It is that time of the year again and many people are craving homemade sweets and baked goods. But the sugar and white flour – oh my! How can you fulfill the cravings you are having without increasing your waistline? Using coconut flour to bake with may be the solution you are looking for.
Coconut flour is incredibly high in fiber, 61% of the flour contains fiber. That is almost 3 times the fiber that you get in wheat bran. And coconut flour tastes much better than bran, or other alternative flours. When using coconut flour in baking, it can be just as light and taste just as good as wheat flour.
Coconut flour is also low in carbohydrates and mixed with natural sugars in your baked goods, the fiber helps to cancel out the carbohydrates which can help your waistline instead of hurting it. Fiber helps moderate swings in blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels under control. It has been proven that a high fiber diet cuts back by 25 percent the amount of insulin needed by diabetics whose diabetes began in childhood.
Coconut flour is high in fiber, helps balance your blood sugar, is gluten-free, low in carbohydrates and tastes great. Here are some answers to common questions:
Can I use coconut flour in my regular recipes?
Coconut flour is denser than regular flours so it is recommended that you either get recipes off the web or purchase a coconut flour cookbook. There is a cookbook by Dr. Bruce Fife that has a variety of recipes to keep you busy and it is under $10.00. There are a variety of websites that offer coconut flour recipes. I have seen people add the coconut flour into recipes to add fiber and make the end results denser. One of my friend’s husbands made some pumpkin bread with a regular recipe and used coconut flour instead of regular flour. It came out very dense but moist and tasted good to me.
What kinds of foods can I make with coconut flour?
I have made pancakes, bread, cheese crackers (I use casein-free Daiya cheese), blueberry muffins, shrimp/cheese/broccoli muffins, biscuits and more. The recipe book has desserts including a variety of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, and also main dishes such as meatloaf, sloppy Joe’s and fried chicken. Everything I have tried has come out wonderful! The bread is a little denser than regular bread, almost like a pound cake, but great for toast and as a snack. The crackers are nice to have in a bag to munch on to stop sugar cravings and fill me up. I have several customers that also have wonderful results with coconut flour making all kinds of desserts and healthy foods for their family.
How much does it cost?
Coconut oil is fairly inexpensive ($6.99 per lb) and there are different brands, some denser than others. It is amazing that recipes don’t use much of the coconut flour. The muffins I make use 3 tablespoons, and other recipes call for ¼ cup of coconut flour. So a bag of coconut flour can last you a long time even if you cook with it every day as I do.
If not much coconut flour is used what are the other ingredients?
Many of the recipes use eggs, often several eggs. I have used chicken and duck eggs in the recipes with great results. The duck eggs are nice as they are richer and higher in albumen which gives an extra loft to baked goods. They are also higher in vitamins and minerals than chicken eggs, and often people with allergies to chicken eggs are able to eat duck eggs. I also have made recipes with egg replacer and had good results also. Using the eggs make the items higher in protein which people like in the lower-carb diets.
Do I have to use sugar in the recipes?
Many of the recipes in the book and online are made with stevia, or you can always leave the sweetener out if you are trying to avoid sugar altogether. I have found adding spices help to eliminate the needs for sweeteners. This is a great way to make healthy cookies for people you know that have diabetes or other illnesses where they should watch what they eat. You are giving them something that tastes delicious and is really good for them at the same time. If you must use a sweetener, erythritol is one of my low carb favorites.
What about chocolate chip cookies?
I use the baking chips by Chocoperfection. They are also very high in fiber and contain no sugar so they are a wonderful option for losing weight and diabetics. Adding them to the coconut flour recipes is easy and tastes amazing!
What types of oil do you use for baking with coconut oil?
The recipes call for either coconut oil or butter. I used butter for a few of the recipes but one of the cookie batches went flat so I just use coconut oil now as it helps to keep the product fluffy instead of flat. I also have used MCT oil which is a liquid form of the coconut oils that are high in medium-chain fatty acids.
I hope that you get a chance to bake with coconut flour this year. I know that you will enjoy the end result and so will your body.