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  • Writer's pictureElise Johnson

Amazing Alternatives to Wheat Flour

Updated: Apr 10

ALMOND FLOUR is typically my favorite substitute in place of wheat flours. It is low in carbohydrates, full of prebiotic dietary fiber which feeds the good bacteria in our gut, is rich in vitamins like vitamin E, contains good fat and protein (all great for brain health), and has a slightly sweeter taste than flour. All of these characteristics make it a wonderful alternative to wheat flours for those without nut allergies. Almond flour is also easy to use and requires less ingredients than recipes using wheat flours. Replacing wheat flour with almond flour is very easy. You simply use a 1:1 ratio.


In Europe, the very versatile almond flour is used in centuries-old recipes like crepes, cakes, cookies, tortes, macaroons, and marzipan. I have substituted almond flour for most of my recipes.


Wheat flours are not only ultra-processed, but hybridized. Many believe that hybridized wheat will improve their crops strength and health as well as the ability to feed a rapidly growing population. In my popular Art of Healthy Living Workshop, I explain how hybridized wheat has dominated our agricultural landscape. Many consumers are also unaware that glysophate, the same chemical used in RoundUp, is sprayed over many of these crops.


Having experienced diet-related chronic illnesses such as pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, and ultimately dystonia which left me with limited use of my hands, I began investigating the power of food.


An Important Lesson

Food is not simply calories, but INFORMATION for every cell in your body. Wheat flours are ultra-processed and high on the glycemic index. I overcame all of my chronic illnesses after crowding out processed foods like wheat flours.


COCONUT FLOUR

If I am unable to use almond flour either because I am out of it or because I am feeding someone with a nut allergy, I substitute coconut or oat flour. I love using coconut flour because it is high in fiber. Wheat flour is mostly starch with a just a bit of protein and fiber. Coconut flour is mostly protein and fiber with a little starch so it is a much healthier option.


When using coconut flour, keep in mind that it absorbs a great deal of liquid, much more than wheat flours will, so you will use much less flour and add liquid to your recipe. A good rule of thumb is to use 1/4 - 1/3 coconut flour to wheat flour. It is best to try recipes that are designed to use coconut flour until you get the hang of it. You will find that recipes using coconut flour can be very dry if the proper amount of liquid is not used. You will want to add additional liquid as well such as water or coconut milk. Coconut flour is also gluten-free so it will not provide structure or elasticity to your recipe. Coconut flour will make your recipe denser, so if you are looking for a light and airy outcome, you will need to use another alternative. Honestly, when I began experimenting with coconut flour, it reminded me of sawdust, but once I got the hang of it, I love to use it!


OAT FLOUR

You might consider oat flour. Oat flour is a nutritional powerhouse, contains 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, and is full of iron and calcium. Oats are also rich in a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which will help keep you satiated or full. It is also great for heart health.


Oat flour behaves similarly to wheat flour and lends a soft and fluffy texture to baked goods. For this reason, I love using it in my pancake recipes. My favorite way to use oat flour is in my oatmeal cookies which my grands love! Similar to coconut flour, the absence of gluten in oat flour makes a difference in its' ability to provide elasticity and structure. Xanthum gum or glucomannan flour helps baked goods like cakes rise when using oat flour. And like coconut flour, it is much more absorbent than wheat flour, so recipes require additional liquid.


As with any new ingredient, I'd suggest searching online for well-received recipes using the ingredient and experiment until you get the feel for it. Oat flour is often used with other flours, like coconut flour.


Gluten-free oats are great for those with celiac disease or gluten allergies. Due to its' high fiber count, oat flour is easily digestible. I also love using oat flour because it acts more like wheat flour in certain recipes than coconut flour does. I am also able to use it for those with gluten and nut allergies, or a history of kidney stones.


Substitute by using 1.3 cups to 1 cup of wheat flour when making cakes, muffins, cookies, and quick bread recipes.


Nutritional Value Comparison


this Infograph lists the comparison of almond flour to regular white wheat flours.
Nutritional Value Comparison

Just look at the difference between almond flour and white wheat flours! Do your body a favor and make the switch. If you have a nut allergy, try substituting coconut or oat flour for white wheat flours.





My favorite cookie recipe which uses almond flour is my version of pecan sandies. The combination of plant protein, good fats, and fiber makes this fruit and nut cookie an incredible addition to your baking repertoire.


This cookie dough is easy to form into shapes like hearts or to simply roll and flatten into rounds.


PRO TIP: Sprinkling your hands with a little water every now and again when rolling or shaping will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.



I am always asked to bring this spice cake to any gathering I am invited to! It is definitely a favorite!




I hope you'll try these recipes! I just know you will love them as much as we do!


Be well,

Elise



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