The Benefits of Baking with Alternative Flours, According to a Registered Dietitian
Baking has always been my first love in the kitchen. Cookies, cakes, quick breads, and more have long been some of the things I enjoy creating the most — and that’s hardly stopped since I became a Registered Dietitian. I’m quite knowledgeable about nutrition and very mindful of what I eat. But losing the “treats” has never been in the cards. That’s because I firmly believe baked goods can be just as much a part of a feel-good diet as vegetables.
A lot of this has to do with the wide array of alternative flours that are readily available these days. No matter what you’re baking (or cooking), starting with high-quality ingredients is one of the first steps toward mindful eating. Bob’s Red Mill makes that possible for me. Their selection of stone-ground, whole grain, organic, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly flours fit everyone’s nutritional goals to help make baking a part of a wholesome lifestyle.
Flour Doesn’t Have to Be One-Size-Fits-All
I once thought regular all-purpose flour was the only option when it came to baking. But take one look at the baking aisle at your grocery store and you’ll quickly realize that’s hardly the case anymore. Bob’s Red Mill not only offers the highest quality all-purpose flour, but they also have a rich array of alternative flours that allow for baking to be a part of the equation if you have dietary restrictions or if you’re simply looking to boost the wholesome factor of some of your favorite baked goods.
Here are some of my reasons for baking with this wide range of alternative flours:
There’s a lot to love about almond flour. It makes both gluten- and grain-free eating possible and is a smart choice for those following a low-carb diet (such as a keto diet). It also lends good protein, fiber, and fat to whatever you’re baking. That last part is especially important because the fat results in some of the moistest, most tender baked goods you can imagine. My kitchen is never without at least a bag or two.
Baking gluten-free can be a challenge since white flour milled from wheat is responsible for a lot of the structure in your chocolate chip cookies. This special blend of flours and starches closely mimics all-purpose flour, and you can use it as a 1-to-1 replacement in all your favorite recipes. I also love that it has 2 grams of protein in each serving.
Chickpea flour is another gluten- and grain-free flour that delivers a great protein and fiber boost to your baked goods. It’s made from stone-ground garbanzo beans and delivers a just-rich-enough texture. Its mildly sweet and nutty flavor works well with both sweet and savory baking.
Made from the whole root of the cassava plant, cassava flour is a lesser-known alternative flour that deserves just as much praise as the rest. What makes it so perfect for gluten- and grain-free baking is that its flavor is more neutral than other choices. So, if you want a flour that really blends well with the rest of the ingredients in your recipe, it’s a great choice.
Of course, there are certain baked goods that require a traditional flour. Bob’s Red Mill has you covered, there, too. Read on to learn what makes their all-purpose and whole wheat flours just as unique as their alternative ones…
Not every bag of all-purpose flour is the same. Bob’s Red Mill’s stands out not only because it’s sourced from 100% certified organic hard red spring wheat, but because it’s unbleached and unenriched, with no potassium bromate added. It’s as high-quality as it gets when it comes to white flour, which ensures better-tasting, better-for-you baked goods.
When I want a boost of nutrition, I reach for whole wheat flour. Bob’s Red Mill’s is 100% stone-ground, which means all the nutrients from the bran and germ of the hard red spring wheat are still intact. That results in a generous dose of protein and fiber, as well as nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and iron.