Most people love bread and mostly anything made from wheat or grains.
Unfortunately, wheat-based products are among the most fattening foods available and for some people they can result in severe sickness. In today’s post I will teach you everything that you need to know about coconut flour, the wheat flour alternative.
What Is Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is made from finely ground coconut meat with most of the moisture and fat removed to form a powdery flour much like wheat flour.
Coconut flour is quite unique, however; it’s low in digestible carbohydrates, high in fiber, loaded with nutrients, and has a wonderful taste and texture. It can be used as a suitable, and gluten-free, alternative to wheat and grains.
What Makes Coconut Flour Unique?
Unlike wheat and other flour alternatives, coconut flour is higher in protein and fiber than most wheat alternatives. In fact, it has more protein than enriched wheat flour, buckwheat, rye, wholewheat and cornmeal.
Aside from removal of fat and moisture, coconut flour maintains an impressive array of minerals and nutrients. When you use it in baking, the coconut flour produces light and soft breads with an impressive taste and texture.
The bottom line is coconut flour is a fantastic, low-carb alternative to wheat and other grains.
How to Use Coconut Flour to Supplement Your Baking
Coconut flour is an excellent way to add fiber, protein, and nutrients to your standard recipes. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as simply replacing wheat flour with coconut flour in standard recipes. If you do so, the recipe will result in a dry, crumbly result. In this section I will give you tips for using coconut flour as an adjunct to existing wheat and grain-containing recipes.
- Do not replace all of the flour in your bread and baking recipe with coconut flour. Wheat and other grains contain gluten, which gives bread and cakes its sponginess and airiness. It is not generally advised that you replace all of the flour in your recipe with coconut flour. Instead, for best result replace 15-20% of the grain flour with coconut flour (maximum of 25%). This will add fiber and protein to the recipe while maintaining the airy and spongy consistency to the bread or baked good.
- Add equal parts water to coconut flour. If you add 1/3 cup of coconut flour to your recipe, then add an extra 1/3 cup of water to the recipe. Due to the high fiber content of coconut flour, it has a tendency to soak up the moisture within the bread or baked good.
- If the batter looks dry, add a bit more water until it has the appropriate consistency. Although the above guideline generally works, always add water according to the consistency of the batter.
Cooking And Baking With 100% Coconut Flour
As I mentioned in the previous section, using 100% coconut flour in most recipes results in a dry, flaky, horrible tasting result…
After much experimentation, naturopathic physician, Dr. Bruce Fife, discovered how to use 100% coconut flour, while getting a light, moist, and fluffy result. Through trial and error, Dr. Fife built a recipe book of 100% coconut recipes, which he published in his book Cooking with Coconut Flour, a book I highly recommend.
In the mean time, I have attached a pdf for you that provides a nice sampling of the recipes within the book! Click Here to Download The Coconut Flour Recipes.
Tips for Using Coconut Flour
- Keep coconut flour in a tightly sealed container. Due to the high fiber content, it readily absorbs moisture from the air, which can result in clumping.
- Refrigerate for longer-shelf life. Although coconut flour will keep for months at room temperature, it will keep for up to a year when refrigerated.
- Sift the flour for best result. Clumping happens naturally, sifting prior to use assures even distribution.
- Use full-fat coconut milk (rather than low-fat coconut milk) or more oil to thin out a batter that is too thick. You may be tempted to thin a batter with water, however, this may cause the recipe to fail. Using oil or coconut milk will keep it light and fluffy.
- If you reduce the sugar content, add more coconut milk. Contrary to popular belief, sugar actually helps to thin out and soften the end product. If you do remove sugar, increase the thinning liquid (coconut milk or oil) to account for the change, otherwise the end product may be too dry and crumbly..