Are you loco for coco?

Coconut products seem to be everywhere these days. Coconut water, coconut oil, coconut milk – this fruit has been one of the trendiest food products on the market in recent years. If you love the unique taste of coconut (or even if you haven't quite warmed to it yet) and are looking for a healthy, gluten-free and wheat-free alternative to all-purpose flour, try coconut flour!

What is coconut flour?

Coconut flour is the dried meat of this delicious fruit ground into a fine powder. In addition to having a distinctly coconutty taste, this flour is made solely of fruit, and therefore contains no wheat, no gluten nor animal products.

Why use a wheat- or gluten-free flour?

Countless people across the globe seem to be going wheat-free or gluten-free, but do you know why? It seems that gluten-free lifestyles are a pretty contentious topic within the health community.

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale that produces a sticking effect (the name ‘gluten’ is derived from the Latin word for ‘glue’). Eliminating gluten from your diet may reduce inflammation in the body, leading to long-term health benefits. Inflammation has been known to lead to a variety of health problems, including insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, skin problems and arthritis.

Additionally, a small number of people suffer from coeliac disease. This rare condition involves a more severe inability to digest gluten and can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain, discoloured teeth, itchy skin, numbness and behavioural changes.

Uncontaminated coconut flour – as well as flours derived from rice, soy, corn, beans, nuts, buckwheat, and potatoes – is completely free of gluten.

Finally, coconut flour is just plain good for you! It is very high in fibre, which is a beneficial component of good digestive health. It is also very low in digestible carbohydrates.

How to use coconut flour

Coconut flour can be difficult to work with. If you’re hoping to substitute coconut for all-purpose flour in a recipe, you’ll need to make a few adjustments. You should use about ½ cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of wheat flour in the recipe – this is because coconut flour requires more hydration than its wheat counterpart. After you’ve made this adjustment, make sure that you maintain a ratio of ½ cup coconut flour to 1-3 eggs (or their vegan equivalent).

Now that you have some knowledge of how to adapt recipes for use of coconut flour, go for it! Try out some of your favourites and see which ones work well with this flour and which don’t.

If you want to play it safe, there are plenty of recipes that are already designed for coconut flour. If you have a sweet tooth, try this recipe adapted from a recipe by cookbook author and food blogger Elana Amsterdam of Elana’s Pantry:

Strawberry Cupcakes

Yields: Approx. eight muffins

  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ½ c agave nectar
  • ½ c fresh strawberries, finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine the coconut flour, salt, arrowroot powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs (whisked) with agave nectar and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and combine. Use a handled mixer to ensure smoothness, then fold in the fresh strawberries.

Add about ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (until an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool in the pan for at least one hour, and enjoy!

BioBalance Certified Organic Coconut Flour is sourced from fair traded organically grown coconut trees and ground from the dried coconut flesh. Coconut flour has a pleasant taste and texture that suits many different recipes and can be added to smoothies and sauces. BioBalance Certified Organic Coconut Flour is certified organic to ensure only the best quality processing of our 100% coconut flour. Buy it now from our secure on-line shop.

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Strawberry Cupcakes