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Substitute For Coconut Flour?


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#1 IAtodd

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 09:40 PM

Hi all! I am trying to find a substitute for coconut flour. I want to make some pumpkin muffins, and I found what sounds like a good recipe, but it calls for CF. My son is allergic to coconut and my wife abhors it (and I wonder whether she would actually react to it now that she's been off gluten for 18 months). The only thing I could find online when someone inquired about a substitute was that it doesn't taste like coconut so go ahead and use it, which is fine if allergies are not involved. I also found info that said that CF sucks up liquid, so 1 cup of regular flour = 1/3 cup CF, and that you have to use lots of eggs with CF. So this time around I'm going to experiment (which I don't like doing b/c it never works and they end up being very expensive gluten-free flops) by replacing 1/4 cup coconut flour with 1/2 cup tapioca starch and 1/4 cup teff flour, and I'll subtract 2 of the 4 eggs. Someone out there will probably read this and know this won't work (actually I've never even used teff before so this is a double-experiment), but I've already dumped the 7 flours together (looks like one of those sand sculptures from the 70's) and will make the muffins in the morning. If it works, then I'll post an "All clear", for people in the future who are Googling for a substitute for CF. I guess if it doesn't I'll post a warning. :)

Anyhow, I'm asking for the NEXT time I come across a recipe calling for CF.
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#2 bakingbarb

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:29 AM

Hi all! I am trying to find a substitute for coconut flour. I want to make some pumpkin muffins, and I found what sounds like a good recipe, but it calls for CF. My son is allergic to coconut and my wife abhors it (and I wonder whether she would actually react to it now that she's been off gluten for 18 months). The only thing I could find online when someone inquired about a substitute was that it doesn't taste like coconut so go ahead and use it, which is fine if allergies are not involved. I also found info that said that CF sucks up liquid, so 1 cup of regular flour = 1/3 cup CF, and that you have to use lots of eggs with CF. So this time around I'm going to experiment (which I don't like doing b/c it never works and they end up being very expensive gluten-free flops) by replacing 1/4 cup coconut flour with 1/2 cup tapioca starch and 1/4 cup teff flour, and I'll subtract 2 of the 4 eggs. Someone out there will probably read this and know this won't work (actually I've never even used teff before so this is a double-experiment), but I've already dumped the 7 flours together (looks like one of those sand sculptures from the 70's) and will make the muffins in the morning. If it works, then I'll post an "All clear", for people in the future who are Googling for a substitute for CF. I guess if it doesn't I'll post a warning. :)

Anyhow, I'm asking for the NEXT time I come across a recipe calling for CF.




I would use almond flour. It provides the same bulking properties as coconut flour. I don't feel the other gluten-free flours provide that bulk quite the same way.
Of course this doesn't work if you are allergic to coconut but using dessicated flour that you then grind in the blender, to me is preferable to the coconut flour. When you grind it, it is fluffy and not as dense as the coconut flour, it really does well in cake recipes.
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#3 RiceGuy

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:22 AM

I have my doubts that the tapioca and teff combo would work in place of the coconut flour. Tapioca is all carbs and no fiber, while coconut is high in fiber, and relatively low in carbs. So I'd guess the texture would be very different, if nothing else.

The suggestion of almond flour may work, but not having used it very much, I really can't offer any specifics on it. My instincts tell me to blend it with teff. Buckwheat flour is good in muffins IMO, and it does have a good amount of fiber. The protein content is a bit more than coconut flour, but the carbs are the same. The only other flours I know of with high fiber are the bean flours, pea flour, and things like mesquite and montina flour.

You're right about coconut flour soaking up liquid, so my first thought is to reduce the amount of liquid when substituting the flour. 3/4 cup of flour seems like a lot in place of 1/4 cup, to me. I'd try to end up with the same total bulk. Reducing the eggs sounds like a good idea IMO.

Perhaps looking at other muffins recipes will help get an idea for what works. Look for ones which have similar amounts of other ingredients compared to the recipe you're using.
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#4 Takala

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 08:45 AM

How about you post the entire recipe and we'll either fix it or just find another one for muffins that would work ?

(Please list any additional restrictions or allergies.)

Of course if you're using 7 kinds of flours already (congrats, that's even worse than when I get carried away) it might not matter that much.

I am another fan of almond meal, I grind my own in the blender because it's cheaper that way. Coconuts are just big, non- starchy nuts, anyway.
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#5 bakingbarb

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 05:07 PM

Almond flour can actually be used as a stand alone flour in many recipes so it doesn't need to be used in conjunction with any other flour in this recipe.
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#6 IAtodd

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 08:47 PM

Thanks for all the quick feedback! My family spent the day inhaling pumpkin muffins. They were clearly a big hit! I would have been tempted to have used almond flour, but my dear son is allergic to them (I think the poor kid got peanut allergen in a barbecue sauce at a friend's house tonight... either that or wheat, but if it was wheat, my wife and I would also be miserable). Anyhow, my wife suggested that I check p. 62 of Living Without magazine for flour mix recipes that sounded most similar to the combo in this recipe, which is how I came up with the tapioca/teff idea, but next time I am definitely going to try buckwheat flour instead of tapioca flour next time, so thanks for that idea! Since the recipe ended up working, I'll go ahead and post it as a new post. Thanks again!
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#7 RiceGuy

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:17 PM

...but next time I am definitely going to try buckwheat flour instead of tapioca flour next time, so thanks for that idea!

Just a note here, that buckwheat flour won't function or taste like coconut flour. While I like it in muffins, I'd say it works best with things like cinnamon raisin, chocolate/carob, and probably some other strong flavors. It's a darker flour than most. Though you can get lighter ones, they're not whole grain, and the nutrient content is different, thus it doesn't function like the whole grain type.

Incidentally, which teff did you use, brown or ivory?
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#8 IAtodd

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:55 PM

It was brown teff (darkest flour I've ever seen, I think). I've only used it this one time, and I've only used buckwheat once so far (in pancakes). I've only been gluten free for 18 months so I'm still learning and appreciate all the feedback.
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