Love baking but trying to stick with your healthy diet plan? If so, you know that eating too many conventional baked goods is never going to get you to your bodyweight goals, not to mention it can really do a number on your health over time. Too much can increase your risk factor for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, inflammation and obesity thanks to the high dose of carbs you take in and lack of nutrition. Therefore, it’s vital that you take into account what you can do to modify your baking recipes in order to help ensure that you are doing all that you can to eat great and still maintain your weight. One of the best modifications to make is with the flour you are using and fortunately, there are a number of great flour replacement options that you can turn to in effort to keep those recipes healthy.
Let’s take a closer look at six of the best options to consider.
One of the best flour substitutes to consider is coconut flour, which is a great lower carb option for those who are currently on a reduced carb diet plan. Coconut flour is very high in fiber, so is great for stabilising blood glucose levels and lowering total cholesterol. In addition to this, you’ll also take in a small dose of healthy fats with the coconut flour, which will help to nicely balance out the nutrition in any baking recipe you use it with. It’s also a gluten free option, so great for those who can’t consume wheat-based foods.
One thing you do want to keep in mind when using coconut flour however is that it absorbs moisture very readily, so if you are going to use it, you’ll want to use more liquid ingredients in the baking (or use a recipe that specifically calls for coconut flour). If this change is not made, the recipe may come out far drier than anticipated.
Next up on the list of great flour substitutes to use is almond flour. Almond flour is much higher in total fat content than most other flours are. However, you’ll get a great dose of unsaturated fat, so not something to shy away from completely. As long as you account for the additional calories in the recipe, there’s no reason to avoid this higher calorie flour in your baking. Almond flour is also going to provide you with an excellent dose of vitamin E as well, which acts as an antioxidant in the body and can help fend off free radical damage. Additionally, it’ll also help improve your skin, nail, and hair health as well.
Almond flour can typically be replaced quite easily for regular flour as it doesn’t absorb moisture quite like coconut flour does. This flour is also gluten free, so ideal for those who are following a gluten free diet plan.
Oat flour is the next flour substitute to keep in mind and consider adding to your baking recipes. Again, this one doesn’t absorb as much liquid as coconut flour does and most times you’ll get away quite well using half the called for flour as oat flour. Oat flour is higher in carbohydrates than the last two options. However it’s a much slower and nutrient dense source of carbohydrates, so far better than regular wheat flour. Additionally, oat flour is also a more cost-effective substitute, especially compared to almond flour. You could even prepare your own oat flour by simply grinding it up in the blender if desired. Oatmeal is well known to help lower your risk for heart disease thanks to its great cholesterol lowering abilities.
It’s also a good idea to store oat flour along with any other type of whole grain flour in the fridge in order to best preserve the taste and texture of the flour. Most whole grain flours will last for two to four months, so only keep as much as you think you’ll need on hand.
Along with oat flour, you can also make good use of quinoa flour, which is another great whole grain option for those who want to keep the fat content of their recipe down and do want those high energy carbs. The great thing about quinoa flour is that it is an excellent source of complete protein, which cannot be said for all grain-like flours, so for those who are struggling to get in enough of this macronutrient, this is a great flour to be using. Quinoa is also excellent for providing you with a healthy dose of calcium, so will help promote strong bones and also gives you a good dose of iron, making it perfect for those who don’t consume as much red meat (the best source of iron in the diet).
Finally, the last flour you can consider is rye flour. While this one won’t be gluten free (although it does contain far less gluten than wheat flours does), it’s very rich in dietary fiber and will help to lower cholesterol levels, stabilise blood glucose levels, and help control your body weight. Rye flour is an excellent choice to use when preparing pancakes or muffins, so consider using it often when baking up these choices.
This flour does have a darker color to it, so just remember that the appearance of any recipes you use it in may change accordingly.
So there you have an account of some of the best flour substitutes you should consider using as you move through your baking and nutrition plan. If you swap out regular white flour, reduce the sugar content of your recipe with smarter alternatives and take out some of the butter, using applesauce or another option instead, you’ll find that you can easily indulge in your baking recipes without sacrificing health or your body weight.
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