Five Healthy Flour Alternatives

Most recipes we come across call for good old white flour, also known as all-purpose flour.  What’s so wrong with that? A lot. All-purpose white flour is basically just empty calories – short-term energy that makes our blood sugar spike without any nutritional value. Did you know that white flour is actually wheat stripped of the whole-grain elements, the bran and the germ, meaning that it lacks the fiber and nutrients. It is also commonly bleached white with chemicals.

breads

Whether you’re making cookies, muffins, pancakes, scones, or dessert, substituting white flour for one of the following healthier options will upgrade your recipe into a lighter, more nutritious, easier to digest option simply with this one easy switch.

  • Coconut flour is made of the superfood coconut, making it gluten-free, paleo, high in fiber, protein, energy, and low in carbohydrates. It’s dense and yields great pancakes (like these Delightful Banana Pancakes) and baked goods.
  • Almond flour/almond meal is made of almonds, also gluten-free, paleo, high in protein, and healthy fats. The difference between the two is simply that almond meal includes the whole nut while almond flour is made from blanched (skinless) almonds, both packed in vitamins and minerals. Try these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins made with almond flour.
  • Quinoa flour is made of grinding the seed we all know and love, quinoa! You can buy quinoa flour or you can grind your own uncooked seeds. High in fiber and nutrients, this gluten-free flour is light, a bit nutty, and a complete protein, making the perfect post-workout treats.
  • Spelt flour is a species of wheat that is light, nutty, and high in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. It is one of the oldest crops in history and very versatile. Although spelt does contain gluten, it is known to have many health benefits, including numerous minerals necessary for bone health. You can read more about spelt flour here.
  • Oat flour is simply ground oats. You can purchase it at a health food store or just grind up your own raw oats in a blender or coffee grinder. Oats are super high in fiber and other vitamins and minerals, so you can’t go wrong with this healthy option. Just be sure to search for “gluten free” if you’re sensitive to gluten. (Oats don’t actually contain gluten; however, they can be processed in a plant with gluten.)

One Healthy Breakdown: get empowered with healthy flours!

Banana Almond Butter Cookies

Banana Almond Butter Cookies? Why, yes, thank you. Megan of ‘Megan’s Morsels’ shares her super simple recipe for these delicious (and nutritious) treats!

image1(2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 fully ripe (slightly brown spotted) banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 scoops high quality vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tbsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3  cup pure maple syrup (or more for sweeter)
  • 2 or 3 spoonfuls of almond butter (yum!)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Combine all the ingredients in one bowl and mix thoroughly until you achieve a thick cookie dough consistency
  • Form balls with the dough and then flatten to make cookies and place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly firm and even a little golden brown on top
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: these cookies are perfect for any time of day!

image2

*Megan Marcotrigiano is a health coach and Pilates instructor. She also makes and sells organic, gluten and dairy free treats known as Megan’s Morsels.

Homemade Nut Butter

Homemade nut butter. Why didn’t I do this sooner?! Ever since I hopped on the almond butter train, I’ve been shocked by the price (over $20!) of organic, almond butter! When you go through the good stuff as fast as I do, that’s quite an investment. So, I started to wonder if I could ever be one of those really cool people who make their OWN nut butter. From scratch. At home. I did a little research on best practice and gave it a whirl. Literally. It worked like a charm. So, I kept it up and now I rarely buy jars at the store anymore. There are so many fun combinations of nut butter to try!

almondbutterHere’s how: Use about 1 cup of nuts for about 1 jar of nut butter and a strong blender or Vitamix. Just blend away. Check every so often to spoon mixture from sides (if it all builds up on the side, the blade will start to burn out.) It takes about 10 minutes for the oils to come out and take the mixture from powder to smooth and silky buttah. Watch my very own almond butter video here and enjoy!

You can make nut butter out of:

    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Walnuts
    • Peanuts
    • Sunflower seeds (and most other seeds!)
    • Hazelnuts
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Pecans
    • A whole lot more!

Feel free to mix and match. If you love the taste of roasted nuts, just roast your nuts before blending. Lastly, if you like your nut butter crunchy like me, add in some nuts at the end for one last ‘blend.’

Try some add-ins to really get creative:

Sea salt
Dark chocolate chips
Unsweetened coconut
Banana (keep refrigerated after)
Cacoa powder
Carob chips
Cinnamon
Honey
Maple syrup
Sea salt
Vanilla extract
Pretzels
Pumpkin puree
Cranberries
Raisins
Goji Berries

One Healthy Breakdown: you’re nuts if you don’t try this at home!

Trail Mix for Everyone!

Place  Setting at ChristmasTrail mix is a great on-the-go snack to sustain energy. Instead of buying trail mix, make your own at home to ensure it’s exactly what you like, plus you’ll avoid all of that extra salt and sugar. Just combine your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and even chocolate! Here are a few faves:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Carob chips
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Goji berries
  • Raisins
  • Favorite healthy cereal or granola
  • Wasabi Peas
  • Dried chickpeas
  • Dried mango
  • Dried Pineapple
  • Dried ginger
  • Dried apple
  • Figs
  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Fresh berries
  • Banana chips
  • Pretzels

One Healthy Breakdown: combine your favorites and snack on!

Chocolaty Nut Clusters

These chocolate nutty clusters from Anke’s Fit Bakery are gluten and guilt free. Anke’s protein-packed bites are fun for the beach – or to sneak into the movie theater instead of buying processed snacks, just don’t tell them we told you to! 😉

MP900384737

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted or raw peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • (or any mixture of nuts you like – 3 cups total)
  • 2/3 cup Sucanat
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 315 degrees (convection setting if available). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper & lightly spray with non stick spray.

Place all ingredients (except the nuts) in one bowl and mix with a spoon until well-combined. Add nuts to the mixture and stir until all nuts are covered.

With a teaspoon, drop the nut mixture in clusters on the baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 min. Let the clusters cool on the baking sheets and place in a airtight container once cool. Share if you can!

photo(70)

One Healthy Breakdown: these nutty clusters beat movie theater snacks ANY day!