2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Chickpea Flour A Nutritious Option To Wheat
“I grew up in a gluten-free household, and I was surprised how easy it was to use and how good it was,” she says after tasting chocolate chip cookies made with chickpea flour. That was 2019, and she spent the next couple of years experimenting with mills and recipes to make flours and mixes with the chickpeas grown on her family’s Montana farm through her business 41 Grains. The name refers to Montana being the 41st state and the number of the county where the farm is located.
With a brother who was gluten-intolerant, she remembers adapting recipes to change amounts and adding binding ingredients for many non-wheat options. No changes are needed with chickpea flour.
After harvest, chickpeas are cleaned, then ground in a steel mill and sifted twice to remove hull pieces. The coarser grain from the second sifting is used in cornmeal-type mixes. The flour has a shelf life similar to whole wheat.
“We sift it fine, similar to the texture of all-purpose flour; it has a yellow tinge and sweet smell,” Sikveland says. Batter made with it tends to be thicker, and it takes a little longer to bake. The raw batter has a bean flavor, which disappears with baking.
“Chickpeas enhance the flavors of whatever you are making,” she says, noting it works especially well with chocolate. Her brownie mix is very popular.
Bread tends to be dense but can be lightened up with beer and other leavening ingredients, she adds.
In addition to being gluten-free, chickpea flour has a low glycemic index, is high in protein, and is full of trace minerals, so it’s a great option for anyone desiring nutritious food. Sikveland is also experimenting with flour from yellow peas.
Sikveland’s 41 Grains mixes are available online, at her Circle, Mont., boutique, and at stores in the region. She ships retail and wholesale.
“For those with severe gluten problems, we can guarantee our flour and mixes never touch anything with gluten,” she says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, 41 Grains, 301 Main St., Circle, Mont. 59215 (ph 406-485-5341; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.41grains.com).
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