By Michele Robert Poche
Cookies, cake, pastries, pizza crust, pasta, bread … they’re all traditionally made with refined white flour. That’s the bad news. Refined white flour offers very little nutritional value as the refining process removes the majority of the fiber as well as the protein, calcium, iron, magnesium and countless other vitamins.
But there are many healthful alternatives to refined white flour available in today’s market. That’s the good news. And I experimented with several of them.
I selected a simple biscuit recipe containing only three ingredients. And I prepared it four times, exactly the same way, except that I used a different flour alternative in each batch.
- 2 ¼ c. flour
- ¾ c. butter or butter substitute
- 1 c. milk (any type)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Blend ingredients.
- Drop in spoonfuls two inches apart onto greased cookie sheet.
- Bake 25 minutes.
I used four white flour alternatives, all of which can be obtained from a specialty supermarket. Oat flour, almond flour, spelt flour, and coconut flour.
In my tasting group, the spelt group won … hands-down. It looked and tasted most like the real thing. My family members all agreed we could add spelt to our regular shopping list. The oat and almond batches tied for second place. Both of their “secret ingredients” shined through so lovers of raw oats and/or almonds would appreciate these flavors. The coconut variety came in dead last, largely because of its texture. Coconut flour performs very differently than the others and, as such, the leftovers hit the trash as soon as the testing period was complete.
And my family tossing out food? Well, that almost never happens.
Sifting your flour helps remove clumps, blends it evenly with all other dry ingredients and aerates it making it fluffy and easier to blend with wet ingredients. Don’t have a sieve? No problem! A whisk can also accomplish all three of the above tasks. Bonus: It’s much easier to clean!