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Over the years, the industry has had a single objective: to lower prices and mass-produce food. One of which is wheat. The wheat that we know today is over treated and as a result, has lost its original nutritional value. A natural diet seeks to take full advantage of the natural properties in organic and ecological products. This is where wheat substitutes lend us a hand.
Even though a natural diet is not based on sugars and desserts, there are still ways to satisfy those cravings in a healthy way, as long as it’s not on a regular basis. That’s why today we see many recipes for organic cakes and sweets popping up which use ingredients that act like wheat flour but are healthier. We’d like to share with you a little information about these ideal alternatives, especially for those of us who may suffer from Celiac disease or be gluten intolerant.
- Almond Flour or other Nut-based Flours:
Grinding down natural almonds creates a very fine powder. This flour is rich in protein, vitamin E, many B vitamins, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, not to mention it’s also rich in good fats. It’s a great substitute for many recipes. I use it to make waffles, healthy cakes, or pizza, but remember, since it’s gluten-free, it will not give you the same elasticity that wheat does. Like almonds, you can get “flour” from other nuts such as hazelnut flour, walnut flour, pecan flour, Brazil nut flour, or even cashew flour.
- Coconut Flour:
Considered the most popular in the health world. This flour is made by crushing the coconut pulp, after having extracted its milk. It mainly consists of fiber and is a very good replacement for a nut-based flour or even to combine with one of them if a recipe calls for one that you might not have on hand. The only downside with this flour is that you have to be very precise with the measurements because one tablespoon over or under can ruin the texture of what you’re preparing.
- Tapioca or Cassava Flour:
Both tapioca and cassava come from the cassava plant, which is a woody shrub cultivated in South America, Africa, and the Pacific. Cassava roots are rich in starches and are of great nutritional value. The root must be grated and freed of its natural toxins; it is then ground up in order to get this unique flour. As it is gluten-free, it is perfect for coeliacs and those intolerant to wheat.
- Arrowroot Flour:
It comes from a tropical tuber, like tapioca. However, arrowroot flour comes from a different plant called Maranta arundinacea. This gluten-free powder is ideal for thickening sauces and preparing glazes as it leaves behind a slight shine.
- Tigernut Flour:
Rich in probiotics making it good for growing healthy bacteria in our body. Despite looking like a nut, it’s not and is ideal for those who are allergic to them. It is a semi-sweet flour rich in fiber, iron, and potassium.
You can find all these flours quite easily at your local market, but what’s better is that you can also make several of them from scratch. If you liked this guide, we recommend you try any of these recipes that include these alternative flours: Waffles for breakfast, birthday cake, energy bars, or this incredible pizza.