When it comes to pantry staples, all-purpose flour often reigns supreme. But while it’s easy to incorporate into many dishes, it’s also known to cause digestive issues, not to mention that it’s not particularly nutrient-packed.
Now there’s a great alternative that’s not only way healthier than your traditional white flour but also tastes great. Enter: chickpea flour.
What is chickpea flour?
Chickpea flour is pretty straightforward in terms of its contents: It’s made from finely milled chickpeas. But there is a lot more to it than you might guess. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have a number of health benefits. They can stave off hair loss, aid in digestion and weight management, keep your blood sugar in check, protect against some chronic diseases, and help you get a better night’s sleep.
Plus, while the science is relatively new, a recent study found that eating foods made with chickpea flour may also help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose spikes.
There are also plenty of other reasons to swap your all-purpose or whole wheat flour for this alternative. For one thing, it’s gluten-free, which can be helpful if you have a gluten intolerance or just want to clean up your diet.
But on top of that, it packs a serious protein punch with fewer calories. One cup of whole wheat flour has 408 calories, 16 grams of protein, and 86 grams of carbs. Meanwhile, one cup of chickpea flour has 356 calories, 21 grams of protein, and 53 grams of carbs.
How can you incorporate it into your cooking?
If you’re looking to get your hands on some chickpea flour yourself, there are a couple of different ways to do it. You can see if your local grocery store sells it, find a brand you love online like Anthony’s Organic Chickpea Flour (Buy on Amazon, $11.29), or even make your own at home. (It could be a fun project!)
It’s important to know that it does have a slightly different texture than all-purpose or whole wheat flour, so that’s something to keep in mind when you start incorporating it into your cooking. You can still add it to your favorite baked goods, but just know it may taste slightly different depending on the dish. There are also plenty of recipes online that specifically call for chickpea flour, so you can make delicious frittatas, tortillas, and pizza in no time.