Sticking to a paleo diet can be difficult during the holidays. Between pies, sweets and gluten-heavy dishes, paleo dieters are left with few indulgences at parties and feasts. Here are five paleo-friendly flours that can make awesome alternatives to traditional, carb- and gluten-heavy all-purpose flour.
Also known as almond meal, almond flour is made from skinned almonds that are ground into a fine flour that can be great for baking. Not only is this ingredient great for paleo dieters, it’s a readily available option for those abstaining from gluten or avoiding too many carbs. Almond flour maintains an almost identical nutrient profile as whole almonds, according to paleohacks.com. Almond flour has polyunsaturated fats, which provide omega-3 fatty acids. Almond flour provides a slightly nutty flavor, and is great for savory breads, muffins, dense cakes (such as carrot cake) and meatloaf.
Cassava flour, a.k.a. tapioca starch, derives from the starchy root vegetable known as yucca or cassava. It’s also a good ingredient option for people with food allergies or restricted diets who still want to enjoy baked goods. Cassava flour is used to thicken sauces and soups, and is great for baking cakes, muffins, biscuits or sandwich breads, according to PaleoPlan.com.
Coconut flour is a grain-free and allergen-friendly alternative to wheat-based flours. High in fiber and iron, this flour is an excellent choice for either savory or sweet recipes, and will provide a coconut flavor. Because it is so absorbent, Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour recommends adding more liquid to your recipe if you’re using coconut flour. It's also most successfully used when blended with other gluten-free flours.
What is a tigernut? It’s a root vegetable that grows in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Tigernut flour is naturally gluten free and can be beneficial to those allergic to nuts because it adds protein when baking and cooking. It’s also high in fiber, iron and potassium. Tigernut flour is a perfect paleo ingredient to use in low-carb breads and cookies.
Lower in calories than regular all-purpose flour, plantain flour can be a diet-friendly alternative. It’s rich in iron and potassium and is loaded with vitamin A and vitamin B. Plantain flour can be used to make flourless banana bread, pancakes and brownies. You can find a lot of DIY methods for making your own plantain flour at home. Here’s one from Backcountry Paleo.