Guide to Low Carb Flours – Almond and Coconut Flour for Keto Baking and Cooking

Guide to Low Carb Flours – Almond and Coconut Flour for Keto Baking and Cooking

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With low carb flours, just about any “regular” recipe can be remade keto-style! That includes baked goods that were previously thought to be forever off limits.

Breads, pies, cakes, cookies, pie crusts. Cooks have figured out how to replicate these goodies that are remarkably similar to – and sometimes better than – the real thing.

Here’s a quick rundown on the most popular low carb flours:

Almond Flour

A go-to ingredient in keto baking, you will see recipes calling for either almond flour or almond meal. What’s the difference?

Almond flour is finely ground. The almonds are almost always blanched and the result is a light color flour. Almond meal is more coarsely ground. Besides the more grainy texture, the almonds are ground with the skins intact and the resulting color will be darker.

These days, almond flour is easily found in most grocery stores and online.  Note that almond flour is quite expensive when compared to wheat flour. Typically containing about 3 net carbs per 1/4 cup, almond flour is also gluten free. The only ingredient should be almonds.

You can make your own almond flour in a food processor or even in a Magic Bullet type blender. The key is to pulse and check often to avoid winding up with almond butter. Also, grind smaller quantities of not more than 1 cup at one time. Grinding your own could save you 30-40%, although that gap is closing as almond flour becomes even more readily available.

It costs a bit more to buy blanched almonds, but it’s much easier than blanching them yourself – trust me.

Coconut Flour

Made from dried coconut meat, coconut flour can be found in quite a few groceries stores now. Bob’s Red Mill products are pretty much everywhere and even Walmart has their own brand (Great Value). Of course, you can always order online.

Gluten-free and grain-free and, depending on the brand, coconut flour has only 2-4 net carbs per serving.

Recipes for baked goods with coconut flour will typically call for quite a few eggs (or additional liquid) since coconut flour is dry and absorbs a lot of moisture.

Will some brands, there may be a subtle coconut taste, which is great for desserts. Some recipes will use coconut flour in conjunction with almond flour, particularly in savory dishes.

One of my favorite brands, Nutiva (check out other brands below), put together these coconut flour facts and tips.

Other Alternative Flours

Flaxmeal, whey protein, psyllium husks, sunflower seed flour.

You may come across these flours in recipes. They are often combined with other flours to help with binding, and they can be suitable substitutions for people with allergies.

Low carb flaxseed crackers are very popular and easy to make. You can grind your own flaxseeds or just buy flaxseed meal, regular or golden. Flaxseed meal can also be used as an egg replacer. Learn how to make a flax egg here.

Whey protein powder is sometimes used as a flour replacement. The ratio is approximately 1/3 cup whey protein powder to 1 cup wheat flour. When using any alternative flour, it’s best to follow the recipe, as the cook has already done the experimenting for you. You may also come across recipes using pea or soy protein powders.

Like flaxmeal, psyllium husks can replace eggs and is an excellent source of fiber. I recommend whole husks rather than psyllium powder

There are reports of sunflower seed flour and psyllium husks reacting with other recipe ingredients and sometimes turning foods green or purple. Try to use whatever brand is recommended in the recipe you are following to avoid undesirable results.

Have you tried any of the alternative flours below? Click the links to rate and comment.