Coconut flour is becoming increasingly popular, as more and more people are discovering the many health benefits of coconut flour in addition to its many uses as a tasty, gluten-free and healthy alternative to wheat flour.
What you need to know about the nutritional value of coconut flour? It is rich in fiber, protein and healthy fats, does not contain wheat and other grains. It is low in sugar, digestible carbohydrates and calories. Plus, this flour has a low glycemic index.
This makes it a favorite among people on a paleo-diet or a gluten-free diet, including celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Coconut flour is also an excellent choice for those who have digestive problems, such as leaky bowel syndrome, nut allergy, diabetes, and for all other people.
In fact, coconut flour is not “flour”, as we imagine it. Because coconut – grain, and fruit. Coconut flour contains zero grain and consists of 100% pure coconut pulp.
In the article we will consider the scientific facts about coconut flour, what benefits and harm it can bring to the human body, what is the nutritional value of coconut flour.
Nutritional Value of Coconut Flour
30 grams of coconut flour contains approximately:
- Calorie – 120 kcal
- Carbohydrates – 16 gr.
- Squirrels – 6 gr.
- Fat – 4 gr.
- Cellulose – 10 gr.
- Iron – 3.6 mg (20%)
Is coconut flour a carbohydrate product? Not really, coconut flour is generally considered to be low carbohydrate fiber.
Is coconut flour for keto diets? Yes, but it is not only an approved product during the keto-diet (in reasonable quantities, of course), but also a very useful product.
In your recipes, you can use a very small amount of coconut flour, and still get a lot of benefits and zero harm to your health.
Health Benefits of Coconut Flour
What are the benefits of coconut flour? There are many reasons to love everything that she has to offer, especially the fact that she has a lot of nutrients, few calories, and can be used in many recipes. Coconut flour also very rarely causes digestive or autoimmune reactions, unlike other types of grain flour.
The health benefits of using this flour in recipes are extensive and impressive. Consider the main benefits of coconut flour.
1. Promotes good metabolism
Coconut flour contains a high level of MCT, also called medium chain fatty acids. Studies show that MCTs act as important nutrient metabolic regulators in the body. These fatty acids are easily absorbed when consumed. They go straight to the liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively affect metabolism.
2. Contains a lot of fiber
A quarter cup of coconut flour provides an impressive 25% of the dietary fiber needs of many people. If you want to avoid constipation, and this is a very common health problem, you need to eat enough fiber daily. High fiber foods are among the best foods to consume if you are prone to constipation. In addition, healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, called probiotics, help regulate intestinal function. Coconut fiber acts as a prebiotic that helps probiotic bacteria thrive and promote optimal digestion, helping to prevent constipation.
3. Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
Coconut flour contains less carbohydrate than other common species, such as wheat and corn, so it benefits diabetics and other people who want to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Unlike high carbohydrate flour, coconut flour has a much milder effect on blood sugar levels. In addition, it contains all of these healthy fibers, fats and proteins, which makes it a very well-balanced flour that can help you feel full and reduce the likelihood of overeating. Eating coconut flour products will certainly benefit the health of people with diabetes and those who want to lose weight.
4. Can help lower bad cholesterol
High-fiber coconut flour is also an excellent choice for promoting heart health. Studies show that the benefits of coconut flour in its ability to reduce the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol and serum triglycerides.
According to a study titled “Coconut Flake Reducing Cholesterol Effect in People with Moderately Elevated Serum Cholesterol,” published in the Journal of Medicinal Food , coconut flour is an excellent choice for people who want to lower their cholesterol. This study shows how this type of flour is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which significantly reduces the “bad” levels of LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides .
5. Increases heart health
As a rich source of fiber, which helps reduce the level of harmful cholesterol and triglycerides, coconut flour also contributes to heart health. In fact, studies have attributed a high intake of dietary fiber with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, as well as death from the disease.
6. Ideal for a gluten free diet.
Coconut flour, of course, does not contain gluten, which makes it an excellent choice for those who are on a gluten-free diet because of celiac disease, gluten intolerance or personal preference to avoid gluten. It may be difficult to follow a strict diet that does not contain gluten, but coconut flour is a universal ingredient that can make these diets much easier.
Historical facts about coconut flour and use in traditional medicine
Coconut flour is made from ground and dried coconut pulp. Once the outer green coconut husk is removed, what remains inside is a rich, inner white lining. This is coconut pulp. The coconut pulp is the white, hard part of the coconut that you will find if you split the fresh coconut and peel the insides. Then you need to separate the milk from the pulp to get a dry flour. Once the pulp is separated from coconut milk , it is baked at low temperature to dry and create a powdered flour, made entirely from coconut.
There is some evidence that this flour appeared in Tahiti or Polynesia. Polynesian and Tahitian cuisine regularly uses coconut flour.
In many tropical climates and cultures, indigenous people consider coconuts to be nutritious and healthy foods. Some even call the coconut tree “the tree of life” and use almost every part of it as traditional food and medicine.
For example, in traditional Thai medicine, coconut is used to treat diseases associated with viruses, sore throat, fever, as well as lice and urinary problems.
The benefits of coconut flour and other coconut products are highly valued in Ayurveda. Coconut products are recommended especially for pitta and vata dash, but kaphah should usually avoid excess coconut.
How to cook coconut flour
Just as you can make your own coconut milk or almond flour, you can also make your own homemade coconut flour. To make coconut flour, you can use the remaining coconut pulp after you have prepared the coconut milk. Thus, you get two useful home products at the same time.
Start by mixing coconut pulp and water in a high-speed blender. Then use a pouch or gauze to squeeze the whole coconut pulp, leaving only coconut milk, which you can save and use in many recipes.
When you remove the coconut pulp, place it on a baking sheet and bake at low temperature for several hours to dry. Keep in mind that you do not quite cook the coconut pulp for making flour, but simply slowly dehydrate it until it reaches a powdery, floury consistency.
Some people believe that for this reason, coconut flour is raw, while others argue that it is not. It really depends on how high the temperature is at which you dry the pulp of the coconut. Most people recommend baking coconut pulp at about 60 degrees or at the lowest temperature in the oven for four to six hours to get the best results.
Based on these tips, here is a step-by-step guide to making your own coconut flour:
- Immerse the fresh, raw coconut pulp in a blender, and whisk at high speed. Squeeze using gauze, separating coconut milk from the pulp.
- Preheat oven to very low temperature, about 60 degrees Celsius.
- Dry slowly, dehydrate coconut flour for about 4–6 hours, depending on temperature. Check it after 4 hours to see if it has turned into a powdery, flour-like texture.
What to cook with coconut flour
Looking for a flour substitute that does not contain gluten and gives an incredible taste to any recipe? You can take advantage of coconut flour for health, using it in the following recipes:
- Bread with a dense texture
- Pancakes and Fritters
When baking with coconut flour is best to use an equal ratio of liquid and flour. This means that you will use two tablespoons of water for every two tablespoons of coconut flour. Water is easily absorbed in the baking process.
You can also use coconut oil with flour to add even more benefits and retain moisture. One of the advantages of coconut flour absorbency is that it works well for giving bakery products of dense quality, for example, in the form of dry bread or something like that.
For best results, it is recommended to use it as a replacement for up to about 20% of the total amount of flour in the recipe. This means that, for example, if you are baking almond flour or wheat germ flour, you can replace 20% of one of these types of flour with coconut flour.
This adds an extra amount of fiber, fat and nutrients to your finished product, practically without changing the texture or taste. Just remember that you need to add extra liquid to compensate. In this case, if you add 2 spoons of coconut flour to the recipe, you also need to add 2 spoons of water or other liquid.
While most experienced chefs do not recommend using coconut flour on their own in recipes, especially when baking, some people have positive results when combining 100% coconut flour and eggs.
Since this flour does not contain gluten, which usually binds the ingredients, the egg takes the place of gluten and holds your product in place without crumbling. If you eat eggs, you can use flax or chia seeds instead for gluing .
You can make the taste of coconut flour bun and egg sweet or savory, depending on your preference. Try adding cinnamon, pure honey and cocoa powder for a sweeter treat or herbs and spices for a savory breakfast.
Coconut flour is in many ways a healthier alternative to refined carbohydrate flour. By adding this flour to baking, which contains a lot of sugar and increases the level of glucose in the blood, you can reduce the glycemic index in the recipe. This means that the sugar in the recipe will affect the level of glucose in the blood more slowly, without causing a jump and a drop in the level of energy, and prevent episodes of hypoglycemia.
Possible harm of coconut flour
Can coconut flour harm the body? Yes, if you are allergic to coconuts, you are forbidden to use all products made from coconut. Stop using coconut flour and consult a doctor if you have signs of a serious allergic reaction. Note also that coconut allergy is extremely rare.
Otherwise, coconut flour is absolutely safe and useful food.
Coconut flour is not “flour” in the traditional sense. It is made from the dried and ground pulp of coconut, which is not grain and naturally does not contain gluten.
Comparing coconut flour with almond flour, one is really no better than the other, and it basically comes down to personal preferences. Almond flour contains less carbohydrates and sugars, and coconut – less calories and more fiber.
Flour made from coconut is an excellent choice for paleo and keto diets, those who do not use gluten due to celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten. Coconut flour is also recommended for people with digestive problems, such as leaky bowel syndrome, diabetes, as well as for vegetarians. And all those who follow a healthy diet with healthy foods.
The benefits and harms of coconut flour are carefully studied. Coconut flour is a 99% harmless and safe product. Its health benefits include:
- reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides,
- positive effect on metabolism and blood sugar levels,
- help in good digestion and relieve constipation,
- Providing fiber that can help prevent heart disease.
- This flour can be used in many healthy recipes, ranging from desserts and pancakes, ending with pizza dough and protein-rich main dishes.