If you are reducing inflammation by following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet but are afraid that home baking is a thing of the past, think again. There are several flours that are AIP compliant. If you love to bake, you may enjoy trying some of these products and experimenting with how to best use them in new recipes or make substitutions for some of your old favorites.
This flour is made from the meat of the coconut, which is simply dried and ground into flour. It is perhaps one of the most common of the AIP compliant flours. It is high in protein, and low in carbohydrates. It is fairly heavy in weight and absorbs a lot of moisture. For this reason, bakers often combine coconut flour with other AIP flours. It does have a coconut flavor, which may detract or alter other flavorings. It is much easier to find at local supermarkets and may be less expensive than some other specialty flours.
Though not actually from a nut, the tigernut flour comes from a small root usually found in Africa or Mediterranean countries. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is a little on the sweet side. It is lightweight and high in fiber and has a light brown color. Since it does not absorb water well, it is usually combined with other flours to keep it from crumbling. Best used for cakes, cookies, cobbler, pancakes and crepes. It is a bit more expensive so combining with other less expensive AIP flours, will make it go further. Not as fine, it may require sifting before use.
Tapioca starch or flour comes from the cassava plant, but unlike cassava flour, it is manufactured from just the starch of the root. Some people don't like the flavor, though it is pretty mild. It is best used for thickening gravies and sauces because it gelatinizes when heated. It can also be used with other AIP compliant flours in breads and baked treats and will make cookies or cakes chewier.
Made from the whole cassava root, this flour is most like traditional wheat flour in baking. It has a very mild flavor and a fine powdery texture. Because it absorbs water, it can be used in conjunction with other flours that don't do well on their own. However, it does fine by itself and makes great tortillas, pie crusts, cookies and most other baked goods.
Arrowroot flour is a must-have for the AIP dieter. You can use this in most baking applications and since it binds well, it also does well in sauces and gravies. It is readily available and less expensive than many other AIP compliant flours.
In addition to the top five AIP flours, there have been additional flours that have increased in popularity and accessibility recently. Though not as available, most can be found in health food stores or online.
- This is a flour made from dried, ground plantains. The flavor of the plantains does come thru, but if you like that and it fits well with your baking, this flour can stand alone in crepes, pancakes, and even crackers.
Water Chestnut Flour
- This flour can be found in Indian or ethnic markets or purchased online. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a darker color so it is best used in chocolate-type baked goods such as brownies.
Sweet Potato Flour
- Another slightly sweet tasting flour, you can usually find this in Asian markets. Muffins, breads and cakes are great with this flour. The ingredient statement should be read carefully to make sure that this product is 100% sweet potatoes and contains no additives.
- Made from dried and ground pumpkins, the best place to find this is online. Try using in traditional fall desserts like carrot cake or bread.
- Cricket flour is just what you may think. Made from crickets. It has a slightly malted or nutty flavor and is high in protein. You can buy cricket flour pasta and it can be used in bread and cookies, but it is more traditionally used in smoothies or wherever else you would use a protein powder. Cricket powder is said to be sustainable, but is also pricey.
- The breadfruit is a bumpy green fruit with an inner texture similar to a potato. It is most often used with another AIP flour but could be used alone. Great for pizza crust or can be used in cakes, pies, and other desserts.
- Squash flour is made from sliced and dried butternut squash. You will get that subtle sweet taste that you get with squash, so try it in waffles or breads for a change in flavor profile
- Made from taro root, taro flour is made from the same root where the Hawaiians make poi. Important to Hawaii and African economies, it has not really made the leap to Western culture. It is, however, AIP compliant, and may be worth a try.
- Apple and Banana flours are also AIP flour choices. They have high fiber content and have a stronger flavor profile than some of the other flours. They are great for most baked goods.
If you are ready to start baking, try a few of these flours. Be aware that you should begin using in moderation, just to be be sure that you have no sensitivities to the ingredients. Some AIP followers have noticed reactions to water chestnuts or tigernut flour, so be mindful. Also, as always, pay attention to the ingredient label. These flours need to be 100% pure with no additives or mixtures. If you want to combine flours, do it at home and document the combination in case of a reaction.
Don't let your Autoimmune Protocol diet get boring! Search online for new recipes, recreate old ones, or develop some yourself. With so many choices out there, you will be back in the kitchen baking....and loving it!
And if you have questions about AIP or Paleo diets or want to know more about our Paleo Power Balls, contact us today!