Wednesday, January 14, 2015

wholefood step-by-step: # 23 rethink flour, & what to do with coconut flour

My friend Anthea inspired this post. Anthea bought some coconut flour for the first time and asked me, 'what on earth she was meant to do with it?!' I'll say from the outset coconut flour is not my go to flour (I use spelt flour for baking), I use coconut flour from time to time and am keen to embrace it so I thought this was a good opportunity to investigate further.

Before we get into some ideas for using coconut flour, let's take a look at flour in general.

Once upon a time when all foods were prepared in the home, made from scratch, we would have been grinding our own flour, possibly from a variety of wholegrains - not just wheat. As you can imagine, if we had to grind our own flour - by hand - we probably wouldn't use it too often!

Fast forward to our industrialised, factory food world and much of the modern diet is based on grains and namely wheat flour - bread, pastry, cakes, sweet biscuits, dry biscuits, muffins and so on. Now that we're not grinding our own flour (unless you own a thermomix :), floury foods have become convenient.

The cons of eating a high grain/flour diet is a whole post in itself but in a nutshell:

- grains/flours are carbohydrates, eating a high carbohydrate diet often means that nutrition suffers because carbohydrates are chosen over fruit, vegetables and protein.

- wheat ( including spelt, kamut, triticale) rye, barley, and oats contain gluten and the number of people with health problems related to gluten intolerance or sensitivity appears to be on the rise. ranging from bloating, stomach cramps, nausea vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome to coeliac disease. 

What is coconut flour and why should I try it?

One of the great things about coconut flour is that it is made from the byproduct of making coconut milk, which means nothing is wasted! The coconut pulp is dried and then ground into flour.

Fans of coconut flour love it because it is:

- it is gluten free
- grain free
- high in fibre
- low carb
- good for baking

Where do I buy it and how much does it cost?

If you shop online, thanks to Nutra Organics I am very happy to offer you a 10% discount discount in their online store not only on coconut flour but across their whole range!

Visit Nutra Organics here. You can find their Wholefood Pantry certified organic coconut flour here 1kg $14.35.

The discount code is: Wholefoodmama and is valid until February 28th 2015.

You can also buy coconut flour in health food stores and in some supermarkets in the section where flour is sold. It is generally sold in 500g or 1kg packets and prices range from approx. $6 - $12 depending on weight and whether it is organic or conventional.

If you'd like to try making your own coconut milk and coconut flour follow these instructions by Coconut Mama.

How do I use coconut flour?

The most popular way to use coconut flour is in baking: breads, cakes, muffins and desserts.

**Important tip: coconut flour cannot replace other types of flours at a cup for cup ratio. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid and you will notice recipes with coconut flour generally call for a large number of eggs to assist with binding the flour to produce a cake or muffin that doesn't just fall apart.

Thanks to some of my favorite wholefoodie bloggers I have a great collection of recipe links here for you of their tried and true baked goods made with coconut flour:

Natural New Age Mums'  Healthy Chocolate Muffins

Bek Mugridge's  Berrylicious muffins (not gluten free)

Brenda Janschek's  Brownie Cake

Georgia Harding's Healthy Chocolate, Almond, Coconut Bars

The Nourished Psychologist's Paleo Banana Bread

And if that's not enough to get you started, check out Empowered Sustenance 105 coconut flour recipes

Tell us the highs and lows of your experience with coconut flour. I'd love to hear!


Visit Nutra Organics here. You can find their Wholefood Pantry certified organic coconut flour here.

For 10% discount the code is: Wholefoodmama and is valid until February 28th 2015.

1 comment:

  1. This wholefood step by step series is great. Thank you for demystifying all these foods. :)


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