Reader’s request: different flour uses

Hi 🙂 How’s the morning going? Hope you’re having a great one so far <3

Yesterday, I was reunited with my beloved Paleo bread. I love this recipe because it’s an easy way to get extra protein, healthy fats and fiber; the bread is also extremely satisfying. It’s especially delicious with fresh fruit and almond milk, smeared with some butter and honey, or layered with guacamole, lettuce and tomato as a sandwich.

Almond meal is one of my favorite flour options, and since I’ve received a few requests for some different flour uses and benefits, I thought I’d share those today.

Different flour uses  1 of 1

Some of my favorites, along with some benefits and recipes:

Spelt flour: I feel like this is a less dense version of whole wheat flour. It substitutes nicely for most types of flour, and gives an earthy whole-grain flavor.


Vegan almond butter chocolate chip cookies

Figgy apricot spelt bread

Banana spelt muffins


Gluten-free baking blend: This one can be a little iffy as a substitute for white flour. You can buy a mix or make your own (my fave is here). Often, if your mix doesn’t contain a binding agent like xanthan gum, you may have to add it yourself. Xanthan gum can be extremely pricey, and also can contribute to an upset stomach, so I’ll sometimes skip it and use a bit of chia or ground flax instead. 


Chocolate chip pumpkin bread (need to make this ASAP)

Sweet potato biscuits

The best gluten-free brownies

Almond meal: this is one of my personal favorites. It’s inherently gluten-free and substitutes fairly well for any other flours. I’ve noticed that I usually need to add a bit more liquid for baking, as it’s pretty dense, and also to expect a more hearty and nutty flavor. I especially love almond meal for breads, cookies, tart crusts and muffins.


Almond butter pancakes

Gluten-free almond brownies

Grain-free upside down apple bread

Quinoa trail mix muffins

Oat flour: oat flour can be another great gluten-free flour option (if the oats are certified gluten-free) and easily made at home by girding oats in a high speed blender. Oat flour is best mixed with other flours -like half and half oat flour and spelt or gluten-free mix- for a smoother texture that will hold its shape. 


Peach muffins



Whole wheat flour: the classic never dies. I especially love the taste of whole wheat pizza dough, or especially wheat-y, seedy bread. This usually substitutes fairly well for other flours, as a lighter whole wheat pastry flour is also available.


Carrot cake muffins

Vegan strawberry scones

Vegan vanilla almond biscotti

Whole wheat pizza dough

Coconut flour: this is a flour that still makes me a little nervous (as I’ve had some coconut flour fails) but I enjoy experimenting with recipes using it. Coconut flour is extremely thirsty, so you’ll need more liquid in the mix or dough. This is best mixed with other flours (like almond meal or brown rice flour) for many recipes. 


Spiced cherry pecan granola bars


Paleo vanilla cupcakes

Vegan protein waffle

Maple chocolate chip zucchini bread

Brown rice flour: this is something else that I’ll often substitute for wheat or white flour, as it has a light texture and mild taste. Brown rice flour can get a little crumbly, so make sure to add a binding agent like flax, chia or xanthan gum. Brown rice is a great gluten-free option, and contains manganese, fiber and selenium, which has been suggested to aid in cancer protection.


Sweet potato chocolate chip cookies

Berry chia pancakes

Chocolate protein bars

Banana almond muffins

Quinoa flour: this is another one that can be easily made at home. All you need to do is lightly toast it on the stovetop (it will turn a light brown color, make a pop sound, and become more fragrant) and then grind in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder. It’s gluten-free free and a great source of protein. It has a soft, nutty flavor, and is especially wonderful in muffins.


Banana nut quinoa muffins

Cinnamon quinoa muffin tops

Quinoa pita tortilla

12 treats to make with quinoa flour

Garbanzo bean flour: this one I have a volatile relationship with because I don’t like things to taste too bean-y. Garbanzo bean flour provides manganese, iron and protein. The taste is absolutely lovely in the twin’s socca bread recipe.


Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cupcakes

What do you use the most often for baking? Any awesome flour substitution tips or tricks?
Have an amazing day <3



*Sending love and prayers to those affected by the tragic events on 9/11. We will always remember.

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  1. Sarah on September 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I love almond meal as well! Thanks for all the tips and tricks with other flours, very informative!

  2. Jodie on September 11, 2014 at 11:40 am

    This is soooo helpful. Thank you for posting this. I am bookmarking this . Much appreciated. One question, I have made the paleo bread 2 times and both times I couldn’t eat it because it was too heavy. What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks again have a great Thursday !

  3. Deanna on September 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Thank you so much for this post! It’s very helpful! I’ve only been gluten free for a few months and haven’t ventured into the world of baking gf yet. But with the holidays coming up this post is perfectly timed. :). Thanks, Gina!

  4. mary on September 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I like the paleo bread recipe but I don’t make it often because it’s so freakin high calorie. Maybe someday I’ll get past that. I’m sure the plant fats are so good for us. You seem to do fine with them!

  5. Gabrielle - Fit Farm Wife on September 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Awesome post Gina! Thanks for all of the info!

  6. Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy on September 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention almond flour–it’s so popular nowadays with movements like paleo.

    Coconut flour is nothing to lightly! Measurements have to be accurate or else your creation could come out totally different. It calls for a lot of moisture but even though it’s finicky it’s one of my favourite flours.

    • Fitnessista on September 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      i always use almond meal instead, unless i’m making macaroons 🙂

  7. Aine @ AwkwardIrishGirlBlogs on September 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks for this, it’s so helpful! Although I don’t bake with gluten free flour on a regular basis, it’s so great to have a quick and easy guide like this on hand 🙂

  8. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Almond flour is by far my favorite. It’s so easy to substitute into most things. My least favorite is coconut flour. It’s very finicky and never turns out quite right. I also don’t love the flavor of coconut. I do really like garbanzo bean flour. I made these amazing Chickpea Blonde Brownies a few weeks ago. They don’t taste beany at all.

  9. Christa @ Living Unbalanced on September 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Have you tried cashew meal? I just picked some up at TJs and loved it mixed with coconut flour as the breading on my “chicken fingers”!

  10. Sandra F. on September 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    So helpful, thank you! I get so overwhelmed with all the different types of flour, so this is great!

  11. Kathryn @ Chicks Dig Running on September 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    What a great list! I have really only experimented with almond meal and oat flour, and have had success. I usually use almond meal as a substitute for only part of the flour though, to keep the product from getting too dense. I really like almond meal in banana bread, it adds a nice flavor.

    I also had no idea Quinoa flour was so easy to make- going to have to try that one next!

  12. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on September 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Cool post! I love baking with almond flour.

  13. Anne @fANNEtasticfood on September 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Great post! Thank you for the link love 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 12, 2014 at 12:53 am

      happy to share your awesome recipes 🙂

  14. kristina on September 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    i often cook with tapioca flour and arrowroot flower.

  15. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on September 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Great post, Gina! Since finding out that I’m gluten sensitive, oat flour has been my go-to, with a little bit of coconut flour and almond meal depending on what I’m making. You’re so right about coconut flour being “thirsty” – I was amazed by how much more liquid I needed the first time I used it! As for tricks, sometimes I’ll replace between 1/4 and 1/2 of the called for flour recipe for protein powder since gluten free flours don’t tend to have protein content as high as whole wheat. It’s definitely a matter of trial and error though – there have been many errors! 🙂

  16. Janelle on September 12, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Thanks for the informative post! I’m a fan of oat flour, but I think I’ll have to try out almond meal.

  17. Jillian on September 12, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Wow this is great reference! I actually tend to avoid most recipes that use a lot of these flours. Thanks for sharing! I will definitely feel more confident tackling recipes using different flours.

  18. Amanda on September 12, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I love love love almond meal and coconut flour! In the past year I’ve started to reduce the amount of grains I’m consuming because of some health issues I have and these alternatives to wheat/grains have been awesome. Recently I’ve seen a few articles that claim almond meal and other nut/seed flours and oils, become ‘rancid’ when heated to high temperatures. Do you have any insight on this?

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2014 at 12:49 am

      i heard that, but i’m not totally on board. they still taste good to me 😉

  19. Gabriella on September 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    This is actually absurdly helpful. I don’t have any food allergies/sensitivities but it is definitely nice to know the real deal is with all those different flour types I see in Whole Foods!

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