October 22, 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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10 DIY Sugar-Free Coconut Candies

10 DIY Sugar-Free Coconut Candies

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Having a plate or bowl of candies out for parties and holidays is a common sight to be seen, but no one needs to be putting those kinds of crazy amounts of processed ingredients into their bodies. The solution would be to make your own candies so you can control what goes into them and make the end result a good deal better for you.

The recipes here are simply processed sugar-free, not sweetener free. The sweeteners used here are traditional sweeteners such as raw honey and maple syrup. In addition, because these are candy recipes there is a very high sugar content for nearly all of them, and thus they are not a health food, but a sweet treat to be enjoyed occasionally.

While candy making is seen as a daunting, day-long task, it can actually be far easier than you may realize. Using different coconut ingredients such as coconut oil, Coconut Cream Concentrate and coconut milk to make candies will not only will provide coconut flavor, but also cut out a lot of complicated steps to candy making. Homemade coconut oil chocolate is a very popular and easy DIY candy that requires no cooking, as is using Coconut Cream Concentrate (also known as “coconut butter”) to make white chocolate-like candy barks.

Here are 10 easy-to-make, beginner-friendly homemade candies utilizing at least one coconut ingredient to make an impressively delicious and easily portable sweet treat that you can have out at parties or package up to give away. Try one, or try them all! Many are even completely no bake and no cook. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Just keep in mind that these are candy recipes, so don’t be eating them like you should your vegetables.

USDA Dietary Guidelines Nutritionist Condemns Coconut Oil

USDA Dietary Guidelines Nutritionist Condemns Coconut Oil

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A PhD Nutritionist from Tufts University who is the Vice Chairman of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the USDA has come out and condemned coconut oil.

Does being involved in research for GMOs, the soybean industry, and developing cholesterol guidelines used to sell statin drugs create any conflict of interest in her advice? Do you trust USDA dietary advice regarding edible oils?

How To Use Coconut Oil in Baked Goods

How To Use Coconut Oil in Baked Goods

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Aside from using coconut oil as a basic cooking oil for all different types of stovetop cooking methods, this oil is also suitable for baking. Coconut oil can be used in two main ways for baking: as a natural non-sticking agent, and as a baking fat (such as shortening, butter, and other oils).

Coconut Oil Cooking Spray: Healthy or Toxic?

Coconut Oil Cooking Spray: Healthy or Toxic?

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One of the most popular products available to the general consumer to combat the issue of baked and cooked food sticking to cooking surfaces is non-stick spray. A good reason to avoid these sprays is the fact that many of them are made with unhealthy oils and lecithins, generally derived from GMO crops such as soy or corn.

But what about if they are made from a healthy oil, such as coconut oil?

Unfortunately, these cooking sprays also contain heavily processed ingredients, including propellants. Propellant is what pushes the spray out of the can, and is usually made from such things as nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, or propane.

Baking Gluten Free Cookies with Coconut Flour

Baking Gluten Free Cookies with Coconut Flour

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Coconut flour is one of the trickiest, if not the trickiest, most finicky, temperamental, fickle gluten free flour to work with. However, when you get it right, coconut flour baked goods will be some of the best you’ve ever had, gluten free or otherwise.

One of the hardest baked goods to transfer over to gluten free with coconut flour would be cookies. How do you do it? It’s either not the right texture, too crumbly, too dense, requires too many eggs or simply bakes up into sawdust.

Here are some proven tips to making successful coconut flour cookies based on three textures: crispy cookies, cakey cookies, chewy cookies. I include 10 kitchen-proven recipes to get you started.

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