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Experimenting w/ Unusual Flour- Coconut, Green Pea, Spelt, Buckwheat,Flaxseed, White Bean.......?

I do not have gluten or other allergies. I just am curious about these more unusual flours and am interested in experimenting w/ them- in NON BREAD uses. Cookies are my primary interest w/ them. But it would also be fun to experiment w/ crackers,and pie crusts (sweet and savory) and Indian and Chinese sweets ( i think about the chickpea flour and glutinous rice flour sweets in those respective cuisines.)The above types in the post title- are all produced by Bob's Red Mill, and I have looked at all the info on his website, but have not learned much towards my interest.

Wouldn't it be fun to play with such unusual ingredients?! Not for most bakers maybe, but i'm hoping for some of you CHs! Thanks much!

p.s. i started another thread devoted to Semolina Flour uses:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/765672

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  1. Buckwheat is popular in pancakes and crepes, usually in a half/half mix.

    Spelt is a type of wheat.

    Chickpea flour is used a lot in Indian cooking, but also around the Mediterranean. It can be blended with water (and salt, black pepper and oil) and baked/fried into crepe like cakes, or it can be cooked into a stiff porridge, sliced and fried.

    There was a NYT column (Minimalist?) about using other grain flours to make thin breads.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulj

      I've tried the Chow recipe for buckwheat&buttermilk pancakes - with a couple modifications: #1, instead of wheat or whole wheat flour I used spelt....true spelt is of the same genus as wheat (triticum), but it's not a hybrid nor is it by definition GMO nor does it have the same quantity of gluten - these factors make it far easier to digest. #2 instead of buying buttermilk I mixed a couple tablespoons vinegar with goatmilk. The pancakes turned out ok, but too thin and healthy tasting - meaning keep with the Buttermilk Ricotta Pancakes using only spelt.

    2. I've made these mochi chocolate mini muffins several times, they're really easy. I guess it's a variation on mochi cake, but comes out lighter and fluffier in my opinion, and in a nice bite sized package with a mocha flavor due to the coconut milk. I usually make this when I have leftover (full-fat) coconut milk from Thai cooking, but thin it out with about a third milk/water to be closer to the recipe, otherwise the brownies don't rise as well.

      http://eats.pinjing.net/2010/04/05/mo...

      1. Here's another recipe that turns out well for me (and I'm not a great cook). It's not exactly made with flour, you soak mung beans overnight then grind them and cook like a pancake to make wraps. It does take some planning but it's easy and the batter cooks well and doesn't stick.

        http://spiceandmore.wordpress.com/200...

        1. some unusual flours are really good to make homemade pasta. I just made fettuccine and cappelletti (small tortellini) with kamut flour. Chestnut flour also contributes and interesting nutty flavor to sweets and pasta but you need to mix it with other flours. Farinata is a typical Italian dish made with chickpea flour and rosemary, delicious!

          1 Reply
          1. re: madonnadelpiatto

            Chestnut flour was commonly used to make polenta - before cornflour took over. In some parts of Italy they still like to make polenta from a mix of corn and buckwheat.

            In general it is easier to make porridge from a flour than something that requires more structure like pasta or bread. Gluten, or some substitute, is needed for structure.

          2. here is mark bittman's recipe for farinata--might be what you are referring to paulj. made with chickpea flour; easy, yummy, and fun to make. I substitute wheat flour for half the chickpea flour and reduce the water by a couple of tablespoons; i also use sumac, thyme, and toasted sesame seeds instead of rosemary.

            http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

            there's also a kind of buckwheat pasta called pizzoccheri i've been meaning to try--it's a rustic pasta that you just cut with a knife so it seems easy. lots of recipes online.

            3 Replies
            1. re: leonora1974

              Yum, I love farinata/socca. It's a great jumping off point for flour experimentation. Use plenty of olive oil and salt! It's so great when you're hungry and you've got a nice noshy sort of red wine sitting there, looking at you with big eyes.

              1. re: leonora1974

                Chickpea flour works as a binder, holding things together like egg--it's the batter for pakoras, the Indian vegetable fritter.

                I like to use it for vegans in any croquette, patty, pancake (like potato pancakes) in which I'd use an egg--mixed with water to a slightly thicker than beaten egg consistency.

                1. re: femmevox

                  femme, great uses, but it's not that chickpea flour "works as a binder"; almost any flour can be mixed w/ water and turned into a pancake or a fritter w/ o egg. Since you've enjoyed creating with it, you might also enjoy the other pureed legume batters (India excels at these uses; urad dal and rice making some favs of mine), and legume based flours like the white bean and green pea - sold by Bob's Red Mill in the U.S. I bet you could sub them into all your above uses and enjoy some more creating!

              2. I suggest, at least as a departure point, checking out the book Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, by Kim Boyce. It has chapters on whole wheat, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, kamut, oat, multigrain, quinoa, rye, spelt, and teff flours (the multigrain is one mixed from whole-wheat, oat, barley, millet, and rye flours). There are cookies, muffins, pancakes and waffles, biscuits and scones, other quick breads and simple cakes, cereals, a few rustic tarts and galettes, and yeasted breads. Some savory recipes, and a chapter of preserves and compotes. Most recipes combine the variety flours with wheat flour, white or whole, for structure.

                http://www.amazon.com/Good-Grain-Baki...

                Check out this thread on the book: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/702840

                2 Replies
                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  caitlin, yes! My Love brought this home from our library today! just glanced through it; couldn't believe that semolina (subject of my other thread) is not even in the index!! that is riDICulous! but i did find her cookie recipe that uses coconut flour. so i will be pouring over this book; th you!

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Not so ridiculous, when you consider that semolina is not whole grain, which is the focus of the book.

                2. Oh, the flours are fun! I am gluten free, but now I just kind of adore the various flours for their various characters. And they're such a wonderful jumping off point into other cultures. I recently ordered some chestnut flour from chefshop.com, and it's lovely - I've got a whole list of traditional chestnut flour dishes I'm finally working through. Millet as roti leads to millet as a whole grain base for African food. (And then sorghum beer. See how this works?) Almond flour is another fun one - again, tons of "ethnic" dishes to prepare, so cultures to learn about, and it's just darn tasty. Buckwheat makes things beautiful, with all its flecks of dark. Why not explore crepes? Or blini? Coconut flour is fascinating as it absorbs so much. A fun vehicle for too many eggs. And teff! Lovely teff. You can ferment some REAL injera with teff, with enough patience, and it's cool in other stuff. It has a neat binding ability - it sort of has a gelatinous quality, and it feels so good in the fingers, as fine as fine can be. I stir it into cottage cheese and eggs to make a lovely weekend pancake, slamming with protein, and completely delicious.

                  I keep a file on Delicious where I bookmark recipes, always tagging them for the use of various flours. This way it keeps me using up the funky stuff, and inspired when I'm not feeling particularly creative.

                  And it's fun to see how different rouxs come out with different flours!

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: Vetter

                    I am not only gluten free, I am going grain free as well. (no gluten, corn, rice, millet, oat or sorghum). I would be interested in any recipes you have found that dont contain a mix with the above. Is your file on Delicious accessible to the public? I would love to try some different ethnic foods as well:)

                    1. re: Saucychick56

                      What distinguishes the things you allow yourself, and the things you avoid? Do you avoid anything produced by a (botanical) grass?

                      Where do buckwheat and quinoa fit?

                      1. re: paulj

                        Any grains are from grasses, so no - biologically they are called Monocots, it has to do with whether they sprout with one leaf or two (dicots). Buckwheat and quinoa are biologically seeds, but are often called grains, so they are ok.

                        I used lentil and lentil/pea flour for my pasta this weekend and it came out AWESOME. More experiments to come :)

                        1. re: Saucychick56

                          Interesting, thanks for sharing Saucychick. I studied horticulture for quite a while but sometimes forget which are the monocots and which are the dicots.

                          We are going grain free too and I was wondering about both buckwheat and quinoa since neither is a grain in my mind, they are seeds. It was nice to see it in writing!

                          Only been grain/dairy/sugar free for a little over a week but I've already lost 5 pounds! Since my goal is only ten pounds, I'm kind of excited!

                          1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                            Is there a particular reason for going grain free?

                            For another thread I got to reading about the introduction of potatoes to Europe. As late as the 18c Europe experienced famine when the wheat harvests were bad. At the time the diet in countries like France and England was strongly wheat-centric. Various leaders promoted potatoes as an alternative. One Frenchman even planted guarded potato gardens in Paris - and allowed the guards to take bribes to look the other way. Until the potato blights around 1850, potatoes proved to be a miracle crop, feeding far more people with less effort than grains did. Plus they were a good source of vitamins (in contrast to the corn grown in parts of Italy to feed the peasants).

                            1. re: paulj

                              Oh, there sure is. I absolutely love grains, all of them. I'm a small size 2 petite and have never had a weight problem but my guy is a formerly obese person. He must have lost 200 pounds!! Anyhoo, he tries to keep his weight and muscle balance where he thinks it should be, to maintain his health. So far, so good. He has kept the weight off for almost ten years.

                              ...but, he has a little trouble staying on the diet and exercise kick and fluctuates by about 20-40 pounds. Might not seem like a lot but he doesn't want to ever be that heavy again. So, he strays from the healthy eating habits when I eat the way I do which is kind of disgusting seeing as how I don't really gain weight and eat whatever I want.

                              Long story short, he found something that is working to really make him feel like he doesn't crave heavy foods. I think it is the 4 hour diet or the 4 hour body? Either way, it works for him so I've tried it to, for support. Really hard the first week but this second week has me actually not wanting brownies, donuts, chocolate, cheese or anything else other than veggies, and protein. What an odd thing!

                              So, I'll keep it up as long as it works for him. Still, it is kind of odd to not eat whatever I feel like--no, that's not it, more like it is odd to not want a giant bowl of cereal or a block of cheese and some bread...butter...

                              I'm not into dieting but started my first one this summer, in support of my guys efforts. We did really well but I got tired of counting calories and having people ask "why do you need a diet?" But, I've got to say, on this one, my second diet ever, I actually feel really good and am enjoying the change.

                              Interesting about the potato!! I had never known that much about it until I watched The Botany of Desire. Just the idea of all those amazingly beautiful and different potatoes out there, wow, I could travel to the south just to eat them all. I'd love to try the purple one with little bumps all over it. I have no idea what variety it is but it flashed by in a scene during the film. Granted, there were tons of different ones on the screen at the same time but that dark purple potato really caught my attention.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  paul, this is so very interesting. any websites/books to recommend for further learning on this? does your reading say that potatoes are 'more nutritious' than corn ? if that is true, i wonder why latin countries in the americas- where potatoes originated- ate far more corn than potatoes. and why italy never really embraced the potato. thoughts?

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    http://www.historyplace.com/worldhist...
                                    Has a lot about the Irish potato famine.

                                    Info on Parmentier:
                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine-...

                                    Potatoes originated in the Andes, and I don't think had spread beyond that area when the Spanish came. They are a major part of the diet in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, especially in the mountains. The area still has the widest diversity of this type of tuber.

                                    http://www.lifeinitaly.com/food/polen...
                                    has some facts about corn in Italy. Polenta, in the broader sense of grain based porridge, goes back to Roman times. They still make it with buckwheat and chestnut flour. Some claim that the wide spread adoption of corn in northern Italy was due to landowners exploiting the peasants:
                                    " The new crop was a perfect match for the farms of Northern Italy, where landowners could grow vast fields of corn for profit, while forcing the peasantry to subsist on cornmeal. This new form of polenta was abundant, but seriously lacking in nutrients compared to earlier forms of the dish."

                                    While there is some overlap, potatoes do better in a cooler, wetter climate (e.g. Ireland), and corn in a warmer one. In the Andes potatoes grow at a higher altitude than corn. Barley is also does well in a cool climate. In the high Andes barley was adopted (via the Spanish) along with potatoes; in eastern Europe potatoes replaced barley.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      just in thanks, you might be interested in this 'history of pasta' piece of university research. Times like these, it seems that just about everything (exaggeration i know) originated in china and got spread around the world from them (pasta was china>arabia>italy).
                                      but thanks to those adventurous Portuguese, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, cashew nuts, various tropical fruits and more-also got spread around the world.

                                      paul, are you sure about the 'wetter' preferences of potatoes? i think idaho is the #1 potato source in the u.s. and i don't think of idaho as being particularly wet.,,,,,

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                        Most of the Idaho potatoes grown with irrigation water in the relatively dry Snake River plane.

                                        Other states with large potato crops are Washington, Oregon (adjacent to the Idaho areas), Colorado and Maine.

                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pot...

                        2. re: Vetter

                          I tried to make injera with teff flour only once a few years back. I mixed it in the morning before I went to work and left the batter to ferment. It certainly bubbled, but when I returned 8hrs later the surface had grown a layer of "something" blue. I stirred it in, but was unsure if this was normal, or if it was safe to use. Any thoughts?

                          1. re: violi

                            Blue??? Wow, this is going to have an interesting answer.........

                        3. OK, so I've used it mostly for breads, but I have to recommend black rice flour. It's really sweet and nutty, and if you use enough of it, it will turn your baked goods a gorgeous purple (though the outsides will be brownish). IMO, rice flour works well in pancakes and crackers. I believe that black rice is pretty glutinous, but you may want to experiment before trying it in recipes that call for glutinous rice flour.

                          1. did you happen to catch this on the BRM site?
                            www.bobsredmill.com/docs/pdf/Alternat...

                            it's a good guideline for getting started if you want to combine alternative flour with conventional wheat.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I'd summarize that table as:
                              - if it has gluten, you can substitute up to 100% (spelt and kamut are varieties of wheat; you know about rye bread)
                              - if it does not have gluten, 20-30% without significantly altering gluten dependent properties of the bread

                              Quick breads (including muffins and pancakes) that don't depend as much on gluten, can go higher. Buckwheat crepes are fine with 50/50. Cornbread can be 100% corn, though the texture will different from a 50/50 cornbread.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                ghg, you are alw so helpful; i hadn't found that yet. and thank you too paul.

                                caitlin, forgive my lack of education on this, but because semolina is made from durum wheat 'midlings', it's not a whole grain?

                                and eireann, flax seed is a leavener?
                                wow, i do have alot to learn.
                                as i mentioned , i have no intolerances; i'm just interested in the possible flavors.

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  re: semolina, no, it's not a whole grain - it's what remains when the germ & bran have been removed from the whole wheat grains.

                                  re: flax (or chia) gel - it provides a similar texture & volume to egg, but it's not technically a leavening agent so it helps to increase the baking powder (or other leavener) in the recipe if you use it.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    I tried soaking some flax but the consistency didn't remind me of egg.

                                    Many people eat flax because it's a high fiber source. If that fiber is soluble (as opposed to insoluble like wheat bran), then it might have a binding effect in baked items, somewhat like egg proteins. When I think of insoluble fiber, I think of the paste quality of oatmeal!

                                    I believe eggs have a leavening effect because their proteins form an elastic cage that can trap air and steam pockets (I should double check that in a food science book).

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      I tried soaking some flax but the consistency didn't remind me of egg.
                                      ~~~~~~~~~
                                      really? the gel that formed didn't have the consistency of raw egg white?

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        Golden flaxseed can be used to bake a sort of quickbread. I use half and half golden flaxseed and almond meal. I am on a very low carb diet, and using these meals instead of wheat flour, gives a pretty nice product. Among low carbers, using golden flaxseed is pretty common, if internet sources are any indication.

                                        Flaxseed is glutinous when cooked. I tried once or twice to use the meal in a basic white sauce. The result is quite glutinous and lumpy--sort of like tapioca.

                                        I frankly am not in love with the taste of flaxseed, but mixed with almond meal the taste is acceptable to someone who can't have actual bread.

                                        When I bake with it, I add eggs. I don't consider the flaxseed an egg substitute. In fact that idea is new to me.

                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        While a coarser semolina is, in effect, a hard wheat cream-of-wheat, semolina flour may just be a high gluten white flour (which would explain its popularity in non-egg pasta).

                                  2. Flaxseed is generally used an an egg substitute, not flour. You blend one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with two tablespoons of water to replace one egg in a baking recipe. It can also be added to things like oatmeal, because it has a pretty neutral flavor and is very healthy (high in fiber and omega-3's).

                                    1. I don't really have any recipes to post because we just experiment. But, I did want to add that, yes, my guy and I love trying new flours and flour-like meals.

                                      We've enjoyed:
                                      buckwheat
                                      millet
                                      spelt
                                      corn/blue corn
                                      chickpea
                                      rice/brown rice
                                      oat

                                      I found too much buckwheat gave the baked goods a bitter flavour but my guy thought it was an awesome flavour. I prefer buckwheat at a maximum of 50% or less.

                                      I like millet in everything but too much seemed to make the items dry and not hold together well. 1/4 millet seemed to give everything a cake-like texture and a slightly warmer colour.

                                      Oat flour seemed to make things too moist and take longer to fully cook in the center and so I only like it at about 1/4 of the recipe. It adds a sweet flavour that is quite pleasant.

                                      I hope you have fun trying new things!

                                      We've made bagels, breads, bannock and our version of power bars.

                                      Don't forget to add other things that are not exactly flour-like, such as almond meal, hazelnut meal, wheat germ, sesame seeds and whole, toasted millet...yum!

                                      1. I made some FABULOUS cookies over the holidays using Oat and Quinoa flours. They were eaten up immediately. See recipe below.

                                        Chickpea flour is great for Farinata or Socca. David Lebowitz has a socca recipe, and I think Epicurious has a Farinata recipe. I eat them for lunch - you can really add anything to them.

                                        There are some good recipes out there for crackers using these types of flours - Smitten Kitchen and Elana's Pantry come to mind. Also, I think 101 Cookbooks has some good options.

                                        Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter-Coconut Cookies

                                        * 6 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)
                                        * 1 egg
                                        * 1/3 cup brown sugar
                                        * 1/3 cup granulated sugar
                                        * 2 tbsp peanut butter
                                        * 1 tsp vanilla
                                        * 1/2 tsp baking soda
                                        * 1/2 tsp baking powder
                                        * 1/4 tsp cinnamon
                                        * 2/3 cup oat flour
                                        * 1/4 cup quinoa flour
                                        * 1/3 cup coconut
                                        * 3/4 cup oatmeal
                                        * 1/2 chocolate chips, or more or less depending on how much you like

                                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

                                        If using coconut oil, melt on stovetop over low heat.

                                        In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat the coconut oil (or butter) and both sugars until smooth, on medium. Add in the peanut butter, vanilla and cinnamon; beat until combined on medium. Turn to low and add the baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add in the quinoa flour and oat flour and mix until well mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the oats, chocolate chips and coconut, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined.

                                        Drop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, roughly about 1 tbsp each. Bake for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. When done, let cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooking rack.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: kws123

                                          i bet maple syrup would be killer in place of some of the sugar in that recipe.

                                          is the PB straight-up peanuts, or do you use one with added sugar & salt? and is the coconut just unsweetened shredded?

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            Yeah, sorry, should have put more info in. When you know a recipe, you forget those details! I used Whole Foods 365 Organic natural peanut butter - believe it was just peanuts and salt. I think any "natural" one would be fine. The coconut was shredded, and I usually use sweetened. But unsweetened would work just as well, I think.

                                            And I would bet that maple syrup would be amazing. That stuff is good in anything really!

                                            1. re: kws123

                                              thanks - i make a similar recipe in bar form, but i use coconut flour in it as opposed to folding in shredded coconut. i used to *hate* coconut in any form and i've grown to embrace it, but the flour was less noticeable than the shredded stuff when i was first getting used to it :)

                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              But can you use maple syrup in place of sugar in a baking recipe without adjusting some other liquid?

                                              I don't the the sugar in the PB matters much, since there's a lot less PB than sugar in the recipe. Whether there is salt in the PB shouldn't make much difference either. There isn't other salt in the recipe (unless it is the butter), but a bit of salt enhances the flavors in sweet items.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                my issue with the PB is that products with added salt & sugar are also often emulsified with added oils - totally different texture. and for someone like me who's extremely salt-sensitive, the amount in the PB can make a difference in the total sodium level in the recipe.

                                                as for the maple syrup, i might tweak the wet/dry proportions a tiny bit, but it wouldn't be a major adjustment - we're probably only talking about a few tablespoons and this isn't a delicate pastry...i didn't bother going into detail with my comment because it was just a flavor observation.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  In minimally processed PB, the oil tends to separate. That requires stirring it back in when you first open the jar, and keeping it in the fridge to minimize separation over time. Still my jars of natural PB end up stiff and dry by the time they are half used, because most of the oil has be used. Addition of hydrogenated oil prevents this separation. (I wonder if naturally saturated oil, like palm or coconut would work instead). For a light PB user like me, that extra processing is worth it.

                                                  Adding sugar and salt as flavoring is not an integral part of modifying the oil separation. Most of us like the taste of salty peanuts better than plain ones. And most us combine PB with sweet things, like jelly, when we eat it.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    ?

                                                    i never said the addition of sugar & salt had anything to do with minimizing separation, and i'm well aware of the process and purpose of adding oil, and what happens with the natural stuff, particularly since that's the type i use. and as for flavor preference, it's just that - a preference. we don't all prefer salty PB, and we don't all combine it with sweet things when we eat it.

                                                    this is veering unnecessarily OT. all i did was ask kws for a simple clarification regarding which type of PB s/he uses in the recipe.

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      Trade Joes sells peanut flour. I haven't tried it, but have wondered where it would work. I think it lacks all the oil that is in PB.

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        i've been buying peanut flour online for years - i bake with it all the time, and add it to everything from smoothies and yogurt to oatmeal and stews. great stuff. i tried the TJ's product but wasn't crazy about it because it's a light roast & i prefer dark for most applications...and i just saw a comment on one of the TJ's threads in the last say or so claiming that they just discontinued it. if you have any interest, this is the company i use:
                                                        http://www.byrdmill.com/gourmet_peanu...

                                          2. I'm GF so use a variety of flours: brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, chickpea, amaranth (we grind our own of these using our VitaMix and/or a coffee/spice grinder), sorghum, teff, and casava flour (we buy these already ground), etc. We have also tried peanut flour and made a cookie recipe that called for red lentil flour. We've seen Italian chestnut flour at WFM.

                                            Be aware that ground flaxseed mixed with water is useful as an egg substitute.

                                            1. Just counted 13 flours in our downstairs freezer. I have Celiac so have no choice but to use these different flours. It's interesting how each is used in different ways, ratios, etc. We have:
                                              - white rice flour
                                              - brown rice flour
                                              - sorghum
                                              - almond (grind my own)
                                              - coconut
                                              - millet
                                              - teff
                                              - potato
                                              - amaranth
                                              - whole bean
                                              - yellow corn
                                              - sweet rice
                                              - quinoa

                                              Not to mention the various starches such as tapioca, arrowroot, potato...

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                oh, are we making this a contest now? okay then, i'll see all of your 13 (and the starches - plus kuzu), and raise you mesquite, black bean, roasted peanut, hazelnut and GF oat. so there.

                                                ;)

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  You're funny! :-) Man, I haven't tried any of those yet (well, except for GF oats). They all sound marvelous! What do you use mesquite for? Is it actually mesquite-ish?

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      gfg, you are so adept at posting information for us impatient Chowhounders (meaning me!). You have inspired me to do some searching for Mesquite. The flavour profile greatly intrigues me. More experimenting ahead!

                                                      1. re: chefathome

                                                        terrific! i can't wait to hear your thoughts - i love the stuff.

                                                2. re: chefathome

                                                  chef, did you mean white bean? do you use it for any baked items like pie dough, cookies, biscuits?

                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                    It is actually called whole bean and have used it for pastry thus far. I am fairly new to this GF thing so am in the experimenting stage.

                                                3. I use chickpea flour to make shiro wot, an Ethiopian stew. It is my favorite Ethiopian food and it's easy to prepare at home! Let me know if you're interested in the recipe.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: operagirl

                                                    Oh, yes, please! A girl can't live on farinata alone.

                                                    1. re: Vetter

                                                      I use Garlic Gold oil in a lot of my recipes -- it's an extra virgin olive oil infused with garlic. You can substitute with any garlic-flavored olive oil, or add a clove of garlic to the oil when you saute the onions.

                                                      Shiro Wot (Ethiopian Chickpea Flour Stew)

                                                      2 Tbsp. Garlic Gold oil, divided
                                                      2 small or one large yellow onion, finely diced
                                                      1 Tbsp. berbere spice
                                                      3 C. water
                                                      1 tsp. kosher salt
                                                      1 C. garbanzo bean flour

                                                      1. Heat one tablespoon of the Garlic Gold oil in a 10", high-sided skillet over a medium-high flame. Sauté the onions for about ten minutes, until browned.

                                                      2. Add the berbere spice and sauté for another minute until aromatic.

                                                      3. Add the water and salt. Bring to a boil.

                                                      4. While whisking constantly, add the garbanzo bean flour. Whisk until thoroughly blended and thickened -- it's okay if there are a few lumps.

                                                      5. Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to process the mixture until smooth, then stir in the remaining tablespoon of Garlic Gold oil.

                                                      6. Serve immediately, using injera or flatbread of your choice to scoop up the stew.

                                                      As for the berbere spice blend required, here's my recipe. I used some whole and some ground spices, because that's what I had around -- feel free to use whatever you've got!

                                                      Berbere Spice Blend

                                                      makes about 1/2 C.

                                                      2 Tsp. cumin seeds
                                                      1 Tsp. fenugreek seeds
                                                      1/2 Tsp. black peppercorns
                                                      1/4 tsp. whole allspice
                                                      4 whole cloves

                                                      2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
                                                      1 Tbsp. hot paprika
                                                      1 tsp. ground cardamom
                                                      1 tsp. ground ginger
                                                      1 tsp. kosher salt
                                                      3/4 tsp. ground coriander
                                                      1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
                                                      1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

                                                      1. In a small (8") skillet over medium heat, combine the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, whole allspice, and whole cloves.

                                                      2. Shake the pan frequently, toasting the spices for a few minutes, just until they are very aromatic.

                                                      3. Remove spices from pan and let cool for five minutes.

                                                      4. In a coffee grinder, combine the toasted spices along with the rest of the ingredients listed. Grind into a fine powder.

                                                      5. Store mixture in a glass jar.

                                                      1. re: operagirl

                                                        Thank you! How completely interesting - I had no idea! Looks delish.

                                                  2. I now use rice flour to dredge meat. It has a much lighter quality and is extremely finely milled.

                                                    In addition, I'm a flax seed nut. I mix a tablespoon in with my vanilla yoghurt and it adds a nice slightly nutty flavor. Would I bake with flaxseed? Prolly not. Would I bake with rice flour? Most likely down the road.

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: jarona

                                                      Jarona, do you use the ground flax seed or the whole flax seed? I haven't been using it for years but am thinking about trying it out again.

                                                      1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                                                        FYI, our bodies can't break down whole flax seed, so you really need to eat the ground seeds to obtain the full nutritional benefit. but don't buy pre-ground meal as it can oxidize or turn rancid very quickly...grind the whole seeds yourself in a coffee or spice grinder before using.

                                                        try chia seeds too - higher than flax in Omega-3 EFAs, fiber, & antioxidants, and you don't have to grind them before eating.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          Thanks, I'd heard that when flax seeds started becoming popular and wondered why everyone was eating them whole. I just assumed that the reason people are still eating them whole (like in baked goods) is that there was some new thing discovered that they don't need to be ground. Heh, I sometimes create fantastical ideas...

                                                          I have not tried chia yet but am very curious, mainly because they are so tiny and cute.

                                                          I have friends who keep ground flax seed in the freezer, does that slow down the possibility of them going rancid or do you know?

                                                          Thanks!

                                                          1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                                                            once you grind them yourself, absolutely keep the meal in the fridge or freezer to maintain freshness (you should actually store the whole seeds in the fridge as well). the problem with buying it pre-ground is that you have no way of knowing when it was ground and how it was stored afterward. it could have been exposed to high temperatures or direct light during processing or shipping, or may have been sitting on the store shelf for a while. so really, don't buy it ground. it's simple enough to do it yourself.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                Spoken like someone who has never left the blender lid off when trying to grind a bunch of chia seeds. (One of these days, I'm going to get one of those little Indian style spice grinders...one day...)

                                                                1. re: Vetter

                                                                  spoken like someone who isn't crazy enough to TRY grinding chia seeds in the *blender* ;) pick up a cheapie electric coffee grinder - i have a dedicated one for seeds.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              Or you can keep them in the freezer. My golden flaxseed meal is not rancid.

                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                yes, i said above that you can store the ground meal in the freezer. but i'd still never recommend buying it pre-ground...even if it's not rancid by the time you buy it, there's a good chance the fats have begun to oxidize unless it's been refrigerated the entire time - from grinding to packaging to shipping to point of sale.

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                  OK, I will grant you that it is or might be better to grind your own meal, but most of us and certainly I, do not have the capability to grind grain. Sometimes you have make choices for practicality's sake. I have no desire to grind grain and I don't have the money to buy a machine to do so. So, I put my meals in the freezer, and so far my baking has been OK.

                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                    i wasn't talking about grains, i was talking about flax seeds...all you need to grind those is a cheap coffee grinder

                                                        2. I made up a couple different gluten-free cookie recipes last week, one vegan and one not. Both were very well received by my gaggle of musician friends -- we've all been bringing things to snack on during our long opera rehearsals! Let me know if you'd like a recipe for either a.) gluten free vegan peanut butter cookies or b.) gluten free sesame cookies. The former uses teff and peanut flours, and the latter employs teff and rice flours.