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Ask the Diva: Can I Substitute Whole Wheat for White Flour?

If a recipe calls for all-purpose white flour, can you substitute half of it with whole grain flour? Nutrition Diva answers a reader question.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
February 4, 2010

Q: "When a recipe calls for all-purpose flour, is it okay to use half regular flour and half whole wheat flour?" 

A: Baking with whole wheat flour instead of white flour is one way to get more whole grains in your diet. (I talked more about the benefits of whole grains in Episode #5.)

But using whole wheat flour will definitely change the texture of whatever you’re making. If you don’t mind a heartier, coarser texture, you can replace up to half of the flour with whole wheat. I also think an extra pinch of salt helps improve the flavor of things made with whole wheat flour. Even better, look for recipes that call for whole wheat flour in the first place. The recipe developer will have made any needed adjustments in liquid, salt, or other flavors and you’ll have a better chance of success.

If you have a question about nutrition, send it to me at nutrition@quickanddirtytips.com.  Listener and reader questions provide me with ideas for subjects to cover in future podcasts and newsletters. I'd love to hear from you!

Flour image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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