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The 3 Best Gluten-Free and Nutritious Options to Replace Flour

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Whether we’re using it to bake sweet treats, breads or whipping up a roux, all-purpose flour is an ever-present ingredient in many of our favorite recipes and a key pantry staple in most households.

For those looking to make the most of their recipes nutritionally speaking, however, all-purpose flour isn’t exactly helping. Packed with refined carbohydrates, stripped of fiber, and, of course, brimming with gluten, all-purpose flour is an ultra-processed ingredient that is best to limit whenever possible.

Fortunately, there are ample replacement options on shelves, many of which are good sources of phytochemicals and fiber. Some favorites include chickpea flour, oat flour, sweet potato flour, black bean flour, and more.

Here are three nutritious flour replacers to try. Each is naturally gluten-free and grain-free, nutrient-rich and low in carbs (less than 10 grams net carbs per quarter-cup). To put this into perspective, a quarter-cup of all-purpose flour typically contains 110 calories, 0 fat, 0 sodium, 23 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of protein. So, these alternatives are not just healthier but also more nutrient-dense.

Almond Flour | 160 calories, 6 grams carbs (2 grams net carbs), 4 grams fiber, 8 grams protein

  • 90% fewer net carbs, 4x more fiber, more than 2x protein compared to white flour
  • Pro tip: Use blanched almond flour for baking for a silky smooth texture

Coconut Flour | 120 calories, 18 grams carbs (8 grams net carbs), 10 grams fiber, 6 grams protein

  • 65% fewer net carbs, 10x more fiber, 2x protein compared to white flour
  • Pro tip: It’s a dry flour, so increase moisture from other ingredients when making the switch to coconut flour

Cauliflower Flour | 120 calories, 22 grams carbs (10 grams net carbs), 12 grams fiber, 4 grams protein

  • Less than half the net carbs and 12 times more fiber, plus, it adds a serving of veggies, compared to white flour
  • Pro tip: Use cauliflower flour in pizza crusts, soups and sauces

Ochsner Eat Fit recipes using flour replacers:

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Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at, and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.

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