumbs and act as a brilliant and tasty coat to your chicken tenders and fritters. Apart from that, this versatile flour can be combined with different flavours and is great for baking. The best part about this high-fibre flour is that it is very low in carbohydrates and works brilliantly for people on the Paleo or Keto diet as well.
Quinoa has gained a great name for itself for being a superfood high in protein and healthy carbohydrates. It was only a matter of fact that the versatility of this healthy grain was tested. You can pick up a packet of quinoa flour from the market or choose to make it yourself by blending the seeds in a high-powered blender. Loaded with protein, quinao flour results in great breads and muffins.
Tip:You may want to combine quinoa flour with other types before cooking/baking because it doesnt hold its shape too well.
This flour is packed with only protein and is wackier than it sounds. It is actually made from crickets which are excellent sources of proteins, vitamins and essential minerals. If you are bothered about the taste, you should know that this gluten-free flour tastes slightly nutty and has a very mild flavour. Since it requires a few steps to prepare, it is better to pick up a packet online or from a store. While it can be used for cooking and baking, a spoonful can also be added to your milk or water and consumed as protein shakes to add more energy.
Amaranth is a plant which has actively been cultivated over 8,000 years in the Aztec and Inca civilizations and the seeds can be crushed to prepare a high protein, gluten-free flour. High in dietary fibre, vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium and phosphorus, this healthy flour is your solution to all healthy eating problems. Because of the high levels of natural anti-oxidants, this flour is also known to keep your organs healthy and reverse liver damage. The earthy taste of amaranth is usually stronger than other flours but with the health benefits it offers, you should’ve bought it already.
High in fibre and healthy fats, this flour is a great replacement as it is easy on the pocket, easy to make and readily available. It carries a low glycemic load which aids in regulating blood sugar levels while the healthy saturated fats provide energy which in turn boosts metabolism. Coconut is undoubtedly a superfood and is also known to aid digestion and lower bad cholesterol (LDL). Because coconut flour is a little dense, it is recommended that you blend in curd or Greek yogurt to get a light and fluffy texture. Because of the mild sweet, toasted taste it exhibits, coconut flour is great for baking muffins, cakes and cookies. Coconut flour paired with cinnamon and vanilla is known to create the best desserts.
Sprouted corn flour
The sprouted corn flour is made by soaking the corn for 18-48 hours (as per choice) so that it kills off the Phytic acid which binds the minerals together. Most wheat based products contain riboflavin which is basically Vitamin B2 and this prevents you from consuming the essential vitamins and minerals as they’re still stuck to the Phytic acid. When the grain is sprouted, the Phytic acid is killed off and the vitamins and minerals are free to consume. Loaded with iron, manganese and calcium, this gluten-free grain is known to have a host of health benefits. It aids digestion and contains folate which is essential for your well-being. The best part about this flour is that it can be used as your regualar flour without making much changes.
We hope these options help you make a more informed choice the next time you are out grocery shopping! And remember culinary skills is all about your imagination and creativity so think out of the box and think healthy.
You may want to read; Breakfast without Fear but some Favour
Written byNiharika Nandi
Niharika Nandi is a media trainee who loves exploring the fields of photography and baking simultaneously. She’s a self-proclaimed professional bathroom singer and believes that caffeine runs through her veins. This adrenaline junkie loves to pen down a million thoughts gushing through her mind at any instant and is very vocal about LGBTQ rights.