Many people avoid gluten for various reasons. Gluten is a protein compound found in wheat and similar grains such as barley, spelt and rye. Gluten can cause a range of symptoms in sensitive individuals, but general gastrointestinal (GI) problems range from very mild GI disturbances such as gas, bloating, and mild discomfort to more severe symptoms such as diarrhea and malabsorption) varies.

There are a variety of substitutes for wheat and other gluten-containing flours. The most popular types are coconut flour, almonds, and brown rice. These types are gluten-free and feature unique flavors in dinner and dessert recipes, so delicious, healthy meals can be created at home. Different types of flour can help cooks prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families.

1. Coconut flour
Coconut flour is made from coconut fruit and contains no grains or nuts. It is made by separating the fruit from the milk. The fruit is then roasted at low temperature until it turns into a powder. This gluten-free alternative may help balance your metabolism because its medium-chain fatty acids provide it with high levels of healthy saturated fat. Coconut flour is also high in soluble and insoluble fiber. As such, it helps promote regularity, detoxify the body and lower cholesterol levels. 1 Coconut flour has a low glycemic index, making it an excellent alternative for those who need to control blood sugar levels or are trying to lose weight. 2

Here's a recipe for Chocolate Coconut Cake with Spicy Dessert Sauce, a great starter recipe using coconut flour.

Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Cake with Spicy Butterscotch Sauce

1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar (or a cup of allulose)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
3 cups of unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup raw honey or agave syrup
1 cup of water
1/2 cup coconut oil
How to prepare:

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease an 8-inch cake tin.
Sift the baking powder and coconut flour. Stir until well combined and set aside.
Combine cocoa powder and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until butter melts.
Add the sugar or allulose, salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and unsweetened applesauce to the cocoa-butter mixture. Beat until well combined.
Add the baking powder and coconut flour together. Stir until well combined and set aside.
Put the mixture into a square cake mold. Let cool 12 minutes.
Bake for 33 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes.
2. Almond flower
Almond flour is another popular wheat flour substitute you can try. It is made by grinding almonds into a powder. Since a cup of flour requires about 90 almonds, all of the aforementioned health benefits of almonds are concentrated in almond flour. Almonds are known to be a nutrient-dense food. Adding almond flour to baked goods can greatly increase the nutritional content of the food, especially protein, magnesium and healthy fats. Studies have shown that consuming almonds or almond flour has various health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, and promotes vascular health by reducing blood pressure and heart disease. 3,4 Eating almond flour may also improve the health and function of your digestive system. 4,5

There are many wholesome reasons to try almond flour-based recipes. Here's a way to get you started:

Blueberry Almond Flour Cookies Recipe

1 cup of almond flour
4 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/3 cup of flaxseed meal
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon stevia powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
How to prepare:

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Draw a rectangular stencil.
Combine all ingredients except blueberries. Mix until soft dough forms.
Add blueberries. Stir well.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown.
Leave in the pot for 10 minutes.
Go to a wire rack.
Leave to cool completely. It is cut and eaten.
3. Brown rice flour
Rice flour is a popular gluten-free alternative, but brown rice flour offers more nutritional value and dietary fiber. Brown rice flour is made by removing the husk and grinding the whole grain of rice, including the bran and valuable germ. In the case of regular white rice, only the pulp of the seeds is ground. Brown rice flour is still gluten-free, but contains significantly more dietary fiber, magnesium, trace minerals, and B vitamins than white rice flour. Unlike coconut flour and almond flour, brown rice flour contains only a small amount of fat.

Since brown rice flour is made from ground brown rice, all the health benefits of brown rice apply to this flour. In addition to its nutritional content and higher fiber content than white rice, brown rice is rich in several other compounds with health-promoting effects, such as inositol, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), beta-oryzanol, and flavonoids. Eating brown rice flour can lower blood cholesterol levels, and it has much less impact on blood sugar levels than white rice flour. Eating more brown rice foods has also been linked to protection against diabetes and obesity. 6

Here's a brown rice flour recipe that combines the health benefits of brown rice with other very beneficial ingredients:

Brown Rice Zucchini Pie Recipe

1 tablespoon of flaxseed
2 tablespoons warm water
1 large zucchini
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
tsp ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons edible yeast
1 teaspoon coconut oil
How to prepare:

Combine flaxseeds and water in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Slice the zucchini very finely.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the coconut oil to the zucchini. Stir well until the mixture is combined.
Add flaxseed mixture. Stir well until the mixture is combined.
Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
The mixture forms four lumps in the palm of the hand.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and cover.
Put the pancakes in the pan. Fry for four minutes.
Flip the pancakes over and fry until crispy.