Chickpea four is one of the most famous flour variants available today. It is versatile and easy to work with, although you will need a bit of a learning curve with its thick texture.
Despite its popularity, chickpea flour isn’t so perfect. There are situations where it might not be the most ideal option, and you could need to get a substitute.
So, what is the best substitute for chickpea flour? Quinoa flour has emerged to be the most popular substitute for chickpea flour, thanks in no small part to its versatility. It might not taste exactly like chickpea flour, but quinoa flour still gets a lot of points for its ease of application.
An Overview of Chickpea Flour
Also known as gram flour, chickpea flour is a pulse flour gotten from the gram chickpea. It is an ultra-fine flour option that works for a wide array of dishes and which delivers some impressive health benefits. While chickpea flour is especially famous in India and its environment, it has also gotten significant application across the world.
You can find chickpea flour at different stores and outlets, and you can also make it on your own if you’ve got the time. All you have to do is get dry chickpeas in a food processor and grind them until you get a nice flour texture.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of chickpea flour is its versatility. It works in vegan and non-vegan dishes, with an earthy and nutty taste that can rock your taste buds. Beyond its impressive taste, chickpea flour also provides a healthy dose of nutrients and proteins.
Why Replace Chickpea Flour?
- Taste differences: For recipes that require savory flours, chickpea flour might not be the best option. You will need a substitute that can work in its place.
- Non-availability: While chickpea flour is a great flour option for many dishes, you might not be able to find it easily. In that case, you will need to get a substitute that is more readily available.
Options for Chickpea Flour Substitutes
Best Overall Substitute for Chickpea Flour: Quinoa Flour
Quinoa is one of the oldest and most functional grains available today. With quinoa flour, you have an ideal substitute for chickpea flour that works for just about everything and which provides a similar nutritional profile.
It has a different taste profile to chickpea flour, providing more of a bold and slightly bitter taste. Still, when it comes to applications, nothing beats quinoa flour at all.
While it is primarily used in gluten-free recipes, quinoa flour is very versatile. You can find quinoa flour pretty much anywhere as well, so it works in situations where chickpea flour is scarce or in short supply. Even better, you can make quinoa flour on your own. Simply get the quinoa grains and grind them until they achieve the desired consistency.
Quinoa flour is a complete protein, delivering the right amount of amino acids for your body. It also has a similar amount of carbohydrates as chickpea flour, and it even provides a healthy dose of calcium to help you get through the day. You can use quinoa flour for several pastry recipes, including but not limited to pizza crusts, muffins, and pancakes. It also works well as a thickener for sauces, soups, and more.
Even better is the fact that quinoa flour is a one-for-one substitute for chickpea flour. Note that you might want to take the application easy since quinoa flour has a bit of a bold taste. You don’t want it to overshadow your recipe.
Best Substitute for Pastries: Millet Flour
Millet is an especially famous crop in Africa and Asia. Like quinoa, the grain is an old one that has been in use for centuries. As stated, quinoa flour is especially great as a substitute for chickpea flour in pastries.
It does not have a similar taste pattern to chickpea flour, but its taste isn’t so bad when you consider the available substitutes. Since it is a gluten-free option too, you don’t have anything to lose with millet flour.
In millet, you have a coarse grain that packs a healthy dose of vitamins, proteins, fiber, and minerals. If you’re a gluten-free food enthusiast, you will also love millet flour. Whether you’re making flatbread, cake, biscuits, or more, rest assured that this flour is always available and ready to help you out.
The most significant benefit of millet flour is its nutritional profile. Among the chickpea flour substitutes, there is hardly anything as healthy as millet flour.
Beyond the proteins and amino acids, it provides a healthy dose of antioxidants like curcumin and ellagic acid, which help to maintain your overall health. Its dietary fiber can also help to cut down on harmful cholesterol, so you might want to consider it as part of your weight management program.
When it comes to application, millet flour is a one-for-one substitute for chickpea flour. However, as always, be careful about how much you use. Millet flour tastes slightly sweeter than chickpea flour, so you want to be careful if you’re using it for savory dishes.
Best Substitute for Bread: Whole Wheat Flour
The whole wheat flour option is made completely out of wheat. It is an awesome substitute for chickpea flour in bread, thanks to its rich taste and ease of operation.
You can find two varieties of it – there’s the regular whole wheat flour, which you get from hard red spring wheat or winter wheat. This form of whole wheat flour has a much harder texture, and it is the one with the usual nutty wheat flour flavor that we all know.
Then, there’s white whole wheat flour, which you get from white spring wheat or winter wheat. White whole wheat flour comes with the same nutritional content of whole wheat flour, but it has a milder flavor and a lighter color pattern.
Whole wheat flour is also a one-for-one substitute for chickpea flour. It comes with a rich content of vitamins and minerals, making it a compelling option for people who are sensitive about their health. Note, however, that whole wheat flour contains gluten. So, if you’re sensitive to it, you will not be able to enjoy whole wheat flour so much.