What is Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is made from the leftover coconut pulp used when making coconut milk. The pulp is then dried and ground into a flour. It's a good alternative to wheat flours for people who may have allergies or sensitivities, though it is not an equal substitution. Coconut flour is very absorbent, so adjust the liquids in your recipe.
How To Use Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is a great choice for gluten-free baking, though it cannot be substituted in a one-to-one ratio for wheat flours or gluten-free baking blends. It's recommended to use 1/4 cup of coconut flour for every cup of wheat flour. Additionally, for every 1/4 cup of coconut flour, add an egg (or egg replacer) to help the structure of your cakes or muffins. Sift the flour before using to avoid a gritty texture. Coconut flour can also be used as a thickener for gravies, stews, or frostings.
What Does it Taste Like?
Coconut flour does carry the nutty, sweet, and slightly floral flavors of coconut meat, though it is milder. If you prefer your baked goods not to taste like coconut, but still want to use the flour, try adding stronger flavors into the mix (such as chocolate) to mask the coconut profile.
Coconut Flour Recipes
Where to Buy Coconut Flour
Most natural grocery stores and health food markets carry coconut flour. It can also be purchased online. Coconut flour has a high fat level, which makes it prone to rancidity and oxidation, so check the expiration when buying.
Store unopened bags of coconut flour in a dry, dark, cool place. Once opened, keep sealed in a container in the refrigerator for 6 months or in the freezer for 1 year.
Nutrition and Benefits
Coconut flour is gluten-free and grain-free, providing an alternative for those with allergies, sensitivities, or restricted diets. It's also rich in fiber which helps maintain a full feeling and slows the rate of sugar absorption into our bloodstream. Coconut flour is also a good source of protein and healthy fats.