How To Kick Your Thyroid’s Ass: Another Way To Be Deliciously Gluten-Free
November marks one year for me, being completely, consciously, deliciously gluten-free. The improvements in my health really are so marked, and isn’t it funny what a little protein found in a “healthy” grain can do to one’s entire system? Being gluten-free goes against conventional nutrition because we have been taught that grains, especially whole grains, are essential to good health and wellbeing. But, I don’t buy it (remember, we’re trying to be nutritionally deviant, which is sexy!!!). And so, in addition to being gluten-free, I am also grain-free because for me, my research and readings coupled with my personal experience (more energy, less infection, fewer migraines, weight loss and a stable weight, no digestion problems) allow a grain-free lifestyle to just make sense. So many of you keep in contact with me either via Facebook, Twitter, the Dear Thyroid site itself, or email, and let me know that the same is proving true for you — you feel great, alive, amazing, and your levels finally seem to be balanced. I love hearing this so much. For those of you just starting out on your gluten-free (or grain-free) journey or for those who have been living the lifestyle for quite a while now, please keep at it! It can seem difficult at first and all of your hard work may seem in vain, but in time, chances are, you’ll feel better! Since I’m only one year in myself, we’re all in this together!
In light of all that, today I’d like to introduce you to one of my newest favorite ingredients: coconut flour. It’s a flour made from the meat of coconuts, and is therefore, gluten-free and grain-free. Coconut is, in my opinion, a superfood of sorts. That is, it contains the substance lauric acid. Lauric acid is a powerful antibacterial agent and immune booster, which is also found in human breast milk. Remember, balanced bacteria in the body equals high immunity, and lauric acid consumption can regulate the “bad bacteria“. It also stimulates the thyroid, which stimulates metabolism, which can equal weight loss. (PS: You’ll also be receiving the benefits of lauric acid should you use coconut oil, which I do, and is delicious and thyroid-stimulating as well — good news for us hypos, though hypers should moderate their use).
Coconut flour is high in protein, low-carb, and contains fiber as well as other essential vitamins and minerals. It’s low on the glycemic index which means it won’t spike blood sugar, contribute to weight gain, or leave you feeling fatigued after eating (you know, the way that, conversely, grains do). And because coconut contains good fats, it will still give you the feeling of fullness and satiety that grains provide without the drop in energy afterward.
Since coconut flour is used as a replacement for grain flours, it’s typically utilized in baking and cooking: cakes, cookies, pancakes, scones, biscuits, crackers, crepes, muffins, brownies, and crusts, to name a few. It’s also a great replacement for traditional white or wheat flour for breading, bread crumbs, or as a thickener in soups and stews. A more coarse coconut flour (or even coconut flakes) can be sprinkled on yogurt, thrown into granola, made into trail mix, or blended in smoothies. Really, the possibilities are endless, as are the recipe resources on the internet. Let us know how your recipes turn out and what you end up concocting!
- Tropical Traditions is sort of considered the gold standard in coconut products. They are what we’d consider “beyond organic” — their family-run business places the health of their consumer and the health of their employees and harvesters as top priority. Their organic coconut oils and flours are the highest quality. And, good news for you — they’re actually running a web special until November 1st — buy one, get one free on bags of coconut flour.
- Dr. Mercola also offers an organic coconut flour via his website’s store. You can also read his reasons for using the flour — the associated health benefits and the drawbacks to other gluten-filled wheat flours as well as “alternative” flours, such as soy.
- I have also found coconut flour (and flakes) at my local Whole Foods, or health food store.
- I’m a big fan of Elana’s Pantry — a great gluten-free, grain-free, and sometimes dairy-free recipe website. This is the first place I’d direct you in your coconut flour experiments. , Several of her recipes call for coconut flour. They look delicious.
Until Next Week,
Have a question, comment, story, love letter, or rant/rave to send me?: Liz@DearThyroid.com