Coconut flour: benefits, uses and how to prepare it

Coconut flour can be used for both sweet and savory preparations, supporting our metabolism. Find out what it is good for and how to use it.

Coconut flour is an ingredient now present in several tasty recipes recommended by many nutritionists: the presence of coconut flour in various sweet preparations, in fact, allows to lower the glycemic load of the same and therefore makes them suitable for consumption also by the party. of those suffering from hyperglycemia or diabetes. This ingredient can, therefore, be a precious help in the kitchen.

Coconut flour looks like a common flour , with a fairly fine grain, and the unmistakable taste and smell of coconut. This ingredient, in fact, derives directly from the coconut pulp, which is dried, grated and finally undergoes a further refining process that allows to obtain fine and uniform grains . Precisely these characteristics differentiate coconut flour from another much-loved ingredient in the kitchen: rapé coconut or grated coconut. It too comes from dried and grated coconut, but it is not refined and the grain is consequently less fine and uniform.

Both ingredients are used in the preparation of different recipes: they give our dishes a fair dose of mineral salts, but we must be careful not to exceed their consumption as they are very caloric foods.

Coconut flour: calories and nutritional properties

As we have anticipated, coconut flour derives from dried coconut: many of its nutritional properties are therefore similar to those of the fruit loved by many. For more information, we invite you to read our article on the benefits of coconut.

Being a derivative of this fruit, coconut flour does not contain gluten and can also be consumed by those suffering from celiac disease. Furthermore, as mentioned above, it is a very caloric food : 100 grams of coconut flour provide 632 calories, about double compared to the cereal flours traditionally used in cooking. This value is justified by the fact that this flour contains an important quantity of fatty acids (62 g per 100 g of product), many of which are saturated fatty acids. Remember, however, that the saturated fats in coconut are the so-called “medium-chain saturated fats”, which have been attributed with various health benefits.

Although coconut is a fruit, the quantity of sugars and carbohydrates is very limited. Furthermore, the glycemic index of coconut flour, equal to 35, is considered low.

This food is an excellent source of mineral salts (in particular iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, selenium and manganese), vitamin E and some vitamins of group B. The large presence of minerals make it an excellent food to supplement. in the diet of athletes, for example in energy smoothies. In the table below you will find the nutritional values ​​of coconut flour.

Nutritional values ​​per 100g of coconut flour:

  • Waterfall: 2.3 g
  • Power: 632 kcal
  • Proteins: 5.6 g
  • Lipids: 62 g
  • of which saturated: 53.27 g
  • Fibers: 13.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.4 g
  • Soccer: 23 mg
  • Iron: 3.6 mg
  • Magnesium: 90 mg
  • Phosphorus: 160 mg
  • Potassium: 660 mg
  • Copper: 0.55 mg
  • Zinc: 0.9 mg
  • Selenium: 12 μg
  • Manganese: 1.8 mg
  • Vitamin E: 1.26 mg
  • Vitamin B3: 0.9 mg
  • Vitamin B5: 0.5 mg

Coconut flour: health benefits

Many properties of coconut flour have been mentioned in the previous paragraph: in fact, the large presence of some minerals, such as iron, magnesium and potassium, make it a useful ingredient to integrate in case of nutritional deficiencies, poor diet or very active life.

We have also anticipated that this flour can be used in the preparation of sweet foods even for those who follow dietary diets. In fact, the presence of fats and the low glycemic index give coconut flour some useful benefits for our health.

  • Decrease in blood sugar: in this study conducted on more than 40 women, the integration of the low-calorie diet with coconut flour led to an improvement in blood glucose values;
  • Reduction of cardiovascular risk: some studies show that the integration of coconut oil (and therefore of the fats present in coconut flour) are able to reduce cardiovascular risk and improve “good” cholesterol values;
  • Metabolic functions: as we anticipated above, coconut flour contains some fatty acids, defined as medium-chain fatty acids or MCTs, which have been shown to improve the activity of mitochondria and therefore our metabolism, as well as guaranteeing a greater feeling of hunger;
  • Digestive properties: coconut flour has useful properties to improve digestion. This characteristic would be due to some bioactive compounds present in the fruit, which facilitate and improve the digestion processes.

Does using coconut flour make you fat?

Coconut flour is an excellent ingredient, rich in nutrients and very useful for our health. However, as we have seen, the nutritional composition of this food shows a high percentage of fatty acids. They are “good” fats, useful for our health, but still caloric ! We remind you, in fact, that each gram of fat consumed brings 9 kcal. It follows that excessive consumption of this food can contribute to weight gain .

As always, however, it is the balance that makes the difference : there is no need to avoid coconut flour, but it is good to vary your diet as much as possible. In fact, even in the case of overweight or obesity, it is possible to include this food in your diet, taking care to limit the intake of other fats such as butter, fries or unhealthy snacks.

If inserted correctly, in fact, not only will it not make you fat but it can also be of help in a slimming diet because, in addition to increasing the sense of satiety, it can help speed up the metabolism. This characteristic is due to the action of coconut fatty acids. We talked about it in depth in this article: Coconut oil, an aid to weight loss: that’s why consuming it wakes up the metabolism.

In this regard, if the goal is to lose weight, the advice is always to contact a professional who can create a personalized diet for you.

Coconut flour: how it is used in cooking

In the kitchen, coconut flour is especially suitable for sweet preparations, although it can also be included in some savory recipes with a typically sweet and sour taste; however, it is important to understand how to use coconut flour.

It has the ability to absorb liquids a lot and therefore cannot be used as we usually do with other flours, such as wheat flour. In particular, in this case we suggest using a larger quantity of liquids or getting help from the addition of egg or albumen, which will serve as a binder: in particular, 1 whole egg is usually considered for 30 g of coconut flour. If, on the other hand, you simply want to replace 00 flour, consider that generally the proportions are 35/40 grams of coconut flour per 100 grams of 00 flour.

What can coconut flour be used for? Due to its ability to absorb liquids a lot, this flour is not suitable for the preparation of crunchy foods and we also advise against it for the preparation of breading. Instead, it can be used as a thickener, for example in a smoothie to provide greater creaminess and sweetness. Also excellent for giving flavor and texture to desserts, to be used generally combined with wheat flour.

Coconut flour: 10 ideas for using it in recipes

As we have seen, most of the recipes in which coconut flour is used are sweet recipes as the flavor of this delicious fruit is enhanced. We present below some practical ideas to start using coconut flour in recipes, including some ideas for the preparation of savory dishes, with an ethnic taste.

  1. Coconut biscuits

Coconut flour can be used alone or mixed with other flours to make simple breakfast cookies. Sugar can be limited, taking advantage of the sweet taste of the coconut itself, and gluten-free biscuits can also be obtained, if used alone or if rice flour is added.

2. Pancakes with coconut and banana flour

Coconut flour can be used as a base for completely vegan pancakes, in which we use banana instead of egg and a vegetable drink to get the desired consistency.

3. Dried fruit and coconut balls

always talking about vegan desserts, have you ever tasted the raw balls made with dates, honey and dried fruit and passed in coconut flour? They are a real goodness!

4. Cake with coconut flour and chocolate

Who doesn’t love the combination of coconut and chocolate ? For a quick and soft cake we can mix coconut flour with spelled flour, butter, eggs and a little baking powder. The cake obtained, as anticipated, will have a lower glycemic load and can be appreciated, in moderate quantities, even in diets.

5. Coconut flour in smoothies and yogurt

To make your smoothies more pleasant and rich in mineral salts, you can dissolve the coconut flour in your favorite milk or vegetable drink and use the liquid to blend the fruit. As a quantity of flour, a level spoon is sufficient for each glass. It is a quick and nutritious snack, also appreciated by children. Similarly, you can add coconut flour to plain yogurt, to make it more palatable and less sour.

6. Cake with coconut flour and yogurt

This super quick cake is also very popular with children for their snack. It is in fact a very soft and light cake that is obtained by replacing the eggs of more traditional recipes with white or Greek yogurt. Also in this case we remind you that it is not necessary to add too much sugar because coconut flour has a fairly sweet taste. Alternatively, you can experiment with coconut blossom sugar.

7. Coconut cream

Coconut flour can also be used to flavor various creams, such as custard . To prepare it, just add 2 or 3 tablespoons of coconut flour before incorporating the milk and cooking on the stove.

8. Chicken and coconut soup

As promised, we offer you a savory recipe in which to use coconut flour. In this case it is a soup prepared with chicken broth, vegetables and the chicken itself. To make this recipe more special, we suggest you try adding coconut flour to the water while preparing the broth. Aromatic spices such as cinnamon and cloves are also welcome.

9. Cream of pumpkin and coconut

Also in this case you can get a sweet dish, but with a spicy flavor that will enchant your guests and will also be enjoyed by children. In this case we suggest you add the coconut flour (about 1 or 2 tablespoons for each course) to the pumpkin blended with a little vegetable broth. It will also serve to make the dish thicker.

10. Salmon in coconut crust

This idea can also be adapted to other fish recipes, for example to recipes with shrimp. For the preparation we advise you to mix the coconut flour (about a tablespoon for a 300 gram slice of salmon) with the oil and salt to taste and use the mixture thus obtained to cover the chosen fish. At this point, bake for 15-20 minutes and the recipe is ready.

Coconut flour: how to make it at home

To prepare homemade coconut flour you need to find a coconut and open it: first of all to open the coconut we will have to pierce the coconut and let out all the water, an excellent drink with numerous properties, which we therefore recommend you to do not throw away. At this point, we will open the nut and with a knife we ​​can remove the coconut pulp from the peel.

The pulp must be grated by hand or blended with a blender, until a powder with a fine consistency is obtained. Subsequently, the still moist flour is spread on a baking sheet and left in the oven to dry for about an hour at a temperature of 60-80 ° C. If this is the first time you try to make it at home, we advise you to check it at least every 15/20 minutes, to avoid burning the flour.

The possible contraindications of coconut flour

You may have already noticed, reading the first paragraphs, that we are talking about a decidedly caloric food rich in saturated fatty acids. Although coconut fatty acids have largely been “rehabilitated”, we recommend that anyone with obesity or metabolic syndrome seek medical attention before using coconut flour frequently.

Furthermore, although rare, a coconut allergy has been found in a small percentage of the population: in this case this food cannot be used in any way. There are no other contraindications to coconut flour, which can also be consumed during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Where is coconut flour found

Coconut flour is now a very widespread product, therefore it is possible to find it in many supermarkets and stores of organic products, usually in the department dedicated to sweets and the ingredients for their preparation. The cost of coconut flour is around 10-15 USD per kg and is usually sold in packs of 250 g. We reiterate to pay attention to the difference between coconut flour and coconut rapè, which is also very widespread and present in the same departments of supermarkets.


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