When it comes to flour alternatives, there are a lot of products out there and a lot of information to “sift” through. Pereg Natural Foods wants to acquaint consumers with the newest additions to its growing line of gluten-free flour alternatives: Cassava Flour and Corn Flour.
Both of these 100% all-natural newcomers, available in easy-to-use re-sealable packages, are GMO-free, vegan, and kosher-pareve. They are versatile enough to stand in for many recipes calling for wheat flour, and each brings its own unique properties to the party. Here’s the low-down.
Pereg Cassava Flour
How do I use it? Some bakers say cassava flour is the closest substitute to wheat flour available in terms of taste (neutral) and texture (powdery). Best of all, it can be measured exactly like wheat flour in most recipes.
What can I make with it? Pretty much anything that calls for regular flour. Bonus: not only is cassava flour free of gluten, it also makes any dish Paleo-friendly. Try it in breads and cakes or make your own cassava tortillas, crepes, or tempura batter. Pereg gets you started with their decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Espresso Brownies (recipe below).
What the heck is a cassava, anyway? The South American native is a plant with potato-like, tuberous roots. Both cassava flour and tapioca flour are extracted from cassava. Unlike tapioca, which is a starch extract, Pereg’s Cassava Flour is pure, whole flour from the plant. Prized for its starchy, carb-rich properties, cassava is one of the major food staples in the developing world. (MSRP: $5.99, 14 oz. re-sealable bag)
Pereg Organic Corn Flour
What can I make with corn flour? So many things! Versatile corn flour makes for a soft crumb in baked goods and gives a slightly earthy note to batters for fish, chicken, and veggies. Use Pereg’s organic corn flour in pancakes, polenta, and of course, corn muffins, or to thicken sauces and soups. It is often combined with other flours in pie crusts. Try your hand at homemade gluten-free pasta dough, or make the most of blueberry season with Blueberry Corn Muffins (recipe below).
Is corn flour the same as corn meal? No. Corn flour is more finely ground than corn meal. Unlike coarse, grainy corn meal, corn flour’s powdery consistency is better suited to dishes that call for regular flour. (MSRP: $5.99, 14 oz. re-sealable bag)
Gluten-Free Chocolate Espresso Brownies with Cassava Flour
⅓ cup unsalted butter or coconut oil, cut into chunks, plus more for greasing
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup Pereg Natural Food’s Cassava Flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8- x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease with butter or coconut oil.
- Melt ½ cup chocolate chips and butter in saucepan on low just until melted.
- Whisk in sugar until combined and remove from heat.
- Let cool slightly and add in eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Add in cassava flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt, and remaining chocolate chips and combine just until smooth.
- Pour batter evenly in the parchment-lined pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25–30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean with just a few crumbs.
- Cool and cut into 9 pieces.
Blueberry Corn Muffins
2 cups Pereg Natural Yellow Corn Flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
1½ cups milk (dairy free works too)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried well
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin plus 3 more with liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: corn flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- Add wet ingredients: eggs, milk, coconut oil, and lemon juice and mix just until combined. Then add blueberries and fold in just until combined.
- Fill each muffin tin about two-thirds of the way full. Bake 15–17 minutes until the muffins poof up and brown slightly.
- Cool for five minutes in the tin and enjoy! Store at room temperature for up to five days or freeze.
Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and on their website, pereg-gourmet.com. Follow Pereg Natural Foods on Facebook at Facebook.com/pereggourmet, Twitter @pereggourmet, and Instagram @peregnatural.