When it comes to gluten free, everyone has an opinion. Some people think it’s the best way for everyone to eat. Others says it’s not all that healthy and only those with the serious condition, celiac disease, should avoid gluten and grains. Sometimes you just want to try something different, right? That’s how I felt when I bought my first bag of coconut flour. It smelled like paradise and I had to have it. At the time I had no idea I would love the moist cakes and breads it produces or that it was so hearty. What a stroke of luck to find something so healthy and tasty in one!
What really is coconut flour?
When coconut milk is pressed from coconut meat, bits of solid coconut are leftover and the coconut meat that is leftover after the production of the milk is then dried at a low temperature and ground until it produces a soft, fine powder which is great for baking.
So why is coconut flour my #1 choice for gluten/grain free baking? Other than being the most delicious thing I have ever smelled? Coconut has a host of heath benefits:
Fiber has tons of health benefits, like keeping your blood sugar and cholesterol low. Very few people get the recommended 20-35 grams of fiber a day. Adding coconut to your diet can help you reach the target since it has double the fiber of whole wheat flour. You can even add a tablespoon or 2, to smoothies!
Coconut flour is much higher in protein that white and rye flours. Because of all the fiber and protein baked goods and breads made with coconut flour are especially filling.
Coconut flour is a source of lauric acid which is a saturated fat that may support the immune system and the thyroid. Lauric acid also promotes skin health.
“Coconut is high in saturated fat, but more than half of that comes from lauric acid, a unique lipid that battles bacteria and improves cholesterol scores. And get this: A study published in Lipids found that dietary supplementation of coconut oil actually reduced abdominal obesity” –Women’s Health
Working With It
Although coconut flour is not a grain and has no gluten it can still make a delicious bread, cake or cookie. As it is a product of coconut milk almost all liquid has been expressed from it. Compared to whole wheat flour it is very dry. To compensate for this any good recipe will include lots of eggs. This is another thing that makes coconut flour breads to healthy. An egg is a miracle food. Just like the seed of a flower, everything is contained in an egg to nourish a life. A good old fashioned chicken egg contains so many nutrients and adds even more protein to the mix.
If possible I add the eggs first in the bowl. If I have added the flour first it tends to clump up and the flours cements at the bottom of the bowl. If you must add the eggs second, just stop you beaters every once in a while and scrape the bowl. This just helps make sure everything is mixing up evenly.
You can pick up coconut flour from Amazon: Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour. It is cheaper on amazon, like most things, than at the store and Bob’s Red Mill is a great brand. I have never had anything but amazing from them!
I hope you find this post helpful! If you know someone who could benefit from step by step videos on baking with whole grains, and this informative post please share Easy Healthy Bread with them today! Thanks!