I must confess, I’ve always had a sort of rejection towards coconut when younger! I didn’t like its smell/flavour, too strong for my taste buds, I suppose. But growing older and becoming vegan made me reconsider it! I started using coconut milk (baking, Thai recipes, curries etc…), then coconut butter (pancakes, to make instant creamy tomato sauces, vegan mayo…). My third try was tasting coconut water and I fell in love with it (have you ever tried a glass of fresh coconut water after a long jog? So refreshing! A real quick energy fix!!) ….and finally I tried to bake using coconut flour and the results were pretty amazing, and so tasty!
I started to use it recently, not because I’m on a gluten free (..paleo) diet, nor due to inflammation issues but just because I like experimenting and trying new ingredients when I cook.
Coconut flour isn’t a conventional flour. It is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat, a natural byproduct of coconut milk production.
When coconut milk is pressed from coconut meat, bits of coconut are leftover and this coconut meat is dried at a low temperature and ground until it produces a soft, fine powder that looks like flour and has a flavour less intense than coconut itself.
Beware though: if coconut flour is white in color, it means that the product has been bleached with chemicals! Organic coconut flour has a slightly creamy colour and a very nice natural taste!
Coconut flour is naturally gluten-free and recommended to those allergic to nuts, soy, milk, wheat…It’ll deserve a well-earned place in your kitchen if you are looking for a healthier way of eating, or you are diabetic/celiac, following a Paleo diet or simply if you are a curious food lover like me!
Nevertheless, baking with coconut flour is challenging: it does not perform the same as grain-based flours in baking because it is highly absorbent; for good results you need to learn how to use it and remember a few basic things.
First of all some interesting nutritional information:
|4 tbsp||Coconut flour|
Now some tips:
1- You cannot substitute coconut flour for wheat or other grain-based flours at a 1:1 ratio: they are not equivalent. You’ll only need 1/2 the amount of coconut flour you would of regular flour, and will need to double the amount of egg substitute you use.
2- It can clump, so you need to sift it before adding it to your mixture.
3- Make sure to store your coconut flour in an airtight container (or even freeze it) since it absorbs moisture.
4- If you are frying you can use coconut flour in an amount that is equivalent to wheat flour.
5- Try it in a raw recipe if you don’t enjoy baking with it.
6- Add a touch of baking soda if it’s not called for. This will give rise and structure without the use of gluten flours and eggs. Try adding also whey protein powder; vinegar can help add more rise as well.
7-Coconut flour recipes usually have lots of eggs; however, if you’re vegan/egg-free, try using ground flaxseed + water, egg replacer or tapioca starch.
Benefits of Coconut Flour
– Coconut flour is rich in protein, fiber and fat which makes it exceptionally filling.
– Coconut flour is very low in sugar (it does not spike blood sugar levels ) and carbohydrates compared to most all grain-based flours and all other grain-free alternative flours.
– Coconut flour helps with healthy digestion, has a high nutrient density, and can aid in heart health too.
– Coconut flour is also a good source of lauric acid, a saturated fat thought to support the immune system and the thyroid.
– It’s also very uncommon for coconut flour to cause any digestive or autoimmune responses like other grain flours can
Last but not least, some Coconut Flour Recipes I love
Here’s a short list of my very favorite coconut flour recipes, including mines!
Check them out!
COCONUT FLOUR BROWNIES by Vegan Richa
COCONUT FLOUR PANCAKES by Foodie Fiasco
COCONUT FLOUR PIZZA CRUST by Feed Me Rachel
COCONUT FLOUR FLATBREADS by Divalicious
ALMOND AND COCONUT FLOUR COOKIES by Me!
CAULIFLOWER ROLLS by Me as well…
COCONUT FLOUR EXPERIMENTS by American Foodie Abroad
COCONUT FLOUR SANDWICH BREAD by the Health Extremist