Amaranth flour is one of the most popular ‘healthy’ flour alternatives out there. Amaranth is gluten-free, has a good nutrient profile, and has a delightful nutty flavor profile. It comes from the amaranth seed and has been used as flour for centuries, which is why it is considered an ancient grain.
However, despite its popularity, it’s not always easy to find in stores. That’s why we have prepared this helpful guide on what are the best substitutes for amaranth flour when you need them:
- Quinoa flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Barley Flour
- Soy Flour
- Chia Flour
Best All-Around Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Quinoa Flour
The overall best substitute for amaranth flour is quinoa flour. Why? It has a similar flavor-though quinoa is a little stronger in taste – a similar nutritional profile, and you can swap it 1:1.
Quinoa and amaranth flour are both gluten-free and are both seeds and pseudo-cereals, which means they are not technically grains but are used similarly to grains in recipes.
Both flours are accessed easily enough in some supermarkets and specialty stores, though with the explosion in popularity of quinoa, it seems to be everywhere! Both flours lend themselves better to savory baking rather than sweet due to the nutty and earthy flavor profiles.
Best Budget-Friendly And Easy-to-Bake-With Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Whole Wheat Flour
If you can tolerate gluten, whole wheat flour is the closest easy-to-bake-with and budget-friendly substitute for amaranth flour. They both have that nutty, savory flavor and work well in similar recipes, but whole wheat flour is just overall easier to work with because of the gluten, and it is usually much cheaper.
Closest In Flavor Substitute For Amaranth Flour: Barley Flour
Barley flour tastes the most like amaranth flour, with its mildly nutty flavor profile. Both are gluten-free grains and work in similar recipes, though I find buckwheat flour slightly more grainy than amaranth flour.
You can also swap the flours 1:1 in most recipes, which is always handy!
Best Neutral Flavored Substitute For Amaranth Flour: Whole Wheat Flour
While whole wheat flour doesn’t have a neutral flavor, especially if made from red wheat, white whole wheat flour is a more neutral-tasting flour than amaranth, without being utterly flavorless like all-purpose flour is.
It does contain gluten, so it’s not an option for gluten-free baking.
Best Healthy Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Quinoa Flour
Quinoa flour is a richer source of protein than amaranth flour. While both flours contain all the essential amino acids, quinoa flour has slightly more protein per gram than amaranth, though both are complete proteins, meaning they contain all eight essential amino acids.
Much like amaranth, you should substitute just 25% of the flour in your wheat flour recipe with quinoa flour to boost the nutrition of the baked good. Using 100% amaranth or 100% quinoa flour in a dish would be intense.
Best High-Fiber Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Whole-Wheat Flour
Amaranth flour has a decent amount of fiber, but whole wheat flour has more. Amaranth contains 4 grams of fiber per ¼ cup, and whole wheat has 5 grams. There are higher fiber options for gluten-free baking flour, such as coconut flour, but the flavor profiles and the way they work in recipes are just completely different.
Best Gluten-Free Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Quinoa Flour
Quinoa flour is an excellent gluten-free option if you don’t have amaranth flour. While many of the earlier gluten-free products on supermarket shelves tasted like cardboard, the quinoa stuff was alright! Thank heavens those days are gone, and the taste of gluten-free treats is much improved.
Best Low-Calorie Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Quinoa Flour
Quinoa flour is also lower in calories than amaranth flour. It contains roughly 100 calories per ¼ cup, whereas amaranth has 140 calories. It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it is if you use a lot of it!
Best High Protein Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Soy Flour
Soy flour is one of the highest protein flours on the market, containing 12 grams of protein per ¼ cup compared to amaranth’s 5 grams. That is more than double!
They don’t taste the most similar; soy flour has that nutty taste, but it also does taste slightly beany, whereas amaranth does not have a hint of bean. However, if you are looking for a protein boost in your baking, soy flour is readily available and really packs a high-protein punch.
Best Keto/Paleo/Whole30 Substitute for Amaranth Flour: Chia Flour
Chia flour is the winner in all three categories for the best keto, paleo, and Whole30 substitute! Chia is a seed with a nutty and earthy flavor profile, just like amaranth and quinoa, but it is very low carb, so it is more suitable for keto. While some label it a pseudo-grain, it is still considered okay for paleo and Whole30 diets, whereas quinoa and amaranth are not.
Chia should not be 100% of your baking flour; it is best mixed with other flour for a nutritional and flavor punch, just like amaranth.
Amaranth IS the English name, and you might hear it referred to as rajgira. Rajgira, which means royal grain, is the Indian word for it.
Amaranth is, unfortunately, not low GI and may not be a suitable grain to eat much of if you are on a low GI diet. If so, quinoa flour would be an alternative for you.