Soya powder is created by grinding roasted soybeans. It can increase the nutritional value of baked goods when it’s added to them, mainly the protein content. Soya flour can also enhance the texture of baked goods because of its lipid oxidation.
Soya flour is a great option for those who are gluten-free, as it’s not made from wheat. It’s low in cost, versatile, and high in protein. It also gives better volume and softness to bread.
Maybe you like the benefits of soya flour but don’t love the flour itself, or simply can’t find any. There are plenty of soya flour substitutes that work just as well as soya flour. These alternatives include rice flour, chickpea flour, water chestnut starch, or coconut flour.
1. Rice Flour
Rice flour is a flour made of rice that has been milled finely. Not to be confused with rice starch, which contains lye (rice flour does not). It can be made from either white or brown rice. The husk of the rice is removed, and once raw rice is obtained, it is ground into a fine powder. It can be used interchangeably with soy flour, and most other flours.
Rice flour makes for a good replacement for wheat flour, in the same way that soya flour does. It can also be used as a thickening agent in recipes that involve refrigeration. This is because rice flour inhibits liquid separation. When replacing soy flour in baking, simply use equal parts rice flour.
If you have a grain mill, you can also make rice flour from plain rice at home. Simply pour some rice through the grain mill a couple times. This can work better if the rice is wet, as it may come out grainier. Grain mills can be expensive but if you bake frequently, it’s a good investment.
2. Chickpea Flour
Chickpeas are related to soybeans, and the flours are made in the same way. The flavor and scent of chickpea flour is not overwhelming, and won’t change your end result. It should also be substituted 1:1.
Some people consider chickpea flour to be even better than soya flour because of its nutritional profile. Chickpea flour is high in minerals, vitamins, and protein, and is very good for gut health.
3. Water Chestnut Starch
This soy flour substitute works best when used as a thickener or coating. It adds a crispy texture to deep fried foods. It does not blend in water as well as cornstarch does, though. To use when mixing with water, you should use a mortar and pestle to pound the starch. Then break up the clumps before you use them.
When using water chestnut starch, it should always be added to the liquid before adding to the whole recipe. Because of this complication, it’s best used as a substitute for thickeners only as it does not blend as well as corn starch.
4. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is a good vegan, gluten-free replacement for smaller dishes. If used for a bigger dish, it may change the flavor of your recipe. If you like a hint of coconut, this isn’t so much of a problem. However, if you don’t, you can use it as a replacement for around 20% of the called-for flour.
After liquid is extracted from coconut meat, there is some coconut fiber left over. Coconut flour is derived from that leftover fiber. It can be used as a substitute for regular flour or any other gluten-free flour.
Soy flour is a common replacement for wheat flour when baking gluten-free recipes. There are many other plant-based, gluten-free flours that mimic the properties of soy flour. For all-purpose flours, chickpea and rice flour are your best bet. But depending on the work you’re willing to put in, any of the substitutes on this list will suffice. They’re all high in nutritional value and can add extra flavor to your baked goods.