Could Coffee Make Your Baked Goods Healthier?

If you’re looking to make your muffins, scones, or other baked goods healthier, chances are you’ve already switched from white flour to whole wheat. Now, there’s a new nutritional contender to consider subbing in: coffee flour.

The fine powder is milled from coffee beans roasted at around 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until they’re a light mustard or gold color (that’s about 100 to 150 degrees lower than the temp coffee beans are roasted to make your regular cup of Joe). At this lower temperature, the coffee beans maintain their caffeine content as well as nutritional antioxidants that are less abundant in roasted coffee beans, says  a senior research scientist in the physics department at Brandeis University, who created the flour.

One of the more important antioxidants that coffee flour can provide is chlorogenic acid (CGA), which research suggests may have anticancer properties and help in your gastrointestinal tract, says Perlman.

Because of its high level of caffeine content, you wouldn’t want to use only coffee flour in a recipe—those would be some very energizing muffins. But Perlman says that substituting the mild, nutty-tasting powder for 5 to 10 percent of the weight of the recipe could be a good addition for healthier baked goods.

“Bakery uses are certainly a very good use for this ingredient, but there are many other products like health bars and snack bars where it would be great,” Perlman says. “It’ll blend into a vegetable or fruit smoothie drink or even hummus and nut butters.”

Don’t head to the grocery store just yet. Brandeis just patented the method and is now looking to license the ingredient to one or more major food companies. Until then, you’ll need to make do with regular flour and dream of even healthier baked goods to come. We also suggest these

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