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I first discovered coconut flour in April while looking for grain-free flours that I could give my (then) 11 month old son. My husband and I did plenty of research when deciding when and how and what to feed our son and came to the conclusion that grains are not good for babies. One article that offers more information concerning this says,

Grains, nuts and seeds should be the last food given to babies. This food category has the most potential for causing digestive disturbances or allergies. Babies do not produce the needed enzymes to handle cereals, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, before the age of one year.”

This information, coupled with our pediatrician indicating that the only reason she suggests infant cereal to her patients is for the iron content, led us to decide a grain-free diet was the best way to feed our son for at least the first year of his life (to be certain his body is producing pancreatic amylase, the necessary enzyme to digest grains, we are waiting until his first year molars come in to introduce grains).

I needed something to replace the soaked whole wheat flour in my baked goods so my son could enjoy them as well. Enter coconut flour.

What Is Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour is simply the meat of the coconut that has been dehydrated, de-fatted, and ground into a fine powder. It is naturally gluten free and GAPS friendly. It looks and feels much like any other flour.

Why Should I Try Coconut Flour?

I would encourage everyone to give coconut flour a try. There are several reasons I believe coconut flour deserves a chance in your kitchen. Here are a few:

  1. It is great for baking. It has a dense texture that makes it perfect for muffins and pancakes. This density also makes coconut flour items much more filling than their whole wheat counterparts.
  2. It does not need to be soaked. Unlike whole wheat, coconut flour does not need to be soaked prior to consumption. This makes it ideal for sudden urges to bake or for unplanned guests.
  3. It is nourishing. Like all coconut products, it contains lauric acid, which supports the immune system and other body systems.

How Do I Use Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour, although similar in appearance to other flours you are probably familiar with, bakes up quite differently. You can’t substitute coconut flour one for one in recipes. If you are adventurous and want to experiment, I would recommend starting with 1 /3 cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of regular flour. Coconut flour is also very dry, so, when baking with it, large amounts of eggs are necessary. A good rule of thumb is 6 eggs for every cup of flour, although this will vary from recipe to recipe. If you have never used coconut flour before, I would suggest trying a kitchen-tested recipe first before branching out and experimenting on your own.

Editor’s Note: Right now, Tropical Traditions is offering a 2.2lb bag of organic coconut flour for $9.99, this is a great deal! (Yes, this is an affiliate link. If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you). But I would recommend them even if I wasn’t an affiliate, because their products are that good!

In my experience, coconut flour is most often used in baked goods such as muffins, cookies, pancakes and cakes. My husband loves muffins, so that is the way coconut flour is served most often in my home. Most recently, I made these muffins for my husband’s birthday.

Perfect Fall Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 c. chopped organic apples
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. organic applesauce
  • 1/2 tbs. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. sweetener (honey, maple syrup or Sucanat)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/3 c. walnuts, chopped (soaked and dehydrated is best, but I don’t have a dehydrator!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line regular-sized muffin pan with liners.
  3. Combine chopped apple, pumpkin puree, eggs, applesauce, vanilla and honey.
  4. Mix well with beaters.
  5. Add dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
  6. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups.
  7. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
  9. If you don't eat them all at once, put them in a freezer safe container and freeze.
  10. They are perfect warmed in the oven or toaster over.
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Other Ways To Use Coconut Flour

Also, if you are interested in first foods for your baby, check out Modern Alternative Mama‘s eBook Breast to Bib!

Have you ever used coconut flour? What are some of your favorite ways to use it?

**This post has been entered into Real Food Wednesday  , Monday Mania, and Whole Foods Wednesday.**

 

This is the writings of:

Faith is first a daughter of the King, second a wife to Kerry and third a mommy to Julian and Margo. She is blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, which was always her answer to the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question as a little girl. She delights in serving her family real food and blogs about favorite recipes, family life and other random topics at Storms Stories. She is also the editor of Modern Alternative Pregnancy.

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17 Comments

  1. thanks faith! the recipe looks great & i have all the ingredients here (except the coconut flour haha)! it’s interesting that in southeast asia where coconut products are abundant, coconut oil, milk, and water are used everywhere, but coconut flour is unheard of. people just feed the leftover meat to the chickens! i’ve finally figured out how to get homemade coconut milk & oil to turn out right (third time’s a charm i guess!) but i have yet to successfully do anything with the leftover meat. i tried drying it in the sun but i don’t think i got it dry enough because it smelled pretty funky a few days later! my plan is to dry it in the sun & maybe the oven next time, then grind it up (i don’t have a dehydrator either). i’ll let you know how it goes!

    Reply

    • Please do, Rachel! I am so intrigued by your homemade coconut adventures. You should do a step by step photo tutorial on your blog. A dehydrator is on my “kitchen gadget wish list”…but it will be quite a while until we can get one!

      Reply

  2. I’ve recently switched over to coconut flour for a lot of things, and have found that I can substitute it in almost all recipes. You are definitely correct about it being a bit dryer, so I do find that I use less, but have still never had any issues with it baking funny. Amazon offers GREAT deals on coconut flour! I just bought two, four lb packages of coconut flour for $30- plus had free shipping because I use Amazon prime. Not half bad! Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  3. Faith,
    what is your User ID for Tropical Traditions? When I’m checking out, it asks for the person’s who referred me User ID.
    Thanks
    LaNae

    Reply

    • @Lanae-If you used the link in the post, I should automatically be credited and you should receive a copy of the coconut oil book for free (if this is your first time ordering from Tropical Traditions). If this doesn’t happen, email me jill at modernalternativekitchen.com and I will make sure you get a copy of the book!

      Reply

      • I did use the link in the post, but as I am giving them my info, they are asking for a User ID for the person who referred me. Maybe if I keep going, it will automatically do it? if not, I’ll let you know so that I get the free book. Thanks!

        Reply

        • @LaNae – hopefully it will just automatically work if you keep going. Other people have purchased from that link today and were able to get the free book without getting a User ID from me. Keep me posted…I want to know what happens!

          Reply

  4. Thanks for this! I’m VERY interested in cooking with coconut flour. My mom is Gluten Intolerant and I’m wondering if my 2YO has issues as well. I have a 6 month old I’m just starting on solids and I really want to avoid grains as long as I can with him, so coconut flour is a natural interest! I’d be thrilled to see more posts about using coconut flour! :)

    Reply

  5. I have used Coconut Flour in a couple recipes without eggs. We have a severe egg allergy which makes cooking with coconut four more difficult. I have made muffins with applesauce instead of eggs and I’ve made a cobbler crust with a mix of oats and coconut flour. It would be impossible to do something like a cake that uses a ton of eggs though.

    Reply

  6. Taco salad for dinner! …Aunt Neenas recipe. ;)

    Reply

  7. [...] Breakfast: Perfect Fall Muffins, Raw Kefir [...]

    Reply

  8. [...] delicious in both savory and sweet dishes. At MAK, you can find recipes for Pumpkin Ginger Soup and Perfect Fall Muffins.  Modern Alternative Mama has Pumpkin Pancakes, Sprouted Pumpkin Bread, and Gluten-Free Pumpkin [...]

    Reply

  9. hi faith,

    at what age did you start giving baked goods made with coconut flour to your little one? my baby is 10 mo. and i would love to share some of my coconut flour creations with him! we too are feeding him a grain free diet until 1 yr. :)

    thanks!
    sarah

    Reply

    • Sarah,

      I gave my little one coconut flour baked goods starting around 11 months. We did not introduce food to him until 9 months, so that was a good timeline for us. I would guess your 10 month old would be good to go! I would also encourage you to look into waiting on grains until your child has gotten their first year molars. Research indicates that the body does not produce the digestive enzyme necessary for digesting grains until the first year molars are in.

      Faith

      Reply

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