Looking for a chickpea flour substitute? Explore our guide to find the best chickpea flour alternatives such as almond flour, brown rice flour, and quinoa flour. Learn how to make substitutions for similar results in a variety of recipes.
What is chickpea flour?
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans (Cicer arietinum), are legumes from the Fabaceae family. They are a highly nutritious and versatile crop widely cultivated and consumed across the globe. The chickpea plant produces small, pea-like seeds, and is the edible part of the plant. These seeds can vary in color and size depending on the variety.
Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan flour, is made from ground chickpeas. The process involves removing the outer skin of the chickpeas before grinding them into a flour-like fine powder. This flour is naturally gluten-free and has a mild, nutty flavor.
It is commonly used in various culinary applications and has a range of health benefits. It is great for gluten-free cooking and baking. This gluten-free flour is a good source of fiber, lysine, protein, vitamins, and minerals. 1 cup (92 grams) of chickpea flour has 20.6 grams of protein.
The versatility of chickpea flour has made it a staple in cuisines around the world. Its mild flavor makes it great in both sweet and savory dishes.
Whether you're looking for a gluten-free alternative, a plant-based protein source, or a unique flavor in your cooking, chickpea flour can be a valuable addition to your kitchen. While this flour can have a dense texture, it will make a light batter.
Find garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour) in most grocery stores and health food stores in the baking aisle. It is also available to purchase online.
Gluten-free baking - Incorporated into recipes for bread, pizza crusts, muffins, and other baked goods chickpea flour adds a nutty flavor and a denser texture to gluten-free recipes.
Flatbreads and pancakes - Garbanzo bean flour is commonly used to make flatbreads and pancakes in various cuisines. Socca is a flatbread made in the Mediterranean region, farinata is a flatbread made in Italy, and besan chilla is made in India. These savory pancakes are often enjoyed as a snack or a side dish. Slice the flatbread pancakes into triangles and pan-fry them to make socca chips.
Batter for frying - Chickpea flour batter is a popular choice for coating and frying vegetables. Fritters known as pakoras in Indian cooking and, bhajis, another type of Indian fritter, are also made using chickpea flour batter. These crispy snacks are often served as appetizers.
Vegetarian and vegan omelets - Chickpea flour can be used to create vegan and vegetarian omelets, vegan egg muffins, or scrambled "eggs." By mixing chickpea flour with water or plant-based milk and adding vegetables and spices, you can achieve a protein-rich alternative to traditional egg-based dishes.
Thickening agent - Chickpea flour serves as an effective thickening agent in soups, sauces, and stews like this mushroom etouffee. Its ability to create a smooth and creamy texture makes it a great ingredient for enhancing the consistency of various dishes.
What is a good substitute for chickpea flour?
There's not a one-size-fits-all gluten-free substitute, but depending on use, there are several great alternative flours for chickpea flour. The type of flour you use can have different results, so it is important to know which qualities you are needing to replace.
1. Almond Flour
To substitute, you can use almond flour for chickpea flour in a 1:1 ratio. Almond flour tends to be more moist, so you might need to adjust the liquid content in your recipe slightly.
2. Brown rice flour
Brown rice flour has a neutral and slightly earthy flavor. It has a smoother texture compared to some other gluten-free flours. It works well in combination with other gluten-free flour in recipes like bread and cookies. Use it in a variety of recipes, including bread, pancakes, and crackers.
To substitute, it can be used as a 1:1 substitute for chickpea flour. Its mild flavor will work well in many recipes without having a significant impact.
3. Oat flour
Oat flour can be a suitable substitute for chickpea flour in certain recipes, particularly baked goods. It has a milder and sweet flavor than chickpea. However, it's important to consider the flavor and texture differences between the two flours and make adjustments accordingly.
To substitute, start by substituting oat flour for chickpea flour in a 1:1 ratio. Oat flour tends to absorb less liquid than chickpea flour. If you find the batter or dough too dry, you may need to add more liquid (such as water or milk) to achieve the desired consistency.
4. Quinoa flour
Quinoa flour has a distinct nutty and earthy flavor, imparting a hearty taste to recipes. This flour has a fine texture, and it can provide a light and fluffy consistency in baked goods. Quinoa flour is suitable for both sweet and savory dishes. It's also a good thickening agent.
To substitute, use a 1:1 ratio.
5. Buckwheat flour
To substitute, you can use buckwheat flour as a 1:1 substitute. Buckwheat flour has a distinctive flavor, so consider how it complements your recipe. Light buckwheat flour most often will be a better substitute than dark buckwheat flour.
- Depending on the type of recipe, alternative flour you are using, and the binders in the recipe (such as eggs, psyllium husk fiber, or flax eggs) or lack thereof, you may need an additional binder or starch to keep the final product from crumbling.
- A kitchen scale is the easiest way to substitute flour by weight.
- To optimize results, you can blend your substitute flour with another gluten-free flour like tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, or potato starch. This can help balance out the texture and improve the overall outcome of the recipe.
When substituting chickpea flour in baking, consider the flavor and texture of the alternative flour. Adjust the ratios when needed. Different flours will absorb liquids differently. Additional adjustments may be needed.
Almond flour and coconut flour are both good keto alternatives to chickpea flour. Due to its high absorbency, you'll need less coconut flour than chickpea flour. Start by substituting ¼ to ⅓ cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of chickpea flour. You'll also need to increase the liquid content in the recipe. If chickpea flour is the main ingredient, coconut flour may not be the best gluten-free option.
In conclusion, several gluten-free flours can be used as substitutes for garbanzo bean flour, depending on the recipe and desired flavor and texture. Brown rice, quinoa flour, and almond flour are all good options.
When substituting, it's important to consider the differences in flavor, texture, and nutritional content, and to make any necessary adjustments to the recipe to ensure the best results.