Coconut flour is dried ground coconut meat. It is the white fluffy byproduct of coconut milk production.
How does it work?
There are many nutritional benefits to eating coconut flour. It is gluten free, packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats. In order to substitute your regular wheat flour or gluten free flour with coconut flour, you use a one to one ratio. The difference comes in the binding ingredients. Because there is no gluten, you will require a substantial amount of either eggs or ground flax seed, or a combination of a binding ingredient with a sticky sweetener such as honey. Coconut flour is also very dry, so extra water may be required.
How do you choose a brand?
When choosing a coconut flour, you will need to consider what you will be using it for, the quality
and the price.
Whether you are making something savoury or sweet will help you choose between certain brands. Tropical traditions for instance, is known for having a distinct coconut smell and taste that would only really work with a sweet dessert. Omega Nutrition Virgin Coconut flour on the other hand, will work for a savoury recipe such as a bread or biscuit.
The higher quality coconut flours will produce results that are closer to what you would get with a wheat flour. If you stick with an organic non GMO coconut flour with a consistency that is courser and more closely resembling a traditional flour, you will have better results.
Expect the price to be substantially more than you are used to when purchasing traditional flours. Prices hover around 20.00 for 4 lbs of coconut flour. Also expect to sacrifice quality for cost savings when purchasing a product like this. If price is your ultimate deciding factor, you may need to tweak recipes with the quantities of other ingredients to compensate for the inconsistency of the flour.
When attempting to begin a grain free lifestyle or even just to lower your carbohydrate intake of glycemic load, coconut flour is an excellent choice. It is nutrient dense, delicious and currently easy to come by. It can however be cost-prohibitive and requires trial and error when attempting to substitute in your regular recipes..