What is coconut flour?
Coconut Flour is made from fresh organic coconut meat. The meat is dried at a low temperature, defatted and then finely ground into a soft powder consistent to wheat flour. There’s a reason why coconut flour has become popular these days is mainly because it’s a low-carb, grain-free, gluten-free and high in fibre alternative to the more traditional grain-based wheat flours.
Organic coconut flour is a delicious, healthy alternative to wheat and other grain flours. Ground from dried, defatted coconut meat, coconut flour is high in fiber and low in digestible carbohydrates. A single 2 Tbsp serving of coconut flour delivers 5 grams of fiber with only 8 grams of carbs.
How is it made?
Where is coconut flour produced?
What’s the difference between regular flour, almond flour and coconut flour?
How to use coconut flour
Coconut flour is extraordinarily absorbent and very little coconut flour is needed to successfully produce a recipe. In baked goods, you generally want to substitute 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup coconut flour for 1 cup grain-based flour. You will also need to increase the number of eggs.
Enjoy it as a protein-packed porridge, add a spoonful to your breakfast cereal or muesli; stir a little into smoothies; or simply sprinkle it over your food. If you wanted to pan-sear chicken or fish and dip it in flour, coconut flour can be used for all of these as a 1:1 substitute for regular flour.
Coconut Flour can be used to make breads, cakes, pies, and other baked goods. However it isn’t usually 100% substituted for wheat or other standard flours in baked recipes. The lack of gluten means baked food tends to end up dry, dense and crumbly. A proportion of about 15-25% coconut flour to 80% plain flour or 1/4 to 1/3 cup to every 1 cup of plain flour works well and this still increases the fibre content considerably. Because coconut flour is so absorbent, you need to increase the amount of eggs you use. So for every one cup of coconut flour you need 6 beaten eggs, plus an additional cup of liquid.
In saying this, we have been able to uncover a variety of delicious and gluten-free recipes using 100% coconut flour
Health benefits and nutritional value of coconut flour
It’s one of the healthiest flours available – grain flour such as wheat, barley and spelt contain gluten which is very difficult to digest. Even gluten free flours are often inflammatory due to the carbohydrate load. Because coconut flour is not a grain-based flour, it is non-inflammatory and low in carbs.
Coconut Flour is a low carb flour. It is ideal for baking low – carb breads and baked goods. It has fewer digestible (net) carbs than any other flour, including soy! It even has fewer digestible carbs than most vegetables.
Coconut Flour is high in fibre. Helps us stay full for longer.
With gluten-free coconut flour there is a low-GI, low-carb, high-fibre solution that tastes great!It contains 38.5% fibre which is the highest percentage of dietary fibre found in any flour (wheat bran is 27% fibre). Coconut flour contains almost 3 times as much fibre as soy flour. It is also free of the nutrient-binding Phytic Acid found in grain fibres which can reduce the body’s absorption of key nutrients. Regular use of Coconut flour is an excellent way to increase your daily fibre intake. Just two level tablespoons a day will give you an additional 8 grams of fibre. (It is best to build up gradually.) e high fiber content can make coconut flour difficult for some people to digest. I recommend consuming no more than 4 tablespoons of coconut flour per day to avoid any irritation to the GI tract. If you experience discomfort consuming coconut flour (it’s not common, but it’s not rare either), you may need to scale it back to 2 tablespoons per day.
Fibre Assists Weight Management
Since you cannot digest dietary fibre, you do not derive any calories from it. Fibre absorbs water like a sponge, helping to fill the stomach and to produce a feeling of fullness. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach, which maintains the feeling of fullness longer than do low-fibre foods. As a result, less food and fewer fat-promoting calories are consumed.
Studies have shown that consumption of an additional 14 grams of fibre a day is associated with a 10 per cent decrease in calorie intake and a loss in body weight.
Gluten-free balanced protein
Coconut flour is a bit lighter than almond flour, which makes it perfect for cakes, muffins and breads. Further, it is gluten free, high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, making it an ideal ingredient for celiacs, diabetics and those concerned with GI (glycemic index).
Unlike wheat and most other ‘gluten-free’ flours, coconut flour is low in digestable carbs so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels. This means it’s more waistline-friendly. So it’s wonderful if you want to eat more ‘paleo’ or need to avoid gluten.
Coconut Flour is a rich source of balanced protein containing all 8 essential amino acids.With almost 20% protein it has far more than wholemeal grain flours do and none of the gluten. This is great news for those who have developed an allergy to gluten or a sensitivity to wheat.
Coconut Flour is gluten-free and hypoallergenic. It is ideal for those who follow a low – carb eating plan. It works well as part of a weight loss program because it’s high fibre content helps provide a feeling of satiety.In an attempt to solve the problem of gluten intolerance and food allergies food manufacturers have developed a variety of wheat-free or low-carb breads and flours made from soy, beans and nuts. Many of these alternatives to wheat are expensive and don’t taste good unless they are loaded with flavour enhancers and sweeteners. Coconut flour is a much better and far healthier alternative.
Blood Sugar and Diabetes Blood sugar is an important issue for anyone who is concerned about heart disease, overweight, hypoglycaemia, and especially diabetes because it affects all of these conditions.
It boasts healthy fats – coconut flour contains fats from coconut oil, which are primarily medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCTs). MCTs have been shown to improve metabolism and are used for energy, not stored in fat tissue. Unlike other nut and seed flours, like the commonly used almond flour, coconut flour is very low in omega-6. Omega-6 is inflammatory when consumed in excess, which is why I advocate only occasional use of almond flour.
It does not contain enzyme inhibitors
Aother strike against other nut and seed flours is the high content of enzyme inhibitors, which can wreak havoc on digestion.
High in lauric acid – supports immunity and thyroid function
High in manganese – mineral that helps regulate blood sugar levels
Are there any health risks or downsides to coconut flour?
Where can I find coconut flour?
Now that coconut flour is getting very popular, you can find it in most health food stores and even large grocery stores in the specialty food section. You can also get high-quality organic coconut flour here on Amazon.
Storing coconut flour
Store coconut flour in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple of months. To prolong the shelf life for up to a year, store it in the freezer and bring to room temperature before using in a recipe.
Comparing price range of coconut flour – is it worth it?
A little goes a long way – coconut flour may seem a little pricey, but remember that a little goes a long way. For example, a mere 1/2 cup of coconut flour can make 8 cupcakes!
Successful Coconut Flour recipes:
chocolate chip cookies
Coconut Flour cookbook