Gluten-Free Flours

For a complete list of gluten-free flours and their uses, visit flour substitutions-1073-1.html.  Most gluten-free flours require either xanthan or guar gum to help them bind baked goods together. 

Almond Flour

Uses: Can have course texture so good for cookies and course-grained cakes

Storage: Should be stored in the refrigerator or cool, dry place

Basic Ingredients: It’s made from grinding almonds and can be course in texture. 

Nutritional Properties: While high in protein, high in vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids.

Other: Adds sweet, nutty flavor to baked goods

Amaranth Flour 

Uses: Mostly used in cereals, pastas, pancakes, biscuits, crackers, breads and cookies; good thickener

Storage: Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator in an air-tight container

Basic Ingredient: This flour is made from grinding the seeds of the amaranth plant, used by the Aztecs and Incas for centuries; not technically a grain

Nutritional Properties: High in protein, lysine, methionine, and iron; has twice the calcium per ounce as cow’s milk

Other: Has a sweet nutty flavor but it can leave a bitter aftertaste. This is a good thickener and is used in baked goods because, like gluten flours, it absorbs the fat in baked goods.  Use in combination with other flours.


Uses: This starch can be used as a thickener or a flour in combination with other flours in baked goods; it blends well with other flours especially almond, coconut and tapioca.  It makes an excellent coating for foods like fried chicken as it adds a great crunch.  When using to thicken, use 1/3 to ½ the amount of cornstarch used, always make a slurry with it, and add it at the end of the cooking process. Its not a good thickener for dairy based or meat sauces.

Storage: No special storage requirements

Basic Ingredient: There are a number of roots from which arrowroot is produced; generally made from a West Indies herbaceous plant; Kutzu plant in Japan

Nutritional Properties: It is high in B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium and zinc.  It’s a good replacement for cornstarch for those sensitive to corn; it leaves sauces clear and also is flavorless. 


Buckwheat Flour

Uses: Mainly used in soba noodles, pancakes (blinis), cereals and as a thickener; gaining popularity in some cakes and cookies

Storage: No special storage needs

Basic Ingredient: This is actually an herb related to rhubarb and has an earthy flavor.  Buckwheat grouts are easy to grind in a coffee or grain grinder and the home grind has a milder flavor than the commercially produced flours. 

Nutritional Properties: It is high in iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, and selenium as well as fiber and is a good source of protein


Cassava Flour

Uses: Cook for dense desserts such as brownies, cookies and some cakes but doesn’t work well with yeast; absorbs liquids well so may need less of it but generally replaces all purpose flour 1:1

Storage: No special storage required

Basic Ingredient: Comes from a woody shrub native to South America; yuca in Spanish (unrelated to yucca); when dried to a powdery extract it is called tapioca

Nutritional Properties: Easily digested but high in carbohydrates and lacking in protein

Other: Mild nutty flavor; can be lumpy so sift before using

Chickpea Flour

Uses: Perfect for fritters, breads, pancakes a well as wraps like tortillas and crepes called socca; dense flour that has unique binding qualities

Storage: Store in the refrigerator or cool, dark place

Basic Ingredient: Dried, ground chickpeas or garbanzo beans

Nutritional Properties: High in iron, magnesium, and vitamin B-6

Other: Because of its “bean” flavor, this is a much neglected flour in the United States

Coconut Flour

Uses: Works best in recipes that require eggs. Can also replace starches as a thickener and breadcrumbs as a coating. Good in cupcakes, muffins, breads, cookies, pancakes, brownies and waffles. Best used in recipes that call for a 1:1 ratio of liquid to flour.

Storage: No special storage needed; room temperature.

Basic Ingredient: One of the healthiest of gluten-free flours, coconut flour is made from the dried and ground coconut meat (the white part).

Nutritional Properties: High in fiber, protein and healthy omega-3 fats while low in sugar, digestible carbohydrates and calories. 

Other: Should be used in conjunction with other flours (no more than 20% for most recipes). Absorbs more liquid than almond flour and is denser while creating a softer product than almond flour.  Needs sifting before using. 

Corn Flour

Uses: Great for coating and in combination with other flours in baking. Not good for cornbread and can add denseness to baked goods, especially breads.

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredient: Not to be confused with cornstarch or corn meal, corn flour, also called masa harina, is a fine flour produced from dried corn.  Corn starch is made from the white, interior part of the corn kernel while corn flour uses the entire kernel. 

Nutritional Properties: Its high in fiber and slow to digest. 


Hemp Flour

Uses: This flour produces dense products so use in combination with other flours (recommended no more than 25% per recipe). 

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredient: Hemp seeds

Nutritional Properties: High in fiber, fatty acids, protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc and a good source of phytonutrients. 

Other: There are no known allergic reactions to hemp (except perhaps in the plant itself!). Has a nutty flavor.

Millet Flour

Uses: This flour has a light, yellow color and a sweet flavor.  Good substitute for brown rice.  Its light, sweet nutty flavor makes it perfect for pancakes, muffins, quick breads, cakes and cookies. 

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredient: An ancient grain often used in Indian and eastern cultures, it comes from a variety of grasses in the Poaceae family.

Nutritional Properties: Good source of many vitamins and minerals as well as protein.  Too much millet in a diet can lead to goiter (the enlargement of the thyroid gland).

Other: Should be used in combination with other flours at 25% to 50%.

Montina Flour

Uses: Adds a hearty texture to baked goods, use in combination with other flours.

Storage: Store in air tight container in a dry place.

Basic Ingredient: Made from ricegrass, not related to rice, cultivated by Native Americans for centuries and now mainly produced in western United States.

Nutritional Properties: High in fiber, protein and iron.


Oat Flour

Uses: Use in combination with other flours and works in most baked goods. Good thickener.

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredient: Made by pulverizing old-fashioned rolled oats; easy to do at home using a food processor.

Nutritional Value: This flour has a subtle taste, high in protein. 

Other: HEALTH CAUTION:  Oats have recently been found to be contaminated with glyphosate, an active ingredient in the weed-killer Roundup.  However, oat flour was not one of the products tested but use with caution.

Pea Flour

Uses: Helps add structure to baked goods but can cause problems of density to some baked goods. Use with other flours since too much in a recipe can make the product starchy.

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredient: Dried peas

Nutritional Properties: Similar to bean flours, pea flour is high in protein,

Other: This flour is green and may turn light colored baked goods green – great for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter!  Or, of course, grinding up yellow peas in your food processor or spice grinder would produce yellow flour instead of green.

Quinoa Flour

Uses: Use in combination with other floods; most often combined with tapioca flour, sorghum, and a starch for baking. Good thickener. Nutty flavor.

Storage: Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Basic Ingredient: Ground quinoa

Nutritional Properties: High in protein and dietary fiber; the protein can cause problems in baked goods.

Other: Easily produced at home with quinoa grain and a food processor.

Rice Flour

  Brown Rice Flour 

Uses: Mild flavor ideal for most baked goods like cakes, breads, muffins, and cookies. 

Storage: Store in cool place because of a higher fat content.

Basic Ingredient: Brown rice

Nutritional Properties: High in fiber, fat and protein. 

Other: Can have a grainy texture but has a nutty flavor.  Check brands of brown rice flour, some are smoother than others.

  White Rice Flour

Uses: Mild flavor ideal for most baked goods like cakes, breads, muffins, and cookies.

Storage: Store in a cool place.

Basic Ingredient: Made without the germ and bran of the rice, so the flavor is very neutral. 

Nutritional Propeties: Much higher in carbohydrates than brown rice flour so use sparingly.


Sorghum Flour

Uses: This flour is tender and sweet when used in combination with other flours.  Combine with a starch to keep baked goods from getting too gummy (especially pancakes!). 

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredients: A flowering variety of Poaceae, sometimes called great millet.

Nutritional Properties: High in protein and fiber.

Other: Very versatile flour.

Sweet Potato Flour

Uses: Good in combination with other flours, especially nut and rice flours but has a low burn temperature so should be baked at 350 degrees or lower. Use for breads, cookies, muffins, pancakes, and doughnuts or as a thickener.

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredients: Made from sweet potatoes and color of flour varies depending on the color of the sweet potatoes used to produce the flour. 

Nutritional Properties: Slightly sweet flour has a higher level of carbohydrates than most gluten-free flours but also high in fiber and low in protein.


Tapioca Flour

Uses: Use only in small part with other flours, helps bind baked goods and adds texture.  It also helps baked goods get crispy.  Very smooth flour that serves as a good thickener without any taste.   

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredients: SEE CASSAVA

Nutritional Properties: Very low in sugar, fat and protein and high in carbohydrates. 

Other: Especially good for egg-free baked goods.

Teff Flour

Uses: Very strong flavor, good for thickening and items such as waffles, pancakes, cookies and breads. 

Storage: Room temperature

Basic Ingredients: An ancient grain native to Ethiopia, this annual grass is sometimes called lovegrass.

Nutritional Properties: Highly nutritious, high in iron, protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates. Also high in iron and other minerals.