The Flour Series: Coffee Flour

First up on The Flour Series is…. Coffee Flour!

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What is it?

Coffee Flour is a new gluten-free flour option making its way into mainstream grocery stores as we speak.

As the Trader Joe’s package above states, coffee flour is made from dried and then ground coffee cherry husks and skins. One benefit of this is that this part of the coffee plant is usually thrown away and this new use is allowing the coffee industry to produce less waste, #wasteless!

Although I assumed the flour would have that fantastic caffeine-inducing smell to it by which coffee reels me in, it does not. The best way to describe the taste of this flour is somewhere between date and raisin. Not what you would expect.

The caffeine content is definitely present but probably won’t give you as much of a kick as you hoped. Claims are that it has about 60mg of caffeine per tablespoon, which sounds like a lot, but most recipes have you replacing less than a quarter cup of flour with coffee flour (or 10-15% substitution) because of the strong flavor. So spread that 240mg of caffeine over an entire pan of brownies and (unless your intent is to eat the entire pan) you are getting a pretty minimal amount.

Benefits of coffee flour include 3x more iron than spinach, 5x more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, 38% more antioxidants than pomegranate, 2x more potassium than bananas, 3x more protein than kale and 84% less fat than coconut flour.       Dude.

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One thing to be aware of is that none of the coffee flours I have seen claim to be organic. Coffee is one of the most chemically-treated crops in the world. So regardless of whether you are a strict organic consumer or not, this is a potential concern and you might not want to add this to every dish your making until more research is available.

What do you do with it?

Because of the harsh, somewhat bitter taste of the flour, most recipes you find on-line are for brownies or something with a lot of chcolate and sugar to help balance the flavor. Check out the photo above and see the coffee flour package has a brownie recipe on the back.

For the sheer irony of it, I am looking for a good coffee cake recipe to try using the coffee flour. Epicurious.com has some good options I’m considering since I don’t have a tried and true coffee cake recipe of my own yet.

Some resources say you can add this flour to other things like smoothies and sauces, but I haven’t tested that personally.

What does BTN do with it?

Well… I’ve tried a number of recipes, some better than others. Apparently the first round of coffee flour cookies I tried only got published in my Instastories on Instagram… Meaning those photos are gone from posterity. But my initial reaction was that they were very date-y and bitter and I did not want to double up the sugar to make then taste like a cookie.

So my next experiment was using the flour to make a morning bar, something you would expect to be more earthy, like trail mix. I did a number of trials trying to get a good bar that people would like… And still the reaction I got from what I consider my “mainstream feedback” was that they were still too earthy.

With that said, Nick and I really enjoyed them based on our palate. And even though I won’t be adding them to my order forms, look for a follow up post with the recipe coming soon!

One option I did really like was the Mocha Protein Cookies! The addition of a stevia-sweetened protein powder actually made the cookie quite delicious! I will be adding that to my offerings this month! It is packed with protein,  low on sugar, includes all the coffee flour benefits, and pretty good for a morning snack!

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I hope this helps to answer your questions and assumptions on coffee flour! I had a blast testing it this last month and I’ll keep you all in the loop as I continue to understand it’s benefits.

Have a cookie,

Lauren

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And the Winner is…

Katelyn!

Private Message me on Facebook and we’ll work out the details of the cookies! 🙂

 

Thanks everyone for commenting and creating the buzz! I pulled names out of a lunch box… for lack of a hat. But I loved all your favorites and they gave me some good ideas. Stay tuned for the giveaway cookie new release coming in the next month!

 

Have a cookie!

Lauren

Green Baking… eggs, but no ham.

Half of this post is an exciting science mistake/discovery and half of this post is a promotional product pitch.

It all started with an order.  For me it usually does. I may have launched my business on the fact that I make darn good gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, but I have since realized  that most of the time people order bakes goods, they are looking for something special.  Chocolate chip cookie are a regular delivery for me to Good L’Oven, but this particular week they asked for half of the order to be Snicker-doodles.

For those who don’t know, snicker-doodles are cinnamon sugar cookies. So, I knew my usually cookie dough base, boasting a peanut buttery taste, was going to be too strong for this cookie.  I do love baking with butters though. Nut butters are a staple for my cookies.  So in the quest to find a more mild flavor that wouldn’t drown the cinnamon, I got some sunflower butter to experiment with. Sunflower butter is just like a peanut butter, but is not as strongly flavored.

So, after I whipped up a batch with the sunflower butter, I split one in half for Nick and I to try, and you wouldn’t believe what I saw…

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The middle of the cookie was bright GREEN.

At first I panicked… and I was trying to remember from high school chemistry if it was possible that my blender and metal bowl had caused some chemical reaction with an ingredient. So what other choice did I have but to go to Google. I searched “why is the middle of my cookie green?!!” For some reason I was sure Google would know and this time I was not let down.

Apparently, I was on to something with my limited chemistry memory, but it was the sunflower seed butter and the baking soda! The chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds reacts with the baking soda when I baked it, causing the green color to appear in the middle when the cookies cooled. Thankfully the cookies were edible! And we sure did eat them up. So, I gave one to my trusty, foodie, health friend Meredith to test and make sure she survived. She did. I however did change the recipe before delivering said baked goods to my customer. (phew!)

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(side note that I bragged to my best friend and high school chemistry lab partner about my discovery… and we determined that this was more than we may have ever learned in high school…)

Now I promised there would be another part of this post that is more promotional product pitch… Green Tea Mini Muffins! I recently received an order for a few batches of green mini muffins for St. Patty’s day.

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So here they are… green tea mini muffins! They have a light green color, so I left some plain, some with crushed pistachios and some with mini chocolate chips. Great morning treat for the breakfast event and so cute too! I might try to make them a touch greener, but I am very happy with them and they are now available for order!

  • $6/dozen for the plain minis
  • $7/dozen for either of the toppings

Let me know if you want to order these for your St. Patty’s get-togethers by shooting me an e-mail at bakedtruenorth@gmail.com or message me on my Facebook page… or scroll up to the Contact link and shoot me a note there!

Thanks to everyone for tuning in for some green fun! Happy St. Patty’s Day (a bit early)!

Have a Cookie,

Lauren

I NEED a Pie too!

So often I hear masterpieces come about by accident. This is not going to be one of those stories… But it ends good, I promise!

I had some ladies over from our church and decided to make my Baked True North canolli pie! I truly love this pie. It is my BTN basic cookie dough recipe, complete with chocolate chips and all, smashed into a pie plate as a crust with this fantastic canolli filling on top.

The first time I made it was for Nick’s dad back on father’s day. It was a hit, even though I didn’t plan enough time to let it sit in the fridge after baking. We decided it was a delicious mucky pudding pie, of sorts, and still licked the plate, regardless that it didn’t stay together. So I planned ahead this time.

While making said deliousness, Nick asked me where HIS pie was. He knew he wasn’t invited to ladies night and there likely wouldn’t be any left. I was pretty tired but I said I would make him his own pie. No sooner had I uttered the words did I regret them. Neither did I have the ingredients or the time to make another pie, nor did Nick want or need a whole pie for himself.

As a side note, if you know Nick, he doesn’t really eat sweets because he is super healthy, but I had used only stevia in this go round of the recipe, which makes the carb content way low and the taste rocks!

He convinced me that he would be happy with just a spoonful of the pie filling that was waiting to go into the cooling crust… And it gave me an idea! 💡

I have mini spring form pans and I wondered if I could make some version of a cheesecake souffle for him. I took a spoonful of the filling (loaded with cream cheese and ricotta) and mixed it with 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of organic peanut butter, and a few more mini chocolate chips. I mixed it up, put it in the pan, and threw it in the oven along side the other pie with a prayer.

He barely waited for it to cool and ate it right off the pan plate. I can’t say it was award winning or that I’m dropping everything to add it to my menu. It was a little dry (which he fixed by eating it with coconut milk), but the nice thing about gluten free people is… They usually are more forgiving and are happy they can eat it at all.  I likely will try it again with a few more tweaks and I’ll let you know when it’s ready for the press. 🙂

The Baked True North Canolli Pie is available for purchase in regular and sugar-free and will be updated on the website soon. Shoot me a note for pricing in the mean time and let me know if there’s some other gluten free creations you’re interested in having!

Stay delicious,

Lauren Marts

Farmhand Fair!

For 3 weeks in July I was at a farmers market at the Sewickley Mount Nebo Agway.

125 McAleer Rd, Sewickley, PA 15143

I’ll be there again This coming Saturday, August 13, assuming I get time to bake!

I tried out a new recipe the first week I was there; something I came up with on accident. I was out of chocolate chips and I had purchased honey peanut butter, instead of the regular stuff, so what resulted were my mini honey nutters! They have no added sugar, just organic honey and bakeable stevia, so they are much lower carb than my chocolate chip masterpieces. And people have loved them! I think I sold out of them 2 out of the 3 weeks I had them!

They also inspired me on how to turn my chocolate chip cookies into a sugar free ones! I’m almost there! I want to have the yummiest healthiest chocolate chip cookies ever! I will likely start debuting my sugar free chocolate chip cookies this fall. I have been making so many cookies for the farmers market, friends, family, and a Pittsburgh wedding cookie table, that I haven’t had much time for some good old fashioned chemistry experiments.

Also my cookies have been featured the first weekend of every month at a wonderful local boutique in Avalon, called Reposhture!

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The shop is absolutely adorable. I’ve purchased cute stuff there like a window made into a work of art for my wall, vintage hat, handmade fabric flower magnet, and another vintage plate I’m picking up. Love Kim’s (the owner) style and really appreciate her heart. Stop in September 3 and 4 to check it out and grab a cookie while you’re there.

That’s all for now… But leave a comment and you could be picked, in my next blog post, to win one of my new sugar free cookies!

Thanks all!