Whether you’re sensitive to gluten or you’re just looking to eat a little healthier, you’re probably avoiding white flour. But thanks to these six wholesome alternatives, that doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy a brownie (or three).

flour blackbeans
My Natural Family

Black Beans

OK, we know what you’re thinking, and no, you absolutely can’t tell that the secret ingredient in these delightfully rich and chocolaty brownies is black beans. Like most legumes, black beans are packed with protein and fiber, both of which help to steady the digestive process.

What to make: Black Bean Brownies

flour chickpea
Ambitious Kitchen

Chickpeas

Hummus is wonderful, but did you know chickpeas can be used in sweets, too? It’s true. Like black beans, chickpeas have a ton of protein and fiber, as well as antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene. They’re also champions at regulating blood sugar, so they’ll keep you fuller longer.

What to make: Chickpea Blondies

flour oats
Cookie + Kate

Oats

When ground into a fine flour using a food processor or blender (seriously--so easy to do at home), oats add an interesting flavor to baked goods and contain all the health benefits of a bowl of oatmeal (think beta-glucan, a fiber that lowers cholesterol, and lots of protein and manganese).

What to make: Gluten-Free Oat Waffles

RELATED: 17 Oat Recipes That Aren’t Oatmeal

flour almond
Ambitious Kitchen

almond meal

Here’s another substitute you can make on your own or buy at the store. High in protein and low in carbs, almonds are ground into a meal using the aforementioned food processor, at which point they’re a great substitute for flour, as in these excellent muffins that are way healthier than their chocolate chunks suggest.

What to make: Flax Almond Meal Banana Muffins with Dark Chocolate

flour cauliflower
Erin McDowell

Cauliflower

Low in carbs and high in vitamin K (which acts as an anti-inflammatory), cauliflower is an incredibly versatile substitute for white flour, whether in a deliciously crispy pizza crust or in easy-to-make, five-ingredient tortillas.

What to make: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

RELATED: 19 of the World’s Best Cauliflower Recipes

flour wholewheat
Sally’s Baking Addiction

Whole Wheat Flour

Good morning. Though not gluten-free, whole wheat flour has more protein than white flour, and in baking tastes virtually indistinguishable from its less nutritious cousin. On top of that, it contains vitamins like folate, riboflavin and B-1, B-3 and B-5, so you don’t have to feel too bad about eating the whole stack of pancakes.

What to make: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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