One of the first things I did when I changed to a low carb diet was to find out how to make it feel as close to normal as possible. It takes a while for a new lifestyle to feel ‘normal’ and stick. If it feels too restricted or hard, it is easy to fall off the wagon and return to old habits. I have always enjoyed cakes and biscuits, so this was one of the first areas I explored to ensure I could still eat my favourite comfort foods.
In this post, I will share the best low carb substitutes I have found to use in baking and cooking. In my opinion, these products are a must-have in any low carbster’s kitchen.
Low carb flours
Fiberflour – Lonjevity Foods
I recently discovered Fiberflour on Amazon whilst searching for almond flour. I was so intrigued that I decided to purchase it. It has quickly become my most favourite discovery. It is a low carb, high fiber flour which has been made with blood glucose and insulin control in mind.
Fiberflour is made with oat bran, golden linseed meal, wheat gluten, resistant wheat starch (fibre), inulin (soluble prebiotic fibre), resistant polydextrin (soluble prebiotic fibre), oat fibre, wheat fibre, guar gum (soluble fibre), HPMC (soluble fibre), and vitamin C (antioxidant). The flour is light and fluffy and the taste and texture reminds me of wholemeal flour.
What I really like about this flour is that, in my opinion, it is the most similar to regular flour. Pretty much anything you can make with regular flour you can make with Fiberflour. You can use it in the same quantity as regular flour but, due to the high fiber, you may need to add more moisture (egg, milk or water). I have made delicious rolls, bread (this flour produces perfectly textured crumbly bread), cookies, and banana bread.
I was apprehensive about trying out the banana bread recipe on the Lonjevity Foods website as the last time I had a banana my blood glucose levels spiked to 13mmol. However, I had nothing to worry about. Thanks to the high fiber content my blood glucose level actually lowered! See below.
The banana bread was to die for! It tasted no different to banana bread made with sugar.
There is so much I plan to make with Fiberflour. I want to try making pastries, homemade fresh pasta, pizza, scones, and cakes.
Nutritional Information per 100g
|of which saturates||0.5g|
|of which sugars||1g|
As the table shows, there is 16g of carbs per 100g but 42g of fiber! This makes the net carbs 0, and is the reason why my blood glucose levels did not spike after eating the banana bread.
I was so impressed with this product that I reached out to Lonjevity Foods to ask some questions about Fiberflour and their other products. I highly recommend reading the interview with Dr.Gerald Davies from Lonjevity Foods. Not only does Dr. Davies share his expertise about following a low carb diet, he offers insight into the benefits of fiber and answers many questions about the products they sell.
This flour is here to stay in my kitchen. I am beyond excited to start exploring with various recipes and rekindle my love for foods that I had to give up thanks to the carb content. We will start posting recipes using this flour, so watch this space!
Almond flour – Sukrin
Almond flour is an ingredient you’ll find in most houses following a low carb diet. It is versatile and can be used to make sweet and savoury foods.
My favourite brand is Sukrin Almond Flour as they press the almonds into a fine powder that is similar to regular flour. However, any almond flour will do or you can use ground almonds. To turn ground almonds into a fine powder, you can blitz the ground almonds in a coffee bean grinder. Blitz a few times until the texture turns fluffy, making sure not to overdo it and turn it into a butter!
You can substitute almond flour 1:1 with regular flour. However, it typically requires more moisture such as eggs or requires a binding agent such as xanthan gum. As a result, recipes might need to be adjusted to get the right consistency.
I have used almond flour to make a variety of foods. In my opinion, it is great for sweet tasting goodies such as marzipan, cakes, biscuits etc. I do use it for savoury foods such as our bread rolls but I must admit, I sometimes find it makes savoury products taste too sweet. I’m not a fan of using almond flour to make bread or any savoury goodies unless it has an ingredient like cheese to mask the sweet taste of almonds. Saying that, I know many individuals that do not share the same opinion as me and love the taste of bread they have made with almond flour (without the added cheese). This just goes to show how different our taste buds are. Regardless, I believe this product is a must-have in the kitchen.
Per 100g almond flour has 16.7g of carbs and 10g of fiber, making the net carbs around 6/7g per 100g.
Coconut Flour – Sukrin
Coconut flour is a great low carb alternative for individuals with a nut allergy or for those that don’t like the taste of almonds. I personally find I can tolerate this flour in sweet and savoury foods but it can be tricky to work with.
Unlike almond flour, coconut flour cannot be substituted for regular flour on a 1:1 ratio. To substitute for regular flour, you would use 1/4 to 1/3 the amount required of regular flour. For example, if a recipe calls for 300g of regular flour, you would substitute it for 75g of coconut flour. You will also need to increase the moist ingredients, such as eggs, to even out the texture as coconut flour is extremely absorbent. For every 130g of coconut flour, you will need to use six beaten eggs and add 240ml of liquid such as almond milk or coconut milk. It can be tricky experimenting with coconut flour and adapt recipes for it. I recommend following recipes that have been made specifically with coconut flour.
Nutritional Information per 100g
|of which saturates||12.7g|
|of which sugars||16.6g|
Coconut flour has 60g of carbs per 100g and 45g of fiber. This makes the net carbs 15g per 100g. As less coconut flour is used in comparison to other flour substitutes, this can produce low carb goodies such as our coconut cupcakes.
Flaxseed – Linwoods
Flaxseed is great for adding crunch to food or mixing into baking mixture or dough. I add it to muffins, bread mixtures and smoothies.
I also like to mix flaxseed with various herbs and spices to form a ‘breadcrumb’. I then dunk a chicken breast into a beaten egg and then dip the chicken breast in the flaxseed ‘breadcrumb’ mix until fully coated. I bake the chicken as normal and voila! I have a delicious low carb breaded chicken breast.
Flaxseeds can also be used to replace eggs in baking. For each egg you wish to replace, mix together the following: one tablespoon of flaxseed and three tablespoons of water. Leave the mixture for 20 minutes until it becomes gelatinous.
Nutritional Information per 100g
|of which saturates||3.7g|
|of which sugars||1.6g|
Per 100g flaxseed has 29g of carbs and 27g of fiber. This makes the net carbs 2g per 100g! Not only is it low in carbs, it is also a good source of omega 3.
You can purchase Linwoods Flaxseed on Amazon.
Low carb sugar substitutes
Sugar is another staple ingredient in many of the foods and baked goods we eat. Finding the right sweetener for you can take some trial and error. Some sweeteners might upset your stomach or cause a spike in your blood glucose levels. If you haven’t quite found the right sweetener for you yet, I recommend reading our Comprehensive guide on sugar subsitutes. This guide explores all types of sweeteners and the pros and cons of each in order to help you determine which is best for you. I get on well with a mix of stevia and erythritol. I also plan to try a blend of erythritol and monk fruit.
Sukrin: 1, Sukrin Gold & Sukrin Melis
Sukrin is one of my favourite brands of sweeteners. They offer a substitute for regular sugar (Sukrin: 1), a substitute for brown sugar (Sukrin Gold), and a substitute for icing sugar (Sukrin Melis).
Sukrin products contain a mix of erythritol and stevia and can be used as a 1:1 substitute for regular sugar. It has the same sweetness as sugar and does not give off an aftertaste. The only downfall is, when used in excess, it can cause a slight cooling sensation in your mouth. If you find this to be a problem, I recommend experimenting with mixing sugar substitutes such as erythritol, monk fruit, xylitol or stevia until you get the desired taste.
I love that Sukrin offers an icing sugar alternative, although I must admit when I first made up a batch of icing sugar I did not like it at all. I found the cooling sensation too overpowering with the Sukrin Melis. However, I recently decided to try it again and make one of my most favourite things: marzipan! It came out really well. I did notice the cooling sensation but it was bearable, and I thoroughly enjoyed the marzipan.
Cacao Powder – Lucy Bee
Ok so cacao powder isn’t a sweetener but Lucy Bee Cacao Powder (also sold as drinking chocolate) is another essential I have in my cupboard. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate and is made by roasting the cocoa bean. Lucy Bee’s Cacao Powder is 100% organic with no additives. Most cocoa powders are processed and have been stripped of goodness, such as fiber, as well as have sugar added to it. As Lucy Bee’s Cacao Powder has not been processed, it retains more of the fiber which makes it a low carb substitute for cocoa powder. It can be used to replace cocoa powder in baking or to make a hot chocolate.
To make a low carb hot chocolate, I heat up about 300-400ml of almond milk and mix 1 tbsp of Lucy Bee’s Cacao Powder with 2-3 tsp of Sukrin:1.
Nutritional Information per 100g
|of which saturates||10.4g|
|of which sugars||0.7g|
Per 100g, Lucy Bee’s Cacao Powder has 15.6g of carbs and 28.7g of fiber. This makes the net carb value 0!
There you have it, my favourite low carb baking products. What are your favourites? Comment below and share your favourite low carb baking products, I would love to hear from you!
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