I’ve been asked to write a little bit about flour, and what I know about substitutes at this point.
I won’t use the real name of the friend who asked me to do this ~ let’s call her Toni. (That’s her real name…ha ha haaaaa)
I’ve tried a lot of flour substitutes in the past 10 years, in a never-ending search for foods that don’t hurt my delicate little whiny-baby system. I’d also like to reduce my weight, lower my cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and try to avoid diseases in general. But that’s just me. Such an overachiever.
Going “keto” (or just call it low-to-no carb) was all about losing weight, but it quickly showed itself as a diet that had the capacity to make me feel like a million bucks, and almost immediately. It’s not the meat fest I thought it was going to be. For me, the major change was eliminating tortillas chips, if I’m being honest. There’s a small amount of protein and fat in every meal, some lovely veggies, and dark leafy greens make a steady appearance, at least two times a day.
I’ve done a lot of research (with my mouth) on gluten-free flour substitutes, and here’s what I’ve learned:
- If you have IBS issues (this is a blanket term for any digestive malaise at all) you might not have much luck with gluten-free flours. If you do, wonderful! But it didn’t work out for me. Also, I find it annoying to bake with all the variables and different flours and potions. When I discovered the almond flour/coconut flour combo, I dropped all the other flours like they were hot (cue the Snoop Dogg song).
- Even if you can eat all the flours with no problem whatsoever (show off), I think you should still try the almond flour/coconut flour-type baking. It is SO DELICIOUS. It’s nutty and fresh and crunchy and so so easy.
- I’d also like to add that if you’re struggling with IBS, or you want to reduce inflammation, or maybe you want to lose some weight ~ monk fruit sweetener is pretty darn amazing. It works just like sugar ~ 1 for 1 with any recipe. And there’s no funky, intense taste on your tongue, like Stevia.
- When working with an almond flour dough, the food processor is your friend. You can still rock it out without one, but it’s super easy to bring that dough together if you have a food processor. Also, rolling the dough out is easy, but you must do it between two pieces of parchment paper, then lay it on a sheet pan and drop it in the freezer for an hour. That’s if you’re cutting sugar cookies, or making crackers or flatbread. If you’re making a pie, push the dough into the pie plate and THEN freeze. Either way, refrigerating/freezing and using parchment paper are must-dos.
- Let’s talk money: you can find almond flour at Costco for a SONG. Maybe at Sam’s too? Also, you can find conventional flour substitutes like this for a reduced price at Thrive Market online. Lots of deals on there, and if you live in a town where you can’t find weird stuff like coconut flour, it’s easier to have it shipped to you. Don’t compare the price to flour ~ flour will always be cheaper. But I use one big $10 bag of almond flour in about 3 months, so that’s pretty cheap, eh? And remember ~ you’re doing something potentially really great for your body, so it might be worth the money.
- Always store your almond flour, and other nuts, in the freezer. They go rancid too quickly if you don’t.
If you want to find any recipes that use these clean, delicious flour substitutes, you can use the words “keto”, “paleo” or “grain-free” in your search. Most of my fave recipes online have almond flour, coconut flour, eggs, monk fruit sweetener or Swerve, maple syrup, coconut oil ~ ingredients like that. I’ve totally adjusted my pantry to these items, and I don’t even have flour or regular sugar anymore. SEE YA.
Making these changes has been priceless to me. I feel a thousand times better. I’m no longer bloated, crampy, CRANKY, and my acid reflux is a distant memory. And I’ve lost 13 pounds. Wait…14. Dropping so quickly I can’t finish this post without changing the number.
I’ll never label my food blog as a “Keto” blog per se, because I’m not an expert. But if you need tried and true recipes, www.alldayidreamaboutfood.com is really an amazing Keto website, with all kinds of recipes you never knew you could have in a low-carb lifestyle. Marshmallows? Really? It’s amazing.
My first almond flour crust was this recipe I found online, and then tweaked for my every whim:
If you even do one thing with almond flour, this recipe is so versatile. I only added the flax because I was trying to get more flax in my diet. Take it or leave it.
Oat flour is very nutty and delicious. I just don’t have any experience with it. I like hearty breads, though, and I can imagine it really being hearty.
All I really know is this: I’d rather spend money at the grocery store than money on medicine. If the absence of flour and sugar from my life helps me stay healthy, then I’m IN. But I don’t want to miss out on baking. Well? I don’t have to.
We really CAN have it all, folks.