Even though it seems to get a bad rep these day, flour is everywhere.
I noticed when we went to a very chic, very insta-worthy tapas bar in Panama’s San Francisco district last Saturday. Even though the creativity of the cocktail menu was impressive, my gluten-free friend Nicole and I were quite limited when it came to the snacks. Almost all dishes were breaded (and dipped in oil = hipster code for fried) and all sauces seemed creamy and thick and definitely had some kind of flour in them. And I do not blame anyone. It is just how it is.
But it got me thinking.
Should I have reviewed the menu and make my attendance dependant on the food? Or just eat before?
Given the fact that a high percentage of processed foods nowadays contain wheat and respectivly gluten, I think option A would slowly but surely kill my social life and one can only hope that there will be more gluten-free tapas out there one day – or chefs would start using all types of flours in the kitchen in the future. Because many naturally gluten-free flours have been around for ages and we simply do not use them.
Abundance can be simply by conciously receiving what had already been giving – Sufi Saying
Different body types react differently to different ingredients – let’s have a look which flour would be the best for you.
White Flour (Wheat) & Whole Wheat Flour – Qualities: Gooey, Sticky, Difficult, Heavy
From an ayurvedic perspective, only pitta body types can effortlessly digest wheat due it it´s sticky and goey qualities.
Both vata and kapha (and their naturally more sensitive digestive systems) are more likely to experience discomfort or even more severe side effects, like severe bloating, blocked blood circulation or yeast infections.
Buckwheat Flour – Qualities: Hot, Dry
Buckwheat luckily is quite the opposite to the previously mentioned types of wheat as the name misleads – it´s actually a seed and especially beneficial for kaphas as it is hot and dry and exactly what a kapha (or somebody with high kapha levels) needs.
Pittas on the other hand might experience increase body heat when accessively consuming the “pseudo-grain” and vatas might fight with increased bloating.
Oat Flour – Qualities: Gooey, Heavy
Even though oats are widely recommended as the ideal breakfast grain for atheletes and people seeking fat loss, the sticky nature of (glutenous) oats can have a negative effect on kaphas (which are mainly the ones trying to lose weight).
Spelt Flour – Qualities: Easy, Heavy, Gooey, Cold
Even though bread made with spelt is much less kapha provoking than refined wheat flours, it still contains sticky gluten and can affect the digestive system of sensitive consumers in the long run. Pittas and vatas often benefit from swapping traditional wheat products for spelt.
Rye Flour – Qualities: Difficult, Hot, Dry
Rye flour (a dark whole grain often used in dark German bread) is one of the few kapha pacifying grains – even though it naturally contains gluten. As with buckwheat, strong pitta and vata types are likely to experience stomach troubles.
Quinoa Flour – Qualities: Easy, Light, Cold
Our winner! Even though you might not know how to pronoune it correctly, it is easy to digest for all of us and quinoa flour baked godos can be enjoyed by all body types equally. This superfood is actually worth the splurge when it comes to pasta for example, just make sure there is no wheat added to drop the cost. And for your info, it is pronounced KEEN-WA.
Chia Flour – Qualities: Gooey
Another superfood which can be quickly converted into flour – a flour that can add creaminess to your sauces for example.
Vatas and pittas do benefit of including chia (flour) in their diet, kaphas should avoid the seeds in large quantities due to their oily nature.
Amaranth Flour – Qualities: Dry, Light
Another type of super “pseudograin” which can be milled and used to pacify kapha and pitta from an ayurvedic perspective.
Vatas on the other hand should consume amaranth in moderation due to its light and airy qualities which could cause bloating and gas.
Corn Flour – Qualities: Difficult, Dry, Hot
Even though sweet grains are generally looked at as kapha imbalacing, corn flour is an exception and can actually funcion as a balancing flour alternative for kaphas – amazing if you are looking for a gluten-free alternative for tortillas or arepas. Again, we are talking about pure corn flour and do not recommend processed corn products which are often streched with wheat.
Rice Flour – Qualities: Cold, Dificult, Heavy, Dry
Many gluten-free baked good contain rice flour, but kaphas should be careful to consume too much of it as the cold qualities slow down the digestive fire even more. Pittas benefit a lot from consuming rice pasta and rice cookies, vatas on the other hand should watch out for bloating coming from the dryness.