WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
- Blanched Almond Flour: This is separate than almond meal, as the skins are removed and it yields a lighter, more moist result. I recommend the following brands the most: HEB brand (if in Texas) and Kroger “Simple Truth” brand are both okay, but Honeyville or King Arthur brands are even better quality and a finer grind. I really do not recommend Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, as it consistently yields poor results in baking. His flour is not finely ground up well at all, is quite gritty and everything always ends up flat, dense and wet. I have used it on occasion in a few recipes, but I no longer use it. Blanched almond flour is the star ingredient in a ton of my recipes, including my Vegan Double Chocolate Muffins.
- White Rice Flour: This is just white rice ground into a flour. It yields a neutral flavor to baked goods and a light, fluffy result. It also has great binding qualities. I love this stuff. Check out my Garlic & Chive Dinner Muffins.
- Brown Rice Flour: This is just whole grain brown rice ground into a flour. It yields similar results to white rice flour, but a tad less fluffy and leaves more of an earthy taste. Depending on the recipe, I will recommend white over this one. It’s what I use in my most popular cookie recipe, these Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Potato Starch: This is not the same as potato flour, so make sure to not buy the wrong one. Potato starch is simply the extracted starchy part of a potato that has been dried, whereas potato flour is the entire potato dried and made into a flour, big difference. I never use potato flour, but I use potato starch a lot. It yields a very light, fluffy result to baked gluten-free desserts. Check out my VeganVanilla Cake or my Life Changing Pancakes. I use this starch a lot.
- Tapioca Starch: In this case, tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same. Both names are used interchangeably. This starch comes from the cassava plant. It also helps to yield light, fluffy results to baked goods, however it becomes very gummy or gelatinous than potato starch if too much is used. It has a bit better binding qualities. I use it a lot in my muffin recipes.
- Oat Flour: This is just simple oats ground into a fine flour. I use organic gluten-free quick cooking oats because they grind finer than the larger oats. Just use your vitamix or a food processor and get them really fine into a flour and keep stored in a container in the pantry. While dedicated gluten-free oats are labeled gluten-free, apparently some people still cannot tolerate oats, so use caution if you are sensitive. I use oat flour in so many recipes, like these Vegan Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies, which happen to be my husband’s favorite. He likes these over cake for his birthday!
- Sorghum Flour: While I rarely use this one, I do use it more for seasonal type of recipes, where lots of spices like cinnamon and pumpkin are used. Sorghum is a grain and it leaves a rather strong, almost spice-like flavor, so it needs to be combined with other strong flavors to mask it. It also can make baked goods rather crumbly, so good binding additional ingredients are crucial. It is the perfect flour for my Pumpkin Caramel Muffins
- Spelt Flour: This is not a gluten-free flour like all of the above mentioned are. I do not use it in most baked good recipes, since I try to gear towards mostly gluten-free so everybody can make them. However, I do really love spelt for it’s nutritional properties, easy digestion and the soft texture it gives to baked goods. I use it to make homemade sandwich bread and also some killer Blueberry Pancakes.
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: This is my favorite flour to bake with that contains gluten. It gives incredible softness, tenderness and fluff to baked goods. It is ground from soft wheat berry, so it contains less gluten (protein) than regular all-purpose flour and definitely less than traditional whole wheat flour. In fact, it is more similar to cake flour. For this reason, it is my go-to for lots of cakes or muffins. This Almond Butter Cake With Chocolate Frosting is a perfect example of how beautifully it bakes up. Keep in mind, since it is whole grain, it does have a mild earthy flavor. So, I tend to use it in recipes where it will be complimented. I would not use this flour for a traditional vanilla cake, as the flavor will be too strong.
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