It seems to me that gluten intolerance and celiac disease is on the rise, but it could simply be the discussion of it – and lots of recipes on Pinterest on the rise – instead, causing us to notice it more.
That being said, the name of the condition is not as important as making sure anyone on your holiday guest list, including you, can enjoy the party by avoiding this one ingredient – flour.
You may be wondering: Can this be done and still allow for foods everyone likes? Yes!
Swap and Sub
Even if you are not susceptible to the negative consequences of eating flour, you may simply want to remove it from your holiday goodies or food – even for good. White flour is especially undesirable, as you may have heard, because of the processing which includes bleaching. Yuck. The main offender in the refining of white flour is removing the outer husk, thus removing the fiber.
So, how can we bake our hearts out over Christmas without flour? And if we do, what shall we turn to for a replacement? Take a look:
#1- Soy Flour
Soy flour is gluten-free, adds protein and a great nutty flavor. It is ideal for thickening sauces and a great replacement for anywhere else you would use white flour. This swap-out also saves 100 calories. White flour has approximately 450 calories per cup as compared to soy flour with only 300 calories per cup.
#2 – Chia Seed Meal
To make chia seed meal, chia seeds are ground to give you the essential things you need in a flour substitute, the only caveat is you may need to add some water to your dish and cook it a bit longer.
#3 – Blended is Better
Some find that a mixture of flour substitutes works best overall rather than using any single type. You can make your own concoction, but if you are new to this, you can purchase a pre-blended mix until you feel a bit more confident in your abilities.
If you bake occasionally, try Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour; it’s a blend of garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour. It’s a good blend, especially for baking. There are others available with a simpler blend as well. Once you know your flours and learn which you like, you can begin to experiment with blends to get the right one for you.
#4 – Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour is not only gluten-free, it also blends well with other flours to round them out and it’s a flavorful addition to any dish, and offers both whole grains and fiber.
#5 – Almond Flour
We all know that almonds are a great source of protein and a great snack to pack if you have issues with low blood sugar. You get all that benefit with almond flour, and it’s not only grain-free, it’s great in baked goods and is Paleo-friendly. Another great use of ground almonds is as a crunchy coating for oven-baked lean meats.
It might take a bit of research and experimenting to see what the alternatives are and what fits best into your life, which tastes the best, and which are the easiest to use, but there are a lot of great flour substitutes to be had and enjoyed.
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