Are you curious about the safety of eating raw gram flour, also known as chickpea flour or besan?
While some flours are safe to consume uncooked, others can cause digestive issues or have an unpleasant taste and texture.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and potential risks of consuming raw gram flour, as well as how to make your own at home.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a curious foodie, read on to learn more about this versatile and nutritious ingredient.
Can You Eat Raw Gram Flour?
The short answer is no, you should not eat raw gram flour. Raw gram flour has a bitter taste and can be difficult to digest, leading to excessive gas and discomfort.
While some other flours, such as buckwheat and oat flour, are safe to consume uncooked, gram flour is not one of them. It is important to use gram flour in a recipe where it is well-moistened and cooked in some way to make it more digestible.
Additionally, consuming raw gram flour can be harmful as it may contain harmful bacteria or toxins that can cause food poisoning. Therefore, it is best to avoid eating raw gram flour altogether.
What Is Gram Flour?
Gram flour, also known as besan or chickpea flour, is a flour made from ground-up chickpeas. It is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine for dishes such as pakoras, falafel, and hummus. Gram flour is naturally gluten-free and high in protein, iron, and fiber, making it a popular ingredient for those with dietary restrictions or looking to add more plant-based protein to their diet.
Gram flour can be made from either dried, raw chickpeas or roasted chickpeas. The roasted variety is considered to be more flavorful, while the raw variety has a slightly bitter taste. It is important to note that gram flour should not be consumed raw due to its bitter taste and potential digestive issues. It is best used in recipes where it is well-moistened and cooked in some way to make it more digestible.
If you want to make your own gram flour at home, you can do so by purchasing dried chickpeas and grinding them in a food processor or coffee grinder. It is recommended to soak the chickpeas overnight before grinding them to make them more digestible. Store your homemade gram flour in an airtight container for up to two months.
Nutritional Benefits Of Gram Flour
Besan flour, also known as gram flour, is a nutrient-rich ingredient that offers numerous health benefits. It is a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Gram flour contains more than 4 milligrams of iron, 150 milligrams of magnesium, over 2.6 grams of zinc, and 400 micrograms of folate. It is also high in thiamine, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
Studies suggest that incorporating gram flour into your diet may help manage diabetes. The high fiber content in gram flour helps reduce the absorption of dietary carbohydrates, which can prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
Besan flour is also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it beneficial for individuals with conditions like arthritis or diabetes. Moreover, the high protein and fiber content in gram flour can aid in weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness and reducing hunger pangs.
Incorporating gram flour into your diet is easy and versatile. It can be used as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour in baking or as a thickener in soups and sauces. With its numerous nutritional benefits, gram flour is a healthy addition to any diet when used appropriately.
Potential Risks Of Eating Raw Gram Flour
As mentioned earlier, raw gram flour can contain harmful bacteria or toxins that can cause food poisoning. This is because gram flour is made from raw chickpeas, which can easily be exposed to bacteria like salmonella or E. coli during the milling process.
Consuming raw gram flour can lead to food poisoning symptoms such as stomach upset, nausea, and more. These symptoms can be especially dangerous for young children and adults over 65.
It is also worth noting that raw gram flour has a bitter taste and can be difficult to digest, leading to excessive gas and discomfort. This can make it an unpleasant experience to consume raw gram flour.
To ensure the safety of your food and avoid potential health risks, it is best to use gram flour in a recipe where it is well-moistened and cooked in some way. This will make it more digestible and eliminate any harmful bacteria or toxins that may be present in raw gram flour.
How To Make Your Own Gram Flour At Home
Making your own gram flour at home is an easy and affordable way to ensure that you have fresh, high-quality flour for your cooking and baking needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your own gram flour at home:
1. Start by purchasing dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) from your local grocery store or market. These can be found in one-pound bags for less than $2 in most places.
2. Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly and soak them overnight in a large bowl of water. This will help to soften them and make them easier to grind into flour.
3. Drain the soaked chickpeas and spread them out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry completely. It is important that the chickpeas are fully dried before grinding them to prevent clogging your grinder.
4. Once the chickpeas are completely dry, you can use a food processor, high-speed blender, or grain mill to grind them into flour. If using a food processor or blender, work in batches to ensure that all the chickpeas are ground evenly.
5. If using a grain mill, set it to a fine flour setting and start the mill. The mill will do the work for you and produce perfectly milled flour.
6. After grinding, sift the flour through a fine mesh sieve to remove any large or hard bits that did not process well. You may need to repeat this step once or twice more to get all pieces finely ground.
7. Store the gram flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months.
By following these simple steps, you can easily make your own fresh and high-quality gram flour at home. Not only is it more affordable than buying pre-made flour at the store, but it also allows you to control the quality of your ingredients and ensure that your flour is fresh and free from any harmful additives or preservatives.
Cooking With Gram Flour: Delicious Recipes To Try.
If you’re looking to incorporate gram flour into your cooking, there are plenty of delicious recipes to try. Gram flour, also known as chickpea flour or besan, is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
One popular use of gram flour is in making pakoras, a popular Indian snack that involves dipping vegetables in a gram flour batter and deep-frying them. You can also use gram flour to make chilla, a savory Indian pancake that can be filled with vegetables and spices.
For those with a sweet tooth, gram flour can be used to make traditional Indian sweets like laddoo and barfi. It can also be used in baking to make muffins, pancakes, and sweetbreads.
One simple recipe to try is making a basic chickpea flour pancake. Whisk together 1 cup of chickpea flour, 1 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Cook on a griddle or in the oven and serve with your favorite toppings.
Another recipe to try is making pizza dough with gram flour. Mix together 1 cup of gram flour, 1/2 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt to taste. Roll out the dough and add your favorite toppings before baking in the oven.