Wondering if flour contains any animal products?
This short guide can help. You'll learn:
- Is flour typically vegan?
- What is flour in the first place?
- What is "enriched" flour?
- Are there any flours that might not be vegan?
Is Flour Vegan?
Yes! For new vegans, every ingredient may look like a potential to be harming animals, but you can rest assured that flour is vegan. Sometimes the ingredient statement of flours can get confusing. This is because flour is fortified with certain vitamins and minerals in accordance with food laws beverage laws created in the mid-1900s. These vitamins and minerals tend to have names that can be confusing if you're unfamiliar with what they are.
What is Flour Exactly?
When many people think of flour, they are thinking of wheat flour and whole wheat flour. Wheat flour - as the name implies - is made from grinding the wheat plant into a powder. When a flour is labeled "whole wheat" this just implies that the whole grain of the plant was kept in tact before grinding.
Flour can be created out of many different types of starchy or even fatty plant foods. Alternatives to wheat flour such as oat flour and almond flour each have their own different flavor profiles and applications. Many of these alternative flours are sometimes easier to make at home than to buy because they aren't readily available or produced in mass quantities.
What Does an Enriched Flour Ingredient Statement Look Like?
White flour is typically going to have the following ingredients: Flour, Niacin, Folic Acid, and Iron. The first 3 are all B Vitamins. There are certain regulatory requirements as to the amount of each of these ingredients listed here on the FDA website. More links about these B-vitamins have been added for your reference below:
What Kinds of Flour That Might Not Be Vegan?
Pretty much any type of flour you buy will be vegan. You may find animal products in some pre-made cake, cookie, or flour mixes, but at that point it's not really flour anymore.
What Vegan Brands of Flour Do you Recommend?
Whole wheat flours are generally considered the better choice because they have a more complete nutrient profile. However, for certain recipes they might be a bit grainy and hard to work with to get the results you're looking for. We've found that Spelt Flour from Bob's Red Mill is the best of both world. It is a 100% whole grain flour, but completely white and smooth without being bleached or colored.
Conclusion on Flour
Flour is one of those things that you just don't need to worry about when living a vegan lifestlye. Whether you want to take the more health-conscious route, or just enjoy some old fashioned white flour - the choice is yours! For a wide selection of vegan baked goods - we always recommend The Minimalist Baker.