Give Your Baked Goods a Boost with Coffee Flour

From banana flour to quinoa flour, it can be hard to keep up with all these new, trendy flours. Sorting out the potential cooking, baking and health benefits they all offer can be overwhelming. But exotic flours can be an exciting way to incorporate different flavors and nutrients into our favorite baked goods. As a sustainable and nutritious food, coffee flour may be worth checking out the next time you do your flour shopping or want to add some pizzazz to a recipe.

What is Coffee Flour?

There are two different types of coffee flour. One is made from coffee cherries, the fruit that surrounds coffee beans (actually seeds). The other is made from ground up par-roasted green coffee beans.

How Do You Use Coffee Flour?

Coffee flour is versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes, including recipes for cookies, bread, pasta, and sauce. There are two coffee flour grinds: fine (for more typical baking uses) and powder (for confections or liquids like ice cream or dressings).

However, to achieve a more palatable consistency, traditional flours should be used in conjunction with coffee flour. Typically, coffee flour can be used at a 10-15 percent substitution rate. Keep in mind that the high fiber content will require the addition of about 10 to 25 percent more liquids into your recipe to keep your result moist and delicious.

Coffee Cherry Flour

The coffee cherry version is dark brown in color and has a fruity, nutty, and floral flavor. An engineer who worked at a coffee chain figured out how to dry and grind the fruits into a flour form. Don’t expect to get a buzz, however. Not only does this flour not taste like coffee, it also does not contain very much caffeine.

Coffee Cherry flour is an all-star in the fiber department, containing 5.2 g per 10 g serving, which is up to 11 times the amount of most other flours! Getting more fiber in your diet is a healthy bonus. The flour is also noteworthy for its antioxidant, iron, potassium and protein content.

Since coffee cherries typically get thrown away, coffee flour can also be a sustainable source of revenue for coffee harvesters.

Coffee Bean Flour

Caffeine lovers will be happy to know that the coffee bean version does contain caffeine and has a mild, nutty taste. Coffee is associated with several health benefits, potentially due to chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that also helps to reduce blood sugar spikes. According to a Harvard study, moderate coffee consumption (about 3-5 cups per day) may lower your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, liver cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, research has indicated that moderate coffee drinkers are 15 percent less likely to die prematurely than non-coffee drinkers.

Unfortunately, the high-temperature bean roasting process destroys most of the antioxidants; and the darker the roast, the more antioxidants are lost.  However, senior scientist at Brandeis University, Daniel Perlman, Ph.D., developed a low-temperature roasting method that helps to retain the bean’s antioxidant content. These partially roasted beans don’t taste very pleasant in coffee form but are perfect for transformation into flour.

You are ready to run out to the store right now and pick up some coffee flour, right? Well, if you want to add fiber, antioxidants, some nutrients and/or a unique flavor and color to your recipes, consider replacing some traditional flour with coffee flour. 

This blog post was written by Juliana Yellin, IFIC media intern. 

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