What Is Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is made by pressing the oil and water out of the meat of a coconut and then grinding the fiber that is left into flour. The result is a light, slightly yellow and rather clumpy flour.
Coconut flour is considered to be hypoallergenic, as so few people are allergic to it, and is a great ingredient when feeding a crowd with sensitivities. It has anywhere between 28%-50% of your daily fiber in just a few tablespoons, comes laced with protein (a gram per tablespoon) and doesn't contain any transfats. It has a slightly sweet taste and yes, also that of coconut.will run you anywhere from $4-$10 depending on the retailer or brand. If you're lucky you'll find it on clearance as it has a stamped-on expiration date. Because it isn't as popular as other alternatives, you'll see it reduced in price or clearanced out frequently.
Don't be afraid of a little ol' shelf date, pick up a bag anyway, and pop it in your freezer, where it will last for a solid 6 months if not more. So although the original price might seem a little steep, truth be told, I haven't paid more than $2 per bag in quite some time thanks to a keen eye for bargains.
In my own kitchen, I typically fall into the second category — the add an egg group. Outside of baking, there aren't too many times I use flour (breading meats, sauces, gravies), so a full-out substitution is usually just fine. Plus — most baked goods can support the extra eggs since the coconut flour will absorb the extra moisture from the egg, which is brought into the recipe to provide lift and do the absent gluten's job.
Aside from baked goods, coconut flour is an excellent addition to smoothies, shakes, and even hot chocolate, occasionally. Because of its health benefits and mellow taste it's a great way to get a little extra fiber and protein without even trying!
Are you a coconut flour fan already? Share your thoughts and own results when using this alternative flour in the comments below!
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)