Flour is a pantry staple that is used in the preparation of desserts, baked goods, casseroles, and pasta. However, some flours are healthier than others. White and all-purpose flours are less healthy because they are refined to remove the bran and germ from the wheat, which contains most of the fiber and nutrients.
If you use a few healthy tricks, pancakes can be part of a nutritious breakfast there are numerous tips for adding fiber to pancakes to make them more nutritious and delicious, ranging from using fiber-rich flour to adding fruits or nuts for extra flavor. Continue reading to get a basic pancake recipe that you can then use to make flavor variations like banana-chocolate chip and blueberry. Plus, learn how to make healthy pancakes quickly and easily.
Here are the 5 healthiest flours for every use, along with their nutrient profiles:
1. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is a gluten-free and grain-free flour made by grinding dried coconut meat into a fine powder. Compared to traditional grain-based flour, coconut flour contains more calories but it is high in protein, fiber, fat, and minerals such as iron and potassium. Unlike grain flours, coconut flour has a high-fat content. This fat is mostly saturated and high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which may help with inflammation and metabolism.
Although it’s debatable, saturated fat from coconut is likely to have a different impact on your health than fast food, fried foods, and processed meats and may even provide benefits. Coconut flour is also high in antioxidants and appears to have antimicrobial properties.
A 1/2-cup (64-gram) serving contains 210 calories, 8.5 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 34 grams of protein. Iron 22 percent of the DV Potassium 18 percent of the DV Fiber 25 grams Coconut flour has a mildly sweet taste that complements cakes, cookies, bread, and other baked goods.
It has a gritty texture and absorbs a lot of liquid, which can cause some baked goods to dry out. As a result, it works best in dishes that rely on eggs to keep moisture and structure, such as muffins. Use about 1/4 of the amount of coconut flour called for in the recipe, then replace the remaining 3/4 with another type of flour. In addition, because coconut flour requires more liquid than other flours, bake with 1 egg per 1/4 cup (32 grams) of coconut flour.
2. Almond flour
Blanched almonds are ground into a fine powder to make almond flour. It is naturally gluten-free because it does not contain grains. It’s important to distinguish almond flour from almond meal, which is a coarser ingredient made by grinding almonds with their skins still on. Almond flour contains magnesium, omega-3 unsaturated fats, plant protein, and vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. Remember that almonds, like other nuts and seeds, contain a lot of calories.
The nutrients in this flour provide several advantages, including improved insulin resistance, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Almonds may also benefit brain health by lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A 1/2-cup (56-gram) serving of almond flour contains the following nutrients. Calories 340 Protein 12 grams Fat 30 grams Carbs 12 grams Fiber 4 grams Calcium 5% of the DV Iron 6% of the DV Potassium 8% of the DV Magnesium 65% of the DV Vitamin E 100% of the DV.
Almond flour has a nutty flavor and is simple to prepare. In most recipes, you can simply replace wheat flour with almond flour in an equal proportion. It complements baked goods such as pancakes, cookies, scones, and biscuits, as well as savory dishes such as homemade pasta and meatballs. To make it more nutritious you may use berries to add more fiber to your pancakes for a low-calorie health boost.
3. Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat flour is made from ground buckwheat, a plant with grain-like seeds. It is not related to wheat and is gluten-free. It has an earthy flavor and is used in the preparation of traditional Japanese soba noodles. It contains fiber, protein, and micronutrients such as manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus.
According to research, this flour may lower blood sugar in diabetics and improve biomarkers of heart health. It may have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and prebiotic properties as well. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut, which helps with digestion.
Buckwheat flour provides a 1/2-cup (60-gram) serving. Calories 200 Protein 4 grams Fat 2 grams Carbs 44 grams Fiber 6 grams Iron 17% of the DV Manganese 34% of the DV Magnesium 33% of the DV Copper 73% of the DV Phosphorus 17% of the DV.
Buckwheat flour should be used in conjunction with other whole grain flours to achieve the best results, accounting for 25–50% of the total flour in a recipe. It’s delicious in pancakes and quick bread and as a crumb coating for meat or other proteins.
4. Quinoa flour
Quinoa flour is created by finely grinding quinoa. This gluten-free pseudo cereal is widely regarded as a whole grain, which means it has not been processed or refined, preserving its natural nutrients. Notably, it is high in protein, fiber, iron, and unsaturated fats. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit digestive health, inhibit tumor growth, and reduce overall disease risk.
A 1/2-cup (56-gram) serving of quinoa flour contains 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, 38 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of iron (33 percent of the DV).
Quinoa flour gives baked goods a moist, tender texture. In most recipes, substitute it for half the amount of wheat flour. Some people find this flour bitter, but you can reduce the aftertaste by toasting it for 5–10 minutes on a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring gently, before adding it to your recipe. Quinoa flour works well in pancakes, muffins, pizza, and pie crusts. It is also useful for thickening soups and sauces.
5. Whole Wheat Flour
Most baked goods sold in bakeries and supermarkets contain wheat flour. However, whole wheat flour and white flour are very different. Unlike whole wheat flour, which is made by grinding whole wheat kernels into a powder, white flour removes the most nutrient-rich parts the bran and germ. As a result, whole wheat flour is widely regarded as healthier. It contains protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is not suitable for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity because it contains gluten.
A 1/2-cup (60-gram) serving of 100% whole wheat flour contains Calories 200 Protein 8 grams Fat 0 grams Carbs 42 grams Fiber 8 grams Iron 11% of the Daily Value Potassium 5% of the Daily Value.
Whole wheat flour can be substituted for white or all-purpose flour in any recipe. Because it is unrefined, it produces a less fluffy texture than white flour. It’s delicious in bread, muffins, cakes, cookies, rolls, pizza dough, pancakes, and waffles.
In summary, healthier flours are more widely available than ever before. Traditional flours are made from wheat, but many others are made from nuts and gluten-free grains like coconut, quinoa, almonds, and buckwheat. Each type has a distinct flavor and nutrient profile.