As an experimental baker, I bought a large bag of green pea flour months back from the amazing K2 Milling in Beeton, Ontario. The flour is made by grinding whole green peas, the seeds of Pisum sativum, which split peas also come from.
Baking with pea flours and legumes is all the rage these days—I also have lentil flour here to experiment with, and dried kidney beans and canned blacked beans ready in my cupboard for future baking extravaganzas. Chickpea flour is also quite popular now and listed as an ingredient in many recipes, from chickpea crepes to quiches to fried breaded zucchini. Pea protein powder is also popular for people looking for a source of plant-based protein.
After many attempts to replace regular flour with green pea flour in recipes like spinach pancakes (yes, they were quite green), a simple cake with a corn flour/ green pea flour base, and peanut butter cookies, I’ve discovered that this flour is a very difficult one to bake with. Its very strong and over-powering bitter flavour is hard to hide, even in recipes with other rich and tasty ingredients. My last attempt with this flour was chocolate peanut butter cookies, but even the all-natural peanut butter and cocoa powder I used were not the dominant flavours coming through. Rather, it was the pungently bitter, overbearing green pea flour flavour.
I would like to give yellow pea flour a try … perhaps the flavour won’t be as strong as the green pea flour. If anyone has recipes that work with this flour, I’d love to hear about them! It seems that Bob’s Red Mill used to carry green pea flour, but not anymore (perhaps because of its taste). According to the company, green peas provide a lot of health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and a complex carbohydrate, as well as providing amino acids and essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
This type of flour seems to be much healthier than regular white flour—but its unpleasant and strong flavour makes it a very tricky one to bake with!