What is Coconut Flour?
Coconut flour is a high-fiber gluten-free flour produced from coconuts. The flour is made from dried, ground coconut flesh left over after coconut milk has been extracted.
Health Benefits of Coconut Flour
In contrast with traditional wheat flour, coconut flour is an excellent alternative with healthy nutritional value. Coconut flour has immense health benefits to offer:
- Gluten-free – gluten is a protein found mainly in grain products such as wheat, rye, and barley that is difficult to break down during digestion. Coconut flour does not contain gluten. This lack of gluten makes it an excellent alternative for a gluten-free diet. People with autoimmune disorders like Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and gluten intolerance can find coconut flour as a great fit.
- Improves digestion – its high fiber content promotes digestion. Coconut flour contains a higher fiber content than wheat, promoting excellent digestion and healthy bacteria growth in the gut. With improved digestion, this keeps regular bowel movement and protection against illnesses.
- Lower glycemic index – glycemic index is the number that showcases how fast the body converts carbohydrates in food into glucose. Coconut flour has a glycemic index of 45, making it a safer option for persons with diabetes as it does not raises blood sugar.
- Lose weight – The high fiber in coconut flour can aid in increasing energy levels and decrease appetite. The high fiber content also makes one feel satisfied beneficial if one is looking to lose weight.
- Improve heart health – consuming coconut fiber can lower cholesterol levels. Coconut flour provides lauric acid, a fat believed to help kill bacteria responsible for plaque buildup arteries.
Uses of Coconut Flour
The versatility of coconut flour makes it an all-purpose flour that can be incorporated in confectionaries and delicacies. Coconut flour can be included in daily recipes when baking bread, cookies, cakes, muffins, and a thickener for soups, stews, and gravy.
Taste and Texture
Coconut flour has a coconut scent with a mild coconut flavor and a somewhat bland taste. The flour has a gritty texture for baked goods, and for this, it has to be sifted thoroughly before baking.
Coconut flour does not bind together very well, which can be troublesome. When used in baking, a slight adjustment of wet ingredient quantities must be recalibrated.
Its porous nature makes it absorb liquids but at a relatively slower rate. It has to sit for a given time to swell and absorb wet ingredients.
Steps to Making Coconut Flour
To get coconut flour, the steps are pretty straightforward. Within a few hours of effortless labor, the results are excellent.
The benefits of coconut flour make it an attractive alternative to wheat and an option worth exploring. The process begins with a coconut extracting its flesh, draining it of the coconut milk, and grinding the pulp afterward. Here is a step-by-step approach to make the coconut flour, and get to try it on various meal options.
What you’ll Need
- Blender or food processor
- Clean tablecloth
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Fresh coconut or coconuts
- Drill a hole into the coconut: Drill into the coconut, using a nail and hammer or a knife, through the coconut’s eyes which is the thinnest part of the shell and most accessible to get through.
- Pour the coconut water into a jar: The coconut water can be reserved for drinking as a beverage or cooking purposes in stews.
- Crack the coconut open: Find the seam that runs around the coconut. Wrap the coconut with a kitchen towel and strike it with a hammer along the seam, cracking it into two.
- Cut out the coconut flesh: Using a knife, cut out the coconut flesh from the coconut’s shell. Scoop any left coconut flesh and rinse to get rid of the brown shell.
- Put the coconut flesh into a blender: Cut the coconut flesh into small bits, put it in a blender, and add one liter of water.
- Blend on high speed: Blend the coconut pulp at high speed until no large chunks are left.
- Strain the coconut milk: Pour the blender mixture onto a table cloth and wring out the coconut milk onto a container as you strain it. The milk can be reserved for drinking or cooking purposes as a substitute for dairy milk.
Getting the Coconut Flour
The leftovers in the table cloth after straining the coconut milk are the source of the coveted coconut flour. To get the flour from the pulp is simply a matter of drying them out and grinding them to a fine powder.
- Drying of the pulp. Warm the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit or 77 degrees Celsius. The low temperature makes sure the pulp is drying without burning it.
- Transfer the pulp to a baking sheet. Layer a parchment paper over the baking sheet and spread the pulp over the parchment paper evenly and flat.
- Bake the pulp for 45 minutes in the oven until it feels dry to the touch.
- Transfer the dried pulp to a blender and blend it at high speed until it is finely ground.
The finely ground end product is coconut flour.
The conducive conditions for coconut flour to ensure it has a long self-life make sure you store it in an airtight container. It should be kept away from moisture in a dry place and away from sunlight or sources of heat. Exposure to humidity and heat tends to degrade the quality of the flour and leads to molding.
Coconut flour can last for long if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Coconut flour is a fantastic alternative for wheat. It offers numerous health benefits, namely improved digestion, weight loss, gluten-free, and low blood sugar. It still provides delicious baked goods and versatility in recipes that you can experience with wheat.