When following a keto plan, flours are not permitted (even the gluten free ones) due to their high carbohydrate content. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to keto baking is finding low-carb flour substitutes that tastes good and has a decent texture. Here we will be discussing the best keto flours to keep stocked in your pantry and use to create some new, keto-friendly favourite baking recipes.
As a general rule, keto flours cannot be substituted 1:1 in your standard recipes. Usually keto baking recipes contain a mix of low-carb flours and call for a higher proportion of eggs or liquid. If you want to try some keto baking recipes, start with recipes from cookbooks like The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook or check out some great keto recipes on the CNF YouTube channel.
General Guidelines For Substituting Keto Flours
If you are wanting to experiment with a recipe, a few points to keep in mind are:
- Any flour substitutions will potentially alter the final outcome of a recipe — both the texture and the taste.
- Be careful with coconut flour! If you are making substitutions, remember that you only need about 25% coconut flour as you would other flours. Coconut flour also requires much more moisture (especially eggs) in order to bake correctly. If you don’t add enough moisture to hydrate the coconut flour, your baked goods might be too dry.
- If you want to keep the carb count of a recipe low, only substitute products with the same or similar carb count. For example, you could use corn starch to thicken a recipe, but the carbohydrate total will be significantly higher than a version with xanthan gum.
- Most recipes can be improved with a mix of keto flours.
There are many keto friendly flours you can use to create delicious baked goods that are gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb and perfect for the keto diet.
Almond flour is one of the best keto alternatives to regular flour. It’s grain-free, low-carb, and widely available.
You can find almond flour in natural “almond meal” and blanched varieties. Blanched almond meal has the skin removed before grinding. For keto baking, you will want a blanched almond flour with a super-fine grind.
Almond flour is available in-store and online. If you buy a lot of almond flour, you might prefer buying in bulk.
Alternately, you can make almond flour at home. All you need are blanched almonds (almonds with the skins removed) and a blender or food processor. Simply pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground. If you need super-fine almond flour for a recipe, you may want to pass the flour through a sieve to remove the larger pieces.
Almond flour is richer and denser than other keto flours (like coconut flour or psyllium husk powder). As such, it works really well in keto cookie recipes. It can sometimes be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for regular flour. It is, however, often combined with another keto flour like coconut flour.
Almond flour nutrition: Almond flour is higher in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein. A ¼ cup serving (28 grams) of almond flour has around 160 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber. This means that almond flour has 3 net carbs per serving.
Coconut flour is made from dehydrated coconut meat. It has a low fat content and is high in fiber.
Note: If you are looking for an easy way to increase your fiber, try baking with coconut flour!
In keto baking recipes, coconut flour soaks up significant amounts of liquid. A little coconut flour goes a long way. Since it is so high in fiber, a recipe only needs about ¼ the amount of coconut flour as it would need normal flour or almond flour. Recipes with coconut flour also call for a higher proportion of eggs and other liquid to hydrate the coconut flour.
When making something like pancake batter, allow it to sit awhile 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 sit for 2-3 minutes.
When substituting coconut flour in a recipe, make sure to use less coconut flour and more liquid. Coconut flour cannot be substituted cup-for-cup for regular wheat flour.
Coconut flour nutrition: A 2 tablespoon (18 grams) serving of coconut flour has about 60 calories per serving, 2 grams of fat, 8 grams of total carbs, 6 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. This means that coconut flour has only 2 net carbs per serving.
Ground Flax Meal
Flax meal is also known as ground flax, ground flaxseeds, or linseed. Flax meal is high in fiber and Omega 3 and has a subtle nutty taste.
Flax meal is not typically used as the main flour replacement, but rather as a supplementary recipe ingredient. Ground flax meal will gel when mixed with water or other liquid ingredients so it makes for a great egg replacement for vegan recipes or those intolerant to eggs.
Flax meal nutrition: A 2 tablespoon serving of flaxseed meal contains 6 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber. This means that flaxseed meal has a net carb count of zero.
Ground Chia Seeds
Ground chia seeds or chia seed flour are high in protein and fiber. They are great for using in baked goods and can also be used as an egg substitute thanks to their ability to gel when mixed with liquid.
If ground chia seeds are challenging to find, you can make your own by pulsing the seeds in a food processor until finely ground.
Ground chia also work well to thicken smoothies because it tends to not stick on the inside of the blender like regular chia seeds do.
Ground chia seed nutrition: A 1 tablespoon serving (30 grams) of ground chia seeds contain 60 calories, 3 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. This means that ground chia has zero net carbs per serving.
Psyllium Husk Powder
You might know psyllium husk powder as a fiber supplement, but it can also be used in keto baking. In keto recipes, it is used as a thickener and a binder. Psyllium husk powder is a popular ingredient in many keto bread recipes.
In low-carb baking recipes, psyllium husk powder absorbs liquid, acting as a binder and a filler. It also gives a recipe structure and makes the finished bread or cake less crumbly.
Ground Sunflower Seeds
Many pre-made baking mixes use this as their flour of choice. Ground sunflower seeds make for really chewy cookies and brownies!
Ground sunflower seed nutrition: A ¼ cup serving of ground sunflower seeds has 52 calories, 1 gram of fat, 5.25 grams of total carbohydrate, 0.75 grams of fiber and 7.5 grams of protein.
Are you feeling adventurous? Cricket flour has 2g fat, 1g carb and 7g protein per 10g serving.
Storing Keto Flours
Most if not all of the low-carb flours we use come in either resealable or non-resealable bags or in a plastic container. Avoid storing your Keto Flours in their original packaging.
While this packaging is ok before being opened, once you have broken the seal you should store them in airtight containers if you want to keep them for any amount of time.
Alternatively you can portion out your low-carb flours into vacuum sealed bags using a vacuum sealing machines, and then freeze or refrigerate until needed.
Beware: Keto flours and flour substitutes are less processed than regular grain flours and can go off and still look ok. The last thing you want is to cause contamination concerns due to poorly stored low-carb flours.
With keto baking low-carb flour substitutes are a necessary part of the pantry. Try to find a regular flour recipes and experiment by replacing it with keto flours. Visit us in-store for extra tips and suggestions or look through our YouTube channel and create some of your new favorites!