Winter weather creates the perfect climate for some sweet experimentation in the kitchen (i.e. baking every recipe you can get your hands on). But weirdly enough, we try to balance this urge to open our ovens with upholding those nagging “healthy lifestyle” resolutions. So what are we to do?
One way to combat this is to incorporate healthier whole grains. More nutrient-dense and naturally sweet, grain-based flours give a distinct heartiness to wintertime eats. And thanks to the popularity of all things “alternative” (and sometimes gluten-free), these additives are increasingly available. Here are a few to get you started:
Whole Wheat: This flour utilizes the complete wheat grain and is slightly higher in fiber, iron, and vitamin B. It adds a toothsome texture and earthy taste to your assorted baked treats.
Spelt: Made from a cereal grain within the wheat family, this alternative is lower in calories, higher in protein, and easier to digest than many other types of flour, including white and wheat. It’s sweet and mild in taste, but keep in mind that its fine texture makes it ultra-absorbent when incorporating it into recipes.
Sorghum: This gluten-free pantry staple in parts of India and Africa is high in antioxidants and dietary fiber, but is still largely uncommon to American diners. As flour, it’s mild with a hint of sweetness, and it will create a pleasantly crumbly texture.
Buckwheat: Often mistaken for being related to wheat, this flour is actually ground from grain-like seeds that are related to sorrel. Unlike wheat, it is gluten-free. Its flavor is nutty and its texture can be dense, so working it into griddle-cooked goods may work best.