Category Archives: fiber

Tropical Traditions Coconut Flour Review + Gluten Free Healthy Coconut Flour Waffles

Tropical Traitions Organic Coconut Flour

If you have been reading this blog, you know how much I love coconut flour. It’s rich in fiber and protein (just two tablespoons has 6g of fiber and 2g of protein!). Coconut flour is also gluten free and very low in carbohydrates. Just two tablespoons contain 8g of carbohydrate (wheat flour, and is extremely low on the glycemic index, so it is a flour safe for people with blood sugar issues.

Coconut flour is my favorite flour to cook with, and I’m always experimenting with it in the kitchen. From breads to cookies, waffles to enchiladas (really!), it can be a very versatile flour to cook with. I also like combining coconut flour with other gluten free, grain free and low glycemic flours, like almond flour. Coconut flour is less expensive than almond flour, but both are really good to have in the kitchen. Make your own easily digestible, soaked almond flour.

For me this flour is a miracle, because I follow a primal/paleo diet (I vary from time to time between the two), with no grains or gluten. I used to be into whole wheat flour, but we’ve broken up since then. I thought it was healthy for me, until I found out how I felt without it. It still interacts with my other family members, but I don’t see it anymore.

Because coconut flour doesn’t contain gluten, like wheat flours, you have to add an agent that acts like gluten. Eggs are the best way to provide this gluten like quality. Because coconut flour contains a lot of fiber, it is known as a very thirsty flour, meaning it means quite a bit of liquid (from the eggs, milks, oil) to have the same consistency as the batter it would have been if it was made with wheat flour. This makes the end result contain more protein (from the eggs), and possible more good fat (from oils like coconut or olive), helping to lower the glycemic index even more. These macronutrients, combined with the large amounts of fiber in the coconut flour, are also very satiating.

Gluten Free, Grain Free Spinach Enchiladas with Coconut Flour Crepes as the Tortillas

Tropical Traditions is my favorite place to purchase my coconut flour; in fact, it’s the only place. The company holds a very strong and large customer base, and its high standards for business integrity are top notch. They are literally my favorite company, besides my own. 😉 Tropical Traditions sent me a package of coconut flour to review on my website, and I have to say, I am already almost half way through the bag. You only have to use a small amount to equal wheat flour, so it is very economical. To make up for the volume of a traditional recipe, just add more eggs and oil (or milk).

The other day I purchased a waffle maker off eBay for $4. It’s in great condition, and I am so grateful I found it. I bought it specifically for making coconut flour waffles. It took me about four times to get this recipe right, but I finally made it. Testing a recipe, with the desire of it coming out right, then having it fail, is very frustrating. So, that’s why I’m here to help you not experience that frustration (I threw a spatula on the floor)! This waffle recipe will turn out perfect, as long as you use eggs. You can experiment with using an egg replacement, but I wouldn’t know if it would work. I might try a flaxseed egg and see how that turns out. If it does, I will provide an update.

Gluten Free, Grain Free Waffles

When I first tried out my waffle iron the first few times, the waffles kept sticking. I read somewhere that you need to oil them, heat them, turn off the heat, oil them again, and after that repetition, your future waffles shouldn’t stick (as long as you grease the maker every time you use it). Also, don’t skimp out on the fat in this waffle, or the texture from the honey, as it prevents sticking, and helps the waffle hold together. This fat in here is extremely nourishing, so don’t be scared. These waffles are light and fluffy, not crisp, so be careful when taking them out, as they can tear if you’re rough with them. For a crispier waffle, freeze overnight and toast in a toaster oven in the morning.

Gluten Free Banana Coconut Flour Waffles

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Waffles

½ small banana

1 egg + 1 egg white (you need the fat in the egg yolk for this recipe to turn out)

½ TBSP. of Melted Butter or Coconut Oil

1 TBSP. Coconut Milk

1 tsp. Almond Butter (or your favorite nut butter—won’t affect the taste)

1 ½ tsp. of Honey (I used 1 tsp. of Guar Gum mixture + ½ tsp. Honey to lower the sugar content)

2 drops Stevia, optional

1 ½ TBSP. of Coconut Flour (1 TBSP + 1 ½ tsp.)

¼ tsp. Baking soda

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Grease your waffle iron extremely well with coconut oil or butter (no-calorie spray oils don’t seem to work—olive oil didn’t necessarily work, either).

Heat your waffle iron. Once heated, pour batter in the middle, making sure to leave some room on the edges. Press the top down on your waffle maker and bake according to your maker’s instructions.

Carefully take the waffle out of your waffle iron. These are fluffy and flimsy.

Top with a little pure, organic maple syrup, honey or you favorite toppings.

-There you go. A morning breakfast that will provide you with a complete protein and enough fiber to keep you going. The fat in the coconut milk and oil will also help fuel your body throughout the day. Some people find that with a waffle recipe, it is best to beat the egg whites seperately, until stiff, and then fold it into the batter. I haven’t tried that yet, but will, and will get back to you on the final outcome. I wonder if it would make the waffle crispier?

Don’t forget to check out Tropical Traditions website. Not only do they sell their own organic coconut flour, but they also carry coconut oils, palm shortening (no trans fats), organic flours, sweeteners and nut butters. You can also find more coconut flour recipes at their recipe site, FreeCoconutRecipes.com.

If you do decide to purchase Tropical Traditions coconut flour (and believe me, you can’t beat the price, or the quality), then be sure to use my customer number at checkout. This will get you a FREE book with your order, titled: “Virgin Coconut Oil: How it Has Changed People’s Lives and How it can Change Yours.”. At checkout, underneath, “How Did You Hear About Us?”, pull the drop down box to “Referred by a Friend”. Then a box will appear to type in the User ID of the friend (me) who referred you. This number is 5304960. Voila! A $25 book, free with your purchase!

This is The Healthy Advocate.

My Preferred Sweeteners

OK, I said I would post the next day, but man was I wrong. Life has a pretty sneaky way of making things a bit hectic, but I was able to handle it with ease (thanks to meditation, yoga and deep breathing!). I went to a Macbeth audition (what, you didn’t know I liked to act?), and was cast the part of a witch. Is it strange that I was actually wanting to get that role? I’m also playing an old man. Can’t wait to get into it.

With all these interruptions (but good interruptions) I felt really bad for not blogging, because I really wanted to share with you guys and follow up on the last post about artificial sweeteners.
In this post, I told you I was going to talk about my absolute love for two sweeteners; then I’ll tell you of two other sweeteners that I haven’t tried but want to very soon (does anyone want to purchase them for me?? :)).
Xylitol


I absolutely LOVE this sugar alcohol and use it very regularly. **But first a caution: using it regularly in large amounts will make you very “regular”, so to speak. Sugar alcohols are known to have a laxative effect when taken in excess, so when you find yourself loving this sweetener after I get done talking about it, be sure to use it with care.**
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is found in most edible plant sources, and is usually extracted from the fibers of fruits or vegetables (if anyone else knows where this is found and extracted, let me know). Some times it is called wood sugar or birch sugar, due to where it comes from.
The sweetness of xylitol is about the same as sugar, with 40% less calories per gram (about 2.5 cal./g compared to white sugar at 4 cal./gram) than white sugar.
The taste of xylitol is absolutely amazing, to me, as it is very cool and “clean”, and it doesn’t make you feel naughty by eating by the spoonful (actually, I don’t recommend doing this!).
The glycemic index of Xylitol is 13 compared to white sugar which is around 60-65. The glycemic index is a scale from 0-100 that rates the effect of foods on blood sugar levels (0 being no effect, 100 being a big effect). I like following a low-glycemic diet most of the time, but sometimes this system isn’t always accurate (I will blog more about this topic later).
So, Xylitol has very little effect on isulin levels, which is why I enjoy it so much, because I believe that keeping our insulin levels low we can achieve optimal health and wellness–anti-aging, healthy weight, healthy skin, hair and nails, improved mood and concentration, healthy leptin and grehlin signaling, etc.
Xylitol is also relatively inexpensive compared to other sugar alcohols. There is erythritol, which I haven’t tried but I have heard many good things about. It isn’t as sweet, and it’s more expensive, but it has virtually no effect on our insulin levels which is a plus! However, I really do believe that xylitol might be the safest sugar alcohol out there. Dr. Joseph Mercola even agrees (my hero).
A couple of interesting things I learned about xylitol was that
1. Our bodies produce up to 15 grams of xylitol a day. So you know it’s natural!
2. It’s a sweetener used widely in Finland. Who knew? Well, I guess they do, obviously.
I like to purchase my Xylitol online, because it is less expensive than buying 1 lb at the health food store for $7. Online, I can get 3 lbs for $17.99 (these prices, or the availability sometimes change, though). This is the brand I like.
Stevia


Stevia is an amazing herb native to South America. It has been used for centuries as a natural sweetener, and is becoming more known throughout North America (see the new products that contain this sweetener mixed with sugar alcohol Erythritol: PureVia and Truvia).
This sweetener is up to 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, so if you purchase pure stevia (up to 90-90% stevosides), only about 1/2 tsp. needs to equal 1 cup of sugar! It also has no known effect on insulin levels, which is another reason why I like it.
A good source to purchase stevia is from Amazon, Vitacost.com or iHerb. Sometimes I have purchased pure stevia on eBay, but be wary because you don’t always know the source of the product. Many people like the NuNaturals Stevia brand the best; I also think it’s popular because the price is relatively low compared to other sweeteners. Look around until you can find the one you like.
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Usually when I make/bake and have to use a sweetener, I tend to blend stevia, xylitol and small amounts of raw honey and organic Sucanat, a less refined sugar that still contains many nutrients present in the sugar cane. I also like to make sure there is enough fiber (coconut flour, anyone?) and good quality fat (there are some recipes I need to show you that use healthy fats while still lowering the calories of different foods) to slow down the absorption of the added sugars (though still very little).
For now I will leave you to your exploration of alternative sweeteners. Before I go, I would like for anyone who has every tried coconut palm sugar to please raise their hand. How do you like it? I know it has the same calories as sugar, but is much lower on the glycemic index. I shall find a good source so I can do a little experimentation.
Also, if you have any questions or comments, please post them–I’m here to help you! I love finding things out about nutrition, health and wellness, so anything will be appreciated. Tell you friends, too, by sharing this blog or this post via “Add This” at the top of this blog. I’ll love you forever! (Although I already do.)
Until next time, this has been the Healthy Advocate.
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