Coconut flour may not be as mainstream as your everyday processed flour. True. But if you’re really serious about your health, giving this gluten-free flour a major role in your kitchen should be spot on. Right off the bat, know that coco flour is 100 percent a product of the coconut tree – dubbed the ‘Tree of Life’ by experts for its many uses. Small wonder, this flour is fast becoming a fad for more and more moms – not to mention patients stricken with celiac disease. Add to that growing list of people with diabetes, vegetarians and those affected by a leaky-gut syndrome. Yes, it’s a no-brainer. You may be missing out big time if you fail to check out this flour alternative.
To boot, gluten is giving the world a headache as we speak. For one, people with celiac disease must avoid the protein mix from wheat to survive. That’s a long shot as gluten is everywhere. From your fave pasta and yummy pizza to your daily bread. And that’s just for starters. The protein from grain seem to cast a cloud of gloom over humanity. Celiac alone affects 1 in every 100 individual. The good news is coconut flour can come in to the rescue, in this regard. If you’re bent on getting fit and fab, here’s a road map to a great diet. Read on.
Coconut Flour Nutrition
Coco flour products aren’t born equal. That for sure is obvious. For instance, there are low fat and yet high in fiber offerings while there is also the defatted ones. And yet, in general, ¼ cup of this flour from coconut meat contains:
- 16 grams of carbohydrates
- 120 calories
- 4 grams of fat
- 6 grams of protein
- 3.6 milligrams of iron
- 10 grams fiber
If you want to slow down on carbohydrate intake, choosing this flour alternative would be wise. Flour from the coconut palm tree is composed of low-carb fiber. Truly, good news for people who are observing the paleo diet. Or for that matter, the ketogenic diet.
Short and Long Term Benefits
As aforementioned, coconut flour is gluten-free. So that tells you you’re looking at a treasure trove when you’re afflicted with celiac. But it goes even deeper than that. In this sense, its essential health benefits can be a head-turner. Some of which are:
1. Fat Burner
Like coconut oil, coco flour carries a high proportion of MCTs, or medium-chain trans-fatty acid. Studies reveal these MCTs improve the metabolic rate of the body. When taken in, MCTs go directly to the liver. There these are converted to energy with its greater thermogenic effect. As a result, this raises the metabolism of the body – allowing more fat-to-energy conversion.
2. Good for the Heart
As it’s high in fiber, flour from coconut is a perfect choice for those who want to boost their heart health. Even more awesome, recent research pointed out the innate ability of coconut flour to aid in lowering bad cholesterol or LDL. Further, said study emphasized the flour’s capacity to lower harmful triglycerides in problematic patients with critically-high cholesterol levels.
Posted in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the study emphasized how this “cholesterol-lowering effect” takes action when your body digests coconut flakes. As coco flour is a healthy source of needed fibers – both soluble and insoluble, it hinders the negative effect of cholesterol, putting your heart health a notch higher.
3. Best for Diabetes
To boot, flour from coco contains a lot lesser carbs compared to traditional flours, from corn or from wheat. In this regard, this makes it the ideal choice for people suffering from diabetes. Patients who need to put their blood sugar in check. Even more awesome, coco flour has very minimal effect on the sugar levels of the blood. Unlike those of regular flours. Added to this is the unique fiber/protein/fat combination in coconut-sourced flour. In effect, you gather more energy even with less food intake with this useful flour.
Overall, regular consumption of coconut flour can help diabetics in two ways namely:
- Regulate their sugar levels
- Maximize weight loss.
4. Best for Celiac
Those afflicted by celiac, a disease marked by extreme gluten intolerance, would be overjoyed. Simply because coco flour is 100 percent gluten free. By using this flour from coco therefore, you won’t have to shun bread – and a long line of gluten-filled fast food. So long as it’s made using coconut flour and not traditional ones. Thus, people observing a strict ketogenic or gluten-free diet should find it just spot on.
Best Tips when Baking with Coconut Flour
Like any ingredient, it may take some time to gain mastery in utilizing coco flour in the kitchen. It’s but natural. However, putting tried and tested tips in mind should cut your journey shorter. Note that it’s never wise to treat flour from the ‘tree of life’ like any other flour. If you do, you could end up with cookies that are not only flat in taste but also weak – crumbling as you hold them.
1. Remember 1/4
Wheat flour isn’t as high in fiber as coconut flour. With this mind, make sure you use but ¼ of the intended amount of flour prescribed in your fave recipe. Thus, if the recipe tells you to put in a cup of wheat flour, you should be putting in ¼ cup of coco flour for best results. As it’s more fibrous, flour from coconut would need more water or milk to stick.
2. More sticky eggs
It’s important that you put a premium on eggs when using coco flour. This ensures your bread or for that matter, your cookie holds and won’t crumble when you eat them. Traditional flour won’t need as many eggs to finish.
3. Wait Up
You have to give the coco flour mixture more time to soak up. This is especially true when you’re doing your batter. Wait about 5-10 minutes to get your baking a more uniform result.
4. Sift it more
You’d do well to sift your coconut flour more. More than usual, we mean. As you may have noticed by now, this flour can quickly get clumpy – a disadvantage in baking.