Coconut flour is a gluten grain free flour which is very nutritious and high in fibre, a great source of protein, low GI and is relatively low in carbohydrates when compared to other flours, making it an essential ingredient in my kitchen cupboard.

Food and Drink on Female First

Food and Drink on Female First

Coconut flour is unrefined and natural and is made from coconut meat that has been dried and finely ground. It also has a high absorbency, due to its high fibre content so a little bit of this flour goes a long way.

This special ingredient can be used in an array of flour based recipes including sweet and savoury pancakes, pies, baked cakes, muffins, biscuits, breads, tortillas and pizzas. Here are my top tips about how to incorporate coconut flour in the kitchen:

1) Coconut flour has a unique composition, it therefore should not be substituted for other wheat or grain based flours at a 1:1 ratio as they are not equivalent.

2) Coconut flour works as a fantastic thickening agent. It's a great way to create a heavier consistency in recipes, including sauces, pancake batters, soups and stews. Due to its high absorbency, it's best to add it in one spoon at a time.

3) Smoothies and shakes are the perfect way to kick-start the day. Coconut flour is a wonderful addition to boost fibre and protein content, while adding a delicious flavour profile. Simply add a heaped tablespoon to the morning smoothie and whizz it in the food processor.

4) Every flour has its own special characteristics and as coconut flour can be a dense flour, it helps to sift it to remove any lumps and let the air in.

5) Coconut flour can be dry. To counteract this, mix with an adequate amount of liquid. Cooked or pureed fruit and vegetables can also increase moisture in recipes.

6) As coconut flour recipes typically require a lot of eggs, vegans can look to use egg substitutes including ground flaxseeds, chia seeds with water, arrowroot and tapioca starch instead.

7) For people looking to cut their sugar consumption, coconut flour is a great ingredient to use. It is low GI and the subtle flavour profile means that it can help to naturally sweeten dishes and puddings and is a perfect addition when baking.

Award-winning British brand The Groovy Food Company has launched a new Organic Coconut Flour (RRP: £3.50 for 500g and available from Tesco and Morrisons). Gluten-free and high in fibre and protein, but with a low GI level and naturally low carbohydrate content, this nutrient dense 'power flour' is a kitchen essential for 2016.

The Groovy Food Company has worked with chef and author Lisa Roukin to create innovative, easy to follow recipes showcasing how coconut flour can be used in a huge variety of sweet and savoury dishes, which can be accessed here:

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