Coconut Oil and Flour
What are the benefits and uses of coconut oil and flour? Let’s have a look…
Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to six months at 24 °C without spoiling.
Uses in Food
Coconut oil is commonly used in cooking, especially for frying, and is a common flavor in many South Asian curries. In recent years despite its high saturated fat content, virgin coconut oil has become popular as having a “haunting, nutty,” flavor with a touch of sweetness, which works well in baked goods, pastries, and sautés.
Other culinary uses include replacing solid fats produced through hydrogenation in baked and confectionery goods. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated coconut oil is often used in non-dairy creamers and snack foods, including popcorn.
The smoke point of coconut oil is 177 °C.
Coconut Oil and Health Benefits
It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.
It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. Research suggests that coconut oil helps to reduce abdominal obesity in women. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose the weight.
It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
It helps to improve the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Coconut provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effects of coconut oil are gradual and not drastic or sudden, which gives the patient an appropriate amount of time to get used to the withdrawal symptoms. But, in the treatment of this condition, people should systematically and gradually increase their dosages of coconut oil and shouldn’t initially start with a large quantity.
Healing and Infections:
When applied to infected areas, coconut oil forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and viruses. Coconut oil is highly effective on bruises because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues.
Other health benefits
- Stress relief
- Dental care
Coconut flour is growing in popularity as more people discover the many health benefits of coconut flour nutrition, in addition to its many uses as a delicious, gluten-free, and healthy alternative to other flours. It’s one of the healthiest flours available – grain flour such as wheat, barley and spelt contain gluten which is very difficult to digest. Even gluten free flours are often inflammatory due to the carbohydrate load.
Because coconut flour is a very unique gluten-free flour. For example, when you bake muffins with wheat flour one use up to 3 cups of flour, but when you bake coconut flour muffins only one use 1/2 – 3/4 cup of flour. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid, which is why most recipes call for a very small amount of flour. Coconut flour is made from ground and dried coconut meat. Once the outer green husk of a coconut is removed, what remains inside is the rich, inner white lining which is the coconut meat. Coconut flour is not actually “flour” in the way we normally think of it; it contains zero grains, zero nuts, and is made completely of pure coconut. Flour can be made from many things including nuts, seeds, dried vegetables, and of course coconut meat. Coconut meat is the white, firm part of the coconut that you would find if you cracked open the fresh coconut and scraped out the insides, but this needs to have its milk separated in order to produce the dry “flour”’. Once the meat is strained and separated from the coconut’s milk, it is baked at a low temperature to dry it out and create a powdery flour made entirely of coconut.
What do you need to know about coconut flour nutrition?
Coconut flour is high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats and is free from wheat and other grains. It is also low in sugar, digestible carbohydrates and calories, and has a low score on the glycemic index.
This makes coconut flour a favorite amongst paleo dieters, gluten free eaters including those with Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity, those with digestive problems like leaky gut syndrome, anyone with a nut allergy, those with diabetes, vegetarians, and just about everyone else in between.
Coconut Flour and Healthy Benefits
Aids in Metabolism:
Some of the many health benefits of coconut flour nutrition include its high levels of healthy saturated fats in the form of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). These are used by the body easily for energy and help to support a healthy metabolism, balanced blood sugar levels, and more.
High in Fiber:
Coconut meat itself supplies an impressive 61% dietary fiber! And because fiber essentially cannot be absorbed by the body, some of the calories and carbohydrates found in coconut flour aren’t even absorbed and used, but rather they move right through the digestive tract helping to take toxins and waste along with them.
Helps Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level:
Coconut flour is a low glycemic food and does not spike blood sugar levels. In fact studies show that consuming products that contain coconut flour can help to lower the overall glycemic impact of the food and to support stable blood sugar levels. This means that coconut flour nutrition has health benefits for people with diabetes and those who are working towards reaching a healthy weight too.
Helps Digestive Health:
Coconut flour also helps with healthy digestion, has a high nutrient density, and can aid in heart health too. Studies have shown that coconut flour has the ability to help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and serum triglycerides in people who have raised cholesterol levels. Coconut flour has this positive effect because of its high supply of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber plus its healthy MUFA fat content.
Now that you know a bit more about Coconut oil and Coconut flour, why not use it in the kitchen. First how to make Coconut flour and milk (this if, if you can’t find it in your health shops or to save money) and then a few lovely easy recipes to have some fun with.
How to Make Coconut Flour
To get sarted you’re going to need to make a batch of coconut milk!
Coconut Milk Recipe
4 cups of water
2 cups of dried organic shredded coconut
Heat the water in a pot but do not let it boil.
Place the shredded coconut in the blender and add the hot water.
Let it steep for about 2030 minutes and then blend on high until it is thick and creamy (about 23 minutes).
Strain through a mesh strainer and then strain again through a towel.
You can drink immediately or put it in a glass jar and store in the fridge for 34 days. (Other recipe to follow)
Save the pulp so you can make coconut flour.
Coconut Flour Recipe
Spread the pulp that was leftover from making the milk out on a cookie sheet.
Use a fork or a whisk to break up the pulp. Try to get as many clumps out as possible.
Now you can either leave it out for 24 hours to air dry or put it in your oven at the lowest setting for 4 hours.
You can also put it in the dehydrator or put it in your oven over night with the oven light on.
Once it’s dried throw it back in the blender to make your flour.
Store in an airtight container.
Coconut Oil and Flour Recipes
Delicious Recipes with Coconut Flour and Oil
Coconut Flour Muffins and Coconut Flour Pie Crust. View recipes
Lollies for Summer with Coconut Milk
Creamsicles for after sports, rehydrating watermelon ice lollies, and orange coconut ice lollies. View recipes