I’m sure you’ve noticed that many of our recipes contain coconut flour. We’ve chosen to do this because of the health benefits, but it certainly came with its challenges. If you are someone who is a bit intuitive (aka `creative’) with your recipes, it really will take some time to get used to baking with coconut flour.
I don’t really want to be spending a lot of time trying to create things that are `paleo-ised’ or that are substitutes for the wheat flour versions of things I used to eat. For me it’s about changing my eating style totally. I’ve been doing this all year and I don’t really want breads and muffins any more. I’m finding that I am satisfied with meats and vegetables, good fats, some fruit and nuts and a little dairy (A2) here and there.
However, when I have others in my home I do like to have some nice `goodies’ to serve. These are times when I will make banana bread, a nice grain free chocolate desert cake, or some other yummy grain free – no added sugar `treat’.
Here are some of the things that I have learned about coconut flour and using it in cooking:
- Find a good quality flour. I’ve found that some of the cheaper ones are harder to work with. I recommend Niulife Coconut products.
- Coconut flour is not cheap!!! But you don’t use near as much as you would of a regular wheat flour. As your eating style changes you will probably eat less baked goods anyway.
- You can’t use the same amount of coconut flour as you would wheat flour (or even almond flour) in a recipe.
- Coconut flour is very dry. It takes a bit of time to be fully incorporated and the mix gets to a good consistency. Don’t be tempted to add more flour or your mix will be far too dry.
- You need to use a lot more eggs in recipes with coconut flour. It works really well with recipes containing fruit (eg. Mashed banana, apple, or even pumpkin). I recommend about 6 eggs to ½ cup coconut flour. See our recipes so far.
- Find some recipes that already use coconut flour and try them before you experiment with swapping flours in other recipes. This will help you get the `feel’ of it….and save you time and money!!
And what about some of the health benefits?
- Coconut flour is rich in fibre and good fats – very filling
- It’s a good source of lauric acid, a saturated fat thought to support the immune system and the thyroid and promote good skin health.
- It’s a 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.
- It is totally grain free – thus gluten free!!!
Have fun as you explore all the wonderful the things that contribute to the health and well-being of yourself and those around you.