At the table there is more and more space for “alternative” flour to that of wheat. Also recently appeared on the supermarket shelves flours obtained from the grinding of vegetables, fruit and seeds.
They look similar to traditional wheat, but a particular flavor, ideal for giving a special touch to dough, focaccia, desserts. In recent times they have also managed to win over the chefs.
Stefano Barbato, for example, use almond flour to make desserts while Sergio Maria Teutonico uses that of bananas as an ingredient in meatballs.
«From a nutritional point of view the flours obtained exclusively from vegetables, fruit and seeds are naturally gluten free»Explains the doctor Nicoletta Bocchino, nutrition biologist in Brindisi. "However, those suffering from celiac disease must check on the label that they are not produced in establishments where other cereals containing gluten are treated: the risk of contamination should not be underestimated". Here is one mini selection guide.
Banana flour: more energy
Obtained from dried and ground fruit, it is a great ally for those who play sports. «Contains good quantities of magnesium and potassium, precious for the functioning of the muscles and to counteract fatigue. In addition, it provides many rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, ideal for obtaining readily available energy », says Dr. Bocchino.
Dried fruit or oilseed flours: friends of the heart
The flours obtained from the grinding of nuts or oil seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and precious antioxidants that protect circulation, lowering triglycerides and pressure. «The flour of nights And that of hazelnuts they are a concentrate of "good" Omega 3 fats essential to keep blood vessel walls elastic. Those of almonds, of pistachios and cashew nuts above all, they ensure a good quantity of vitamin E, which keeps the arteries young, but must be consumed in moderation. Compared to that of walnuts and hazelnuts, they contain higher quantities of Omega 6. Also the flour of flax seed it is rich in powerful antioxidants, including flavonoids, which increase the level of “good” cholesterol (or HDL), which is considered the sweeper of the arteries », explains the expert.
Vegetable flours: strengthen the defenses
«The flour of pumpkin, That of carrot And that of potatoes, obtained from the grinding of the dried pulp of these vegetables, have a high concentration of minerals, including calcium, potassium and magnesium, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body ", says Dr. Bocchino.
«Pumpkin and carrot, in particular, have excellent properties antiage. They are rich in vitamins A and C, which counteract tissue aging, hindering the damaging action of free radicals. Potatoes, on the other hand, are a good source of B vitamins, in particular vitamins B1 and B6, useful for strengthening the body's defenses and promoting the health of the immune system ", concludes our expert.
There are those too of fonio and bamboo
You can find them in stores specializing in natural foods and online and they are both gluten free. "The one of fonio, a cereal made famous in the most exclusive restaurants in the world thanks to the chef Pierre Thiam, is an excellent source of fibers, which promote intestinal regularity. It also provides good quantities of iron, useful for combating weakness and fatigue ”, explains nutritionist Nicoletta Bocchino.
«The flour obtained by grinding the dried leaves of Bamboo, on the other hand, it is a concentrate above all of B vitamins, precious for the production of energy and the health of the nervous system », concludes the expert.