Coconut Flour: Grain-Free Baking for More Energy
I’ve been following a different kind of diet lately that doesn’t include any grains. Why would I put myself through it, you ask? As a nutritionist, I like to challenge myself so that I know how to help clients after I’ve experienced a new trend or idea. And grain-free eating? It’s not all bad.
I’ve been dabbling in a new flour on the block, coconut flour. Ground from defatted coconut meat, it’s a fantastic source of fibre and low in carbohydrate, so works for anyone wanting to balance blood sugar level in cases of diabetes, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance. But you don’t have to be managing a health issue to enjoy coconut flour, which lets you get more nutrients with each mouthful.
I’ve used it so far to coat chicken, fish and in muffins. It’s not one that can be swapped one for one, it needs more liquid, so try the recipe below or look online for more.
Benefits of cooking with coconut flour:
- High in fibre.Two tablespoons contain 5 grams of fibre and 8 grams of carbohydrate (low for a flour)
- Gluten-free. Safe if you are dabbling, celiac or gluten sensitive.
- Light flour perfect for baking. Some wheat alternatives can be heavy.
- Contains 14% coconut oil. Benefits everyone with it’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing properties.
- Helps absorption of nutrients. The fat acts as transportation for the vitamins and minerals in the food that it’s paired with.
- Helps management of cholesterol, boost your thyroid, increase metabolism and support immune system.
- Easily digestible - the fats in coconut flour are easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy.
I’m feeling the benefits of less bloating, better energy and surprisingly, I’m not as cold as I typically am during the winter. I add more butter or ghee to the muffins below which seems odd as there is already a fair bit of fat in them, but I’m losing weight and feel warm. Both are a bonus!
Zucchini Spice Muffins (pictured above)
1/2 cup organic butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey
3/4 tsp sea salt
6 organic eggs
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 tsp each of cinnamon and ground ginger
a dash of cloves and nutmeg
3/4 cup coconut flour
2-3 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed to remove some liquid
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 325 F. Melt butter or coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, salt, vanilla extract, spices, and baking soda in a large bowl. Using a hand blender, pulse a few times to combine.
Add the honey to the butter (or coconut oil) and stir slightly. Pour this mixture into the wet ingredients and blend well.
Add coconut flour to bowl wet ingredients. Blend with hand blender or stir vigorously to thoroughly combine all ingredients, making sure there are no lumps. Fold in the shredded zucchinis.
Line a muffin tin with paper cups and scoop the batter in. The cups may be quite full if your zucchinis were rather large. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until muffins are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 12
Recipe is taken from Sprout Right’s 21 Days to Balance Meal Plan