Coconut flour is one of the most popular options when it comes to wheat flour alternatives. After all, coconut flour is low in carbohydrates (yes it is keto friendly!), High in protein and rich in fiber. It is also gluten free so it is perfect for those who are celiac or who want to follow a gluten free diet. Here we tell you everything you need to know about this flour.
Interest in grain-free diets is here to stay. That’s a fact. For this reason, more and more of us are looking for flours that we can use in our desserts and preparations.
In this search I came to almond flour which is definitely an option that I love and that has stolen the hearts of many. And I also got to coconut flour. Together they have become my all-purpose flour.
But before you decide to start making coconut flour desserts, there are a few things you should know.
What is coconut flour
First things first, let’s define coconut flour.
Coconut flour is made by grinding the dried meat of the coconut. It is a by-product of making coconut milk.
In the process of making coconut milk, the coconut is pressed to extract all the liquid. Gone are the dry pieces of coconut pulp that are dried at a low temperature until they are dehydrated and then ground very finely and make the flour.
As you can see, it is a very dry and dehydrated flour so it absorbs a lot of liquid, but we will talk about that later.
Coconut flour is a smooth, grain-free, and gluten-free flour that is very popular in keto, paleo diet circles, and among those who are looking for healthy or gluten-free alternatives.
What are the health benefits of coconut flour
One thing I love about coconut flour is that not only does it work well in desserts and baked goods, but it also has many nutritional benefits.
- It is gluten free
- High in protein: to give you an idea 1 single tablespoon of coconut flour has 1.5 grams of protein.
- High in fiber: Especially when following a keto diet, the sources of fiber can be reduced. Coconut flour is rich in fiber, 1 tablespoon has 2.5 grams of fiber.
- It is satiating: That is, it helps you feel full for longer.
- Rich in Manganese: An essential nutrient used in many of the body’s functions. In addition, manganese is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, two things that I really like.
- High in trace elements such as iron and phosphorus.
- High in vitamin B6.
As you can see, it is a flour with many nutritional properties.
Baking with coconut flour
Now, let’s talk about the most important. How is it to bake with coconut flour or how to cook with coconut flour.
It is a very popular ingredient in paleo and keto desserts and to a lesser extent in gluten-free desserts (generally gluten-free desserts are made with more starches and other flours, although coconut flour works too).
It can be used to do:
- Pancakes and cakes
- Pancakes or hot cakes
- Crepes or pancakes
- Basically any dessert
However, and although it is a flour that can be used for practically any dessert, it is important to say that it is a flour that is not easy to use (it could not be perfect after all).
Why is it not easy to use? Because it is an incredibly absorbent flour. A very small amount of coconut flour absorbs a large amount of liquid, which makes desserts made with it a bit dry.
That is why it is usually used in small quantities and accompanied by eggs since the protein and the moisture of the egg help to balance it better.
Usually when working with coconut flour I like to mix it with almond flour. I have found that better results are achieved this way.
How to Substitute Coconut Flour for Wheat Flour
Unlike other flours, coconut flour cannot be substituted in a 1: 1 ratio with wheat flour.
In general, you can say that 1/4 cup of coconut flour equals 1 cup of wheat flour. However the conversion is not so exact.
If this is the first time that you are baking with coconut flour, I recommend you start with a recipe that is already optimized for use instead of using a traditional recipe and substituting the flour.
Tips for using coconut flour in your recipes
- Add more liquid to your recipes.
- Use more eggs in your desserts so you increase the protein and give your products more structure and moisture. Make sure you have at least 1 egg for every 1/4 cup of coconut flour you use.
- Separate the eggs before adding them. Add the yolks to your mixture and beat the whites until stiff. Add them last to your recipe to add more air and structure to your desserts.
- If you are substituting for wheat flour, use 1/4 cup for every 1 cup of flour.
Use a combination of flours when baking. This is how you get the best results. I usually work with a mixture of almond flour and coconut flour when baking keto desserts.
Coconut flour is a truly versatile flour, with many nutritional benefits and a mild flavor profile.
When used well it gives incredible results, however it is not that easy to use so it is best to start baking with it after a little practice.