While coconut flour is a fantastic alternative for gluten-free, keto-friendly, and paleo baking, potato flour is often cited as a favorite for gluten-free recipes and thickening pie fillings. It’s also commonly used in cooking, binding together patties and thickening stews, soups, and gravies, to name a few.
If you’re new to potato flour, we’re about to look into a comparison between coconut flour and potato flour so you can decide which to bake with. Read on!
Comparing coconut flour vs potato flour
Potato flour is made solely from whole potatoes, where they’re cooked, dried, and then ground into a fine powder. It’s also known to look and feel similar to the beloved all-purpose flour. Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat, which then goes through the same process as potato flour. While they’re both gluten-free flours, potato flour isn’t keto- or paleo-friendly, making it a non-option for people on these diets.
Coconut flour also has a long pantry shelf life – up to a whopping 2 years unopened and with proper storage, whereas potato flour has the same shelf life as all-purpose flour.
|Coconut Flour||Potato Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Substitution ratio vs all-purpose flour||1:4||1:5-1:1*||N/A|
|Allergens||Coconut (tree nuts)||Potato||Wheat, gluten|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||Up to 2 years||6 – 8 months||6 – 8 months|
|Best for baking…||Most desserts – especially cakes, cookies, pie crusts, muffins, dense breads (especially pumpkin bread!)||Gluten-free recipes, especially bread||Non-yeast recipes (think cookies, biscuits, and some breads)|
*A wide range here depending on the recipe and preferences. For the 1:1 substitution to work, you’d only be substituting for a small percentage of the flour in a recipe (the rest would be the flour already called for).
Differences between coconut flour and potato flour
The biggest difference between coconut and potato flour is their makeup. Surprisingly, potato flour is a lot lighter than coconut flour. However, they both have high liquid absorbency, which means increased tenderness for gluten-free goods and moist and supple baked treats in general!
You’ll learn about plenty of other differences between the two, including their ingredients and nutritional facts that we’ll go through in this section.
Baking with coconut flour vs baking with potato flour
When it comes to baking, there is certainly even more of a variation in how your goods will turn out.
If you’re substituting all-purpose flour for coconut flour, you’ll have to cut down on the amount of coconut flour used to ¼ of what the recipe calls for. Plan for your dough to be a lot denser than usual! It’s also an excellent choice for no-bake recipes and adds a natural hint of sweetness.
But while coconut flour needs a binder, potato flour is a natural binder in itself. Although you can use it as a 1:1 substitution in small amounts for all-purpose flour, it attracts and holds water a lot better to give your baked goods good moistness. For larger all-purpose flour substitutions, potato flour gets trickier and requires experimentation for the right ratio.
Ingredients in coconut flour vs potato flour
As mentioned, both flours only contain the ingredient stated in their names (when done right) – coconut flour contains just coconut, and potato flour just contains potato. Even better, coconut flour is a natural byproduct of coconut milk, making it an eco-friendly flour.
I love natural products that don’t add any extra preservatives or chemicals into my baked goods, so I personally recommend Bob’s Red Mill’s Organic Coconut Flour and their Potato Flour.
Coconut flour + potato flour nutritional facts
|Per ¼ cup serving||Coconut flour||Potato flour||All-purpose flour|
|Carbs||18 g||38 g||23 g|
|Fiber||10 g||3 g||1 g|
|Fat||3 g||0 g||0 g|
|Protein||6 g||3 g||4 g|
|Glycemic index score||45||95||85|
Looking through the table, you might be thinking – potato flour doesn’t seem to have the best nutrition (but it does have plenty of vitamins and minerals!). It has a high glycemic index score (95 versus 45 and 85) and more carbohydrates (38g versus 18 and 23) and calories (160 versus 120 and 110) than coconut flour and all-purpose flour, respectively. The only place where potato flour “wins” is its low fat content (both potato and all-purpose flour have 0g).
While we’ve mentioned that potato flour is not keto-friendly, let’s elaborate on that. Keto-friendly diets recommend no more than 50g of carbohydrates a day, so at 38g per ¼ cup serving, it’s certainly not a great choice. Cut that number in half, and we’ve got coconut flour as a potential contender for keto-friendly baked goods.
Coconut flour also has a MUCH lower glycemic index, making it a lot more suitable for those with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Coconut flour vs potato flour storage
Shelf life is also an important factor to take into consideration, as you don’t want to purchase your flour just to have it go bad quickly.
Coconut flour is known to last a long time unopened, around two years, depending on how well you store it and where. Meanwhile, potato flour’s shelf life is much more similar to all-purpose flour – shorter, at 6 – 8 months. Of course, there’s always the option of putting your flour in the fridge or freezer to preserve its freshness.
Coconut flour vs potato flour: The best bake
So, what’s the verdict? Both flours are suitable alternatives for yummy baked treats, but coconut flour still reigns supreme. It has a lot more versatility than potato flour as it’s more beginner-friendly, lasts longer, and won’t be too difficult to handle. And there’s more control over the density of your bake.
Want to get started with coconut flour? Check out this chewy brownie recipe and this lemon cake recipe. And if you need to buy some, check out our rankings of the best coconut flours.
However, potato flour can take biscuits, bread, and the like to the next level with its moist texture – so don’t write it off!
Potato starch and potato flour are not the same thing. Potato starch has much larger granules and acts similarly to cornstarch in cooking recipes. On the other hand, potato starch has similarities to wheat flour and is commonly used in baking.
The answer depends on what you’re looking for. Although potato flour comes with more calories and sodium than all-purpose flour, it has less fat and higher vitamin and mineral content – including phosphorus, zinc, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and more. But if you’re trying to cut down on carbs or watching your blood sugar levels, its high carb count isn’t exactly ideal.
If reducing your carb intake and increasing your protein intake is one of your goals, there are plenty of high-protein flours out there! Take a look, here.
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