There are many reasons to cook with flours made from plants other than wheat, such as other grains, beans, seeds, tubers, and roots. For people who are allergic to gluten, a protein found in wheat, or to wheat itself, these flours offer excellent alternatives. Some types of flour also add unusual flavors, or are especially good at thickening sauces and soups.
There are some obstacles to deal with when non-wheat flours are used for baking. Because they produce little or no gluten when mixed with liquid, these flours need special treatment in order to form a workable dough or batter that will rise, hold its shape, and have a pleasing texture. If a wheat or gluten allergy is not the problem—and you’re using the other flour to boost flavor or nutrition—you might try 1 part non-wheat flour for 4 parts of wheat flour when you bake.
Types of Non-Wheat Flour
Non-wheat flour is a must for anyone allergic to gluten, but these flours can also add flavor and nutrition to many recipes for all of us.
Non-wheat flours: nutrition
Non-wheat flours have their own merits aside from their lack of gluten. Some are particularly high in protein, or in amino acids that wheat lacks. Some contain more dietary fiber than wheat, or offer phytochemicals that wheat does not. Non-wheat flours provide an array of essential vitamins and minerals and generally confer the same benefits as the grain or bean from which they are derived. Similar to wheat flour, unrefined non-wheat flour tends to have the highest vitamin, mineral, fiber, and phytochemical content since all of the healthful parts of the grain or bean are used.
For a full list of nutrients found in selected non-wheat flours, check the National Nutrient Database:
Published March 04, 2016