What can I substitute for quinoa flour?
In this concise article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for quinoa flour?” with an in-depth analysis of quinoa flour and the possible substitutes for quinoa flour.
What can I substitute for quinoa flour?
Quinoa flour contains many nutrients and has health benefits. But if someone is out of it, he/she can get various substitutes with the same benefits (2).
Some of the best substitutes for quinoa flour include brown rice flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour, teff flour, almond flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, millet flour and tiger nut flour.
In the last 10 years, the demand for quinoa grains increased by 10% annually due to the recognition of the high nutritional value of this Andean grain. This demand encouraged the cultivation of quinoa in different production systems used across all the Andean region. According to studies, quinoa production increased at an annual rate of 15%, from approximately 22,267 t in 2001, to 105,666 t in 2014 (1).
Substitutes for quinoa flour
Quinoa flour is used in baking to make gluten-free bread and in other baking products. It is also used for the thickening of sauces, soups, and stews. It has lots of health benefits. But if there is a shortfall of quinoa in your kitchen or nearby stores, then you could replace it with other amazing substitutes.
Here’s the list of quinoa flour substitutes below:
Brown rice flour:
Brown rice flour is used as a substitute for quinoa flour. It gives almost the same flavour and texture as quinoa flour. Both are easily replaceable. Quinoa and brown rice are seeds, but when the husk of rice flour is removed it could be counted as grain. So, making quinoa flour from quinoa is so easy from brown rice flour.
Brown rice flour is not only similar to quinoa in calories count but also in fibre content and binding behaviour.
If you don’t want to go with gluten, then this substitute is the best for you because it is gluten-free.
The bran layer is rich in vitamins like thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, and iron. Some varieties of brown rice were found to be low in glycemic index and evidence has shown that low glycemic index food has many health benefits such as controlling type II diabetes (3).
If you are using brown rice flour as a replacement, then you should add 7-8 cups of brown rice flour for every one cup of quinoa flour.
Oat flour is also a substitute for quinoa flour. It gives a mild taste, tender texture, and a phenomenal number of proteins. It has ground whole oats due to which it is rich in fibre and protein.
Oats are rich in beta-glucan which is super beneficial to our health and is an immune modulator. Oats are highly beneficial for reducing high cholesterol and improving skin conditions, moisturizing, U-VA protectant and in wound healing and as anti-irritant (4).
It is a substitute for quinoa flour that is rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients help in reducing the risks of a cardiovascular disease, cancers, and age-related degenerative process.
It is gluten-free. It has a high concentration of manganese, magnesium and dietary fiber as well as its gluten free quality. Many of the health benefits of buckwheat have been attributed to its high levels of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity (5).
You can use it in pancakes, crepes, muffins, cookies, and bread for adding a nutty flavour to the goods.
Teff flour can be used as a substitute for quinoa flour. It is used to add flavour to muffins and quick bread. It contains iron, phosphorus, magnesium, aluminum, copper, zinc, boron and barium, and thiamin, protein, with an excellent amino acid composition including all 8 essential amino acids for humans, as well as fibre. It is richer in calcium than all other substitutes. It has a molasses-like flavour so most bakery companies use it in their chocolate desserts (5).
Almond flour is also a substitute for quinoa flour. It gives a taste. It is also gluten-free. It has low carbs, high fats, and a high quantity of protein.
It gives a satisfying amount of magnesium and other essential minerals. They help in regulating muscles and blood sugar levels. According to NIH (National Institute of Health), it helps in regulating nerve functions and blood pressure. It is used in cookies, cupcakes, macrons, and many other sweet dishes. Various phenolic compounds present in almonds are natural dietary antioxidants. It helps to control cholesterol, and is effective for weight loss and causes hunger fighting (6).
Coconut flour is also the substitute for quinoa flour. It gives a sweet flavour. It is also gluten-free and a low glycemic index food. It contains high fibres because it is obtained from a by-product of coconut milk. It helps in weight loss, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps in fighting constipation (7).
It works well for cookies, cakes, and muffins. It gives a unique flavour to baking products.
This substitute is made up of garbanzo beans. It gives a mild, nutty flavour to the cooking product. It contains a favourable dose of fibre, protein, and iron. It is a rich source of iron. One cup of chickpea flour contains 4.5 grams of iron. Iron helps in making haemoglobin. It adds a unique texture to the product (8).
It is mostly used in pizza crust, crepes, flatbread, dumplings, and quick bread.
Millet flour can also be used as a substitute for quinoa flour. It is gluten-free. It can also be used as a replacement in rice dishes. It contains less fat. It is rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Millet grains are gluten-free, non-acid-forming, easy to digest with low glycemic index. Its low glycemic index food property is reported to be a good choice for people with celiac disease (disease caused by gluten-containing cereal protein ingestion) and diabetes as consumption of the grain assists in the regulation of blood glucose level. The grains consist of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, iron and calcium in high concentration when compared to other cereal grains (9).
For cakes, cookies, and pancakes, it can be used in a ratio of 1:1.
It is used to add flavour. It has a soft consistency.
Tiger nut flour:
It can also be used as a substitute for quinoa flour. It is highly recommended due to its fibre content. It has a balanced ratio of fats and carbs. It also contains protein.
Tiger nut flour is rich in iron, vitamin E, and oleic acid as well. It is gluten-free (10). It can be replaced with quinoa flour in a ratio of 1:1.
Other FAQs about Flour that you may be interested in.
What can I substitute for rice flour?
Can I mix bread flour and all-purpose flour?
In this concise article, we have discussed several substitutes for quinoa flour along with the required quantity to use.
Also, the nutritional and health benefits are mentioned here.
- Pinedo-Taco, Rember Emilio, Luz Rayda Gómez-Pando, and Dylan Anderson-Berens. Production sustainability index of organic quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) in the interandean valleys of Peru. Trop Subtrop Agroecosyst, 2022, 25.
- Alandia, Gabriela, et al. Global expansion of quinoa and challenges for the Andean region. Global Food Secur, 2020, 26, 100429.
- Upadhyay, Atul, and Sanjeev Kumar Karn. Brown rice: Nutritional composition and health benefits. J of Food Sci Technol Nepal, 2019, 10, 47-52.
- Mushtaq, Ahmad, and Habib Mehfuza. A review on oat (Avena sativa L.) as a dual-purpose crop. Scient Res Essay, 2014, 9, 52-59.
- Inglett, George E., Diejun Chen, and Sean X. Liu. Antioxidant activities of selective gluten free ancient grains. Food Nutr Sci, 2015, 6, 612.
- Javaid, Tahreem, et al. A critical review in varieties and benefits of almond (Prunus dulcis). Acta Sci Nutr Health, 2019, 3, 70-72.
- Trinidad, Trinidad P., et al. Dietary fiber from coconut flour: A functional food. Inn food sci emerg technol, 2006, 7, 309-317.
- Tan, Grace ZH, et al. Finger on the pulse: pumping iron into chickpea. Front Plant Sci, 2017, 8, 1755.
- Abah, C. R., et al. Nutritional composition, functional properties and food applications of millet grains. Asian Food Sci J, 2020, 14, 9-19.
- Adegunwa, M. O., et al. Evaluation of nutritional and functional properties of plantain (Musa paradisiaca L.) and tigernut (Cyperus esculentus L.) flour blends for food formulations. Cogent Chem, 2017, 3, 1383707.