As I mentioned in my last post, I recently – for the first time ever! - baked with coconut flour. And I am officially, completely, utterly and hopelessly enamored with it. Allow me to elaborate.
Coconut flour is made from coconut meat that has most of the oil taken out. It’s dried up and then finely ground into a soft powder. Simple! The result is a flour with a beautiful creamy color and natural sweetness. Open a bag and take a whiff – you will inhale coconut deliciousness!
But that’s not the best part. Because coconut flour is made from just coconut, that means it’s also gluten-free and grain-free! Amazing for anyone dealing with such intolerances. Coconut flour is also a fiber-istic superstar – it has more fiber than wheat bran, oat bran, soybeans – even flax seeds! And just as much protein as you can find in the traditional whole wheat flour that everyone knows so well.
Are you jazzed yet?
So how can we use it in our baked goodies?! Well, this part requires a bit of attention. Because coconut flour doesn’t have gluten – which helps keep it all together – your treats will just fall apart if you substitute it 100% for another flour. Now, keep in mind I’m a newbie here, but from some quite extensive Googling, it seems you can replace about 20% of regular flour in a recipe with coconut flour – as long as you add an equal amount of liquid. All the fiber sucks that stuff up! So, let’s say your recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour. You can use 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup coconut flour and add 1/2 cup milk or water or juice. If you want to use ALL coconut flour – which I totally do! – I’ve read that you should add one egg per ounce of coconut flour. Eggs bind – just like gluten! I really want to try a vegan ALL coconut flour recipe, so I’m thinking bananas or flax eggs could work too. What do you think? Oh, and because coconut flour is already a bit sweet, you don’t need as much sugar in your recipe!
Whew! I swear it’s not all that complicated. It’s just baking after all! Get out there and experiment – and let me know how it goes!