These days, most people try to avoid gluten, which means they won’t use regular wheat flour.
Coconut flour seems to be an excellent choice that is becoming more and more popular. However, not everyone has access to it at all times, so you should be aware of other options to use in its place.
What Is Coconut Flour?
This flour comes from the leftover pulp after the process of making coconut milk. This pulp is dried and ground into a fine texture. Since it doesn’t contain any wheat, it is safe to consume for celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
Coconut flour is very absorbent, so you may want to adjust the liquids in your recipe, otherwise, it can turn out dry.
For every one cup of wheat flour, it is best to use about ¼ cup of coconut flour. For baked goods, you should add eggs as well, which help stabilize and give structure to them.
As with other coconut products, coconut flour has a nutty, sweet, and slightly bitter flavor. To soften the flavor, you can add other flavorings, like chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. You can usually find coconut flour in any grocery store, but a health or organic store will certainly have it.
Why Replace Coconut Flour, Anyway?
Some people should replace coconut flour due to various reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Allergy: Unlike coconut milk, consuming coconut flour will include the protein found in coconuts which the body identifies as an allergen. This means that if you have a coconut allergy, you should avoid coconut flour at all costs.
- Flavor: Not everyone is keen on the flavor that coconut flour leaves behind. Some find it to be slightly metallic and bitter when used in baking.
- Cost: Since it is harder to make, coconut flour can be expensive and inaccessible for some. Other types of flour may be more affordable and easier to buy.
What Can I Replace Coconut Flour With?
If you need an easier option or different flavor, try these coconut flour alternatives in any of your recipes:
Best For Low Carb, Keto, Paleo, and Baking
#1. Almond Flour
Almond flour is another popular replacement for wheat flour, so it makes sense to use it in place of coconut flour. Unlike coconut, almond flour is higher in protein and fiber and lower in carbohydrates, so it is a great option for keto and paleo diets.
To obtain almond flour, almonds are blanched in hot water, the skin is then removed, and they are ground into a fine powder.
Since almonds are so tough, you may find some particles in your flour, which could alter your final product. If you plan on using this choice when you bake, keep in mind that it will impart a nutty and sweet flavor.
See more: Almond Flour Substitutes
#2. Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour may not be the best choice when it comes to baking, but it is a very healthy substitution for coconut flour. Use this flour when you bake savory things, if you follow a keto or paleo diet, and in thickening and binding foods.
This flour is made by grinding dry chickpeas, which results in a thin powder full of protein, fiber, and nutrients.
You can also use chickpea flour in baking sweets, but remember that this choice is very dense and can have a strong earthy taste. Consider as well that just like chickpeas, this flour can have a slightly bitter aftertaste.
#3. Chia Seed Flour
While it may not be the most popular option, chia seed flour is good for those that want to stay on track in their keto or paleo diets.
This choice is the result of grinding these seeds into a powder, but you should be aware that some pieces may be present and it can change the texture of your dish.
You can easily buy chia seeds in any grocery store and grind them yourself, or you can find the flour in health and organic stores, but it may be more expensive.
Chia seed flour is also a great source of fiber and omega-3, so it can be a healthier choice than coconut flour. You can use this option when baking muffins, cakes, bread, and when thickening sauces.
Best For Cookies, Cake, and Muffins
#4. Cassava Flour
Cassava flour comes from the manioc root, which is known commonly as yuca. This choice is higher in starch than other options, but that makes it great for baking things like cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread.
The texture of this flour is more similar to that of wheat flour, so you may want to reduce the number of liquids you use.
Substitute one cup of coconut flour with 1 ½ cups of cassava flour. Keep in mind too that this choice will add more calories to your meal and raise the carbohydrate content.
#5. Soy Flour
Soy flour is the result of drying and milling soybeans into a fine powder. As with most soy products, this flour is high in protein and other nutrients. Keep in mind that soy flour has a strong bean and earthy flavor, which can alter the taste in your recipe.
Some people have soy allergies or sensitivities, so this flour will not be an option for them. If you want to substitute coconut flour with soy flour, use twice the amount and increase the liquids in your recipe. Use this flour when you bake cookies, bread, muffins, and cake.
#6. Rice Flour
Rice flour is the product of milling the grain until it becomes a very fine powder.
For many years, rice flour was the only gluten-free choice for people, so it is a safe bet when you want to bake things like cookies, muffins, cakes, or breading and thickening. Remember that rice is highly starchy, so this flour will add some calories as well.
To substitute one cup of coconut flour with this choice, use three cups of rice flour, as it is much finer and less dense. You should also reduce the liquids because rice flour isn’t as absorbent as coconut flour.
If you don’t have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, then using regular wheat flour can work in place of coconut flour. For every one cup of coconut flour, use four cups of all-purpose flour. You may also want to alter the liquids in your recipe.
The main difference between coconut flour and regular flour is that the coconut one doesn’t have any gluten in it. This means that coconut flour is safe to use for those with gluten allergies. Coconut flour is also much more absorbent and tastes sweet and nutty.
Unlike normal flour, coconut flour contains more fat and protein versus more carbohydrates. While excess fat isn’t good, it is absorbed more slowly, causing your blood sugar to rise less. If you want a less carbohydrate-dense choice, then coconut flour is a healthy option.
While not everyone avoids gluten, if you do, then you know how versatile and flavorful coconut flour can be. Not everyone likes the flavor, though, and it can be expensive in some cases. Instead, try any of these six choices for similar results with added health benefits.
Up next: How long does coconut flour last?
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