At some point in our baking journey almost all of us have looked for a gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour – is amaranth flour the one you could have been searching for all along?
The only problem is: how do they compare when we actually try to bake with amaranth flour versus all-purpose flour?
Since each flour has their own unique pros and cons, it can be tricky trying to figure out if it’s even worth switching. In this article, we’ll dive in and compare the two so that you can choose the right one for you.
Comparing amaranth flour vs all-purpose flour
|Amaranth Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Substitution ratio vs all-purpose flour||1:1*||N/A|
|Common Allergens||None||Wheat, gluten|
|Liquid absorbency||Just above medium||Medium|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||4-6 months (better stored in a fridge or freezer)||6-8 months|
|Best for baking…||Unleavened flatbread (like tortillas and chapatis), pizza dough, and baked goods||Non-yeast recipes (think cookies, biscuits, and some breads)|
*Substituting with a 1:1 ratio produces denser bakes, which is why we’d suggest mixing it with something lighter like almond flour (e.g. use 25% amaranth flour and 75% almond flour)
Differences between amaranth flour vs all-purpose flour
It’s obvious that amaranth flour and all-purpose flour don’t have a ton in common when we look at the chart above.
The biggest difference is that amaranth flour is gluten-free, making it an awesome alternative to all-purpose flour if you have any gluten or wheat sensitivities. This does come with a price however, as we’ll talk about it in the “Baking” section below.
The taste between the two is different as well, with amaranth flour providing a more earthy, nutty flavor, while all-purpose flour doesn’t really give off much flavor of its own.
This is definitely something to consider when baking, as you might like (or not like) to add that extra flare to your baked goods!
Baking with amaranth flour vs all-purpose flour
Baking between the two can take some getting used to.
Amaranth flour tends to create a denser bake when you substitute 1:1 with all-purpose flour, which is why we recommend teaming amaranth with something lighter like almond flour to create a lighter bake.
Because amaranth flour is gluten-free, the dough ends up being less structured and will not rise as well as all-purpose flour. To help your bakes stay together, I recommend adding some binders like eggs, egg whites, or flaxseed to your mix when baking with amaranth flour — baking soda or powder can help a bit with the rising, but it will still not likely rise as well as all-purpose flour.
This is why amaranth flour is great for things like flatbreads and pizza dough, and (as the name suggests) all-purpose flour is more of a universal bake, usually better for things like cookies and some breads.
If neither of these sound like your cup of tea when it comes to baking, check out our massive list of other great alternative flours that’ll give you a different experience!
Ingredients in amaranth flour vs all-purpose flour
Amaranth flour is nice and simple: ground down amaranth seeds — no preservatives or additives needed!
All-purpose flour is milled from hard and soft wheat, with WHITE all-purpose flour bleached to get that snow-like color and finer texture.
Amaranth flour + all-purpose flour nutritional facts
|Per 1/4 cup serving||Amaranth Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Glycemic Index Score||Approx. 107*||85|
Note: There is considerable nutritional variation within brands.
* It was a bit tricky finding credible and clear information on the GI score of amaranth flour – we did find that amaranth seeds have a high GI score. That, along with the relatively high carb content, suggests that the flour would also have a high GI score (maybe even higher than all-purpose flour).
Yes, amaranth flour has more calories than all-purpose flour — BUT it also has more protein and a little more fiber (if you want a flour with A LOT of fiber, checkout coconut flour).
The big thing to keep in mind with both of these flours is that they sport a high GI score. This is important when baking for someone with diabetes because a high GI score means that it will spike your blood sugar higher and quicker than something with a low GI score (check out almond flour if you want a much lower GI score).
The extra fat in amaranth flour isn’t very significant, but it could help you feel full for longer.
Amaranth flour vs all-purpose flour storage
Amaranth flour doesn’t last super long on the shelf — it’s usually good for 4-6 months, and you can push it closer to the 6 month mark if you store it sealed and in the fridge or freezer.
All-purpose flour on the other hand doesn’t last super long either — about 6-8 months. You can get more time out of it when storing it in a sealed container, and it will do better at room temperature than amaranth flour due to its lower fat content.
Amaranth flour vs all-purpose flour: The best bake
In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. These two flours both offer pros and cons, but I would personally go for amaranth flour.
Yes, it is harder to get the hang of, especially when trying to substitute a recipe meant for all-purpose flour and dealing with the less structured dough. But the added taste and nutritional qualities of amaranth flour make it worth the practice for me.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with using all-purpose flour if you’re looking for more convenience or don’t have any gluten sensitivities or allergies.
I’m curious to hear which you prefer and why — let me know in the comments below!
Amaranth flour has a unique amino complex structure, which makes it easier to digest and may actually help with digestion!
No, not all all-purpose flour is bleached. You can usually tell by looking at the color (whiter means bleached) and texture (denser grain and tougher texture is unbleached).
The slightly sweet, nutty, earthy flavor in amaranth flour is not super strong or overpowering, and mixes well with your bakes to bring out some extra flavor.