As you more than likely already know, flour is off-limits if you’re following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Regular wheat flour is loaded with carbohydrates, so it is pretty much a no-go ingredient if you’re wanting to cut out the carbs.
But where does this leave those of us who enjoy creating battered foods (like these Keto friendly battered onion rings, for example 😉 ), or for anybody who simply enjoys baking? Let’s take a look.
The short answer is that you need to splash out on more unconventional flours – the sort that aren’t usually found in your regular run-of-the-mill grocery store. The main two flours that are used in low-carb baking are almond flour, and coconut flour. These two flours are both widely regarded as being fantastic alternatives to regular wheat flour for people who are following a low-carb, ketogenic or paleo diet.
So, let’s take a look at both almond flour and coconut flour in a little more detail.
Almond Flour for the Keto Diet
Almond flour can be made from blanched almonds (which are almonds with the skins removed), or unblanched almonds. Blanched almond flour has a smoother texture than the unblanched variety, which makes it extremely popular for low-carb baking.
Almond flour has higher amounts of fibre and protein than wheat flour, and has a much less drastic effect on your blood sugar. Almond flour is also full of magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that are great for anyone following the ketogenic diet.
And another great thing about almond flour is the fact that it can be used to substitute wheat flour in most recipes, usually in the same ratios as the original. You can usually substitute wheat flour for almond flour at a ratio of one-to-one, which makes it easy to simply switch the flour out for a keto-friendly version without having to convert your quantities.
The main nutritional difference is the fact that almond flour is much higher in fat, so you usually wouldn’t need to add quite as much butter to baking recipes.
A quarter cup of almond flour contains the following:
Nutritional Value of ¼ Cups Almond Flour
- Carbs – 6g
- Net Carbs – 3g
- Fiber – 3g
- Protein – 6g
- Calories – 160
By way of comparison, the same quantity of regular white flour contains the following:
Nutritional Value of ¼ Cups White Flour
- Carbs – 25g
- Net Carbs – 24g
- Fiber – 1g
- Protein – 4g
- Calories – 124
As you can see, there is a striking difference in terms of both carbohydrates, and calories. While white flour is lower in calories per quarter cup, it is considerably higher in carbohydrates.
Is Coconut Flour Keto Friendly?
We’ve spoken a lot about almond flour here on the Ketoship blog, with plenty of our low-carb and keto friendly recipes calling for its use. But what about coconut flour?
Explained very basically, coconut flour is keto friendly – but you have to watch your quantities. But the good news is that coconut flour is extremely absorbent, so a small amount of the flour will go a long way if you’re using it in low-carb baking recipes.
In short, coconut flour is another great flour alternative that’s a legitimate substitute for baking when you’re trying to count your carbs.
Coconut flour is basically finely ground, dried coconut flesh that’s been milled into a powder, much in the same way that almond flour is processed. One quarter cup of coconut flour contains the following:
Nutritional Value of ¼ Cups Coconut Flour
- Carbs: 16g
- Net Carbs: 6g
- Fiber: 10g
- Protein: 4g
- Calories: 120
As you can see, coconut flour is higher in carbs than Almond flour, but lower in carbs than regular white flour. It’s also lower in calories than Almond flour – which makes it a great addition to certain recipes where you have more wiggle room for carbs, but want to watch your calories.
A final Note on Keto-friendly Flours
While you can substitute using low carb flours and meals, it’s important to remember that these shouldn’t make up the main proportion of your diet. Just because you switched out wheat flour for almond flour doesn’t mean you can snack on keto-friendly cookies all day, every day.
The majority of your diet should be made up of fats, proteins and vegetables – with the occasional keto-friendly treat thrown in.
So now that you have the low down on what flours and meals you can include in your low-carb or ketogenic diet, why not check out some of the following recipes that include almond flour. You can see how diverse this store cupboard staple is.
Do you have a tip for low-carb cooking using fketo-friendly flour substitutes? Let us know about it in the comments section below! 🙂