5 Healthy White Flour Replacements
The truth about White Flour
White flour is so common in our favourite recipes. Pretty much everyone has consumed it at some point- its so normal, right? We usually think sugar is the culprit in our recipes, making them unhealthy. However.. what about the flour? White flour is simply just wheat flour with the bran and the germ stripped away, and is made from the endosperm only. We usually use it in recipes because when removing the bran and germ the texture is a lot lighter and softer. Proper nutrition is important when trying to reduce many health risks, and here is what we should all know about the white flour we put in.. everything.
1. It is HEAVILY processed- all vitamins are lost and often chemical bleaching is used. This obviously isn't good for us.
2. High Glycemic Index- foods are processed very quickly through the body causing blood sugar spikes triggering the release of the hormone Insulin which can lead to weight gain.. and soon the hunger returns as the white flour has no filling fibre.
3. No nutrients... just calories!
1. Brown Flour / Wholewheat
This one is fairly obvious, and I'm pretty sure people use this all the time. Brown Flour really is better than White flour, it contains 85% the original grain, and has not been bleached and heavily processed. This means the Flour contains a lot more filling fibre and therefore does not spike our blood sugar levels as much. It also retains quite a few vitamins like folate, riboflavin and b-vitamins. Be aware though Brown flour is usually heavier- so maybe start by mixing Brown and White flour, but it really is worth the replacement.
2. Spelt Flour
Spelt flour is a strain of wheat- it is very high in protein and has a nutty, complex flavour. It carries a lot of nutrients and vitamins with it. It also has lots of fibre(30% in a single serving!) making it low GI, and filling. Contains iron, copper, zinc, niacin, B6 and the list goes on. It is also not very processed or bleached. You may not of heard of spelt before, but you should be able to pick it up from any health food store. Spelt flour is also not to pricey.
3. Coconut Flour
Everyone has heard of a coconut, but most wouldn't know you can get flour from it. I use coconut flour in most my baking as it adds so many nutritional benefits and a nice additional flavour. A coconut boasts so many nutrients,it is very high protein,fibre, and healthy fats. This option is also free of wheat and gluten making it an option for everyone. This is a great alternative but can be on the more expensive side, the one i purchase is £6.00 but lasts a while.
4. Rice Flour
The name gives this one away- Rice flour is finely milled rice. This is another good one for everyone as it is also naturally gluten free. It also boasts, like the others, high amounts of protein and fibre.
5. Nut Flours (Almond)
Nut flours are easy and healthy. If you have a lot of nuts and a blender of some sort, you can make this Flour your self. Packed with healthy fats and a good amount of protein, this makes good addition to a recipe. Almond flour, also called Almond meal, is the most common form.
*You can research more into these flours to learn more about them and what one is best to use. You may want to also research how these Flours should be used in your recipe, as for example you might need more liquid when using Coconut Flour, but honestly i don't think it would matter to much. There is also I'm sure 100's of flours that i have not mentioned that are great to!*
Which Flour is best to use?
Many people will feel differently about what is the best flour to use. Some flours may contain more vitamins but taste to earthy for example. It depends on peoples opinions, but personally, i enjoy using Coconut flour. Diabetics, Gluten-free's, etc could have different opinions and different flours could work better in some recipes than others, so it is definitely worth trying them all and researching further!