Thanks to a slew of new alternative flours, including whole grain quinoa flour and coconut flour, you can now say sayonara to white flour. And that’s a good thing: White flour is made from grains that have been stripped of the healthy outer shell and germ—the source of several key vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.
What’s more, when you munch on breads and pastas made with enriched, bleached, unbleached, semolina or durum flour, your body rapidly converts this carbohydrate to sugar in your bloodstream, causing blood sugar levels to soar.
Ready to cut back on or swap out white flour? Try these three recipes that use alternative flours.
1Stephanie Izard’s Gluten-Free Scallion Pancakes
Makes 4 servings
The whole grain quinoa flour used in the recipe is organic, wheat-free, gluten-free and even packs in some protein. Quinoa flour can be substituted for half of the all-purpose flour in many recipes or it can completely replace wheat flour in cakes and cookie recipes.
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa Flour
1/2 cup rice flour (such as Domata’s gluten-free flour)
1 cup water
2 tablespoon gluten-free fish sauce
2 teaspoon tamari (low-wheat) soy
1 cup scallions, sliced
Whisk together flours, water, fish sauce and soy. This is your pancake batter. On the side, beat eggs. In a non-stick pan over medium heat, add a small amount of oil and a handful of scallions. Allow scallions to cook for 1 minute and add enough pancake batter to cover the bottom of the pan, but not too much to be super thick. Drizzle some egg over the middle of the pancake. Let pancake cook 3-4 minutes then carefully flip. Let pancake cook another few minutes, until middle is fully cooked through. Remove from pan and cut into slices. Serve your pancake with fresh shrimp and a small salad for a healthy and delicious Asian-inspired lunch.
2Jenn Louis’ Ricotta Gnochetti with Tomato Butter Sauce
The gnochetti recipe uses a blend of white and brown rice flour and tapioca flour, which is gluten-free, wheat-free and tree-nut free. You can substitute this flour combo 1:1 for regular flour to make quick breads, pie crust, gravy and sauces, homemade pasta, cookies and cakes and more.
Ingredients for Ricotta Gnochetti:
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 c parmigiano-reggiano, grated finely
2 teaspoon butter, melted
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup Cup4Cup gluten-free flour, plus more for tray
Prep: Mix all ingredients together except for flour, until fully combined. Add flour and mix just until combined—do not over mix. The dough should be slightly sticky and wet. Cut dough into small chunks, about 1/4 cup portion at a time, roll rope of mixture about 1/4” in diameter. Cut into 1/2” chunks and lay on flour-lined tray. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Cook: Bring a pot of water to a simmer and season with salt. Poach gnochetti until almost floating; remove immediately from water and place in saucepan of warm sauce, just coating gnocchi. Warm gently, divide upon 6 plates and serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano.
3Jenn Louis’ Ricotta Gnochetti with Tomato Butter Sauce, part 2
Tomato Butter Sauce – Makes 3/4 quart
Ingredients for Tomato Butter Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, cut in half
1/2 large onion, julienned
2-inch sprig rosemary (just one)
1 bay leaf
1-2 whole dried and toasted chile de arbol, stems removed, or chili flakes to taste
45 oz canned whole peeled tomatoes, pureed and strained
4 oz butter
Place medium pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and chili and cook until onions are translucent and lightly brown, about 10 minutes. If onions brown quickly, lower heat. Add tomato puree and butter and bring sauce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about an hour, stirring regularly until slightly thick but not pasty. Butter will have emulsified into sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour sauce through a fine-mesh strainer and discard vegetables and herbs.
4Jeff Mahin’s Gluten-Free Coconut Pecan Bars
These tasty bars are made with organic coconut flour, which comes from dried, powdered coconut and is gluten-free and grain. Coconut flour is naturally sweet, which means you can skip the extra sugar or added sweeteners, and it’s loaded with fiber and protein (100 grams of coconut flour contains a whopping 19 grams of protein). Use coconut flour as a direct substitute for white flour.
Ingredients for the crust:
8 oz butter
4 oz light brown sugar
9 oz eSutras organic coconut flour
6 oz toasted shredded sweetened coconut
Pinch of salt
Mix together all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom of a buttered 9” x 13” baking dish. Blind bake (pre-bake without filling) in a 325-degree F oven until light golden brown.
5Jeff Mahin’s Gluten-free Coconut Pecan Bars, part 2
Ingredients for the filling:
2 oz butter
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
6 oz light brown sugar
5 oz sugar
6 oz light corn syrup
1 oz bourbon
10 oz toasted pecan halves
In a small saucepan, brown together the butter and vanilla. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, sugars and salt. Slowly whisk in the browned butter. Whisk in the corn syrup and bourbon. Line the pre-baked crust with the pecans. Pour the filling on top. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 15–20 minutes until golden brown and set.