Coffee flour made its debut at the TED2015 Conference in Canada and has been touted as the next big thing in healthy baking. While there is a lot of hype surrounding this new flour, the big question is whether coffee flour is indeed a healthy substitute.
What Is Coffee Flour?
The coffee that wakes you from slumber every morning comes from the seeds of the fruit of the coffea plant whereas coffee flour is made by grinding the fruit, also known as cherries. Because the coffea plant was grown only for its beans, the leftover fruit pulp was generally discarded or used as fertilizer.
But then two entrepreneurs came up with a process to dry and grind the discarded pulp, turning it into flour. The end result was a flour that is sustainable and provides an extra source of income for coffee growers in developing countries. And that’s how coffee flour was born.
Benefits Of Coffee Flour
Because it’s so new and innovative, there is not much research to be found on the benefits of coffee flour. According to the brand that has trademarked the name, it has more fiber than whole-wheat flour, less fat than coconut flour, and more potassium than a banana. It is also gluten free.
Coffee flour is definitely rich in fiber with contains 1.8 grams soluble fiber and 3.4 grams insoluble fiber per tablespoon. Soluble fiber soaks up water as it passes through your system, which slows digestion and helps the body absorb nutrients and balance blood sugars. Insoluble fiber bulks up the stool, which makes it easier to pass through the intestines.
Flours recommended by the paleo diet are made from milled nuts and seeds rather than grains, which means they are high in fats. The usual flour alternatives like almond flour have about 3.5 grams of fat per tablespoon, while coconut flour has 1 gram per tablespoon. Coffee flour, however, has just 0.056 grams per tablespoon. This makes it more attractive option if you’re trying to lose weight but don’t want to give up your breads.
Among the list of nutrients and minerals, the potassium content of coffee flour is what stands out. One tablespoon of coffee flour contains 310 mg of potassium. That’s twice the amount of one cup of brewed coffee, and a little less than one banana, which comes in at about 450 mg. Why do you need potassium? Because it can decrease blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, protect against loss of muscle mass, and preserve bone mineral density. It also plays a role in regulating fluid balance and maintaining muscle and nerve function.
Things To Be Concerned About
Caffeine: The source of coffee flour is the coffea fruit which means it contains a small amount of caffeine, which might not be suitable for people trying to avoid caffeine. With approximately 12 milligrams per ounce, it’s almost the same as the caffeine found in dark chocolate. However, the caffeine content is still 80% less than the amount in a cup of coffee.
Not Organic: Coffee flour is not certified organic yet. This is surely a red flag as coffee is potentially one of the most chemically-treated crops in the world. Also, most of the coffee is grown in less developed countries where agricultural practices are not well regulated.
How To Use Coffee Flour
Coffee flour needs to be combined with other flours before baking. The recommended ratio is a 15%-25% substitution for the other flour that the recipe requires. It can also be added to smoothies and sauces. If you’re wondering how it tastes, coffee flour actually tastes more like molasses than a regular cup of espresso.