First came almond, then came coconut, then came banana, and tigernut, and even grapeseed. When it comes to alternative flours, your options are practically endless. But chickpea flour might be the one to beat them all.
Sure, every type has its perks. Some flours give you a more buttery crumb, while others deliver structure to keep your bread or muffins from falling apart. And of course, some just plain taste better than others.
But chickpea flour (which is just ground, dried chickpeas) can do pretty much everything: It’s got a little bit of fat, so it delivers on richness; and like whole chickpeas, it’s loaded with protein and fiber to help keep you full. Oh, and unlike some of its cousins, it actually tastes good. Chickpea flour is nutty, not overpoweringly beany; and it has a subtle sweetness that’s just right in desserts or savory dishes.
Using it for the first time can raise some intimidating questions, though. Can I sub it 1:1 for white flour? Do I need to add extra liquid?! So rather than turn your kitchen into a science lab, try these mouthwatering recipes from chickpea flour pros who already know what they’re doing. Once you get a feel for how the stuff works, then you can start experimenting with using chickpea flour in your favorite waffle or biscuit recipe. (Make 2017 YOUR year by taking charge of your health and jump-starting your weight loss with the Prevention calendar and health planner!)
Instead of using floury wheat-based dough to make pizza crust, Wallflower Kitchen uses socca—a thin, crepe-like flatbread made entirely from chickpea flour. Topped with tomatoes, garlic, and creamy cashew cheese sauce, it might not be a dead ringer for the slices you’d grab from the corner shop growing up. But that’s OK, because it still tastes awesome.
Chickpea flour chocolate chip cookies
Using whole mashed chickpeas in cookies or bars can taste sort of, well, beany. But chickpea flour has a milder flavor that works well in these gluten-free treats, says Ambitious Kitchen. Bonus: you can get away with using less sugar, since chickpea flour is slightly sweet.
Gluten-free chickpea pasta
Chickpea tortilla nachos
Next time it’s a lazy weekend and you’re up for a fun project, make a batch of these chickpea flour-based tortilla chips from My New Roots. Then, follow her lead and pile them high with black beans, homemade avocado cilantro cream, red onion, pumpkin seeds, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Bring the whole tray over to the couch, turn on Netflix, and devour.