But before we get into their nutritional facts, how they affect your bake, and more, let’s look at some fun facts! Oat flour has been used for centuries to make traditional Scottish oatcakes, while sorghum flour has its roots in Africa, where it’s been a staple in various cuisines.
Now, let’s dive into the specifics.
Comparing oat flour vs sorghum flour
|Oat Flour||Sorghum Flour|
|Substitution ratio vs all-purpose flour||100% swap with all-purpose if done by weight. If done by cup, you need 1 ⅓ cup of oat flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose||Replace 25% of the all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend with sorghum flour (any more will produce a sour flavor and weird mouth feel)|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||2 months||1 – 3 months|
|Best for baking…||Dense baked goods like pancakes, bread, and muffins||Cakes, biscuits, and pie crusts – anything that needs a drier texture|
*Check the label/ingredients to determine gluten-free status
Differences between oat flour and sorghum flour
Oat flour and sorghum flour might both be gluten-free flour alternatives, but they differ in a lot of other ways. Oat flour can be substituted for wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio if you’re doing so by weight, making it an easy swap for your favorite recipes (it’ll be 1 ⅓ cup for every 1 cup of oat for cup measurements). Sorghum flour can’t act as a full substitute for all-purpose in a recipe, as replacing any more than 25% will produce a sour flavor and a weird mouth feel.
Another important factor to consider is whether they’ll work for specific dietary needs. While both aren’t considered paleo or keto-friendly, they are, as mentioned, naturally gluten-free, making it a safe choice for those with gluten allergies or intolerances. Both are allergen free flours.
Note: Always choose certified gluten-free oat flour if you are gluten intolerant since some oats are processed on machinery that also handles gluten.
Baking with oat flour vs baking with sorghum flour
Let’s see how these flours change up your bake. Oat flour is a great choice for recipes that benefit from a moist and tender texture, such as cookies, muffins, and quick breads. Many people love the slightly sweet and nutty flavor it adds to baked goods, which can enhance the overall taste. It also helps create a chewy and soft texture, making it a popular choice for recipes that call for a comforting and hearty result.
Sorghum flour offers a lighter and drier texture, making it suitable for recipes like cakes, biscuits, and pie crusts. The delicate crumb and subtle earthy taste it can add to baked goods can complement plenty of different flavors. Its ability to create a more structured texture works well with recipes that need a little more stability.
Ingredients in oat flour vs sorghum flour
Unsurprisingly, oat flour is made solely out of ground oats, which are a type of grain. It’s usually produced by grinding whole oats into a fine powder. Sorghum flour is made from the sorghum grain, a gluten-free ancient cereal grain widely cultivated in Africa and parts of Asia. Like oat flour, it’s also made by grinding the whole grain down into a fine powder.
Oat flour + sorghum flour nutritional facts
|Per ¼ cup serving||Oat flour||Sorghum flour|
|Carbs||22 g||28 g|
|Fiber||3 g||2 g|
|Sugar||0 g||0 g|
|Fat||2 g||0.5 g|
|Protein||4 g||3 g|
|Glycemic index score||44||66 – 70|
Based on the table, we can see that oat flour and sorghum flour aren’t vastly different when it comes to their base nutritional qualities. Per ¼ cup serving, oat flour has 4g vs 3g with sorghum. They also only differ by 1g in fiber (3g vs 2g), only slightly in fat (2g vs 0.5g), and have a 10 calorie difference (120 vs 130). Both flours don’t contain any sugar.
Where they differ most is their carb content (22g vs 28g) and glycemic index score (44 vs 66 – 70). At 66 – 70 on the scale, sorghum flour is a high glycemic index flour that will cause a quicker rise in blood sugar. However, its benefit is that it’s higher in nutrients like iron, even compared to quinoa.
Oat flour vs sorghum flour storage
At a short shelf life of just 2 months, oat flour won’t last very long. As sorghum flour lasts 1 – 3 months, it’s not much better. The shorter shelf life of these flours is due to their higher fat or oil content, which can lead to rancidity over time if not properly stored.
Oat flour vs sorghum flour: What to use
Whether you’re craving chewy oat-based treats or delicately structured baked goods, both flours have their place in the gluten-free baking world. Personally, I like to follow this rule when deciding between these flours. I tend to use oat flour in traditional recipes to create a more rustic look and feel and save sorghum flour for more complex recipes like gluten-free shortcrust and interesting breads. My recommendation? Experiment with both (or other flours) and see how they can totally transform your bake!
A suitable substitute for sorghum flour would be a combination of gluten-free flours such as brown rice flour and millet flour. This blend can help recreate the texture and taste profile of sorghum flour in your baked goods. If you want something a little easier to bake with, red whole wheat flour could also be a good option.
When it comes to substituting oat flour, a combination of buckwheat flour and white rice flour can be an excellent all-around alternative.
Another name for sorghum flour is jowar flour. Jowar flour is also gluten-free and comes from the grain sorghum.