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Why Is Coconut Flour a Good Choice? {and more about gluten free flatbread grilled cheese sandwiches}

by Lisa on February 25, 2012

How many times can I post about the coconut flour flatbread before you get bored?

A few people have tried it already:

 

Thanks for the feedback! I hope others try it too—I’ve made three batches so far, and with the third one, I added grated parmesan to the batter (probably a tablespoon). It was great, but I don’t know if it’s necessary when the sandwich is filled with cheese (and other great stuff).

The combos I’ve made so far:

goat cheese, roasted red pepper, and bison meat

pesto and mozzarella

dubliner cheese

ham and swiss

pizza

(for each batch I made two different kinds—the bread can be stored in the fridge or in a container/plastic bag on the counter and later toasted and/or re-grilled)

Since I’ve been using a lot of coconut flour lately, I thought I’d talk about why I like it. Basically, it is made of dried ground up coconut meat.

Coconut flour is:

  • high fiber (around 60%!!) – this makes it a little tricky because it needs a lot of moisture to “work” in recipes. For example, the chocolate cake recipe required 10 eggs! At first, this seems like a negative…but why? Eggs are cheap and nutritious!
  • gluten and grain free
  • hypoallergenic
  • low carb and high protein (compared to other flours)
  • usually off-white in color, although I’ve noticed different brands have slightly different textures and colors (I’ve tried Coconut Secret, Wilderness Family Naturals, and Bob’s Red Mill—they’re all good!)
  • not full of flavor, but some people think it has a mild coconut flavor—I don’t notice this

Many recipes will call for just subbing in coconut flour for part of the flour requirement, and at first I considered doing this with the flatbread. In the past, I’ve made waffles with coconut flour, and they were kind of rubbery (all that fiber!). But, I just made sure to keep the ratio of eggs to flour high in the flatbread, and also fluffed it up a bit with the baking soda and baking powder (I honestly don’t know if that helps, but once you pour the batter in the pan, it does fluff up significantly!).

 

Pesto and Mozzarella, a different view. This one might be my favorite so far. But they're all good!

 

Ham and swiss.

 

Roasted red peppers, sliced goat cheese and at the last minute I threw in some leftover bison meat

Ok, I think that’s enough sandwich pictures for one day (note: I did not eat all of those today!).

I also made another batch of coconut cream mousse today. I had intended to make a new version of coconut flour cupcakes, but by the time I ate a sandwich and some mousse, I really wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day.

I'll throw this in for good measure---coconut cream + cocoa powder (dark) + stevia. Note: I used only stevia this time and it worked fine!

I’m not sure when I’ll take a break from making coconut flour flatbread, but I’m quite sure I won’t be taking a break tomorrow. It really only takes about 2 minutes longer to make the flatbread compared to pulling bread out of a bag and buttering it (ok, maybe 4-5 minutes, but it’s really not labor-intensive!).

 

How is your weekend so far? Did you make anything in the kitchen (or eat anything really awesome)?

It’s very cold and windy in NY, but I pretended it was spring and I spring-cleaned some kitchen cupboards and cleaned out the fridge. I also went to the gym, did yoga, went in the sauna, and did some work! Not very exciting, but pretty productive.

I have two new classes starting on Monday, plus final exams to grade for a class that is ending, and three classes that are several weeks into their course work. It’s going to be a busy week! But I have a trip to Charleston schedule for April and a trip to Florida scheduled for June (and a couple more in the hopper)…so I have a lot to look forward to! What about you?


  • http://merigoesround.com/ meri

    When I sort of “discover” a new, quick, versatile way to make a staple I usually don’t give it a rest for quite awhile either. I mean why would you- there are so many things you could make with the flatbread! I might have to try it, I’m worried it would be too rich for what I”m used to.

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    coconut flour cannot be beat!! i love it. I like the quesadilla idea with goat cheese and basil.  Or just crepes.

  • http://dishesanddishes.wordpress.com/ hännah @ dishesanddishes

    I’m so glad you posted this because I somehow missed your previous posts on coconut flour flatbread.  Perfect timing, too, as I was just thinking that I’d like to find a quick and tasty bread alternative.  It looks incredible and I’m definitely inspired to try it myself!  All of the sandwiches look amazing :)

    Sadly, I don’t have any trips scheduled.  But I can look forward to my sister visiting me here in Portland next month.  I love having family visit from out of town!

  • http://www.1970kikiproject.wordpress.com/ cathy@1970kikiproject

    while not exciting, productive days are so satisfying!!
    glad you have some travel to look forward to, lisa!! thumbs up to both locations!!
    more excellent work in the kitchen…you’re on a real roll!

  • Gina (Candid RD)

    Ok, so I’ve never used coconut flour, but I’ve had questions about the ratios. Are you saying I should recommend 1:1 substitutions?  When would I not do this?  I mean I can’t imagine all that fiber being good for let’s say….cookies or cupcakes, right?
    I can’t eat coconut because they contain fodmaps, or else I’d try it in a heartbeat!

  • Anonymous

    I have the coconut flour.  I just haven’t done anything with it yet.  It’s a rainy day…maybe I’ll do it this afternoon!

  • Heather (Where’s the Beach)

    So obviously I need to go buy coconut flour today and make this flat bread! Or have you email me some ;-)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Someday I bet the emailing of products will actually be an option! Lol. I definitely think you should try this…and I’m betting that a chia or flax egg would work really well!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    You definitely wouldn’t use a 1:1 ratio for subbing coconut flour in—that would turn whatever you’re making into concrete :)
    The trick is to use lots and lots of liquid (like many eggs), and this causes the end product to be very fluffy (rather than heavy). The thing is, if you use too many eggs, then it turns “egg-y” …so it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to experiment with when trying to substitute into an already established recipe (better to just make new recipes up with!). However, the chocolate cake recipe I posted recently was developed by a woman who spent lots of time (with trial and error) getting it to taste like a “real” chocolate cake…and it does! It calls for 10 eggs though, so it’s way different than a traditional choc cake recipe…
    That said, for someone not following fodmaps, I do think it’s a good ingredient to work with—it’s high in fiber and higher in protein than other flours (plus it’s gluten free for people looking for that!). I’ve made several different muffin recipes and this flatbread with it, and they’re really not heavy once the ratios are right!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WO3MVKH62XXFP7PDO3U6MET5EY Brianne

    I have to try again, and see if I can get my bread fluffier, like yours.  Here is a good combo for you – havarti and apricot preserves.

    I am feeding 4 men in my life tonight (my little guy, my hubby, my dad, and my grandpa).  I have lots of food in progress right now that I hope is good enough to end up on my blog:  beef roast in the crockpot (inspired by Giada DiLaurentiis), Parmesan Balsamic Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes, Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, Buttermilk Maple Walnut Ice Cream, and some leftover Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk “Muff-cakes” I was experimenting with on Friday.

    Charleston is beautiful!  We may be going this summer, because my husband lived in that area for a few years as a teenager, and will be having his high school reunion. 

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Wow—havarti and apricot sounds amazing!!! Havarti really is the “butter of cheeses” in my book (which means I love it a lot!).
    Can’t wait to read about how your big dinner for the men went—it sounds amazing! Hope everything went smoothly and deliciously :-)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    This is the best bread alternative I’ve found—let me know if you try it!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I hope you tried it! If not, I bet you’ll have another rainy day soon :-)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    It’s kind of dense and fluffy at the same time…which makes no sense…but it also only makes four small pieces of bread, so it isn’t a huge serving size…

  • http://www.pickyeatingrd.com/ Allison @ PickyEatingRD

    I still have yet to try coconut flour. E is going to be out of town soon so I may have to experiment while he is gone! Overall I had a very relaxing weekend. I slept quite a bit so of course I am wide awake now when I should be heading to bed! Hope you enjoyed your weekend as well =)

  • http://www.healthydiaries.com/ Maria@healthydiaries

    Okay seriously I cannot take looking at your coconut bread sandwiches! They look sooo good! You know I will be making them as soon as my detox is over!

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t do too much in the kitchen this weekend and didn’t get to make these flatbreads!  I plan on making them this week along with your coconut cream recipes!

    I love using coconut flour but tend to bake with almond flour more. I find that coconut flour tends to leave me with a drier and spongier texture. I guess I need to practice with it more!

  • http://www.healthfulsense.com/ Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

    I add coconut flour to almost everything I make — LOVE it!!
    The coconut cream creation looks amazing =)

  • http://www.thefitnessdish.com/ Laury

    I have a ton of shredded coconut I want to use up so I may grind it into flour and try the flatbread! I was just thinking about what the heck was I going to make for dinner? I have goats cheese, red pepper and some leftover kale salad. Perhaps a little sammy! Thanks for the idea!!

    Nothing too exciting. i need to start experimenting in the kitchen I want to make Ella’s birthday cake allergy friendly, all foods she’s had, no sugar–but tasty! She’s had coconut oil so I assume she is not allergic to coconut, so I am play around with coconut flour in the cake too! I also have frozen organic cherries so i was thinking something with that and a coconut cream frosting…yum!!!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I’m finding that a combination of coconut flour and almond flour
    works really well too. I have a new flatbread recipe to post—I like the first version, but the one with almond flour added actually has a more bread-like texture (I ate the leftovers cold later and it was still good!).
    On Mon 27/02/12 14:36 , “Disqus”
    sent:
    [1]
    Lisa_healthy_diaries

  • http://fitapproach.com/ Alyse

    Grilled cheese!! Looks so divine. Productive weekends can be so relaxing and really set you up for a successful week. I did some yoga, too, and it really helped push the reset button on some stressful situations I was trying to work through!

  • http://blissfulbritt.com/ Brittany

    Those grilled cheese sandwiches look AMAZING!! WOW. So did the mousse..that would be the IDEAL meal for me. 

  • Lauren George

    I really need to get coconut flour next time I got to Central Market. I’ve never tried it, and it sounds so fabulous!!! I went to two next restaurants this weekend that were amazing. One was a completely raw and gluten-free establishment so it was fantastic!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    You should try it! It can be a little different to work with at first, due to the fiber content, but once you experiment a little it’s really easy and great!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Yep, I believe you would enjoy both :-)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    That sounds like an awesome idea for a birthday cake!! I still can’t believe Ella is getting so close to being one….time flies (even when the baby doesn’t like to sleep)!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Yes, I’ve definitely had some things turn out like egg-y spongy…..ick! (I wasted 10 eggs in one day a couple weeks ago…). I think I’m getting better at it though!

  • http://www.the-new-healthy.com/ Stefanie @TheNewHealthy

    Okay, that’s it. I am getting coconut flour today. I’m seriously drooling over all of these sandwiches!

  • http://eatandgetmoving.wordpress.com/ Leanne

    I’m allergic to gluten (and a bunch of other foods) and have been my whole life. I was so happy to find out about coconut flour a year ago! I’ve been using it a whole lot ever since! Through skipping the use of all grain-products (also the non glutenous) I’ve started to heal my gut and I can now eat more gluten free flours and grains without any discomfort :) which is quite liberating! Still, coconut flour is like my first love ;-) so I still use it a lot! Flat breads, cakes, cookies, pancakes… it’s amazing for baking I think! Your sandwiches remind me of my own ;-) I think I’m gonna get myself some from out of the kitchen, lol. 

    Love from Leanne (
    http://eatandgetmoving.wordpress.com/)

  • http://anediblemosaic.com/ Faith

    Wow!!  That coconut flour flatbread looks amazing!  I’ve been using coconut flour more lately and I’d love to give that a try!

    I’ve been in the mood to spring clean too.  Must be something in the air in NY, lol.  :)

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