Organic coconut flour
Coconuts provide us with a delicious pulp, clear coconut water, coconut milk, and high-quality oil. The pulp is available fresh, dried, and grated, as flakes and, last but not least, as coconut flour. The bright white, fibrous flesh of the nut can be eaten raw. It is very rich in fat and nutrients. Coconuts are very popular for their typical pleasant taste and versatility. In Asian cuisine, coconut is an important ingredient in many dishes. The milk takes away the sharp spiciness of the food. Coconut flour, as we use it in our BERTRAND drinkable meals, is also becoming increasingly popular because it is gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, high in protein, and low in carbohydrates. It has good baking properties and can replace up to 25 percent of the “normal” amount of flour. We use coconut flour mainly because of the extremely balanced mix of minerals.
The origin of our organic coconut flour
The origin of the coconut palm and its fruits has not been conclusively clarified. The plant is found almost everywhere in the tropics. It likes to be near coasts and river courses, which is why many fruits fall into the water, where they can then float thousands of kilometers on the water. As a result, the coconut palm has spread widely over time. Today, the main cultivation areas for worldwide export are the countries of Southeast Asia, Central and South America. The fruits for our coconut flour grow in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. The Philippines are especially known for their organic cultivation according to the guidelines of the EU organic regulation. The fruits usually thrive in natural coconut palm forests, which also provide a habitat for numerous other plants and animals.
This is how coconut flour is made
Botanically speaking, the coconut is actually not a nut, in fact, it is a single-seeded drupe. It grows on the tropical tree “Cocos nucifera”, which can reach 30 meters in height. The leaves of the coconut palm sit at the top of the unbranched trunk and form highly pinnate fronds, on whose leaf axils inflorescences are formed from the sixth or seventh year.
The production of coconut flour requires great care and craftsmanship.
WARM AND FROST FREE
For optimal growth, the coconut palm needs a warm and humid climate. It can not tolerate frost in any case. The inflorescences contain about 40 female and several thousand male flowers. Wind, bees, wasps, and ants provide fertilization. The development of the fruit lasts about 12-15 months. Cultivation in mixed crops ensures the enrichment of the soil with nutrients, which in organic farming allows for the elimination of chemical pest control and fertilizers.
ABOUT 80 COCONUTS PER TREE
Harvesting coconuts is possible around the year, as the tree bears fruits of different degrees of ripeness at the same time. Each tree can yield up to 80 fruits a year. The highest yield is obtained only after the twelfth crop rotation. Harvesting is not completely safe. In some cases, knives on sticks several meters long are used for this purpose to make the nuts fall from the palm tree. Due to the weight and falling speed, the nut becomes a dangerous projectile, which can cause the most serious injuries if the nut hits the harvesters. In some places, it is also common for people to climb up the trees and cut the nuts. In some regions, trained monkeys take over the harvesting.
WE WANT THE FLOUR
For the production of coconut flour, the inside of the fruit, i.e. the white pulp is used. Coconuts have a very high fat content of about 33 percent. Flour cannot be made from such a fatty mass. Therefore, after harvesting, the coconut is first stripped of its outer layers. Then the pulp is finely grated and carefully de-oiled in a gentle cold-pressing process. This is used to obtain high-quality virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid up to a temperature of about 25 °C and only liquefies at warmer temperatures. It is to be distinguished from coconut fat, which is made from desiccated coconut It has lost most of its typical fragrance and taste.
WITHOUT ADDITIVES OR PRESERVATIVES
DRYING AND GRINDING
After pressing and de-oiling of the coconut pulp, the so-called press cake or pressed pellet remains. This pressed pellet is dried until only a small amount of residual moisture remains in the mass. Then the fine organic coconut flour is ground from it. Additives and preservatives are not added to the flour. We get it in packaging protected from light and air. It can be kept for a few months if stored in a cool place.
Why coconut flour?
Coconuts are characterized by a very good mix of vital substances, which still remain even in the flour due to the gentle processing. Only the originally very high fat content is reduced to about 12 percent in the flour. At the same time, coconut flour is a true low-carb product because it is very low in carbohydrates at about 16 percent. At BERTRAND, we value organic coconut flour because of these ingredients:
Coconuts contain vitamins B1, B2, and B6, folic acid as well as vitamins C and E. The B vitamins are considered important “nerve vitamins”, they support the immune system and energy metabolism. Vitamin C – also known as ascorbic acid – fights free radicals and helps build connective tissue, bone, and cartilage. Vitamin E is also considered an antioxidant and immune protector. However, the vitamins develop their special effect together with the minerals found in coconut flour.
The special mix of vital substances of the coconut, which is also found in the flour, contains the minerals and trace elements magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, manganese, and phosphate. Magnesium ensures smooth signal transmission to the muscles and is involved in the release and storage of hormones. Potassium regulates the water balance of the body. Calcium is the most important component of the skeletal system. Iron ensures oxygen transport in the blood and muscles and is central to blood formation. Zinc stimulates the immune system as a component of the antioxidant protective system. The alkali metal sodium is involved in the acid-base balance and regulates the activity of enzymes. Manganese supports the formation of connective tissue and regulates carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Phosphorus provides energy and is a building block of the genetic material. Many of the vitamins and minerals contained in coconut flour are interdependent for their optimal effect.
The protein content of coconut flour is about 17 percent. This is significantly higher than wheat flour, for example. Especially in our BERTRAND active variant, coconut flour is therefore a desirable ingredient for increasing the protein content. Proteins are broken down daily in the organism and must be replaced. Dietary proteins are needed to provide the body with all the essential amino acids needed for cell and muscle development. All organs, bones and cartilage, skin, and hair also need a sufficient amount of protein.
Eat 30 grams of fiber daily – that is the recommendation of the authoritative nutrition societies. This value is rarely achieved by today’s diet. The BERTRAND drinking meals guarantee the supply of the recommended amount of fiber with the daily ration, and the organic coconut flour contributes to this. This is because coconut flour has a whopping 39 grams of fiber per 100 grams of flour.
Dietary fiber is of great importance for intestinal health and a well-functioning digestive system. They prolong the feeling of satiety and influence carbohydrate metabolism. For example, they help to keep blood sugar levels constant.
- Picture of Coconut Mountain at the top of the page: Dogora Sun via Shutterstock
- Map of Asia: Visual Society via Shutterstock
- Post image, coconut on white background: xpixel via Shutterstock