People who know me know that I love coffee. I adore it, I live for it, it makes me happy. So, I was pretty chuffed when I heard about coffee flour.
Coffee flour is produced from milling the fruit, rather than the seed of a coffee plant. Usually, the fruit is a waste product, discarded as a useless byproduct that clogs up the environment. Imagine if apple seeds were the only part used, and the apple part itself was discarded and left to rot. Pretty messy, right?
Well, Dan Belliveau, a former technical services director at Starbucks, along with other tech guys and engineers, figured that coffee berries were good for something else besides piles of garbage or rotting in the rivers. They milled the coffee berries into flour. They didn't expect to make it available on the retail market, but somehow it ended up on Nuts.com and voilá: my coffee world is complete.
Coffee flour doesn't taste like coffee. It has a deep, rich flavor that is sort of ... brown. Burgundy brown. I've heard that it is good in smoothies, soups, and sauces, and I will try that out, especially the smoothie part. A tablespoon has 34 little calories, 5 grams of dietary fiber (both insoluble and soluble so your tummy will love you), is rich in potassium and iron, and has more antioxidants per gram than pomegranates. It is high in protein and potassium. Throw in the fact that it is low-sodium, fat-free, gluten-free, is paleo and vegan friendly, and makes the environment better: coffee flour attains food nirvana -- and not just because it comes from coffee!
I ordered it from Nuts.com, getting a 12 ounce bag for $6.99, just to try it out. I read that coffee flour isn't exactly like regular all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, it is more like soy or almond flour. You should mix it with other flours, about 10% to 30% coffee to 90% -70% other. You have to find the right blend for you. In texture, it is kind of like cocoa powder both in color and feel, though cocoa powder is finer.
The first thing I tried it out on was this recipe from allrecipes.com called "Apple Cinnamon White Cake". Pay no attention to the name. I used it as a base to make a loaf of apple bread. I chose it because it was low calorie, had the mix of apples, brown sugar, butter and flour I wanted. The mix of flour that I had on hand was milled einkorn flour, soy flour, and coffee flour. I baked it in a loaf pan, and it came out pretty good, as an apple bread sort of thing for breakfast. But it really didn't have enough taste. So I tried again.
This time I used a molasses cookie recipe from allrecipes.com that looked like a good recipe. I mean, how can you screw up molasses cookies, right? The first batch, I rolled into balls and sugar like they said in the recipe, but they didn't flatten out at all. Doesn't matter! They tasted great! They are like little molasses doughnut holes. The rest of the cookies I flattened out after I rolled them in sugar, so they looked better. And they still tasted great!
If you have coffee flour and soy flour and almond flour, you can make my version of Molasses Cookies too.
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or any combination of butter and coconut oil)
1/2 cup Splenda (I'm diabetic, use 1 cup of sugar if you are not)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup soy flour
1/4 cup almond flour*
3/4 cup coffee flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
about 1/2 cup sugar to roll the cookies in
- In a medium bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil, sugar and Splenda, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Press them flat. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks
* I only had 1/4 cup of almond flour. If I had had more, I would have used a cup of almond flour, and half a cup each of coffee flour and soy flour. Oh darn, I have to make more cookies!