Impulse Buy: Almond Flour and Coconut Flour
Store: Whole Foods (Also can be found at other health food stores)
Aisle: Baking Aisle or Raw Foods Aisle (this might be an aisle that exists only in hippie Santa Cruz)
I have a huge sweet tooth. Wait, actually I have a mouth filled of sweet teeth (is this the plural version of sweet tooth? Someone fact check). So when I realized that gluten wasn’t exactly making my body very happy, I had a mini pity party for myself because I thought that meant the end of baked goods, which to me meant the end of the world. After a tearful goodbye to zucchini bread and corn muffins, I threw gluten out of my life. One day in the supermarket, I stumbled upon an aisle filled with other substitutions. After some research, I realized that there are a bounty of other types of “flours” that can be used to make baked goods.
Two of my personal favorites are almond flour and coconut flour, which are both so much better for you than regular flour and don’t leave you feeling weighted down like flour sometimes does. Both are higher in protein and fiber and are filled with the good kinds of fat (I’m sure that sounds like an oxymoron, but there is such a thing as a good fat).
Coconut flour is lighter and doesn’t bind as well, so I use it more for waffles or as a thickener in sauces or meatloaves (another word that looks funny plural). Coconut flour also has an underlying sweetness, which means using less sweetener in a recipe. I use almond flour for more dense baking recipes, such as breads or crackers.
**How to use Almond and Coconut Flour**
1. Use coconut flour as a sweet added bonus, like in these homemade larabars.
2. Use almond flour in place of regular flour or breadcrumbs in meatball, meatloaf, or chicken parmesan recipes, it works really well as a binder. Typically 1/2 cup to 1 pound of meat does the trick.
3. Combine the two to make a mug cake. Simple and so easy!
4. Add coconut flour to this recipe of fudge babies to add a tropical twist.
5. Make waffles. If I could eat waffles everyday, I would. My waffle iron is my best friend. 1/4 cup coconut flour, 4 eggs, 1 tabletpoon milk (choose your type of milk), 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Smother in maple syrup.
6. Use coconut flour in place of cornstarch as a thickener, like in this recipe.
Kelsey Krasnigor is the unofficial Waffle Queen of her family and believes that her $15 dollar waffle iron is the best 15 dollars ever spent.