Coffee Flour Nutrition
Could Coffee flour be coined the next Superfood?
The latest gluten free flour to hit the market is the highly nutritious Coffee flour made from the left over dried red pulp referred to as the coffee cherry. This by-product is the outer covering of the bean used to make coffee as we know it and by grinding it down, what was generally a waste product, can be turned into flour for baking bread, making pastas, used in sauces and beverages or to create delicious brownies. It is an incredibly versatile new product which contrary to our first thoughts, doesn’t embody the taste of coffee, but has citrusy, floral notes with subtle hints of roasted fruits, with the added bonus of plenty of health benefits.
Where it all began
Coffee flour was born some two years ago when Dan Belliveau, former Director of Technical Services at Starbucks, came up with the idea and started experimenting with his wife to make shortbread cookies and granola out of the coffee waste. He had seen piles of the stuff gather at the mills and what wasn’t used for compost or for making tea was regarded as waste and a challenge to dispose of. This amounts to a crazy 1.5 billion cubic feet per year due to our coffee drinking obsession! After experimenting in the kitchen with a few recipes, Belliveau thought the baked goods tasted pretty good and from that small step he started to take this idea further.
Could Coffee flour be the latest SuperFood?
The buzz Coffee flour is receiving could be due to the nutrition benefits it contains. Firstly being a gluten free product is certainly welcome amongst those consumers with a gluten or wheat intolerance. It is jammed pack with fibre and where most flours have between 5-12%, Coffee flour, according to the makers, has about 55%. Incredibly, it has three times more iron than spinach and more than any grain or cereal in the USDA database. Iron is an essential element and our health depends on it, so acquiring adequate amounts through natural products like Coffee flour can provide numerous health benefits. Not to mention that it has three times more protein per gram than fresh kale and 50% more than wholewheat flour providing you the steady supply needed to support proper bodily functions like building muscle, creating a healthy immune system and giving you the energy you need to survive the day.
When compared to coconut flour, another popular gluten and grain free flour on the market, Coffee flour contains 84% less fat and 42% more fibre than it’s soon to be rival. The high fibre content is not only necessary for keeping us regular but it also creates the feeling of being full which is ideal when you are going through a period of caloric restriction. In case you are not convinced that the product could be coined ‘Coffee flour SuperFood’ let’s give you a few more nutrition stats!
When it comes to potassium, an essential nutrient needed to build proteins and metabolise carbohydrates, it helps your bones retain calcium and assists in regulating your heartbeat. One ounce of Coffee flour has two times the potassium of a banana, a common source of this essential nutrient. And if you are worried about the caffeine content and whether this product is going to leave you buzzing after enjoying a sandwich made with Coffee flour bread, you can rest assured it contains far less caffeine than that latte you had for morning tea.
You don’t have to be living a gluten free lifestyle or a lover of Superfoods to know that white flour and even some of the wholewheat flours in today’s market are not the most nutritious things to consume. Especially considering during making many of these flours the essential nutrients, most of the fibre and B vitamins are stripped during the manufacturing process. And to top it off because we are much more likely to develop food addictions to refined carbohydrate based products, Coffee flour may be the answer to stop us from going back for more.
Coffee flour is currently in production on three continents benefiting Hawaii, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam. The product is still being fine-tuned and is due to be in stores within the next year or so. Those who are health conscious, or wishing to improve their current diet easily and conveniently, could find Coffee flour on the list of your go-to-ingredients in the not too distant future.