It seems like there are more types of alternative flours available than ever before, which makes the baking aisle a pretty confusing place these days. While some flours work better in pancake and waffle recipes, others work best for quick breads, cookies, muffins and cakes. And when you add nutritional value and substitution ratios to the equation, the choices are enough to make your head spin.

So to help you better understand your baking options, we’ve created a simple Guide to Alternative Flours. From coconut flour to almond and amaranth, let’s take a closer look at eight of the most popular alternatives out there.

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Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a soft, gluten-free and low-carb flour that you can find in everything from cakes and muffins to cookies, brownies and quick breads. It’s made from dried coconut meat and provides a great option for adding protein and fiber to baked goods. It’s also low on the glycemic index, making it an excellent choice for those keeping an eye on their blood sugar levels.

How to use it: While coconut flour is quite versatile, it can be a bit tricky to work with. It’s much more absorbent than other flours, so keep in mind that one-to-one substitutions won’t work in many recipes. The general rule is to substitute 1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut flour for every cup of all-purpose flour in a recipe. You may also need to increase the amount of liquid in the recipe to prevent the flour’s drying effect.

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