Is Flour Vegan? Everything You Need to Know
Flour can be used to created delicious baked goods such as cakes, pies and cookies. It’s a crucial ingredient in many recipes, but is flour vegan? Here’s everything you need to know.
Next up in my ‘Is It Vegan?’ series is flour. I’m writing this post for all the new vegans out there who may still be a bit unsure about which ingredients are suitable for such a diet.
Flour is a super common ingredient that you’ll see in almost every recipe that requires cooking or baking. There are many different types of flour available to buy, and some can even be made at home. Let’s take a closer look at the different varieties.
What is flour?
Wheat flour is a fine, white, powdery substance that is used for cooking and baking. It is made by milling and grinding wheat into a flour-like consistency.
You can use flour to make baked goods such as pies and cakes. You can also use it in cooking, to thicken soups, sauces and stews. The most common type of flours used in cooking are plain flour (all purpose flour) and whole wheat flour. For baking, it’s common to use either plain flour or self-raising flour. Both plain and self-raising flour are made from wheat.
There are many other types of flour aside from wheat flour. Variations include cake flour, bread flour and rice flour. I’ll explain more about those further in this post.
Other types of grains and legumes that can be made into flours include chickpeas, buckwheat and oats. Then there’s also nut flours, such as almond flour or peanut flour, which are made by finely grinding up the nuts. All of these flours can be used as healthier alternatives to wheat flour or as a flour substitute when making gluten-free treats. It’s important to follow a recipe that has been tested with these particular flours as it’s not always as simple as switching it out at a 1:1 ratio.
Is flour vegan?
Yes, flour is vegan! Since flour is made from wheat and wheat is a plant, vegans can eat flour. Almost all types of other flours are vegan too because they’re pretty much always made from plants. It’s rare for flour to be associated with animal-based ingredients or processing methods, at least in the UK.
Is plain flour vegan?
Yes, plain flour is vegan and can be consumed by those on a vegan diet. Plain flour is also known as all-purpose flour in some countries. It is made from wheat. Vegan recipes you can make with plain flour include some types of breads, sauces and the following desserts:
Is self-raising flour vegan?
Yes, self-raising flour is vegan. Self-raising flour is also known as self-rising flour in some countries. It is simply plain flour with some baking powder and salt added, which helps your baked goods to rise. This is a good type of flour to use if you want a light, fluffy result, and it’s especially useful if you’re not using eggs in the recipe. Vegan desserts you can make with self-raising flour include:
What about cake flour?
Is cake flour vegan? It sure is! Cake flour is a superfine flour with a lower protein content than plain/all-purpose flour. It does not have any raising agents added to it in the way that self-raising flour does but many bakers prefer to use cake flour to help produce light and fluffy cakes.
Is almond flour vegan?
Almond flour is vegan. It’s made simply by grinding up blanched almonds into a fine consistency. “Ground almonds” are regular almonds (with the skin) that are ground into a fine consistency.
These two names are often used interchangeably but you’ll be able to tell the difference between the two products by the colour. Blanched almond flour is pale yellow in colour whereas ground almonds will have specs of brown in there too. It can be confusing because many supermarkets sell almond flour as “ground almonds” so it’s easiest to just go by the colour. Here are some vegan desserts you can make with almond flour:
And bread flour?
Is bread flour vegan? You bet! Bread flour is a type of wheat flour that has a slightly higher protein content than regular plain flour. As the name suggests, it’s the best type of flour to make bread with. You can also use it to make things like hot cross buns.
What other types of flour are there?
Aside from variations of wheat and nut-based flours, common cooking and baking flours include:
- Gram flour. This is made from ground chickpeas and is great for making Indian dishes like pakoras and bhajis.
- Cornflour. Cornflour is different from corn meal and is also known as cornstarch. It’s good for thickening soups, sauces and custard. You can also use it as an egg replacement in some recipes.
- Oat flour. This is a healthier alternative to wheat flour because it’s a slow-release carbohydrate. It’s a bit heavier than plain flour and will produce a more dense result. It’s often mixed with another type of flour in recipes.
- Rice flour. Rice flour is a very common ingredient in gluten-free flour blends. It’s usually made by grinding up white rice but you can sometimes find brown rice flour too.
- Buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is a complex carbohydrate that is also used in gluten-free baking often. Yes, despite its name, buckwheat flour is actually gluten-free!
So, is flour vegan? Yes, all flour is vegan. The only exceptions would be the very small amount of animal-based flours out there, such as cricket flour. Plain flour, self-raising flour, almond flour, bread flour, cake flour, oat flour and buckwheat flour are all vegan. If it comes from a plant-based source then you can almost guarantee that your flour is vegan.