Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Accidentally Gluten-Free

I am not gluten-free. Or vegan. Or even a vegetarian. The title of the post simply refers to my recent experiment with coconut flour, which happens to be gluten-free. I had not even heard of coconut flour until a few months ago.

Those who know me know that I love all things coconut. Coconut water. Coconut ice cream. Coconut donuts. I have sampled from practically every single New York city establishment that serves coconut cake. I usually make a bee-line on a menu for any item that has the word "coconut" attached to it. Yup, I like me some coconut. So when I first heard of coconut flour, I knew I had to check it out for myself.

So it turns out that coconut flour is really expensive. A small bag costs three times as much a similar-sized bag of whole wheat flour, which is already more expensive than regular flour.

Anyhow, after acquiring my bag of coconut flour I set about looking for recipes on the internet. I found one that I liked for Banana Coconut Muffins. I have linked to the website so you can check out the recipe there. The original recipe does not use sugar- it relies on the natural sweetness of the banana and the coconut flour. I thought this was a bad idea and so I added a tablespoon of agave syrup. It worked well. I also added 2 tablespoons of almond milk instead of the recommended almond flour, and I avoided raisins completely because I am not a fan.

I was thrilled when the muffins came out looking semi-decent!

In my excitement I called my husband.

Me: So I've baked coconut banana muffins!

Husband: Yum! I can't wait to try them.

Me: Slight disclaimer-they are gluten-free.

Husband: Oh.....hmmm....why are we eating gluten-free?

Me: Well, we're not. It's just that I have a bag of coconut flour that I have been wanting to use, and coconut flour is gluten-free, hence so are these muffins.

I could sense the skepticism in the husband's voice and his sudden disinterest in my baked good-of-the-day!

It reminded me of a hilarious Parks and Recreation episode where Rob Lowe's healthy-living character brings a vegetable loaf to a pot-luck dinner when he has been assigned to bring a cake and invokes this response from the Ron Swanson character...

Needless to say, the muffins tasted nothing like a vegetable loaf. They were delicious and the husband enjoyed them thoroughly.

Question: Have you ever cooked/baked with coconut flour?