Alternative flours are a must for those with gluten allergies, but they’re also great for adding new nutrients to time-honored recipes. In response to their growing popularity, these local companies are stepping up to the plate and milling different flours from exciting, wholesome ingredients such as sunflower seeds, chickpeas and einkorn.
Sunflower Seed Flour from Think. Eat. Live. Foods
“Every bite you take should not only taste good, but be good for you” – that’s the belief at Think. Eat. Live. Foods in Wildwood, Missouri. The company’s SunFlour is a new way to think about gluten-free. A sunflower seed-based flour – which is also grain-free and nut-free – it balances protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you full longer, sustain your energy for hours and allow you to enjoy the foods you love without sacrificing nutrition or flavor. SunFlour is mildly sweet and nutty, yet neutral enough to use in many baked goods, including coffee cake, apple crisp, zucchini bread and pie. Depending on the goody, you may want to start by replacing 25 percent of the recommended flour with SunFlour and work your way up. If you’re ready to completely replace traditional flours with SunFlour, double the amount of eggs that the recipe calls for to help bind the food together.
Think. Eat. Live. Foods, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 121, Wildwood, Missouri, thinkeatlive.com
Chickpea Flour from Ardent Mills
Ingrained with innovation and imagination, Ardent Mills is North America’s leading flour supplier. At its Alton, Illinois, facility, it mills chickpeas sourced from Nebraska, Montana and Washington into a nutritious and delicious flour alternative. A pantry staple the world over, chickpea flour is relatively new to the average U.S. consumer; however, it’s already proven itself a godsend to bakers. Gluten-free bakers are often left scrambling for ways to hold their baked goods together – enter chickpea flour, a naturally dense flour with impressive binding power that gives breads, muffins and cakes a sturdy, yet tender, texture. It also works wonderfully in fritter recipes: Swap it in for wheat flour to add a healthy dose of protein, fiber and micronutrients such as iron, zinc and folate to a savory carrot, squash or shrimp variety.
Ardent Mills, 145 W. Broadway Ave., Alton, Illinois, ardentmills.com
Buckwheat Flour from Janie's Mill
Combining the age-old technology of stone milling with modern science, Janie’s Mill in Ashkum, Illinois, produces flour that’s alive and fluid. The use of whole grains with living enzymes – with bran and germ – gives its products nutrients that our bodies can digest and utilize. Its naturally gluten-free buckwheat flour is milled from the entire buckwheat groat, which makes it darker than flour from dehulled buckwheat. Boasting a higher fiber content than oatmeal and a pleasantly nutty flavor, buckwheat flour is most often used for protein-packed pancakes in the U.S., while in Asia, it’s the foundation for noodles, including the famous Japanese soba noodles. Around the holidays last year, buckwheat flour was so popular, Janie’s Mill sold out – luckily, it’s back in stock and currently available for purchase online. New to the lineup, einkorn flour is also milled here. Soft, airy and naturally light in color, it has a delicate sweetness that makes it ideal for baking.
Janie's Mill, 405 N. Second St., Ashkum, Illinois, janiesmill.com