Forget self-raising, plain and almond, as the new flour on the block is coconut flour. In line with our current passion for all things coconut, just what do you need to know about coconut flour and is it a suitable alternative to the more usual shop shelf flour versions?
Similar to coconut water, coconut flour has a milder coconut taste with a demi-sweetness that means it blends with other foods without dominating flavour. Made from 100% pure coconut, coconut flour is made from white coconut meat which is subsequently dried out and made into a fine powder. Without wheat and grains, this makes it the perfect substitute for gluten free, coeliac and paleo diets. And as it is high in fibre, it is also great for those with digestive tract disorders.
So can it produce the same results as self-raising and plain flour in day-to-day recipes and baking?
Coconut flour produces a denser end product in general. This makes it ideal for breads, muffins, brownies and pancakes, where the emphasis is not on light and airy but more of a weighty end product. As with other alternative flour products, learning to find the right consistencies and textures may take some effort and may mean trying combinations of other flours in order to get what is right for you and achieve the benefits you want it to. Adding a small amount of coconut oil can aid texture also.
As well as proving itself as a worthy contender in the competition of ordinary flour versus coconut flour, coconut flour is also a winner when it comes to health benefits. As it is pure coconut, one of the obvious benefits is that it is low in calories. Ideal for those looking to lose weight as well as those looking to maintain a healthy weight, coconut flour also helps to
keep a healthy blood sugar level, meaning it is suitable for those with diabetes and again, good for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Coconut flour is also believed to boost metabolism. Also with healthy weight benefits, this also makes it a wise choice for those who are looking for an extra source of energy, such as athletes and those on an exercise regime. And as it is a good source of fibre, coconut flour can help those with a digestive tract disorder such as leaky gut syndrome.