Healthy flour alternatives for your holiday baking recipes

Monday, December 19, 2016
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There are more alternative flours available on store shelves to make all those delicious holiday baked treats better for you.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With the holiday season in full swing, that usually means there is also a boom in baking cookies, cakes and pastries.

And now, there are more alternative flours available on store shelves to make all those delicious treats better for you.

Registered Dietitian Abby Wetzel with the Wellnest says more people are are choosing diets rich in whole foods.

That means taking out "the white stuff".

"More people are kind of staying away from um your white flour because they are being a lot more health conscious," she said. "The white flour is a lot more processed and it's just not as healthy for you."

With more awareness of Celiac disease and the popularity of the gluten free diet, we have seen a rise in alternative options.

And flour is no exception.

Quinoa, almond, coconut and buckwheat flours are made with non-wheat grains and not processed, which makes them better for you than traditional all-purpose flour, so these alternatives will not spike your blood sugar as quickly as the white flour will.

This could be good for diabetics and their diets.

Wetzel says alternative flours are also pack a nutritious punch. They have more iron, copper, magnesium and B vitamins in them.

"Each of them kind of have the same type of properties to them being good protein and high in fiber and typically low in carbs," said Abby.

But some alternative flours can be slightly higher in calories. These still have the more nutrients and less carbohydrates and more protein and fiber.

Wetzel says alternatives can be used in both cooking and baking.

She says read the recipe to see how much you can substitute.

When it comes to taste, it's a matter of preference.

Some will taste nuttier, while others may taste more toasted or hoppy.

For example, if you like chick peas, you'll probably like garbanzo flour. Same goes for coconut.