For about a year now I have been experimenting with different types of flours.

Now, I admit it, a few years ago I didn’t even know there was anything other than wheat flours. Then I starting baking my own Ezekiel bread and all of a sudden a world of flour possibilities opened up: quinoa, barley, millet, oat, almond, rye, potato, soy and so on.

Now a lot of you, whether you know it or not, are wheat and or gluten intolerant. You eat a slice of wheat bread and then a half-hour later you feel bloated, sluggish and “puffy”. Maybe you get stomach cramps or irritable bowels? May be a good idea for you to stay off wheat for a while and see how you feel.

As with anything else that’s good for you, it would be best if you could grow and grind the flours yourself, but we don’t live in that age so the next best thing is to buy the organic flours.

Bob’s Red Mill has a great lineup of flours and can be found at Riverside Grocery and Porter Creek Super A.

White flour is the worst type of flour you could ingest. It is pretty much void of any nutritional content and full of empty calories. Here’s what you get …

1 cup serving = 455 calories

Fat = 1.2 grams

Carbohydrates = 95.4 grams

Sugar = 0.3 grams

Fibre = 3.4 grams

Protein 12.9 grams

Whole wheat flour is far more nutritious than white flour. With more than four times the amount of fibre, your body has to actually burn calories in the digestion process to break down the food. Remember, less-processed is always better. Here’s what you get …

1 cup serving = 407 calories

Fat = 2.2 grams

Carbohydrates = 87.1 grams

Sugar = 0.5 grams

Fibre = 14.6 grams

Protein 16.4 grams

We all know how good oats are for us. Start off every day with a bowl of oats. Oat flour is what I used tonight to make my homemade pizza. It turned out great. The kids loved it; didn’t even notice it wasn’t a wheat crust. It was crunchy and tasted great. Most “other” flours do not contain gluten.

Gluten is what you get when the proteins of wheat, rye and barley flours combine with liquids. Gluten is what makes your dough chewy. One per cent of our population is gluten intolerant. If you like the consistency of gluten flour better, you can add a bit of gluten flour and/or barley or millet flour to your recipe. Here’s what you get …

1 cup serving = 397 calories

Fat = 4.58 grams (almost all unsaturated)

Carbohydrates = 76.5 grams

Sugar = 0 grams

Fibre = 11.8 grams

Protein 12.75 grams

One of the world’s most nutritionally complete foods, almond flour, is Mr. Lee’s new favourite flour. High in protein and healthy fats, and low in carbohydrates, we have been substituting almond flour in recipes for cookies, pancakes, muffins and breads.

I warn you, it is a lot more expensive than regular flour, but, used as a treat, it has been a great addition to our treat cupboard. We haven’t tried it yet, but I am sure you could just grind up almonds in a coffee grinder and it should come out a flour substance.

Try freezing the nuts first to be sure you won’t make almond butter, instead. Almonds are loaded in Vitamin E and magnesium. There are a lot of almond-flour recipes on the Internet now. I urge you to give them a try. Here’s what you get …

1 cup serving = 672 calories

Fat = 53.2 grams (almost all unsaturated)

Carbohydrates = 24 grams

Sugar = 0 grams

Fibre = 3.0 grams

Protein = 24 grams

So, hopefully this will motivate you to step out of the box a little bit with your recipes and try something a bit different. Play around with your recipes; try combining flours to see what sort of textures you end up with.

Sometimes I may run out of one flour and have to use another to fill in the requested amount of flour.

Below is my bread machine Ezekiel bread recipe, but I never use wheat flour now. I substitute whatever other flours I may have around the house. I will also play with the recipe to make a breakfast bread with cinnamon, cloves, dark-chocolate pieces, walnuts.

Ezekiel Bread Recipe

Put the following ingredients, in order, in your bread machine:

1 cup water

¼ cup cooked and drained red kidney beans

¼ cup cooked and drained lentils

1½ teaspoons olive oil

1½ tablespoons honey

¾ teaspoon sea salt

1 cup amaranth flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup barley flour

½ cup millet flour

2 tablespoons gluten

1 ½ teaspoons yeast

This column is provided by Peak Fitness. Mrs. Lee Randell is an ACE-certified personal trainer. Contact information and past articles are available at www.pkfitness.yk.ca/Clients. Anyone who wants to begin an exercise program should consult their physician first.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.