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How to choose your Keto Flours

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Carine Claudepierre - November 6, 2020
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All-purpose flour or any wheat-based or grain-based flour is not keto-approved. They are as bad as white sugar as they have a lot of carbs that will raise your blood sugar level quickly and take you out of ketosis.

Luckily, there are other flours you can use for keto baking. However, keto-friendly flours have quite different properties and should not be compared or replaced by all-purpose flours to adapt a recipe. Keto flours are extremely low in carb, mostly made of finely grounded nuts, seeds, or pure fiber like psyllium husk.

Their chemistry is completely different from all-purpose flour (the one you have been used to bake with). For example, coconut flour, a popular keto flour has 10 times more fiber which means you will use tiny amounts to obtain the same cake batter. But also, you will need to add way more liquid to activate the fiber.

the best keto-friendly flours

What not to do with keto flours

  • Don’t Swap Keto Flours– you cannot replace one sort of keto flour with another one with the same ratio.
  • Don’t Use like All-purpose Flour. Unfortunately, you cannot just swap one cup of all-purpose flour with one cup of a keto flour to make a cake.
  • Don’t Make them at home. I know it is tempting to grind almonds in a blender to try and make homemade almond flour, but this will not be ideal. Homemade almond flour is always much coarser than its store-bought equivalent, even if you have used blanched almonds.

So as a keto baking beginner, do not try to adapt recipes or change things. Start by following a well-tested keto baking recipe, using the correct ingredients to avoid disappointment.

The top 4 keto flours

There are only a few flours that are keto-approved for baking and the most common flours you will see in keto baking recipes are listed in the table below.

The table shows, per 100 grams of flours, the amount of:

  • Total carbs – the amount of carbs in the flour. Carbs include sugar and fiber.
  • Fiber – keto flours are the flours with the biggest amount of fiber. While fiber is listed as carbs on all food labels, they are not assimilated by your body, so you do not count fiber as a carb on your keto diet macro.
  • Net carbs. Net carbs are what you count for your macros on the keto diet. It is calculated by taking the amount of fiber away from the total carb amount.

As an element of comparison, the table below shows you how much carbs all-purpose wheat flour has.

Keto-friendly flour comparison

As you can see, keto flours are quite low in net carbs and safe to bake keto- and diabetes-friendly bread, cakes, and more!

Almond flour

Almond flour is the most common flour used in keto baking giving the most similar color, taste, and texture to regular flour.

However, some people do not appreciate almond flour in keto baking referring to it as a gritty flour.

But almond flour does not have to be gritty!

The trick is to learn how to pick the right almond flour for keto baking and to combine it will the right liquids or to blend it with the right other keto flours to reach the perfect texture.

Almond Flour a keto-friendly flour

Is almond flour keto friendly?

Yes, almond flour is one of the most keto-friendly flours. With only 10.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, it has 7 times less carbs than plain flour.

The Various Names of Almond Flour

It can be confusing to pick up the right almond flour for keto baking since each country uses different names to refer to almond flour. Almond flour, almond meal, ultra-fine almond flour, ground almonds, blanched almond flour, unblanched almond four. These are most of the names you might run into that refer to almond flour and not all of them are suitable for baking.

So, my advice to choose the best almond flour for keto baking is to look at its most important properties:

  • Texture – look for ultra-fine almond flour to avoid gritty baked goods.
  • Color – it must be golden/whiteish, not brown. Brown almond flour, usually known as almond meal or ground almonds, contains almonds skin. The skin from almonds gives a darker color to the flour. It makes a coarse and gritty flour that will not absorb liquid in keto baking recipes, resulting in moist cakes or bread with a gritty texture.
  • Ingredient list – you should only see blanched almonds listed. Blanched means that the skin of the almonds has been removed before the grinding process.

The most common name of keto almond flours suitable for keto baking are:

  • Blanched almond flour
  • Ultra-fine almond flour

Usually any product referring to ground almonds or almond meal will not work well in keto baking recipes.

Storing Almond Flour

Almond flour is not particularly sensitive to humidity with only 10.6% of fiber, but it is sensitive to light and heat that can damage nut oil and flavor. It is better to keep almond flour in a sealed airtight container in the pantry, in a dry, cool, dark area for up to 1 year.

Otherwise, almond flour freezes well in sous-vide bags. If you do so, always defrost the flour 24 hours before using it in a recipe to prevent lumps.

My favorite Keto Baking Recipes with Almond Flour

Here are my favorite keto baking recipes made with almond flour:

Keto cinnamon bread recipe
Keto Cinnamon Bread
4.86 from 27 votes
A delicious fall breakfast bread with buttery vanilla crumb and cinnamon sugar swirl
2.5g
Check out this recipe
KETO ALMOND FLOUR BREAD LOAF easy NO eggs flavor #keto #ketobread #easy #lowcarb #nodairy #paleo #healthy #glutenfree
Keto Almond Flour Bread
4.76 from 57 votes
Keto almond flour bread is an easy low-carb bread loaf recipe with a delicious bread texture and flavor. Also, it's paleo and gluten-free!
3.2g
Check out this recipe
KETO ZUCCHINI BREAD with almond flour, gluten free #almondflour #zucchinibread #ketozuccinibread #easy #glutenfree #withswerve #videos #withwalnuts #paleo #healthy #zucchini #fallrecipes #fallspices
Keto zucchini bread
4.7 from 136 votes
KETO ZUCCHINI BREAD an easy moist almond flour low carb keto bread with grated zucchini, walnuts, pecan and cinnamon.
3.3g
Check out this recipe

Coconut flour

Coconut flour is the second most common flour used in keto baking.

It has a slightly sweet flavor and a huge amount of fiber per serving that can be tricky to manage at first. Coconut flour is rarely used on its own in keto baking recipes because it calls for a huge amount of eggs to balance the high amount of fiber in the recipe.

Therefore, some people find that recipes made with only coconut flour have an eggy flavor. That is why you will see many recipes combining coconut flour and almond flour or psyllium husk to decrease the number of eggs needed in the recipe and still achieve the best balance of texture and taste.

Is coconut flour keto-friendly?

Yes, coconut flour is very much keto-friendly. It has 21 grams of carbs per 100 grams which is 3.5 times less than plain flour. You might think that 21 grams is a lot, but keep in mind that the amount of flour used in recipes is quite small!

The Various Names of Coconut Flour

Contrary to almond flour, coconut flour is always sold under one single name: coconut flour. So, all brand products called coconut flour, organic or not, are basically the same thing.

However, I have noticed that from brand to brand, some coconut flours can be grainier, or greyish in color.

So, if your flour seems coarse or grey in color, it is recommended to choose a different brand, as fine as possible, and white for best results.

Storing Coconut Flour

Coconut flour contains 35% of fiber so it absorbs moisture from the air quite fast. That is why most coconut flours bags include a silica gel packet.

Always repack coconut flour in a sealed airtight container with its original silica gel packet to prevent humidity from coming in and making lumps.

The best is to store coconut flour in a dry place and to use all the coconut flour within 3 months to ensure its chemistry remains unchanged.

Beyond this time, the chemistry may change noticeably, resulting in big differences in bread, cake, or pancakes texture.

For all these reasons, I do not recommend storing coconut flour in the fridge or freezer where humidity can easily enter.

My favorite Keto Baking Recipes with Coconut Flour

Here are my favorite keto baking recipes made with coconut flour:

KETO BLUEBERRY BREAD with coconut flour 3.9 g net carbs #keto #ketoblueberrybread #blueberry #bread #lowcarb #glutenfree #dairyfree #easy #healthy #paleo #sugarfree #homemade #lemon #ketocake #ketobread
Keto Blueberry bread
4.84 from 59 votes
Keto blueberry bread is a delicious healthy soft bread with almond flour, blueberries and a subtle touch of lemon
3.9g
Check out this recipe
Coconut flour flatbread keto low carb gluten free
Coconut flour flatbread
4.87 from 251 votes
Coconut flour flatbread Ketogenic flatbread perfect as a side to curries or a low carb tortillas wraps. 100% Vegan + eggless + gluten free soft breads.
2.6g
Check out this recipe
THE BEST KETO BREAD WITHOUT EGGS #ketobread #keto #egglessbread #almondflourbread #bestketobread #best #psylliumhusk #easy #vegan
Best keto bread recipe without eggs
4.74 from 117 votes
The best keto bread recipe without eggs, with coconut flour
3.6g
Check out this recipe

Flaxseed meal

Flaxseed meal is the third most common flour used in keto baking. Flax seeds are high-fiber tiny seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, both have been proved beneficial to improve digestive health, bad cholesterol, and reduce diabetes.

Is flaxseed meal keto-friendly?

Yes, flaxseed meal has only 1.6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, because it is almost entirely made of fiber.

Common Flaxseed Flour Names

Flax seeds are also known as linseed. They are grounded into a fine meal and sold as keto-friendly flour under the following names:

  • Ground flax seed
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Ground linseed
  • Linseed meal

Note that the ground is generally coarser than the meal and for best results in keto baking, I recommend buying meal.

Flaxseed Colors

Flax seeds exist in two distinct colors. While they both have the same chemistry and properties, I recommend golden flaxseed meal for keto baking. Golden flax seed meal has

  • a lovely yellow gold color
  • does not have a strong bitter/fishy flavor

Brown flaxseed meal has the same amount of carbs and interacts the same way as golden flaxseed meal in baking. However, it will give a strong earthy flavor that some people qualify as a fishy flavor. So, if you intend to bake sweet recipes with flaxseed meal, do not choose the brown variety. Plus, it will darken the color of your baked goods and not everyone will enjoy a dark cake or bread.

Storing Flaxseed Meal

Flaxseed meal contains 27% of fiber and like coconut flour, it is sensitive to humidity in the air. Therefore, it should be stored in a sealed jar, keeping the silica gel packet provided by the manufacturer in your bag to prevent air humidity from interacting with the meal. Also, seeds like nuts are sensitive to heat and light so it is better to store flaxseed meal in a cold, dry and dark place in the pantry for up to 3 months. After this time, the product will still be good, but the chemical properties will change and can impact the result of your baked goods.

My favorite Keto Baking Recipes with Flaxseed Meal

Here are my favorite keto baking recipes made with flaxseed meal:

Keto bread loaf egg free
Keto nut free bread
4.66 from 32 votes
A keto sunflower seed flour bread 100% nut free and egg free
3.3g
Check out this recipe
Keto bread rolls
Keto bread rolls
4.87 from 168 votes
Keto bread rolls NO EGGS! 100% Vegan + Dairy-free + Low Carb + Grain-free. Delicious crispy bread rolls made of almond flour, coconut flour, and psyllium husk. 
4.7g
Check out this recipe
90 seconds keto bread
90-second keto bread
4.76 from 37 votes
This 90-second keto bread will fix all your bread craving! This is a tasty microwave keto bread with the most wonderful soft bread texture perfect for sandwiches or toast.
3.2g
Check out this recipe

Psyllium Husk

This is the fourth most used flour in keto baking. It is also the trickiest to choose and use on your keto baking journey as it is made of 70% of fiber. Compare with all-purpose flour and its 3% of fiber!

Let us do some simple math, it means that psyllium husk can absorb 23 times more liquid than all-purpose flour. As a result, you would not use this ingredient in high quantity, or it would make your food very dry and chewy!

Is psyllium husk keto-friendly?

Yes, psyllium husk only has about 10 grams of net carbs per 100 grabs.

Common Name for Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is the common name for several plant seeds used to produce mucilage, a thick gluey substance that all plants produce. It is mainly used as a dietary fiber to relieve constipation and in keto baking as a thickener.

Many brands like Metamucil sell psyllium husk powders as supplements – not as baking ingredients. This is NOT suitable for keto baking.

Whole psyllium husk is what you need in keto baking. It is grainier and absorbs moisture very well in baking, acting as a glue, a binder. It adds elasticity to keto bread, wraps and it binds food.

Color

Raw whole psyllium husk is white/ brown in color and looks like tiny flat flakes. However, when baked, some trustable brands will turn purple/blue with temperature. While this does not impact, the flavors of your keto bread, it is quite an unappealing color.

Storing Psyllium Husk

Due to its high amount of fiber, you must store psyllium husk in an airtight container with a silica gel packet to prevent humidity from entering. Store in the pantry, in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 3 months.

Like many high-fiber baking products, the properties of husk fiber may decline over time, resulting in moist keto bread.

My favorite Keto Baking Recipes with Psyllium Husk

Here are my favorite keto baking recipes made with Psyllium Husk:

KETO NAAN BREAD
Low-carb naan bread
4.86 from 89 votes
The low-carb naan bread is a simple keto vegan recipe that ticks all diets, Vegan, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Paleo and Gluten-free.
3.5g
Check out this recipe
KETO PEANUT BUTTER BREAD is an healthy moist keto bread with only 5 grams net carb per slice. #peanutbutterbread #ketobread #keot #moist #easy #healthy #peanutbutter #bread #lowcarb #glutenfree #simple #ketorecipes #ketobreakfast #lowcarbbread #ketones #ketolifestyle #ketofood
Peanut butter bread keto
4.86 from 21 votes
Peanut butter bread is a delicious keto bread for breakfast or tea time and 5 g net carb per slice
5.1g
Check out this recipe
KETO GARLIC BREAD Easy, Cheesy Stuffed bread sticks #ketogarlicbread #ketobread #almondflour #easy #lowcarb #cheesy #quick #best
Keto Garlic Bread
4.84 from 25 votes
An easy Keto garlic bread recipe with almonds ready in 30 minutes for a quick side dish or appetizer to share with friends.
4.3g
Check out this recipe

Other keto flours

More than 90% of keto baking recipes use the 4 flours mentioned above. However, you can bake with a few other flours like the seed flours listed below. They are great 1:1 swap to almond flour. So, if you are allergic to nuts and you want to adapt a fail-proof keto baking recipe made of almond flour, swap one cup of almond flour for one cup of any of these seed flours:

  • Sunflower seed flour – this flour turns green when baked so it’s better to use in a chocolate batter where the green color won’t be noticed.
  • Sesame flour – it has a strong sesame flour, so you must love sesame seeds.
  • Pumpkin seed flour – already greenish in color when bought, but bland in flavor. This flour tends to dry the recipe slightly and therefore it is a better swap for keto bread, pizza, or crackers. I avoid it for more moist baked goods like cakes.

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