Coconut oil is touted for its good fats and great moisturizing capabilities, and all across town, hip yoga moms are guzzling coconut water like it’s their (second) job. But let’s not ignore the other great byproduct of coconuts–macaroons! Um, we mean–coconut flour! When the “meat” of a coconut is dehydrated, de-fatted and ground into a fine powder, the result is a super-healthy flour that’s great for substitutions.
Replace your regular baking flour with 15-to-25 percent coconut flour, or add heaping tablespoons to smoothies, cereals and drinks to reap its amazing health benefits, including but not limited to:
- High fiber. Coconut flour consists of 58 percent fiber, making it the most fibrous flour on the flour market. It even beats out wheat bran, which comes in at a mere 27 percent fiber.
- Low GI. The glycemic index, or GI, ranks carbs by the effect they have on your blood sugar. Small fluctuations in blood sugar are fine; large fluctuations are trouble. Coconut flour has a low glycemic index, which means it’ll keep you fuller for longer and give you steady, balanced energy.
- Low-carb. Yes, we love a good baked potato or buttery piece of toast, but if you’re jumping on the low-carb bandwagon for health reasons, well, you’re in luck. Coconut flour has less digestible (or net) carbs than all the other flours on the market. This is part of what makes it so glycemic-friendly.
- Slightly sweet. If you need help cutting back on your white sugar intake, coconut flour comes with an added bonus: its mildly sweet, coconut-y taste. You’ll still need to add sweetener to desserts, but you may be able to get away with less.
- Gluten free. Gluten is an important protein found in wheat (and other grains), but a significant number of people are allergic to it. Since wheat flour is used as a base for a huge number of recipes, finding a flour alternative is very important for those with allergies, aaaand–coconut flour is free of gluten!
And hey–if you wanna use some of this magical flour to whip up a batch of chocolate-macademia-coconut-crunch cookies, no judgment here.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com; photo by photographer MelissaT1967