Healthier items are replacing traditional ones on our shelves every day. Some people take this trend more seriously than others. They have incorporated it into their lives. So, I have quite many people in my friend’s circle. Therefore, when I decided to invite them over, I knew I couldn’t use coconut flour to bake confectionery items. The first choice that came to my mind was almond flour before I remembered my friend was allergic to nuts.
However, I’ve gathered a lot over years of cooking and baking. A simple google search and a few experiments taught me everything I wanted to know about all possible substitutes for coconut flour.
What is coconut flour?
Coconut flour is a byproduct of coconut milk. It is made by grinding dried coconut flesh. Coconut flour is white or off-white. Moreover, it does not contain gluten. So people who are on a gluten-free diet can use it instead of wheat flour or all-purpose flour. Coconut flour is thicker. Moreover, it retains more liquid. As a result, it needs to be mixed longer.
|Nutrition||Value per serving (1 cup or 136 g)|
What are the benefits of using coconut flour?
- It helps in managing blood sugar levels: Coconut flour has a lower glycemic index rating. Therefore, you can use it in baked goods instead of other flours. Thus, it helps control sudden blood sugar spikes.
- You can avoid gluten: People allergic to gluten or following certain diets or religious faiths can not eat gluten in their food. Some diseases respond positively to gluten in foods. For example, Celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder, is triggered by gluten. Going gluten-free also aids people with other auto-immune conditions, like Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
- It aids in digestion: Coconut flour is rich in fibre content (both soluble and insoluble fibres). This helps in digesting food. It is an established fact that foods high in fibre accelerate digestion. Moreover, they also increase the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. As a result, your bowel movement remains regular, and you suffer from fewer illnesses.
- It aids in losing weight: Since it is packed with fibre, it makes people feel fuller. People are satisfied for a long time and don’t have the urge to eat more. As a result, they consume lesser amounts of daily calories.
Why substitute coconut flour at all?
It has a high fibre content. Although this can be beneficial for some, It causes bloating in most people. Besides, it can cause an allergic reaction in children or even adults. The symptoms vary from person to person but the most commonly observed are:
- Red rashes on the skin
- Difficulty in breathing
- Pain in stomach or abdomen
5 Healthy Substitutes for Coconut Flour
You can replace coconut flour with a lot of other healthy flours too. So if you are out of coconut flour or can’t use it for health concerns, additional options are available. The following list contains the healthiest substitute for coconut flour.
1. Chickpea Flour:
Better known as garbanzo flour or besan and gram in Indian recipes, chickpea flour is one substitute for coconut flour. It is the most enriching flour you can use, made by grinding the incredible versatile garbanzo beans. As a result, chickpea flour is rich in minerals, fibre and vitamins.
Apart from being very nutritious, you can use it in almost every recipe that calls for coconut powder. Chickpea flour has a nutty and beany flavour. Moreover, it also has a low GI. Therefore, chickpea flour is perfect for your health. Chickpea flour lasts up to six months in the cabinet and even longer if you refrigerate it.
Some of its health benefits include:
- It contains antioxidants that help us fight free radicals. Chickpea flour is used in processed foods to reduce the content of harmful acrylamide.
- It has 25% fewer calories than all-purpose flour. As a result, it has less energy packed in it. Eating more lower-calorie foods aids us in reducing our calorie intake despite eating the same portion sizes you usually do.
- It is theorized that chickpea flour decreases hunger. It does so by regulating a hunger hormone called ghrelin.
You can use ¾ cup of chickpea flour to replace 1 cup of regular flour.
|Nutrition||Value per serving (1 cup or 92 g)|
2. Flax Meal
Flax meal is a plant-based flour. You can use it as a coconut flour alternative. It is very nutritious and full of healthy fats. Flax meal is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and fibre.
Flaxseed is very good for your health. Some of its advantages include:
- It contains a group of nutrients named lignans. Lignans have powerful antioxidant and estrogen properties. It helps prevent breast and prostate cancer, along with other kinds of cancer.
- It promotes regular bowel movements and helps improve your digestive health.
- Because of their high fibre content, eating a flax meal is good for your heart.
- It has a relatively high amount of insoluble fibre. As a result, it lowers blood sugar levels, which is very good for people with diabetes.
- It is an excellent substitute for coconut flour in keto recipes if you’re on keto and avoiding or allergic to nut flour.
When replacing coconut flour with a flax meal, remember that you’ll have to use thrice the amount of coconut flour used in the recipe.
|Nutrition||Value per serving (1 cup or 104 g)|
3. Cassava Flour
This coconut flour substitute is made from the yuka root. Like other substitutes, it is also gluten-free. However, it is rich in carbs. So it is not the best alternative for those looking for a substitute with a low glycemic index. Cassava flour has a light earthy flavour. You can use it in both sugary and savoury dishes. Although it is not the most healthy alternative, it isn’t entirely bad for your health either. For example:
- It is gluten-free, nut-free and grain-free.
- It is low in fats and sugar.
- It is an excellent source of vitamin C and fibres.
You can use 1 cup of cassava flour to replace it with 4 cups of coconut flour.
|Nutrition||Value per serving (1 cup or 285 g)|
4. Soy Flour
Soy flour is an excellent substitute for coconut flour in baking. It is packed with proteins and fibre. In addition, it contains meagre amounts of carbohydrates. Soy flour has a distinct beany flavour that is quite hard to overpower. Moreover, you would need to add more wet ingredients to get the desired texture of consistency. Some of the benefits of using soy flour are:
- It is a rich source of plant-based protein and fats. Besides, it is also suitable for your gut health.
- It is an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K1 and folate. In addition, it also contains manganese, copper, phosphorus, and thiamine.
- It is a rich source of several bioactive plant compounds. It includes isoflavones, saponins, and phytic acid. Isoflavones, particularly, mimic estrogen and are responsible for the most healthful benefits of soy flour.
- It contains compounds that decrease the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Not only this but soy flour is also known to relieve symptoms and side effects of menopause. Moreover, it prevents osteoporosis in postmenopausal females.
If you wish to use soy flour as a replacement for coconut flour, you’ll have to double the amount in the original recipe. Also, did you know you can replace egg in a casserole by using a blend of one tablespoon of soy flour and one tsp of water? How great is that!
|Nutrition||Value per serving (1 cup or 84 g) unstirred|
5. Almond Flour
Almond Flour is a great coconut flour substitute. It is not as aromatic as coconut flour, however, it lends an undertone of sweetness to the dish. Almond flour is naturally nutty in taste. Therefore, it is pretty similar to the nutty sweetness of almond flour.
Almonds are packed with proteins. A fistful of almonds per day is enough to fulfil your daily protein needs. The benefits of using almond flour are:
- It is better than conventional flour for your blood sugar. How? Almond flour has a low glycemic index. Moreover, it is rich in magnesium.
- It is gluten-free. This makes it a great substitute for wheat flour too.
- It reduces LDL cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
A cup of almond flour is enough to replace a cup of coconut flour. So the coconut flour substitute ratio for this is 1:1. Since both the ingredients have the same starchiness, you won’t have to change your recipe a lot.
|Nutrition||Value per serving (1 cup or 112 g)|