Thursday, June 24, 2010
Featured Ingredient: Coconut Flour
With strawberry season in full swing why not whip up a batch of muffins with these nutritious ruby-red gems. To add a little tropical twist, I decided to toss in some gluten-free coconut flour.
Coconut flour is simply dried, ground up coconut meat. There are several advantages to this flour:
1) It’s absolutely brimming with dietary fiber. Just 2 tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour (the one I used for this recipe) has a whopping 5 grams of fiber. This means baked goods made with it will have a lower glycemic index and will be more filling. I don’t know of any other flour that has this much fiber.
2) Coconut flour has a good amount of protein, about 8 grams per cup. I wonder if the bodybuilding sect knows about this?
3) Because coconut flour contains the natural sugar present in the coconut meat, you might find that you need to add less sugar to muffins, breads and cakes. Notice the recipe below only contains ½ cup and was plenty sweet. The strawberries and banana help with that as well.
When working with coconut flour keep in mind that it is very dry and tends to soak up liquids during baking so make sure your batter is well moistened. Because it’s gluten-free, you can’t just sub all the wheat flour for coconut flour in a recipe without understanding the nuts and bolts of gluten-free baking.
With gluten-free eating becoming more and more popular, you can find coconut flour at an increasing number of food stores or find it at www.bobsredmill.com.
Milled from soft wheat, whole-wheat pastry flour produces a more tender product than regular whole-wheat flour.
Over at Well Fed Man you might be interested in my easy Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.
Strawberry Banana Coconut Muffins
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup coconut flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 large egg
2/3 cup neutral tasting oil such as grapeseed
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar of choice
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and strawberries. In a separate bowl, light beat the egg. Mix in oil, vanilla, sugar and mashed bananas. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and lightly mix until all the flour is moist. Divide mixture among 10 greased, paper lined or silicon muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top and a tester comes out clean.