Five of the best gluten-free flours

Add a fresh new flour to your life

Coeliacs will be well aware of the variety of flour alternatives out there but it’s not just the gluten-free who are turning to alternatives to self-raising – Waitrose reports that sale of coconut flour increased by 24% in the past month alone. Here’s how you can add a fresh new flour to your life

 

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Coconut

As well as being gluten-free, coconut flour is nutrient rich, with significantly more protein and fibre than wheat flour. Because of this it’s a lot more absorbent so you can’t switch it 1:1 for wheat flour in recipes. You can, however, make plenty of things using less, and the natural sweetness makes it perfectly suited to cakes and biscuits like these biscotti. Coconut flour, £3.99, The Groovy Food Company

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Chickpea

You’ll probably see chickpea flour in your local corner shop as gram flour or besan. It’s made from milled chana dal, a type of chickpea, and is common in Indian cookery, used in pakoras and sweets. Mix it with water, onions and mustard seeds and you’ve got onion baji mix. Or make pudla from Mallika Basu’s simple recipe – it’s like a cross between a crepe and a chapati. Fill with veg, eggs or cheese for savoury brunch. Gram flour, £1.30, Sainsbury’s

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Teff

The Ethiopian grain teff is getting a bit of a name for itself as a superfood thanks to its versatility and nutritional content – it’s gluten-free and a good veggie source of protein and amino acids. Injera, a fermented Ethiopian flatbread, is made from teff and the flour can be used in all sorts of sweet and savoury baking. This caught our eye though: Will Frolic For Food uses it in breakfast chocolate mousse. Sold. Brown teff flour, £3.95, Sous Chef.

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Tapioca

In its chewy, pearlised form, tapioca is a love-it-or-hate-it food. You’ve had it in bubble tea; you might’ve had it in desserts. It’s kind of odd. But did you know it comes from the cassava plant? And in its dry form as a flour – coarse or smooth – it’s commonly used in Brazil for making all sorts of breads. Like Olivia’s Cuisine authentic pão de queijo. The starchiness of the flour helps make them extra pillowy and delicious. Tapioca flour, £1.75, Ocado

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Buckwheat

Sneakily named buckwheat is nothing of the sort – it’s related to rhubarb rather than wheat, and it’s the seeds that are used to make flour. Things you might’ve eaten made of it: soba noodles, blini or galettes. It’s often eaten as kasha, a savoury porridge, in eastern Europe, but it also works well for gluten-free baking, like in Nigella’s slightly nutty buckwheat cookies or these vegan cupcakes. Buckwheat flour, £2.30, Waitrose

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