One sad and horrible day, long long ago, I found out my stomach aches, terrible digestion and extreme fatigue were actually being caused by my favorite foods.
I literally thought my life was over!
At the time I was a Freshman in college, and working at a deli.
The deli was known throughout our small college town for its incredible bread and fresh baked cookies.
I opened the shop. So every morning I would get in at 7, place the fresh dough onto a baking sheet and into the oven.
The shop would instantly light up with the aroma of freshly baked bread filling the air.
After the bread was done I would start on the cookies (my weakness).
The melted chocolate and baked cookie dough smelled so good that I couldn’t help but serve myself a plate for breakfast everyday.
Slowly but surely the stomach aches would come on. I just didn’t understand?
Could it be stress from school? Or from my occasional (ya right) weekend partying?
My stomach started getting so bad I couldn’t go to work, had to miss class and could never see my friends. I finally decided I had to go see a doctor.
No more cake, no more cookies, no more pasta, no more bread… no more gluten, therefore no more anything I actually enjoyed to eat!
As you fellow gluten frees know, it takes a while to get gluten out of your system.
Of course the second I stopped eating it I expected to feel better! But that was not the case. It took a while, a long while.
The only benefit was that during that time I was able to read about gluten free life.
There were gluten free people out there! I wasn’t alone!
I started studying their recipes, learning about the ingredients they used and prepping to cook like this myself.
My best friend bought me a gluten free book, and in it I stumbled on a recipe titled “How to Make Coconut Flour”.
At first I was apprehensive, but hey? Why not try it?
By my Senior year of college, my house had turned into a bakery! I was making everything gluten free I could possibly think of.
I was determined to make my gluten free life feel as normal as possible!
My friends always loved whatever I would bake, asking me to bring my cookies on our camping trips. I even had a list of friends who requested fresh bread every week!
“What is your secret ingredient?” “How do these taste so good?!”
Well… little did they know the secret ingredient was homemade coconut flour, and that everything I made was actually gluten free.
How to Make Coconut Flour
Before I jump right into how you make coconut flour, I want to give a little background on why I use coconut flour, how to cook with coconut flour and where to buy it.
Health Benefits of Coconut Flour
Ok, so get this. Not only does coconut flour taste great and work incredibly well as a substitute for flour, it is also full of nutrients and healthy for your body!
So here are some of the health benefits of coconut flour:
Coconut flour contains the highest amount of dietary fiber when compared to other flours, making up 58% of its nutrients! (source)
In addition, this flour is higher in protein and fiber, and lower in carbohydrates than other options, making it a great choice for those who have a high protein diet (paleo).
In just two tablespoons of coconut flour, there are 5 grams of fiber and only 8 grams of carbohydrates (source). When compared to regular flour: 2 tablespoons contains .4 grams of fiber and 11.92 grams of carbs.
“Coconut flour is also a good source of lauric acid, a saturated fat thought to support the immune system and the thyroid. Like most healthy fats, lauric acid also promotes good skin health” (source).
“Coconut flour is an exceptionally good source of manganese which helps you to better utilize many nutrients including choline and biotin (found in eggs), vitamin C and thiamin” (source).
And if you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more benefits…
Coconut flour is low on the glycemic index. Therefore consuming this will help you stay full longer by not spiking your blood sugar levels.
“In fact studies show that consuming products that contain coconut flour can help to lower the overall glycemic impact of the food and to support stable blood sugar levels” (source).
So why isn’t everything made out of coconut flour and should we start eating it by the spoonful immediately?
Cooking with Coconut Flour
I will delve more into cooking with coconut flour later, however if you are used to baking with regular flour you will have to learn that cooking with coconut flour can be completely different.
- You cannot substitute coconut flour and grain flour with a 1:1 ratio. Coconut flour is extremely absorbent and you typically need less flour and more liquids
- Coconut flour can clump together, so it is important to mix very well with other ingredients.
- When you are just starting to cook with coconut flour, I suggest sticking to recipes that use this ingredient as opposed to substituting it for regular flour.
Want to know my favorite part of making your own coconut flour?
A free bi-product of coconut flour is coconut milk!
Therefore nothing you use goes to waste and you have a fresh batch of healthy milk to pour into your morning coffee!
Where to Buy Coconut Flour
Don’t worry, we are about to get to the recipe. But if you are in a rush and just want to buy some coconut flour on the fly, here are some of my favorite options:
- Bob’s Red Mill – Gluten Free Organic Coconut Flour
- Anthony’s Premium Orangic Coconut Flour
- Viva Labs Organic Coconut Flour: Non-GMO, and Gluten-Free
Coconut Flour Recipes
Coconut Flour recipes are a great way to make the baked good you love, without loosing any flavor and gaining nutritional value! Here are some of my favorites:
- Coconut Flour Pancakes
- Coconut Flour Cookies
- Coconut Flour Bread
- Coconut Flour Pie Crust
- Coconut Flour Muffins
Enjoy! Let me know in the comments below how you like to make coconut flour and some of your favorite recipes to make with it! What experiences have you had with homemade coconut flour?
How to Make Coconut Flour
- 2 Cups of Shredded Coconut full fat, non-sweetened
- 4 Cups of Filtered Water
- Place your shredded coconut in the blender and pour 4 cups of water over the top.
- Let this soak for up to 2-4 hours. If it soaks less/longer it can ruin the taste of the milk/flour! I suggest occasionally stirring the ingredients, as the shredded coconut tends to float to the top.
- Place the strainer over a pot or bowl.
- Pour the contents from the blender into the cloth/strainer.
- Now you will want to pick up the bag and gently massage the contents. You want to get as much of the liquid out as possible without breaking the bag (I have broken the bag one too many times and it is a total pain!)
- The liquid we strained into the pot is coconut milk! If you would like to make coconut milk (which I would suggest doing because you have it pretty much made) then follow these instructions to finish up.
- Take what is left in the nut milk strainer and dump it onto a baking sheet.
- Spread the contents out onto the baking sheet as much as possible. Use a fork to get the clumps out of the coconut pulp. The smaller you get the clumps the faster the coconut flour will dry.
- Turn your oven on its lowest heat settings and place the baking sheet in the oven. Cook for 4 hours, checking occasionally to ensure the flour is not browning.
- After 4 hours, pull the flour out and check to see that it is thoroughly dry.
- If the flour is dry, pour it into your blender (make sure the blender is extremely dry!) and blend. With my BlendTec I pulse the flour 10-12 times. If you are using a different blender, work from low to high speed. Once on high speed blend for 30 seconds.