Coconut flour and amaranth flour have both proven themselves to be awesome gluten-free alternatives to all-purpose flour, but which one is best for you?
They each provide some great benefits, and offer different options when it comes to taste and nutritional value. That being said, their versatility might mean that you may prefer one over the other, depending on what your goals and diet is like.
Let’s dive in and compare coconut flour vs. amaranth flour, and break down which one is best for you!
Comparing coconut flour vs amaranth flour
|Coconut Flour||Amaranth Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Substitution ratio vs all-purpose flour||1:4||1:1 – 1:4*||N/A|
|Common Allergens||Coconut (tree nuts)||No||Wheat, gluten|
|Liquid absorbency||High||Medium (higher than all-purpose flour)||Medium|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||Up to 2 years||4-6 months (better stored in a fridge or freezer)||6-8 months|
|Best for baking…||Most desserts – especially cakes, cookies, pie crusts, muffins, and dense breads.||Unleavened flatbread (like tortillas and chapatis), pizza dough, and baked goods||Non-yeast recipes (think cookies, biscuits, and some breads)|
* Yes, this is a really wide range, and you really have to experiment a bit to get a feel for what your palate likes. While you could substitute with a 1:1 ratio, amaranth flour often produces denser bakes, which is why we’d suggest mixing it with something lighter like almond flour and using closer to a 1:4 substitution with all-purpose flour.
**A lot of people think that amaranth is a grain, when in-fact it’s not! We often use it is a grain, and it even looks like a grain, but amaranth refers to seeds, which puts it into the gray area of “pseudograins.”
Comparing coconut flour and amaranth flour shows that they have a lot of similarities in terms of what diets they can be used in, since both of them are gluten-free and paleo-friendly.
However, you may have noticed that there are a couple of key differences between the two when looking at the chart.
Let’s explore how the two differ, and make sure that you know everything you need to in order to start baking with your preferred flour!
Differences between coconut flour and amaranth flour
One of the biggest differences between coconut flour and amaranth flour is the fact that coconut flour soaks up a bunch more water than amaranth flour — therefore I recommend putting one cup of coconut flour for every four cups of all-purpose flour when substituting.
This is because coconut flour has a high fiber content, resulting in higher water uptake, which yields more dense and thick bakes.
Amaranth flour on the other hand, is closer to all-purpose flour when it comes to substituting, and you’d usually use a 1:1 ratio. However, amaranth flour soaks up just a bit more water than all-purpose flour, so keep that in mind when you’re baking something that you don’t want getting too dense – this is why we would recommend substituting with a 1:4 ratio, and consider mixing with another gluten-free flour such as almond flour to create a lighter bake.
There are a couple more differences between the two, including storage options, nutritional facts, calories, and ingredients.
Let’s check these out in more detail, starting with baking differences!
Baking with coconut flour vs. baking with amaranth flour
Because of the large fiber difference, coconut flour creates a denser bake than amaranth flour (check out other nutritional differences in the table below). This makes it especially good for things like toast, dense cakes, and pie crusts, whereas amaranth flour is great for things such as pizza crusts and unleavened flatbreads like tortillas.
Because coconut flour and amaranth flour are both gluten-free, their dough becomes stretchier, less strong, and less tough than when using all-purpose flour.
This means you may have to play around with some binders, such as eggs or flaxseed, to help hold your bakes together — keep this in mind when you are substituting in a recipe meant for flour with gluten!
Because amaranth flour takes up a bit more water than all-purpose flour, I recommend mixing it with something like almond flour in some cases to get your desired texture and thickness — especially if you’re trying to make leavened breads!
Ingredients in coconut flour vs. amaranth flour
I’m all about organic — I don’t want any added preservatives or chemicals, just the real stuff!
That’s why I’m happy to say that coconut flour (when done right) just contains coconut flakes, and amaranth flour is made by grinding down the amaranth seeds.
The simplicity makes it easy to recommend either of them to people who are cautious about what’s added into their baking goods!
Coconut flour + amaranth flour nutritional facts
|Per 1/4 cup serving||Coconut Flour||Amaranth Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Glycemic Index Score||45||Likely High*||85|
Note: There is considerable nutritional variation within brands.
* We had trouble 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 (much higher than coconut flour and maybe higher than all-purpose flour).
As you can see, coconut flour and amaranth flour are both very similar when it comes to calories and carb content, and both have 3 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein.
However, that’s where the similarities stop. Coconut flour has a much higher fiber content, which we’ve already discussed how it affects the baking process. Amaranth flour also has a suspected much higher glycemic index (GI) score than coconut flour, which means that it will spike your blood sugar much higher and quicker — keep this in mind especially when you are baking for people with diabetes.
Coconut flour + amaranth flour storage
Coconut flour is great if you’re looking for a flour with a long shelf-life. It can last in your pantry for up to 2 years when unopened or stored in a sealed container.
Amaranth flour on the other hand, is not quite as sustainable when shelving for a long period of time. It’s usually good for 4-6 months, and you can push it to the longer side of things when stored in the fridge or freezer — although if you’re anything like me, fridge and freezer space is always limited!
Coconut flour vs. amaranth flour: the ultimate verdict
Finally, the showdown is almost at an end…which one is better?
Both flours are great for different things, with each having their own strengths and weaknesses. However, coconut flour seems to be the better ingredient. You can’t beat its long shelf-life, versatility, relatively low glycemic index, and extra flavor, which I believe all make it the winner here (see our list of the best coconut flours).
That being said, amaranth flour contains some awesome amino-acids, minerals, and antioxidants that are nothing to ignore!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Between coconut flour and amaranth flour, coconut flour has the lower GI score of 45 versus amaranth flour’s suspected high GI score. This means that coconut flour is the better option as it won’t spike your blood sugar as much. That said, there are better options still for lower carb counts.
Because of its great amino-acid complex, amaranth flour can actually help IMPROVE digestion.
Amaranth flour comes from the amaranth plant’s seeds. The word “amaranth” comes from the Greek word for “immortal” or “everlasting,” which refers to the seed’s virtual indestructibility.