September 1, 2014

How To Use Coconut Flour

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Gluten Free Coconut Flour Banana Muffins Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

by Sarah Shilhavy
Free Coconut Recipes

How To Use Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is the fiber from the coconut meat after almost all the oil has been extracted to make coconut oil. It’s gluten free, making it a suitable wheat flour substitute for those with gluten and wheat allergies. It also high in protein and fiber, containing more fiber then gluten based grains. The coconut flour straight up has a strong coconut flavor and mildly pleasant sweet taste. During baking and cooking however, the coconut flavor will often times be very subtle or take on whatever flavor it is being cooked with.

For baking or cooking, you can substitute anywhere from 10 – 30% of regular flour for coconut flour to add extra fiber. Some recipes however, can be made with 100% coconut flour and be totally gluten free (and foolproof, no one would ever know!). The easiest ones to do this with are muffins, bars, pancakes, cakes and quick breads.

Since coconut flour has no gluten, plenty of eggs must be used to make up for it. This is also a very dry flour, and a 1:1 substitute ratio for other flours like wheat isn’t a good idea. When creating or converting recipes, keep in mind:

1 cup coconut flour – 3-5 eggs
1 cup wheat flour – 1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup milk/water/other base liquid – use approximately 2 cups with coconut flour

For recipes that use liquids, you’ll probably end up at least doubling the amount originally called for. To be safe though, start out with the original amount called for and add more as needed. For flour ratios, start out with about half the amount of coconut flour for regular flour, making sure to use the proper amount of eggs and liquid for saturation. Don’t be afraid to mix your batters very well. Since there is no gluten there is no danger of the final product becoming too hard as a result of over mixing.

Besides eggs, other things to help with binding include sticky sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, flax and guar or xanthan gum. 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of water can also replace 1 egg and just a little bit of the gums can add an extra binding element that mimics gluten, adding a stronger “bite texture” to baked goods.

A lot of recipes containing wheat flour can be converted to 100% coconut flour, but this will take time and patience. Coconut flour behaves differently from recipe to recipe, so a lot of tweaking and adjusting will have to be done. All my coconut flour recipes have been made with Tropical Traditions organic coconut flour; therefore I cannot assure you that they will work with different coconut flours, which might be higher in fiber and lower in protein content.

Ways to use coconut flour are endless. You can use them to make a roux for gravy, add a tablespoon or so to smoothies and drinks for extra fiber, sprinkle on different dishes for a garnish and coconut taste…use your imagination! Be creative!

Kitchen-Tested Coconut Flour Recipes

This is just a small sample of coconut recipes have been kitchen tested and are proven to work. For a full list of coconut flour recipes, please visit Free Coconut Recipes.

Every kitchen needs a basic gluten free muffin recipe. This recipe for Gluten Free Coconut Flour Banana Muffins yields the perfect light and fluffy muffin.

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Banana Muffins Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

Want to know how to make a foolproof gluten-free cake? This is a tried and true recipe and will quickly become your go-to cake recipe!

Foolproof Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

Sure to quickly become a favorite in your house, these gluten-free chocolate chocolate chip pancakes are light, fluffy, and rich in flavor!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes | Recipe and Photo by Alta, Dallas, TX

A classic drop biscuit recipe, except this time they are gluten free. Delicious plain, or spice them up with a variety of seasonings!

Gluten Free Drop Biscuits Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

 There is nothing better than these chewy gluten free chocolate chip cookies served warm from the oven. No one will believe that they are gluten free!

Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

 These gluten-free chunky monkey muffins are the perfect breakfast or snack. The addition of chopped dark chocolate takes these muffins to a whole new level.

Gluten Free Chunky Monkey Muffins Recipe and Photo by Marillyn, Britt, IA

Pie crusts can sometimes be tricky, especially when using gluten-free flour. This coconut flour pie crust recipe is proven to work. Perfect for whatever favorite pie filling you love!

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Pie Crust Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

Looking for a classic graham cracker pie crust without the gluten? This grain-free honey graham cracker pie crust recipe is the perfect answer.

Grain-Free Honey Graham Cracker Pie Crust Recipe and Photo by Danielle, Danville, CA

This gluten free cornbread with sundried tomatoes is easy to make and pairs perfectly with  hot or cold dishes.

Gluten Free Cornbread With Sundried Tomatoes Recipe and Photo by Pat, Jackson WI

 This gluten-free cheese garlic coconut quick bread recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. Goes perfectly with your Italian dinner!

Gluten Free Cheesy Garlic Coconut Quick Bread Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

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Study: Virgin Coconut Oil Reduces Symptoms of Chemo – Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

Study: Virgin Coconut Oil Reduces Symptoms of Chemo – Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

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Once again, research into the health benefits of coconut oil is mainly being done outside of the U.S., primarily in coconut-producing countries. Here in the U.S., only pharmaceutical drugs can make health claims, by law. The FDA regulates all health claims, and only allows pharmaceutical companies that have gone through the lengthy and costly drug approval process to make such claims. No company in the U.S. would spend that kind of money on research for a product found in nature that cannot be patented.

A study just published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease looked at Malaysian women suffering from breast cancer. The study discovered that stage 3 and 4 breast cancer women who supplemented their diet with virgin coconut oil during breast cancer treatment improved fatigue, dyspnea, sleep difficulties, and loss of appetite compared to the control group. Virgin coconut oil consumption during chemotherapy also helped improve the functional status and global Quality Of Life of these breast cancer patients. In addition, it reduced the symptoms related to side effects of chemotherapy.

Using Coconut Oil in Cold Drinks

Using Coconut Oil in Cold Drinks

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Cold drinks are a popular summer staple that coffeehouses and restaurants make a killing off of every year with their ridiculous prices. However, there is little need to buy them. Making most of these drinks at home is easy, not to mention with far more healthy potential when you control what goes into them.

Adding coconut oil to your blended cold drinks is one way to get your daily dose of coconut oil without it being bothersome or boring. Not only that, but the addition of coconut oil will also give your endurance and energy a boost, keeping you going throughout the day or acting as a quick pick me up along with some natural fruit as the day drags on.

Making Coconut Oil Tasteless in Cooking

Making Coconut Oil Tasteless in Cooking

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With the saturated fat myth slowly dying out, coconut oil has quickly risen to be a popular and ideal cooking oil. Coconut oil has a bounty of health benefits and is easily customizable. This versatile nature makes it ideal for many different styles of cooking and dishes.

However, not everyone is a fan of the flavor. Here are some tips on making coconut oil tasteless in cooking.

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

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WebMD is the world’s most visited “health” website. They derive their advertising from the pharmaceutical industry, so they have a pro-Pharma slant, as one can expect. It is not typically the place you would go to find information regarding alternative treatments to FDA approved pharmaceutical drugs. If you are contemplating using prescription drugs, it is a great place to get information about the medical industry’s products. If however you are looking for information on products that are not approved as drugs by the FDA, their information will be highly biased.

Due to the increasing popularity of coconut oil and its healing properties, WebMD now has a listing for coconut oil. It is listed in their vitamin and supplement section, since it is not approved as a drug, and since they generally do not provide any health information about foods.

They give the standard pro-Pharma view of coconut oil, which is that, in their view, there are no approved claims for coconut oil. They also warn people that coconut oil could raise cholesterol levels and could be harmful, even while acknowledging that research actually shows the opposite, since coconut oil traditionally lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol (a positive thing.) They also warn that if people eat too much coconut oil, since it is fat, that it could lead to weight gain.

Interestingly, WebMD allows users to comment on these entries, presumably in a format where patients can comment on their own experiences with the vast array of drugs listed on their website. Read what users said about the “miraculous” properties of coconut oil in relation to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, weight control, memory, mood swings, energy, dry skin, dental health, stopping seizures and more.

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

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Fitness junkies, take note: you need coconut oil. Coconut oil straight up, in your protein-rich meals, protein shakes, snacks, pre-workout, post-workout fuel – whatever you choose. Coconut oil can be adapted into your style of eating and seriously enhance the results of the style of fitness you’re into, be it body building, toning, endurance, or general weight and muscle management.

So why add coconut oil into your fitness routine? Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), a high-energy fuel that the body uses to prevent muscle loss, but take off body fat. Coconut oil has a lot of these MCTs. Eat it.

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