Going gluten-free is a hard battle to conquer when you’ve got a sweet tooth. Luckily, with creative innovation to meet the evolving needs of health-conscious individuals, we have alternatives that make the gluten-free goal a little more attainable!
While gluten-free flour alternatives have existed for a while now – such as almond flour, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour, and potato flour – these alternatives have often been expensive and difficult to find. Now, a new local brand called Natural Health offers locally grown and processed coconut flour that is affordable and accessible!
They sent The Flow Team a kilogram of this gluten free coconut flour and we had a little fun with it in the kitchen.
We learned the hard (and sadly, wasteful) way that coconut flour is extremely absorbent and can’t replace regular flour on a 1:1 ratio. It also tends to make your baked goods a little flatter, so we needed to up the eggs in this recipe to make up for that. But this lesson also taught us to be more adaptable, and we learned that baking gluten-free isn’t as hard as it looks. In fact, you can make any of these recipes in under an hour.
Serving Suggestion: with Blue Agave Syrup and Coco Butter.
1 cup milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Butter or coconut oil for cooking
Whip the eggs ‘til frothy. Mix all the wet ingredients in. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixture, and stir until consistent. Fry silver-dollar pancakes on medium heat (they have to be silver-dollar pancakes in order to cook more evenly). They had a more grainy and heavy texture than your regular pancakes, but were still delicious and without a coconut-y taste.
We topped ours with Coco Butter (which you may buy online from Go Luntian) – condensed coconut meat that is a nutrient-rich topping for sweet snacks. Don’t be deceived by its name as it cannot be used as a butter substitute for baking.
Serving Suggestion: With a glass of almond milk.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Choco Brownies
½ cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1 cup white sugar (or substitute with 20 packets Stevia and 1/3 cup water)
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup sifted coconut flour
½ cup cacao nibs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt cocoa powder into coconut oil in low heat for 5 minutes, then allow to cool. Beat eggs, and add sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Add the cocoa-coconut oil mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk in coconut flour until you have a smooth consistency. Lay batter into a greased 8×8 pan, and sprinkle cacao nibs on top. Bake in oven for about 35 minutes. If you don’t have cacao nibs, the coconut flavor comes out in the brownies. Because this recipe calls for a half-dozen eggs, the brownies have a heavy omelet-like texture.
A great single-serving snack when you’re on the go.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Banana Muffins
4 mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup coconut oil
4 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup coconut flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Blend bananas, coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla extract, then add coconut flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt until smooth. Pour into a greased muffin tin until each cup is half full. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops of the muffins appear golden brown. It is best to use bananas that have turned black since they are sweeter and easier to mash – and you can also reduce the amount of honey the more ripe the bananas. If you’re not trying to go dairy-free, substitute the coconut oil with butter for a richer flavor.
- Pancakes recipe modified from Nourishing Days
- Brownies recipe modified from All Recipes
- Banana muffin recipe modified from Free Coconut Recipes
Writer and wellness enthusiast Bea Osmeña is a compulsive eater and tree-humper. She navigates a world structured on a culture of convenience by questioning everything and trying not to annoy everyone in the process.
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