Zocalo Gourmet Heritage Flours and Grains

By | Jun 30, 2010

Readers of Gluten Free Hot Products know that I often sing the praises of products that contain whole grains, natural flavors, and nutritious ingredients. I’m even more impressed when those products turn out to be tasty. Which brings me to today’s review.

A while ago a box of very interesting products arrived at the NFCA’s office. The shipment contained flours and grains from Zocalo Gourmet.  Zocola is a small company that supplies gourmet cultural ingredients and foods to the U.S. In the case our shipment, Zocalo Gourmet provided Peruvian Heritage flours and grains.

Peru is home to a long list of very diverse and hardy plant life.  Among that list are highly nutritious grains, potatoes, and corns. Zocalo offers many of these healthy foods as whole or puffed grains, and as flours. Today’s review will focus on four of Zocalo Gourmets products, Kañiwa flour, Mesquite (Algarroba) Flour, Purple Corn Flour, and Sweet Potato Flour

kaniwaKañiwa (pronounced ka-nyi-wa) is very similar to quinoa.  It is packed with nutrition and is very high in protein. Zocalo offers Kañiwa as whole or puffed grain and as flour. When this mighty grain is puffed it can be served as cereal, or added to a granola mix. Whole or  toasted and ground into flour, Kañiwa’s, makes a wonderful addition to breads, muffins, cookies and more.  Because is such a potient grain it is best used when blended with other flours. The result of adding it to your mix is a product that has a more earthy flavor and texture with the additional bonus of all the nutrition Kañiwa grains contain.

Mequite Flour is made from the dried and milled pods of Algarroba trees. When included in a recipe, the MesquiteFlour imparts a sweet and slightly smoky flavor.  In recipes utilizing cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, or coffee, the Mesquite Flour enhances those flavors. This multipurpose flour can be used to add nutrition and a warm yet sweet flavor to cookies and pastries, or to spice up and sweeten protein drinks or energy bars.

Purple Corn is very similar to table corn except for its deep purple color.  The pigments that give this corn its rich dark purple are also high in antioxidants. Purple corn flour can be used in any recipe that normally calls for corn flour or corn meal. Use it to make breads, tortillas, pancakes, muffins, and cakes and those dishes will have the added benefit of amazing color and nutrition.

The sweet potato is an amazing source of fiber, vitamin A, iron, and calcium. Since Sweet Potato flour stays moist and has a smooth texture and semi sweet flavor it is a great ingredient to use  in gluten-free baking which often depends of potato flour to prevent gf baked goods from being to dry or grainy. Though this flour makes a great addition to baked goods, such as breads, cookies, muffins, pancakes and crepes, cakes, and doughnuts, it can also be used in soups, as a thickener for sauces and gravies, and in breading for fish.

In addition to being gluten-free Zocalo Gourmet’s offers these flavor and nutrition packed flours free of preservatives or additives, GMO, Trans Fat, Sugars, Nuts, Wheat, Soy, Casein, and Dairy. To find out more about these products as well as all the products Zocalo Gourmet offers visit www.zocalogourmet.com.  If  you like the idea of these products but are not exactly sure how to implement them or just want a few new ideas, visit Zocalo Gourmet’s Blog for useful recipes.

1 Comment so far
  1. Glenn Reiser July 8, 2010 10:57 pm

    Try these gluten free baking products – muffins, cookies, brownies and cupcakes. Some of the best gluten free deserts I’ve ever tasted.

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