Coconut flour is frequently used as a substitute for wheat flours. It offers nutritional benefits and is low-carb, gluten-free with a low glycemic index.
How is Coconut Flour Processed?
Coconut flour comes from coconut meat. First, coconut milk is extracted and using the remaining meat, the fruit is dried and then ground into a flour consistency. It does naturally have a hint of coconut aroma and flavor so unless other flavors are added to dishes such as cinnamon or cocoa, the coconut taste will be detected. Depending on flavor preferences of individuals, this is either a negative or positive.
Baking with Coconut Flour
While it is a good option for individuals seeking gluten-free and/or low-carb, coconut flour is not readily interchangeable with other flours as a substitute on its own. Coconut flour is very dry because it is derived from a dehydrated fruit. When attempting to replace wheat or other flours in a 1:1 ratio, the end product will be extremely dry because the “fruit flour” absorbs so much liquid. However, when used in conjunction with almond flour or by increasing liquids and eggs in a recipe, it creates delicious results that are healthy and void of the side effects often experienced by individuals who are sensitive to wheat or gluten.
Tips for Using Coconut Flour when Baking
- Combine it with other flours, instead of a one-to-one substitute for wheat. For every cup of wheat flour, use no more than ¼ or 1/3 cup coconut flour, and make up the difference with an alternative flour
- For additional moisture, increase the amount of oil, water, and eggs in recipes
- Avoid the temptation to pack down coconut flour when measuring, instead scoop it and level it.
Frying and Sautéing
Coconut flour can be a complete replacement of wheat flour when frying or sautéing vegetables and meat.
Benefits of Using Coconut Flour
Coconut flour like most coconut products contains an array of vitamins and minerals that offer health benefits. Below are a few of the benefits you’ll receive when choosing coconut flour in your baked goods.
- Gluten-free and non-grain-based so it is void of producing the side effects caused by grains
- Rich in fiber, fat, and protein, which results in satisfaction and satiation for longer periods of time.
- With a fiber content of 43 grams per 100 grams, it provides double what wheat bran contains, plus an ample supply of fiber in your body will slow down the process of sugar entering the bloodstream.
- The protein level is 14 grams per 100 grams of coconut flour. Protein supports healthy muscles.
- Contains manganese, which is beneficial to a healthy nervous system, bones, thyroid function, and blood sugar levels.
- Acceptable for use in diets that require keto, low-carb or nut-free.
Whether you’re on a restrictive diet, trying to lose weight or simply in search of an alternative that provides more nutrition in your favorite baked goods, coconut flour is a great choice!