Have you ever heard of apple flour? Honestly, neither had I before I started researching gluten-free flour. Apple flour (or apple pomace flour) is an unusual flour made from finely ground dried apple pomace, which is bits of apple skin, flesh, stems, and seeds. It has a mild apple flavor and is quite popular among gluten-free bakers to help increase the shelf life of sweet baked goods. However, it can be hard to come by in stores.
Fortunately, there are several great substitutes for apple flour that you can use instead! Here they are:
- Sweet potato flour
- Cake flour
- Oat flour
- Banana flour
- Almond flour
Best All-Around Substitute for Apple Flour: Sweet Potato Flour
Sweet potato flour differs from the more well-known potato flour as it is made from the peeled and dried flesh of sweet potatoes, which are lower GI and more of a whole food than the often refined potato starch. It has a mild, sweet flavor that goes well with many desserts, just like apple flour, which is why it has been chosen as the best all-around substitute.
For baking purposes, sweet potato flour can be used as a cup-for-cup replacement for apple flour in the same recipes. The main difference is that sweet potato flour will produce baked goods that are a bit more dense than apple flour.
Best Budget-Friendly And Easy-to-Bake-With Substitute for Apple Flour: Cake Flour
Apple flour is predominantly used in sweet recipes due to its sweet flavor and light texture, so cake flour is the easiest to bake with a substitute. It isn’t sweet like apple flour but can provide an even softer texture, and the gluten in it helps it all bind together nicely.
It is also cheaper and easier to find than apple flour and is in almost all supermarkets in the flour section.
Closest Flavor Substitute For Apple Flour: Sweet Potato Flour
Apple flour is hard to find a substitute for because it has such a unique flavor profile with its sweetness. Coconut flour also has a sweetness to it but not in the same way as apple flour. The closest to a matching sweet flavor so far is sweet potato flour.
If they do end up making more kinds of flour out of fruits, then maybe this answer will change! I had a dream last week that I found strawberry flour, and it was delightful, so one can hope.
Best Healthy Substitute for Apple Flour: Sweet Potato Flour
In terms of finding a similar flour to apple but with a better nutritional profile, sweet potato flour is a good one. Sweet potato flour contains plenty of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C, and this makes it an excellent substitute for those who want the sweet taste without all the sugar found in apple flour.
Best High-Fiber and Gluten-Free Substitute for Apple Flour: Sweet Potato Flour
While apple flour does have a decent amount of fiber (around 4 grams per ¼ cup), sweet potato flour is closer to the 7-gram mark, making it a great high-fiber alternative.
Sweet potato flour can also be added to regular baking to boost the fiber content of sweet baked goods made with all-purpose or cake flour. Your digestive system will thank you!
Best Low-Calorie Substitute for Apple Flour: Banana Flour
Apple flour is pretty low-calorie, containing just 100 calories per ¼ cup, but another low-calorie flour that might work if you cannot find apple flour is banana flour, which sits at about the same caloric value as apple flour. Why is it so low? Banana flour is usually made with unripe bananas, which are low in sugar, and both flours contain almost no fat or protein.
Best High-Protein Substitute for Apple Flour: Oat Flour
While apple flour is a pretty cool flour to play around with, it has negligible amounts of protein! Therefore, almost any other flour will be a high-protein alternative by comparison, but the one that would work best is oat flour, which has around 4 grams of protein per ¼ cup.
Oat flour can be used in most of the same recipes as apple flour. It isn’t as sweet but does have that comforting oaty taste that is nice in a baked treat.
Best Keto Substitute for Apple Flour: Almond Flour
Apple flour is high in carbohydrates and, therefore, entirely unsuitable for the keto diet. The best substitute would be almond flour. Almond flour is a little denser and has a considerably higher fat content, but with a bit of tweaking of the fat/oil ingredients in the recipe, almond can be a decent substitute for apple flour.
Best Paleo and Whole30 Substitute for Apple Flour: Sweet Potato Flour
Sweet potato is a grain-free whole food and is, therefore, suitable for the paleo and Whole30 diets as long as it is used in healthy, whole-food recipes.
The sweet potatoes are peeled and sliced into thin pieces and placed in a dehydrator or oven at a low temperature for several hours until completely dry. Then, they are ground into a fine powder. So yes! You could try to make it yourself at home.
Sweet potato flour is great in cakes and muffins but also makes an excellent flour for gnocchi, dumplings, arepas, or savory fritters.
Apple pomace is the by-product of the juicing process, so if you have just made apple juice, scoop all your leftover bits from the juicer, spread the pomace on a baking sheet, and place it in the oven at a low temperature for several hours. After drying, you can grind the apple pomace in a food processor or a blender until it reaches a flour-like consistency.