Grain-Free Flour Series Part 3: The 4 Best Lectin Free Flours
This post is part 3 of a 3-part series about grain-free flours. I briefly introduced all of the Plant Paradox approved grain-free flours in part 1. I went into depth in part 2 about the nutritional characteristics of each flour and made helpful comparison charts for each.
Part 3 is the winners circle–I will choose the best flours in categories of my own making! Each winner is chosen not only for its superior nutritional benefits, but also for its price and availability. In an ideal world, it’d be nice to bake with the rarest, most nutritionally beneficial flour all the time. That’s simply not realistic, even with the invention of Amazon. Since all 12 of these flours are already nutritionally beneficial to begin with, I’ll be considering heavily how easy it is to get these flours without breaking your bank.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. For more information see my Amazon Associates Disclosure on this page.
Best Flour for Vegetarians and Vegans
There is no denying the clear winner in this one. Here’s my chart again for protein content in each of the 12 grain-free flours. Sesame flour has double the protein content of the next highest. It’s also a good source of calcium, and it’s a great alternative for people with nut allergies, as most sesame flours are made in nut-free facilities.
That being said, it’s not as easy to find as traditional nut flours, but there is a brand of organic sesame flour available through Amazon Prime.
What to do with it
I’ll admit I’ve never baked with sesame flour; however, it’s a great addition in smoothies. A single ounce adds 11.29 grams of protein. There’s also a brand from the UK (available through Amazon, but not Prime), and they have a recipe on their site for Sugar Free Nutrition Bars. Again, the brand is from the UK, so you’ll need a food scale if you’re going to make these (everything is measured by weight, not volume).
Best Keto Flour
The two flours with the highest average fat content are almond and hazelnut; however, almond flour is way easier to find, so that’s our winner in this category! There are so many brands of almond flour out there. It’s available at almost any chain grocery store that has made an attempt at a gluten free section, as well as specialty chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fresh Market.
My personal favorite–before I discovered I was allergic to it–is this brand, because it has great taste, consistent texture, and it’s available in a 4 pound bag from Amazon Prime for less than $30 (sadly, that’s very inexpensive for grain-free flour):
What to do with it
Almond flour is great for taste in baking–it has a sweet, nutty flavor and lots of good fats. It often needs to be combined with another flour to get the right texture in baked goods, though. Here is the recipe for Paradox Crackers in the Plant Paradox:
- 2 large pastured or omega-3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon tap or filtered water
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, iodized
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk the eggs and water together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt, adding the Italian seasoning. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and blend well with a spoon or spatula, eliminating any lumps.
*This is where I deviate from the exact recipe in the book
Form the dough into balls and roll the dough out with a rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper, until very thin. Poke holes into the dough with a fork, and cut the dough into desired shapes/sizes.
Slip the parchment paper onto a baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
Serve with guacamole, eggs, soup, salad, or small pieces of compliant cheese.
Best Baking Flour
Unfortunately for you low carb peeps, starch is required in baking if you want to get the same texture as traditional baked goods. However, lucky for us, there are things like dietary fiber and resistant starch that “neutralize” carbohydrates and provide all sorts of digestive benefits like prebiotic fiber, vital minerals, and allergen-free properties.
My new favorite flour–a flour with 19 grams of carbohydrate, yet 10 grams of fiber and a 28% resistant starch content–is tigernut flour. This flour is the new darling of the Paleo community, because humans have apparently been eating these small root vegetables for 2 million years.
The best brand I’ve found is available through Amazon Prime in a 1 pound bag or a 2 pound bag. I’ve also found this brand at my local grocery store with a specialty section and chains like Whole Foods. It’s becoming more and more popular, so I think we can anticipate more brands soon!
What to do with it
This flour is awesome, because it has the sweet, nutty taste of almond flour with the texture of an all-purpose flour, so you could really use this in almost anything. I have created a cinnamon flaxseed mug muffin recipe featuring tigernut flour. I was going to save it for a separate post, but I thought I would “sneak” it in here first!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon tigernut flour
- 1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 teaspoons monk’s fruit sweetener
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 pastured or omega-3 egg, lightly beaten
MELT the coconut oil in a standard size mug in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients, and stir with a fork to combine. Add the water and egg, and whip with a fork until texture is smooth and consistent with no lumps. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the mug.
MICROWAVE for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Let cool for a couple minutes, then shake out onto a plate. Serve plain, with butter and cinnamon, or with your preferred topping.
Best “All-Purpose Equivalent” Flour
My “new old favorite” is the winner in this category: cassava flour. This is the only flour I’ve been able to substitute nearly one-for-one with recipes using all-purpose wheat flour. Cassava flour certainly isn’t the most nutritious of the bunch, but it’s sugar free and it yields the fluffiest, most bread-like baked goods you can imagine (you have to imagine, because you’re not eating them…right?)
The only downside to cassava flour is that it sometimes has tiny fiber crystals in it that don’t dissolve during the baking process. This means, every now and then, you get a “grain of sand” in your baked good. Not the greatest feeling. These crystals form when yuca root matures, and my favorite brand uses young, tender cassava root to try to avoid this “gritty” problem.
What to do with it
Like I said, you can use cassava flour as a 1:1 substitute in nearly any recipe that calls for all-purpose flour. You can also make pancakes. Really good pancakes. I’ve created a cinnamon pancake recipe that is dang near the real thing.
Also, coconut flour–my old favorite–that I always forget about, but always use. It’s not particularly outstanding from a nutritional or textural standpoint. It’s tricky to bake with, because it requires nearly twice as much liquid. However, it has a great taste, and it can be paired with almost any other flour to make a good baking mix (I’ve used coconut/cassava and coconut/tigernut in muffins). It’s also very inexpensive through Amazon and available at most grocery stores.
Get Your Bake On
Which flour are you going to start baking with?