There has been lot of hype and talk about coconut flour lately, and it’s for good reason! There is very little downside to this newly popular ingredient, however, it does take some figuring out. Never fear. You can find most, if not all, the answers you are looking for right here.
What Is Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is made from the meat of coconuts. After the milk is pressed out, the coconut meat is then dried and ground into a fine powder.
Are there nutritional benefits to using coconut flour over other flours?
Yes! Coconut flour contains protein, fiber and healthy fats. It also contains manganese which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and is important for absorbing other nutrients essential to the body such as vitamin C.1 Also, it is nutrient dense and good for the heart.
How is coconut flour compared to other flours?
Coconut flour is much more absorbent than other flours, so when trying out a recipe, it is not a one to one ratio. To adapt a recipe using coconut flour you only need 1/4 the amount of coconut flour than what is needed for in the regular flour recipe.
Coconut flour also needs more of a binding agent such as eggs, cream cheese, or even avocados, than recipes utilizing other flours. I’ve seen several different recommendations on how much to use but they range from one egg for every ounce of coconut flour (8 in a cup) to 6 eggs for every cup of coconut flour.
Can coconut flour be used to thicken gravies and sauces?
Personally, I have never tried this in my own experiments, but my research indicated that it would not be a good substitute. If you’re looking for a gluten free substitute, cornstarch or arrowroot powder is still a better alternative.
What about for dredging and frying?
I have seen recipes that use coconut flour for dredging before frying. They do use a 1:1 ratio for this.
Does coconut flour taste like coconuts?
Yes. Because it is made from dehydrated coconut meat, it does have a light flavor of coconut. It’s not very strong, but it will affect the flavor a bit. It tends to work very well with sweeter recipes. I love using coconut flour in recipes involving chocolate; it gives it a little something special. However, in more savory recipes it can be a little more tricky.
Where can I buy coconut flour?
With the growing demand for gluten free and grain free products, coconut flour is now sold in many grocery stores either in the flour aisle or the health food section, health food stores, and many online stores.
Will coconut flour work with my diet?
Chances are, yes it will. Obviously, the major exception in this is if you are allergic to coconuts, or other tree nuts, then perhaps you may want to steer clear or proceed with caution. Because coconut flour is not a grain, it is suitable for diets such as whole 30, paleo, ketogenic, and gluten-free.
Additionally, it is typically a good substitute for people who are looking to lose weight, are diabetic, have celiac disease, etc. I don’t feel like figuring out my own recipe.
Where can I find recipes that use coconut flour?
All over the place! I find tons of recipes and ideas just by typing in “coconut flour” or “gluten free baking” in the search bar. You can also check blogs that specialize in grain free cooking, or “clean eating” cooking. In recent years many cookbooks have been written on the subject and celebrity chefs are also jumping on board!
Is there a downside?
Coconut flour is a bit more expensive than wheat or all purpose flours. If you bake a lot, then it could potentially have a “wow” factor in that department. You also have to check if the product is sweetened or not. That could definitely affect the taste of your recipe!
See! It takes a little figuring out, but the benefits of this ingredient could be well worth the effort. Next time you’re trying out a new pancake recipe or trying to clean up your baking, give coconut flour a try. You just might be very pleasantly surprised.
|↑1||Trinidad, Trinidad P., Aida C. Mallillin, Divinagracia H. Valdez, Anacleta S. Loyola, Faridah C. Askali-Mercado, Joan C. Castillo, Rosario R. Encabo, Dina B. Masa, Angelica S. Maglaya, and Modesto T. Chua. “Dietary fiber from coconut flour: A functional food.” Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies 7, no. 4 (2006): 309-317.|