We are loving coconut flour for gluten/grain free cooking. Here’s a list of the top tips that we’ve learnt to help you cook with coconut flour.
Why would you cook with Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is a great gluten/grain free substitute for wheat flour and other grains. Coconut flour is fibre rich (about 60%) with some protein and iron and is especially good for low carb eaters as about two thirds of the carbs are dietary fibre.
How do I substitute Coconut Flour for regular flour?
Coconut flour is NOT a direct substitute for regular flour. It is quite different to bake with and takes a little bit of practice to get used to. Firstly you use a lot less than regular flour in a recipe and secondly, coconut flour requires a LOT more moisture, which is typically eggs, as it soaks up liquids like a sponge.
If you are new to baking with coconut flour we suggest trying other people’s recipes first that have been developed for coconut flour before attempting to convert one of your old favourites. If the recipe you find online uses honey/maple syrup or traditional sugar simply substitute The Sugar Breakup Organic Golden Rice Malt Syrup for the honey/maple syrup and our Dextrose for the sugar.
Once you get the hang of coconut flour you can then enjoy experimenting. One conversion rate we’ve seen is:
1 cup almond or wheat flour = 1/3 cup coconut flour + double eggs + more liquids
(See this conversion chart at Maria Mind Body Health)
But this will require experimenting and can differ from recipe to recipe.
What foods are best to cook with Coconut Flour?
Recipes that work best with coconut flour include pancakes and soft baked goods like cupcakes, muffins, cakes and loaves. As it soaks up water and fats really well your baked goods will stay moist longer.
Coconut flour is also a great substitute for regular flour or bread crumbs in foods like meatballs and as a thickener in gravy, soups and stews.
Why so many eggs?
Yes coconut flour recipes call for a lot of eggs (6 to 10 is not uncommon!) which can take you by surprise when you first start baking with it. One reason is due to how it absorbs liquids. The second is due to the absence of gluten, the eggs help provide structure. The end products do not taste too eggy but you can experiment with egg substitutes such as soaked chia as well.
Can you combine Coconut flour with nut flours?
Sure can! It is common to see recipes that use a combination of coconut flour and almond meal as the nut flour can provide a crispness that coconut flour lacks particularly in biscuits and cookies. Or say in a bread a little bit of coconut flour when combined with a nut meal can make the bread slightly drier and more a traditional bread like consistency.
How do I store coconut flour & the goods I’ve baked with it?
Store your coconut flour in an air tight container or freeze as it can absorb moisture from the air. Baked goods freeze well and defrost easily in lunchboxes, on the benchtop or with some help from the microwave. An added bonus is that goods baked with coconut flour can go in school lunchboxes where nut flours cannot.
Where can I find a coconut flour recipe?