Rice flour (also rice powder) is a form of flour that is made from finely milled rice.
It is made using the husk of rice or paddy, which is removed to obtain raw rice. This is then ground to make flour. Rice flour can be made from either white rice or brown rice.
It is primarily used as a replacement for wheat flour. It’s also used as a thickening agent in recipes that are refrigerated or frozen since it inhibits liquid separation.
If one doesn’t have access to rice flour or is allergic to rice, they can use many other ingredients. This article will explore some common substitutes for rice flour.
10 Best Substitutes for Rice Flour
In this section, we are going to list ten substitutes for rice flour. Most of these have the same benefits as rice flour but some have even more. Try these ingredients if rice flour is not an option for you.
Coconut flour is full of fiber, has protein, and is loaded with healthy saturated fats. It is also low in carbohydrates and contains a low glycaemic index which is good for diabetics.
Multiple properties make coconut flour a suitable rice flour substitute. It is not only gluten-free but is also full of essential nutritional goodness.
Coconut flour is one of the best rice flour substitutes as it does not sacrifice the taste of your recipe.
It has a light nutty flavor and comes with a natural layer of sweetness.
This means you’ll require less sugar or other sweeteners for your recipe. Aside from baking, it is ideal for use as breading for chicken, fish, and tofu.
Almond flour offers a lot of protein at 24 grams per cup. It contains nutrients like fiber, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, magnesium. Another benefit is that it can help lower the bad LDL cholesterol.
This flour contains the healthy monounsaturated fats that are known to help reduce the risks for heart disease.
Plus, it’s packed with L-arginine that helps improve blood flow, and stimulates the release of growth hormone in the body.
Almonds could be typically blanched and then finely ground. It makes a good swap for rice flours in making cakes, muffins, and other baked goods.
To top it off, it gives a delicious crunchy texture when frying chicken or vegan tenders.
Many of the same vitamins and minerals found in rice flour are also found in sorghum flour. Also, Sorghum flour is gluten-free and safe for people who cannot consume gluten.
Sorghum flour works best as a rice flour substitute when used in baked goods. Because of its protein content, sorghum flour can provide structure.
In baking, this property is useful for some bread and cakes to rise. As a result, it is a better option than rice flour if you are looking for a wheat flour substitute.
Tapioca has good absorptive properties. Hence, tapioca flour is often used as a thickening agent in recipes. It is made from the cassava tuber, and sweeter than rice flour.
It is best substituted for rice flour in recipes such as pancakes, pie fillings, and pastries.
Research in tapioca health benefits reveals that the inclusion of tapioca flour in the diet delivers stable food with high nutritional value.
That being said, tapioca flour is a decent replacement for rice flour.
Like rice flour, corn starch is gluten-free, and one can use it in most of the same recipes.
For example, corn starch is an effective thickener. It is a good option when breading deep-fried foods as well. It can be used to make fried foods crunchy, just like rice flour.
Corn flour works as a 1:1 substitute when used as a thickener or for breading. You can use cornflour as a rice flour substitute in baking, but it is best mixed with other flour.
One can try combining it with sorghum flour or tapioca to bake cookies and cakes. Corn starch has the benefit of being very affordable and can be found in most grocery stores.
Chickpea flour has approximately 21 grams of protein. It contains fiber and is known to aid in heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes, and improve immunity.
In terms of nutritional value, it offers a great array of vitamins and minerals. It has a good dose of vitamin B6, potassium, thiamine, zinc, and selenium which is a powerful antioxidant.
Moreover, it has a substantial amount of calcium, magnesium, and folate. These are recommended for pregnant women as it helps fight neural tube defects.
Soy flour is an alternative non-wheat flour made from soya bean. The beans are dehulled, roasted, and finely ground to produce soy flour.
This ingredient can be used as a thickening agent in gravies and sauces. It could also be used to make fudges, pies, doughnuts, etc.
Since soy flour serves the same purposes as rice flour, don’t think twice before using it as a substitute. It brings with it all nine essential amino acids required for healthy growth and development.
Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour is simply finely milled brown rice; hence it retains all of the same nutrients as brown rice. This type of flour is high in dietary fiber, protein, and a variety of other nutrients.
Because it is milled from whole-grain brown rice, it is a more nutritious option than white rice flour. It is best for adding crispness to recipes like cookies and could be used as a thickening agent in baking.
Buckwheat flour is not derived from wheat and it doesn’t contain any gluten. It has a rich, earthy flavor that works well in quick bread and yeast bread.
It can be combined with other gluten-free flours – brown rice flour works well. Nutritionally, this substitute offers fiber as well as antioxidants, iron, magnesium, folate, zinc, and manganese.
It can be combined with tapioca flour to make homemade wraps or rolls. In addition to baking, it can be used to coat meat and other proteins before frying them.
Oat flour is a whole grain flour made by grinding oats into a fine powder. It’s naturally gluten-free and packed with nutrients. These include calcium, magnesium, iron, thiamine, phosphorus, and zinc.
Rice flour is quite a healthy stand-in for wheat flour. But flour from oats is an equivalent alternative.
It’s higher fiber and protein so it helps with the structure of baked goods. In addition to that, oats flour makes bakery items more satiating too.
The short answer is no. There is no direct substitute for regular wheat flour. The qualities that it brings to the table such as its elasticity (caused by the gluten), fluffiness, and all purpose use cannot be replicated by white rice flour.
Yes, rice flour can also act as a thickener in recipes, making it an effective substitute for cornstarch.
It’s recommended that you use twice as much rice flour as cornstarch to get the same result. It can be used with hot or cold water to make a paste. Or else, in a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat.
Commercial rice flour is produced either by dry or wet milling of broken rice. Whereas rice starch is generally obtained by the alkaline steeping method with multi-stage purification.
This treatment results in a significant reduction of protein content as well as other components in rice starch.
Yes, they are different. Rice powder is more coarse than rice flour. The powder won’t dissolve well in water like flour. One can make their rice powder by grinding toasted long-grain rice in a blender or a coffee grinder.
Rice flour is a healthier, gluten-free option if you don’t want to use wheat flour. But it isn’t the only one. Many other substances can be used instead of rice flour that will have similar benefits.
Flour from coconut, almond, sorghum, tapioca, corn, chickpea, soy, brown rice, buckwheat, and oats make great substitutes for rice flour.