Did you know that a cup of common wheat flour contains almost 100 grams of carbohydrates? Too much for when you crave something sweet on a ketogenic diet ! Just one bite could get you out of ketosis.
But this does not mean that you will never be able to enjoy a baked dessert or even a sandwich while on a very low carb diet.
There is a whole world of delicious ketogenic desserts waiting for you, if you know what are the best low carb substitutes for traditional flour you can.
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The 5 best ketogenic flours
By using low carb flours, you can get all the benefits of the ketogenic diet. However, replace flours with high carbohydrate content; such as wheat flour, corn flour and rice flour; with low carb flour is not as simple as using one for the other.
Due to the difference in composition between high-carbohydrate and low-carbohydrate flours, you will need to use different amounts along with other ingredients that are not often found in traditional recipes.
The following low carbohydrate flours are the most used and versatile in the ketogenic diet :
1. Almond flour
Almond flour is simply made from blanched (previously boiled) and finely ground almonds.
If you’re on keto, almond flour will be your best baking option because it’s low carb, high fat, moderate protein, and has great taste and texture.
Plus, almond flour is a must for keto cooking for a number of reasons. It has great health benefits, is a good source of vitamin E, and is also rich in magnesium, iron, manganese, calcium, and potassium.
It also gives a nutty flavor and a moist, slightly dense character to baked goods. It is important to note that the number of macros in almond flour varies by brand. So look for brands that contain 10 or less net carbs per cup.
Cooking Tips: Almond flour is great for quick cakes, cookies, and breads. The finer you grind the almond flour, the finer the consistency of your baked goods and the easier it will be to light dough. It may help to add an additional leavening agent (for example, baking powder or baking soda).
There is no suggested measuring ratio for almond flour. This is partly because each brand of almond flour is slightly different. The best advice I can give you is to use a little less oil and liquid to account for the high fat content of almonds.
Almond flour can brown too quickly, so cover it with aluminum foil. Always allow keto-friendly baked goods to set and cool completely.
How to properly store almond flour: Since almond flour can go rancid quickly, it is best to put it in the refrigerator or freezer after opening. Most almond flour comes in a hermetically sealed bag, but you can also use an airtight container.
2. Coconut flour
The coconut flour is also rich in protein and fat, which makes it exceptionally ideal for keto diet. It’s versatile too, so use it in both sweet and savory recipes.
This low carb flour is light and superfine with hardly any coconut flavor and a very low glycemic index value (a whole cup of coconut flour has only 24 net carbs).
Coconut flour is made from super fine ground and dried coconut pulp. It’s great for baking low-carb desserts, and it’s lower in calories and carbohydrates and higher in fiber than almond flour.
Cooking Tips: This versatile flour can be used for baked goods, toppings, and to thicken soups. Coconut flour is absorbent, so expect to use more liquid than normal when baking with it.
As in the case of almond flour, coconut flour cannot be directly substituted in your old recipes. Substitute 1/3 cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour. For every 1 cup of coconut flour, use six eggs and 1 cup of liquid. Coconut flour can be baked at the same temperature as other recipes, without the need for temperature adjustments.
When combining almond flour and coconut flour, the best ratio is 3: 1 almond flour to coconut flour.
If you are making a low carb dough, be sure to let it sit and thicken for a couple of minutes. By doing this, you will end up with a much stronger and less brittle dough.
How to properly store coconut flour: Since coconut flour absorbs moisture like a sponge, it is important to keep it in an airtight bag or container. Store in a cool, dark place in your pantry rather than in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid moisture contamination.
3. Flour of nuts and other dried fruits
You can grind almost any dried fruit to a consistency similar to traditional flour and use it to reduce the carbohydrate content of your recipes.
Walnut flour, for example, can be used in many recipes that call for almond flour. Other nut flours that you can experiment with are hazelnut flour, macadamia nut flour, and pistachio flour. Each will give your baked goods a unique flavor, so choose wisely.
Cooking Tips: A Delicious Recipe Using Walnut Flour: Low Carb Walnut Topping Salmon This recipe works well with chopped walnuts or coarse walnut flour. Walnuts add another dimension of flavor and texture to salmon that almonds simply cannot provide.
How to properly store walnut flour : Store it the same way you would almond flour. Put it in an airtight bag or container and store it in the refrigerator.
4. Flax flour
Ground flax meal is keto. This is a type of flour made from flax seeds that are also super nutritious. Ketogenic flax meal provides a good source of vitamin B1, copper, ALA (plant-based Omega 3), and lignans (plant compounds that help prevent cell damage from free radicals).
Although not normally used as the main flour in keto recipes, flax flour has many other uses. One of the most valuable things about flax is how it can be used to replace eggs in recipes. By simply putting a little water in the flax seeds and letting them swell, they acquire properties similar to those of eggs.
For every two tablespoons, ground flax contains nearly 70 calories, 5.5 g of fat, 4 g of total carbohydrates, 3.5 g of fiber, 2.5 g of protein, and 0.5 g of net carbohydrates . Due to its earthy flavor, flax flour is perfect for making bread, muffins, cookies, nut cakes, and keto cakes.
Tips on how to bake with flax flour: To replace an egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax flour with 3 tablespoons of water and let it swell. For best flavor, grind in a food processor just before using.
Some keto recipes will call for flaxseeds or flaxseed flour, but which one should you use? Brown or gold? Although they have similar fatty acid content and health benefits, golden flax seeds are known as the best tasting flax seeds. So whenever a recipe calls for flax seeds or flax meal go for the browned ones.
How to Store Flax Flour Properly: Flax flour and flaxseeds can go rancid very quickly, so it’s best to store them in the refrigerator before and after opening. Make sure they are also stored in an airtight bag or container.
5. Sunflower or pumpkin seed flour
Sunflower seed flour and pumpkin seed flour are ideal options for those who are allergic to any of the nut flours mentioned above.
These seed flours are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, copper, thiamine, selenium, and phosphorous, and relatively low in net carbs (less than five net carbs per serving), making them ideal items on a healthy ketogenic diet. .
Cooking Tips: Replace the almond flour with the same amount of sunflower seed or pumpkin seed flour. This can be done because they have very similar properties. Find the ideal ratio by adding small amounts of seed flour and liquid until you get the right consistency.
How to store properly: Sunflower and pumpkin seed flour are much more stable than flaxseed flour, so they will work well in a cool, dark pantry.
Other Considerations: The downside to these flour alternatives is that they are slightly rarer than the more popular low carb flours and much harder to find. It is probably more feasible for you to make your own flours from sunflower or pumpkin seeds using a food processor or coffee grinder.
Other Low Carb Flour Alternatives for the Ketogenic Diet
If you prefer to use other flour alternatives, here is a list of some less used options:
- Organic soy flour. Soy flour is derived from ground soybeans. It is somewhat similar to coconut flour in that it is quite dry and easily absorbs the ingredients. It also has more protein than the keto flours we mentioned earlier and is an excellent source of dietary fiber.
- Bean flours. There are many different types of bean flour that you can try. Flours made from chickpeas, garbanzo beans, or lima beans are great low-carb options.
- Organic sesame flour. Sesame seed flour is a great alternative to all-purpose flour. It tastes great in both sweet and savory recipes and is especially good for making keto bread. By using sesame flour with psyllium powder, you can make your favorite baked goods lighter and fluffier. However, keep in mind that this flour is similar to coconut flour because it has high absorption properties.
As with the keto flour alternatives we discussed above, be sure to factor in the net carbs these lesser-known flours contain. Although referred to as “low carb,” some of these flours will have a higher net carbohydrate content than the more common keto flour substitutions.
Other ingredients for keto baking
Using the right flour is the key to becoming a successful keto baker and chef, but there are a couple of other ingredients that are equally important as well. These ingredients are not technically flours, but they are an essential component of many keto recipes because they provide the properties that keto flours are lacking.
- Psyllium – Psyllium husk is typically used medicinally as a colon cleanser, but in cooking, it is a thickener that helps recipes come together. This helps give the finished product an excellent crumb-like texture. For this reason, psyllium husk powder is an essential ingredient in making low-carb breads, cakes, and pies.
- Protein Powder – Whey protein, casein protein, or egg white protein powder is a useful baking tool because it has a binding effect similar to gluten, which is an essential property that is lacking in low-carb flours. For this reason, protein powder is able to provide the consistency you are looking for in your cakes and bread.
- Xanthan Gum – Used primarily as a thickener, this carb-free substance will last you for months and months. You can use it to thicken casseroles, make ice cream, and provide the proper consistency to your low carb baked goods.
It’s easier than ever to eat all your favorite foods while on a low carb ketogenic diet.
All you need is the right combination of flours and low-carb ingredients that are suitable for making delicious keto breads, cookies, cakes, and more.
At this point, I would be surprised if there are high carb recipes that can’t be turned into a healthier, low carb version.