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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 27, 2009

The Many Uses of Coconut Flour

By Mark Sisson
181 Comments

A barrage of comments to our post on low-carb thickeners confirmed that while coconut flour is terrible for thickening sauces, it does serve other purposes. Our last post on a Primal flour – almond meal – went over well, so I figured the time was ripe for a look at coconut flour.

Coconut flour is simply dried, ground up coconut meat. Most likely you’ll be buying it online or from a specialty grocer, like Whole Foods or a food co-op, but you’ll occasionally come across highly processed, ultra-white coconut flour. Stay away from this. The good stuff will be like actual coconut – slightly cream colored, rather than bone white. You can make your own at home with a food processor, but without a grain mill you’ll probably have issues getting a “floury” consistency. If that’s okay with you, have at it.

Whether you’re making your own or buying it pre-made, always make sure your coconut flour is unsweetened. Pretty much all that you’ll come across is unsweetened, but it’s always worth it to make sure.

Apparently, defatting is one of the major steps in making it, so coconut flour doesn’t have much of the delicious, hearty coconut fat left over. It’s too bad, but understandable when you realize you’re dealing with a dry flour designed for baking. That’s pretty much my only qualm with coconut flour, as everything else looks good. According to my just-bought bag of Aloha Nu organic coconut flour, 2 tablespoons of the stuff contain:

1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat)
10 g carbs (with 9 g fiber, bringing the net carb count to a measly 1)
2 g protein

Those are pretty great stats, especially when compared to the glucose-boosting powers of “normal” flours like wheat or white. Less hearty than almond meal, but also less heavy and closer in texture to the other, forbidden flours (if that’s what you’re going for). Coconut flour can be used to bake, but be forewarned that it’s very dry and doesn’t stick together well (hence its uselessness as a sauce thickener); avoid this problem by adding eggs to the mix, which allows it to bond and form batter. I’ve also had success using it in a light egg batter for fried coconut chicken. I’d assume it would work equally well for shrimp or fish.

Okay, onto a few recipes.

Coconut Bread

I’m not a big baker, but I can appreciate those who are. For those budding Primal bakers who still miss bread, why not try to make some with coconut flour? Slightly sweet and fairly light (as opposed to the denser breads made with almond meal), this coconut bread should do the trick.

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/2 cups ghee (or butter)
1-2 tablespoon honey, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup coconut flour

Method:
Preheat your oven to 350. Whisk it all together, or blend in a food processor until all lumps are gone. Grease a bread pan with butter or coconut oil and pour your batter in. Bake for 40 minutes.

If we split it up into six servings each slice will, according to FitDay, have:
30.9 g fat
13.2 g carbs (9 g fiber)
8.35 g protein

Coconut Pancakes

Drizzle these with honey and berries, wrap up some bacon and eggs for a Primal breakfast burrito, or just eat them plain. These things are incredibly easy to make.

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat)

Method:
Mix these ingredients and let them sit for five minutes. Oil or grease up your pan and heat over medium heat. Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe, allowing each side to brown before flipping it.

Without accounting for toppings or cooking fat, FitDay says the whole batch amounts to:

37.2 g fat (20.9 g saturated)
42.2 g carbs (19.4 g fiber)
30.6 g protein

Coconut Crusted Chicken

This doesn’t even require an ingredient list. Simply take your chicken pieces (or shrimp, or fish), season them with salt and pepper, dunk them in an egg bath (just scrambled up raw egg), then dredge them in coconut flour, then back in the egg bath, and then coat with dried coconut flakes. After that, it’s just a matter of frying them in oil (use coconut) or sautéing them in some butter. Crunchy, delicious, and low-carb.

Any Primal bakers out there with good tips or recipes? Let me know in the comments section!

Photo Courtesy of Netrition.com

Further Reading:

Primal Energy Bar Redux: Making a Better Bar

Smart Fuel: Coconut

Primal Pie Recipes

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181 Comments on "The Many Uses of Coconut Flour"

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Son of Grok
7 years 6 months ago

I have been making my own flour by pulsing coconut in the food processor. Works pretty well and i know what i am getting (unlike buying it in the bag). It is grrrrrrrrreat for baking but work of warning… it is very VERY dry, so plan accordingly.

The SoG

Sidra
Sidra
6 years 5 months ago

I was wondering if I could make my own coconut flour. Is it as simple as just putting it into the processor? do you use plain shreded coconut? Is it cheaper per pound doing it this way?

Sidra

MM4Math
MM4Math
6 years 24 days ago

Is there any substitute for all the eggs needed in recipes that use coconut flour? Any other liquid or thickener?
Thanks.

Steve
5 years 10 months ago

Instead of the eggs you can use “Ener-G Egg Replacer” or to stay simpler, just grind up some flax seeds (or you can buy flax meal already ground) and use them. Mix about 1 tablespoon of flax meal with 2 tablespoons of water and let them stand for 15 to 20 minutes to thicken to replace 1 egg. We have a vegan bakery so we are always converting recipes. The Egg replacer is quicker, but sometimes we like the simplicity and additional nutrients of the flax seeds.

Leah
Leah
5 years 10 months ago

I was also going to suggest flax meal and water. I use this all the time. I make my own flax meal by grinding flax seeds in a coffee grinder. Very easy!

tcseacliff
tcseacliff
4 years 2 months ago

I thought flax does not keep to well this way?

Jen
Jen
4 years 8 months ago

I think gelled chia seeds would be good, but I’m not sure what the conversion would be.

Karen
Karen
3 years 10 months ago

Gelled chia seeds conversion is: 1 tbl. chia seeds + 3 tbl. hot water & let stand 5 min. = 1 egg

Cassie Heinz
3 years 3 months ago

I use 1 cup of egg beaters (essentially they are egg whites only) in place of the 4 eggs 🙂

Grace
Grace
2 years 2 months ago

Yes! I just tried the bread recipe and it was way way too dry. It came out crumbly, and when I tasted it, I felt like I had eaten a brick! I’m NOT a fan of coconut flour.

If I want bread, I make this recipe:
1/8 c. ground nuts (pecans or almond meal is good)
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
Mix together, pour in bread-sized glass/ceramic dish, and microwave for ~2-3 minutes.

Adam Steer - Better Is Better
7 years 6 months ago

I’d never even heard of using coconut flour. Thanks for the ideas. They all sound tasty!

Cheers,
Adam

Jane
Jane
7 years 6 months ago

Definitely trying the chicken… i’m worried my love for bread might surface slightly if i try the coconut bread or pancakes.

Donna
Donna
7 years 6 months ago

Coconut shrimp or chicken, i love this idea, i’ve just got to try it, sounds awesome!!

Shannon
7 years 6 months ago

I just posted a recipe for a primal gfcf coconut flour cake with coconut oil frosting.

http://www.nourishingdays.com/?p=1156

McFlurry
McFlurry
7 years 6 months ago

On a related note, coconut flakes + curry powder = deliciousness. I’ve also taken to using arrow root as a thickener recently, just make sure you wash your pans soon after cooking. That stuff turns to cement.

Emily
7 years 6 months ago

Thanks for covering this topic! I’ve been experimenting with coconut flour for a few months now and I love its soft, rich texture. Recipes almost always need more liquid to compensate for the dryness of the flour.

Emily
from the Healthy Eating, Naturally blog

Kim
Kim
2 years 8 months ago

Really you find coconut makes your food dry? What is your secret lol every time I use coconut flour my recipes turn out supper soggy. Any recommendations would be wonderful.

Jennifer
Jennifer
7 years 6 months ago

Lots of coconut flour recipes at the Simply Coconut website: http://www.simplycoconut.com/coconut_recipes.htm

Michelle
7 years 6 months ago

This looks excellent, I have some organic coconut flour so I will try this recipe. Thanks you 🙂

Adam Cilonis
Adam Cilonis
7 years 6 months ago

I use a cup of hazel nut meal with 1/4 cup coconut flour and melted butter to make pie crusts (just like a gram cracker crust!). Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes, cool and then add filling of choice! Delish!!

Bonnie
Bonnie
4 years 10 months ago

Hi! I was looking for a crust recipe to replace gram cracker… how much melted butter do you generally use for this and have you ever tried almond meal instead of hazelnut? I’m trying for a primal-esque cheesecake!

nonegiven
nonegiven
7 years 6 months ago

With almond meal I get lighter texture when I sift the almond meal first and save the bits that are too big for other purposes.

primalcanadiangirl
primalcanadiangirl
7 years 6 months ago

I made coconut chicken for dinner tonight with coconut flour and unsweetened coconut. Seasoned chicken breasts with curry powder. Yummmmmm!

Ellen
Ellen
7 years 6 months ago

Yeah, I think the coconut chicken needs a seasoning– curry might be good. I made it last night and it was a little bland. I liked the textured, but it needs a little something.

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
7 years 6 months ago

Has anyone made tortillas from it? If so, I’ve definitely got to track it down, because I sure do love stuff wrapped up in tortillas!

Kara
Kara
6 years 25 days ago

Did you ever find a coconut flour tortilla recipe?

Martha
Martha
6 years 21 hours ago

Here’s one!
http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/

Looks delicious – I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to.

Cheers!

Sally
Sally
6 years 3 hours ago

Oh, Martha, that looks REALLY good! And I was just craving tortillas recently. I’ll have to try this very soon. Thank you!

Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen
3 years 7 months ago

I’ve tried the “tortilla” recipe. They come out more like crepes or an “eggier” pita… but still a GREAT substitute!

Lauren B
7 years 6 months ago

I have quite a few coconut flour dessert recipes, and a savory recipe for english “muffins” at my blog:

healthyindulgences.blogspot.com

You cannot make coconut flour at home though. As you said, it has the fat pressed out. Unsweetened coconut ground in a food processor will not work the same way in recipes. 😉

Stephanie
Stephanie
5 years 11 months ago
I watched a friend make coconut flour… it is a by-product of making coconut milk from shredded coconut. She processed shredded coconut with warm water in her vitamix, then strained it in a jelly strainer bag and she squeezed it dry… after draining and squeezing, the stuff left in the bag works just like coconut flour… she made muffins and something similar to the coconut crusted shrimp with it. And the coconut milk got a nice later of cream on top as it sat on the counter. I think she used 1:1 ratio of warm water to coconut shreds… Best… Read more »
AmyT of www.diabetesmine.com
7 years 6 months ago

Wow, this is great info for gluten-free folk like me. I’m going to order this stuff real soon and try your bread recipe (yes, I still miss the stuff). Thanks!

Wendy S.
Wendy S.
6 years 3 months ago

Check out tropicaltraditions.com…they have a ton of gluten free recipes with coconut flour, like garlic cheese bread (my chin dropped to the floor when i saw that one), pancakes, cookies and so on.

gfly
gfly
7 years 6 months ago

Is this stuff okay to use
http://www.bobsredmill.com/product.php?productid=3681&cat=0&page=1

Thats the only type I can find locally..

Thanks!

Trinkwasser
Trinkwasser
7 years 5 months ago

I have here a box of Organic Creamed Coconut: fat 65.4g/100g, protein 7.5g, carbs 9.2g. This either comes in a solid block which you grate, or in sachets which you open and then grate.

Makes a killer combination with hot chillies. Yum, I think I’ll have some tonight: fried cashew nuts, sesame seeds and prawns with some coloured peppers, garlic, chillies and ginger root with creamed coconut and sesame oil. Also works with chicken. Or chicken *and* prawns . . .

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
7 years 5 months ago
I got hold of some Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour, and I made two of the recipes. First, I made the coconut bread. It seemed pretty dry when I put it in the pan, but I didn’t want to mess with the recipe since I wasn’t sure what it should be like. It came out dry, all right; I probably would have choked to death if I didn’t have water at hand! It was fantastic for sopping up the extra sauce in the cauliflower with alfredo sauce I had later on. Then, I made the pancakes without the cinnamon and… Read more »
Ani
Ani
6 years 3 months ago

wow I had quite the opposite experience, I loved the Coconut bread, it satisfied all my carb cravings, and was perfect with a little almond butter or agave nectar on top. I really didn’t like the pancakes, they just didn’t taste that good to me and they cooked oddly.

Anne
Anne
5 years 12 days ago

Sounds like the dry bread would be perfect for French toast. Soak in beaten eggs and milk/cream/coconut milk and fry on the griddle…yummmm!

Milliann Johnson
Milliann Johnson
7 years 5 months ago

Really enjoyed your post and have saved your blog on my fav’s. wanted to ask have you tried Konjac glucomannan flour as a thickener? Offered from the company that makes Miracle Noodle. Net carb free and some good fiber.

Ailu
Ailu
3 years 9 months ago

I use Konjac flour for thickening gravy, and think it’s absolutely perfect. And a little goes a long way – seriously. Start with 1/4 tsp and wait a couple minutes before adding more.

pjnoir
pjnoir
7 years 4 months ago

Anyone use coconut flour in one of those bread making machines?

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jon winchester
jon winchester
7 years 3 months ago

bought some of this yesterday. mixed 50/50 with garlic powder, little salt and pepper and used as breading for frying calamari in lard. good stuff!

Sharon
Sharon
7 years 3 months ago
Inspired by dragonmamma’s hot dog wraps, I decided to make some “hamburger buns” from the pancake recipe. Instead of the spices recommended I added a touch of salt and some Old Bay Seasoning. I also sprinkled some hemp seeds on them as they cooked. After frying the pancakes in coconut oil, I realized I had not included the coconut milk in the recipe. Oops. No wonder the batter seemed kinda thick. Surprisingly, even without the coconut milk, they turned out great. Just manually spread the batter out when it hits the pan. I agree that they do have a cornmeal… Read more »
Sharon
Sharon
7 years 2 months ago

At our cook-out on the 4th of July I made the coconut pancakes again but this time included the coconut milk. Oddly they turned out about the same as when I left out the coconut milk but of course the raw batter was not as thick and it made more pancakes. They were a hit at the party and were especially good wrapped around the hot dogs. Yum.

val norris
val norris
7 years 2 months ago

I noticed that some of the recipes are made using baking powder. My husband is severely gluten intolerant (celiac). He has been told he cannot tolerate corn because of its gluten content.(some celiacs apparently can-but he cannot) Any suggestions of what can be used in its place?

whirlaway
whirlaway
7 years 2 months ago

Despite being GF and Kosher, Calumet baking soda still has corn. We have the same dietary limitations as you, and here’s how we make our baking powder:

1 part baking soda
2 parts cream of tartar
2 parts tapioca starch

Mix well. Use as you would the store-bought.

Lisa Stafford
4 years 9 months ago

Making your own baking powder is the safest way to go if corn bothers your husband. Products may be labeled GF and contain corn. Corn does not contain the mainstream Gluten that most celiacs need to avoid.
The other option is to call the companies that make baking powder and ask for a list of ingredients.

Joan
Joan
6 years 10 months ago

Whole foods carries wheat and corn free baking powder, further there are many brands of gluten free baking powder at health food stores or a Whole Foods type market. I learned about the gluten thing in baking powder after much detective work as to why I felt crappy after using gluten free baking mix with regular baking powder. Enjoy.

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
7 years 2 months ago

Val, I googled “gluten in baking powder” and the first hit I got said: “Calumet baking powder is gluten-free and certified Kosher…”

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
7 years 2 months ago

Sharon: Yay, I’m thrilled that I made an eating suggestion that somebody likes!

They also go great with curry dishes as a chapati/naan substitute for soaking up the sauce.

Adam Kayce
7 years 2 months ago
I’m a monster coconut lover… it’s my favorite food on the planet, hands down. I’ll share my coconut pancake/waffle recipe, because most of the recipes I’ve seen contain high numbers of eggs compared to mine (for the record: I love eggs, too, but I prefer a coconut-dominant flavor rather than an egg-dominant flavor to my pancakes & waffles). 1 can (15oz) coconut milk 3/4 cup shredded coconut 2/3 cup almond meal 1 or 2 eggs (one is plenty for waffles, you may want to go to two for pancakes, or if you like ’em eggy) tiny bit of salt tiny… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
6 years 8 months ago

Horrible! I followed the recipe exactly. I made waffles, so I only used one egg. I knew something wasn’t right when the batter hit the iron and it looked like it was boiling! They did taste like coconut, but that’s all I can say that was good about them. All the coconut milk evaporates and you are left with coconut and almond grit that sticks to the waffle iron. What a complete waste of ingredients! Please, don’t waste your money, folks!

Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn
6 years 3 months ago

The exact same thing happened to me.

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[…] Kayce posted a lip-smacking coconut pancake/waffle recipe on the comments section of March’s coconut flour […]

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7 years 2 months ago

[…] Kayce posted a lip-smacking coconut pancake/waffle recipe on the comments section of March’s coconut flour […]

curiousj
curiousj
7 years 2 months ago

I’m allergic to coconut, but really love baking. I still want to go primal…Any suggestions?

Mary
Mary
7 years 1 month ago

Try ground nuts (almonds, e.g.) instead.

Lisa Stafford
4 years 9 months ago
There are lots of recipes out there for blanched almond flour. I prefer Honeyville Farms brand and order it through their website monthly. Here is my almond flour waffle recipe. Try variations at your own risk. It works really well as written. 1 cup blanched almond flour 4 eggs, separated 2 TBS melted salted butter 1/4 cup water 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp baking soda Preheat waffle iron. Prepare any toppings you are going to use, like fruit compote, for example. Beat egg whites til stiff. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients. Fold together with egg whites,… Read more »
Sally
Sally
7 years 1 month ago
Last night I tried the coconut bread recipe, but I used a half cup of applesauce instead of the ghee/butter and omitted the honey. (I also adjusted the temp to 325 because I was using a dark pan, but I used about the same time: 38-39 minutes.) It was delicious! The taste and texture were lovely; it was all I could do not to eat the whole batch all at once. It smelled really good while baking, too. It made a great dessert with a little apple-sweetened blackberry spread. Thank you, Mark; you’ve really helped me satisfy my bread cravings!
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[…] tried the flour out with Mark Sisson’s coconut flour pancake/waffle batter recipe here, to modest success. My coconut flour pancakes, like my almond flour pancakes, came out a little bit […]

Phil
Phil
6 years 9 months ago

I’m getting hungry just reading all these recipes!!! 🙂

In general…will adding back coconut oil instead of butter to the recipes calling for coconut flour bring out more of the flavor…or will the food not cook as well?

I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with coconut oil…

Aimee
Aimee
6 years 9 months ago

okay.

i was worried when the batter for the coconut bread wasn’t the sort you can “pour” into a pan… but this is some fantastic breakfast bread!!

Aimee

Cyn
Cyn
6 years 9 months ago

I bought some organic coconut flour at Vitamin Cottage, and used it to make lemon-poppyseed mini muffins today.
I am so happy with this recipe that I will make the larger size next time. Anyone can find the recipe at Elanaspantry.com . Search “coconut flour recipes”. She also has a gf cookbook that is getting rave reviews…from myself, the press, and lots of my friends. The Gluten Free Almond Flour cookbook, by Elana Amsterdam.
Cyn

Nona
Nona
6 years 7 months ago

If you use dessicated coconut in the pancake recipe, it turns out much richer.
Even going half flour/half shredded would be an interesting change.
🙂

Kristi
Kristi
6 years 5 months ago
I LOVE coconuts and am glad I found this info! I am definitely trying these pancakes tomorrow morning for Easter. They sound yummy! By the way, you CAN make your own coconut flour at home. You do need a few simple tools. You need to of course drain the water, and keep it (always!) then seperate the meat from the shell. Add the meat into a food processor and process until it’s pretty much shredded. Add in all of the coconut water and process until it’s sort of fluffy looking. Then you will need a milk bag (cheep and useful… Read more »
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[…] Grain-Free Waffles -Makes 4 Waffles- (Adapted from Mark’s Daily Apple) […]

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[…] you want to experiment with baking or cooking coconut flour with heat, check out Mark’s Daily Apple. He has some tasty ideas for coconut bread, coconut pancakes, and coconut crusted chicken or […]

Derek
Derek
6 years 3 months ago
A bit late in the day, but a variation on these that I’ve been making comes from Barry Groves – Almond and Parmesan Pancakes. This is a sort of thick pancake that is useful as it can be used for many things and is easy and quick to make. Parmesan is expensive, but supermarkets sell similar, but much cheaper cheeses. 1 large egg 1 tbsp ground almonds (almond flour) 1 tbsp grated Italian cheese (Parmesan type) Mix all together and fry in lard or butter. Each pancake serves 1 More details on his site: http://www.diabetes-diet.org.uk/basic-recipes.html. I also tried a varient… Read more »
Changes
6 years 2 months ago

I made the Coconut Pancakes and the Coconut Crusted Chicken. Both were awesome. Great post!

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[…] Coconut Flour […]

brenda
brenda
6 years 2 months ago
You CAN make coconut flour, I did it just the other day BUT I did it first by making coconut milk by taking the unsweetenend, raw, organic coconut meat I bought in bulk and put that in a bowl with HOT water and let it sit for about 30 min. I put the contents of the bowl into a muslin bag (cheesecloth should work too) and squeeze out the moisure. What you get is a high fat coconut milk. You can get one more “milking” out of this by repeating the process. The second squeezing results in more of a… Read more »
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[…] are with coconut flour, huh? What can I say…I love the stuff! This recipe is adapted from Mark’s Coconut Bread recipe. It turned out perfectly moist and not too […]

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