Nov 17, 2011 6:37 am - Posted by Marcia


To prevent rancidity, whole grains should be stored in a cool place or refrigerated and used within a few months from time of purchase.

Spelt Flour

An ancient cousin to modern wheat, spelt is rich in nutrients. This robust, nutty flavored flour offers an excellent source of fiber, complete protein, and complex carbohydrates, as well as B vitamins and minerals.

The gluten composition in spelt is more fragile than that found in wheat, so it is more easily digested.  Many people with allergies or sensitivities to wheat do not react to spelt.

Used much in the same way as wheat flour, spelt can be substituted in recipes at a 1:1 ratio.

Many products that include spelt flour in their ingredients are sold in health food stores and supermarkets. Look for spelt bread, cold cereal, and pasta.

Spelt flour can be found in Whole Foods Markets, health food stores, many supermarkets, and online.

Oat Flour & Whole Grain Oats

Oat flour, with its sweet aroma, is ground from hulled oats and tends to have a higher fat content than other grains.

Oats are well known to have a favorable effect on cholesterol levels due to their soluble dietary fiber content. They are also a good source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, as well as vitamin B1.

Considered a gluten grain because of cross contamination from wheat fields, individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease are advised to avoid oat flour. The exception would be organic oat products that state they are gluten-free on their packaging.

Whole grain oats come in many varieties and are used in a wide range of products. They add heart healthy benefits to cooked cereals, cold cereals, baked goods, granola blends, and snack items.

Oat flour and whole grain oats can be found in health food stores, supermarkets, Whole Foods Markets, and online.

GLUTEN-FREE FLOURS

To prevent rancidity, whole grains should be stored in a cool place or refrigerated and used within a few months from time of purchase.

Brown Rice Flour

Unhulled brown rice kernels are ground fine to produce brown rice flour. Naturally gluten-free with a mildly sweet flavor, it is a popular choice as a wheat flour substitute, as well as a white rice flour substitute. Brown rice flour is a nutritious alternative to white rice flour because the bran layer has not been removed. Stripping the bran layer removes the fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals.

This flour is a quality source of fiber, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and trace minerals. Its essential amino acid quantity provides a good source of quality protein.

Some brands of brown rice flour tend to produce a gritty texture in baked goods. Bob’s Red Mill and Authentic Foods use special equipment to achieve a texture similar to white wheat flour. Authentic Food’s brown rice flour is more expensive than the other brands but is well worth the extra expense for its “superfine” consistency.

Brown rice flour can be found in Whole Foods Markets, health food stores, many supermarkets, and online.

Buckwheat Flour

Because of its name, many people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease do not realize buckwheat flour is actually gluten-free. Produced from the seeds of a plant related to rhubarb, it is has no relation to wheat. Buckwheat contains two flavonoids, rutin and quercetin, and is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, iron, fiber, and high quality protein.

Buckwheat flour is robust with a slightly sweet, nutty taste and is mostly used in pancake batters.

Buckwheat flour can be found in supermarkets, health food stores, Whole Foods Markets, and online.

Coconut Flour

Organic coconut flour is made from the coconut meat after most of the oil has been extracted.  Boasting a high fiber and protein content and low in digestible carbohydrates, it is a delicious, healthy alternative to gluten grains.

Coconut flour lends baked goods an incomparably rich texture and a unique natural sweetness. It is also an excellent thickener for soups and sauces. Since this flour tends to be a little on the dry side and has little movement, it is best combined with other gluten-free flours.

A 2003 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that high glycemic foods combined with coconut flour produce a lowered blood sugar response.

Coconut flour can be found in Whole Foods Markets, health food stores,  supermarkets, and online.

Millet Flour

Originating from China, the millet grain dates back nearly 5000 years. It is believed to be the least allergenic and most digestible of all the grains.

Millet flour is ground from a variety of millet grains and is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also a good source of fiber, essential amino acids, and protein. The flour has a light sweet flavor and produces a delicate cake-like texture when combined with other gluten-free flours and xanthan gum.

Millet flour can be found in many Whole Foods markets, health food stores, specialty grocery stores, and online.

Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a powerhouse of nutrition rich in protein, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Considered to be a whole grain, it is really a seed that dates back to ancient times. Due to its balanced essential amino acid profile, the protein in quinoa is considered to be complete.

Even though quinoa is known for its grain-like seeds, it is also produced as a flour.

An excellent gluten-free option, the flour lends a nutty but strong flavor to baked goods, and for that reason, it is best used in small amounts with other gluten-free flours.

Quinoa can also be purchased as flakes. The flakes are generally used to make hot cereal but can sometimes be a replacement for rolled oats in baking.

Quinoa flour can be found in Whole Foods Markets, health food stores, many supermarkets, and online.

Sorghum Flour

Sorghum has its origins in Africa and Asia, where it has been cultivated for more than four thousand years. Today, the United States is the largest producer of this nutritious flour. The types of flavonoids found in sorghum exhibit powerful antioxidant properties. Considered a high-complex-carbohydrate and high protein grain, sorghum is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, iron, and potassium.

Gluten-free sorghum flour is a popular addition to gluten-free baking because its bland flavor and light color does not alter the taste of finished baked goods. It is often included in commercial gluten-free mixes, but for many sensitive individuals, its high fiber content can cause gastric distress.

Sorghum flour can be found in Whole Foods Markets, health food stores, some supermarkets, and online.

Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour, also referred to as tapioca starch, is milled from the dried starch of the cassava root and is used mainly as a thickener. Unlike cornstarch or arrowroot, tapioca flour does not break down if used with acidic ingredients. When combined with other gluten-free flours, it gives baked goods a texture more like that of wheat flour.

Protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and tryptophan are the key nutrients in tapioca.

Tapioca flour can be found in Whole Foods Markets, health food stores, supermarkets, and online.

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