Are you familiar with the benefits of baking with coconut flour? As the interest in grain-free diets continues to rise, many cooks and moms like me are looking to coconut flour for their baking.
Baking with coconut flour presents unique challenges as coconut flour does not perform the same as grain-based flours in baking; that is, baking with coconut flour requires special techniques before it will yield good results.
What is Coconut Flour and how is it used for Baking?
Coconut flour is much softer than conventional flour; it is made from the dried meat of the coconut – a by-product of coconut milk.
What are the Benefits of Baking with Coconut Flour?
Is coconut flour gluten-free? Yes, many diets such as the paleo diet, use Coconut products, because they yield excellent results, offering gluten-free, protein-rich alternatives for easier, healthier digestion.
Coconut flour is a marvelous source of Lauric acid, which are supportive of the thyroid and digestive system, and thought to support good skin health.
Manganese is also found in coconut flour. Manganese is said to help you to better utilize many nutrients from your diet, including choline, biotin, vitamin C, and thiamine. Manganese also supports bone health, nervous system function, and thyroid health and helps to maintain optimal blood sugar levels.
Coconut flour is not grain-based, and, as such does not present many of the issues that accompany grains. It does contain food phytate, but the mineral-binding effects of phytate in coconut are virtually non-existent, so coconut flour doesnot need to be soaked.
Excess belly fat or abdominal obesity is a significant risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. Research findings have suggested that use of coconut products can reduce waist circumference in men and women, thus lowering their risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The regular use of coconut products can improve cholesterol levels, and specifically the ratio of bad-to-good (low-density lipoprotein vs. high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
Coconut products appear to help promote bone health and prevent damage associated with osteoporosis. Approximately 2 million men in the United States have osteoporosis, and 12 million more are at risk.
Baking with Coconut Flour: What you Need to Know.
When baking, coconut flour cannot be substituted with grain/wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio. They are not equivalent.
Coconut flour is very absorbent. Therefore you will need less to produce a successful recipe. Try using ½- ¾ a cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of grain-based flour.
In addition to the difference in flour, you will need to add more eggs and fluid to your coconut flour recipes. For every 1 cup of coconut flour, you may need two eggs, including additional liquid in the form of coconut water/milk/cream to avoid your dessert from drying out.
In the case of frying or sautéing where you need to dredge your ingredients like meat or vegetables, you can substitute coconut flour in the equivalent amounts to grain-based flour.
To produce a smoothly textured result in your recipes, you will need to thoroughly beat the coconut flour with the eggs and liquids, because coconut flour tends to be clumpier than grain-based flours.
A well-known characteristic of coconut flour is its tendency to be drier than grain-based flour. Therefore the recipes tend to follow suit. You may want to try adding fruit or vegetable puree to your coconut based recipes, including more eggs and liquids to counteract this effect.
You can make natural coconut flour at home, or you may prefer to purchase your coconut products ready-made from the nearest health food store.
To make coconut flour the coconut milk is pressed from the fruit leaving behind a few pieces of the solid meat. These “leftovers” are then naturally dried and ground into a powdery formula for making coconut flour.
Our favorite Coconut Flour Pudding:
Sticky Sweet and Sour Pudding
2 Cups of Coconut Flour
4 large eggs
1.5 Cup of Coconut sugar
100gm unsalted butter
2 Lemons freshly squeezed
2 Oranges freshly squeezed
2 Tsp of Baking soda
2 Tsp. of baking powder
100ml Hot water
125ml Coconut milk
1 Tbsp. Vanilla essence
1 Tbsp. Caramel essence
2 Lemons grated (peels)
2 Oranges grated (peels)
100ml Coconut oil
Sweet and sour sauce ingredients
1 cup of Coconut sugar
1 cup of coconut cream
½ cup of Pure honey
4 Tbsp. of Lemon juice.
100gr Unsalted butter
1 cup of Boiled water (cooled).
1 Teabag of apple flavored tea (to soak into the cup of boiled water).
Sweet and sour sauce method
Use an electric blender (for smooth and creamy results)
Set to medium for the entire process of blending.
Add the lemon juice.
Pour in the honey
Add the cooled, flavored water.
And the unsalted butter.
Add the sugar.
Blend well until combined.
Pour in the cream and blend slowly with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes.
Set aside and leave to cool.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. (360 Fahrenheit)
Line the bowl with coconut oil (thick layer).
In a large mixing bowl, Sift all the dry ingredients in together (not the sugar.)
Add the oil and blend (on low setting).
Add the butter.
Add the eggs one by one.
Add the sugar at this point and blend well until the granules are not noticeable.
Now add the (cooled) boiled water.
Mix the coconut milk and essences and pour in slowly while blending.
Add the grated peels in at this point.
Pour the whole batter into the baking tray and place in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes.
The center must still be soggy.
Remove it from oven and place on a wooden cooling tray.
Pour the liquid mixture over the pudding immediately and put back into the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes at 220 degrees. (430 Fahrenheit)
Test to see if the center is moist, but not runny. If its runny, bake for an additional 5 -10 minutes.
Set the oven to 180 degrees (356 degrees Fahrenheit)
Line the muffin tray with coconut oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Add all the baking ingredients into a large mixing bowl (one at a time), excluding the blueberries, cheese and spring onions.
Beat well in between each addition.
Divide the mixture into two smaller mixing bowls.
In the first mixture bowl, add the blueberries and mix well with a wooden spoon.
In the second mixing bowl, add the cheese and spring onion and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Scoop the mixture into each muffin hole using a tablespoon (1 ½ spoons per hole)
You should have six sweet, and six savory holes filled.
The remainder of the mixture (if any) can be added equally (use a teaspoon) to the filled holes.
Place the muffin tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Once your toothpick or probe comes out clean, you know the muffins are ready.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.
Serve with butter and jam on the sweet muffins if preferred, or plain butter on the savory muffins.
I hope you will enjoy baking these delicious, easy recipes as much as we do. The muffins are great for lunchtime snacks at school or work, or to serve at times of home visits. The banana loaf can also be enjoyed with custard as a dessert, or served with coconut cream.
These recipes are so uncomplicated and versatile. I’ve made them countless times using a wooden spoon only (for beating) and still yielded perfect results.