One of the greatest difficulties of the ketogenic diet is eating right and finding the best substitutes for foods that aren’t ketogenic-friendly, such as flour.
After all, how could you simply give up on delicious foods like chocolate cake, waffles, chocolate chip cookies and the like, now can you?
With a little ingenuity and a dash of creativity, you’ll find that you can continue eating the foods you love. In this article, we’re going to focus on keto-friendly and low-carb flours to keep you moving in the kitchen.
What’s Wrong with Regular Flour?
Some standard flours you’re probably used to are all-purpose flour, white, wheat, non-wheat, bleached, and unbleached.
One thing these flours have in common is that they all come from grain. Most of these are also considered to be refined carbs to boot, making them not very keto-friendly.
Just 1 cup of all-purpose flour contains almost 100 grams of carbs, so naturally, it won’t help you achieve your goals on your keto journey.
Negative effects of flour
These types of flours can also come with some negative effects when paired with a low-carb diet, including:
- Brain fog
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
By switching to low-carb flours, you still gain all of the benefits that come with the ketogenic diet while also indulging in some of you favorite foods. It’s a win-win!
Keep in mind, however, that cooking with these flour alternatives isn’t as easy as replacing the one for the other.
You would need to use different amounts of low-carb flour in conjunction with other essential ingredients—like xanthan gum, protein powder, and psyllium husk—due to the difference in composition between high and low-carb flours.
Keep things simple and take out the guesswork when cooking by following online recipes. This will help you get a feel for what’s involved when using low-carb flours or substitutes.
Top 3 Keto Flour Alternatives
1. Almond flour
Any keto flour alternative list should have almond flour at the top. Thanks to the increased popularity of low-carb and gluten-free diets, you can find this flour pretty much everywhere.
No need to worry about grinding your own almonds down to a fine powder. Just hit your local grocery store and it’s guaranteed to be on the baking section shelves.
Almond flour can be used in lots of recipes, and a 1/4 container only has 2 grams of net carbs, 12 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein. Since it has a higher fat substance than your standard flour, you may need to add eggs or baking powder to your recipe.
Almond flour is made by boiling almonds in water, which removes the skins, and grounding them into a fine powdery-like flour that has a nice and mildly sweet flavor. The moist texture makes it a great option for baked goods like pie crusts, bread, or low-carb cakes.
Almond flour is packed with some great health benefits. It can help improve your cholesterol, heart health, and has even been shown to help fight cancer .
The only thing you need to consider when using almond flour is to not overdo it. Since one cup has about 90 almonds, it’s easy to eat too much.
Consuming too many almonds can flood your body with inflammatory fats and phytates, which isn’t great for your health. Almonds in moderation, however, are very healthy; just something to be mindful of!
Almond meal is another flour alternative and is the same thing as almond flour, with one exception: the skin is kept on during creation. This small difference can make your meal more grainy and dense compared to regular almond flour.
Almond meal is incredibly easy to whip up in a pinch if you’re running low on almond flour. Just toss some almonds into a food processor until it’s blended finely, and there you have it!
2. Coconut flour
Coconut flour is another excellent flour alternative and is incredibly nutritious to boot. Made from the pulp of the coconut, coconut flour is actually created as a by-product during the process of making coconut milk.
If you want to make your own coconut flour at home, you can take a hydrated coconut pulp and scrape the dry pulp into a food processor. This means you get all of the nutritional benefits of the coconut, such as monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and other valuable nutrients.
Coconut flour has a nice, mild coconut taste, but the taste also conforms to other ingredients it’s mixed with.
A 1/4 cup contains 4 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of fiber. While it’s a bit higher in carbs than other flour substitutes, it makes up for it with its light texture and consistency.
It’s generally a good idea to pair every two tablespoons of coconut flour to two tablespoons of water to keep your food from coming out too dry.
3. Flax meal
Flax meal is another nourishing powerhouse and is produced using ground flax seeds. While they can be eaten in their entirety, but it’s best to expend them as grounded flax meal to get the most out of flax seeds’ nutritional benefits.
This is because the process of grounding the seeds allows for fuller retention of the nutrients and fiber they contain.
Flax seeds have been shown to provide therapeutic and disease preventive benefits . It’s also rich in healthy fats, like omega-3s, and macronutrients.
Just one serving of flax meal (two tablespoons) contains 0 net carbs, 6 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fiber, plus 4 grams of protein, making it a great source for flour.
What Are You Waiting For?
Some other low-carb flour substitutes that aren’t quite as popular, but still provide great alternatives include sesame flour and soy flour. The important thing is to always keep a close eye on the net carbs of the flour you’re using.
In today’s digital age, there are tons of online recipes and helpful resources that allow you to eat the foods you love while staying in ketosis.
The possibilities are endless, so get out there and start experimenting with different recipes and flours to find the best one for you.