Most flours are alike in texture at first glance, especially when they are arranged beside each other on the supermarket shelves. But these ingredients for cooking and baking are much more different than it seems. Knowing the varieties and to which these types are used will help you kick up that unique recipe.
Rice Flour comes from finely milled long or medium-grains and is gluten-free. Rice flour is usually the type of rice people typically eat at home or in restaurants. There are three different types of rice flour, namely: white rice flour, brown rice flour, and sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour.
It can be used in several culinary ingredients like pastries, cakes and is a staple ingredient for Asian cuisines for their noodles. It is also widely used for any gluten-free diet and is the best substitute for wheat flour in cake and bread recipes. Rice flour is not only used in culinary ingredients but also in cosmetics and as a substrate for mushroom cultivation.
The cassava is a staple food in most areas of South America, Asia, and Africa. The plant is a root crop which is also known as manioc or yuca. It is a gluten, grain, and nut-free tuberous root vegetable. The cassava flour is extracted from the whole root of the cassava plant.
Cassava flour is an excellent thickener to any recipe. It is also great for making flatbreads, cookies, brownies, pizza crusts, and tortillas. It can even benefit people who are reducing in grains or those who have poor digestions or autoimmune diseases. Cassava flour can be a substitute for wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio, but you can play a bit with your recipes.
Sweet Potato Flour
Sweet potato flour is made from dried and finely ground sweet potato crops. It is a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamins A and C. While East Asia is the top producer and consumer of sweet potato, South Asia and Europe are also in the primary line of consumers.
It is used as an essential thickener for gravies, soups, and dressings, apart from being used to baking bread, muffins, cakes, pasta, protein shakes, energy drinks, and cookies. Sweet potato flour is also gluten-free; hence, it can be a good substitute for wheat flour or can be mixed with any other type of flour to improve the texture and taste of the final products.
Quinoa flour is finely grounded from quinoa seeds, usually nutty and relatively sweet flavor. It has the same texture and feels like that of all-purpose wheat flour and is also gluten-free. It is tagged as one of the superfoods that are full of fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins.
Quinoa flour can be used for several desserts, pizza base, pie crusts, pancakes, muffins, or bread. It can also be a thickening ingredient for soups or stews; and can even be used as a protein powder in shakes and smoothies. Quinoa has a low glycemic index of 53, which is the best ingredient for any diabetic meal plan.
Sorghum grains are recommended for those who have celiac disease or those who have a gluten intolerance. While it originates in Africa, the flour spreads its popularity through the Middle East, Asia, and even in America.
Sorghum flour is gluten-free, high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, and is a popular main ingredient in India to make jowar roti or flatbread. In Korea, it is used to make cakes like susu bukkumi. While in Central America, sorghum flour is used to make tortillas or a wheat flour substitute for any gluten-free recipes.
Corn flour is milled from dried whole corn kernels. It has a smooth and fine texture and can be yellow, white, or blue, depending on the corn variety. Corn flour is a good source of fiber and protein, too, with each giving approximately 1 gram per 1 tablespoon.
Corn flour is the most versatile flour among the types of flour as it can be used in baking, frying, or grilling. It can also be combined with baked recipes like muffins, bread, waffles, pancakes. It can also be used as a breading for fish or chicken. Additionally, it can be combined with other types of flour like all-purpose flour, cornmeal, or whole wheat flour.
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