Coconut flour is a powdery flour-like substance that is made of the ground up coconut meat. It is gluten free, grain free, high in fiber and low in carbs which makes it a popular baking choice for folks with gluten sensitivities or those on a GAPS or Paleo diet. Proponents of this ingredient report that almost any baked good recipe can be modified to use coconut flour instead. But how do you bake with coconut flour? And are the results any good?
- Better for you 1- coconut flour is made from healthy coconut meat, and is an excellent “flour” option for gluten sensitive folks
- Better for you 2 – coconut flour is also a great baking option for those with nut allergies and cannot bake with almond flour
- High in fiber – makes it very filling so you eat less.
- A little goes a long way – you only need a little bit, so even though it’s pricier than wheat flour, it’s still very economical
- Coconut flour can be a little tricky – a good how-to-guide is a must!
- The texture of baked goods is not quite the same as you might be used to.
I follow a lot of green living/real food types of blogs. Many of these folks have some concerns about gluten and wheat flour, and work hard to keep it out of their diet. My gluten-free friends still enjoy a treat now and then, and have been sharing many recipes for baked good that use coconut flour as the main dry ingredient. These recipes always look super yummy!
Recently, I was very pleased to receive a copy of Baking with Coconut Flour by Starlene D. Stuwart. More than just a recipe book, Baking with Coconut Flour is a complete how-to guide for using this new ingredient. Starlene spends the first half of the book introducing you to coconut flour: how it’s made, where to find it, how to correctly measure it and successfully substitute it in your favorite recipes.
Only after telling you everything you need to know about coconut flour (and WOW – there was a lot I didn’t know!), does Starlene get into the recipes. I tried out two of the recipes: Pumpkin Poppers (pictured above) and Grandma’s Applesauce cake. I also tested out a banana muffin recipe I found on pinterest. All these were gluten free, dairy free, and nut free.
The recipes were all easy to make. They all used coconut oil as the main fat, and honey as the sweetener (this is a common thing in gluten free/dairy free cooking). In fact, all the ingredients were from whole foods, so you could feel great about the healthfulness of the baked goodies!
Here’s what I learned about baked goods made with coconut flour:
- The baked goods were all very tasty!
- The treats all had a noticeable coconut flavor. So much so that you almost didn’t notice the pumpkin or apple that was supposed to be the leading flavor.
- The texture was not what I am used to from standard (wheat flour) baked goods. It was much more moist and dense, not crumbly or spongy.
- The baked good shrink as they cool – my 9″x13″ applesauce cake was more like 8″x11″ by the time it cooled.
I shared my treats with lots of friend sand co-workers, asking for honest opinions. Everyone agreed that all the coconut flour baked goods were really tasty. My gluten intolerant friend said the applesauce cake was amazing! All the taste testers also commented on the texture, noting it was different than they expected, but not bad. They also mentioned the coconut flavor. My kids took a couple bites of each treat, but did not want more (I’m sure they were expecting a standard muffin/cake texture).
Overall, I think baking with coconut flour is a great option for bakers who need to avoid gluten or nut flours! Coconut flour is pretty easy to substitute into any recipe once you understand how it works. Although coconut flour baked goods are not exactly like what you may be used to, they are still quite yummy!
If you want to learn more about baking with coconut flour, then the perfect book for you is Baking With Coconut Flour by Starlene D. Stewart! This book is usually $18.95 all by itself, but this week for just $18 more dollars you can get 25 additional cookbooks plus 45 more books all about a green and healthy lifestyle. Click here to learn more about the Harvest Your Health Bundle sale. (Do it now! This offer is only good until Monday October 14th!)
Have you ever tried baking with coconut flour? Did it work for you? What did you think?
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