If you are looking for a wheat flour substitute, you may be curious about coconut flour and how it holds up in comparison.
As it turns out, coconut flour holds up very well. It is made from fresh coconut meat that is dried, defatted and then finely ground into a powder very similar in consistency to wheat flour.
If you’re looking for the sweetened coconut flavor, you won’t find it. The coconut flavor, after processing, is nearly lost, leaving behind only a pleasant, slight coconut flavor – if you should detect any flavor at all.
This flour will be less hearty or dense than an almond meal, but lighter than the wheat flour you are used to.
When looking at a typical nutritional breakdown for coconut flour you’ll see 1.5 g fat (1 g of that is saturated), 10 g in carbs (9 g of that is fiber bringing the net carb count to 1), and 2 g of protein in two tablespoons. Pretty respectable statistics. With as much protein as wheat flour, coconut flour has none of the protein in wheat called gluten. This is beneficial for a growing percentage of the population who have allergies or gluten sensitivities. It may have 10 g of carbs, but only 1 of them is digestible meaning coconut flour fits in well with a low-carb diet. With a fiber comparison, coconut is superior with 68 percent compared to 27 percent in wheat bran.
There are some differences
Coconut flour is very dry after the defatting process and will fall apart if you use it as an equal substitute for wheat flour. Add one egg (or egg white) per 1-2 ounces of coconut flour on average to provide extra binders. This won’t work for every recipe, but it does work for most. You can also combine with other flours like soy or rice which provide the binders to hold baked goods. Coconut flour does not make a good thickener for sauces.