Coconuts have quickly become a popular healthy food choice for many people looking to gain valuable nutrients from within a world of otherwise unhealthy, processed food options. A tremendous amount of health benefits can be attributed to eating coconut meat, coconut water, coconut milk, and coconut oil. However, not as many people know about the healthy choice of substituting coconut flour when baking and cooking.
Coconut flour is one of the only types of white flour that’s actually good for you! Made from pressed, dried coconut meat, coconut flour is a natural byproduct from coconut milk production. Due to its many health benefits, researchers now recommend supplementing a well-balanced diet with coconut flour. In this article, we’ll highlight the benefits of cooking with coconut flour, as well some quick culinary tips on what to consider when baking with coconut flour, and share a video on how to make your own.
Benefits of Coconut Flour vs. Traditional Flour
When compared to traditional flour, coconut flour’s nutritional properties are far superior. High in dietary fiber, coconut flour is packed with about five grams of fiber for every two tablespoons. This fiber is mostly insoluble, meaning your body cannot digest it. As for fiber, this is a good thing! It acts like a broom… sweeping out your GI tract, while not contributing to additional caloric intake.
Coconut flour is naturally hypoallergenic and gluten-free, making it a great choice for individuals with Celiac disease or diabetes.
Loaded with a type of saturated fat called lauric acid, coconut flour promotes skin health, while supporting the immune system and thyroid. As a good source of manganese, coconut flour supports bone health, balanced blood sugar levels, and helps to utilize many other nutrients in the body such as vitamin C, thiamine, and biotin.
Also, coconut flour is low in carbohydrates, high in proteins, and aids in digestive health. When you add up all of the health benefits, it really does make sense to reevaluate your favorite homemade dishes, and try substituting coconut flour as a fun, family experiment.
Tips on Baking with Coconut Flour
Light and airy when dried, but dense and clumpy while cooking, some variations are needed to alter your favorite recipes before substituting. When using coconut flour for baking, a little goes a long way! Coconut flour is super absorbent, known for acting like a sponge in the ingredient mix. You’ll want to use only about ¼ the coconut flour compared to traditional flour.
Try adding a 1:1 ratio of water to coconut flour. For example, include one additional tablespoon of water for each tablespoon of coconut flour. This will keep your baked goods from becoming excessively dry. Another handy tip is to add one egg per one ounce of coconut flour. This helps with binding and rising for cakes, breads, and other baked goods. On the other hand, because coconut flour becomes dense in most recipes, it can be used to thicken stews or soups.
Make Your Own Coconut Flour
Most recipes you’ll find with coconut flour as an ingredient are designed around using prepackaged, store-bought coconut flour. Store-bought varieties typically become denser from settling over time. However, with homemade coconut flour, you’ll want to pack down the flour a bit to compensate.
Here’s a video that shows how to make coconut flour on your own!
Where to Buy Coconut Flour?
Since not everyone enjoys making flour, we’ve tested a number of pre-packaged coconut flours and would like to share with you our favorite choice: Viva Labs Organic Coconut Flour: Non-GMO and Gluten-Free. This 100% pure, unrefined, unbleached, non-deodorized coconut flour combines a great texture and flavor, with all of the health benefits mentioned above. It’s also tough to beat the fact that your coconut flour is delivered directly to your doorstep; without the need to walk up and down grocery isles, looking for the perfect organic coconut flour!