low carb flour – the ultimate guide 2023 and best keto alternatives to white flour
Flour without carbohydrates is an entire topic in times of protein pancakes or protein bread hype. The first question one asks when baking low carb is: How can I replace the white, regular wheat flour? And which meals have little carbohydrates?
Do you want to know with which products (flour alternatives) you can replace conventional flour? Are you looking for a low carb flour? Then you are exactly right with me! I put together an overview with, in my opinion, the most useful sugar-free low carb flours. The benefits and details of these low carb flours – for your low carb diet / LCHF diet, you will find in the respective product descriptions and the chart below. All of these flours are gluten-free, 100% vegan, and rich in protein, etc.
Baking low carb means not only replacing the sugar, but also the carbohydrates in the flour. Since these can’t be sifted merely out of the meal, alternative flour varieties have to be found that replace carbohydrate-rich flour in the baking recipe. There are several possibilities for this, of which I present the best here.
Burning Question #1: Can I replace white flour 1:1 – is that possible?
Very clear: NO. Carbohydrate-rich flour can’t be replaced 1:1 for low carb flours. Especially flours from wheat, rye and spelled have high carbohydrate values. However, they also contain gluten. The gluten in these types of flour, which are commonly used for baking, is called due to its properties and adhesive protein. These properties make gluten-containing flour in combination with water a countable, sticky mass that holds the cake together, encouraging it to quickly dissolve, that the dough is juicy and also airy.
These skills of carbohydrate-rich flour containing gluten we to imitate with a combination of various low-carbohydrate meals that do not contain gluten. Unfortunately, none of the low carb flours can do that alone.
Principles of the mixture:
- 40-50% low-carbohydrate main flour (filling quantity)
- 30-40% low carbohydrate “starch” flour (thickening & loosening)
- 10-20% binder (“glue”)
Practical tip: About one part of the flour mixture or even about 50 g of the flour in an ordinary cake recipe you can also exchange with protein powder. This is beneficial, as you use a very low-fat low-carb powder as the main flour.
Below I list the best low-carbohydrate flours that you can use as a substitute, e.g., wheat flour. To simplify the mixing ratio, we divide this into main, starch and binder. You can mix the several varieties perfectly.
Low Carb Flours – the list of flour with almost no carbohydrates
#1: the main flour (filling quantity)
Almond flour has become very common in recent years, as more and more people have discovered the benefits of the low carb flours for themselves. The almond aroma unfolds freely from the natural bitter almond taste, because: The almonds are blanched before the grinding process and their skin removed. This is where most of the bitter substances are. Almond flour is often used as a wheat flour substitute, as it is a genuine alternative to cornmeal in several respects. The oils contained in the almond low carb flours, which we deliberately do not withdraw from, benefit from many healthy unsaturated fatty acids as well as valuable minerals such as magnesium or calcium.
With its fine almond aroma, almond flour is mainly used in cakes, biscuits and other baked goods. With the low-carb meal, you can prepare delicious and cheap almond milk or low-carb marzipan.
Almond flour can replace up to 80-90% of the regular wheat flour in baking recipes. Since almond flour is more voluminous than wheat flour, 50 g of almond flour corresponds to about 100 g of wheat flour. You should also note that almond flour recipes need a little more fluid to keep the cake juicy.
Flour and meal are often likely exchanged, but there is a slight difference. Instead of blanching the almonds to remove the skins, the skins on the almonds are kept on. It’s a little bit coarser than almond flour and still bakes the same. For baked goods, I like to use a super fine ground almond flour, but I will equally use almond meal as it seems to perform just as well in most recipes, at a reduced cost.
Almond meal may also be known as ground almonds. You can make it home on your own. The power of your mixer will dictate how fine your almond meal will become.
Coconut flour is gluten-free, high in fiber, low in carbohydrates, tasty, easy to process and is, therefore, an excellent ingredient for healthy cooking.
The flour of the coconut is very beneficial for people with celiac disease or a sensitive digestive system. Coconut flour is produced when fresh coconut meat is dried, de-oiled and finally ground into fine powder. It is bright white, and its scent makes you dream of exotic beaches. While coconut flakes (coconut flakes) do not save with fat and calories, coconut flour contains only a quarter of them.
Its grease is primarily removed during the manufacturing process and sold in the form of versatile coconut oil. Coconut flour is therefore low in fat and completely cholesterol-free, as well as one of the most abundant sources of fiber we know. The gluten-free flour is suitable for baking, as an ingredient for spreads, sauces, desserts and many recipes.
Chestnut flour tastes sweet and nutty. It is obtained directly from the ripe chestnuts. For this purpose, the mature chestnuts used to be dried over a fire for about 4 to 5 weeks, then peeled and ground. By drying and making chestnut flour, more impoverished people could grow a nutritious supply for the winter.
They used to bake not only bread from the flour but also cakes, pancakes, and noodles. As people grew wealthier, chestnut flour was slowly forgotten. Chestnut flour has been rediscovered today, with more and more people suffering from gluten intolerance. It not only delights with healthy ingredients but above all by its pleasant taste.
Chestnut trees grew already thousands of years ago and supplied the population with their fruits. Unfortunately, the mature chestnuts were not storable. They mold after only a few days or weeks (depending on the storage location). For this reason, the ripe chestnuts were dried and then processed into flour.
Chestnut flour is perfect for baking cakes or any pastries. The chestnut flour is very nutritious, contains valuable protein and provides essential nutrients. It is also gluten-free, unlike traditional cereals. It contains many complex carbohydrates. As a result, the blood sugar level rises slowly, and the feeling of satiety is retained for a long time. Also, it contains valuable B and C vitamins, as well as a high percentage of potassium.
#2: the starch flour (thickening & loosening)
Pumpkin Seed Flour
This beautifully aromatic protein flour comes from the seeds of gently roasted pumpkins. First, the oil is gently removed, and after they are ground into a fine powder. The Pumpkin Seed Flour has an unusually high protein content of 59 %, lengths ahead of favorite sources of protein such as chicken breast (22 g per 100g) or chicken egg (13 g per 100 g). That makes the low carb flour the perfect ingredient for feeding the entire family, especially for people with an increased protein requirement such as sportspeople, adolescents, pregnant women, senior citizens, and vegans.
With its rich, savory taste the flour can, for example, improve green smoothies and dips. It is also perfect for breading vegetables, meat and fish. Bread, bread rolls and savory crackers are given not just an extra portion of protein but also a natural green coloring if you replace part of the wheat flour indicated in the recipe with the Pumpkin Seed Flour. The powder is also naturally free of gluten, making it the perfect choice for gluten-free baking.
Soybean meal is a product obtained from the processing of soybean. Soy flour is a dry product, which is produced in different variants. One is available as full-fat flour. In this version, there is then a product with about 20% fat, which also has about 40% protein.
The other variant is the skimmed version. In the production of soybean oil from whole soybeans, the defatted soybean meal falls as a by-product. It contains less fat (1%) and more proteins (50%) than the full-fat flour, which is extracted from the whole soybean. The soy flour is also known in a coarse consistency as soybean meal. The utilization of soy flour is manifold.
Lupin Flour is gluten free and rich in Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium. Lupin Flour is an excellent alternative to plain flour or mixed with other flours to increase protein and fiber. It tastes nutty-sweet, but does not match every flavor and should, therefore, be used discreetly.
The lupine protein from the sweet lupine contains all eight essential amino acids that humans need. The lupine protein is a crucial protein because it is almost free of uric acid-forming purines. Lupine flour is versatile. It can be drunk as a protein drink or integrated merely into many baking recipes. In this way, you can lower the carbohydrate content of these formulas and increase their protein content.
For the production of the lupine low carb flour, the lupine seeds are first pressed. The resulting flakes are then soaked so that the protein dissolves from the structures of the fibers.
When the liquid is then heated and evaporated, the high-quality protein remains – the lupine flour.
Lupine flour – What do you do with it?
Lupine flour can be stirred in drinks and enjoyed as egg white shake. Lupine keto flour can also be used for baking. As mentioned above, with lupine flour, up to 15 percent of the total amount of powder is replaced by recipes of all kinds. Bread and cake dough becomes looser and more fluffy with lupine flour. Lupine flour is also suitable as an egg substitute.
Lupine flour can replace the soy flour in recipes that contain soy flour.
The lupine can – like almost any protein-rich food (milk, wheat, soy, etc.) – trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people, which is why this group (if never lupine products were eaten) should first test the compatibility of lupine only with small amounts.
The lupine contains, for example, specific proteins that resemble the proteins of peanuts. Peanut allergy sufferers should, therefore, avoid the consumption of lupine products better since it could lead to a cross allergy.
#3: the binder flour (“glue”)
Xanthan gum is a thickening agent that is produced by fermentation. It is used in the kitchen to make sauces and dressings thicker and to produce fat-reduced milkshakes without ice cream, but no less abundant.
Xanthan gum results from the fermentation of glucose or sucrose with the help of a bacterium, Xanthomonas campestris. This common bacterium is also responsible for the appearance of black spots on leaves of many plants and vegetables but is harmless to humans.
The main feature of xanthan gum is the ability to increase the viscosity of a liquid significantly. This effect is noticeable even at a concentration of 1% xanthan gum. The thickness of xanthan solutions is variable. It will decrease during mixing and return to its original state when the mixture is at rest. This property is called “pseudo-plasticity.” Xanthan gum is mainly used for its thickening and stabilizing properties, although it can also serve as an anti-settling agent.
It is soluble in all liquids, hot or cold, and is stable at a high temperature and pH range. Once heated, Xanthan loses its structure. When combined with other types of natural thickeners, xanthan gum can be used to form gels that are resistant to acidic ingredients.
The value of using xanthan in the kitchen is its excellent thickening power. With xanthan thickened sauces are always light and creamy because the additive promotes the preservation of air bubbles in the preparation. Adding xanthan to egg whites before beating improves the foam.
The anti-settling properties of xanthan gum can be used well in mixology or cocktail art. Thus, it allows ingredients, e.g. to “float,” such as fruit pieces in cocktails. It can also be used to reverse the components of a cocktail, causing the most massive alcohol to float up.
Xanthan has a particularly soothing effect in the mouth without adding fat. It can, therefore, replace some fats in sauces, smoothies, and dips. Xanthan gum can also be used in gluten allergy to give bread, pasta and other gluten-free flour dishes volume and softness.
Guar gum is a substance derived from the seed of the Indian tree Cyamopsis tetragonolobus. While the germ, which contains up to 50 percent protein, is ground into guar meal and used as animal feed, guar gum is the milled endosperm, the nourishing tissue that surrounds the seedling in the seed. It contains 65 to 76 percent galactomannan, a long-chain carbohydrate that consists of the sugars mannose and galactose.
As a result, guar gum has a high water-binding capacity, which makes it ideal as a gelling agent. For baked goods, it is used primarily to make the bread look fresh for longer.
Because guar gum is not digested, it is often used for dietary foods. It is used as satiety and swelling (medicine) weight loss products. A weight loss pill, which was to take advantage of the laxative effect of guar gum, was banned in the 1980s, however, because it absorbed too much of the substance with too little water and the esophagus could be blocked by swelling.
However, in gel form, E412 is still used today as a laxative and is sometimes prescribed to relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease of chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
However, it can cause allergy-like symptoms in sensitive people, especially those that are allergic to soy. In high doses, it can cause abdominal cramps.
Due to the soluble plant fibers contained guar gum is to reduce the “harmful” cholesterol LDL in the body. Guar gum is somewhat healthy in small amounts.
Psyllium Husk Powder
Psyllium husk is a traditional remedy that is used primarily for digestive problems. Its ability to bind and swell water, it is optimal to regulate the stool. Besides, the psyllium husks can secrete mucus, which nestles like a protective layer against the intestinal wall. No wonder they are used for diarrhea, constipation and other inflammatory bowel diseases. The natural product thus convinces by its compatibility and its good effectiveness.
It is time to bring the high-fiber seed shells into your kitchen, as their unique swelling properties make them a perfect ingredient for low-carbohydrate, gluten-free, vegan or calorie-reduced cooking and baking.
Psyllium seed husks are particularly suitable in ground form, as they mix well with other ingredients and allow a homogeneous source without crispy mouthfeel. Depending on the desired strength of the prepared food, about 80-150 ml of water should be included per teaspoonful (5 g) of ground psyllium husks.
Psyllium husk powder is also suitable as a binder in baked goods. Especially those who refrain from gluten-containing flours or eggs can improve the binding ability and elasticity of the dough through the psyllium. At the same time, the gel-like texture of swollen psyllium husks supports the cohesion of ingredients that bind only a little water, such as chopped nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds or sesame and hemp nuts.
Due to their swelling properties, psyllium husks also increase the volume of food and thus promote satiety. This is useful, for example, when thickening soups or even shakes and smoothies.
Last but not least, the fiber also supports blood sugar control by slowing down sugar absorption in the intestine.
Linseed has been known for several centuries as a medicinal plant. It has a nutty taste, can be easily combined and is also super healthy. Add to this the minimal price, which is unlikely to affect the household budget. Flax seeds should be bought at best, crushed or ground, so the body can optimally utilize the ingredients.
There are two different varieties of flaxseed keto flour. There is the de-oiled flour and the non-de-oiled flaxseed flour. Those who pay attention to their weight should resort to the de-oiled flaxseed meal, which contains fewer calories and has another advantage because it does not get quickly rancid. Can be bought in stock. A disadvantage of the variant, however, there are no longer all the nutrients included.
Flaxseed is so healthy because not only is it gluten-free, but it also has lots of fiber. Besides, it is rich in omega three fatty acids, but it has few carbohydrates. Many also use flaxseed for colon cleansing because it has a reputation as a natural laxative.
To make bread, cakes or pastries yourself is flaxseed low carb flour the best choice. With its nutty taste, the treats taste even better. Besides, there is only a minimum of carbohydrates. As a rule, with a recipe, 20 percent of the flour can be replaced with flaxseed flour.
Low Carb Flour Summary
There are several alternatives to high carbohydrate flours that can be used for low carb baking. However, it is essential to ensure that no flour can be replaced 1: 1 because the consistency of the cake would suffer. Especially low carb flour for binding purposes (binders) should not be forgotten. Almost all low carb flours are great to mix to particular parts, but you should pay attention that the aroma harmonizes.
Edit: Your FAQ (thanks for asking) on the article above:
1. What is cassava flour, and is it suitable for a ketogenic diet? Cassava flour is a type of flour made from the root of the cassava plant. While it is not considered keto-friendly due to its relatively high carb content, it can be used in moderation for those following a low carb or moderate carb diet.
2. Is cassava flour lower in carbs compared to other flours? Cassava flour is lower in carbs than traditional wheat flour, making it a popular choice for gluten-free and grain-free baking. However, it still contains more carbs than some other low carb flours like almond flour or coconut flour.
3. What are some keto-friendly flours with the lowest carb content? Almond flour and coconut flour are among the lowest carb flours suitable for a ketogenic diet. They are low in carbs and high in healthy fats, making them ideal for keto-friendly recipes.
4. Can I use cassava flour on a keto diet occasionally? Occasional use of cassava flour may be acceptable for individuals who are following a low carb or moderate carb diet. However, it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes to stay within your daily carb limits.
5. How does cassava flour differ from tapioca flour in terms of carb content? Cassava flour and tapioca flour come from the same plant, but they have different carb contents. Tapioca flour is a more refined and higher carb product compared to cassava flour, which retains more fiber.
6. Can I use almond flour or coconut flour as a substitute for cassava flour in recipes? Yes, almond flour and coconut flour can often be used as substitutes for cassava flour in various recipes. Keep in mind that they have different textures and absorb liquids differently, so some adjustments may be necessary.
7. What is the main benefit of using almond flour on a keto diet? Almond flour is an excellent choice for keto-friendly baking due to its low carb content and high fat and protein content, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
8. How can I incorporate low carb flours into a ketogenic diet? You can use low carb flours like almond flour, coconut flour, or a combination of both in a variety of keto-friendly recipes, such as bread, muffins, pancakes, and even pizza crust.
9. Are there any specific considerations when baking with keto-friendly flours? Baking with low carb flours may require adjustments to recipes as they don’t behave the same way as traditional wheat flour. It’s best to follow keto-friendly recipes or experiment gradually to achieve the desired results.
10. Can I still enjoy baked goods while on a ketogenic diet? Yes, with the right low carb flours like almond flour and coconut flour, you can still indulge in delicious baked goods while maintaining a ketogenic diet. Just be mindful of portion sizes and the total carb content of your treats.
Low carb flour nutrition facts chart
|Low Carb Flour|
(Nutritional facts per 100g)
|Coconut flour||1441 kj/|
|Almond flour||2575 kj/|
|Flaxseed flour||1076 kj/|
|Pumpkin seed flour||1678 kj/|
|Chestnut flour||1671 kj/|
|Soybean flour||1837 kj/|
|Lupin Flour||1350 kj/|
|Xanthan Gum||1389 kj/|
|Psyllium Husk||879 kj/|
|Guar Gum||1477 kj/|