Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean you have to cut baked goods out of your life!
Now that more and more people are discovering that they have Celiac Disease or want pursue a gluten free diet, it’s easier than ever to find gluten free recipes and products.
Gluten free baking can be very daunting at first – it’s certainly different than traditional baking, and there are a slew of gluten free flours to choose from.
Use this guide to gluten free flours to learn more about some of the more popular gluten free flours, as well as a few recipes to try out for each one!
Note that this guide won’t cover all gluten free flours – there are a lot of them out there! This guide simply reviews some of the most popular gluten free flours.
Share this Image On Your Site
- Overview: Almond flour is made by grinding almonds down to a fine consistency. You can actually make almond flour at home by blending almonds – but be careful, blend too much and you end up with almond butter!
- Substitute: Almond flour can usually be subbed 1:1 for wheat flour, but some recipes require a little more egg or binder to hold together. Using almond flour often results in slightly denser baked goods, and you might be able to detect the nutty flavor of the almonds.
- Benefits: Almonds are a source of healthy fats. Almonds are also relatively high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- Try it: NOW Foods Raw Almond Flour, FunFresh Foods California Almond Flour
- Recipes: Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake, The Best Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Overview: Coconut flour is made from fresh coconut meat, which is dried, defatted and ground into a flour. It has a mild coconut flavor that is easily masked with other flavors (like chocolate). Because of the process used to make coconut flour, not all brands are created equal; different brands can yield different results using the same recipe. So find a brand that suits your needs and stick with it!
- Substitute: A little goes a long way with coconut flour! It is incredibly absorbent – generally use a 1:4 ratio with wheat flour (that is, for every cup of wheat flour, only use ¼ c coconut flour). If experimenting with your own recipe, try adding coconut flour one tablespoon at a time, keeping a close eye on the consistency of the batter or dough.
- Benefits: Coconut flour is high in fiber and is also a source for healthy fats. Compared to other flours, coconut flour is also moderately high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- Try it: Swanson Organic Coconut Flour, Coconut Secret Coconut Flour, Nutiva Coconut Flour
- Recipes: Pumpkin, Bacon & Chive Coconut Flour Biscuits, Lemon Bread with Lemon Glaze, Grain Free Rosemary Garlic Flatbread
Arrowroot Flour / Starch
- Overview: Made from pulverized arrowroot, this light flour is commonly used as a gluten free replacement for cornstarch to thicken soups, sauces or puddings. It will thicken at a simmer temp, not needing to reach a rapid boil. It works well for thickening acidic sauces or fruit jams. It can be used to make smooth homemade ice cream, since arrowroot flour will help prevent large ice crystals from forming. This versatile flour can also be used for baking!
- Substitute: Can be mixed with a heavy flour for less dense baked goods.
- Benefits: Relative to other starches (sweet potato, plantain, cassava), arrowroot has more protein. Arrowroot also contains moderate levels of B vitamins, copper, iron and potassium.
- Try it: Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch/Flour
- Recipes: Simple Paleo Tortillas, Beef and Broccoli Cashew Stiry Fry
Tapioca Flour / Starch
- Overview: Tapioca flour is similar in consistency to arrowroot flour. It can be used as a thickener and as a light flour in gluten free baking. Like arrowroot flour, it also lends a springy texture to baked goods.
- Substitute: It can typically be used interchangeably with arrowroot flour, although tapioca flour tends to have a slightly sweeter taste. Mix it with a heavy flour for less dense baked goods. Tapioca flour is ideal for crispy crusts and browning!
- Benefits: As a starch, tapioca doesn’t have many benefits. However, it is a modest source of iron.
- Try it: Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour
- Recipes: Fudgy Grain Free Brownies, Paleo Pizza Crust (also uses almond flour), Banana Waffles
Garbanzo Bean / Chickpea Flour
- Overview: A popular flour among vegetarians and celiacs, garbanzo bean flour lends a sweet, rich, slightly “beany” flavor to baked goods. Garbanzo beans are a legume naturally high in protein, making it an especially healthy option. This flour can also be used in savory dishes as a batter or to thicken soups, sauces or gravies.
- Substitute: Does not sub 1:1 for wheat flour, use slightly less chickpea flour when subbing. Use up to 25% in gluten free flour mixes.
- Benefits: Chickpeas are a great gluten free and vegan source of protein, iron and fiber.
- Try it: Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour
- Recipes: Crispy Chickpea Onion Rings, Chocolate Cupcakes Made with Garbanzo Bean Flour, Indian Spinach Fritters
- Overview: This fine consistency flour has a neutral flavor, making it an excellent flour substitute. White rice flour creates a light, delicate, spongy texture in baked goods. Like many of the gluten free flours already mentioned, it can also be used as a thickening agent.
- Substitute: Does not sub 1:1 for wheat flour. It is best used in combination with other gluten free flours.
- Benefits: Rice flour’s primary benefit is that it is a good source of fiber.
- Try it: Bob’s Red Mill White Rice Flour, NOW Foods White Rice Flour
- Recipes: Banana Bread Waffles, Rice Flour Snickerdoodles, Rice Flour Flatbread
- Overview: Cornmeal is an extremely versatile gluten free flour that is already commonly used (cornbread, anyone?). It can be used for batter, breading, tortillas, grits, porridge, breads and pancakes.
- Substitute: Does not sub 1:1 for wheat flour. Best used in specific recipes (eg, cornbread) that desire the specific taste and texture it provides.
- Benefits: Cornmeal is quite high in fiber. It also contains modest amounts of iron and zinc.
- Try it: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornmeal, Arrowhead Mills Organic Cornmeal
- Recipes: Old-Fashioned Gluten Free Cornbread, Savory Cornbread Waffles, Gluten Free Corn Tortillas (also uses rice flour)
- Overview: Potato starch and potato flour are not created equal, so you’ll definitely need to pay close attention to which one a recipe calls for. Like many of the gluten free flours, it can be used as a thickener, but it should never be boiled. Since it is made from the starch of the potato, it lends a light, fluffy flavor to baked goods (whereas potato flour can cause an overly dense texture).
- Try it: Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch
- Recipes: Potato Starch Blintzes, Gluten Free Potato Kneidlach (Dumplings), Cheddar Bacon Irish Soda Bread Rolls (also uses almond flour)
- Overview: Rich in fiber and protein, buckwheat flour has become a favorite for many who avoid gluten. Using buckwheat will result in an earthy, nutty flavor. Like almond flour, buckwheat flour is fairly heavy and will result in dense baked goods unless mixed with lighter flours.
- Substitute: Can substitute for wheat flour, but does not rise when baked. Use in combination with other gluten free flours for cakes and breads.
- Benefits: High in protein/fiber. Buckwheat flour also contains relatively high amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- Try it: Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Flour, Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Buckwheat Flour
- Recipes: Gluten-Free Buckwheat Waffles, Buckwheat Crackers, Buckwheat Bread, Meyer Lemon Buckwheat Tart (also uses almond and tapioca flours)
What is your favorite gluten free flour? What types of recipes do you use it in?