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Brown Rice
What it is: Whole rice kernels crushed to create a richly flavored flour.

Baked-in benefits: Brown rice flour is packed with B vitamins (particularly B6, which keeps blood sugar stable) and manganese, a mineral that assists in brain and nerve function. It has twice as much fiber as white rice flour for the same number of calories.

How to use it: Try it in muffins, biscuits and waffles. To avoid a gritty texture, use a rice flour blend: a mix of brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch.

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Flaxseed Meal
What it is: Flaxseeds ground into a grainy powder. They increase the nuttiness factor of whatever they're mixed with.

Baked-in benefits: A quarter cup is rich in protein (6 grams—almost 3 more than white flour) and fiber (8 grams—7 more than white), but flax is best known for its high concentration of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming the seeds ground is the best way to go, says registered dietitian Roberta Duyff, author of American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. It's hard for the body to digest the tough outer layer of the seed.

How to use it: Instead of a substitute for flour, flax—with its high oil content—is often used in recipes in place of fat, making it a perfect alternative for vegan bakers. Swap flaxseed meal for oil or shortening in a 3–1 ratio.

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What it is: Because it's made with dried unripe green bananas (before the sugars have developed), the flour tastes less like banana and more like bran.

Baked-in benefits: Just ¼ cup of banana flour offers 7 percent of your daily dose of potassium, which more than 95 percent of adults don't get enough of. Plus, green bananas are rich in resistant starch, a type of indigestible starch that ferments in the gut, possibly lowering colon cancer risk. (Cooking inactivates the flour's resistant starch, but you can add a tablespoon to a fruit smoothie.)

How to use it: This flour can easily transform your favorite chocolate chip cookies into gluten-free bites. Bananas are starchy, so use about a third less when subbing for your regular flour.

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Black Bean
What it is: Powdered black beans that lend an earthy flavor to recipes.

Baked-in benefits: Black beans are known for being hunger-taming superstars, given their high levels of fiber and protein. A quarter cup of this flour contains more than five times the fiber of all-purpose flour, plus roughly 8 grams of protein. Bonus: One serving of beans a day may lower bad (LDL) cholesterol by 5 percent, reveals a 2014 report.

How to use it: Mix water with black bean flour for a puree and use it in a bean dip. Duyff also suggests it for an enchilada or lasagna filling, or as a thickener for soup. For baking (it goes particularly well in brownie recipes), replace ¼ cup of regular flour with black bean flour.

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What it is: Dried coconut meat ground into a fine powder. This grain-free alternative has an extra layer of sweetness and a tenderer texture.

Baked-in benefits: While coconut flour is higher in saturated fat, with 4 to 6 grams per ¼ cup (all-purpose flour has trace amounts), it has a whopping 10 to 12 grams of fiber, so you'll likely feel fuller on less.

How to use it: Try it in pancakes and waffles. Substitute coconut flour for ¼ cup white flour. Because coconut flour absorbs extra liquid, add ¼ cup more water or milk and one additional egg for every ¼ cup of coconut flour you use.

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What it is: Made from milling whole crickets—yes, crickets—into a powder. Don't fear a "buggy" taste; the flour (you can buy it on Amazon) actually has a nuttier flavor than white flour.

Baked-in benefits: You'll get a huge protein punch. Two tablespoons rack up roughly 73 to 85 calories and contain about 12 grams of protein. Cricket Flours, for instance, has about a third of your daily iron needs and nearly 90 percent of your recommended intake of B12.

How to use it: Pure cricket flour shouldn't completely replace white flour; instead, incorporate up to ⅓ cup into recipes to add more protein. You can also buy "cricket baking flour" (mixes of wheat, barley, and other blends) that can be used as a 1–1 substitute for traditional flour.