11 Ways to Use Up Non-Wheat Flours

January 18, 2016

Balanced in your pantry among all the different nuts, sugars, canned beans, and long-forgotten jars of artichoke hearts, it's possible that there is also a teetering bag or two of alt flour—that is, not the all-purpose stuff, but the buckwheat flour, the almond flour, the chickpea flour that you used a cup of in one recipe and promptly let behind to gather dust. These flours may not be all-purpose, but give them a chance and their purpose will be apparent: big flavor (not to mention, often, gluten-freeness).

Take stock of your half-bags, and make these things with what's left:

  • You can make pancakes with just about any non-wheat flour. (It doesn't get much better than that.)
  • Similarly, they'll make a mean crêpe. Crêpes made from buckwheat flour are particularly common (and take well to savory toppings as well as sweet ones).
  • Make them with chickpea flour and call them socca.
  • If you don't follow a gluten-free diet, you can substitute part of the all-purpose flour in nearly any baked good—like muffins, scones, biscuits, or pie crust—with an alternative flour.
  • Nut flours in particular play well in cookies, cakes, or tart crusts. Turn almond flour into honey-almond sesame cookies, orange-spice muffins, or this torte crust.
  • Oat flour can become a breakfast- or anytime-worthy cake.
One beaut of an oat-flour cake. Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Rice flour works well—and creates a crispy crust—when dredging meats and fish for frying.
  • Rice flours also work well as a thickener for soup, gravy, or anywhere else you'd make a roux.
  • You can also bake with it! These rice flour cookies are tender and perfect for eating with a cup of tea.
  • A very flavorful flower, like chestnut flour, makes an equally lovely gnocchi, as jacksonholefoodie found.
  • You can also use many flours to make crisp crackers—like chickpea flour crackers, amaranth or almond flour crackers, or even rice flour crackers.

What are your favorite uses for alternative flours? And which do you never have a hard time finishing up? Tell us in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Alison Murray @OmNomAlly
    Alison Murray @OmNomAlly
  • Jr0717
  • Laura415
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Alison M. January 19, 2016
These are some great ways to branch out with gluten free flours - completely agree with the pancakes or crepes route. Buckwheat pancakes are sometimes the only reason I get out of bed on the weekend!
Really looking forward to trying those cracker ideas, it's always great to have a reliable go-to cracker recipe for impromptu snacking :)
Jr0717 January 18, 2016
Does anyone have a good suggestion for coconut flour? Thanks in advance!
Laura415 March 12, 2016
Coconut flour is a funny one. It seems like it is only used in very specific recipes designed to take advantage of it's ability to absorb liquids. You will notice recipes will contain very little coconut flour and a lot of liquid. That makes it tricky to sub in coconut flour to a traditional recipe. I too got stuck with a jar of coconut flour and couldn't figure out how to use it up. I started using it 1-2 Tbl. at a time in quick bread batters that seemed too thin or needed to get some of the liquid absorbed. I would use a tablespoon in pancake batter. 1-2 T in quick breads. I haven't tried making a roux with it for gravy but I think that may work. Worth a try. Coconut flour is full of fiber so it may work to put 1-2 T in a batch of smoothies just for the fiber. I don't see why it couldn't be added to a coconut ice cream recipe for thickening the custard. Once I use it up I probably won't buy it again except as needed in a recipe. Good luck:)
Jr0717 March 12, 2016
Laura415, thank you very much for your insight! I'll definitely start subbing the flour into quick breads and weekend pancakes in small doses to try to get a feel for how the flour reacts, behaves, etc.

I really appreciate the thorough response!