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What is Coconut Flour?

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a gluten free “flour” that is essentially dried coconut in powdered form. It is made from the coconut solids that are left over after the meat been used to produce coconut milk. The solids are ground into a very fine, flour-like powder. The flour is popular for gluten free and low-carb baking, since it is low in carbohydrates and very high in fiber.

Coconut flour does have a coconut scent and will impart a coconut flavor to baked goods, especially baked goods that don’t include any other strongly flavored ingredients, such as spices or cocoa powder. This can be a bonus for coconut fans, but might be a negative for people who don’t particularly like the flavor of coconut.

Unlike some gluten free flours, coconut flour is not easy to substitute into regular recipes that don’t already use it. This is because it absorbs a tremendous amount of liquid, so you will find that a 1:1 substitution for flour will be far too dry. Most coconut flour recipes recommend using at least an equivalent amount of liquid to the amount of coconut flour. Coconut flour recipes also typically use far more eggs than similar standard recipes. So, if you want to incorporate it into your baking, you may want to start with working small amounts – 10-20% – of coconut flour into other recipes to get a feel for it, and plan to experiment a little bit to get a feel for the flour and to get the results you want.

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  • Xanthippe
    August 21, 2013

    Nicole, is this the same thing as coconut milk powder?? As you say the “flour” is a byproduct of the process of making coconut milk, I’m guessing it might be.

  • aaking
    June 28, 2014

    No it is not the same thing; coconut milk powder is coconut milk that has had the water removed-same as powdered milk. Whilst coconut flour is the flesh of the matured coconut either being dried and then grounded to a powder, or the ‘milk’ was first removed and then the coconut trash as we call it in my country is then dried and grounded up to a powder for other uses

  • Nicole
    June 29, 2014

    Xanthippe – No, it is not the same product. Coconut flour is a byproduct because it is made with the coconut meat that is used to make coconut milk after the coconut milk making process is over.

  • Merry
    July 5, 2014

    I m slightly shocked. My parents come from Kerala in South India . Kerala means land of coconuts and we use coconut in almost every curry or dish. After extracting the coconut milk from the shredded white flesh, we discard the now valueless flesh.
    We can also use the flesh for making cocount biscuits or even in thick curries. But it is always used whole ie without extracting the milk.
    I would have thought once the milk is extracted, the flesh would have lost all its nutritional value

  • […] few tablespoons of the flour in baked goods (you may have to increase the liquid, find out more at BakingBites.com). It’s high in fiber and adds a nice flavor to banana bread, muffins and other […]

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