You can use coconut flour to coat chicken before frying it.

How to Cook With Coconut Flour for Main Dishes

by Samantha Lowe

Avoiding gluten is a culinary fad, creating the need to find alternatives to wheat flour. Gluten-free and high in fiber, coconut flour is a flavorful and appealing substitute for both picky eaters and their health-conscious moms. Use coconut flour as a substitute in almost any recipe where wheat flour is called for, being aware the flavor will change slightly, as will the texture of the dish.

1. Binding

Use coconut flour as a binder for a casserole, meatloaf, or for burgers and other patties. Substitute the coconut flour in a 1:1 ratio for wheat flour in a recipe. Coconut flour absorbs more liquid than wheat flour, so you'll need to increase the liquids. If a recipe calls for eggs and a 1/2 cup flour, such as in a meatloaf, add an extra egg to make up for the coconut flour substitution.

2. Frying

Dredge items for frying in coconut flour instead of traditional wheat flour. Foods, such as calamari or chicken, benefit from the slight sweet taste of coconut, and the flour browns well when either deep-fried or pan-fried. Use the same quantity of coconut flour as you would wheat flour, and mix it with the same salt and seasonings. Place the prepared coconut flour in a plastic bag and shake with the foods for frying, or dip them in egg before rolling them in the prepared coconut flour. Fry the dredged foods according to the recipe.

3. Baking

Substitute an equal amount of coconut flour for the amount of regular flour called for in a baking recipe, but use an extra egg for each 1 ounce of coconut flour you use. This ensures the binding and rising of the flour while the food bakes. Or, instead of using substitutions, use recipes designed for coconut flour so you get the right flavor and texture.

4. Thickening

Whisk 1 part coconut flour with 1 part cold water to create a slurry, a thickening agent for stews, soups and sauces, traditionally made with wheat flour. Add the slurry to a simmering hot liquid, such as milk for a cream sauce, and whisk it until it has the correct consistency. Alternatively, combine 1 part coconut flour with 1 part oil, typically about 2 tablespoons of each, in a small saucepan on medium-high heat to make a roux. Cook, continuously stirring, until browned, between three and five minutes, and slowly add a small amount of liquid, such as chicken broth for a gravy. Add the rest of the liquid and whisk until it reaches the right consistency.

About the Author

Based in Kingston, Canada, Samantha Lowe has been writing for publication since 2006. She has written articles for the "Mars' Hill" newspaper and copy for various design projects. Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008. Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her PhD.

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