Gram flour, also known as chickpea flour or besan, is a high protein flour alternative. Made from blended chickpeas, gram flour is heavily utilized in Indian cooking. Gram flour has a thick, slightly chalky consistency and tastes bitter when it is uncooked. Not only is gram flour delicious, but it has also been used as a beauty treatment for centuries. Here’s why gram flour should be in your pantry:
1. Gram flour can be used as a vegan egg replacer! Just mix it with equal parts water and voila! I’ve had great success in using it for omelettes and scrambled “eggs.” Be sure to season it before cooking for the best results.
Chickpea Scramble Breakfast Tacos
2. Because it is made from chickpeas, it has a high protein content: 21 grams per one cup. Gram flour can be easily blended with regular or gluten-free flour to boost the protein content of any baked good. You may also get good results using gram flour as a standalone flour replacer, depending on the dish.
3. High nutrient value. One cup of chickpea flour fulfills the recommended daily intake of: 25% iron, 101% folate, 24% zinc, and 36% magnesium.
4. Gram flour can be used as a skin soothing mask. Just mix gram flour with water and a pinch of turmeric until it forms a paste. Apply it to your skin and let dry. This can be used as an all over exfoliating treatment or just applied to the face for a healthy glow.
5. Helps maintain or strengthen bone health. The phosphorus and magnesium found in gram flour aid in calcium absorption.
6. High in fiber, gram flour can aid in proper digestion, as well as keep you full for longer than other types of flour.
7. It is so versatile! With gram flour you can make crepes, vegan eggs, thicken soups/curries, desserts, koftes (an Indian delicacy!), and more. It is unbelievably delicious when added to savory dishes with some lemon juice. Seriously this stuff is to die for!
8. You can make it at home with a food processor (or high tech blender). Pour some chickpeas in your device of choice and blend into a fine powder. Simple 😊
Give gram flour a try! This ingredient is a game changer when it comes to vegan cooking- the health benefits are honestly a secondary bonus compared to all the mouth-watering dishes you can make.
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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote; Olga Kudriavtseva via Unsplash