Grain-Free FloursMany ALWAYS HUNGRY? Book readers have wondered: What kinds of flour can I use in the AH Phases and how do I substitute them in my favorite recipes? Here’s our answer:

Non-grain flour products like almond flour, chickpea flour or coconut flour are recommended for all phases of the AH Book Program. Once you have hit your goals and moved into Stage 3, we recommend using grain-based flours with caution only as your body tolerates them.

When used properly, grain-free flours can reconnect you with your favorite recipes, making them both delicious and health supportive! The tricky part about using nut flours, bean flours, or coconut flour is that they each have unique qualities that require adjustments when substituting or interchanging them. Almond flour is higher in oil, Coconut flour holds more water, and each has a distinct texture. Unless you have really used each type and understand how to work with them, it is best to find and use recipes that call for that particular flour.

If you would like to experiment, here are some guidelines to help you along the way:

Chickpea Flour (Besan flour)

Chickpea flour is a versatile, gluten-free flour that works well in many recipes. It creates a texture that more closely resembles wheat flour or grain-based gluten-free flours. Because it is gluten-free, the dough needs to be fairly thick in order to create a structure that will rise. Adding eggs, ground flaxseeds, Greek Yogurt, vegetable purees like sweet potatoes or winter squash, or other ingredients to thicken the batter will help create the structure needed. Depending on the recipe, baking powder, baking soda, carbonated water, or beaten egg whites might also be needed to create a lighter dough. Chickpea flour will require less oil than wheat flours would in a similar recipe. It also works well as a binder or filler in recipes that call for flour.

Here are a few types of recipes that work well with chickpea or other bean-based flours:

· Waffles or Pancakes
· Socca (Farinata) crackers, crepes, flatbread, tortillas
· Pizza Crusts
· Batter for frying fish, chicken or vegetables
· Pie Crusts
· Gravy or thickener
· Binder in recipes like meatballs, grain patties, or vegetable fritters

Almond Flour

Almond flour is perfect for sweet recipes or as a filler or binder in recipes. It is naturally higher in fat so it will require less oil than other flours in similar recipes. The texture will be less creamy than chickpea flour but works well combined with chickpea flour to create a more neutral flavor in dessert crusts. Here are a few types of recipes that work well with almond flour.

· Cookies, scones
· Crusts, especially when combined with Chickpea flour or other flours
· Binder in recipes like meatballs, grain patties, or vegetable fritters
· Breading substitute

Coconut Flour

Its distinct flavor means that coconut flour works for recipes that go well with the taste of coconut. The texture is less smooth than other flours and can be a bit gritty at times. It also absorbs much more liquid than other flours which can make it harder to use in recipes that were not specifically developed for it. It is the trickiest of these flours to work with, however, when used properly, it can make a light fluffy texture in baking. Here are a few types of recipes that work well with coconut flour.

· Muffins and cakes

by Chef Dawn Ludwig