Paleo dieters and gluten-free folks will be thrilled to learn about a new product hitting grocery stores this December. A new company called Anti-Grain Foods has created a type of flour made from fruits and veggies—specifically sweet potato, squash, and apple. These flours are non-GMO, U.S.-grown, grain-free, gluten-free, kosher, allergen-free and nut-free. (Whoa.)
To be honest, I was prepared to immediately dislike this product, mainly because I dislike the name. I don’t think anyone should be against (anti-) grains, unless of course there is a medical reason to avoid them such as celiac disease or other allergies. Plus, there are already alternatives on the market that I like, such as almond flour, rice flour, and black bean flour. However, as I read more about Anti-Grain's new products, I decided that you can’t always judge a book by its cover.
Let’s take a look at their nutritional breakdown for a 1/4 cup serving, compared to whole-wheat flour.
Sweet Potato Flour: 105 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 4g sugar, 2g fiber, 1g protein, 56 percent daily value (DV) of vitamin A, 14 percent DV vitamin C, 2 percent DV iron
Butternut Squash Flour: 100 calories, .5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 3g sugar, 3g fiber, 1g protein, 130 percent DV vitamin A, 30 percent DV vitamin C, 4 percent DV iron
Apple Flour: 106 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 13g sugar, 1g fiber, 0g protein, 2 percent DV vitamin C, 2 percent DV iron
Whole-Wheat Flour: 110 calories, .5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, .5g sugar, 4g fiber, 4g protein, 6 percent DV iron
Each flour has its unique nutritional bonuses: sweet potato and squash excel in the vitamin A and vitamin C categories, while whole wheat excels in fiber, protein, and iron. And except for apple flour, they are all low in sugars. (Note: The sugars in apples are naturally occurring.)
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Now, how well do these flours work in recipes? According to the website, the owners have experimented a lot with each flour and continue to do so, and they share lots of their recipes on their blog and Instagram. It appears the flours are not necessarily a direct substitution for everything made with flour, but there are plenty of ways to use them in your everyday cooking. Squash flour bakes nicely in quick breads, fried chicken, and cookies. Sweet potato flour can be used in meatloaf and bagels, or to thicken gravy. Apple flour is a good addition to scones and cookies, which actually allows you to cut the amount of sugar in a recipe by one-third.
Bottom line: Anti-Grain flours offer a great addition to existing gluten- and wheat-free flours on the market. But keep in mind: Just because you bread your fried chicken with flour that is gluten-free and high in vitamin A, it is still fried chicken. Oh, and I still wish they had a different name.