If you’re trying to eat gluten-free, you have so many options available to you. Grain-free flours and gluten-free flour blends are everywhere, and they can be used in all of your favorite recipes as a healthier alternative to wheat flour.
What To Know About Grain-Free Flour
The beauty of grain-free flours is that they can be substituted into any recipe and no one will be the wiser. Well, except perhaps your gut – which will be much happier.
Grain-free simply means that the flour does not come from any kind of grain. Instead, it comes from a root, a nut, or a fruit.
Examples of Gundry-approved grain-free flours include:
- Almond flour
- Cassava flour
- Sesame flour
- Arrowroot flour
- Coconut flour
- Millet flour
- Chestnut flour
- Green banana flour
These flours also have the bonus of being full of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Almond and coconut flours are particularly high in fiber. And green banana flour has the same resistant starches as green bananas – it’s an amazing prebiotic for your gut bugs.1
Baking With Grain-Free Flour
Before diving in, there’s one key thing you should know about cooking with grain-free flours. They’re often not a straight swap for whole-grain flours. Gluten-free bread recipes, and other baked goods, often require a mix of several of these flours to obtain the right texture and strength for optimal baking. As well as baking soda or baking powder.
So, take some time to experiment with these flours. Even better, just follow someone else’s recipe. You can also purchase an all-purpose flour blend that’s gluten-free and that already has those ratios nicely sorted. Or you can use an ingredient known as xanthan gum to also improve the structure and chewiness of your baking.
Grain-Free Flours: Cassava Flour, Tapioca Flour, Banana Flour, And Arrowroot
Starchy root flours are some of the most popular – and delicious – grain-free flours on the market. Let’s take a closer look at some of these substitutes for regular flour.
Cassava Flour – Also known as yuca, cassava is a root vegetable, and it’s not too different from carrots, beets, and parsnips. Because it’s nut, grain, and gluten-free, this flour is perfect for those with allergies and intolerances. It’s also a soft, fine flour that’s said to be the most similar to wheat flour.2
Arrowroot Flour – Arrowroot flour is a fine starch which comes from the rhizome (or rootstalk) of several tropical plants. This natural thickener is often used in place of cornflour. Because it’s gluten-free, it’s also used as a replacement for wheat flour.3
Tapioca Starch Flour – Tapioca flour is closely related to cassava flour because it comes from the root of the cassava. But it has its own distinct texture and advantages in cooking.
In basic terms: use cassava flour for baked goods that need structure, and use tapioca starch for binding or thickening. Tapioca is also a good flour to combine with other flours. Though it doesn’t rise well on its own, it improves the texture of baked goods – such as adding crispness to crusts.4
Green Banana Flour – Green banana flour is a highly nutritious choice of flour because it’s packed with potassium and full of prebiotic resistant fiber – just like green bananas. It also has a high starch content, so it can be useful for thickening soups and sauces as well as for baking.
Banana flour has a subtle banana taste, but it blends well with other flavors. It’s great for pancakes, muffins, cookies, and smoothies (for a prebiotic kick).5
Paleo Flour Blends – If you don’t want to mess around with figuring out the right blend of grain-free flours, there’s always a prepared flour blend at hand. A common one is called a Paleo flour blend. It’s usually a mix of almond flour, arrowroot starch, coconut flour, and tapioca flour.
It’s a popular blend because it’s gluten-free and grain-free. It also makes a really great tasting flour-mix, with just the right ratios to make perfectly structured baked goods. Always make sure to. Read the labels on paleo and other flour blends to make sure all ingredients are compliant.
What’s The Difference Between Grain-Free And Gluten-Free Flour?
It’s important to note that just because flour is labeled as gluten-free it may not actually be grain-free, or for that matter – lectin-free.
To put it in simpler terms – this list below includes all gluten-free flours. But they are not grain-free, and so they still contain nasty lectins, which you want to avoid.
- Corn flour
- Rice flour
- Oat flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Quinoa flour
Then you have those gluten-free flours that come from legumes or other lectin-rich foods. These flours should also be avoided.
- Chickpea flour
- Potato starch flour
- Amaranth flour
- Bean flour
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Flour Recipes
Let’s get started with some gluten-free recipes using grain-free flours. Here are a couple of Dr. Gundry’s favorite wheat-free, gluten-free baking recipes.
DR. GUNDRY’S HOMEMADE CARROT CAKE MUFFINS
- 1¼ cups blanched almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¹∕₈ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 omega-3 or pastured eggs or EnerG Egg Replacer
- ¹∕₃ cup MCT oil or avocado oil
- ²∕₃ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- ¹∕₃ cup Swerve (erythritol)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 large carrots, grated
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
What To Do:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- In a small bowl, combine the eggs, oil, coconut milk, Swerve, and vanilla.
- Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add the grated carrots and walnuts.
- Fold to combine.
- Portion into the muffin tin, dividing the mixture evenly among 12 cups.
- Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool slightly before serving. When stored in an airtight container, the muffins will stay fresh for five days in the refrigerator (or three months in the freezer).
DR GUNDRY’S CASSAVA FLOUR WAFFLES
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Brighten up your day with a stack of Dr. G's delicious waffles! Grab your recipe book and a pen, here's what you'll need: Ingredients: 4 pastured or omega-3 eggs 1⁄4 cup Vital Proteins marine collagen (optional) 1⁄2 cup cassava flour 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil 1 tablespoon local honey or Manuka honey, or 3 tablespoons 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda 1⁄4 teaspoon salt Just Like Sugar, for dusting waffles (optional) One 12-oz. package Trader Joe’s frozen wild blueberries (optional) For more detailed instructions, tap our link in bio! • • • #gundrymd #drgundry #gundry #drg #diet #nutrition #healthy #motivation #wellness #nutrition #healthyliving #recipes #healthy
- 4 pastured or omega-3 eggs or 4 VeganEggs
- 1⁄2 cup cassava flour
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon of local honey, maple syrup, or 3 tablespoons Just Like Sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- Just Like Sugar, for dusting waffles (optional)
- One 12-oz. package Trader Joe’s frozen wild blueberries (optional)
What To Do:
- Heat up your waffle iron.
- Then, place the eggs, cassava flour, coconut oil, honey, baking soda, and salt in a blender and mix on high for 45 seconds until slightly foamy. **(If you don’t have a blender, you can whisk the eggs, coconut oil, marine collagen, and honey until well blended, and then whisk or stir in the cassava flour, baking soda, and salt.)
- Using a 1⁄4 cup measure, ladle the batter into the waffle iron and cook, following the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll want to check periodically since they cook quickly.
- Finally, if you’re serving these tasty waffles as dessert, you might want to sprinkle a light coating of Just like Sugar on top and add a 1⁄4 cup wild blueberries to each waffle.
Healthier Breads, Muffins, And More
When you’re following a lectin-free, grain-free, gluten-free diet – as with Dr. Gundry’s program – these wonderful flour substitutes mean that you can bake almost anything. In fact, if you feed your gluten-free breads and baked goods to a wheat-eating friend, they probably won’t be able to tell that they’re eating a grain-free goodie.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, there’s one more flour that’s becoming popular on the market right now – cricket flour. Which is made from… you guessed it: crickets. It’s packed with protein and you only need a small amount in your baking to get the benefit of that protein hit. So, why not mix it up with some of your other new flours and make yourself some cricket blondies?
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