One of the most popular wheat-flour alternatives is chickpea flour, as it provides many healthy nutrients and is lower in carbs/calories. But is chickpea flour low FODMAP?
The word FODMAP is short for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. Each of these are a short-chain carbohydrate that is believed to negatively contribute to the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This is because they are generally difficult for the small intestine to absorb.
You should only commence a FODMAP diet on instruction from a medical professional.
So is chickpea flour low FODMAP?
Chickpea flour is high FODMAP due to the high levels of chickpeas used to make it. Chickpeas are considered high FODMAP due to their galacto-oligosaccharide content.
If consumed in very small quantities, chickpea flour may be considered low FODMAP – we recommend consulting with a doctor to determine the exact quantities of chickpea flour that can be eaten on a low FODMAP diet.
You can learn all about the variety of flours out there and their comparative nutrition by reading our in-depth explainer on all the flours.
How chickpea flour is made
Chickpea flour is made by drying out chickpeas either in an oven or dehydrator, and is then ground using a high-speed food processor/blender.
The result should be a fine flour that can be sieved to remove lumps.
If you’re making chickpea flour at home, you’ll need to ensure your chickpeas are completely dry before grinding. If there is any moisture at all in your chickpeas you’ll find your flour will be mushy rather than dry and powdery.
Baking with chickpea flour
Chickpea flour is a popular ingredient in modern baking, particularly for savory food products.
The best baked goods to make with chickpea flour are savory pancakes, pizza, pie crust, pakoras, and tortillas. You can also make sweet treats such as muffins and cupcakes.
I’ve included below a nutritional table to help you better understand the properties of chickpea flour in comparison with all-purpose flour:
|Per 1 Cup Serving||Chickpea Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Liquid Absorbency||Medium (slightly higher than all-purpose flour)||Medium|
|Best for baking||Pancakes, pizzas, pie crust, pakoras, tortillas, muffins, cupcakes||Non-yeast recipes (cookies, biscuits, some breads)|
From these stats, we can see that chickpeas have a glycemic index of 6, which is very low when compared with that of all-purpose flour which is 85. This makes it a great alternative if you’re looking to better control your blood sugar. Carbohydrates are fairly high at 23g – if you’re carb-counting, check out this blog on which flours have the lowest number of carbs.
To substitute for ordinary flour, you’ll want to use three-quarters chickpea flour for every standard amount of all-purpose flour you’d normally use. (So 3/4 of a cup to substitute for a cup of all-purpose flour.) This is because chickpea flour is more absorbent, and you may find it useful to use additional eggs/binding agents in your recipes when using chickpea flour.
Diets that suit chickpea flour
Chickpea flour is highly suitable for a gluten-free diet, as it doesn’t contain any gluten whatsoever.
However, it is unsuitable for those following a keto diet due to the high levels of carbs it contains. Don’t worry if you’re following a keto diet – we’ve compiled plenty of keto-friendly recipes!
It is also not suitable for paleo diets as chickpeas are a legume, which is not allowed when following a paleo diet.
If you’re looking for ways to better control blood sugar levels then chickpea flour may work for you, due to its low glycemic index of 6.
Here are a few quick-fire frequently asked questions to help you further your understanding of chickpea flour as a FODMAP!
Chickpea flour may upset your stomach if eaten in large quantities. This s because of the high levels of fiber it contains – eating too much too quickly can lead to a rapid fiber increase in your diet, something that your digestive system may be unprepared for. If in doubt, eat in small quantities and gradually increase to test your tolerance.
As chickpeas are high in fiber, they are considered to be a gut-friendly product as they promote the production of good bacteria in the gut. Fiber also supports bowel movements by increasing bulk and reducing hardness, aiding a better digestive process. However, as mentioned above we don’t recommend eating too many chickpea products as this may cause excess gas and bloating.
Chickpeas contain oligosaccharides, sugars that can be difficult to digest. This can often cause intestinal gas and abdominal discomfort if consumed in high amounts. We recommend introducing chickpeas and other legumes gradually to a diet to ensure minimal negative effects.
If consumed in moderation, chickpea flour shouldn’t cause bloating. Gas and bloating may occur if chickpea flour is eaten to excess due to the high levels of fiber it contains.
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