With over 35 species of corn, 2000 varieties of potatoes, and 650 native species of fruit, Peru is an important center for genetic diversity. But many of the hardy plant species held in honored positions in Indian society for thousands of years were deliberately replaced by European species after the Spanish Conquest. Fortunately in the high Andes, the ancient influences still persist, and unique and highly nutritious grains such as amaranth, quinoa, and kañiwa are now available to the outside world. This is especially beneficial today as many people become more sensitized to the over-produced and engineered foods found in common western diets. Zócalo has sourced several alternative grains & flours that add wonderful flavor and texture to all baking. They are also naturally gluten-free and offer many other health benefits. The following varieties are available:
This product has been produced free of soy, gluten, dairy, and genetically engineered ingredients. Varieties Sold Separately.
- Mesquite Flour: The algarrobo (also known as mesquite) pods have the shape and size of a green bean and are yellow or red in color. The pods are dried and milled, in order to produce mesquite powder. Mesquite imparts a warm, sweet, slightly smoky taste on foods while enhancing the flavors of cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, and coffee.
- Purple Corn Flour: Purple corn flour can be used wherever you would use regular corn flour, corn meal, or as a substitute for other flour to give your favorite corn based dishes an extra antioxidant burst. It can be used in raw chocolates, breads, tortillas, pancakes, muffins, and cakes. It will add an amazing color to your traditional recipes while boosting the nutritional value.
- Sweet Potato Flour: Sweet potato flour holds moisture well, brings a richness of flavor, and adds a slight sweetness to any baked good. Despite the name "sweet," studies have shown that it actually helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Sweet potato flour is incredibly versatile and can be used for baked goods, such as breads, cookies, cakes, and doughnuts.
- Amaranth Flour: Amaranth is actually a seed, not a grain as many people believe. Amaranth has a nutty flavor and can be cooked as porridge, prepared as a side dish like rice, added to soups, or combined with other ingredients to make salads. As flour it can be paired with other flours as a substitute for all-purpose flour and can be used to make pancakes, breads, rolls, and muffins. It does not have to be added to other flours when preparing pastas or flatbreads.
- Lima Bean Flour: Lima beans are now one of the most widely cultivated crops and can grow in temperate and subtropical regions but its origins can be traced back to Peru. Since the beans were first exported to Europe and America from Lima, Peru’s capital city, they acquired the name from the shipping destination label. Lima bean flour can be combined with other flours in order to create high protein baked goods, falafel, bean dips, used in crepe batter and other treats. Additionally, when added to soups the flour can create a flavorful, non-dairy, creamy texture.