Summary: We explore the best gluten free flour available today.
Thankfully the last decade has seen an increase in the availability of gluten free flour avilable for purchase. Great news for the bakers who want to try their favourite recipes but gluten free versions.
The best gluten free flour! We're a little biaised!
We've worked hard at Marcelle's Kitchen to come up with what we think are the best gluten free flour blends available for you to use at home. We tried and tested them so you don't have to. All our products are developed so that you don't have to sacrifice on taste or texture in order to enjoy that just baked goodness at home.
Other gluten free flour options
Gluten free flour options have been around for thousands of years. These ancient grains are natural and great tasting. Here's a rundown of the top ten most common gluten free flours.
Top Ten Gluten Free Flours
- Rice Flour
- Almond Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Tapioca Flour
- Quinoa Flour
- Amaranth Flour
- Teff Flour
- Bean Flour
- Buckwheat Flour
- Corn Flour
Of course there are other gluten free flours available including Sorghum Flour, Oat Flour, Sprouted Flour, Cassava Flour and Cricket (yes folks you read that right) Flour.
Let's breakdown our top ten best gluten free flour types in a little more detail.
1. Rice Flour
Rice Flour has a slightly grainy texture and a pale creamy colour. It is ground from high quality whole grain brown rice. It has a nutty flavour and is great for thickening sauces and gravies, used for breading and also in general baking. Rice Flour is high in protein, fiber, iron and Vitamin B and rich in manganese, which aids in the development of bones and cartilage. Despite the popularity and availability of Rice Flour, there are concerns about levels of arsenic being found in rice products all across the globe. So ensure you buy a quality brand of Rice Flour.
2. Almond Flour
It's no surprise that Almond Flour comes from finely ground almonds. Almonds are a high fibre food packed with L-arginine, magnesium, copper, manganese and potasium. They have also been show to lower 'bad' cholesterol. They're also great for baking. Almond Flour is great for a breadcrumb substitute, making cakes and cookies and other baked goods.
3. Coconut Flour
Coconut Flour is high in fiber and healthy fats and a great substitute for white flour. It's very popular with people following a low-card diet as well as gluten-free diets. The high level of healthy saturated fats in Coconut Flour are used as an energy source by the body and also work to support a healthy metabolism. Coconut Flour has a low glycemic index, which means the increase in blodd sugar is slower and more sustained, you feel fuller longer and you don't get that food crash associated wtih high GI foods. Studies have also shown that coconut Flour has the ability to help lower 'bad' cholesterol levels. It is excellent in baking recipes such as cookies, cakes and even panckaes and waffles.
4. Tapioca Flour
Tapioca Flour originates from the starch of the cassava root and is one of the purest forms of starch available. It doesn't offer many nutrients other than carbohydrates (from starch) but it is a sugar free, low calorie option. It is mainly used as a thickening agent in recipes and makes an excellent coating for chicken wings if you like them crispy.
5. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) Flour
Quinoa Flour is naturally gluten free and one of the only plant foods that's a complete protein. It is also an excellent source of potassium and provides all of the essential amino acids. It has a bold (almost earthy) and nutty flavour and is best used in smaller quantities and it works well in breads, muffins, waffles and pancakes.
6. Amaranth Flour
Amaranth Flour comes from the Amaranth plant, which is a truly versatile plant. It can be consumed as a leaf, grain or flour. Amaranth Flour has a nutty, earthy flavour and is a buff colour. It contains all nine essential amino acids and lysine, a protein absent from most grains. It is also a good source of iron, phosphorous and magnesium. Bet used mixed with other flours in breads, waffles and pancakes.
7. Teff Flour
Teff is the world's smallest grain and originates from North Africa. It is high in phosphorous, iron, B vitamins, calcium and other essential minerals. Teff is also a great source of dietary fiber. It is best used in combination with another flour as on its own it can make your baked goods dry and coarse. Our Marcelle's GMO Free Blend uses Teff Flour in combination with Bean Flour and Tapioca Flour.
8. Bean Flour
Bean Flour, otherwise known as Chickpea Flour, Gram Flour or Besan Flour is one of the most nutrient packed gluten free flours available. It is made by grinding raw chickpeas and is full of healthy protein, fiber and vitamins. It also has benefits for pregnant women as it contains large amounts of folate. Bean Flour also has great binding power and is super useful in gluten free baking to improve texture. It is perfect in quick breads, muffins and cakes as well as pancakes and waffles. This one really is the Rolls Royce of the best gluten free flour on the market.
9. Buckwheat Flour
Don't be fooled by the name Buckwheat is entirely gluten free. Buckwheat is a seed that contains B vitamins and minerals such manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron and folate. It is particularly suited to pancakes, waffles, crepes and home made noodles.
10. Corn Flour
Corn in all its natural states is gluten-free, has a lovely golden colour and is high in fibre. It has a light, fine texture for use in baked goods but is best combined with other flours. It is widely used in the baking of cornbread. With corn flour, as with all the other flours, make sure you purchase flours that clearly state 'gluten free' to risk any products that could have cross contamination.
You will find most of the above available in stores along with convenient flour blends. Typically, one cup of white flour or wheat flour can be substituted with one cup of the flour blends available. Marcelle's Kitchen has three flour blends available, Marcelle's GMO Blend, Marcelle's Potato Blend and Marcelle's Flour Blend along with a variety of convenient gluten free product mixes to bake at home.
So, what's holding you back from trying gluten free baking at home. It really isn't as hard as you think. Armed with this list of the best gluten free flour available you can serve up gluten free delights for your whole family.
Please feel free to download our infographic detailing our top ten best gluten free flour types.