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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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line regular-sized muffin pan with liners.
- Combine chopped apple, pumpkin puree, eggs, applesauce, vanilla and honey.
- Mix well with beaters.
- Add dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
- Divide batter among 12 muffin cups.
- Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
- If you don't eat them all at once, put them in a freezer safe container and freeze.
- They are perfect warmed in the oven or toaster over.
Other Ways To Use Coconut Flour
- Coconut Gingerbread Muffins
- Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins
- Blueberry Muffins
- Pigs In A Blanket
- Pizza Crust
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?