Coconut flour is packed with dietary fibre
Dietary fibre is a seriously underrated food. You probably hear quite often that you should eat more, or at least enough, fibre in your everyday diet. And the benefits you can get from dietary fibre are seriously unbelievable. It helps prevent:
- type 2 diabetes
- cardiovascular diseases
- infections in the body
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but about 60% of our immune system is in the digestive tract. Then it also goes without saying that healthy intestines are a high advantage to your general well-being. And dietary fibre will contribute substantially to maintaining a healthy gut flora (please shoot me an email if you’re keen on reading more on this).
The coconut flour I use, from Funksjonell Mat, contains 40 grams of dietary fibre per 100 grams, and so works as an excellent dietary fibre supplement.
Coconut flour is high-protein
Most people, myself included, generally associate a high intake of protein with bodybuilders, big muscles and a high activity level overall. But there’s a reason proteins are called macronutrients: us humans are 100% dependent on them to survive.
Protein contributes to your body in a number of different ways. It literally functions as building material for cells, storage and use of genetic information, and hormone production. If you don’t have enough protein in your everyday diet, you can actually develop something called protein malnutrition, which is often seen in developing countries.
So protein is great for your body; it contributes to maintenance of your health and also increases satiety (feeling of fullness). Coconut flour is actually high-protein, with no less than 19 grams per 100. That’s almost 75% of the protein you’d get from the same amount of steak, or 100% of the protein you’d get from the same amount of tempeh.
Coconut flour is gluten-free
This was obviously my main reason for choosing the flour for this week’s recipe, which I wanted to be both sugar-free and gluten-free. Coconut flour is an excellent alternative for people who can’t have gluten, as it’s naturally gluten-free.
Of course, this means you can’t rely on coconut flour to behave the same way wheat flour does. Gluten does have a very important job in a lot of recipes, particularly in bread and other yeast doughs.
When you’re making a crumble, though, you don’t need an elastic or flexible base from the dough. You’re just sprinkling it over your fruit anyway. I would recommend using coconut flour in combination with another gluten-free flour (I’ve suggested almond flour in the recipe). This is because coconut flour does have one big drawback: it’s incredibly hygroscopic.
Coconut flour attracts tons of water
This means coconut flour attracts a whole bunch of liquid, which is due to the incredibly high fibre content (which is actually good for you). This is super important to take into account, though. My crumble ended up slightly dry, which is why I replaced some of my coconut flour with almond flour in the recipe.
There are two ways to adjust for a highly hygroscopic ingredient. You can either decrease the amount of it in relation to the original recipe content. So if a recipe calls for 200 grams of wheat flour, for example, you could reduce this to 100 grams of coconut flour and 100 grams of a different flour.
Alternatively, you can add in more liquids to the dough or batter. This will make sure it stays juicy even after the coconut flour has attracted all the liquid it’s going to. I would suggest doing a combination of the two. Add in slightly more liquid (butter or coconut oil in the pear coconut crumble case) and reduce the amount of coconut flour.
Coconut flour is delicious
And finally: this flour is absolutely delicious. The flavour you get out of my pear coconut crumble recipe is just heaven. It transports you to the tropical island of your choice in an instant. With all the added health benefits from the coconut flour base you can definitely say that this is a dessert that’s actually good for you 🙂