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Culinary Waves: Garden of recipes grows with vegetable, fruit flours

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Culinary Waves: by Chef Mary Beth Lawton Johnson

The stews would each take a turn to cook for the crew on a particular charter I did once. The only meal they ever knew how to cook, which was probably reminiscent of their college days, was stir-fry. To this day, I won’t touch a stir-fry of any kind because, on that charter, it was served day and night with salad.

They cooked because the captain was trying to be nice to the chef, me; the number of guests onboard for the seven-day charter was more than two chefs could handle. I felt sorry for the crew after that ordeal because, while they received a hot meal, I am sure they hated stir-fry as much as I did, maybe even to this day.

It doesn’t have to be ordinary stir-fries, sandwiches, cheeseburgers, or tuna salad for lunch anymore. Why not wraps? Or crepes? Let’s think outside the box on this one. When you envision a wrap, the mind automatically goes to a tortilla right? A wheat flour tortilla. 

When I was out provisioning the other day I ran across flours that really made me turn my head and look twice. Coffee flour, kale flour, sweet potato flour, cassava flour, banana flour, butternut squash flour, apple flour, the list is endless.

That was just the beginning. I took a bag of kale flour back to the yacht to experiment with, just as any chef would, to see what could be done with it. It was just flour, so the cost was not exorbitant.

I made kale wraps. Not only was it beautiful to behold, but the taste was much different and better that an ordinary tortilla. It doesn’t have to be the regular wrap we see on every grocery store shelf. The options now include flat breads, coconut wraps, cauliflower wraps, sun-dried tomato wraps, and more.

So, I went back and this time bought some coffee flour and I made a coffee cake with it. It really intensifies the flavors of the recipe you prepare.

Instead of that boring white or wheat flour, substitute a vegetable or fruit flour instead. There are several different ways to use these new flours that you will find out on the markets.

Try to:

  • substitute the flour for white flour in pies, cakes, and baking in recipes such as biscuits and scones
  • make crepes with it
  • use corn flour in addition to the vegetable flour for awesome tortillas
  • add to sauces, gravies, and batters
  • make puddings and desserts
  • experiment when making pastas and breads

Whatever you would use flour for, use the new vegetable flours instead. 

If the recipe calls for self-rising flour and the vegetable flour isn’t, then add baking powder to it.

With a little imagination, you can create a whole brand new menu centered around the new flours.

Mary Beth Lawton Johnson is a certified executive pastry chef and Chef de Cuisine, and has worked on yachts for more than 25 years. Comments are welcome below.

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About Chef Mary Beth LawtonJohnson

Mary Beth Lawton Johnson is a certified executive pastry chef and Chef de Cuisine and has worked on yachts for more than 25 years.

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