A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
There are many ingredients I use on a daily basis that I'd never heard of pre-diagnosis. Chia seeds. Buckwheat and rice flakes. Even the topic of this post: coconut flour.
For those who don't know, coconut flour is a gluten free and paleo flour replacement made, as one would assume, out of coconuts. This flour is high in fiber, protein and healthy fats and low in digestible carbohydrates. Some sources also credit coconut flour for supporting a healthy metabolism, bloodsugar level, and digestive health. Bakers also soon realize that coconut flour works best with an equal liquid to flour ratio.
Bananas and coconut flour...dream team!
While coconut flour can be temperamental at first, it is a delicious secret weapon for any gluten free kitchen. In particular, coconut flour rules breakfast and dessert in my house!
Because coconut flour is high in fiber, low in calories and mild in taste, it makes for the perfect thickener for smoothies and granola. In smoothies, simply add 1/2-1 tablespoon into the blender with the rest of the ingredients. By the time all the ingredients are mixed together, you'll forget you even added flour!
My favorite coconut flour uses...
For granola, many of my recipes already have one or two tablespoons of coconut flour included. I'm a huge cluster lover and the flour further binds all of the ingredients together. The extra boost in nutrition doesn't hurt either!
Coconut flour also works well in baking because of its fluffy, dense consistency. Though vegan baking can be more challenging than paleo (which often uses lots of eggs to fulfill coconut flour's need for extra liquid), my favorite vegan pancakes combine coconut and buckwheat flour.
The buckwheat flour gives the pancakes structure and a protein boost while the coconut flour adds a pillowy texture and healthy fats. These pancakes may look bad for you - especially covered in coconut yogurt, nut butter and fruit - but they're actually a healthy choice for breakfast (or dinner!).
Even on the nights when "healthy" isn't the top of your to-do list, you can go crazy for coconut in the form of my chocolate mug cake. This vegan and paleo mug cake is packed with mashed banana, rice milk, coconut flour and cacao powder - plus chocolate chips for a chocolate lava center!
And mug cake madness!
The other bonus of using coconut flour in dessert? Even though this serving seems small, the mix of fiber, fats and carbs will quickly satisfy your stomach (and your sweet tooth).
I'll admit, coconut flour can be tricky to master. My pancakes fell apart on the griddle until I tried adding buckwheat to the mix and that mugcake? Let's just say that my microwave tasted more of the previous (slightly explosive) versions than I did!
A common expression!
With some help from these tips and tricks, though, I hope that coconut flour lands on even more gluten free menus. In this case, success really does taste pretty sweet!