Whether you’re gluten free or just diversifying what you eat, using alternatives to wheat flour (especially the refined stuff) makes you one smart cookie. Our intern Siobhan Parry looked into wheat flour substitutes for some of our fave baked goodies, plus a few recipes to get you started.

Coconut flour | Pizza crust

Going gluten free doesn’t mean you have to lead a miserable pizza free life. Many delish GF pizza bases have been popping up all over – cauliflower pizza crust anyone? Here’s how to make pizza crust from coconut flour! Just add any toppings to your heart’s desire.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk 4 eggs together with 2 tbs water, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp onion powder.
  2. Sift ¼ cup coconut flour into mixture. Mix until smooth.
  3. Stir in 6 tbs of grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Leave mixture to rest and thicken for a couple of minutes.
  5. Transfer onto pizza pan, spreading it out evenly with a spatula.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown and set.

Banana flour | Muffins

Let me hear you say this shit is bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Made from green bananas, banana flour it has a mild nutty flavour. You will need 30% less flour when replacing small amounts of your regular wheat flours due to its high starch content. Use it to bulk up your smoothies or in a baked treat. Like these banana & raspberry muffins.

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 ⅔ cups banana flour, 2 large mashed bananas, 4 eggs, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 tbs melted coconut oil, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  2. Mix well with electric beaters.
  3. Fold 1 cup raspberries (or other berries if you like, or just leave out if you don’t have them) into the mixture.
  4. Spoon mixture into a muffin tray lined with muffin cups and bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes!

Chickpea flour | Fritters

The versatile chickpea is a lot more than just hummus! You can even use it as a facial scrub. Use some as a substitute for plain flour in any savoury dish that doesn’t rely on gluten (like bread). It’s high in protein and fibre, has a delicious nutty flavour, and is gluten-free! What’s more to love? Made from ground dried chickpeas, it’s a kitchen staple to any savoury dish in Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

Thinking about throwing together some zucchini fritters for dinner? Just substitute your regular white flour for the same amount of chickpea flour (usually about half a cup). You’ll also get some awesome umami flavour from the chickpea flour that you wouldn’t get from plain old white flour. Yep, it’s that easy!

Tapioca flour | Pudding

Tapioca starch. What the heck is it? This has gotta be the most wacky sounding flour of them all. Native to Brazil, the flour is made from the starch extracted from the cassava plant. It is processed to remove toxins, grounded to a pulp and separated from any liquids. So what can you actually use tapioca starch for?

Use it as an extra booster to any gluten free baking recipe, as it helps to bind the ingredients and gives a nice taste and texture to any baked goods. Or create something different for dessert by using the starch to make a tapioca pudding, similar to rice pudding.

Buckwheat flour | Pancakes

Did your attempt to make protein pancakes resemble more of a scrambled mess than a fluffy cloud? Buckwheat flour is the solution to all of your pancake woes on this week’s edition of #5flours5ways. Despite buckwheat’s name, it doesn’t contain any wheat, making it a fab gluten free alternative. It’s high in fibre and protein, and is hella versatile to use when you’re baking gluten free goodies. Whizz up this 4-ingredient pancake recipe for your next Sunday morning treat.

  1. Whisk together 1 egg and 1/3 cup almond (or regular) milk.
  2. Sift 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2tsp baking powder into the same bowl.
  3. Whisk until smooth & combined.
  4. Cook in fry pan on both sides until golden.

Image credit: Ela Haney

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