Coconut flour is gluten-free, so it is good for those who are suffering from the celiac disease and have wheat allergy. It is high in fiber and also provides the body with a lot of minerals. However, it can cause several problems in the human body as well. Sometimes your pantry doesn’t always live up to what you thought was in there and you need a cocount flour substitute.
For instance, coconut flour causes bloating in some people. It is not nutrient dense. The flour is fiber rich, but this will only provide a feeling of volume inside you, without realizing stabilizing the insulin and blood sugar level. So you won’t feel satiated and may end up overeating. Many people are also not able to digest the flour well. If you eat too frequently, then it can cause irritation in the gut.
What is Coconut Flour
This flour variety is created while the coconut milk is produced. Some portion of the coconut milk will remain when the coconut is pressed for making milk. This meat is then collected and dried at a low temperature. Then it is grinded to form a fine powder. Coconut flour is used for baking. It is a popular choice for making breads, muffins, cookies, and cakes.
Coconut flour is extremely versatile. It is a good choice for those who must restrict grains in their foods, like those following the paleo diet, the GAPS diet, and the ketogenic diet. The flour you will get is a good alternative to those based on grains.
Recipes Where Coconut Flour Is Used
Many chefs use the flour for baking, particularly when preparing gluten and grain-free recipes. It is a versatile flour, but can be difficult to use in the beginning. So first-time home-chefs should try preparing the recipes they are comfortable with. Also remember, coconut flour is very absorbent. It absorbs more liquid than you may think.
Why Use a Coconut Flour Substitute?
There are a number of good reasons why you may want to use something else instead of coconut flour like –
- It can cause bloating in some people
- It can cause gut irritation
- The flour is difficult to digest
- It is not satiating, which may make us overeat
- Absorbs a lot of liquid
- Difficult to use for new home chefs
- Not easy to find at the local grocery store
Substitutes For Coconut Flour
Here are some top substitutes that you can use as a coconut flour replacement.
1. Almond Flour
This is usually the top choice for those who don’t want to use coconut flour. Made of ground almonds, this flour is rich in fiber, vitamin E, and protein. It is gluten-free and also has low carbohydrates, which makes it an excellent choice, especially for those who have diabetes. Plus, it is not that absorbent as well.
Nutritionally, almond flour is much the same as whole almonds. By consuming 1 cup of almond flour, you will be eating about 90 almond nuts.
Use almond flour to make meatballs, biscuits, pancakes, pasta, and cookies.
2. Cassava Flour
Cassava flour is made from yucca or the manioc root. Its texture is more like wheat flour and not coconut flour. It is dry and fine and has a neutral flavor, which makes it a good option for many recipes, whether savory or sweet.
Like coconut flour, this too is gluten-free, and so use you can use cassava flour for making gluten-free recipes instead of coconut flour. However, it will provide your body with a lot of carbohydrates and thus may not be a good option for those who want to maintain a low-glycemic index.
Cassava flour is popularly used for thickening dishes and to make crepes, tortillas, pot pies, and desserts.
3. Soy Flour
This flour variety is made from milled and dried soybean. It is high in protein and is gluten-free. Unlike cassava flour, it has low carbohydrate content, and is thus a good substitute for coconut flour. But it has a bean flavor, which means, you may not be able to use it in many recipes.
When using as a substitute for coconut flour, make sure that you use double the quantity. Also, you need to use more liquids as the flour will absorb more. Soy flour can be used for making waffles, cakes, pies, muffins, and pancaked.
4. Rice Flour
You can use rice flour alone or together with other flours for cooking or baking. Use either whole-grain or white rice flour, which is almost the same as white flour. It has a finer and softer consistency as the rice grain is refined to remove the fiber. Brown rice flour is slightly nutty in taste. White rice, on the other hand, has a more natural flavor.
While using rice flour instead of coconut flour, make sure to use at least 3 times more.
5. Flax Meal
It has a different nutritional content, but is still a good substitute for coconut flour. Flax meal can also substitute the requirement for eggs in many recipes. It is rich in oil, and thus can work as both the fat and flour in the recipes. Flax meal is rich in the healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
You can also use flax meal by mixing it with almond flour. It is used for spreads, soups, smoothies, and breading.
6. Sunflower Seed Flour
Sunflower seed flour is made by grinding raw sunflower seeds. The fine texture you get looks much like the traditional flour. It is nut-free and grain-free and has low carbohydrate content. The flour is a good source for vitamin B and E, and antioxidants. You can make the flour at home or you can buy it at the local grocery store. It is a good choice for making cookies, muffins, cereal, and desserts.
7. Chickpea Flour
Also called besan, garbanzo bean flour, or gram, this has been very popular in Indian recipes for a long time. The flour is usually made from Bengal grams. It is not just gluten-free, it is also loaded in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Chickpea flour offers many health benefits too. For instance, it adds fewer calories, helps control the blood sugar level, and may even contain the harmful effects of processed foods.
Coconut flour is popular but may not be the healthiest option. There are several substitutes you can try that are easily available.