Coconut flour is a must have addition to your pantry. It is not only gluten free, grain free and low carbohydrate, but also extremely nutritious. Here’s why:
1. Coconut flour is 14% coconut oil, a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) that is easily digested and readily absorbed by the liver. MCTs are a used as a direct source of energy by our brains and muscles rather than for fat storage (which is what happens when you consume trans fats, amongst other things). Studies show that the consumption of coconut oil can assist in calorie burning, fat oxidation and reduced food intake, and as a result, weight loss. There are many more benefits of coconut oil, which I have covered here.
2. Coconut flour is 58% dietary fibre, and is therefore fantastic for blood sugar control, satiety and curbing cravings, all of which are essential for weight management. It is one of the biggest nutrition myths that wholegrains and cereals are required for fibre, when in fact they are high in phytates which limit nutrient absorption in the first place. (Not to mention that fruit and vegetables are the highest sources of fibre know to man, but that’s for another discussion).
3. Coconut flour is rich in protein – great for satiety, blood sugar control, immunity and recovery from exercise, just to start.
4. Coconut flour contains manganese, a vitamin that is essential for the thyroid gland, which is the regulator of our metabolism, growth and energy expenditure.
Have I convinced you yet? Read on to learn more.
Coconut Flour: tips & tricks
- Due to its density, unfortunately you can’t simply substitute coconut flour for other flours. A useful guide is to start with one third of a cup for every cup of “normal” flour.
- For every cup of coconut flour, use six eggs and a minimum of one cup of liquid. I’m not usually a fan of using six eggs for one recipe, but it works. Taryn from Living Without, suggests to double the number of eggs given for a conventional recipe. Similarly, if you’re using egg replacer, add twice the amount you would normally use.
- Coconut flour and almond flour work really well together. So if the density of coconut flour on its own isn’t to your fancy, you may like to modify with half a cup of each. I like to use a 3:1 or 4:1 blend with almond flour, like in my Flourless Banana Muffins or All Natural Low-Carb Gluten Free Bread. Adding a small amount to your favourite recipe is a great place to start, and shouldn’t change the liquid requirements or texture too much.
- Coconut flour is not just for sweet treats. It makes a great gluten free chicken schnitzel or as a breadcrumb replacer for coating meatballs. It does have a sweeter flavour than conventional flours though, so perhaps prepare your guests if you’re cooking for more than one. I love to use coconut flour to turn an omelette into a delicious pancake or crepe. Check out my Raspberry & Coconut Protein Pancake and Zucchini Coconut Crepes for some more ideas.
- Coconut flour is one of the more expensive flours, so the solution is to shop online or make your own using unsweetened coconut flakes and water. Check out Our Kitchen for more information.
What are your favourite coconut flour recipes? Stay tuned for my Raspberry & Coconut Crumble – coming soon!