Just a few years ago, most of us had probably never heard of coconut flour, coconut oil, or coconut milk. Now, as people continue to discover their health benefits and versatility in recipes, coconut products are beginning to pop up on store shelves everywhere.
These coconut ingredients are great for gluten-free and dairy-free cooking and baking. Each one may be used as a substitute in a variety of recipes.
Coconut flour is coconut meat that has been dried, defatted by pressing out the oils, and ground down. This flour is gluten-free, and high in protein and fiber.
Coconut flour can be a bit drier than conventional wheat flour. For this reason, recipes using coconut flour require a little bit more liquid. It often works out well in recipes when used in combination with almond flour. Almond flour is simply ground almonds, which are also gluten-free.
Coconut milk may be purchased prepared, usually in cans, and can also be made at home. It may be used as a dairy substitute in recipes that call for milk.
Coconut milk works well in recipes containing coconut flour. It balances out the dryness of the flour, and helps to create a nice texture.
Coconut milk spoils quickly, and will last for less than a week in the refrigerator. Use an ice-cube tray to freeze any leftovers in one-tablespoon portions. Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer-safe container. Thaw out the portions as needed.
Coconut oil is an anti-bacterial and anti-viral superfood. Take it as a supplement to help ward off colds and flu. Put some on a cut to help it heal quickly. Slather it on your salmon before you put it in the oven. Coconut oil is useful almost anywhere!
For greater health benefits, always choose virgin coconut oil. This is the unrefined, unbleached type that hasn’t been stripped of its healing properties.
The fats that are found in coconut oil have also been found to help take off weight and reduce belly fat.
Coconut oil can be used in recipes as a replacement for butter and vegetable oils.
Alternatives to conventional ingredients are appearing everywhere for those who avoid gluten and dairy products. These coconut ingredients make great substitutes for many items, such as wheat flour, milk, butter, and vegetable oil. Coconut flour, coconut milk, and coconut oil are not only useful for gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, but they are also packed with nutrition.