Tropical Traditions recently sent me a large 1-kg bag of organic coconut flour to review. After taste-testing their coconut oil, I was quite eager to try coconut flour (their coconut flour has one ingredient: organic dried coconut). Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
Coconut flour has a number of unique health benefits. Being gluten-free, coconut flour can be used for people with gluten sensitivities. It is also high in protein and fibre. Based on the packaging, 100 grams of coconut flour equates to 413 calories with 8.7 grams fat (the majority of which is saturated), 64.8 grams carbohydrates (38.5 grams fibre and 8.6 grams sugar), and 19.3 grams protein. Because coconut flour is a real food (and a plant-based one at that), we do not have to be as concerned about the amount of saturated fat and sugar: eaten in moderation, saturated fat can be quite healthy (but only if it comes from natural ingredients!), and naturally-occurring sugar is a wonderful energy source.
Taste-wise, I can say with full honesty that I love coconut flour. I am not a big fan of “coconut” taste, but the flour offers a slightly sweet, slightly nutty taste to a recipe. I tried three different recipes using coconut flour, and it tasted delicious in all of them.
Recipe #1: Gluten-Free Herbed Pizza Crust
This was amazing. I topped it with veggies, homemade tomato sauce, and some soy cheese. Both the boyfriend and I really enjoyed this pizza. I’m planning on making it again but instead of adding sauce and toppings, just eating it as a flatbread with hummus. Yum! I also want to try making it a vegan gluten-free bread by substituting flax and water for the eggs (I already used soy milk powder in place of the regular milk). Recipes are made to be played with!
Recipe #2: Peanut Butter Banana Pudding Cake
I invented this after finding tons of recipes for brownies and blondies made with beans. This was the result of my efforts to invent my own cake. I cobbled together a few of the base ingredients that I liked from other recipes, and then tossed in a few of my own. It was excellent and both the boyfriend and the mother dear quite enjoyed it (the mother dear would have preferred more chocolate and less peanut butter, but that’s only because she is a chocoholic and sadly is not a huge fan of nut butter. I’ll convert her yet ;)). The recipe will be appearing in my next Living Well column for The Uniter, so I will be sure to link to the recipe when the next issue comes out so that you all have access to the tasty cake!
Recipe #3: Pancakes
These went horribly awry! Coconut flour alone cannot really be used in pancakes; I don’t know if it’s the lack of gluten or if coconut flour is denser than other kinds of flour, but it simply did not work. The batter went onto the pan with the consistency of cookies rather than gloopy pancakes. When I tried to flip the pancakes, they just crumbled and fell apart! So I improvised: I flipped them as best as I could, and then when they were cook I scooped the “pancake” crumbles into a bowl, mixed in a little bit of peanut butter and agave nectar, and voila! I don’t even know what you can call it. I ate it with a fork. A spoon would also have worked well. It wound up with the consistency of an under-cooked muffin, or super-thick oatmeal. Regardless, it tasted great, and that’s what counts! If I made this again, I’d probably make it in a pan rather than on a pancake griddle, and I think I’d also eat it with a bit of milk added in addition to the nut butter and agave.
Coconut flour is a good addition to your pantry, particularly if you have a “thing” for trying out all kinds of different health foods. Just be careful how much of it you use in your recipes! The pancakes might turn out like real pancakes if only half of the amount of flour was coconut, and the other half was spelt flour, for example. It’s something to have fun with, though, anyways!
You have a chance to win your very own bag of organic coconut flour! Leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me how you have salvaged a recipe-gone-wrong in the past, your favourite kind of flour to cook/bake with, or a tasty coconut flour recipe. I’ll choose a winner from the Random Number Generator, unless someone leaves a comment that really makes me giggle or is totally original or delicious (yep, I admit to playing favourites :D).
In order to qualify for the giveaway, Tropical Traditions has mandated that you must also subscribe to the Tropical Traditions newsletter (but, as I mentioned last time in the coconut oil blog post, it’s easy enough to unsubscribe once the giveaway is completed).
Winner will be announced one week from today, on Wednesday, June 30th!