Coconut Flour vs. Coconut Powder: Understanding the Differences and Uses

We have received the following questions from one of our website users. He wants to know about the coconut flour and coconut powder.


I need to know the difference between Coconut flour and Coconut Powder. I am on a Keto, Low-Carb Diet and one of my recipe needs Coconut Flour. I have Coconut Powder brought from Asian Store for my South Asian Recipes. I just want to make sure that I can use Coconut Powder in this recipe.

Amanda Williams via Ask Your Questions Form


Coconut flour and coconut milk powder are two products that are derived from coconuts. But they are not the same, you can not use them interchangeably in recipes. The nutritional composition and the physical quality (eg. texture, solubility) it provides to the recipe is quite different. We can use both of these coconut products in cooking and baking, but they have distinct differences in terms of their production, uses and nutritional value.


Coconut flour is made by grinding the dried meat of the coconut. this coconut meat is taken from what is left over after extracting its milk. South Asians use coconut milk in most of the recipes and they grind the leftover coconut meat to produce coconut powder for their home use. However, in Sri Lanka, coconut powder is not used much in the recipes and this nutritionally poor (in terms of calories) leftover coconut flesh is thrown away. However, coconut powder is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour and is commonly used in baking. We can use coconut flour to make bread, cakes, cookies, and other baked foods. Since coconut flour is high in fibre and protein, and it is low in carbohydrates, it is a favourite ingredient of those who are on a ketogenic low-carb diet.


Coconut powder, on the other hand, is made by evaporating coconut milk. It is a more versatile ingredient. It is a convenient option to get coconut milk which is used in South Asian Curry dishes, especially in Sri Lanka and Kerala in India. Unlike coconut flour, it is also high in fat and calories which essentially makes it the tastier product.


Let me briefly tell you about the use of these products. Coconut flour is typically used as a replacement for wheat flour in baking recipes. We can use it in gluten-free and low-carb alternatives to traditional baked goods. On the other hand, we use Coconut milk powder to add flavour and texture to dishes such as curries, soups, and stews.


One might consider coconut flour to be healthier than the coconut powder. That is because in weight loss regimens using low-carb ketogenic diet use coconut powder. However, food is supposed to provide good nutrition for the proper function of body and the growth. Hence, coconut milk powder is nutritionally better product in individuals who are not trying to lose weight. Coconut flour is rich in fibre and protein, and it is low in carbohydrates. It is also gluten-free, making it an ideal choice for those with gluten sensitivities. Coconut milk powder on the other hand is high in fat and calories, which can be beneficial for some individuals who do not have issue of diabetes, high cholesterol or obesity.


In conclusion, while both coconut flour and coconut powder are derived from coconuts, they are not the same. They are made using different processes, and they have different and nutritional values. It should be emphasize that nutritional benefits of both coconut powder and coconut flour will depend on the individual’s dietary needs and preferences.


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