Best Chickpea Flour Substitutes (For Falafel, Eggs, Seitan…)
Chickpea flour is a widely used South Asian and Middle Eastern ingredient made by grinding dried garbanzo beans into a fine powder.
It is normally used as a binding and thickening agent for various dishes and sauces. Aside from that, it also serves as the main ingredient for many dishes like falafel, vegetable fritters, hummus, and certain gluten-free items (chickpea pasta, for example).
Chickpea flour is primarily chosen for its high nutrient density. Not only does it give the classical grainy texture and taste but it also provides a plethora of nutrients.
A cup (90g) of chickpea flour provides 50 grams of carbohydrates (inclusive of fiber, sugar, and starch), 20 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fat.
It also provides 25% Iron, 38% Magnesium, and 25% Vitamin B6 of the percent daily value recommended by the FDA.
How to Make Chickpea Flour at Home
If due, for some reason, you are unable to find chickpea flour at your local stores, you can easily make it at home.
All you need is a high-speed spice grinder or a food processor. You can use canned chickpeas or pre-dried chickpeas for making the flour.
In the case of canned chickpeas, you will have to blot them and roast them afterward at 450F for about half an hour. After cooling them down to room temperature, grind them using a grinder or food processor for about two minutes.
Sieve the large chunks away once you are sure that the chickpeas have been finely ground. Now, all you need to do is store it in an airtight container at a cool and dry place.
Chickpea Flour Substitutes
Chickpea flour is widely accepted by vegans around the world because of its high protein content which is an exceptional alternative to meat.
However, it might not be available in certain areas and we just can’t put aside the fact that most people are allergic to chickpeas.
If you are allergic to chickpeas or need an alternative flour for making a dish, a lot of alternative flours make the best chickpea flour substitutes for you.
Here is a list of the 5 best chickpea flour substitutes and alternatives to using in place of chickpea flour in your recipes.
You can use oat flour in place of chickpea flour. It is easily available at stores and you can make it at home as well.
You can make it by grinding rolled oats in a high-speed processor for 2 to 3 minutes. Oat flour is a rich source of B vitamins and many minerals.
Following is the nutrient composition of 1 cup (100g) of oat flour:
Calcium: 6% of DV
Iron: 22% of DV
A cup of oat flour contains about 29.9mg of choline which makes it an excellent choice for vegans.
Oat flour has a moderate glycemic index, so it’s a good option for diabetics. Its mildly sweet flavor and dense texture can add extra taste to your baked items.
It is to be noted that cross-contamination with gluten may occur in factories while processing and packaging. If you are strictly avoiding gluten due to allergy, look for the gluten-free sign on the packaging.
Soy flour is another nutrient-dense substitute that is usually used instead of chickpea flour. It is made by grinding roasted soybeans. Its various properties make it an excellent choice for vegans.
Soy flour also acts as a thickening agent, so it can be easily used for maintaining the desired consistency of soups and sauces.
Its nutty flavor can make your cakes, breads, and pastries even more delicious. Soy flour is known for its quick browning properties.
When baking or deep frying with soy flour as the main ingredient, be sure to cook or bake at a lower temperature.
The nutritional composition of defatted soy flour per cup (105g) is mentioned below:
Vitamin B6: 0.6mg, 47% of DV
Calcium: 253.1mg, 26% of DV
Iron: 9.7mg, 122% of DV
Folate: 320.3mcg, 81% of DV
Magnesium: 304.5mg, 87% of DV
Copper: 4.3mg, 214% of DV
All of the above-mentioned facts make soy flour a great alternative to chickpea flour. Soy flour should be stirred thoroughly before use because of its caking properties.
It is best suited for making fudgy brownies, cakes, doughnuts, and other bakery products. In order to store soy flour, you have to keep in mind that it must be kept in an airtight jar and refrigerated at all times.
Quinoa is not just an alternative to rice and other carbohydrate sources but it is also a very good substitute for chickpea flour. Quinoa flour is dense in fiber, macros, and a lot of micronutrients.
If you haven’t tried the Middle Eastern cuisine specialties just because you could not find an alternative for chickpea flour, you have been missing out on a lot.
You can simply use quinoa flour instead of chickpea flour and follow the same recipe steps. Quinoa is indeed the perfect chickpea flour substitute for falafel.
You can even make nuggets, burger patties, hotdogs, and many other vegan food items by using quinoa flour.
Quinoa flour in baked products has considerably improved its texture, smoothness, and taste.
Just like soy flour, quinoa flour can also be used as a thickener for several soups and sauces. Due to its health benefits, a lot of athletes use it as a source of antioxidants and nutrients in their smoothies.
Following is the nutritional composition of quinoa per cup (100g):
Folate: 184mcg, 46% of DV
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol): 2.4g, 12% of DV
Manganese: 2.0mg, 102% of DV
Selenium: 8.5mcg, 12% of DV
Quinoa makes another good source of choline. Vegans can not only enjoy a number of cuisines by inculcating quinoa flour in their diet but can also stay nutritionally replenished.
Buckwheat is a healthy and nutritious alternative for people who are allergic to gluten or chickpea flour.
It has a slightly bitter taste but that does not mean it does not taste good. It has been used by a number of industries to produce cookies, breads, and cakes for ages.
Now, let’s talk about the nutritional content of 1 cup (120g) of buckwheat flour:
Vitamin K: 8.4mcg, 11% of DV
Folate: 64.8mcg, 16% of DV
Niacin: 7.4mg, 37% of DV
Magnesium: 301mg, 75% of DV
Potassium: 404mg, 40% of DV
Selenium: 6.8mcg, 10% of DV
All of these nutritional facts present a perfect balance between macros and micros. The nutritional composition of buckwheat flour is just the thing needed for people with high blood pressure.
It is to keep in mind that buckwheat flour has a classical crumbly texture which can be good for cookies but not very much for cakes. In that case, certain alterations have to be made.
Whole-wheat flour contains a unique combination of dietary components that can enhance the flavor of meals.
However, it has to be noted that using wheat flour is not a choice for people with gluten allergies.
If you do not have gluten sensitivity, whole-wheat flour is a perfect option for you. It can be used to make tortillas, buns, cakes, cookies, and all kinds of bakery items.
Whole-wheat flour increases the nutritional value of pasta and many other food products. It is also the basic component of seitan, a protein-rich meat substitute made from gluten.
Nevertheless, it has to be kept in mind that 1/4th of chickpea flour is also used in most of the seitan recipes.
In such a case, you can use tapioca flour in the same ratio as a chickpea flour substitute for seitan.
Wheat flour is rich in a lot of antioxidants and nutrients. Its nutritional composition per 100g is given below:
Potassium: 363mg, 10% of DV
Phosphorous: 323 mg, 24% of DV
Iron: 3.7mg, 21% of DV
If gluten is not a problem, wheat flour is probably the best substitute for chickpea flour as it is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Chickpea flour is widely used to thicken soups and bind products in a mixture.
It is also used as an egg substitute in a lot of vegan recipes. Its unavailability or allergies can be a problem for some people. There is no need to worry in such a case.
There are a lot of flours that can be used as a substitute for chickpea flour.
These flours can be used as thickening agents to achieve the desired consistency, binding agents for ingredients, and healthier substitutes for increasing the nutritional value of a recipe.
You can select from a variety of alternatives based on your preferences. There are numerous substitutes for chickpea flour that you can use according to your preferences for taste and texture.
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