As parents we often worry about packing in the right nutrients for our kids. A wholesome sandwich can offer a good lunch time or snack choice and we all know wholemeal bread is a healthier and better choice than white bread. But with a Coeliac Child we can be even more concerned about whether they are getting the right vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins etc. And with whole grain wheat flour not offering a gluten free option then we have to look for alternatives.
Can rice flours compete for nutritional value with wheat flours?
Wheat flour has good nutritional values, particularly wholemeal more than a white flour. But obviously, a Coeliac diet cannot contain wheat. Rice flours are a good substitute but is there an advantage of using brown rice flour rather than white rice flour?
Rice flour cannot offer more nutritional value than wheat flour but as an alternative it does the job and ensures Coeliacs can still enjoy gluten free breads, cakes, muffins, and other desserts.
White rice flour is a substitute for regular flour and is great as a thickener or for sweets and other baking. Brown rice flour has more nutritional value and has a nuttier and sweeter flavour and great for breads. Rice flour can be a little gritty so you can look to buy finer flours.
The table below shows the nutritional values for comparison:
Wholemeal Wheat Flour
White Wheat Flour
Brown Rice Flour
White Rice Flour
As you can see the rice flours have a higher calorific content than wheat flour but are high in carbohydrates and generally have a less nutritional value to us. This really can be compensated for in our baking and sandwich fillings etc.
So back to the question - brown rice flour or white rice flour?
I suppose the answer to the question may be influenced by what you are making and baking as neither flour really meets the nutritional values of wheat flour nor do they offer exact cooking properties.
If you're making bread then choose brown rice flour, as this offers a sweeter nuttier and all round good flavour. White rice flours may be chosen for your fairy cakes. There is also the option of using a mix of flours. Using a mix of flours offers better baking results.
Pack in the protein
A chicken breast, salad and mayonnaise sandwich will be a good meal of protein. Peanut butter sandwiches can be a child's favourite or add mayonnaise to make it a little easier to eat. Egg mayo, tuna, sweetcorn and mayo sandwiches will all help and easy to prepare and send to school for lunches.
A nutty cheddary sandwich filling
How about trying this recipe for a great tasting sandwich filling:
You will need
100g grated cheddar cheese
2 sweet pickle chopped finely
6 walnut halves chopped finely
6 olives chopped finely
salt & pepper
Place the cheese, sweet pickles, waltnuts and olives in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread liberally over your favourite gluten free bread!