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5 Gluten-Free Flours

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Rice flour
Made from finely milled broken rice-kernel hulls, this pantry staple has a milder taste than most gluten-free flours. “When possible, choose brown-rice flour over white for the extra potassium, calcium, iron, B vitamins, fiber, and protein,” says Marlisa Brown, RD, author of Gluten-Free, Hassle Free (Demos Medical Publishing, 2009). One cup of brown-rice flour has three times more vitamin B6 than whole-wheat flour; this oft-ignored B vitamin may slash colorectal cancer risk by half, according to a 2009 Harvard study.

Try it: Great for mixing into bean burgers, rice flour is also ideal for making muffins, breads, pizza crust, and homemade crackers and pasta. Not everyone loves the flour’s sandy texture, though, and if that includes you, try replacing a quarter or more of rice flour in recipes with other flours, “particularly those high in protein to balance texture and build structure,” Brown says. To thicken gravies and sauces, gradually add a small amount of rice flour while stirring over low heat until it reaches desired thickness.

Hempseed flour
Half a cup of hempseed flour boasts twice as much protein (about 20 grams) and three times more cholesterol-busting fiber than whole-wheat flour. This unique option also contains all essential amino acids, making it a good source of protein for vegetarians. Compared to other flours, hempseed contains more alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may reduce the risk of heart attack, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Oleo Science.

Try it: Hempseed flour’s nutty, earthy flavor adds a distinct taste to pancakes, waffles, energy bars, oatmeal cookies, and nut breads. But too much of this hearty flour can produce an unappetizing, gritty texture. Brown suggests replacing 25 percent of the white or wheat flour found in recipes with hempseed and experimenting from there.

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Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food

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64 comments

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1:47PM PDT on Mar 16, 2014

Interesting.

2:43AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Thanks

5:42AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Interesting! I hadn't heard of some of these.

6:15PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

great tips here!

10:35AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

I wish you had discussed use of gluten free flour in baking. I bought some Bob's Red Mill AP gluten free flour. First, it calls for xantham gum and that is super expensive. We tried a pizza crust using the flour and tapioca flour inplace of the gum. It sort of rose. spread well but tasted like corn meal. Would anyone have workable gluten free bread recipes to share. Please respond either to care mail johnandsue@care2.com2 or to khmo@empacc.net. Thanks! This is a new reqmnt for us and we're learning albeit slowly.

11:10AM PDT on Jul 3, 2010

thanks

8:01AM PDT on May 26, 2010

Don't bother to click "memory stick" has nothing to do with gluten-free flours. It is an electronics website.

4:01AM PDT on May 26, 2010

If you are avoiding gluten or just looking for a health system or the tasty crust, here are five foods to tempt your tongue and feed your body.
memory stick

8:57AM PDT on May 20, 2010

For those new to G-F flours... they are not for weight loss, there are carbs in G-F flours. They ARE a healthy alternative to the usual off-the-shelf flours. For those of us who cannot have gluten, using G-F flours is a MUST... a DELICIOUS must!

8:53AM PDT on May 20, 2010

For those of us who cannot eat gluten, there are lots of recipes on the internet for all-purpose G-F flour mixes. There are several great mixes in G-F cookbooks, as well (Nearly Normal Cooking has a wonderful one and includes hints for various uses).

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