There are so kinds of flour now a days, and most of the new ones are gluten free. So what’s the best value? How do you choose the right one for you? In this post, I’ll categorize them by nutrition, low carb, and cost to help you decide.
Best Nutrition Gluten Free Flour
The clearest listing of nutritional value in gluten free flour that I could find comes from the draxe website, his article entitled “Gluten Free Flours”. I’ll give you the highlights on his top 13.
- Coconut: high in fiber and has healthy fats which lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also helps keep blood suger levels in line, so it’s especially good for diabetics.
- Sprouted Corn Flour: made from yellow corn that has been soaked for 12-48 hours. This kills the phytic acid. Phytic Acid binds up vitamins and minerals and keeps them from being absorbed by your digestive system. Also, traditional corn flour is usually made from GMO grain, and dr. axe maintains that non-GMO is always better nutrition.
- Oat Flour: made from sprouted, gluten free, natural oats (oats are often cross-contaminated by wheat in harvesting and processing, so make sure it is certified gluten free). Nutritionally they are high in fiber, can lower cholesterol, and he says they can increase immunity levels to fight diseases.
- Rice Four: make sure it is brown rice. Its claim to good health is that it is the most easily digestible flour, even if unsprouted (and he recommends the sprouted variety). This is really the only viable choice for good pastas.
- Almond Flour: high in fiber and packed full of minerals. It also lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Tapioca Flour: not much nutrition, but not many calories or fat either. The best flour to use for thickening.
- Chickpea Flour: high in fiber, protein, and B vitamins.
- Sorghum Flour: fights obesity.
- Cassava Flour: very high in vitamin C.
- Amaranth Flour: fights diabetes, supports bone health.
- Buckwheat Flour: high in B vitamins and many minerals.
- Teff Flour: helps your circulation and heart; increases immunity to disease, supports bone health.
- Cricket Flour: has 3 times more protein than a sirloin steak! (I guess John the Baptist knew what he was doing when he ate locusts and wild honey while living in the wilderness.)
Low Carb Gluten Free Flour
You can probably guess from the above list which flours are lowest in carbs, but I checked other sources to be sure. Both Keto and Atkins diets recommend Coconut and Almond flours as well as Flax Seed as the best low carb flours.
If you just want to buy a baking mix flour, Bob’s Red Mill makes a Paleo Baking Flour (“grain free, sugar free”), and a company called LC Foods makes an LC Gluten Free Baking Flour (“Paleo, sugar free, diabetic friendly, all natural”). This brings me to the question of cost.
Flour Comparison Chart
Cheapest Gluten Free Flour
I checked prices on Amazon, Wal-Mart.com, Vitacost, and Thrive Market. Price comparison was tricky because of temporary sales, different sized packages, and lack of selection (Vitacost has mostly mixes). But here is a sample:
- Pamela’s All Purpose Blend is $14.99 for 4 lbs at Amazon Prime (slightly cheaper from other sellers on Amazon). For the same product and same amount, Thrive Market’s sale price is $12.49 (but MSRP is listed at $16.99).
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is $8.39 for 44 oz. (2.75 lbs.) at Vitacost. At Thrive Market 44 oz. (2.75 lbs.) is $7.49 (MSRP $9.99). At Wal-Mart 5 lbs. of the same product is $13.42, and 25 lbs. is $81.75.
- King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour is $10.70 for 3 lbs. at Amazon. At Thrive Market it’s $9.49 (MSRP $12.99). At Wal-Mart it is $11.04.
Over all I found Thrive Market and Wal-Mart to have an excellent range of products and competitive prices. But watch sale prices at Thrive, and watch availability at Wal-Mart (they had things listed that were out of stock).
If you want to save money by buying in bulk, check out this site www.glutenfreecookingschool.com/best-places-to-buy-bulk-gluten-free-flour/
The absolute cheapest gluten free flour is home made. I found this recipe at www.frugalfarmwife.com/article/gluten-free-flour-mix/ for making your own four:
- 2 cups brown rice (milled in a kitchen grain mill);
- 2 cups white rice (milled);
- 1 cup cornstarch;
- 5 Tablespoons guar gum (cheaper than xanthum gum and can be added optionally as needed for your baking).
- Total cost (excluding the cost of the mill) is $0.34 per pound.
The only person who can determine the best value for you and your family is you because only you know your needs. What do you need–high nutrition, low carbs, low cost, or a mix of them?
I hope this post has given you the information you need to make your decision, or at least a place to start looking and considering. Please share your comments and let me know what the best value is for you in gluten free flours.