With keto and paleo diets on the rise, plain white flour has gone out of style. Instead, coconut flour has become the go-to way to sub the white stuff, and make bread and cakes keto-friendly. However, what if the unthinkable happens, and you don’t have this nifty substitute in your pantry?
In that case, you’ll need to find a substitute for the substitute. Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes for coconut flour, which don’t include adding carbs or gluten to your dish.
6 Best Substitutes for Coconut Flour
1. Almond Flour
Almond flour is the most popular flour alternative besides coconut. Therefore, it’s not surprising that it would be the best substitute for coconut flour. But beyond popularity, almond flour provides a similar consistency as coconut, as well as a unique, nutty flavor. Not only that, but it also packs some incredible health benefits.
The flour contains the hunger-crushing combo — protein, fiber, and plenty of heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids to keep you feeling fuller for longer. It also has no gluten and a low glycemic index, which is perfect for those with gluten intolerances and diabetics alike.
However, when substituting, it’s important to remember that almond flour is much denser than coconut flour. Therefore getting the ratios right is crucial.
1 cup of coconut flour = 3 cups of almond flour
Also. since almond flour doesn’t absorb liquid as well as coconut, you will likely need to adjust the amount of liquid you add to your recipe. Be sure to use almond flour, and not an almond meal, since the meal has a coarser texture that doesn’t work as a substitute like the flour.
2. Cassava Flour
While almond and coconut flour are pretty popular white flour substitutes, cassava flour is an underrated gem. It’s made from yuca or manioc root, and it has a texture that is practically identical to wheat flour. The flavor profile it offers is fairly neutral, which makes it ideal for sweet and savory dishes alike.
Cassava flour also measures up on the health front. It’s packed with plenty of resistant starches and fiber, compounds that promote feelings of fullness and delay hunger. Though cassava is excellent for many dishes, most use it to thicken things like crepe batter, tortilla dough, and dessert sauces.
Because cassava flour is denser than coconut flour, using it as a substitute requires some precise measuring.
1 cup of coconut flour = 4 cups of cassava flour
What’s more, keep in mind that although cassava is healthy, it’s not low-carb. So while the flour is suitable if you’re gluten-intolerant, you may want to go with one of the other substitutes for coconut flour if you’re keto.
3. Soy Flour
Sauces, mock meats, milk, and now flour. Is there anything the mighty soybean can’t do? This flour type comes from grinding milled and dried soybeans till they’re a fine powder. The substitute is packed with vitamins and protein, making it the flour of choice for any gym-goer.
What’s more, the flour is both gluten-free and low carb. So it’s truly the perfect substitute for coconut flour, especially if you’re making pancakes, waffles, or cakes. However, keep in mind that the flour is derived from a bean. Therefore, it will have that characteristic flavor that won’t work in every recipe you try out.
Also, when substituting, ratios matter. Just like cassava, soy flour is much denser than coconut, so getting the amounts right is crucial.
1 cup of coconut flour = 2 cups of soy flour
Be mindful of the liquid ratios, too. The density of soy flour means you will have to add more of your wet ingredients to compensate.
4. Rice Flour
Yet another incredibly versatile ingredient, rice flour makes for a pretty nifty substitute for coconut flour. This flour has a similar texture to wheat flour, but it has a softer consistency. The smoothness of rice flour makes it ideal for soft, pillowy cakes and chewy confections.
Plain white rice flour has a fairly neutral flavor profile, meaning that it will work well in savory dishes as well. However, if you want to upgrade the taste and nutrition, mix it with other flours like almond or cassava. For a nutty aftertaste, opt for brown rice flour.
When using rice flour as a coconut flour substitute, remember the ratios. Rice flour again has more density than coconut, so you will need to use more.
1 cup of coconut flour = 3 cups of rice flour
5. Chickpea Flour
When it comes to flour alternatives, chickpea flour is severely underrated. It has a delightfully nutty flavor that pairs well with savory dishes loaded with cheese, or mustard. It also packs incredible health benefits like vitamins, minerals, and plenty of protein to make you fuller for longer.
Moreover, chickpea flour is an excellent option if you’re trying to watch your weight. It has fewer calories and carbs than white flour while having a relatively moderate glycemic index. Therefore, it’s excellent at controlling blood sugar levels. Still, keep in mind that the flour has a very distinct flavor, so it may not work in every dish.
Not to mention that the density of chickpea flour results in denser baked goods. So if you’re a fan of fluffier desserts, opt for another substitute. Density will also play a key role when you’re trying to figure out the ratios.
1 cup of coconut flour = ¾ cup of chickpea flour
6. Flax Meal
If you’re looking for one of the most nutritious substitutes for coconut flour, flax meal is the way to go. Flax seeds are loaded with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy. Meanwhile, the omega 3 fatty acids and proteins will keep you full and satisfied for hours after you’ve eaten.
The fat content of flax is exactly why it’s such a good substitute for coconut flour. It has very few carbohydrates, so it’s perfect for keto and paleo recipes. However, it does have a distinctly nutty flavor so it may not work in all recipes, particularly sweet ones.
Also, the texture of flax meal differs greatly from coconut flour. Therefore, you will have to adjust the amounts to get the consistency you’re looking for.
1 cup of coconut flour = 3 cups of flax meal