Flour Power

February 26, 2020
| Created by Genevieve Daly, RDN, CD

What’s new in the baking aisle? Whether due to allergies, nutrition, or the demand for more varieties, there has been a noticeable increase in baking flours over the last several years. Today we’ll explore some of the main classes of baking flours and the best uses for these in your everyday cooking and baking.

Nut and seed based flours

Also known as nut and seed meals, these flours are made from raw or blanched nuts and seeds ground into a fine powder. They can include almond, coconut, hazelnut, and flaxseed meals.

Featured choices: Almond, coconut, and flaxseed


  • 2 tablespoons of almond flour provides 5g fat (0g sat.), 5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, and 4g protein
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour provides 1.5g fat (1g sat.), 9g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, and 3g protein
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal provides 4.5g fat (0g sat.), 4g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, and 3g protein

Best uses: Use nut based flours in addition to your regular flour choice to enhance flavor and nutrition. Since nut based flours have more fat and less gluten than other flour products, they generally need to be used in tandem with other flours that provide structure to the finished product.

Flaxseed meals can be used as a nutritional boost to several types of foods, including smoothies, cereals and baked goods. Flaxseed meal is also a common egg substitute for vegan baking due its binding properties.

Whole grain based flours

Flours milled from whole grains and include all three parts of the grain: the germ, endosperm, and bran. These include quinoa, wheat, corn, brown rice, kamut, amaranth, spelt, sorghum, oat, barley, buckwheat, rye, teff, and millet.

Featured choices: white whole wheat, brown rice, and oat flour


  • 1/3 cup oat flour provides 3g fat (0.5g sat.), 26g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, and 7g protein
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour provides 1g fat (0g sat.), 31g carbohydrates, 2g fiber and 3g protein
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour provides 0.5g fat (0g sat.), 27g carbohydrates, 5g fiber and 6g protein

Best uses:  General baking recipes, thickening sauces, dough recipes including pastas and pizzas. Grain based flours will have varying amounts of gluten, so some may require additional ingredients to provide structure and binding properties.

Bean based flours

Flours made from dehydrated, ground beans.

Featured choice: garbanzo bean flour


  • 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour provides 1.5g fat (0g sat.), 21g carbohydrates, 5g fiber and 5g protein

Best uses: Substitute up to half of your flour of choice with garbanzo bean flour to add a slightly nutty flavor and a boost of fiber and protein. Garbanzo bean flour is denser and has great binding tendencies, making it great for recipes like quick breads, muffins, and cakes. Garbanzo bean flour can also be used in Mediterranean type recipes, such as falafel or hummus.

Root based flours

Flour made from dried and ground roots, or extracted starch from the root. These include cassava, tapioca, and arrowroot flours.

Featured choices: cassava and tapioca flour


  • 1/4 cup cassava flour provides 0g fat (0g sat.), 28g carbohydrates, 3g fiber and 1g protein
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour provides 0g fat (0g sat.), 27g carbohydrates, 0g fiber and 0g protein

Best uses: Great option for allergy free baking since it’s free of grains and gluten, nuts and soy. It can be used in many recipes as a one-to-one substitute for wheat flour, or as a thickening agent in soups, sauces and fillings.

Do you have any questions on how to incorporate any of these baking flours into your cooking? Feel free to email dietitian@harmonsgrocery.com and we’ll help you troubleshoot. Happy baking!