Coconut flour is one of the least known gluten-free flours out there. It is made of desiccated coconut after the oil has been removed. Then, the nearly oil-free coconut meat is finely ground into a powder that can be used for baking.
Not only is coconut flour gluten-free, but it is extremely high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. 100 grams of coconut flour contains 154% of the RDA for fiber! It also contains a whopping 19g of protein.
As a food that is low in digestible carbohydrates and low-glycemic, it is also appropriate for people who are monitoring their blood glucose or following a restricted carbohydrate or glycemic index diet for weight loss.
Well, now that we’ve established that coconut flour is so amazing, let’s take a look at how to use it…
Integrating Coconut Flour into Your Gluten-Free Diet
Coconut flour is commonly used to replace ¼ or less of the flour in a recipe, but it requires the addition of more liquid since coconut flour absorbs far more liquid than most flours do. As can be expected, it has a mildly sweet coconut taste. In addition to using it to replace just a small portion of the flour in a recipe, there are cookbooks and websites devoted entirely to recipes that use only coconut and nut flours.
Grain-free gluten-free baking is entirely feasible with coconut flour. Recipes that use this flour without grain-based flours usually call for a large proportion of eggs. The egg helps to create the necessary moisture and leavening for this unique flour. Coconut flour can be used to create gluten-free, grain-free muffins, rolls, pancakes, and much, more more.
When baking or cooking with coconut flour, you don’t need as much sweetener relative to when you use other flours because the coconut flavor gives a sweet taste on the palate. Despite coconut’s association in the American diet with sweets, coconut flour can be used to make pizza crusts, cheese rolls, and other savory dishes as well. Baked goods made with coconut flour also smell incredible!
Additional Coconut Flour Resources
For lots of wonderful coconut flour recipes, take a look at the Tropical Traditions site. The most authoritative book on cooking with coconut flour is a cookbook called Cooking with Coconut Flour: A Delicious Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Alternative to Wheat by Bruce Fife.
An easy coconut flour recipe to start with is the following recipe for Coconut Blueberry Muffins, originally published (and re-published here with permission from from Gluten-Free Bay, who you can visit here: http://glutenfreebay.blogspot.com). This recipe makes 6 muffins.
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons canola oil (or melted butter)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Whisk eggs, butter, coconut milk, honey, salt, and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Sift all coconut flour (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons). Stir sifted coconut flour and baking powder into the batter and stir until there are no lumps. Fold in frozen blueberries, stirring gently. Pour batter into greased muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-18 minutes.
Do you have any other great gluten-free recipes that use coconut flour? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!
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