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Is Coconut Flour Gluten Free? - A Grain of Truth

August 7, 2021

Yes, coconut flour is a gluten free flour.

An increasing number of my clients have been cutting gluten out of their diet for one reason or another. When they ask me is coconut flour gluten free, I answer in the affirmative. However, as you will discover below, it can be tricky to use coconut flour as your only gluten-free option.

To discover why coconut flour is gluten free, to learn more about its properties, and how to use it in your food, keep reading below…

Is All Coconut Flour Gluten Free?

If you are wondering if every brand of coconut flour is gluten free, then the answer is yes. Of course, this is only as long as there are no non-GF flours mixed in.

Understand, gluten is a group of proteins that is found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. These compounds act as a glue that holds these foods together. You can find gluten in any products that contain the above ingredients.

As you can see, coconut flour isn't a part of this list. This is because the flour is made from coconut meat pulp that has been dried and ground. Due to this, it is still classified as a derivative as a drupe and has no gluten in sight!

Related Reading
The Ultimate Search For The Best Coconut Flour

gluten free bread made from coconut flour

Is Coconut Flour Inflammatory?

OK, coconut flour is great if you are trying to stay away from gluten, but does it have any other inflammatory tendencies?

No, in fact, it appears that coconut flour could help to fight certain types of inflammation within the body. Understand, the flour has what is known as soluble fibers which encourage the growth of good bacteria in your body.

These bacteria are responsible for producing short chain fatty acids that boost the health of your gut cells. These can also be incredibly useful in reducing inflammation that causes digestive issues. Therefore, it is a great ingredient to add to your diet if you are trying to ward off inflammation.

Needless to say that if you are allergic to coconut in general or if it simply doesn’t agree with you, then coconut flour may not be the best fit for you.

Related Reading
Is Coconut Inflammatory: Irritating or Not?

Is Coconut Flour Hard to Digest?

Then, what about digestibility? Can your body easily digest coconut flour? Well, this may not be the case for all people.

Coconut flour is high in fiber and low in fat. While some fiber is good, there is such a thing as too much. And, the kick that you get from coconut flour can be too great for some people to tolerate. At the same time, others don’t have any issue with the flour at all!

Due to this, it is a good idea to test out how you react to coconut flour. If you notice a stomach ache or bloating after eating foods with coconut flour, it is best to steer clear of it. Or, try to incorporate smaller quantities at a time. Your body will then have an easier time digesting it.

coconut flour pancakes with berries

Is Coconut Flour Good for Baking?

This is a bit of a tricky question to answer. On the one hand, coconut flour is quite adaptable. As such, it can be used in anything from bread to cookies and produce delicious results. However, it can be a bit challenging to use in recipes.

As coconut flour is so high in fiber, it is incredibly absorbent. This means that it tends to have a drying effect on any recipe that you add it to. Fortunately, this issue is easy enough to overcome. You will have to increase the volume of liquids that the recipe calls for quite a bit.

Furthermore, you can’t use coconut flour alone when baking. Instead, it has to be incorporated with other flours. Naturally, since you wish for a gluten free recipe, you will need to use other gluten free options such as almond flour. 

You should also be aware that coconut flour has a grittier texture than flours like all purpose. Due to this, you can expect some of this texture to end up coming through in the baked goods. At the same time, the resulting dough will be quite a bit thicker too.

That is not to say that it is impossible to learn how to bake with coconut flour. It can take a bit of getting used to and may involve some trial and error. However, if you follow proper guidelines, then you will be able to produce perfectly baked goods.

Related Reading
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Coconut Flour Pancakes: Your Recipe for a Low-Carb Breakfast

Can I Substitute Coconut Flour for All Purpose Flour?

Yes, you can substitute coconut flour for all purpose flour, but there are a few things that you will need to do in the process.

You can’t substitute coconut flour in a one-to-one ratio. For every one cup of all-purpose flour, use ¼ cup of coconut flour. The rest can be made up with another gluten free flour.

With liquids, you will need to double the amount that is described in the recipe. As for eggs, you should add one additional egg for every ¼ cup of coconut flour that you add.

Rather than substituting coconut flour for all purpose flour, it is best to simply look up recipes that naturally incorporate coconut flour. These will contain the perfect ratios for eggs, liquids, etc. You will also have a better grasp on what other flours to use and which baking times are optimal.

Relying on coconut flour recipes will take guesswork out of the equation. In turn, you will be less likely to make a mistake and your recipe will turn out the way that it is meant to.

Yes coconut flour is gluten free, but as you can see, there is a lot more that you need to understand about this flour. This includes how it functions in recipes and how you may need to alter ingredients to make the coconut flour work. All of this information will allow you to use coconut flour more effectively.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you should head over to our Pinterest page. We have tons of coconut flour recipes, along with guides on how to use this flour to your benefit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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