It tastes a little like cake batter, gives your baked goods the most incredibly tender crumb, and is one of the most nutritious flours of all gluten-free alternative flours out there. Meet coconut flour: the grain-free superfood that belongs in your diet, your pantry, and all your dishes from oatmeal all the way down to vegan muffins and even superfood smoothies. Coconut flour is one of the best ingredients to thicken your recipes, and is incredibly easy to use in a variety of recipes. It doesn’t taste as much like coconut as it does vanilla cake batter, which you’ll easily understand from just one whiff of this flour. Do I have your attention yet?

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The 411 on Choosing the Best Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is not just for culinary delight (though that’s reason enough alone to enjoy it.) Coconut flour is the new “it” grain-free superfood you have to get your hands on ASAP! But be warned- not all coconut flours are equal. It’s beneficial to choose raw, organic coconut flour when possible since it retains all the live enzymes and other nutrients that coconut contains while other, more processed types of coconut flour may not. Products that are not 100 percent raw are bleached and deodorized, which you can easily see from their brighter, white color. Raw coconut flour has an almost beige tint to it and a much richer scent than highly processed coconut flour does. Products that aren’t organic could be sprayed with pesticides and buying non-GMO coconut flour is important so you know you’re getting the real deal and not a genetically modified product. Just be sure to refrigerate your raw coconut flour to preserve the natural nutrients and prevent spoilage.

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Why Raw Coconut Flour is a Superfood

1. Great Grain Replacement

Grains are a healthy food, however, for many, they’re simply intolerable. While whole grains provide key B vitamins, fiber, and protein, some people just don’t digest them well. Coconut flour lends more fiber per two tablespoons than any 1/2 cup serving of grains, more protein, and many of the same B vitamins, along with potassium and magnesium.

2. Protein

As mentioned, coconut flour is filled with protein! Just 1/4 cup provides 7 grams of protein for only 120 calories compared to oats and quinoa, which both provide the same amount of protein for over 160 calories.

3. Antimicrobial

Coconut is a well-known antiviral agent, thanks to the lauric and caprylic acids it contains. Both have been linked to improving immune health and warding off harmful bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and viruses.

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4. Good for the Brain and Body

Coconut flour retains the beneficial medium chain triglyceride fats that whole coconut contains. These fats, also known as MCT fats, are well-absorbed and easily processed by the liver where they’re used for energy and metabolism instead of for fat storage. MCT fats and coconut have specifically been linked to better brain health, including improved mood, memory, and focus. Coconut, unlike butter, is also cholesterol-free, despite containing saturated fats.

5. Beneficial for Blood Sugar

Because coconut is rich in fiber and protein, it’s incredible for balancing blood sugar levels. Per 1/4 cup, you’ll receive 12 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, only 3 grams of fat, and 120 calories. Those numbers beat out any grain and most other sources of non-soy plant-based proteins for that matter. Protein and fiber are beneficial for blood sugar levels because they both slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. Speaking of sugar, coconut flour is very low in sugar and carbohydrates compared to most all grain-based flours and all other grain-free alternative flours. After the fiber is subtracted from the overall carbohydrate count, coconut flour only has 1 gram of carbs total per 2 tablespoons, which comes only from the natural sugars found in coconut meat. Protein and fiber in coconut also contribute to a higher sense of satiety, which will help keep you fuller longer.

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How to Use Coconut Flour

Coconut flour can be used in almost anything you can think of! Try out some of these awesome suggestions:

(1) Stir 2 tablespoons into oatmeal to thicken it, make it creamier, and enhance the natural sweetness found in oats. Or, use it in quinoa and millet porridge for a grain-free option. Coconut flour gives your porridge a delicious cake-like flavor that’s fantastic! Just add a little more non-dairy milk so it dissolves properly.

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(2) Add 1/4 cup coconut flour to your smoothies to use as a protein supplement, or just to add more taste and a thicker texture.

(3) Stir it into hot soups to thicken and give your soups a bread-like consistency. Think of it as a grain-free alternative to pot-pie!

(4) Bake biscuits with it and coconut oil as a replacement to regular flour and dairy butter.

(5) Make an instant pudding with it using coconut flour, non-dairy milk, ground flax, chia, vanilla extract, and some vegan yogurt. Add some stevia if you need extra sweetness without the need for added sugars.

(6) Make grain-free breakfast dishes like coffee cake, muffins, and pancakes.

Things to Know About Baking With Coconut Flour:

  • As mentioned, coconut flour is an incredible thickener due to its high protein and fiber content, so be sure you’re aware of this before using it in your recipes. You’ll only need 1/2 the amount of coconut flour you would of regular flour, and will need to double the amount of egg substitute you use. Add a touch of baking soda if it’s not called for. This will help your goods rise well without the use of gluten flours and eggs. These Holiday Chocolate Coconut Cookies and Coconut Flour Gluten-Free Brownies are two great ways to try coconut flour out.
  • Coconut flour also absorbs liquid to a much greater extent than other gluten-free flours. You’ll need to double the liquid called for in the recipe so it will work correctly.
  • Be sure to sift your coconut flour in a bowl with fork with the other dry ingredients before baking with it, so it will blend evenly with other ingredients.
  • Try it in a raw recipe if you don’t enjoy baking with it. Coconut flour works well in truffles, and a variety of other coconut-based recipes.

Give this new superfood flour a try this week. You won’t believe how much you’ve been missing out on!

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I am going to be showcasing some coconut flour recipes on this site soon, so I wanted to talk about it a little more before I did. The pro’s, con’s and personal experience.

What’s so Great about Coconut Flour?

First, it’s not only a gluten free flour, it’s a grain free flour too. So for those who follow strict grain free diets, coconut flour opens up a world of delicious baked goods. That’s obviously a huge advantage to some.

It’s a high fiber, fairly high protein flour too. When you make these into muffins, breads, and cakes, they are quite filling (probably because of the fiber content). The flour is also “sweet” by itself because of the natural sugars in the coconut, meaning that you don’t have to sweetened it as much.

It also seems that coconut flour does not effect mineral availability. “Increasing concentrations of dietary fiber from coconut flour did not affect mineral availability from all test food” Check out this study to read more about coconut flour. Unsoaked grains can lead to mineral deficiencies because of a substance called phytic acid that binds with minerals, preventing their absorption. Coconut flour could be one way to avoid that without having to soak anything.
What is Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour is actually made from the leftovers of coconut milk! In some of the test studies using coconut flour I was amused to see it called coconut “residue”. But it is a by-product of coconut milk manufacturing that has been ground into flour.

Disadvantages?

Can there be any disadvantages to this wonderful item? I won’t say that these are disadvantages for sure, just something for you to consider.

First, like mentioned before, coconut flour is very high in fiber. Flaxseeds are considered high in fiber and coconut flour beats it hands down. Now, we can get into the the mindset of thinking if something is good, more is better. But it’s all about balance, too much fiber can be just as damaging as too little. I am not saying that coconut flour is bad because it’s high in fiber, I am just saying you need to be aware that you consuming very large amounts of fiber at a time with coconut flour.

It’s also not really a “whole food”. Whole wheat flour is a whole food, coconut flour is a by-product, or the leftovers of coconut milk production. That doesn’t make it bad, just something to think about.

Was coconut flour or something like it a traditional food for people to consume? I don’t know. Coconut milk, coconut oil and whole coconut was for sure. I just don’t know enough about coconut “residue” to say that, yes, it was a traditional food.

While coconut flour is less expensive then almond flour, it’s still more expensive than some options, especially when you consider you have to use a lot of eggs in a coconut flour recipe to hold it together.

Personal Experience

When I first tried coconut flour baked goods, I had recently gotten off of a low sugar diet. I found two things. First, they tasted much to sweet to me (though my husband liked them), and that the high fiber content translated into a “I swallowed a brick” type feeling. I actually did much better with soaked grain recipes then coconut flour recipes. I seriously wondered how people could eat those “bricks”.

However, more recently I tried making some more baked goods using coconut flour. Now that my body has healed more, I didn’t notice a “heavy” feeling at all after eating it. In fact, I really enjoyed them! So, I think it was all about where my body was at different times.

Conclusion

I think that there are a lot of things to like about coconut flour, and I think you will like some of the recipes I share using it! Any disadvantages are out weighed by the advantages in my mind!

What about you? Do you use coconut flour? Heard of it before? Like it? Dislike it? Any favorite recipes?

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Coconut Flour Nutrition Benefits

  • Did you know that coconut flour contains 5g of protein in 2 Tbsp!

High in Fibre

  • It contains 6g of fibre in every 2 Tbsp of flour.

Nourishing Fats

  • Coconut flour contains 4g of nourishing fats (coconut oil) in 2 Tbsp. Coconut oil is incredibly potent as it’s not only anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, it’s also high in metabolism-boosting medium chain fatty acids.

Low GI & Helps Maintain Stable Blood Sugar Levels

  • When using coconut flour in baked goods with a sweetener or fruit, the overall GI of the baked good will reduce because coconut flour contains quality protein and fat that help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Heat Stable

  • Coconut flour contains some coconut oil which is rich in saturated fats, making it more heat stable and a great flour for baking.

Doesn’t Contain Phytic Acid or Enzyme Inhibitors

  • Grain flours contain phytic acid which is a substance that binds to minerals and prevents your body from utilising them. Additionally, nuts and seeds (if not prepared properly) contain harmful enzyme inhibitors which stress the digestive system, particularly the pancreas which is responsible for secreting enzymes. Coconut flour contains no phytic acid and only trace amounts of enzyme inhibitors so it doesn’t require any extra preparation (ie; soaking, activating or fermentation).

A Little Goes a Looooong Way

  • Coconut flour may seem pretty pricey at first; however a little really does go a long way. Once you start cooking with it, you’ll know what I mean!

Coconut Flour: Nutrition, Benefits, and More

Coconut flour has a diverse nutrient profile and may offer a range of health benefits.

That said, few studies have directly examined coconut flour. Its potential benefits are based on research on its nutrients or beneficial compounds.

Rich in nutrients and beneficial fats

Coconut flour offers a variety of nutrients, including healthy fats. A 1/4-cup (30-gram) serving contains (6):

  • Calories: 120
  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 10 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Iron: 20% of the daily value (DV)

In addition to being very rich in fiber, coconut flour provides medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and plant-based iron.

MCTs are a type of fat linked to several benefits, such as weight loss, protection against bacteria and viruses, and enhanced brain and heart health (2, 7, 8, 9).

Keeps blood sugars stable

Coconut flour is packed with fiber, which may help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

A 1/4-cup (30-gram) serving provides a whopping 40% of the DV for fiber, or 3 and 10 times more than the same quantity of whole-wheat or all-purpose flour, respectively (6).

Foods rich in fiber help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the speed at which sugar enters your bloodstream.

This is especially true for foods rich in soluble fiber, which forms a gel during digestion. Coconut flour contains small amounts of this fiber (10, 11).

It also ranks low on the glycemic index (GI), meaning that breads and baked goods made from it are less likely to spike blood sugar levels (1, 12).

May promote healthy digestion

The high fiber content of coconut flour may also benefit your digestion.

Most of its fiber is insoluble, which adds bulk to stools and helps move food smoothly through your gut, reducing the likelihood of constipation (13).

Additionally, coconut flour boasts small amounts of soluble and other fermentable fibers, which feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

In turn, these bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like acetate, propionate, and butyrate, all of which nourish your gut cells (1, 14).

SCFAs may also reduce inflammation and symptoms linked to gut disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (14, 15, 16).

May improve heart health

Coconut flour may also benefit heart health.

Research shows that consuming 15–25 grams of coconut fiber daily may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by 11%, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 9%, and blood triglycerides by up to 22% (1).

What’s more, coconut flour provides lauric acid, a type of fat thought to help kill the bacteria responsible for plaque buildup in your arteries. This plaque is associated with heart disease (2).

Yet, other studies suggest that lauric acid may have no effect on or even raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, so lauric acid’s effect on cholesterol may vary by individual (1, 17, 18).

May help you lose weight

Coconut flour may help you shed excess weight because it offers both fiber and protein, two nutrients shown to reduce hunger and appetite (19, 20).

In addition, coconut flour contains MCTs, which are less likely to be stored as fat because they travel directly to your liver, where they’re used for energy production (21).

MCTs may also reduce appetite and are processed by your body differently than longer-chain fats found in foods like olives and nuts. This difference may help you burn slightly more calories (22, 23).

However, this effect is likely small. In a review of 13 studies, replacing longer-chain fats with MCTs helped participants lose only 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg), on average, over 3 weeks or more (24).

Keep in mind that the weight loss effects of MCTs usually require consuming much larger amounts than typically available in coconut flour.

May kill harmful viruses and bacteria

Coconut flour is rich in lauric acid, a type of fat that may fight certain infections.

Once ingested, lauric acid forms a compound known as monolaurin. Test-tube research shows that lauric acid and monolaurin may kill harmful viruses, bacteria, and fungi (2, 25).

For example, these compounds appear especially effective against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and Candida albicans yeast (2, 26, 27).

However, more research is needed in humans.

Summary Coconut flour may promote stable blood sugar levels and a healthy heart. In addition, it may have antibacterial properties and aid digestion and weight loss, though research in these areas is limited.

What is coconut flour?

Coconut flour is a soft flour made from dried coconut meat. When coconut milk is squeezed from coconut meat, this meat is then dried at a low temperature and ground into a flour which is suitable for baking.

Is coconut flour low-carb?

Currently there are no guidelines for what counts as a ‘low-carb’ product. However, a 10g (approx. 1 heaped tbsp) serving of coconut flour provides between 1.5-6g carbohydrates, depending on which brand you buy, and it is also low in sugar with the average coconut flour containing 1g per 10g serving. Again, this varies by brand so check the labels, but you can consider coconut flour a low carbohydrate food when consumed in moderation.

Learn more about low-carbohydrate diets.

Is coconut flour high in fat?

As it comes from coconut, coconut flour is naturally high in fats with 14g on average per 100g, of which 12-16g is saturated fat. This varies between brands, with some listed as containing 65g of fat, of which 67g is saturated fat, per 100g, so do check the labels of the brands you are buying.

The type of saturated fat in coconut flour is called a medium-chain triglyceride which may provide some health benefits including supporting healthy cholesterol, anti-inflammatory benefits and may play a part in helping to manage weight. More research needs to be done in this area, and coconut-based products should still be consumed sparingly to keep overall fat intake within daily Reference Intakes (RI) of 70g total fat and 20g saturated fat.

Is coconut flour gluten-free?

Pure coconut flour is a gluten-free product. However, always check the label, especially if you are coeliac or have a gluten allergy. Some brands may contain added ingredients which contain gluten, or may be produced in a factory which handles gluten-containing products. If there is a risk of cross contamination, this should be clearly marked on the label.

Discover 10 ingredients you think are gluten-free but aren’t.

Is coconut flour high in fibre?

Yes, coconut flour is seen as a high fibre food with up to 45g per 100g. Government guidelines recommend that as adults we should aim to have 30g of fibre a day, so just 1 heaped tbsp (approx. 10g) of coconut flour would provide just over 10% of your recommended daily intake. With most UK adults averaging around 18g a day, it is important to increase our fibre intake as there is evidence to suggest it is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. Increasing fibre in your diet can also help digestion and prevent constipation.

Discover more about high-fibre diets.

Does coconut flour contain protein?

Coconut flour is a good source of protein with 18g per 100g. However, it is an incomplete protein, which means it contains only five of the eight essential amino acids that we need in our diet every day. ‘Essential’ means that we can only get these amino acids from food as the body cannot make them itself. Protein is important in our diet as it plays a vital role in the growth and repair of the body.

Read more about the best sources of protein as well as vegetarian and vegan options.

How does coconut flour affect blood sugar levels?

Coconut flour appears to have a lower glycaemic index of 51 which means that it should cause less of a spike in blood sugar levels than wheat flour, which has a glycaemic index of 69. This is because coconut flour is high in fat and fibre, which work to slow down the release of sugar in the bloodstream.

Find out more about low-GI foods.

Where to buy coconut flour

Coconut flour is growing in popularity as people look for more gluten-free and potentially healthier flour options, and as a result you can now buy coconut flour in most of the bigger supermarkets, health food shops or online.

Enjoyed this? Now read…

The health benefits of chestnuts
The health benefits of cinnamon
The health benefits of salmon

This page was published on 4th December 2018.

Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

What Is Coconut Flour?

If you’re looking to eat healthier and clean up your diet, you may have stumbled upon coconut flour and recipes that call for it. Preference for baking with this flour is rapidly growing due to benefits it offers to the well-being of the body, which far outweigh those of processed flours.

Coconut flour is made from dried coconut solids ground into a very fine powder. It’s light flavor and coconut scent make it a delicious option for baking. This flour is light and airy, making it amazing for baking cakes, muffins or pancakes.

How To Use Coconut Flour

I started cooking with coconut flour several years ago and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed at first. My breads and cookies were extremely dry and crumbled easily. Not so tasty!

After a lot of recipe testing I found that there are a few things to keep in mind when baking with coconut flour.

  1. Coconut flour is very high in fiber and very different from wheat flour. When baking with coconut flour you only need to use 1/4 the amount of flour you would normally use in a recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of wheat flour you would only use 1/4 cup of coconut flour in that recipe. Coconut flour also soaks up liquid so you’ll need to add more milk or water and use more eggs to bind the ingredients together.
  2. Eggs are a very important ingredient in coconut flour recipes because they bind the ingredients together. Without eggs, most coconut flour recipes will crumble apart.
  3. When making your batter allow the flour to soak up the liquid ingredients for 5-10 minutes. I find that my baked goods come out more evenly baked when I do this.
  4. Coconut flour can be a little clumpy. Sifting it before measuring can make a big difference in how well your recipe turns out.

Coconut Flour Benefits

There are some major benefits of using coconut flour in your kitchen. It’s easy to make and is great for your body. Especially if you’re trying to eat clean. But even if you’re not, you can still enjoy the unique texture that only this flour can provide.

  • Gluten free! Yes, this a completely gluten-free flour. Yet unlike a lot of gluten-free flours, this one isn’t at all mealy in texture. It’s probably the easiest flour to start with if you’re new to gluten-free cooking.
  • Lots of healthy fat. Coconuts are loaded with healthy fats, and coconut flour takes advantage of these in a very raw way. There’s very little processing, and the meat of the coconut retains a lot of that savory goodness.
  • Contains lauric acid. This is one of the healthy fats crammed into this delicious flour. This one’s especially important because it’s hard to find in most foods. You can look to this fat for help in maintain a healthy thyroid and healthy skin.
  • Safe for diabetics. If you’re watching your blood sugar, this is the flour for you. Unlike other conventional flours, coconut flour doesn’t affect blood sugar in a dramatic “spiking” fashion. It may even help reduce the effects of other foods on your blood sugar levels.
  • High fiber levels. Unlike most flours, coconut flour has an incredibly high level of fiber, especially the variety of fiber that makes you feel full. A nice little bonus for your sweet treats!
  • Promotes healthy digestion. Coconut flour’s particular composition of fats and particular fibers lends very well to the helping your body stay regular.
  • Contains protein. Did you know that flours can contain protein? This one does, perhaps due to the minimal processing that goes into making it.
  • Low in carbohydrates. Despite being notorious for making you feel full, this flour is low in carbohydrates and is a great option for those looking to reduce their intake.
  • Contains manganese. This is definitely the most unique benefit of this flour. Manganese is a vitamin that’s key to general vitamin absorption in your body. It works very closely with Vitamin D in protecting your bones.
  • Densely delicious foods. Okay, this isn’t strictly a health benefit. But how many times have you tried to make a dense cake and found it incredibly difficult, so you had to make a few? Exactly. With coconut flour, you can make one and be done. So much healthier!
  • Coconut doesn’t need to be soaked! All grains and nuts should be soaked to reduce phytic acid (an anti-nutrient). Coconut flour contains very little phytic acid, which means you don’t have to go to the trouble of properly preparing it!
  • Low in Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). I do my best to keep my PUFA intake low. Most nut flours are extremely high in these fats, but coconut flour is low in PUFAs.

Free E-Book: Coconut Flour Recipes! Learn how to bake with coconut flour with my new e-book, Coconut Flour Recipes. I’ll teach you how to bake coconut flour bread, pancakes, cookies and much more! You can download it for free here.

Where To Buy

You can find coconut flour at your local health food store or online. I order my coconut flour online from amazon. They have the lowest prices on coconut flour and coconut oil.

How To Make Coconut Flour

Coconut flour can be speedy. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s really easy to make at home! All you need is dried un-sweetened coconut flakes.

Ingredients:

  • Leftover Pulp from Homemade Coconut Milk

Directions:

  1. Spread the pulp that was leftover from making the milk out on a cookie sheet.
  2. Use a fork or a whisk to break up the pulp. Try to get as many clumps out as possible.
  3. Now you can either leave it out for 24 hours to air dry or put it in your oven at the lowest setting for 4 hours. These are the two methods I have tried. You can also put it in the dehydrator or put it in your oven over night with the oven light on.
  4. Once it’s dried throw it back in the blender to make your flour.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Coconut Flour

  • Author: The Coconut Mama

Ingredients

  • Leftover Pulp, perhaps from Homemade Coconut Milk

Instructions

  1. Spread the pulp that was leftover from making the milk out on a cookie sheet.
  2. Use a fork or a whisk to break up the pulp. Try to get as many clumps out as possible.
  3. Now you can either leave it out for 24 hours to air dry or put it in your oven at the lowest setting for 4 hours. These are the two methods I have tried. You can also put it in the dehydrator or put it in your oven over night with the oven light on.
  4. Once it’s dried throw it back in the blender to make your flour.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Tiffany – The Coconut Mama

I’m a mama of three beautiful coconuts and they are the reason I named my website, The Coconut Mama. I’m passionate about traditional and healing foods. As a true believer in the health benefits of coconut, I use coconut products in all my recipes. I share my tutorials and recipes on my site with the hope of helping others to live healthier lives – with coconut!

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13 Things to Know About Coconut Flour

We know that, while coconut flour is delicious, it can also take a lot of practice to perfect using it. Today we are providing 13 things to know about coconut flour with the hopes of speeding your practice-to-perfection along.

Coconut flour is a versatile flour, finely ground from dried coconut meat.

Why choose coconut flour?

Coconut flour has a lower glycemic index than traditional flours, and its rich texture and natural sweetness make it great for baking. It is a popular flour to bake with for those who follow any grain-restrictive diets, including the Paleo diet. Coconut flour is also naturally gluten-free and rich with protein, which makes it appealing to so many.

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  1. It is rich in protein, fiber and fat.
  2. It looks like wheat flour in appearance, but it neither smells, tastes nor acts like wheat flour when baking with it.
  3. Coconut flour cannot be substituted at a 1:1 ratio for other flours in recipes (i.e. You cannot swap 1 c. of coconut flour for 1 c. wheat flour.)
  4. Coconut flour is highly absorbent, and for this reason you will barely need any coconut flour to successfully produce a recipe.
  5. Almost always, coconut flour will require eggs when used in baked goods. Furthermore, coconut flour will require more eggs than the standard flour requires. This is because eggs act as the main binder.
  6. To make up for the lack of gluten, recipes will oftentimes add in some sort of additional protein to the mix (hemp protein powder tends to work well).
  7. Because it’s so thick, coconut flour works well as a thickener in things like soups and sauces.
  8. In addition to more eggs, coconut flour requires additional liquids in general (milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc.).
  9. In order to get the lumps and bumps out of your coconut flour mixture, you’ll need to ensure all ingredients have been properly beaten together. Even better, sift coconut flour before adding to recipes.
  10. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, baking with coconut flour might not be your best option unless you plan to pair it with another strong flavor (like cacao, onion, garlic, etc.), since it has a distinct coconut flavor.
  11. Coconut flour is very dry. To offset a dry coconut flour recipe, you’ll need to ensure you use plenty of eggs and/or other high-moisture foods like cooked, pureed or mashed fruit and/or vegetables.
  12. Coconut flour alone doesn’t work well in recipes where you are trying to achieve a crispy texture (i.e. crispy cookies or crackers).
  13. Make sure to store your coconut flour in an airtight container (or even freeze it) since it absorbs moisture, as mentioned above.


Are you ready to give Coconut Flour a try? You could start with these Coconut-Manna Chip Pancakes?!


If you need more ideas, we put together our Top 15 Holiday Inspired Recipes Using Organic Coconut Flour.


We’d love to hear your own thoughts and tips on successfully using Coconut Flour!

How Coconut Flour is made

Coconut Flour is made from fresh organic coconut meat. The meat is dried and defatted and then finely ground into a powder very similar in consistency to wheat flour and is a great as a low-carb, high-fibre, gluten-free alternative to wheat flour for baking and cooking

The benefits of Coconut Flour

  • Coconut Flour is a low carb flour. It is ideal for baking low – carb breads and baked goods. It has fewer digestible (net) carbs than any other flour. It even has fewer digestible carbs than most vegetables.
  • Coconut Flour is a good source of protein. It has as much protein as wheat flour but it has none of the specific protein in wheat called “gluten”. This is an advantage for a growing percentage of the population that have developed an allergy to gluten or a wheat sensitivity.
  • Coconut Flour is high in fibre. It contains 38.5% fibre which is the highest percentage of dietary fibre found in any flour. Coconut flour contains almost 3 times as much fibre as soy flour. It is also free of the nutrient-binding Phytic Acid found in grain fibres which can reduce the body’s absorption of key nutrients.
  • Coconut Flour can be used to make breads, cakes, pies, and other baked goods. Use 15-25% in place of other flours in most standard recipes. A variety of delicious baked goods can also be made using 100% coconut flour.
  • Coconut Flour is gluten-free and hypoallergenic. It is ideal for those who follow a low – carb eating plan. It works well as part of a weight loss program because it’s high fibre content helps provide a feeling of satiety.
  • Blood Sugar and Diabetes Coconut Flour has minimal effects on blood sugar levels and does not give blood sugar spikes like many other more processed flours do. Blood sugar is an important issue for anyone who is concerned about heart disease, overweight, hypoglycaemia, and especially diabetes because it affects all of these conditions.

Using coconut flour:

Enjoy it as a protein-packed porridge; add a spoonful to your breakfast cereal or muesli; stir a little into smoothies; or simply sprinkle it over your food.

Buy Niulife Coconut Flour Here

High Fibre for Good Health

According to The Australian Heart Foundation most Australians need to increase their fibre intake. (The average adult consumes 18–25g compared to the recommended 30g.)

Fibre can improve digestion, help regulate blood sugar, protect against diabetes, help prevent heart disease and cancer, and aid in weight loss.
Coconut flour contains soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are important to a healthy diet. Coconut flour has the highest fibre content of any flour and the lowest amount of digestible carbohydrates, fewer even than most vegetables. (Carbohydrates mainly composed of fibre are not absorbed by the body).

Coconut flour is also free of nutrient-binding Phytic Acid (often called an anti-nutrient) – a problem with grain-derived fibre.
Australian scientists from the Garvan Institute say that insoluble dietary fibre, or roughage, not only keeps you regular but also plays a vital role in the immune system, keeping certain diseases at bay.

The indigestible part of all plant-based foods pushes its way through most of the digestive tract unchanged, acting as a kind of internal broom. When it arrives in the colon, bacteria convert it to energy and compounds known as ‘short chain fatty acids’. These are already known to alleviate the symptoms of colitis, an inflammatory gut condition.

Regular use of Coconut flour is an excellent way to increase your daily fibre intake.

Just two level tablespoons a day will give you an additional 8 grams of fibre. (It’s best to build up gradually.)

Gluten-free balanced protein

Coconut Flour is a rich source of balanced protein containing all 8 essential amino acids. With almost 20% protein it has far more than wholemeal grain flours do and none of the gluten. This is great news for those who have developed an allergy to gluten or a sensitivity to wheat.

In an attempt to solve the problem of gluten intolerance and food allergies food manufacturers have developed a variety of wheat-free or low-carb breads and flours made from soy, beans and nuts. Many of these alternatives to wheat are expensive and don’t taste good unless they are loaded with flavour enhancers and sweeteners. Coconut flour is a much better and far healthier alternative.

Fibre Assists Weight Management

Since you cannot digest dietary fibre, you do not derive any calories from it. Fibre absorbs water like a sponge, helping to fill the stomach and to produce a feeling of fullness. It also slows down the emptying of the stomach, which maintains the feeling of fullness longer than do low-fibre foods. Thus, less food and fewer fat-promoting calories are consumed.

Studies have shown that consumption of an additional 14 grams of fibre a day is associated with a 10 per cent decrease in calorie intake and a loss in body weight.

Blood Sugar and Diabetes

Blood sugar is an important issue for anyone who is concerned about heart disease, overweight, hypoglycaemia, and especially diabetes because it affects all of these conditions.

Diabetics are encouraged to eat foods that have a relatively low glycaemic index. The glycaemic index is a measure of how foods affect blood sugar levels. The higher the glycaemic index, the greater the effect a food has in raising blood sugar.

Diabetics need to eat foods with a low glycaemic index. When coconut flour is added to foods, including those high in starch and sugar, it lowers the glycaemic index of these foods. This was clearly demonstrated by T. P. Trinidad and colleagues in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2003. In their study, both normal and diabetic subjects were given a variety of foods to eat. These included muesli bars, carrot cake, and brownies—all foods that a diabetic normally limits because of their high sugar and starch content. It was found that as the coconut flour content of the foods increased, the blood sugar response of the diabetic and non-diabetic subjects became nearly identical. In other words, coconut flour moderated the release of sugar into the bloodstream so that there was no spike in blood glucose levels.

Using Coconut Flour

Enjoy it as a protein-packed porridge; add a spoonful to your breakfast cereal and to smoothies; or simply sprinkle it over your food. Get creative and use it to bake delicious muffins, biscuits, cakes and breads.

Coconut works differently to wheat flour in standard recipes because it has no gluten and it is highly absorbent. Coconut flour cannot be substituted 100% for wheat or other flours in standard recipes because the lack of gluten means the baked product tends to be very crumbly and does not hold together. A proportion of about 20% coconut flour to 80% plain flour works well and this still increases the fibre content considerably. However, special gluten-free recipes have been developed which use only coconut flour – and they are delicious. These are available in books such as Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife. A selection of tried and tested recipes is also available on our website. You can also read more in this article on Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife (112Kb) or download a PDF with more coconut flour recipes

Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour – Why am I making the change?

There is always a debate regarding coconut flour vs almond flour. Both are gluten-free, both are grain free and both are used heavily in low carb and Paleo cooking.

Both are less processed than “healthy whole-grains”, both coconut flour and almond flour are more nutritious flours without the need for fortification, that many wheat-based products often have. So why am I changing?

UPDATE :: I have just added a brand new category for coconut flour recipes OR recipes where I give a coconut flour conversion. You can see them HERE.

A Note On Other Low-Carb Flours

Before we begin the coconut flour vs almond flour debate, you may wish to learn more about low-carb flours. Read my Ultimate Guide To Low-Carb Flours. It is a general overview of low-carb flours and how to use them.

And if you don’t like, or can’t tolerate coconut flour, don’t worry. I will continue to experiment with almond flour/meal, but I have made the conscious decision to make the majority with coconut flour vs almond flour.

I will try to add substitutions for older recipes. For example, I have added instructions to my Fat Head pizza recipe. You can now make it with almond flour OR coconut flour.

Note On Nuts :: “The FDA lists coconut as a tree nut but in fact, coconut is a seed of a drupaceous fruit. Most people allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. Coconut allergy is reasonably rare. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to, or eliminating coconut from, your diet.”

This year I have decided I will be baking more with coconut flour vs almond flour. Why am I switching to coconut flour vs almond flour? – cost, health and allergies.

3 REASONS WHY I LIKE BAKING WITH COCONUT FLOUR VS ALMOND FLOUR

  1. Allergies – so many readers are requesting nut free recipes. Either because they have nut allergies, or like me, their children attend a school with a nut-free policy. So baking with nuts is out of the question.
  2. Cost – coconut flour is cheaper to use. Prices vary from country to country, and what is currently on sale, but for us in New Zealand, coconut flour is half the price of almond meal/flour. Not only is coconut flour cheaper to buy, but the amount you use in a recipe is also incredibly small compared to almond meal/flour. A cake might require cups of almond meal/flour, whereas a coconut flour recipe might only require 1/4 of this.
  3. Omega3/6 ratio – almonds have a high omega 6 (pro-inflammatory) content. This isn’t so important when you are just eating a few almonds as a snack, but to rely on cups of almond meal/flour for meals and baking, really does make a difference and adds up quickly.

It takes 90 whole almonds to make 1 cup almond flour. It is too easy to overindulge in almonds from almond flour low-carb baking.

Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour – Allergies

With the increasing number of allergies, more readers are asking for tree nut free recipes. And as many parents know, an increasing number of primary schools and kindergartens are making a nut-free policy for baking and school lunches. So many low-carb recipes use almond flour/meal, it limits what baking we can send our children to school with.

Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour – Costs

Depending on where you live this may vary, but here in New Zealand, coconut flour is almost half the price of almond flour/meal.

Coconut flour is a pretty economical low-carb flour to buy and to use because you only use 1/4 of the volume of almond flour.

Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour – Fat content and quality

Almond flour has a higher fat content but it is the quality of fat that is important to consider. Almond flour is high in omega 6 which is the inflammatory polyunsaturated fat we want to avoid in large quantities.

Coconut flour is lower in fat (another reason why it is so absorbent for liquids in recipes), but it is stable saturated fat.

Omega 6 is inflammatory and omega 3 is anti-inflammatory. In the past, our omega 6:3 ratio was closer to 1:1, in modern times it has moved to be 15:1, i.e.: a highly inflammatory diet. “Excessive amounts of omega-6 … promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects.” Source.

  • to see why it is inflammation that is the biggest risk for heart disease rather than the cholesterol myth.
  • to read my Ultimate guide to healthy fats.

Other benefits of coconut flour vs almond flour

  • High in fibre – both coconut and almond flours are high in fibre.
  • High in protein – coconut flour isn’t as high as almond flour, but when you consider baking using coconut flour generally requires more eggs to help the baking rise and improve moisture, it can be considered a higher protein option.
  • Low carb – both are lower in carbs than wheat and grain-based flours. 1 cup of wheat flour contains a whopping 73g net carbs compared to 10g net carbs in 1 cup of almond flour, and 6g net carbs in the equivalent 1/4 cup of coconut flour (40% less than almond flour).
  • Nutrition – there’s not much in it, but both are better than wheat and grains. Don’t rely on low-carb baking to provide you with the basis of your nutrient dense diet. Low-carb baking, whether it is from coconut flour vs almond flour, should not be relied upon regularly. Part of the ethos of going low carb is not to rely on the sweet tastes, not to rely on treats but to use them occasionally. It is always better to reach for a low-carb treat rather than a highly processed, high-carb one, but they must begin to make less of an appearance in your weekly meal plan.

Coconut flour vs Almond flour – cooking tips

Unless you are very experienced at low-carb cooking, you cannot directly substitute coconut flour for almond flour in recipes.

Coconut flour may need flavouring in sweet or savoury recipes to over-ride the subtle coconut flavour it has. Some people are more sensitive to the subtle flavour of coconut flour than others.

For those of you new to cooking with coconut flour, it can be tricky to work with unless you understand how coconut flour works and behaves.

Once you feel comfortable with the properties of coconut flour, you might want to try experiment converting some almond flour recipes. The best recipes to begin converting, are those that aren’t heavily based on almond flour.

How Coconut Flour Works

Coconut flour is the dried flesh from the coconut. It is incredibly absorbent and it is best left to swell and absorb the moisture it has been mixed with. For example, if you were to make my keto waffles and don’t allow the batter to stand for a few minutes while the waffle maker is heating up, you may think the batter is too liquid and too runny to create the perfect waffle. If however, you allow the batter to rest for a minute or two, you will see the batter thickening all by itself.

Because coconut flour is so absorbent, you will need extra liquids. Extra eggs are required to help improve the texture of the baking and to help the cake to rise.

Almond flour is a great replacement for breadcrumbs in recipes such as chicken nuggets, crumbed pork and grain-free fried chicken. Coconut flour will work in many of these recipes, but you need to use only a small quantity and it may not give you that crunchy texture you are used to with breadcrumbs.

OTHER COCONUT FLOUR RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE

  • Raspberry fingers
  • Keto waffles
  • Keto chocolate waffles
  • Flourless berry sponge
  • 1 minute keto muffins
  • Fat Head sausage rolls (options for coconut flour or almond flour)



Take a look at the entire series of Ultimate Guides

  • Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Food 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 lists
  • Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Vegetables
  • Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Fruit
  • Ultimate Guide To Healthy Fats
  • Ultimate Guide To Low Carb Sweeteners
  • Ultimate Guide To Low Carb Flours
  • Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Alcohol
  • Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Beige Food
  • Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Nuts And Seeds
  • Ultimate Guide To Carbs In Sauces

When most of us think “flour,” we think wheat flour, but technically, a “flour” is just a powder made by grinding up something else into the right size. You can make flour out of all kinds of grains, beans, roots, or seeds.

From a Paleo perspective, the two major contenders for flour are coconut flour (ground-up coconut) and almond flour (ground-up almonds). These are the two you’ll see most often in Paleo baking. Both of them have pros and cons, and they can both have a place in your pantry, but you might prefer one or the other.

Obligatory killjoy disclaimer: neither of these flours should be a staple food in your diet. “Going Paleo” does not mean substituting almond flour for wheat and calling it a day. Paleo cookies are not healthy just because they’re gluten-free! Your staple meals should be meat, vegetables, and healthy fats: any kind of Paleo baking should be an occasional additional treat, not an everyday staple.

But with that said, there is a place for “flours” in the Paleo framework, not just in baking but also used to thicken sauces, bind meatballs, or make a crispy crust for other foods. So to help you figure it out, here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each.

Nutrition

First of all, let’s tackle nutrition. The key here is to decide which nutritional aspects you really care about. Neither type of flour is universally better or worse nutritionally, but they do have different pros and cons.

Here’s a breakdown of macronutrient content per 4 tbsp. (1/4 cup) of each flour:

Coconut flour Almond flour
Fat 4 grams 14 grams
Protein 4 grams 6 grams
Carbohydrates 16 grams 6 grams
Fiber 10 grams 3 grams

Pros and Cons: Macronutrient Composition

If you’re going for low-carb, almond flour is probably going to be your Paleo flour of choice. On the other hand, if you’re not specifically trying to eat very low-carb, the slightly larger amount of carbs in coconut flour isn’t likely to cause any problems.

The winner: neither; it depends on your goals.

Pros and Cons: Fat Quality

One area that sets the two flours apart is fat quality. Specifically, coconut flour has less overall fat, but it has a much higher fat quality. Almond flour is high in Omega-6 PUFA, which can be inflammatory in large amounts. Most people in the US today get way too much Omega-6 fats and need to focus on eating less of them. There’s a lot of fat in almond flour and a big chunk of it is Omega-6. With coconut flour, on the other hand, there’s a lot less fat to begin with and less of it is Omega-6. This makes coconut flour less potentially inflammatory.

The winner: coconut.

Pros and Cons: Gut Irritants

Another way to compare the two is to look at potential gut irritants. Here, unfortunately, there’s no one winner because both of them have some pros and cons.

Coconut flour has a lot of fiber, and much of that fiber comes in the form of inulin. Unfortunately, inulin is a FODMAP, a type of fiber that can set off digestive symptoms in many people who are sensitive to it.

On the other hand, almond flour is also a high-FODMAP food, and it also contains phytic acid, which can become a gut irritant in large doses.

Some people do better with one; some people do better with the other. And some people find that both types cause digestive problems. If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or food sensitivities, try a small amount of each first and slowly work up; watch out for gas, bloating, or other symptom flares. There’s no universal rule, so it really is just a matter of testing to see which one your body likes.

The winner: neither; it depends on your personal tolerance.

Pros and Cons: Micronutrients

Neither type of flour contains a huge amount of micronutrients – again, these are “treat foods,” not food groups that are supposed to fill your staple nutritional needs. But they both have at least something:

  • Coconut flour: good source of iron, manganese, copper, and several other minerals.
  • Almond flour: good source of Vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium, and several other minerals.

Neither of them has enough protein to qualify as a “protein source” for Paleo purposes. A Paleo meal should involve 20-30 grams of protein: the 4 grams in a serving of coconut flour or 6 grams in a serving of almond flour don’t begin to cover it.

The winner: almond, but by a small margin.

Other Nutritional Considerations

From an allergy standpoint, it’s worth noting that most people with nut allergies can eat coconut just fine. On the other hand, some people are also separately allergic to coconut even if they don’t have a nut allergy, or they have an allergy to coconut in addition to a separate nut allergy. It’s always a balancing act!

Baking Properties

The other thing to consider when you’re choosing a flour is how it works in baking.

Here, the big difference is that coconut flour sucks up much more moisture than almond. So recipes with coconut flour need a lot more wet ingredients to prevent them from getting crumbly and dry. You can’t just substitute coconut for almond and vice versa: the recipe won’t work out right!

The two also have slightly different tastes. Coconut has a more generic, slightly sweet flavor; almond flour (surprise!) tastes like almonds. The almond taste can sometimes be great – for example, it’s lovely in cookies and works quite well in pancakes – but sometimes you don’t want it.

Some people prefer to bake with a mixture of both flours; other people stick with one or the other. But if you’re new to Paleo baking, a good rule of thumb is to follow recipes as written until you get a good feel for how each flour behaves; then you can start experimenting with your own combinations and proportions.

Summing it Up

There’s no perfect food. Almond flour and coconut flour both have their pros and cons, and if you do a lot of Paleo baking you’ll probably end up using both in various combinations.

The most important thing is that neither one should be a staple food in your diet – Paleo is not about replacing wheat flour with any other kind of technically grain-free “flour” around. Grain-free flours are great for thickening sauces, breading meat, and making the occasional Paleo-friendly treat. If you use them that way, you don’t even need to worry so much about which one is nutritionally superior, because either way it’s a relatively small part of your diet. Pick one or use both; just make sure that whatever choice you make, it’s a choice that aligns with the spirit of Paleo and not just the letter.

Coconut flour is growing in popularity as more people discover the many health benefits of coconut flour nutrition, in addition to its many uses as a delicious, gluten-free and beneficial alternative to other flours.

What do you need to know about coconut flour nutrition? It is high in fiber, protein and healthy fats and free from wheat and other grains. It is also low in sugar, digestible carbohydrates and calories. Plus, this flour has a low score on the glycemic index.

This makes it a favorite among Paleo dieters, gluten-free eaters — including those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity — those with digestive problems like leaky gut syndrome, anyone with a nut allergy, those with diabetes, vegetarians and just about everyone else in between.

In reality, coconut flour is not actually “flour” in the way we normally think of it. It contains zero grains and consists of 100 percent pure coconut meat. Read on to learn more.

Coconut Flour Nutrition Facts

A ¼-cup serving (or about 30 grams) of coconut flour contains roughly:

  • 120 calories
  • 16 grams carbohydrates
  • 6 grams protein
  • 4 grams fat
  • 10 grams fiber
  • 3.6 milligrams iron (20 percent DV)

Is coconut flour considered a carb? Flour derived from coconuts is generally considered a low-carb fiber. Is coconut flour OK for the ketogenic diet, and better yet, is coconut flour good for keto diet? Not only is it keto diet approved (in reasonable amounts, of course), but as you’re about to find out, it’s also highly beneficial when it comes to your health. That’s what makes it a great flour option for a ketogenic diet.

A little bit of this flour goes a long way, and in many recipes, you can get away with using only two tablespoons and still getting great results.

Health Benefits of Coconut Flour

What are the benefits of coconut flour? There are numerous reasons to love all that it has to offer, especially the fact that it’s high in nutrients, low in calories and can be used in so many recipes. It’s also very uncommon for coconut flour to cause any digestive or autoimmune responses like other grain flours can.

The health benefits of using this flour in recipes are far-reaching and impressive and include the following:

1. Aids Metabolism

Coconut flour contains high levels of MCTs, also called medium-chain fatty acids or “MCFAs.” Research shows that MCTs act as important nutrient and metabolic regulators in the body. These fatty acids are easily digested when consumed. They go straight to the liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively affect metabolism.

2. High in Beneficial Fiber to Prevent Constipation

A quarter cup of flour from coconut meat supplies an impressive 25 precent of many people’s daily dietary fiber needs. If you’re looking to avoid constipation, a very common health concern, getting enough fiber-rich foods in your diet daily is a must. High-fiber foods are some of the best things to consume if you want to prevent constipation or relieve it. In addition, healthy bacteria living in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which are called probiotics, help regulate bowel function. Fiber from coconut flour acts as a prebiotic that helps probiotic bacteria thrive and encourages optimal digestion helping to prevent constipation.

3. Helps Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Coconut flour is lower in carbs than other common flours, such as wheat and corn, so it’s a better choice for diabetics and other people looking to maintain a healthy blood sugar. Unlike higher-carb flours, coconut-derived flour has a much more mild effect on blood sugar levels. Plus, it comes with all of that beneficial fiber, fat and protein, making it a very well-balanced flour that can help you to feel full longer and make you less likely to overeat. Coconut flour nutrition certainly has health benefits for people with diabetes and those who are working toward reaching a healthy weight too.

4. Can Help to Lower Bad Cholesterol

With its high fiber content, this flour is also a great choice for boosting heart health. Studies show that coconut flour has the ability to help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and serum triglycerides in people who have raised cholesterol levels.

According to a study titled, “The cholesterol-lowering effect of coconut flakes in humans with moderately raised serum cholesterol” published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, coconut flour is great choice for people looking to lower their cholesterol. As an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, this study shows how this type of flour significantly reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, total cholesterol and triglycerides.

5. Boosts Heart Health

As a rich source of fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, flour from coconuts is also known for boosting heart health. In fact, research links high intakes of dietary fiber with a reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease as well as dying from the disease.

6. Perfect for Celiac Disease and Other Gluten-Free Diets

Coconut flour is naturally free from gluten, making it a great choice for anyone struggling with following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or a personal preference to avoid gluten. It can be hard to follow a strict diet that truly contains no gluten, but coconut flour is a versatile ingredient that can make following these diets that much easier.

History and Uses in Traditional Medicine

Coconut flour is made from ground and dried coconut meat. Once the outer green husk of a coconut is removed, what remains inside is the rich, inner white lining. This is the coconut meat. Coconut meat is the white, firm part of the coconut that you find if you crack open the fresh coconut and scrape out the insides. It then needs its milk separated in order to produce the dry “flour”.’ Once the meat is strained and separated from the coconut’s milk, it is baked at a low temperature to dry it out and create a powdery flour made entirely of coconut.

There is some evidence that this flour got its start in Tahiti or Polynesia. If it did or didn’t, it pretty clearly has its longest history of use in these parts of the world where coconuts are plentiful. Polynesian and Tahitian cuisine regularly employs coconut flour.

In many tropical climates and cultures, the indigenous people consider coconuts to be a food that is both nutritious and medicinal. Some even refer to the coconut tree as the “tree of life” and use pretty much every single part of the coconut as both a traditional food and a traditional medicine.

In traditional Thai medicine, for example, coconut is used to treat virus-based health concerns like the flu, sore throat, fever, head lice and urinary problems. Coconuts and coconut byproducts are also highly regarded as beneficial to overall health in Ayurvedic medicine. Coconut foods are recommended particularly for the pitta and vata dashas, but kaphas should typically avoid coconut in excess.

Coconut Flour vs. Almond Flour

Both coconut flour and almond flour are loved for their versatility in recipes, high amounts of nutrients, filling fats and gluten-free qualities. While both are great choices for baking or using in numerous ways, coconut flour offers more fiber and less calories overall than almond flour.

Coconut flour is also a great alternative for anyone who has nut allergies and cannot consume almonds. At the same time, nuts are nutrient-dense foods, and almond flour is a great choice for its vitamin and mineral content, very low carb count, protein, fiber, and healthy fat.

All things considered, one of these flours is basically not “better” than the other. Almond flour is extremely healthy but has a bit more calories and fat. It also has more fiber while having fewer carbs, and it is lower in natural sugars. The higher calorie and fat content isn’t a bad thing, and this makes it a great choice for those on a low-carb, ketogenic or higher-fat diet. So you can see, it really comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

Almond flour can be used as a coconut flour substitute, but remember it is not as absorbent as coconut flour so you need to decrease the the amount of liquid in recipes.

There is one more benefit to coconut flour nutrition that you may not have thought of. Because coconuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids, they are low in omega-6 fats. Although almonds are extremely healthy, nuts in general add omega-6 fats to your diet, and chances are you already consume plenty of these types of omega-6 fatty acids.

The ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s in your diet is very important, but most people consume much more omega-6s in their diets than omega-3s due to eating processed foods, refined oils and low amounts of wild-caught omega-3 seafood. While coconut flour won’t add omega-3s to your diet, it can help reduce the amount of omega-6s since it can replace nut flours and refined grain flours.

Coconut flour and almond flour — sometimes also almond meal — both make great coatings for proteins but have different textures and qualities when cooked with. Almond flour tends to be more crunchy, nutty, crumbly and less soft. It also has a stronger taste. It tastes like almonds, while coconut flour has a more mild taste.

Coconut flour absorbs more water than almond flour does, is denser and creates a softer product. You can use both together to create many healthy gluten-free recipes that are completely free of any grains and high in many nutrients.

Where to Find Coconut Flour

You can purchase pre-made coconut flour at your favorite health food stores, certain major grocery stores that carry alternative or gluten-free flours, some farmers markets, or through online retailers. Nowadays, you can often find it at grocery stores and retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Costco.

Because this flour is pure and free from common digestive irritants and artificial additives, the benefits of coconut flour nutrition are being embraced by those with nut allergies, digestive disorders, insulin sensitivities and many more people. This is good news and means that more and more retailers should begin stocking it.

If you’ve had no luck finding it in stores, you can also purchase this flour online.

If you rather buy pre-made coconut flour than to make your own, look for quality brands, and take a look at the nutrition panel.

Its best to purchase a brand with the only ingredient on the package as “coconut flour.” Do not purchase brands that are sweetened with any type of extra sugar, artificially flavored, have preservatives or have any binding agents in them. The shorter the list of ingredients (ideally only one), the better. This means you get the most benefits from coconut flour nutrition without unwanted side effects.

If you have celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity or are just avoiding gluten-containing grains, make sure to check that the brand of flour you purchase is labeled gluten-free and produced in a completely gluten-free facility.

How to Make Coconut Flour

Just like you can make your own coconut milk or almond flour, you can make your own homemade coconut flour. In order to make coconut flour, you can use the leftover fiber from making coconut milk. This way you get two homemade products at the same time.

Start by blending coconut meat and water in a high-speed blender. Then use a straining bag or cheesecloth to catch all of the coconut meat, leaving behind only the coconut milk, which you can save and use in many recipes later on.

When you have the coconut meat separated, spread it onto a baking sheet and bake it at a low temperature for several hours to dry it out. Keep in mind that you’re not exactly cooking the coconut meat to create flour, rather just slowly dehydrating it until it reaches a powdery, flour-like consistency.

Some people consider coconut flour to be raw for this reason, while others argue it isn’t. It really depends on how high of a temperature you choose to dehydrate it at. Most people recommend baking coconut flour at about 150 degrees or the lowest setting on the oven for four to six hours to get the best results.

Based on those tips, here is a step-by-step guide to making your own coconut flour:

  1. Separate fresh, raw coconut meat and coconut milk by blending the two together in a high-speed blender. Then use a cheesecloth or another type of straining bag to catch all of the coconut meat and bottle the coconut milk.
  2. Preheat your oven to a very low temperature, around 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Slowly dehydrate your coconut flour over the course of about 4–6 hours, depending on the exact heat. Check it after 4 hours to see if it’s turned into a powdery, flour-type texture.

How to Cook with Coconut Flour

Coconut flour can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. It is unsweetened and has a slight smell and taste of coconut, but this easily blends well with other ingredients in recipes and does not overpower other tastes. While it has a light, airy appearance and texture when dried, it becomes pretty dense when cooked with or baked.

You want to make sure to de-clump the flour first before cooking with it, since it’s prone to forming clumps. Do this by mixing it with a fork to take out any air bubbles or lumpy bits.

It’s best to use coconut flour in combination with other flours or self-rising ingredients like eggs when baking in order to get the best results. Are you wondering, can I use coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour? You definitely can, but depending on the recipe, you likely have to make some changes to the amounts of liquid ingredients in the recipe. Coconut flour is high in fiber, so it absorbs a lot of water while cooking with it. Compared to other flours, think of it as much more of an absorbent “sponge” — therefore having the capability to dry out certain traditional recipes.

For breading foods like pieces of meat or fish, you can typically use coconut flour as a 1:1 all-purpose flour replacement. This flour can also be used on its own to thicken soups and stews or to coat ingredients in place of breadcrumbs. No matter how you use it, make sure to mix it well before adding it to recipes, and after you’ve combined it with other ingredients, to ensure you get the best finished product.

Baking with Coconut Flour

Looking for a cake flour substitute that is gluten-free and adds incredible flavor to any recipe? You can take advantage of the health benefits of coconut flour by using it in these baked coconut flour recipes:

  • Breads, with a dense texture
  • Cupcakes, for example these Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
  • Muffins
  • Cinnamon buns, like these low-sugar and gluten-free Cinnamon Buns
  • Cookies, like these gluten-free Mounds Cookies
  • Pancakes, for example these filling Coconut Chia Pancakes
  • Crepes, like these yummy Coconut Banana Crepes
  • Brownies, like these chocolaty Sweet Potato Brownies
  • Waffles
  • Truffles, like these Dark Chocolate Protein Truffles

When baking with coconut flour, it works best to use an equal ratio of liquid to flour. This means you would use two tablespoons of water for every two tablespoons of coconut flour. The water will easily absorb during the baking process.

You can also use coconut oil along with the flour to add even more benefits and retain moisture. One benefit of coconut flour’s absorbency is that it works well to give baked goods a dense quality, for example in a heart bread or something similar.

For the best results, it’s recommended to use it as a replacement for up to about 20 percent of the total flour in a recipe. This means if you’re baking with almond meal or sprouted spelt wheat flour, for example, you can substitute out 20 percent of one of those flours and add coconut flour instead.

This adds extra fiber, MUFAs and nutrients to your finished product without altering the texture or taste much at all. Just remember that you need to add extra liquid to compensate. In this case, if you substituted a ¼ cup of coconut flour into the recipe, you also need to add an extra ¼ cup water or other liquid.

While most experienced cooks do not recommend using coconut flour on its own in recipes, especially when baking, some people have positive results when combining 100 percent coconut flour and eggs together, then baking the two.

Since this flour is free from gluten, which usually binds ingredients together, the egg takes the place of the gluten and holds your product in place without it crumbling. You can make a coconut flour-egg muffin taste either sweet or savory depending on your preference. Try adding cinnamon, pure honey and cocoa powder for a sweeter treat or herbs and spices for a savory breakfast.

Coconut flour is a much healthier alternative to refined carbohydrate flours in many ways. By adding this flour to baked recipes that may be high in sugar and prone to spiking blood glucose levels, you can lower the glycemic index on the recipe. This means that the sugar in the recipe will impact blood glucose levels more slowly, not causing a spike and dip in energy levels, and prevent episodes of hypoglycemia.

Coconut Flour Recipes

There are so many delicious ways that you can use coconut flour, such as:

  • In place of nut coatings, like pecan or almond coating, on fish or chicken
  • As a substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs or on protein
  • To make a faux pizza crust, like this recipe for Coconut Pizza Crust
  • To make grain-free Paleo coconut wraps or bread
  • Mixed and baked with eggs for savory, high-protein egg muffins
  • To bind together veggie burgers or meatloaf
  • To make chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef or fish burgers, like these Cilantro Salmon Burgers
  • To thicken soups or stews without the need for dairy or refined flour
  • To make savory breads or biscuits

There are countless ways to take advantage of the nutrient boost you get from coconut flour nutrition by making a delicious coconut flour recipe. You can use this flour as a healthy, gluten-free, conventional flour substitute to coat chicken, fish or other proteins. Try mixing it with spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, sea salt and black pepper to make a basic coating mixture. To mimic the taste of traditional breadcrumbs used in Italian and French cooking, add oregano, basil, parsley and other traditional Mediterranean herbs.

Here are some more delicious coconut flour recipes to try:

  • Keto Low-Carb Coconut Flour Bread Recipe
  • Basic Coconut Flour Cookies Recipe
  • Best Ever Coconut Flour Banana Bread Recipe
  • Coconut Flour Keto Pancakes Recipe

Does coconut flour expire? It normally does not contain added sulfites or preservatives if you buy a high-quality brand, so it’s recommended to store your flour in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh for longer after opening. This is especially true if you decide to make and store your own homemade coconut flour. Once opened, it should last up to one year if kept in a cool, dry place.

Precautions

Do not use coconut fl0ur if you have an allergy to coconuts. Discontinue use of coconut-derived flour and seek medical attention if experience signs of a serious allergic reaction.

Final Thoughts

  • Coconut actually really isn’t a “flour” in the traditional sense. It is made from dried and ground coconut meat, which contains zero grains and is naturally gluten-free.
  • When comparing coconut flour vs. almond flour, one really isn’t better than the other, and it mainly comes down to personal preference. Almond flour is lower in carbs and sugars while coconut is lower in calories yet higher in fiber.
  • Flour made from coconut is a great choice for paleo and keto diets, gluten-free eaters, including those with Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity, those with digestive problems like leaky gut syndrome, those with diabetes, vegetarians, and anyone else looking for flour loaded with health benefits.
  • Possible health benefits include:
    • Reducing LDL “bad” cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides
    • Positive effects on metabolism and blood sugar levels
    • Helping encourage good digestion and prevent/relieve constipation
    • Rich in fiber that can help to ward off heart disease
  • This flour can be used in so many healthy recipes, ranging from desserts and pancakes to pizza crust and protein-rich main courses.

Read Next: Paleo Flour Blend: A Nutritious Paleo Substitute for All-Purpose Flour

If you’re venturing on a ketogenic diet or even if you’ve been low-carb for a while, you might be wondering about coconut flour nutrition.

Coconut flour shows up in numerous keto recipes, but is it actually good for you? Is it even low-carb? As it turns out, coconut flour is almost too good to be true — high in dietary fiber, healthy fats and protein, plus low in sugar and calories.

Get all the details on coconut flour, the nutrition benefits of this gluten-free, grain-free ingredient, and learn exactly how to use it.

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What Is Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour is a byproduct of the coconut milk-making process. Once manufacturers separate creamy coconut milk from the actual coconut meat, they’re left with coconut pulp. The pulp is then dried and ground into a soft powder.

And since coconut flour is made from coconut — and nothing else — it contains a lot of the same health benefits.

Coconut Flour Nutrition: Health Benefits

There’s a reason coconut flour is popular with keto, paleo, and gluten-free enthusiasts. It’s the ideal flour alternative if you have food sensitivities and digestive issues like leaky gut or gut dysbiosis. It’s also a creamy, nutrient-dense alternative to nut and dairy products if you suffer from sensitivities.

It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, low in calories, high in fiber, and versatile when it comes to cooking and baking. Here’s a quick look at coconut flour nutrition:

One serving size, or two tablespoons of organic coconut flour contains:

Coconut flour also contains key vitamins and minerals like manganese, calcium, and selenium. Beyond the macronutrients, below are four reasons why coconut flour helps support your overall health.

#1: May Help Digestive Health

Fiber is an important component of a keto diet. Both soluble and insoluble fibers help keep your digestive system moving, soften and bulk up your stools, and contribute to a diverse gut microbiome. A fourth cup (or about 30 grams) of coconut flour has 10 grams of fiber, which can support your digestive system.

#2: May Help Keep You Slim

That high fiber content is also related to keeping your weight stable over time. The protein and healthy fats in coconut flour also help keep you feeling fuller longer, which can prevent cravings and overeating.

#3: Helps Balance Your Blood Sugar

Refined high-carb flours can spike your blood glucose and insulin levels, which, over time, can increase harmful free radicals and systemic inflammation. Coconut flour ranks lower on the glycemic index than typical white flour.

The glycemic index ranks foods from 0–100 based on how much they are expected to raise your blood glucose levels, with 0 having no impact and 100 raising them exponentially.

In one study, 150 grams of coconut four — which could easily make an entire loaf of bread or batch of muffins — held a rank of 61, while just a single slice of white bread came in at 75.

High-fiber, low-carb flours, on the other hand, keep your blood sugar levels low. And fewer spikes in blood sugar mean a healthier metabolism and less inflammation over time.

#4: More Energy From Healthy Fats

Coconut flour is also rich in healthy fats — mostly from medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. MCTs are great for quick, easy energy because they bypass your normal digestive process and convert to energy quickly.

There are four different types of MCTs found in food:

  • Caproic acid
  • Caprylic acid
  • Capric acid
  • Lauric acid

The most abundant fatty acid in coconut products is usually lauric acid, making up 77% of the MCTs found in coconut oil. Lauric acid is what makes coconut powerfully antiviral and antifungal, with the ability to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Fats from coconuts can also:

  • Help with weight loss
  • Reduce hunger
  • Raise “good” HDL cholesterol
  • Improve brain function (specifically in people with age-related brain degeneration)

Baking With Coconut Flour on Keto

Remember, fiber is a carbohydrate. So compared to other grain-free flours, coconut flour may look like it’s loaded with carbs at first glance. However, because of its high fiber content, it ends up being lower in total net carbs. You also might find that most gluten-free recipes don’t ask for a whole lot of coconut flour — a little goes a long way.

Coconut Flour Baking Tips

A quarter cup of coconut flour contains roughly 6 grams of net carbs. Again, this might sound high, but a quarter cup of coconut flour might be all a recipe needs. For example, if you bake an entire batch of cookies and only use a 1/4 cup of coconut flour, each cookie will contain just 0.5 grams of net carbs — not bad for something that satisfies your sweet tooth.

As long as you’re learning about keto baking, here are a few other tips you should keep in mind:

  • Don’t use it as a direct 1-to-1 substitute for white flour: This is the number one mistake most people make when experimenting with keto baking. Coconut flour is much more absorbent than white flour, so it can be drying in baked goods. Don’t substitute coconut flour in a 1:1 ratio for white flour recipes. Instead, cut it down to about a fourth.
  • Use a lot of eggs: Coconut flour is incredibly dense because of its high-fat content. To make the fluffy, tasty treats you’re used to, you’ll likely need more eggs to balance out the batter. Don’t be alarmed if a recipe calls for 4–6 eggs.
  • Use a hybrid of flours: As a general rule, recipes that call for two types of flours are usually best. By using a combination of almond flour and coconut flour, you’ll find the texture to be most similar to “regular” baked goods.

Different Ways to Bake With Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is more versatile than you might think. For the most part, you can use coconut flour in place of white flour, and it won’t necessarily taste like coconut.

Use coconut flour as a high-protein, low carb option for:

  • Breaded chicken fingers and other meat
  • Muffins, pancakes, waffles, and other baked treats
  • Grain-free pizza crust
  • Low-carb bread
  • Binding keto meatballs or meatloaf
  • Thickening soups and stews
  • Coconut-flour sandwich wraps
  • Bulking up burgers

Coconut Flour vs. Almond Flour

Of the grain-free alternative flours available, almond flour and coconut flour are probably the most well-known.

Here’s how the two measure up against one another:

  • Almond flour has fewer net carbs: A 1/4 cup serving of almond meal contains 160 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 3 grams of net carbs. This means it contains more fat, protein, and total calories than coconut flour, but fewer net carbs.
  • Coconut flour is nut-free: For those with tree nut allergies, coconut flour is surely the better option. While it’s certainly possible to be allergic to coconut, nuts and tree nuts are ranked within the top seven most common allergies on the planet, and coconuts don’t fall in that category.
  • Almond flour contains more omega-3 fatty acids, but coconut has more MCTs: Both coconut and almond flour contain healthy fats and both are great for your energy levels and brain health — they’re just different kinds.

We can’t definitively say that coconut or almond flour is better or worse for you. Both have advantages and disadvantages — it simply depends on what you’re looking for.

Plus, many keto recipes include a mixture of both flours.

Is Coconut Flour Keto-Friendly?

Coconut flour is a great substitute for regular white or wheat flour when it comes to keto-friendly baking. It’s also an excellent alternative to nut flours or other gluten-free flours that tend to have a higher carb count. For more recipe ideas using coconut flour, be sure to check out these low-carb baking ideas and get cooking.

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