My commitment to a low histamine lifestyle the last several years has led me on a quest to explore the world of gluten-free flours. Through this extensive experimentation, I've found various ways to substitute spelt flour and other gluten-containing flours, allowing me to recreate most any baked goods in ways safe for those with gluten intolerance.
One of my favorite flours to use was spelt flour, a relatively nutritious and flavorful wheat flour, which does unfortunately contain gluten. So from years of mixing and matching, I've compiled a list of the best spelt flour substitutes, all but one of which are gluten-free and can be used as a direct swap in any recipe calling for spelt flour.
Best Substitutes for Spelt Flour
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of potato flour
For those in search of a healthy gluten-free alternative to spelt flour, potato flour is your best bet, either by itself or combined with other flours as part of a homemade blend. Made from dried and ground potatoes, this flour has a mild and pleasant flavor that won't overpower your dishes.
One of the benefits of using potato flour is its ability to absorb liquid more easily, meaning you may need to use less flour in your recipes, resulting in a lighter and fluffier texture. Compared to spelt flour, potato flour is healthier in a different way since it contains more fiber and minerals, though it can be harder to work with.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of almond flour
Almond flour is a gluten-free and grian-free option that's made from ground almonds, with a high-protein, high-fiber content that's also rich in healthy fats. Because of this, it's a great option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
This nutty flour can be used in a variety of baked goods, including cakes, cookies, and muffins. However, because it's more dense and moist than spelt (wheat) flour, it may not work as well in recipes that require a lot of rising, such as bread. It can also be more expensive than spelt flour, so it may not be the best option for those on a tight budget.
Einkorn Flour (*NOT* GF)
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of eikorn flour
Einkorn is a type of wheat grain that's been around for thousands of years, and is known for its nutty flavor and being generally better-tolerated than all-purpose wheat flour. It’s a good alternative to spelt flour in baking because both flours have a similar texture & taste, as well as similarly high ratios of protein and fiber, making it a nutritious swap.
1 cup of spelt flour = ¼ to ⅓ cup of coconut flour
Made from dried and ground coconut meat, this grain-free flour is rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates, making it a popular choice for those following a low-carb diet. With its slightly sweet and nutty taste, coconut flour can add a delightful twist to baked goods, although it does require some ingredient ratio adjusting.
That's because coconut flour absorbs markedly more liquid than spelt flour, so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid (i.e. eggs, milk, butter, etc.) in your recipe to get the desired consistency.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of teff flour
Teff flour is a gluten-free flour alternative that's been gaining popularity in recent years. Made from ground teff grain, this flour has a distinctive flavor that can add depth and complexity to baked goods, though traditionally it's best known as the base for injera, an Ethiopian bread eaten with most meals.
With its slightly nutty and earthy taste, teff flour is a great option for those looking to experiment with new flavors in their cooking, just keep in mind that you will taste the difference.
Not only is teff flour delicious, but it’s also incredibly nutritious, as it’s high in protein, fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals. This flour can be used in a variety of recipes, and is a great option for those with dietary restrictions, as it's free from gluten, nuts, and soy.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of amaranth flour
This gluten-free flour is made from the seeds of the amaranth plant, which is native to South America and most commonly used in traditional Mexican and Peruvian cuisine. Amaranth flour has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that works well in a variety of baked goods, particularly breads, muffins, and pancakes.
It also has a high protein content, containing all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a great choice for those who are looking to increase their protein intake.
However amaranth flour is denser and can be more difficult to work with than spelt flour, so you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly. But one good thing about it is that it can be combined with other gluten-free flours, such as rice flour or tapioca flour, to improve its texture and consistency.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of millet flour
This flour is made from grain millet and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, similar to amaranth, that can add a delightful twist to your dishes. It's also a nutritious option, as millet is high in protein, fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
Millet flour is also an excellent choice for those with dietary restrictions, as it's not only gluten-free but also free from other common allergens like nuts and soy. Though this flour can be more challenging to find than other gluten-free flours, so you may need to visit a specialty store or order it online.
But once you have it, you'll be able to enjoy all your favorite dishes without worrying about gluten or other common allergens.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of rice flour
If you're looking for a gluten-free option for baking, rice flour is a great choice. It’s made from finely-ground rice and has a neutral flavor, making it great for a wide range of recipes, and a direct substitute for spelt flour. Rice flour's abundance and price is what makes it a great and affordable alternative.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of oat flour
Oat flour is made by grinding oats into a fine powder, resulting in a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that can add depth to any baked goods. It’s high in fiber and relatively rich in protein, iron, and other essential nutrients, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Oat flour is more absorbent than spelt flour, however, so you may need to add slightly more liquid to your recipe. You can also combine oat flour with other gluten-free flours like rice flour or almond flour to achieve the desired texture and consistency.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of buckwheat flour
Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is actually a seed. Buckwheat flour has a nutty flavor and a slightly earthy taste, which makes it a great choice for baked goods like pancakes, waffles, and muffins.
It’s also rich in nutrients, including fiber, balanced protein, and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Buckwheat flour is even low in calories and has a low glycemic index, which means it won't cause much of a spike in blood sugar levels.
This flour has a different texture and may require more liquid in your recipe, like oat flour or millet, and like other gluten-free flours, you may also need to add a binding agent like xanthan gum to help your baked goods hold together.
1 cup of spelt flour = 1 cup of quinoa flour
Quinoa is a grain-like seed that’s high in protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, which has a mild, somewhat nutty flavor that works well in a variety of recipes.
This spelt flour alternative has a relatively gritty texture that tends to require more water than usual, so you may also need to adjust the cooking time and temperature.