Ten years ago, it was nearly impossible to find any sort of gluten-free baked goods or even gluten-free flour at the grocery store. Luckily with growing interest in paleo and ketogenic diets, and a general trend towards gluten-free eating, there are now more options than ever for gluten-free flours. In fact, there are so many types that it can be confusing to know which one to buy! There is no single gluten-free flour that is the overall best, but we have recommendations for each function you might want to use it for.
Best grain-free, gluten-free flours
Unless it specifically has added gluten, any grain-free flour will also be gluten-free. A few of our favorite types of grain-free flour are almond flour, coconut flour, and flaxseed meal. For baking, coconut and almond flours are the most common options that you will find at the store. But you can’t use coconut or almond flours as 1:1 replacements in recipes because they will alter the moisture and texture of your baked good. We love King Arthur Baking’s Paleo Baking Flour, which is a blend of almond, cassava, and coconut flour. Potato flour is another grain-free, gluten-free option that is commonly used in some baked goods.
Best gluten-free flours that are low carb
Most grain-free and gluten-free flours are also low carb, but not all are! Almond flour and coconut flour are the most popular low-carb gluten-free options. Generally speaking, nut flours will have higher contents of fats and protein, perfect for the ketogenic diet, while flours made from root vegetables like cassava and potato are higher in carbohydrates.
Best gluten-free flour for the paleo diet
The paleo way of life is often pretty low carb, but includes some foods that might not fit in a low carb or ketogenic diet. Almost any flour that is grain-free will also be paleo-friendly. We love the coconut, almond, cassava blend of flour to use as a baking replacement, tapioca flour for pancakes and crepes, and cassava flour for homemade tortillas.
Best gluten-free flours that are nut-free
Many of the gluten-free flour options rely on tree nuts like almonds and walnuts, so it can be even more difficult to find a suitable substitute if someone in your household also has nut allergies. There are plenty of options, but fewer options that are also paleo-friendly. Sorghum, buckwheat, millet, chick pea, coconut, and fava flours are all nut-free and gluten-free. This is a nice allergy-friendly blend that can be made at home and used for baked goods.
Best gluten-free flour to use as a thickening agent
Flour is commonly used as a thickening agent, especially in roux which is the base to many sauces and soups around the world. Cornstarch is the easiest and most common swap for flour, and while it is gluten-free, it is not a food typically included in the paleo diet. Arrowroot and potato starch are great options if you are avoiding grains and gluten, and they fit within the paleo diet.
Living a gluten-free or paleo lifestyle is all about balance and health, and sometimes you just want tasty baked goods! Luckily there are plenty of easy replacements for products that are traditionally made with wheat flour.