We are in some unprecedented times. Where there used to be shelves stocked full of flour and yeast, we are now forced to chose from the 3 bags of flour left behind by busy shoppers.
Community boards are full of people asking for all-purpose flour and sourdough starters, and we are going through all this just to try to add some excitement to the 257 meals a day that we are making at home. (Or so it feels like we are!)
But let me tell you a secret…all the clean eating flour is still on the shelf at our local stores. I think it’s because people aren’t sure what to do with it, but soon you will!
Yes, you can bake and coat foods with it. In fact, clean eating flours can replace all-purpose flour. You just need to know how to use them.
5 Clean Eating Approved Flours You Need to Try + One More
Between trying to work and helping the kids with school work, trying to come up with fun dinner ideas while sticking to the clean eating lifestyle can be challenging.
It is so easy to fall into a rut. Do you find that yourself reaching for the same ingredients week after week, just because you know your kids will eat these dished without complaining? Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Most of the time that is ok, but sometimes we just want something different! One of the easiest ways to switch things up is to change the ingredients. And flour is a great place to start. While most are easy to work with, keep in mind that you may need to make adjustments. But I’ll show you below.
These are the 5 flours I have on hand at all times. Each one has it’s benefits and a few need minor adjustments but they all taste delicious!
Try it: Baked goods (find a good recipe and follow it exactly); frying
If you are familiar with Paleo, Whole30, or Clean Eating, you have definitely heard about coconut flour. This light and fluffy flour is made by grinding the pulp of the coconut and is actually the leftover coconut when making coconut milk.
Coconut flour shines when used to coat chicken or beef before frying. It browns nicely and makes your meat look like it belongs in a magazine! It also has a deliciously sweet flavor that can’t be replicated.
The general rule of thumb when baking with coconut flour is 1 part coconut flour to 2 parts liquid. I learned this the hard way while trying to make pancakes. This flour sucks up the liquid and creates a powdery consistency.
I actually find this flour a bit difficult to work with. If you aren’t familiar with it, I would not recommend using it as a flour substitute in baking unless you are following a recipe..then it’s delicious!
Try It: As a breading on baked fish or chicken; Mixed into muffins or pancakes
This is a family favorite! Almond flour has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor which is just delicious!
I love to use it to make baked chicken nuggets and fish sticks for the kids. You can fry with this flour, but I find that it can clump and fall apart in the oil, so it is best to batter the food and bake it in the oven without flipping.
When you go to the store, you may see something called almond meal. This is just as delicious but it is not the same thing as almond flour. It does have its place in the kitchen, but almond meal has a coarser ground and is not as easy to use.
If you just got home from the grocery store and realized that you bought almond meal, pulse it in a food processor to give it a finer consistency.
And if you want to kick it up a notch, top your dishes with slivered almonds. It looks beautiful and adds a little crunch!
White Whole Wheat Flour
Try It: As a breading for chicken for fish; To brown meat in stews and roasts; As a thickening agent (mixed with cold water); as a substitute for all-purpose flour in baked goods
If you follow my blog, you know how much I love this stuff. It is so easy to substitute all-purpose flour with White Whole Wheat (I like King Arthur). It does have a slightly nuttier flavor and creates a denser product but my whole family (picky eaters included) like it.
I use it in baking (like our favorite strawberry muffins), coating meats (stews and roasts) and as a thickening agent.
This flour does require slightly more liquid than all-purpose flour, so I like to reduce the amount of flour when using a traditional recipe. As an estimate, I reduce it about 3 tablespoons per cup. This flour is very forgiving so you can play around with the recipe
Try it: In baked goods (mix with another flour) like muffins, breads and rolls – one of my favorites: Lemon Cranberry Muffins
If you haven’t tried spelt flour before, you definitely need to!
I love to use a combination of spelt and almond flour in baked goods. It creates such a delicious and unique flavor. Spelt is gluten-free so it does need to be mixed with another flour to bind everything together.
It also does not rise as well as some other flours – one more reason to mix it with another flour.
When purchasing spelt flour, you will see two different types. Look for the Whole Spelt flour which contains the hull and also has the most health benefits. With White Spelt Flour, the hull has been removed along with most of the nutrition (similar to whole wheat vs white flour).
Try It: In baked goods such as cakes and muffins; great for making pasta
Now this one is a treat! I first learned about Cassava Flour from Lectin Free Mama. She has some mouth watering, gluten-free, recipes that use this less popular flour so I just had to give it a try.
I am still playing around with this one but it is proving to be so versatile. It is produced from the cassava root and is gaining in popularity because it is gluten-free and a part of the anti-inflammatory diet.
It is also proving to be a substitute for whole wheat flour. I have been using it as a 1:1 flour substitute and I have had great results.
The only downside to this flour is the price. However, I have been able to justify the price due to the ease and convenience of use. I have had the best results with Otto’s Natural brand.
Bonus: Garbanzo Bean Flour
Try It: In your baked goods. Substitute 1/3 of flour with Garbanzo Bean Flour.
I can’t believe I forgot to list this one, so I’m adding it as a bonus!
Chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour) has quickly become one of my favorites. I like to bake with it because it creates a fluffier texture when using white whole wheat. This corn dog recipe is a perfect example!
The flour is so fluffy that it needs to be mixed with another flour. If not mixed, baked goods will be too crumbly (you won’t even be able to pick it up without having it fall apart in your hands).
I have found that the perfect ratio is 1 part garbanzo bean flour to 2 parts white whole wheat.
Definitely try this one, especially if you are new to clean eating. It will help you with a smoother transition to white whole wheat.
Did I miss your Go-to flour?
Let me know because I am always looking for new things to try! I have my eye on quinoa flour and oat flour. Once I get comfortable with them I’ll add them to the list above!
Are any of the above on your list of favorites? Let me know if the comments!