No, it wasn’t a typo! I rarely have flowers in the house unless my boyfriend is in trouble. I’m actually babysitting my friend’s flowers while she is out of town and anxiously hoping I don’t kill them. I have a spotty history keeping green things alive. I don’t think she knew that …
Back to the flours. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go on a paleo cupcakes/brownies/cookies binge. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of the paleo dessert unless it’s fruit with coconut whipped cream, a banana ice cream, or something not masquerading as a treat of which I’d rather have the real version; however lately I’ve come across a number of recipes I’d like to try that require some sort of paleo/GF flour for either thickening, breadcrumb substitute, maybe I’ll try creating a crumble topping or a pizza crust. Mmm … pizza …
Anyway! If this is your first time stopping by (THANK YOU!), you should know off the bat, I’m not a paleo expert … hopeful, but not there yet. Coming off of Whole30, I’m really just starting my journey and trying to absorb everything I can. If you’re a newb like me, hopefully this will help you sort through some of the flour resources. If you’re already a seasoned pro … HALP, PLEASE! I’m drowning in information overload!
The more I look at all the different types of grain-free flours available, the dizzier I get. I’m not sure which ones I will be getting the most use out of just yet, but figure it won’t hurt to have a variety on hand as I being to experiment with these all-purpose flour alternatives. I was so grateful to come across this article from The Paleo Mom: The Science and Art of Paleofying: Part 1 Paleo Flours. THANKS, MOM! This really breaks down the types of flours, uses, and possible combinations nicely – and calmed my heart palpitations I experienced while trying to sift through everything (heh, “sift” – pun not originally intended – it stays, sorry).
So far I’ve experimented with almond flour exactly once, in my paleo Meatball Shop adaptation … the outcome was certainly edible, and the flavors were there, but the texture wasn’t right. I probably should have gone with Melissa Joulwan’s signature mix of cream of tartar and baking soda in hindsight (the woman is a Paleo Goddess and hosting March Meatball Madness), but I experimented with what I had on hand. Lesson learned. But what if I had used another flour substitute? Would that have worked as well as Mel’s method? Possibly, according to the Primal Pal resource below (keep reading, you’ll get there, Grasshopper).
After reading til I almost went cross-eyed, the following flours made it onto my shopping list in my Out of Milk app. Yes, it’s a cruel name for us paleo shoppers, but I really love the categorization feature in this app – that’s free and available for both Android and iPhone users. I’ve also listed some additional reading/ideas if you want to learn a little more. If you’re taking my word for it, joke’s on you, sucker! :P
- Almond flour: often used for baking cookies, makes, muffins, pancakes … you get the idea, all the SWYPO items Whole30 warns against (which I will be free to try … in moderation, of course). This Herb-Crusted Acorn Squash recipe from Juli at PaleOMG seems reason enough to have some almond flour the cabinet. I’ve coated chicken tenders in cashew meal & spices, which was awesome-sauce, so I can’t imagine this being less than amazing (and it may or may not be in the oven RiGHT NOW).
- Arrowroot flour: popular thickener for sauces, soups and stews; also mixed with other flours like coconut when baking to lighten up the result and avoid baked goods with the density of a dying sun.
- Coconut flour: more baking uses, but YUM, can’t wait to try it as a fish batter as suggested by a PaleoHacks reader. Also suggested as a meatball/meatloaf filler.
- Tapioca flour: adds elasticity when baking, but my local pizza shop that makes a darn good gluten-free crust cautioned that too much tapioca flour is what produces the dreaded gummy effect, mix with other types of flour to achieve best results! Also used as a thickener for sauces/soups/stews like arrowroot and popular for … wait for it … pie fillings. Might not even need the crust if you do the fruit right. YUM.
- I see Paleo Naan in my future! Who doesn’t like Naan? Don’t trust them if you do find someone.
So, again, this is not an exhaustive list, just a compilation of a little research and my final purchases to get me started. I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes with these finds. What’s your favorite flour alternative, and what is your favorite use?
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