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flours - almond, coconut, tempura, plantain, or tapioca - confusion!

by (13)
Updated about 12 hours ago
Created September 12, 2012 at 3:58 PM

ok so theres the long paleo tradition of using almond and coconut flour - im fairly new(ish) to paleo but very clued up on it. but i want to make paleo bread and other paleo baked goods to aid my diet. here is my dilema - almond flour - too high in fat for my liking coconut flour - too expensive but using it begrudgingly upon further research whats the views on tempura flour, plantain flour or tapioca flour. and has anyone ever baked with any of these? if so whats it like?

thanks !

M

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1232 · April 15, 2013 at 5:01 PM

http://empoweredsustenance.com/avoid-almond-flour/

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8150 · April 15, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Agreed! The fact that Manda wants to use "paleo bread and other paleo baked goods to aid my DIET" already spells FALEO. If this is looked upon as a diet for which you have to make fake foods so you don't feel deprived, it's not sustainable in the long term. Try focusing on what you CAN eat, that's healthy and nutrient dense. Don't waste money on erstatz flours that will NEVER taste like the real thing anyway (sorry, they just don't). Learn how to get along with REAL food, the rest will follow if you adopt this WAY OF LIFE, not a temporary diet.

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723 · February 28, 2013 at 4:05 AM

definitely agree with the fanaticism comment lol

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14877 · February 02, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Just. Say. NO. .

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174 · February 02, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Oh annd I use arrowroot powder as a thickener and in some baking recipes. Just like tapioca.

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174 · February 02, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Although I don't know much about the biochemistry, and GI of Plantain flour, I'm guessing since plantain has a good amount of sugar and carbs, drying in up will not make all the sugar disappear, so I think it's best if you use it less often than other flours. Almonds, compared to plantains, have MUCH MUCH less sugar, yet more dietary fiber (not sure how beneficial or non-beneficial fiber is).

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379 · January 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

I don't adhere to the caveman philosophy of paleo. What I mean is I try to find the best foods for me, regardless of what cave men had available. I avoid paleo baked goods because they cause the same response to me that regular baked goods do. They trip some switch that says, this is some good stuff eat all of it as fast as you can don't stop. If you don't have this reaction to paleo treats you make, I don't see a problem with it. My personal feeling is that eating paleo baked goods is like trying to cut down on tv time by avoiding cable and using Netflix streaming instead. Weak analogy sry

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98 · January 19, 2013 at 6:10 PM

P.S. I think Chelsea above has the right idea. If her bread recipe using bananas and hopefully no sugar added coconut milk has a low glycemic LOAD, it shouldn't cause the fat factory to fire up within you. (wow that sounds awful, but true!)

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259 · November 19, 2012 at 5:06 AM

Totally agree, nice post, welcome :)

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4218 · November 19, 2012 at 3:08 AM

I don't feel like a fanatic, dangerous or unpleasant. Unless someone reaches for my grassfed ribeye. Or starts name-calling on a public forum.

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11697 · November 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I'm against Paleo flours myself (except as a thickener occasionally, or birthdays), but I agree with you. Fanaticism never did good to anyone.

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10490 · September 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Yes. I don't have children myself, but I do recall when I was a kid that my parents made the choices, not me.

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4218 · September 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I don't have children, thankfully, but I do recall being raised to eat what was put in front of me.

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10490 · September 12, 2012 at 7:21 PM

AGREED on that, firstly. Secondly, once you are at the Paleo-level that you feel you are ready to add some of that stuff in occasionally, I'd recommend buying some per-made baked goods before trying to do it yourself. All the different flours/combinations/etc might not all be to your taste, and it's easier/cheaper to buy one loaf/package of something, see if you like it, and have an idea which flours you'd like to experiment with once you have an idea what they're about and how they are when properly baked. (I don't really do "Paleo baked goods" myself.)

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11048 · September 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Tapioca flour can stand on its own and can be used to make popover-like Brazilian cheese bread. I'll make that when my non-Paleo extended family visits with us a few times a year. (It makes my Dad feel like I"m not trying to kill him :). I also use it occasionally as a thickener instead of corn starch.

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4218 · September 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Yep, this. Once you get that baked-good mentality out of your system you just might find you don't miss them in the least.

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41544 · September 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Agreed. Paleo baking is next level paleo foodie-ism. Not necessary at the Paleo 101 level.

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41544 · September 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Agreed. Paleo baking is next level paleo foodie-ism. Not necessary at the Paleo 101 level.

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11048 · September 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Definitely not off topic!

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15 Answers

98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9
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1632 · September 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Yes i am going to go off topic and say this...EAT REAL FOOD

No paleo bread, cookies etc. Spend the extra cash on some nice produce, grass fed beef etc

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11048 · September 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Definitely not off topic!

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f
4218 · September 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Yep, this. Once you get that baked-good mentality out of your system you just might find you don't miss them in the least.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41544 · September 12, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Agreed. Paleo baking is next level paleo foodie-ism. Not necessary at the Paleo 101 level.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41544 · September 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Agreed. Paleo baking is next level paleo foodie-ism. Not necessary at the Paleo 101 level.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d
10490 · September 12, 2012 at 7:21 PM

AGREED on that, firstly. Secondly, once you are at the Paleo-level that you feel you are ready to add some of that stuff in occasionally, I'd recommend buying some per-made baked goods before trying to do it yourself. All the different flours/combinations/etc might not all be to your taste, and it's easier/cheaper to buy one loaf/package of something, see if you like it, and have an idea which flours you'd like to experiment with once you have an idea what they're about and how they are when properly baked. (I don't really do "Paleo baked goods" myself.)

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173
8150 · April 15, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Agreed! The fact that Manda wants to use "paleo bread and other paleo baked goods to aid my DIET" already spells FALEO. If this is looked upon as a diet for which you have to make fake foods so you don't feel deprived, it's not sustainable in the long term. Try focusing on what you CAN eat, that's healthy and nutrient dense. Don't waste money on erstatz flours that will NEVER taste like the real thing anyway (sorry, they just don't). Learn how to get along with REAL food, the rest will follow if you adopt this WAY OF LIFE, not a temporary diet.

54cde65f30fa8f6d42d95481891ed9cc
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106 · November 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Sigh. All the Paleo purists give Paleo a bad name. Yes, we should all be eating nothing but whole foods. Preferably, wild animals we've harvested ourselves with a bow and arrow made from sinew and flint. We should serve this with a side of wild-harvested greens and tubers. C'mon people. Paleo baking is here to stay. Why be so self-righteous about doing Paleo "correctly"? You guys are a drag. Baked goods made from Paleo-friendly ingredients are what some of us need. I'm a foodie and I have a sweet tooth and guess what? My almond flour cookies that I eat in strict moderation keep me from wanting other, much worse things. Instead of bingeing on croissants, I have a few homemade almond flour chocolate chip cookies and my cravings are satisfied and the protein and fat in them are good for me.

If you don't like the idea of Paleo flours, then quit responding to these threads! Fanaticism in any walk of life--be in politics, diet, religion, or any subject--is unpleasant at best and at worst, dangerous. Please lay off!

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259 · November 19, 2012 at 5:06 AM

Totally agree, nice post, welcome :)

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4218 · November 19, 2012 at 3:08 AM

I don't feel like a fanatic, dangerous or unpleasant. Unless someone reaches for my grassfed ribeye. Or starts name-calling on a public forum.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2
11697 · November 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I'm against Paleo flours myself (except as a thickener occasionally, or birthdays), but I agree with you. Fanaticism never did good to anyone.

32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4
379 · January 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

I don't adhere to the caveman philosophy of paleo. What I mean is I try to find the best foods for me, regardless of what cave men had available. I avoid paleo baked goods because they cause the same response to me that regular baked goods do. They trip some switch that says, this is some good stuff eat all of it as fast as you can don't stop. If you don't have this reaction to paleo treats you make, I don't see a problem with it. My personal feeling is that eating paleo baked goods is like trying to cut down on tv time by avoiding cable and using Netflix streaming instead. Weak analogy sry

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723 · February 28, 2013 at 4:05 AM

definitely agree with the fanaticism comment lol

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613 · September 12, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Tempura flour? To my knowledge, this is just the type of wheat flour mixture used to make tempura fried foods.

Plantain flour I've never heard of or seen a recipe for. I'm assuming it's made from plantains, and I would guess that it can't stand alone in baking.

I've never known tapioca starch (it's not really a flour) to be used alone for baking either, only as an additive to other flours - usually mixes including flours such as sorghum, rice, potato starch and gums such as xanthan.

Try iherb.com for an inexpensive source of coconut or almond flour. Fat is not your foe. Make these baked goods rarely.

I know this is not paleo, but personally, I believe it has a place in a healthy diet. Occasionally I make sweet or savory pancakes from soaked teff flour. Teff is a nutrient dense grain, and soaking reduces phytates and enzyme inhibitors. I use the Bob's Red Mill pancake recipe and add spices to taste.

But I agree that you should focus more on eating whole foods and changing your way of looking at meals, rather than looking for paleo versions of SAD foods.

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11048 · September 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Tapioca flour can stand on its own and can be used to make popover-like Brazilian cheese bread. I'll make that when my non-Paleo extended family visits with us a few times a year. (It makes my Dad feel like I"m not trying to kill him :). I also use it occasionally as a thickener instead of corn starch.

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2913 · September 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM

I use tapioca flour for bread-like items at times and as a thickener for sauces (to make a roux, for example). It's also cheap if you can find a nice Asian market.

Almond is good for items like cookies or banana bread.

Coconut - I haven't figured out what I like to use it for, but I have it on hand and occasionally use it.

While many people are against Paleo baking, I'm wondering if they have small children. I usually bake to keep my family on board and interested. I'll say okay to a second cookie if I know what's in it and that they are good ingredients.

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10490 · September 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Yes. I don't have children myself, but I do recall when I was a kid that my parents made the choices, not me.

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4218 · September 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I don't have children, thankfully, but I do recall being raised to eat what was put in front of me.

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5650 · February 02, 2013 at 2:49 PM

there's nothing wrong with eating fat. it's good for you. the other flours you mentioned are grains, so if you include grains in your diet, it really isn't paleo baking. i bake with a mix of almond flour and coconut flour. i find the 3/4 almond and 1/4 coconut is a good ratio.

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19120 · September 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM

ok so theres the long paleo tradition of using almond and coconut flour - im fairly new(ish) to paleo but very clued up on it. but i want to make paleo bread and other paleo baked goods to aid my diet.

As others have already chimed in on, there is no paleo bread. Deal with it.

You can paleo-ify all the SAD or traditional foods you want. Hopefully, this drives their composition closer to something that can sneak into a paleo diet. Definitely, definitely not paleo.

Having laid out that disclaimer ...

here is my dilema - almond flour - too high in fat for my liking

Almond flour is fantastic. What is "too much fat", insofar as how often are you planning to eat these paleo-ified treats? All nut flours will have a good amount of fat, usually high in omega 6s's, but otherwise just fine to have on occasion.

coconut flour - too expensive but using it begrudgingly upon further research

There are plenty of nut flour/meals. You can even make them yourself from whole nuts. Check a site like nuts.com to find options that are readily available. Once you get some experience baking with the varieties, you'll probably find one or two favorites.

whats the views on tempura flour, plantain flour or tapioca flour. and has anyone ever baked with any of these? if so whats it like?

Tempura flour is regular old wheat flour (albeit a bit lighter). It is a grain, it is wheat, it is not paleo.

I've never used plaintain flour.

However, plaintain flour is a high starch flour, and I've used both potato and tapioca/cassava/yuca flour/starch to make treats like biscuits and rolls (great for paleo-ified, grain-free bread type options when I have guests over).

Baking paleo-ified traditional foods, or treating yourself to a less-horrible-than-SAD SAD food, can be great fun. It's generally food that is comfortable to conventional eaters and paleo treaters. Good luck experimenting and baking!

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3043 · January 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Coconut flour, no pufas, delicious and fairly dense so you don't have to add a lot, a lot more room for nutrient dense eggs, coconut oil and good quality nutients. Hence, I make banana bread with it and for 12 pieces I only have to use a 1/4 cup coconut flour. While the rest is 6 eggs, coconut milk, bananas, vanilla and cinnamon.

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0 · March 11, 2014 at 3:57 AM

Manda, this is my favorite grain free bread and I have experimented with lots of different recipes http://scdfoodie.com/grain-free-bread/ . If you are concerned about the fat intake just use it as a treat item. I love it for french toast. I have used arrowroot to make a cheesy bread for pizza and to thicken gravy. And tapioca flour for a pastry for apple turnovers. But 99% of the time I use Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour, it really is the best almond flour and Costco now carries it, and coconut flour which may seem expensive but you use so little in most recipes it really isn't too bad. Here is a link to my FB page with my favorite Paleo recipes in the file section. https://www.facebook.com/groups/171782539643665/@manda19

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0 · September 27, 2013 at 4:24 AM

So Greymouser says: "as others have already chimed in on, there is no paleo bread. Deal with it." Why? There is absolutely paleo bread. It is eaten every day by people all around the world where there is no wheat, rice, corn or other grains. They use ground cassava, plantain, yams, yucca... to make "bread". It is not mass produced white sandwich bread but it is a bread all the same.

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0 · June 28, 2013 at 1:49 AM

Try this:

Www.Chebe.com

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0 · April 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

I am a lean foodie that has gone through the different trends and numerous studies on food. The one thing that I will state prior to my answer is that I do agree with Paleo in regards to grassfed, Monterey Bay Fish list and organic/local foods. The key is to eat smart and with portion control in regards to your workoutregimen. Remeber Adkins???? Best diet ever...many people had significant health problems years later...no mention of lifestyle...they are all diets. Okay...stop rambling...my husband really likes this lifestyle...we are in our early 50s and he is a huge crossfit and extreme athlete supporter. We love food and it is a significant part of our lifestyle It is an expensive trial an error process on transitioning recipes to meet both of our lifestyles. I prefer cassava/tapioca flour in baking of molten cakes, popovers and muffins. I have always used the tricks of sweetener to keep carbs and sugar intake down so this is not a problem. I have used coconut and almond flour, however, you really need to use it with items such as coconut and other textured ingredients. They also cook differently based upon liquid ingredients and oven type. A trick is to place the coconut or almond in food processer to grind it to a smoother consistency. I cannot handle the coconut oil...it bothers my digestive system and the recents studies still have not been substantiated outside of Codain's info. I don't buy the Govt run FDA so I rely on nonprofit independent studies...use organic infused olive oils such as vanilla and dark chocolate(it is infused with 82% carob). Good luck and experiment...my trick is 3-1 with success rate of recipes

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174 · February 02, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I make "Paleo Bread" every once in a while for my SAD nieces and siblings, so that I try to diminish the harm they are getting from their diet. (I'm fooling myself, but I still try to get them to join my side)

Elana Amsterdam has a nice Paleo bread recipe on her site and it requires little coconut flour. I suggest you buy a little bit of almond flour and a little less of coconut flour, you'll be able to use them for this recipe, and you'll like it, most probably. I add nuts, and spices to it, and sometimes I add "ground" olives.

I suggest you do this when you have people coming over, it helps you not feel "alone" in a non-paleo environment, and you might let non-paleo people stop harassing you. If they do anyway.

In my experience, if you bake it often you'll get used to it and migghht be prone to falling off the wagon..often.

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174 · February 02, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Oh annd I use arrowroot powder as a thickener and in some baking recipes. Just like tapioca.

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174 · February 02, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Although I don't know much about the biochemistry, and GI of Plantain flour, I'm guessing since plantain has a good amount of sugar and carbs, drying in up will not make all the sugar disappear, so I think it's best if you use it less often than other flours. Almonds, compared to plantains, have MUCH MUCH less sugar, yet more dietary fiber (not sure how beneficial or non-beneficial fiber is).

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1418 · February 02, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Coconut flour is very easy to make! You don't need to buy it. I have a recipe for it on my blog at http://ilovetraditionalfoods.blogspot.ca/2013/02/how-to-make-coconut-flour.html

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98 · January 19, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Dear Manda, (wow nobody addresses each other like that anymore!)

From what I can tell, it isn't the inclusion of "high" dietary fat in bread (even unconventional flours like you mentioned possibly using) that is the problem. It is the SUGAR AND THE FAT together in the same meal that causes the problem.

Almonds. Dark Chocolate. Coconut. All considered healthy separately and in balanced amounts. That doesn't mean that eating a couple of Mounds and Almond Joys isn't a fat-making factory in action! It's the combination of the FAT and SUGAR that is the problem.

So make your bread. But know that the fat alone isn't the whole issue or even really part of the problem at all. Balanced amounts of dietary fats ARE good for you as you well know.

Find me a good recipe for sugarless bread (or at least one that doesn't spike blood sugar) and I'll try it (I think this is what you really should be looking for too).

I hope this tidbit of information helps, even if it doesn't answer your need directly.

Sincerely, (there I go again)

Eric :)

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98 · January 19, 2013 at 6:10 PM

P.S. I think Chelsea above has the right idea. If her bread recipe using bananas and hopefully no sugar added coconut milk has a low glycemic LOAD, it shouldn't cause the fat factory to fire up within you. (wow that sounds awful, but true!)

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540 · January 19, 2013 at 5:40 PM

i have made some great biscuits using almond and coconut flour. i tend to use arrowroot or tapioca as thickeners or as an addition to other flours in gluten free baking to give them a lighter/fluffier feel.

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