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Is Coconut Gluten-Free?

A bowl of coconut flour in front of two halves of a coconut.

Yes, coconut is gluten-free.

Despite its name, the coconut is not a nut but a fruit. It comes from the coconut palm tree and is an excellent source of fat, fiber and protein. 

All raw, unflavored derivatives of coconut, including coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut water and coconut flour are also gluten-free.

Is Coconut Milk Gluten-Free?

Yes, coconut milk is gluten-free. It is also dairy-free, because it’s not true milk but rather the creamy white liquid from the pulp of a coconut. Coconut milk is high in oil and saturated fat and is commonly used in curries and desserts, especially in South Asia.

Is Coconut Flour Gluten-Free?

Yes, coconut flour is gluten-free.

Coconut flour is typically made by grinding the dried meat of a coconut—which is naturally gluten-free—into a fine powder. It is also grain-free, low in carbs, and high in fiber, potassium and iron.

Coconut flour provides a natural sweetness when used to make cakes, muffins, pancakes and cookies, but it’s best used alongside other gluten-free flours, as it has a distinct flavor that can overwhelm a baked good on its own. It pairs well with almond flour and brown rice flour. Coconut flour also soaks up more moisture than wheat flour, so you may want to add a bit more liquid when using it as a substitute for wheat flour.

Although coconut flour is gluten-free, it’s still a good idea to read the label on the package before you purchase it, as flours are frequently mixed together for an optimal flavor balance.

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