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!

Let’s Have a Heart-to-Heart

February is American Heart Month and we’re celebrating with awareness, join us won’t you?! Heart disease is scary stuff. We hear about cancer on a daily basis, but do you know what causes heart disease, a leading cause of death, and how to best prevent it? Let’s have a little heart-to-heart…

heart1. DON’T SMOKE! Tobacco, nicotine, and carbon monoxide in cigarettes are a triple threat for heart disease. The good news is that upon quitting, risk decreases immediately.

2. Eat healthy. Less red meat, more vegetables and lean protein. Less sugar, more fruit. Less white flour, more whole grains. Less salt, more herbs and spices. Although maintaining a healthy weight is optimal, weight does not necessarily correlate with health. Click here for some helpful nutrition tips.

3. Exercise. Daily. What strengthens the heart? Getting the heart pumping! Schedule regular workouts you enjoy and move more throughout the day by walking, taking the stairs, etc. Exercise and healthy eating are often far more effective than medication in promoting heart health.

4. Go to the doctor. Be sure to get your blood, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked regularly to stay on top of any risk factors.

One Healthy Breakdown: unlike other diseases, heart disease is very preventable. Yet another reason to make some healthy changes TODAY.