Which flour is best for low carb baking?
Crunchy cookies, juicy chocolate cakes, delicious donuts, fluffy pancakes, Belgian waffles – the mere thought of them makes your mouth water. Since 100 grams of all-purpose flour contains 76 g of carbohydrates, such classic desserts are not suitable for a low-carb diet. However, by using low-carb flour types, you can occasionally treat yourself to your favorite desserts, only in a low-carb version. What flour is allowed with low carb? Below are the many low-carb flour options you can use with low-carb and keto diets, and tips on how to use them properly.
It is not so easy to replace carbohydrate-rich flours such as all-purpose, wheat, corn and rice flour with a low-carbohydrate flour 1: 1. Because of the different properties, you need to use the low carb flour along with other ingredients like psyllium husk, xanthan and protein powder to achieve the desired texture. For this reason, it is best to learn how to use low-carb flour first using ready-made recipes. This way you get an overview of how you can make your own low carb favorites with a flour substitute.
Almond flour – the all-purpose flour for low-carb
Almond flour is one of the best low-carb alternatives to regular flour and is quite often used in keto recipes. Per 100 grams of almond flour contains 12 grams of fat, 36 grams of protein and only 4 grams of net carbohydrates. Due to its high fat content and lack of gluten, you may need additional eggs or baking soda to give your baked goods more structure.
The typical almond flour is made from blanched almonds (without skin) and is very finely ground. It gives baked goods a slightly sweet taste and a moist texture, which is what it does ideal for low-carb cakes, cookies, bread and cake bases is.
Almond flour is available in supermarkets and grocery stores, but you can find it at the lowest price if you buy it in bulk online. Be sure to buy the finest blanched almond flour that has no dark spots. The finer the almond flour is ground, the finer the consistency of your baked goods and the easier they are to rise.
Tips for baking with almond flour:
- Substitute ratio: 100 grams of almond flour: 125 grams of wheat flour
- Use a little less fat and liquids because of the high fat content of the almonds.
- Add another egg or half an egg to give bread and muffins more structure.
- The addition of a leavening agent (e.g. baking powder or baking soda) can be useful.
- Batter or pancake batter should not be diluted too much, but should be a little thicker.
- Bake at low temperature and for a long time.
- Almond flour can turn brown quickly. Aluminum foil can help here.
- Always let the finished baked goods cool down quite well. Low-carb crackers and cake bases become crispier, while muffins and cakes get a better texture and stick together better.
How do you properly store almond flour? Since almond flour can go rancid quickly, it's best to keep it in the fridge or freezer. Most almond flour comes in an airtight sealed bag, but you can also use an airtight container.
Notes on using almond flour:
The only problem with using almond flour is that you can easily overeat it. A cup of almond flour, for example, consists of about 90 almonds – a quantity that someone would rarely eat at once. Although almonds offer many health benefits, eating high amounts of fats and phytates in almonds can exacerbate existing health problems.
Almond Meal is not the same as almond flour. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds and finely ground, while the Almond Meal is not so finely ground and may contain almond skin. It is perfect for baked goods that don't have such a fine consistency as Muffins and cookies.
Coconut flour popular for pancakes and cakes
Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat after most of the fat has been extracted to make coconut oil. 100 grams of coconut flour contains 348 calories, 12 g fat, 16 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates and 35 g fiber. Because of its high fiber content, this low-carb flour is perfect for anyone who cares about healthy digestion.
Tips for baking with coconut flour:
- Just like almond flour, coconut flour cannot replace wheat flour 1: 1 because it absorbs liquids like a sponge. The replacement ratio is: 150 grams of coconut flour: 500 grams of wheat flour
- Use six eggs and 240 ml of liquid per 120 grams of coconut flour.
- Coconut flour can be baked at the same temperature as other recipes, no adjustments are necessary.
- The batter thickens after a few minutes. If you e.g. To prepare low-carb waffles, leave the dough aside for a few minutes. This way you end up with firmer and less crumbly waffles.
If Combined almond flour and coconut flour, the best ratio is 3: 1 almond flour to coconut flour. By combining these low carbohydrate flours, you can mimic the all-purpose flour exactly without having to add extra eggs. Just make sure you keep the liquid ingredients in the same ratio as with coconut flour, as this still needs the extra moisture.
Even if you don't like the taste of coconut, you can still try baking with coconut flour, as the flavor can easily be masked by other strong flavors. For sweet baked goods e.g. Vanilla, chocolate and cocoa powder help neutralize the coconut taste. For savory dishes, add a little garlic or onion powder.
How do you properly store coconut flour? Because coconut flour absorbs moisture like a sponge, it is important to keep it in an airtight bag or container. Store it in a cool, dark place in your pantry, not in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid damage from moisture.
Walnut flour and other types of nut flour
You can grind almost any nut to get a flour-like consistency and thus reduce the carbohydrate content in your recipes. For example, walnut flour can be used in many recipes to replace almond flour. Other nut flours you can experiment with are Hazelnut flour, pecan flour, macadamia nut flour and pistachio flour. Each of them gives your baked goods a unique taste, so choose wisely. It is best to store nut flours in the fridge or freezer.
Flax seeds are very nutritious and rich in vitamin B1, copper, ALA (vegetable omega-3 fatty acids) and lignans (vegetable compounds that help ward off cell damage caused by free radicals). Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain almost 70 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of total carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of net carbohydrates.
Because of its earthy taste, flaxseed flour is perfect for Bread, muffins, cookies, crackers, nutty cakes and scones. This low-carb flour is used in keto recipes rather as a binder or egg replacement. Unfortunately, this method is not suitable for recipes that require a significant amount of eggs. To make a flaxseed egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax flour with 3 tablespoons of water and let it swell.
How do you store flaxseed flour correctly? Flaxseed flour can go rancid very quickly. It is best to keep it in the fridge in an airtight bag or container. For the best taste, buy whole golden flax seeds and grind them in an electric coffee grinder just before use.
Sunflower seed or pumpkin seed flour
Sunflower seed flour and pumpkin seed flour are ideal options for people with nut allergy. These seed flours are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, copper, thiamine, selenium and phosphorus and contain relatively little net carbohydrates (less than 5 net carbohydrates per 30 grams).
Tips for baking with sunflower and pumpkin seed flour:
- Replace almond flour with the same amount of sunflower or pumpkin seed flour. This is possible because they have very similar properties.
- The sunflower flour gives baked goods a moist texture. Use more flour and less liquid. Find the ideal ratio by adding small amounts of seed meal and liquid until you get the right consistency.
How do you properly store sunflower flour and pumpkin seed flour? Sunflower and pumpkin seed flour are much more stable than flaxseed flour, so they can be kept in a cool, dark pantry.
The disadvantage of these flour alternatives is that they are slightly more expensive than the more popular low-carb flours and are much more difficult to find. It would be much easier to make sunflower or pumpkin seed flours yourself using a food processor or coffee grinder.
Other low-carb flour alternatives for ketogenic nutrition
If you'd rather use other flour alternatives, here is a list of a few options that are used:
Soy flour. Soy flour is made from ground soybeans. It is similar to coconut flour in that it is quite dry and easily absorbs moisture. It also contains more protein than the keto flours mentioned above and is an excellent source of fiber. By buying organic soy flour, you can avoid GMO soybeans and the pesticides that are commonly used.
Other bean flours. There are many different types of bean flour you can try. Flour from chickpeas or fava beans are ideal for low-carb products. In this article we have put together 5 recipes with chickpea flour.
Sesame flour. Sesame seed flour is a great alternative to all-purpose flour. It tastes excellent in both sweet and savory recipes and is particularly suitable for keto bread. By using sesame flour with psyllium husk, you can make your favorite baked goods lighter and looser. Like coconut flour, sesame flour also absorbs a lot of moisture.
Other essential ingredients for baking and cooking keto
It is not only the right flour that is important for a good result. There are also some other ingredients that are an essential part of many low-carb recipes because they offer the properties that low-carb flours lack.
Psyllium husk powder (Latin psyllium) is used in medicine as a colon cleanser. It is mostly used in the kitchen as a thickening agent, which gives bread, cake and tarts a nice crumb-like texture. In fact, psyllum bread is hard to distinguish from normal wheat bread because of its wholegrain structure and taste. Psyllium husks should always be used with a different low-carb flour, as they are very high in fiber and can cause indigestion.
Whey protein, casein protein or protein protein powder
Protein powder is a useful ingredient in low-carb baking because it has a similar binding effect to gluten, an essential property that is lacking in low-carb flour. For this reason, protein powder can give you the consistency you are looking for in a cake or bread.
Xanthan gum is mainly used as a thickener and lasts for months. You can use it to thicken stews, make ice cream and give your low-carb baked goods the right consistency.
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