Healthy white flour alternatives don’t have to be limited to whole wheat. If you are looking for a healthy, non-wheat flour, you should look to coconut flour.
What is it?
Coconut flour is is defatted, dried coconut that is milled into a flour. The texture is similar to whole wheat flour. You can substitute it 100% in some recipes, but in others you’ll want to experiment starting with replacing about 25%.
What are its benefits?
- Coconut flour is gluten-free. This is perfect for people with gluten sensitivities and those trying to limit their grain intake.
- Coconut flour is also lower in carbohydrates than most other flours.
- Despite being gluten-free, coconut flour has as much protein as whole wheat flour.
- Coconut flour is high in fiber. It has 4 times more fiber than oat bran, 3 times as much flour as ground flax seeds, and twice as much fiber as wheat bran.
You can read more about the health benefits of coconut here.
If you want to create delicious, wheat-free baked goods, you should really try coconut flour. Even though we don’t have any wheat allergies in our family, I think it’s important to have a varied diet without too much reliance on wheat. Coconut flour is so healthful; it makes a great alternative to wheat flour.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, I feel it’s my obligation to give you a chocolate recipe. What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate, anyway? Here’s a brownie bite recipe that uses coconut flour. The flour gives it a very subtle coconut flavor that I love. These brownie bites are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and without refined sugar.
I sweetened them with dates and stevia powder, but they aren’t super sweet, which really lets the chocolate flavor shine through. If your palate is still used to really sweet baked goods, you may want to add a few more dates and/or more stevia. I rarely bake with stevia as I think it can have a unpleasant aftertaste, but in small amounts I think it works.
Coconut Flour Brownie Bites
Makes 12 bites
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12 mini-muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. (Alternatively, you can use a 8X8 inch baking dish)
In a blender or food processor, process the dates until they form a smooth paste. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and stevia. Add the eggs, vanilla, and milk and mix well. Add the dates and stir very thoroughly, until the mixture is well combined and there are no date chunks.
Bake in the preheated oven for 13-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
Have you ever used coconut flour? What is your favorite way to use it?