Hello lovelies, today's blog post is about flour alternatives and 2 delicious recipesare also available. Are you sometimes overwhelmed by the many types of flour that you can buy now? I felt that way until I studied the topic a bit more and also found out how versatile it is to use these types. So I‘m happy to introduce some alternatives in cooperation with Migros Bio/Alnatura*, to show their advantages and of course I also give you usage tips and recipes.
What kind of flours are we talking about today?
I chose the following types today:
Soy flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour and corn flour. You can get all these flours in organic quality from Alnatura Switzerland in your Migros or Alnatura market. Organic isn‘t only important to me because of the quality of the product, but also the sustainable form of agriculture, which also takes the preservation of good soil fertility and biodiversity into account. The flours have in common that they‘re gluten-free, i.e. perfect for everyone with intolerances and allergies.
Soy flour – as an egg substitute
Alnatura’s soy flour is made from European soybeans, which are gently heated, crushed and then ground. Soy flour is a good source of fiber and protein and can replace the traditional flour in baked goods to a certain percentage (about 20-30%). For me it‘s mainly used as an egg substitute. It thickens very well and dissolved in water, I use it instead of eggs in cakes. The taste is rather neutral.
Buckwheat flour – the allrounder for sweet and savory
Buckwheat flour can be used most universally and functions very similar to the grain types. It‘s made from whole, peeled buckwheat grain and has a slightly nutty taste. Buckwheat is also gluten-free and the flour is a good source of fiber. Buckwheat contains many important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fluorine and iron, as well as a large amount of the B group vitamins and vitamin E. I like to use it for savory pancakes (you can already find a recipe here), but it’s also great for sweet pastries such as waffles, pancakes, noodles and cakes.
Corn flour – for the creative cuisine
Corn flour is the most important flour in many countries because the classic Mexican tortillas and nachos are made from it. It‘s versatile, particularly starchy and has a high content of carbohydrates, unsaturated fatty acids and also many minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and sodium. You can‘t solely use it for baking bread, but mixed with wheat or spelt, it can be used well and makes bread and cakes fluffy. It‘s also suitable for thickening sauces and soups.
Flour alternatives and 2 delicious recipes
I have used the 3 flour types mentioned above for a recipe, so that you can get an idea what you can use them for. It‘s a delicious plum tart - with buckwheat and soy flour in the dough and corn flour as a starch for the plum compote.
Here is the recipe for the plum tart:
Plum tart with buckwheat flour
- Baking oven
- 150 gr (1 ¼ cup) buckwheat flour from Alnatura
- 150 gr (1 ½ cup) ground hazelnuts
- 50 gr (1/2 cup) coconut blossom sugar
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 Tbsp soy flour from Alnatura
- Zest of 1 organic lemon
- 100 (1/2 cup) cold vegan butter
- Approx. 70 ml (1/3 cup) cold water
- 300 gr (10.5 oz.) apple sauce
- 50 gr (1/2 cup) coconut blossom sugar
- 350 gr (12 oz.) fresh plums
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3-4 Tbsp corn flour from Alnatura (or starch alternatively)
- 10 Tbsp plum jam
- Approx. 30 fresh plums
- 2 Tbsp ground hazelnuts
- whole, roasted hazelnuts & some coconut blossom sugar
- Mix buckwheat flour, hazelnuts, sugar, salt and soy flour in a bowl
- Add the lemon zest
- Add the cold butter in pieces
- Add water to the bowl and knead well – best to do it with hands
- Wrap the dough up and keep it refrigerated (at least 30 minutes)
- Cut the plums into pieces and put all ingredients but the corn flour into a pot
- Let it boil up briefly and then let it simmer at medium heat
- Dissolve the corn flour in some water and then add it to the jam
- Puree it and let it cool off
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F)
- Roll out the dough and place it on a round baking pan or into a tart pan (either on baking paper or grease the pan)
- Now blind bake the base for 15 minutes (e.g. with dried chickpeas or beans)
- In the meantime cut the plums in half
- Take the base out of the oven and sprinkle 2 Tbsp hazelnuts on it
- Spread approx. 10-12 Tbsp plum jam on top
- Add the plum halves on top, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and some coconut blossom sugar
- Bake for another 20-25 minutes – you may cover it up if the edges turn too dark
The plum tart turns out very juicy and the nutty cake base with buckwheat flour is a great contrast to the sweet fruits. It also comes with little sugar and is therefore a healthier option to a classic tart. If you don‘t want to make the plum jam yourself, then you can also use the purchased one, but I would then use a thinner layer, because it’s usually more sweetened.
And now on to the other flours that I’d like to present to you in details today:
Chickpea flour – the Oriental one
Chickpea flour is, as you probaly guessed, made from dried chickpeas. There is the roasted and unroasted version. The flour is high in protein and fiber and is therefore also suitable for thickening, as an egg substitute or to refine dishes. Interesting is also the high iron and calcium content of chickpeas: they contain 6 mg of iron per 100g and 124 mg of calcium - this is about as much calcium as is contained in milk.
I like to use chickpea flour for savory pancakes, or vegetable pancakes (you can find a recipe here), but it's also great as an egg substitute in breaded dishes, such as this Caesar salad with cauliflower. You have to try this, it‘s so delicious!
As promised, here is the second recipe: with chickpea flour, I made savory herb pancakes filled with mushrooms:
Chickpea herb pancakes filled with mushrooms
- 125 gr (1 cup) chickpea flour from Alnatura
- 200-250 ml (1 cup) water
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp olive oil + a little more for the pan
- Fresh herbs, e.g. parsley, thyme, basil
- 1 shallot
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 500 gr (18 oz.) mushrooms
- 5 stems kale
- Some white wine or alternatively vegetable stock
- 1 tsp bouillon powder
- 150 ml (3/4 cup) plant-based cream i.e. soy
- Salt & pepper
- Fresh thyme
- Mix all ingredients into a smooth dough and let it rest for approx. 15-30 minutes
- If necessary add some more water
- Bake 3-4 pancakes in a pan with oil
- Finely chop the shallots and glaze them in a pan with olive oil
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the shallots
- Sauté for 5 minutes or until they turn slightly brown
- Deglaze with white wine or vegetable stock
- Take the kale off the stems and add it in pieces to the mushrooms
- Sauté shortly, then deglaze with cream and let simmer for a while
- Add the herbs and the fresh thyme
- Fill the pancakes and sprinkle fresh herbs on top, serve with a salad
The filled pancakes are delicious with salad and are especially popular with children. A simple but tasty dish that is prepared quickly. Of course you can also fill them differently and even add vegetables or onions to the dough.
And “last but not least” there is only 1 flour left:
Coconut flour – the Exotic one
Coconut flour is made from coconut flesh, which is de-oiled and then ground. Just like the other flour alternatives that I have presented to you today, Alnatura Coconut flour is rich in protein and fiber. It‘s also low in calories and cholesterol free. It‘s suitable as a flour substitute (about 20-30% of the normal flour can be replaced), but also as an addition in curries, smoothies and desserts.
I have to say that I find baking with coconut flour a bit difficult and you have to experiment a little to get the right composition. You can already find a recipe on the blog here for fine cookies with coconut flour, you should really try this. But I also like to use the coconut flour as a breading for baked vegetables like sweet potato.
So that was a small selection of flour alternatives. Of course the list is far from complete. I also like to use rice flour, which makes cakes pretty fluffy, like this apple pie. And I also use oat flour regularly (you can easily make this yourself). It fits very well as a partial flour substitute in bread but also sweet foods like pancakes.
Do you already have experience with flour alternatives and if yes, which are your favorites? I think it's great that more and more alternatives in organic quality are available in Migros and Alnatura. Because these not only have many health benefits, they are also fun to experiment with. I hope my little guide to flour alternatives and 2 delicious recipes was helpful to you!
*This blogpost was created in collaboration with Migros, but reflects my personal opinion.
This post is also available in: deutsch