Discussing Coconut Flour

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I am going to be showcasing some coconut flour recipes on this site soon, so I wanted to talk about it a little more before I did. The pro’s, con’s and personal experience.

What’s so Great about Coconut Flour?

First, it’s not only a gluten free flour, it’s a grain free flour too. So for those who follow strict grain free diets, coconut flour opens up a world of delicious baked goods. That’s obviously a huge advantage to some.

It’s a high fiber, fairly high protein flour too. When you make these into muffins, breads, and cakes, they are quite filling (probably because of the fiber content). The flour is also “sweet” by itself because of the natural sugars in the coconut, meaning that you don’t have to sweetened it as much.

It also seems that coconut flour does not effect mineral availability. “Increasing concentrations of dietary fiber from coconut flour did not affect mineral availability from all test food” Check out this study to read more about coconut flour. Unsoaked grains can lead to mineral deficiencies because of a substance called phytic acid that binds with minerals, preventing their absorption. Coconut flour could be one way to avoid that without having to soak anything.

What is Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour is actually made from the leftovers of coconut milk! In some of the test studies using coconut flour I was amused to see it called coconut “residue”. But it is a by-product of coconut milk manufacturing that has been ground into flour.

Disadvantages?

Can there be any disadvantages to this wonderful item? I won’t say that these are disadvantages for sure, just something for you to consider.

First, like mentioned before, coconut flour is very high in fiber. Flaxseeds are considered high in fiber and coconut flour beats it hands down. Now, we can get into the the mindset of thinking if something is good, more is better. But it’s all about balance,  too much fiber can be just as damaging as too little. I am not saying that coconut flour is bad because it’s high in fiber, I am just saying you need to be aware that you consuming very large amounts of fiber at a time with coconut flour.

It’s also not really a “whole food”. Whole wheat flour is a whole food, coconut flour is a by-product, or the leftovers of coconut milk production. That doesn’t make it bad, just something to think about.

Was coconut flour or something like it a traditional food for people to consume? I don’t know. Coconut milk, coconut oil and whole coconut was for sure. I just don’t know enough about coconut “residue” to say that, yes, it was a traditional food.

While coconut flour is less expensive then almond flour, it’s still more expensive than some options, especially when you consider you have to use a lot of eggs in a coconut flour recipe to hold it together.

Personal Experience

When I first tried coconut flour baked goods, I had recently gotten off of a low sugar diet. I found two things. First, they tasted much to sweet to me (though my husband liked them), and that the high fiber content translated into a “I swallowed a brick” type feeling. I actually did much better with soaked grain recipes then coconut flour recipes. I seriously wondered how people could eat those “bricks”.

However, more recently I tried making some more baked goods using coconut flour. Now that my body has healed more, I didn’t notice a “heavy” feeling at all after eating it. In fact, I really enjoyed them! So, I think it was all about where my body was at different times.

Conclusion

I think that there are a lot of things to like about coconut flour, and I think you will like some of the recipes I share using it! Any disadvantages are out weighed by the advantages in my mind!

What about you? Do you use coconut flour? Heard of it before? Like it? Dislike it? Any favorite recipes?

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

    • glenda says

      i have been on raw food eating x6 weeks -feel great only cook foods are quionla hummus with veg,nut thins. would like to add healthy foods maybe 10 % cooked /90 % raw It=s much easer than i thought wish you all well

    • glenda says

      i have been on raw food eating x6 weeks -feel great only cook foods are quionla/ hummus with veg,nut thins. would like to add healthy foods maybe 10 % cooked /90 % raw It=s much easer than i thought wish you all well

  1. marciairwin says

    My daughter is on the Ketogenic diet for epilepsy. I have gotten some new recipies that call for almond flour, coconut flour and coconut oil. I am looking for resources for these products. I need to get them in small quantities, because I have one small girl and understand these products have a short shelf life.

    • says

      Hi, I just wrote about making coconut milk and flour from the nut. It’s easier than it sounds, and cheap, but the best thing about it is that your flour will always be fresh. And the milk is wonderful. It won’t make huge quantities, which is good because of the short shelf life. The whole coconut, however, keeps for days without refrigeration, so you can always have one or two on hand to make your flour.
      http://odddlycrunchy.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-to-bust-and-milk-coconut.html

    • says

      Hi, Marcia,

      You can buy coconut and almond flour in any quantity you can find, because you can simply package and freeze them. They can be used straight out of the freezer. Coconut oil will keep indefinitely in your cupboard if your house is air-conditioned, and in your refrigerator otherwise.

      Regards,

      ~B

    • Michael says

      coconut products have a long shelf life,except for fresh coconut,keep them refrigerated if you live in a high humidity area!

  2. Evelyn Green says

    I am a celiac and someone gave me some coconut flour and coconut sugar so I am very
    anxious to know how to use it and some recipes. I made a pudding with my regular recipe changing to coconut flour and it looked curtled. I didn’t mind that but I want to
    recipes.
    Evelyn

  3. says

    Hi Krysia….I just happened to find this page today. I had gone to google to find out if there was anything bad about coconut flour. I follow the Paleo Diet (Loran Cordain). I do not consume eggs so this question is not about cooking for me, actually. But, our son, does best when he also follows the Paleo Diet. The challenge is all the stuff he gets at school & out of the house. He is 17. So, he is not a Paleo devotee. Today, I made my first coconut bread. Found the recipe somewhere on line. It looks like it needs some improvement. But, I am in search of a great sandwich bread recipe that I can use for his school sandwiches. We use almond flour, flax seed meal, etc…..all the usual items for paleo/primal eating. Don’t have one grain or one tad of any dairy product in our home. So, do you have a really good sandwich bread recipe? Our son is now having smoked turkey on Rudi’s bread. I do not prefer this one as it has corn in it. So, am looking for something totally grain, dairy & soy free. No problem using eggs for him. And, the spelt bread is not grain free, either. Thanks for helping me in this search…..Teresa

  4. SherriS. says

    I’ve just started using coconut flour and am very pleased with the results. I’ve made cupcakes and drop biscuits with it and thought the taste and texture is as close to what I remember from the old days of eating wheat.

    I’ve been using almond flour for several years and enjoy that too.

    For storing I just keep it in the fridge in a sealed container.

  5. Shannon says

    Hello, and thank you for your blog. A question I have not found answered anywhere: is coconut flour the same as coconut powder (found inexpensively at the international market), and if not, how does it differ practically, i.e. in recipes? Thank you in advance.

  6. Jessica says

    Hi. I am learning about different flours and their nutritional value, and was wondering if you could mix a little coconut flour with regular all purpose flour?

  7. Stephani says

    My question is if it is a byproduct, then wouldn’t it be much like any other highly processed food? Our society has become inundated with byproducts of Soy which are dangerous at best so I am concerned about Coconut Flour being a “byproduct”????

    Thanks!

  8. John says

    Hi Stephani,

    Don’t let the term “byproduct” concern you. With coconut flour, “byproduct” just means that the coconut milk or oil was the main product, and the flour was not the main product desired. Coconut flour can be made by just squeezing the milk/oil out of the white coconut meat, then drying and milling what is not milk/oil (little processing).

    And you should be worried about soy products for many reasons.
    John

  9. Phyllis says

    I have tried baking several items using coconut flour but they always come out dry and crumbly. The recipes tend to use more fat than normal recipes along with eggs.
    Am I doing something wrong or is that just the nature of coconut flour?
    Also I was wondering if soaking the flour or using extra liquids in the recipes might help.

    Thanks

    • Amanda says

      If your goods are coming out dry, then you need a little more moisture in it. As an example, I make chocolate cookies with the coconut flour and have found that adding in fruit, even dried fruit, seems to help the moisture problem. I suggest getting the coconut flour cook book mentioned already. It’s what I use and I’ve had measurable success on it.

      You might also be using too much flour. When I do my cookies, as an example, I end up with 3 eggs, and about 1/4 c of coconut flour on top of the oil I put in.

  10. says

    Hi. To answer your question whether coconut flour has been used traditionally as food, the answer is yes. In the Philippines, we make traditional desserts, snacks, and small breakfast fare using coconut milk, and the dried coconut flesh where the milk was hand-squeezed from is often used as a topping for these delicacies. Usually they are mixed fresh with muscovado sugar and sometimes toasted sesame seeds. I love them. Sometimes the coconut flesh is toasted, depending on the dish. Yum yum yum! The coconut flesh is not finely ground and super dried like flour though.

    • says

      Its not the same. you add baking powder to have nice and fluffy cake. You add it to get cakes to ‘rise’. Coconut flour is used instead of ‘normal’ flour.

  11. Matt says

    My heart doctor, said anything with coconut is really bad for the heart. More so than any food product out there. Can you help me on the cholesterol count on what it does to the blood and or heart.

    • Ryan says

      Your doctor is harping on the myth that saturated fat is bad for the heart. Saturated fat is not bad for the heart and is actually very good for you. There are tons of studies out now showing that saturated fat does not have a bad effect on heart disease. Increased blood cholesterol is usually a sign of inflammation. Take 2-3 grams of combined EPA/DHA daily from fish oil (highly anti-inflammatory) and stay away from high carb/high sugar foods, these will cause inflammation and irritate your body. Eat more saturated and monounsaturated fats. Cholesterol from food also does not contribute to blood cholesterol levels, another myth.

      Tell your doctor about these myths, do your research! A whole foods/paleo/primal way of eating is the healthiest way to eat on the planet and can usually help to solve or at least alleviate these problems that plague so many people.

  12. v.s. says

    I always use buttermilk with a little guar gum in baking with coconut flour and really helps prevent it from baked goods being crumbly.

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