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Apr 27, 2010


Adapted from a Care2 article by Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine by Matthew Kadey, RD
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ALMOND FLOUR
WHAT IS ALMOND FLOUR GOOD FOR?
Bone-Building, Cholesterol levels, Reduces the risk of Lung Cancer
WHAT'S IN ALMOND FLOUR?
-- Calcium (1/2-cup serving has 12% RDA), Vitamin E, and Monounsaturated Fat  
WHERE CAN ALMOND FLOUR BE USED?
-- recipes for Shortbread, Biscotti, Cookies, Piecrusts, 
    Fruit Crisps, Scones, and flourless Cakes
-- add 1/3 cup to Bread recipes for a heartier texture
-- dredge fish, chicken, or pork before panfrying
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To make almond flour, grind blanched almonds to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or food processor. N.B. don’t overgrind as almond flour can quickly become 'almond butter'.
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RICE FLOUR
WHAT'S IN RICE FLOUR?
Brown rice flour contains Potassium, Calcium, Iron, B Vitamins, Fibre, Protein, and Vitamin B6
WHAT'S RICE FLOUR GOOD FOR?
Vitamin B6 can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by half
WHERE CAN RICE FLOUR BE USED?
-- mix into bean burgers
-- recipes for Muffins, Breads, Pizza Crust, Crackers and Pasta
-- to thicken gravies and sauces (gradually add while stirring over low heat until it reaches desired thickness)
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Made from finely milled broken rice-kernel hulls, has a milder taste than most gluten-free flours.
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HEMPSEED FLOUR
WHAT'S IN HEMPSEED FLOUR?
-- Protein, Fibre, Essential Amino Acids, Alpha-linolenic acid, Omega-3 fatty acid
 WHAT'S HEMPSEED FLOUR GOOD FOR?
-- reduces the risk of heart attack
-- protein supply for vegetarians
-- cholesterol levels
WHERE CAN HEMPSEED FLOUR BE USED?
-- recipes for pancakes, waffles, energy bars, oatmeal biscuits, and nut breads.
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N.B. too much of this flour can produce a gritty texture...experiment e.g. using 1:3 ratio with other flours.
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TEFF FLOUR
WHAT'S IN TEFF FLOUR?
Protein, Iron
WHAT'S TEFF FLOUR GOOD FOR?
-- oxygen delivery to cells
-- memory and learning
WHERE CAN TEFF FLOUR BE USED?
-- make injera, a traditional sourdough-like flatbread (Ethiopia)
-- blend into brownies, chocolate cupcakes, waffles, quick breads, muffins, and gingerbread cookies. In recipes for these foods, substitute teff for as much as a third of the called-for flour.
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Sweet, malty flavour, darker colour, teff should be limited to darker foods,” says Fenster. (Read: No white cakes.)
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QUINOA FLOUR
WHAT'S IN QUINOA FLOUR?
-- contains all essential Amino Acids, Fibre, Zinc, Folate, Iron
-– 40% of the RDI of Magnesium in 1/2 cup
WHAT'S QUINOA FLOUR GOOD FOR?
-- lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
-- regarded as a source of strength by the Incas
-- easy-to-digest
WHERE CAN QUINOA FLOUR BE USED?
-- recipes for banana bread, shortcake, crumbs and carrot muffins
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Quinoa's robust, nutty flavour can overpower baked items so start by substituting the flour for no more than a quarter of the total volume of flour called for in a recipe.
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Baking Tips for Gluten-Free Flours
Gluten contributes important qualities such as structure and rise to baked and cooked foods, so simply replacing white or wheat flour cup for cup with a gluten-free alternative is not recommended. To avoid frustration, “start with recipes designed for gluten-free cooking until you get the feel for how they work,” says Marlisa Brown, RD, author of Gluten-Free, Hassle Free (Demos Health, 2009). When you become familiar with gluten-free flours’ characteristics, take the next step and experiment with a store-bought gluten-free flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour. You can also make your own blend by following Brown’s simple recipe: Combine 1/2 cup brown-rice flour with 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour, 1 1/2 cups potato starch or cornstarch, 1 cup tapioca flour, and 1/2 cup high-protein flour, like quinoa, hempseed, or almond. Use the blends, cup for cup, in any recipe that calls for traditional flour.
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How to Buy and Store Specialty Flours
1. Buy in bulk bags to limit cross-contamination with gluten flours. Visit busy natural foods stores where there’s plenty of foot traffic to ensure frequent product turnover.
2. To preserve freshness, don’t mix newly purchased flour with old flour. The average shelf life for unrefrigerated flour is six months.
3. Store flour you can’t use immediately in a tightly sealed container in your refrigerator or freezer, where it can keep for one year. Refrigeration is especially important for flours made from ground whole grains, nuts, or seeds–they have a greater tendency to go rancid because their oils and proteins aren’t stripped away by processing. For everyday access, store small amounts of flour in mason-style jars in a cool, dark place.
4. Placing a bay leaf in flour canisters will help protect against infestation from pantry insects such as weevils. (The bay leaf will not affect flour’s flavor.)
5. When using flour that has been refrigerated or frozen, be sure to bring it back to room temperature before measuring. Cold flour can thwart rising, resulting in a heavier, denser baked item
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References:
Carol Fenster, PhD, author of Gluten-Free Quick & Easy (Avery, 2007);
Marlisa Brown, RD, author of Gluten-Free, Hassle Free (Demos Medical Publishing, 2009);

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Posted: Apr 27, 2010 5:32pm

 

 
 
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Thubten Chokyi
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