One of the most significant difficulties when it comes to keto baking is finding low-carb flour alternatives.
Looking for a low-carb flour substitute that gives bread, cookies, cakes, and pancakes a great consistency is necessary. Moreso, if you want to get inventive in the kitchen.
By now, we know that wheat flour and its overly processed white flour variant is a compound carb and a no go zone for the ketogenic diet. The compound carbs in wheat flours are so high that just one-quarter of a cup includes 22 grams of carbohydrate.
This is because people in a Keto diet have had to develop innovative ways to replicate their favorite recipes using, next to, no-carb flour alternatives.
To help you out, we’re sharing the lowest carb flours that we keep in our keto kitchen to recreate some of our all-time favorite carb-free flour recipes.
You’ve seen and heard all the ketogenic benefits of coconut oil; it’s everywhere, many of us eat it every day. But there’s another part of the coconut we are most interested in today, and that’s “coconut flour.”
Coconut flour is made from cold-pressed coconut flesh that’s been dried and then ground to a fine meal. It has a characteristic coconut flavor and a high fiber content that binds the liquid in a dough. Like almond flour, it is gluten-free. It won’t make the dough rise like traditional flour when yeast is added.
Coconut flour is obtained from dehydrated coconut meat. It has low-fat content, and it is high in fiber.
In keto baking recipes, coconut flour absorbs up liquid like a sponge. A little coconut flour goes a long way.
Since it is so high in fiber, a procedure only needs about 1/4 the amount of coconut flour as it would need traditional flour or almond flour. Recipes with coconut flour also call for a higher balance of eggs and other liquid to hydrate the coconut flour.
Coconut flour absorbs liquid like crazy. Thus, it’s imperative to let your keto pancake batter sit a while before cooking to give the coconut flour a chance to absorb the liquid.
You’ll find that the batter will get a lot thicker if you let it rest for 2-3 minutes before cooking.
If you want to replace coconut flour in a recipe, make sure to apply less coconut flour and more liquid. Remember, coconut flour cannot be replaced cup-for-cup for regular wheat flour.
Coconut flour is an ideal low carb flour substitute for cakes, brownies, and muffin recipes when you want to have a moist consistency.
Coconut flour is widely in keto baking recipes due to its meager “net” carb count. While it isn’t a no carb flour, it’s as close as you’ll get to the recipes you’ll use it for.
Coconut flour isn’t moist; it draws in moisture from other ingredients then takes on the consistency from things such as eggs and water.
The ability for coconut flour to absorb moisture makes recipes like Keto Muffin soft and moist. People can’t even tell that they’re keto!
Two tablespoons of Coconut Flour contains 45 calories, only 3 grams of net carbohydrates, and 8 grams of fiber carbs with 4 grams of protein.
Almond flour is a gluten-free nut flour that should consist of nothing but ground blanched almonds. This means that you can make your own at home, from scratch, by grinding whole blanched almonds to a fine meal.
Using a coffee or spice grinder works typically best. Be careful not to grind them for too long, or the nuts will release their fat, and you’ll end up with almond butter.
Almond Flour is another notable ingredient in a good portion of our LCHF baking and dessert recipes.
- Almond flour is just ground almonds, blanched with the skin removed.
- Almond flour is a very versatile baking ingredient.
- Almond flour is a primary keto ingredient when making soft keto pretzels.
In many of our keto cookies, almond flour is the main recipe ingredient.
Almond flour worked well for baking Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Almond Flour is in many health food stores, and we have even seen it at our local supermarkets.
Almond flour will keep for seven months if you keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Remember, it isn’t flour and needs to be treated differently.
One-quarter of a cup of Almond Flour has 14g of fat, 6g of protein, and only 3g net carbs.
Ground flaxseed or flax meal can be used as a keto flour replacement in many low carb baking recipes.
Flax meal can also be used as a substitute for eggs in certain situations. And it is particularly handy for vegans who don’t eat animal products or those with allergies to eggs.
Flaxseeds are one of the most nutritious seeds nature has on offer. They contain essential Omega 3s are a great source of vitamin B.
Two tablespoons of flax meal have only one net carb and equal to 70 calories.
Store flaxseed and flax meal in an airtight container and follow the expiry date. It becomes rancid if not stored properly.
Two Tablespoons of flax meal contains 72 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and only 1gram net carbs with 3grams of protein.
Flaxseed is loaded with essential fatty acids, high in mineral and B group vitamins.
Peanut flour is less commonly used than almond, coconut, and flaxseed flowers.
Most people find that peanuts have a distinct taste that doesn’t pair well with other ingredients unless you’re using it in a dessert recipe.
Also, some people who practice a strict keto diet might want to avoid peanut products in general. If you don’t have any allergy with peanuts, there’s nothing wrong with having it once in a while.
For example, if you are making low-carb peanut butter brownies, peanut flour is the way to go. But if you’re using peanut flour to make fried chicken, you may want to use a different type of low carb flour.
Although they are technically a legume, peanuts are usually eaten as nuts. They tend to be higher in carbs than other nuts, so you may want to use peanut flour in moderation if you’re on a low-carb diet.
They tend to be less nutritious than other nuts, but they still provide a fair amount of fiber and healthy fats to be considered a healthy low-carb flour.
Peanut flour consists of 110 calories, 4 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of net carbs, and 16 grams of protein.
Peanut flour tends to have more carbs than other types of flours, so use it in moderation when cooking if you’re trying to stay in ketosis.
Psyllium husk is not flour as such and is mostly used as a cereal topper or a source of dietary fiber, but it has some handy applications in low carb cooking.
The benefits of psyllium husk are many. Not only is it an excellent source of fiber, but it is also prebiotic, helping with continued gut health. We use psyllium husk as a virtually no carb flour and a substitute for eggs where moistness is required in keto bread recipes.
Psyllium husk is 100% pulverized psyllium husk shells and is applied to give a bread-like texture to what you’re baking. Its high fiber content is often sold as a laxative, which can be useful to know if you have a sensitive digestive system.
When adding it to a liquid, it turns into a gel-like substance. It works a bit like gluten in standard baking and makes it possible to handle the dough when rolling or shaping it.
Psyllium husk is an excellent source of fiber. Its net carb count is only 1.5g per tablespoon, and it is keto-friendly.
Including psyllium husk in your Keto diet is a great way to keep some of your favorite recipes moist. It also helps those who tend to eat a lot of cheese.
Psyllium husk is a natural laxative and can be used as not only an (almost) no carb flour substitute but as a fiber supplement as well. Just make sure it is always heavily diluted, don’t eat psyllium husk raw, or you may choke.
Psyllium Husk (18g) is almost entirely made up of fiber. It has 15grams of carbohydrates, but 13.5grams of that is fiber making only 1.5grams net carbs.
Sunflower Seed Flour
Whether you’re new to baking or not, you’ll be surprised to see sunflower seed flour on this list. While few brands seem to be selling it online, it’s relatively easy to make at home.
Are good options for those who are allergic to almond flour or coconut flour. They are high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, copper, thiamine, selenium, and phosphorus. They generally can be used 1:1 in place of almond flour/meal.
The downside of these is that they can be a bit more expensive than most low carb flours and hard to find. But, you can make your sunflower seed meals using a sturdy food processor or coffee grinder.
Grind raw sunflower seeds in a food processor until it reaches a flour-like consistency. Be careful not to overdo this process, as too much time in the food processor will result in sunflower seed butter instead.
One cup of sunflower seeds directly translates to a cup of flour, giving you a flour that’s low in carbs yet high in fiber and protein.
Sunflower seeds are made up of 74% fat and only 14% protein, with an entire cup containing 9.2 grams of carbs, 23.7 grams of fat, and 9.6 grams of protein.
Hazelnut flour can be a healthy, keto-friendly alternative to wheat flour. And although it’s lesser-known, it can be an excellent alternative to almond flour.
It has a finer consistency than almond or flax flour, yet it’s not quite as refined or dense as coconut flour. Therefore, low-carb bakers find it an incredibly versatile ingredient, working in sweet and savory dishes.
While Perfect Keto doesn’t have any recipes using hazelnut flour, you will find that it’s often paired with chocolate.
Like sunflower seed flour, pecan flour is a comparatively new ingredient on the low-carb baking scene. Yet many keto bakers like its taste and texture even more than almond flour.
Since pecan flour is a bit more coarse than coconut or hazelnut flour, you’ll find that it works best in pie crusts, bars, and some cookie recipes.
Pecan flour is a bit higher in calories than other flours on this list, but it’s extremely low in carbohydrates. Pecans are made up of just 8% carbs and 87% fat, making them ideal for a ketogenic diet.
A cup of pecans contains a whopping 753 calories, including 15.3 grams of carbs, 78.5 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein.
Soy flour is derived from ground soybeans, but some may note it can be derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Soy flour is slightly similar to coconut flour in that recipes may have to be modified as it is quite dry and quickly absorbs ingredients.
It is also full of protein and provides a good source of dietary fiber.
Rules for Substituting Keto Flour
- Any flour substitutions will likely alter the outcome of a recipe — both the texture and the taste. If you feel like exploring with a recipe, keep that in mind.
- If you want to keep the carb count of a recipe low, only replace products with the same or similar carb count. For example, you could use cornstarch to thicken a recipe, but the carbohydrate total will be higher than a variant with xanthan gum.
- Be careful with coconut flour! If you are making substitutions, keep in mind that you only need about 25% coconut flour as you would other flours. Coconut flour also requires much more moisture (especially eggs) to bake correctly. If you don’t add sufficient water to hydrate the coconut flour, your baked goods might be too dry.
You can still enjoy your favorite baked goods on a low-carb diet. Now that you understand the basics of alternative flours, how to use them, and their nutrition benefits, it’s time to stock your pantry.
Always keep lots of the above low carb flour substitutes on hand for our keto cooking. Be sure to store all your low-carb flours as per the directions on the packing in airtight containers, making it not used by date.
Keto flour substitutes can go off and still look ok. The last thing you want is salmonella poisoning or anything else due to poorly stored low carb flours.
You can also portion out your low carb flours into vacuum-sealed bags and then freeze or refrigerate until needed.
With keto baking, low carb flour substitutes are a significant part of the pantry. Try looking for recipes that use regular flour and experiment by replacing them.