Legume flour a healthy alternative in the kitchen

Flours are an essential ingredient in cooking. Today we tell you about the types of legume flour and how to make them at home and use them in your recipes.

Flour is found in our kitchens and in many of the products we consume without us realizing the variety of flours available and the different uses that can be given to them. From making bread or cakes to cooking porridges, pastas and sauces, flour offers us infinite cooking possibilities.

But let's start at the beginning: what is flour?

Simply put, flour is a fine powder obtained by grinding cereals, pseudocereals, legumes or nuts.
Probably the best known form is the first, which is the powder obtained from the grinding of cereals such as wheat, rye or corn, but now other types of powder are increasingly used in the preparation of food, producing products industrial and artisanal.

legume flour

Although when we talk about flour we usually think of flour obtained from grinding cereals, the truth is that flour extracted from legumes is also widely used. Some examples are green beans, lentils, and peas.

The absence of gluten in legume flour is one of the main reasons for its growing popularity in recent years, which makes it ideal for the diet of people with celiac disease. But there are many other reasons why these flours are gaining more and more followers.

We all know that legumes are one of the most complete foods in our diet. Rich in vitamin B and minerals such as iron, magnesium, fiber and protein, legumes retain all their nutritional properties after being ground into flour.

Chickpea flour

Chickpea flour has a very distinctive light yellow color and a very fine texture like rice flour.
Coming from chickpeas, it has a high protein content, around 20%, making it a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets. In addition, it does not contain gluten so people with gluten intolerance or celiacs can use this flour without any problem.

How and when to use chickpea flour for cooking:

Its uses in the kitchen are diverse: from cake batters, pastries or crepes to delicious pancakes, falafel or croquettes.
However, to make bread you have to mix it with other types of flour. Due to its properties, it can replace the egg in many preparations. An example: a vegetarian potato omelet.

It is also part of the famous faina, a kind of pizza.

Green bean flour

Even today, many people do not know that green beans are legumes and not vegetables. This probably doesn't happen much in Europe because we are so used to eating them fresh and serving them with other dishes as a side dish. However, in Asia and Africa beans are eaten dried.

Bean flour, like chickpea flour, contains a high percentage of protein (23%). That is why it is an ingredient increasingly used in diets lacking animal protein. It is also gluten-free and low in carbohydrates (40% compared to 70% for wheat).

How and when to use green bean flour for cooking:

Bean flour can be used in baking recipes and savory preparations such as veggie burgers, pastas, and cake batters.

Lentil flour

The lentil flour obtained by grinding these grains has a very mild and pleasant flavor. This powder is a good source of protein.

Like chickpea flour or bean flour, lentil flour is ideal for people who cannot eat gluten and who follow a diet free of animal proteins.

How and when to use lentil flour for cooking:

It is commonly used in doughs, as a thickener and in recipes as a substitute for products containing animal ingredients. For example, they can be lentil flour tortillas or savory cakes.

legume flour

How to make legume flour at home

Legume flour can be bought ready-made in diet or health food stores, but it is also possible to make it at home from the whole grain.

Ingredients:

  • Dried legumes: 1 kilogram

Crafting:

  1. Grind the legumes in small quantities until you see that you have a fine powder. You can use a coffee grinder or a crusher.
  2. Strain the legumes through a fine sieve at least a couple of times.
  3. Store the resulting flour in a completely airtight container in the refrigerator.

The excellent nutritional properties of legume flours, as well as the exquisite flavor they provide and their great versatility for any recipe, largely explain the growing enthusiasm of lovers of good food for this product.

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