Funky Ingredients

Some recipes on this site call for ingredients that aren't currently commonly used or known in the United States by home chefs. The following is information about them. The bulk of the information is given in terms of grams of mass, however, in order to facilitate the computation of the nutritional value of recipes, the density of an ingredient is listed as "(1 cup = N g)."

Note that the following information is only approximate due to variations between producers.

NutritionInformation
per 100g (1 cup = 150 g)
Calories 370
From Fat 50
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 26 mg
Total Carbohydrate 61 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 1.5 g
Protein 21 g

Chick Pea Flour

(also known as "Garbanzo Flour")

As its name implies, this is a flour made from dried and ground chick peas (aka garbanzo beans). It has no gluten but is high in protein. This is one of the main ingredients in falafel, and it is also traditionally used to make flatbread. Its flavor is very mild, but easily distinguished.

NutritionInformation
per 100g (1 cup = 136 g)
Calories 386
From Fat 13
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 0.1 mg
Sodium 18 mg
Total Carbohydrate 74.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 16.1 g
Protein 13.3 g

Spelt Flour, White

Spelt is thought to be an ancestor of modern wheat and is higher in protein and vitamins than its descendant. Because of its tough outer hull, it apparently loses less of its nutritional value on the way to the mill. White spelt flour, like white wheat flour, is made by grinding up the inner part of the grain (minus its outer hull and bran coating). This flour is high in gluten, so it will behave very similarly to wheat flour with respect to stretching and rising. Its flavor is mild and similar to wheat.

Many wheat-sensitive people can tolerate spelt.

NutritionInformation
per 100g (1 cup = 136 g)
Calories 323
From Fat 22
Total Fat 2.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 68 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 15 g

Spelt Flour, Whole

Spelt is thought to be an ancestor of modern wheat and is higher in protein and vitamins than its descendant. Because of its tough outer hull, it apparently loses less of its nutritional value on the way to the mill. Whole spelt flour, like whole wheat flour, is made by grinding up the entire grain (minus its outer hull). This flour is high in gluten, so it will behave very similarly to wheat flour with respect to stretching and rising. Its flavor is mild and slightly nutty, very similar to wheat.

Many wheat-sensitive people can tolerate spelt.

NutritionInformation
per 100g (1 cup = 120 g)
Calories 400
From Fat 15
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 30 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 77 g

Vital Wheat Gluten

(also known as "Pure Gluten Flour")

This is a flour made from high gluten wheat flour, with additional processing to remove the starch and bran, leaving mostly protein. Vital wheat gluten is light tan in color and has almost no flavor.

If one is allergic to wheat, then it is usually the case that the gluten is the problem; so, in such cases, vital wheat gluten is probably out. However, if you are carbohydrate intolerant, then vital wheat gluten is probably a fine thing to have, since it is very low in carbohydrates compared to most flours.


by Dan Bornstein, danfuzz@milk.com , http://www.milk.com/home/danfuzz/ .

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