How Vegetable Flours Make Gluten-Free Diets Even Easier
It’s hard to get all the nutrients we need in our diet through everyday foods! In a world where time is seemingly more and more rare, we naturally gravitate towards convenience - and our meals are no exception! Grab and go snacks and prepared meals are readily available, however, most of us are still not getting enough vitamins and minerals or coming close to the recommended servings of vegetables in a day.
You may be thinking: “What could flour possibly have to do with upping our nutritional ante?” The answer is A LOT! One ingredient vegetable flours are an innovative, new way to quickly and easily implement full servings of vegetables into your everyday diet. The best part? There’s no chopping, cooking or cleaning required, but you still reap all the benefits of eating fresh produce.
What Exactly Are Vegetable Flours? Here are 3 Types of Vegetable Flour to look out for:
- Sweet Potato Vegetable Flour
- Pumpkin Vegetable Flour
- Beet Vegetable Flour
Vegetable flours are a relatively new and growing trend that offer ingenious ways to add both the flavor and nutrients of fresh vegetables. They have many versatile uses beyond baking and enhance both sweet and savory dishes with their flares of flavor! Glean offers sweet potato, pumpkin and beet powders with cauliflower coming this summer! Each vegetable touts its own claim to nutrition fame but they all bring something to the table! Best of all – they are made from one single ingredient so are naturally paleo and vegan-friendly, grain and gluten-free as well as completely free from common allergens.
Below are 7 creative ways to “sneak” more veggies into foods you already eat using these flours. Just adding a small scoop of these powders can make a huge difference in the long run when it comes to the overall quality of your diet. These tricks for getting more nutrients can be uniquely crafted to your tastes and require little to no effort, with all the reward.
7 Versatile Ways to Use Vegetable Flours
- Scoop into Smoothies – We all know how to pack in fruits and even greens into our smoothies, but sometimes finding a vegetable combination can be a little trickier. Combining berries with a scoop of beet powder immediately ups the antioxidants as well as gives a beautiful red hue. Sweet potato pairs well with greens and citrus, and in the fall it’s hard to beat a pumpkin spice smoothie bowl!
- Bake with Functional Flours - Baked goods do not have to be full of empty calories but can actually be another opportunity to get more nutrients! Vegetable flours make it easy to reap the nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes, beets, and pumpkin. They’re the perfect ingredient in everything from muffins, cupcakes, pie crusts, and more. Get more fiber and iron by making cookies with sweet potato flour and choose beet flour to color your cupcakes red! These paleo superfood cinnamon raisin muffins are a great way to use all three flours!
- Get Saucy & Be Spicy – Homemade condiments, dressings, sauces, and seasonings are a great way to cut unnecessary sugars and cook with simple, clean ingredients. Beet powder is a great addition to homemade ketchup or vinaigrette dressings, adding a natural sweetener without refined sugars. Sweet potato flour enhances smoky rubs, seasonings and gravies that are great on poultry, pork and other meats and pumpkin flour can make a fantastic vegan cheese sauce for pasta!
- Energy Boosting Snacks – We all need that mid-morning or afternoon snack to rev up our energy and tide us over until our next meal. Energy balls or bars with vegetable flours are super easy to make in big batches and freeze for a grab and go snack. Made with simple ingredients like oats, nut butter and pumpkin flour (plus any extras you want to add!), these no-bake goodies are the perfect protein pick me up any time of the day.
- Guilt-free Breader – Replacing breadcrumbs or breading mixes with vegetable flour is easy and delicious. Use your choice of flour and spices for frying your favorite seafood, meats, and vegetables. Simply dip in your liquid of choice (water, eggs, etc) and roll in your sweet potato breader. Tip: Use an oil that has a high burning point (we like avocado oil) if pan frying and bake around 350 if crisping in the oven! Replace typical bread crumbs to make delectable meatballs!
- Soups On! - Using a few cups of your favorite vegetable or meat broth, add about ½ cup of sweet potato or pumpkin flour and whisk to make a savory and delicious soup base. Sautee your choice of protein and veggies and simply add to the base. Be creative with ingredients and season to your liking!
- Top It Off – Sprinkle your favorite oatmeal, cereal or yogurt with any vegetable flours to instantly add value! Greek yogurt topped with fruit and beet powder is a fantastic breakfast. Cinnamon Oatmeal with pumpkin flour and cinnamon makes for a great warm start to the day. Better yet, make your own granola with sweet potato flour as part of the seasoning!
The uses for vegetable flours are endless and certainly far from boring. Have fun experimenting with flavor profiles and creating your personal favorites! For recipes and ideas check visit Glean’s recipe page.
Are you loving these healthy swaps? Take a look at this related article: 10 Healthy Alternatives to White Rice