Coconut flour is made by grinding and dehydrating coconut meat, and then extracting the oil. Coconut flour is therefore a waste product in the production process for coconut milk or coconut oil. As a result of its relatively high proportion of indigestible carbohydrates, it has the highest fiber content of conventional flours.
General information about coconuts:
From Wikipedia: “The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) and the only species of the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.
Coconuts are known for their great versatility, as evidenced by many traditional uses, ranging from food to cosmetics. They form a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits for their large quantity of water (also called "juice") and when immature, they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for their potable coconut water. When mature, they can be used as seed nuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying, as well as in soaps and cosmetics. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating.”
Nutritional information and culinary uses:
Coconut flour is gluten- and cholesterol free, and compared to coconut meat it is also low in carbohydrates (in terms of the part that can be digested) and fat. The high proportion of middle-chain fatty acids promotes the absorption of vitamins as well as minerals, most notably magnesium and calcium. Coconut flour also contains a large amount of fiber and just sprinkling it over your muesli and fruit salads is a good way to help cover the daily requirement for fiber. It has a sweet, nutty aroma, which makes it especially good for use in sweet desserts. Since it absorbs liquids well, coconut flour also works well as a binder for sauces.
When you bake with coconut flour, you should use it in a ratio of 1:4 with the other flours in the recipe and add some additional water. If you want to use coconut flour in place of the conventional flour called for in a recipe, then you will only need about one-third of the amount listed. Coconut flour is available in organic grocery stores and online or you can make it yourself by grinding shredded coconut or freshly grated coconut.
Recipe for making coconut flour:
Bring 4 parts of water to a boil and add to 1 part shredded or grated coconut and let stand for about 20 minutes. Then blend everything for about 2 minutes. Line a strainer with a cheese cloth and pour the mixture into the sieve, catching the liquid (coconut milk) so that you can use it as a drink or for cooking. If you let the liquid cool, the fat will separate to the top. Place the coconut meal on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let dry for at least 2–3 hours at 60–90 °C. Transfer the dried coconut meal to the blender and grind until it achieves the desired consistency. Stored in a canning jar in a cool, dark place, coconut flour will keep for about 4 weeks.