Whether following a strict gluten-free diet because of symptoms related to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity or because of a low-carb Paleo or Atkins-style diet, you may be one of millions of Americans looking for alternatives to wheat flour. The California culinary community has fully embraced the gluten-free movement by making gluten-free choices available in grocery stores, restaurants and schools.
Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye flours that can cause dietary distress for many. For celiac sufferers going gluten-free is a literal life changer. This autoimmune disorder causes a number of intestinal health problems that negatively impact their lives. A gluten-free diet enables the intestine to repair itself and reverse many of the health problems associated with celiac.
For low-carb dieters, the problem isn’t gluten; it’s carbohydrates. Most wheat and grain flours are high in carbohydrates. Low-carb dieters avoid carbs because of the causal relationship between weight gain and increased levels of insulin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood stream.
Alternatives to Wheat Flour
If you are attending a college for culinary study, you may have seen more and more alternatives to wheat flour appearing in your schools kitchens. Whether you are a gluten-free or low-carb dieter, this list of five alternatives to wheat flour will help you eat bread and other baked goods without the wheat flour.
- Coconut Flour
This flour made from the ground meat of the coconut is ideal for both types of dieting. It contains no gluten and is nearly carbohydrate free.
- Almond Meal
Made from ground almond seeds this, too, is a great gluten-free/low-carb alternative to wheat flour.
Buckwheat is not wheat at all but an herbal plant. Its fruit is similar to the sunflower seed. They are ground to make flour. It is gluten-free, but because it is higher in carbs than our first two on the list, low-carb dieters should limit its intake.
- Flax Seed Meal
Made from ground flax seeds this meal is very high in protein and healthy omega fatty acids but contains no gluten or carbohydrates.
- Corn Flour or Meal
Both are great for gluten-free dieters, because corn contains no gluten. Low-carb and Paleo dieters will want to steer clear, however, because corn is very high in naturally occurring sugars and carbohydrates.
There are many more wheat flour alternatives. Visit your local health food store or Whole Foods market to find the ones that best fit your dietary needs. Your local college for culinary studies may even provide classes for gluten-free and low-carb cooking.
Note: Before going on a gluten-free or carbohydrate restricted diet, you should first consult your physician to learn of any potential negative health effects.
This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Sacramento. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Sacramento offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Sacramento, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Sacramento for more information.
Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures. Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.