I’ve always enjoyed baking with alternative flours, especially in developing new cookie recipes for my cookie dough company, Fittersweet. My coursework from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition fueled that fun even further. Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a banana bread kick, and have been experimenting with different flour options for that. Many gluten free baking recipes rely on almond flour, which I like, but I’ve found that using all almond flour can sometimes leave baked goods a little heavy or oily, so I’ve been trying to mix it up a bit by baking with coconut flour.
Health Benefits of Baking With Coconut Flour
Image: Aline Ponce from Pixabay
I’m not sure how coconut flour has escaped my awareness until now, but now that I’ve found it, I’m happy to sing its praises. Coconut flour has many unique attributes, but the most compelling to me is its high level of dietary fiber.
This is something that hasn’t meant a lot to me in the past, but now I’ve lived enough life to know how beneficial it can be! Coconut flour has the highest fiber content of any flour, and is also high in healthy saturated fats (medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs for short) that the body can easily use for energy and to stabilize blood sugar.
Additional health benefits of coconut flour include:
- Coconut flour has a low glycemic load of only 3
- Just two tablespoons can provide 10% of your recommended daily protein
- It’s a source of iron, which helps support energy levels
- It supports many dietary styles, including Paleo, keto, grain-free, vegan and Autoimmune Paleo (AIP)
Tips for Baking With Coconut Flour
Despite its wonderful health-promoting qualities, baking with coconut flour can be a challenge. It readily absorbs liquid, making it impossible to swap out one-to-one for other flours. It’s best to find recipes that have already been tested rather than just incorporating it into one of your favourite recipes.
However, if you’d like to experiment with substituting coconut flour:
- How to substitute: Use 1/4 cup of coconut flour in place of 1 cup glutenous flour (or another gluten-free flour). You’ll also need to add an extra 1/4 cup of liquid.
Learn more about working with gluten-free flours in this Gluten-Free Flour Guide + Substitution Reference.
My Favourite Ways to Use Coconut Flour
- It’s wonderful in pancakes
- It gives cookies a unique texture
- It’s also great to coat fish fillets in and pan-fry
- Use to thicken soups, stews, sauces
- Use in smoothies for added nutritional benefits
Double Chocolate Coconut Flour Banana Bread Recipe
Currently, my favourite way to use coconut flour is in this banana bread recipe. The texture is different than standard banana bread, but it’s deliciously chocolatey and you can taste the goodness of the coconut flour. It’s also made without any added sugar, and relies only on the sweetness of the ripe bananas and dark chocolate chips. Plus, the fiber in the coconut flour helps prevent any blood sugar spikes.
This chocolate treat will truly leave you energized!
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (Ghiradelli 72% chocolate chips are wonderful), or coconut sugar sweetened chocolate chips (I like Sante chips by Guittard)
- ½ cup toasted walnuts
- 2 Tbsp cacao nibs, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a mixer bowl, combine bananas, vanilla and almond butter until creamy.
- Add eggs and mix until combined.
- Stir in coconut flour, baking soda, cacao powder and salt.
- Fold in chocolate chips, toasted walnuts, and cacao nibs, if using.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes.
- Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack and let fully cool. (Alternatively, slice into it while it’s still warm and make a mess. This is what I usually do!)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
Keywords: banana bread, coconut flour banana bread, gluten-free banana bread, grain-free banana bread, chocolate banana bread, coconut flour
About The Author: Ericka Thielke
Ericka is a graduate of the 2021 Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, and owns Fittersweet Cookie Dough, a nutrient-dense cookie dough that features premium dark chocolate. She is also a certified chocolatier and loves combining her new knowledge of culinary nutrition with chocolate. She spends her free time finding ways to incorporate chocolate into a healthy life.
Ericka teaches piano in Seattle, and lives with her husband, Stephen, and two daughters who are in college.
Learn More: www.fittersweet.com
The post Baking With Coconut Flour + Coconut Flour Banana Bread Recipe appeared first on Academy of Culinary Nutrition.
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