As the gluten free craze sweeps the nation, you have perhaps heard of coconut flour as a healthy, gluten free alternative to wheat flour. Yet even as coconut flour becomes more mainstream, many of us are still left wondering exactly what it is and why we might want to include it in our diets– gluten free or otherwise. Read on to find out why coconut flour is gaining such popularity and why you may just want to make it a staple in your pantry too!
What Is Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is the meat (the white fleshy part on the inside of the coconut) that has been dried and ground into a fine flour or meal. It has a beige color and a fluffy texture. It’s great for recipes with a denser texture like quick breads as well as for crusts or coatings. Coconut flour has a mild flavor with just a subtle hint of sweetness.
Why Try Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is gaining such a loyal following not only because it is gluten-free, but also because the host of other health benefits it offers those who consume it. Check out these top benefits:
o Grain Free, Nut Free. Not only is coconut flour gluten free, it also contains no grains of any variety and no nuts of any kind, making it a great choice for anyone with food allergies or those on a special diet.
o Good Source of Fiber. With so many of us lacking enough fiber in our diets, coconut flour provides an easy, natural way to increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Just two tablespoons provides an impressive 11 grams of fiber.
o Low Glycemic Index Level. Coconut flour’s naturally low carbohydrate content and low sugar load combined with its high fiber content means it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels.
o Provides Protein. Coconut flour also provides a good vegan friendly protein source. Having as little as two tablespoons will give you five grams of protein.
o Healthy Fat Source. The medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) in coconut flour support good heart health and help support healthy weight levels as well.
Tips Everyone Needs to Know about Coconut Flour.
Convinced coconut flour is worth a try? Check out these handy tips that will make you a coconut flour pro in no time!
- Add Extra Liquids. Coconut flour is a relatively dry flour that will quickly absorb moisture in your recipes. When you are replacing other flours in a standard recipe add approximately one extra tablespoon of water for every tablespoon of coconut flour you add.
- Mix it Up. If you don’t want to use solely coconut flour in your recipe, a good rule of thumb is that you can replace about 20 % of other flours with coconut flour without compromising the original recipe.
- Learn from the Pros. For the easiest usage, check out recipes that already call for coconut flour to cut out the experimentation.