Baking w/Coconut Flour & Black Bean Soup (Panera-style)

I’ve seen coconut flour popping up all over the blog world for a while now, but just recently got around to trying it out. I kind of thought it would be an obscure ingredient I’d never use, but I was wrong! 

Coconut flour is becoming increasingly popular for those following gluten-free, low-gylcemic, and most recently, paleo diets. It is also a good source of both protein and fiber. If you’re interested, you can read more info about coconut flour here.

Though it is a bit pricey, you really get a lot of bang for your buck. For most recipes, you only need a very small amount, as it is very absorbent. This also means that you need a lot of liquid – the dry: liquid ingredient ratio is NOT what you’d typically find in baking recipes.

FYI – I used this brand. I’ve read that various brands perform differently, but I haven’t experimented with any others yet so I can’t say if this is true. 

I’d been using coconut flour for a few weeks to make microwave protein muffins at night, but this past week I finally tried it out for a real recipe – mini cupcakes for my roommate’s birthday!

I used this recipe, using Earth Balance for the butter/oil and subbing honey for agave. 

Pre-frosting

For the frosting, I kind of winged it to taste. I started out thinking I’d make vanilla frosting, but it tasted too much like straight butter, so I added cocoa powder and some extra stevia to try to balance out the flavor. It was something like this (feel free to add more/less to taste as you go…it’s a very flexible recipe)

  • 6 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 + tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet stevia

Necessary b-day sprinkles

Overall, I really enjoyed using the coconut flour. It gave the cupcakes a really nice flavor, but it was NOT a strongly coconutty one, so don’t worry about that if you don’t like coconut! I’d love to experiment with using it for some type of snack/protein bars in the near future.

So, onto the black bean soup… I LOVE Panera’s Black Bean Soup. Like a lot. But I never go to Panera. Based on Panera’s ingredient list (found on their website), I figured it couldn’t be that hard to recreate, so I did some googling.

Ingredient List

Low-Fat Vegetarian Black BeanLow fat black bean soup (water, black beans [may contain soy], onions, celery, vegetable base [cooked vegetables {carrot, celery, onion}, tomato paste, corn oil, yeast extract, potato flour, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, natural flavoring], red peppers, modified food starch, salt, spices, lemon juice, garlic powder).

I found this recipe on several sites, and decided it was the winner.

The soup was definitely tasty and easy to make, but I think the celery was really overpowering and it didn’t taste exactly like Panera’s. I think maybe the stalks I used were extra large, so maybe I’ll try again with some smaller stalks.

Def best topped w/avocado (not shown)

I am actually in the airport right now getting ready to head to the native land (Texas!). Can’t. Wait. To be home!!

Be back soon with a Thanksgiving Menu post!

Hope you are all off from work by now and relaxing for the next few days!

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One thought on “Baking w/Coconut Flour & Black Bean Soup (Panera-style)

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving 2012 | bugontherun

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