Coconut flour | What You Need To Know About Coconut Flour

Ever wondered what it is like to be baking with coconut flour? Coconut flour is a bit confusing, especially when trying to substitute coconut flour for other flours when baking, so here are some ways you can use coconut flour:

There are 2 ways to use coconut flour:

  • Use it straight all by itself

  • Use it mixed with another grain.

When you use it by itself, you will use a lot less of it than wheat flour: If a recipe calls for 1 cup of wheat flour, use only 1/3 cup coconut flour, plus enough eggs as a binder and liquid to keep the consistency of the batter or dough normal.

When you use it in a mix: If a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, you can divide that by whatever you’d like. For t example, we divide it into half. Add 1 cup of another grains flour, then the rest in coconut flour to equal what the recipe originally called for (2 cups), so 1 cup of coconut flour. When you do this, be sure to increase your liquid by the same amount as the coconut flour (in this case, 1 cup).

You will still need to be aware of binding and how well the batter or dough holds together. Use eggs, liquid sweeteners, flax seeds or xantham gum to bind.

Here’s a few things that you should know about Coconut Flour:

  • Coconut flour is gluten free.

  • Coconut flour is high in fiber.

  • You can bake with straight coconut flour or a mix of coconut flour plus another grain.

  • Whether you mix it or use it straight, coconut flour is thirsty. You will need to add plenty of liquid. The best way to do this is to watch the consistency of the batter or dough. If you think it needs more liquid, add it.

  • Baked goods made of coconut flour tend to fall apart. You will have to bind them well. Products that help bind are: eggs, liquid sweeteners and flax seeds.

  • If you choose to use eggs as a binding agent, a good rule of thumb to follow is 1 egg to every ounce of coconut flour used. (There are 8 ounces in 1 cup, and most people use 6 eggs per cup of coconut flour).

  • Another alternative to using eggs is flax seeds. 1 tablespoon of flax seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons water will replace 1 egg. Do remember to add enough eggs or egg substitute whenever you use coconut flour so that your cakes do not turn out dry.

  • Coconut flour is pretty clumpy. You’ll want to be sure that it is mixed in well. The best way to do so is to mix it in with all of the wet ingredients until it has been blended well.

  • Watch your baking time! It will be less. When a wheat flour recipe takes 30-50 minutes to bake, a coconut flour recipe will only take 18-20 minutes.

  • It is all about trial and error: You will have to see what works best for you.

  • Coconut flour does not affect the taste of your baked goods

Benefits of coconut flour

  • Coconut flour is rich in protein, fiber and fat which makes it exceptionally filling.

  • Coconut flour is also a good source of lauric acid, a saturated fat thought to support the immune system and the thyroid.  Like most healthy fats, lauric acid also promotes good skin health.

  • Coconut flour is an exceptionally good source of manganese which helps you to better utilize many nutrients including choline and biotin (found in eggs), vitamin C and thiamin.  Manganese also supports bone health, nervous system function, thyroid health and helps to maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

  • Coconut flour is not grain-based, and, as such does not present many of the issues that accompany grains.  Coconut flour is gluten-free and, while it does contain food phytate, the mineral-binding effects of phytates in coconut are virtual nonexistent so coconut flour does not need to be soaked

Storing coconut flour

Coconut flour absorbs moisture like crazy, so try not to keep it refrigerated or in the freezer as these environments tend to have even more moisture than regular air.Keep the coconut flour at room temperature, wrapped tightly to keep any moisture out. Wherever you choose to store yours, make sure it’s airtight.

 

The most common complaint about coconut flour recipes are that they use many eggs.  And they really do.  Some of you may wonder if all the eggs were really necessary.  But eggs, or egg replacers, really are important in coconut flour baking.  This is due in part to the remarkable absorbancy of coconut flour, but eggs also give it structure in the absence of gluten.  It seems to require more structure than other low carb or gluten-free flours, so foregoing the eggs or egg replacers, or significantly cutting back on them, is not recommended. If you are worried that the end product would b=have an eggy taste, fear not! The end product to be either eggy-tasting or rubbery in texture.  If you are vegan or allergic to eggs, you should be able to use things like flax seed meal and water to replace the eggs.

There are different brands of coconut flour out in the market and yes, they may vary in their overall density and absorption. However, their variation is not much. Just follow the general guidelines when using coconut flour and look at the batter. If it’s too thin, you thicken it slightly with more coconut flour.  If it’s too thick, you thin it out a bit by adding more liquids.

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