The Epic Guide to Keto and Low-Carb Baking Flours

Your baking is not the same since you started keto, or just trying to eat low carb? No wonder. Keto friendly and low carb flours baking behavior is completely different than that of wheat flour, as well as most of the gluten-free flours, which are usually high in carbs.

And the many different keto flour options – yes, you are not limited by coconut and almond – can work synergistically. In fact, most recipes will benefit from a combination of flours, instead of using them solo. You just need to understand how each flour works. Here I’ll show you the best way of substituting and mixing the flours in the right quantities to use them in recreating your family’s original high carb wheat recipes and transforming them into keto friendly treats.

Why is this so important? One of the reasons why so many people consider the keto diet impossible to commit to – even medical professionals – is that it’s “too limiting”. The keto allowed list of foods bans anything with high-carb content: so any traditional baked item is automatically off limits. But most of us grew up eating bread, cakes and pastries. They bring us comfort and happiness. If you don’t miss any of these on keto, you are truly blessed. Or a liar πŸ€₯

For the rest of us, leaving behind all the delicious baked wonders is what makes the keto diet so difficult to stick to. Well, what if I said that you don’t have to give up bread? Or that you can eat cake on your birthday without cheating? All you need to make this possible is learning how to use the low carb flours to bake treats with a keto friendly macro profile.

A flour wizard throwing keto flour into the air in an epic way.

How to use the epic keto and low-carb baking flours guide

I tried to group together flours with similar properties – fat, protein, fiber and moisture content – because they have similar behavior and can be interchangeable with hardly any difference in result. This way, you can immediately tell possible swaps, based on what you have on hand and any allergies/intolerances, without reading through the whole document.

On this note, with exception of vital wheat gluten flour, all the other flours in this list are gluten-free flours. Oat fiber is also gluten-free, but to make sure check for the certification on the packaging. In the protein powder section, I offer pea protein, a great non-lactose option to the dairy based protein powders.

For best and consistent results, use a scale for conversion. High-carb flours generally weight about the same, so the cup measurements are interchangeable. It’s completely different with the keto flours and powders. One cup of wheat flour doesn’t weight the same as one cup of whey protein, or of almond flour. Thinking in measurable quantities that stay consistent across the board makes converting easier. So, I recommend getting yourself a kitchen scale. They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and after you have some practice become second nature. They are also indispensable if you want to track your macros.

Regardless, I try my best to provide both the metric and the US cups and spoons measurements for your convenience. Unfortunately, when it comes to oven temperature adjustments, I couldn’t give you the Fahrenheit degrees values. Fahrenheit simply does not scale in a linear way, so it is impossible to create a rule for every temperature without some calculation. But you can still get a general idea, I hope, with the indicated temperature increases/decreases.

– P.S. Don’t let the length scare you. When I said an epic guide, I meant it. You don’t need to read everything, just what you need. The handy table of contents below puts the answer to your questions one click away. πŸ˜‰ Enjoy!

Table Of Contents

The epic guide to coconut flour keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of coconut flour

πŸ– 16.4 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 16.8 grams of fat

🍭 18.8 grams of net carbs ⇨ 37 grams total carbs minus 18.2 grams of fiber 🚽

πŸ”₯ 365 calories

Quick baking conversion tips

  • From a original wheat flour high-carb recipe: 1:4 coconut flour to wheat flour. Replace every 1 cup wheat flour (125 grams) for 1/4 cup coconut flour (30 grams).
  • Increase liquid in the new recipe by the same volume amount of coconut flour, or by double of the weight amount: 1/4 cup of coconut flour plus 1/4 cup of liquid, or 30 grams of coconut flour plus 60 grams of liquid.
  • Oven adjustment: slightly decrease baking time or temperature by about 5 Β°C

Coconut flour, the most affordable keto flour

A very healthy and barely processed keto flour, coconut flour is made from the coconut white juicy flesh. After pressing the coconut pulp to obtain coconut milk and coconut cream, the resulting dryed white pulp is milled and turned into a white, divine smelling powder.

This coconut powder – which we call flour – is hands down the cheapest option when it comes to keto and low-carb baking. Not only it costs but a fraction of what you pay for almond flour or protein powders, a little goes a very long way. Coconut flour is extremely absorbent and gives good structure to baking. You can use at a very economic ratio of 1:4, replacing 1 part coconut for every 4 parts of flour.

How to bake with coconut flour

The absorption properties of coconut flour are impossible to ignore. The flour behaves in such a way that it seems it wants to claim all the moisture removed during the “milking” process back. Recipes originally created for coconut flour will take an insane amount of eggs and liquid: for every 50 grams (1/2 cup) of coconut flour, expect to add 3 eggs (150 grams) plus 125 grams (1/2 cup) of liquid. The measly 1/2 cup of coconut flour absorbs it all, re-hydrates and gives your baking a beautiful texture. But you have to wait for the batter to suck up the moisture. It will slowly thicken over a couple of minutes. Give it a last mix before pouring in the baking pan, or in your waffle maker or frying pan.

How to mask the coconut flour taste

The only downside of coconut flour, for me, is the taste. Not that I don’t like coconut… but if I want a chocolate or vanilla flavor anything, I want to taste the chocolate or vanilla, not coconut plus chocolate or vanilla. In sweet recipes, if you don’t want the coconut taste, keep the coconut flour at maximum of 30 per cent of the flour amount in the recipe. The best flour combinations to fill up the other 70 per cent in sweet recipes are almond flour solo, or in conjunction with oat fiber, lupin flour, and protein powders.

In savory recipes, as weird as it seems, you can actually use a lot more coconut flour and still keep the coconut taste in the background. I believe that salt and savory spices – for example, garlic powder, peppers, mustard, cumin – do a better job at overpowering the coconut taste than the sweet flavors. Which makes coconut flour a great, economical option for savory keto pies, pastries and tortillas.

The epic guide to almond, pumpkin and sunflower keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of blanched almonds, flour or meal

πŸ– 21.4 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 52.2 grams of fat

🍭 8.8 grams of net carbs ⇨ 18.7 grams total carbs minus 9.9 grams of fiber 🚽

πŸ”₯ 633 calories

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of dried pumpkin seeds, flour or meal

πŸ– 30 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 49 grams of fat

🍭 5 grams of net carbs ⇨ 11 grams total carbs minus 6 grams of fiber 🚽

πŸ”₯ 559 calories

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of sunflower seeds, flour or meal

πŸ– 21 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 51 grams of fat

🍭 11 grams of net carbs ⇨ 20 grams total carbs minus 9 grams of fiber 🚽

πŸ”₯ 584 calories

Quick baking conversion tips

  • From a original wheat flour high-carb recipe: 1:1 almond, pumpkin and/or sunflower seed flour. You can replace all of the wheat flour in the new low-carb recipe.
  • Decrease fat or liquid in the your new keto recipe by 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 grams) for every cup (100 grams) of almond, pumpkin, or sunflower flour added.
  • Increase the raising agent (baking powder and/or soda or yeast) by 1/4 teaspoon for every cup (100 grams) of almond, pumpkin or sunflower flour flour added.
  • Oven adjustment: if your recipe is mostly almond, pumpkin or sunflower flour, slightly decrease baking time or temperature by about 5 Β°C
  • Bonus tip: Almond flour can be substituted 1:1 to pumpkin or to sunflower seed flour – and they can be mixed in any proportion without any further changes to recipe.

Almond flour substitutions

Blanched almond flour is the most used in keto and low-carb recipes across the board for two reasons: it’s easily available in flour form, and its light color (blanched almonds have the dark skin removed) and delicate taste easily blend into any baked item. But for those with nut allergies, or avoiding phytic acid, almond flour is off limits. It might also be the case that you are budget conscious, so there are two great alternatives: pumpkin seeds and sunflower seed meal can replace almond meal, in a 1:1 substitution.

The baking behavior of pumpkin and sunflower seed is the same as almonds. However, the baked item will have a darker color, and taste like the seed used, which will not be as bland in flavor as almonds. Pumpkin and sunflower seed flours might give your baked items a greenish tint, due to a PH reaction, but they’re perfectly safe to eat.

What is the difference between almond meal and almond flour?

The difference between almond meal and flour is in the texture: a more finely powdered nut, that is processed for a longer time, will become “flour”. It’s actually a powder, and the lighter and finer texture will result in a fluffier baked item, with a tender and tighter crumb. The coarse texture of the meal version (ground for a short time) does not give the same results for fluffy baking, but it’s good enough to make cookies or breading.

How to make your own pumpkin and sunflower seed meal

Although sunflower and pumpkin in pre-packaged flour form are expensive and challenging to find, their seeds are widely available and much cheaper than almonds and its flour. You can easily create pumpkin and sunflower seed meal yourself, by processing the seeds in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender. You can get amazing results, depending on the power and quality of the blades on your appliance, and for how long you grind the seeds. Over-grinding will result in nut butter. But carefully timing the processing of the seeds will give you a flour like substance, ranging in texture from seed meal to seed flour.

How to bake with almond, pumpkin and sunflower seed flours

It is better to use almond, pumpkin or sunflower seeds flour solo (or mixed together in any proportion you like) only for items that you want to be soft and tender, such as cakes or pancakes. The high fat and moisture content in these flours provide a delicate texture result. But if you need some crunch, for cookies and biscuits, for example, it’s better to use them in conjunction with coconut flour, protein powder or oat fiber. The dryness in these flours will provide the crunchiness and “breaking” texture.

Because of their high fat and moisture content, almond, pumpkin and sunflower seed flours will absorb less fat and liquid, so you can use a little less of these ingredients. As a rule of thumb, when adapting your keto recipe from a wheat flour recipe, decrease the quantity of oil, butter or milk by about 1 to 2 tablespoons for every cup (125 grams) of wheat flour. The batter may look thicker, but it’s not necessary to add more liquid. As the moistness is already incorporated into the grains of the flour, you need less of it in suspension.

The epic guide to flax meal keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of flax meal

πŸ– 18 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 42 grams of fat

🍭 2 grams of net carbs ⇨ 28 grams total carbs minus 27 grams of fiber 🚽🚽

πŸ”₯ 524 calories

Quick baking conversion tips

  • From a original wheat flour high-carb recipe: 1:1 flaxmeal to wheat flour. You can replace up to a maximum of 20 per cent of the total flour content.
  • Increase the liquid in your low-carb recipe by 1/3 of the volume amount of flaxmeal added, or by half of the weight amount: 3 tablespoons of flaxmeal plus 1 tablespoon of liquid, or 30 grams of flaxmeal plus 15 grams of liquid.
  • Increase the raising agent (baking powder and/or soda or yeast) by 25 per cent – add 1/4 teaspoon for every teaspoon in the original recipe.
  • Bonus tip: Flaxmeal can replace eggs, psyllium husk and xantham gum. Mix one tablespoon (10 grams) flaxmeal with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of hot water. Wait 10 minutes. The mixture replaces one egg, one tespoon of xantham gum or one tablespoon of psyllium husk.

What is flax meal, and is it keto?

Flax meal, aka flax seed flour or linseed flour, is the fine flour made from milled or ground flax seeds, a great source of the healthy omega-3 fatty acid ALA ( alpha linolenic acid) and fiber. Flax seeds anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties contribute to its health benefits. Over 95% of the carbs in flax seeds are fiber. Discount that from the total, and the net carb count for flax is negligible, which means it’s keto friendly. On top of that, eating a flax baked item is almost like taking a health supplement.

Homemade flax meal: how to grind your own flax seed flour

If you can’t find flax meal, it’s easy to ground the seeds yourself. Add the flax seeds to the (very dry) bowl or jar of a blender or food processor and pulse it a few times. Shake the jar or scrape the bowl in between pulses to get all of the bits processed. But the ground flax seeds lose their shelf life. As the meal can go rancid quickly, keep powdered flax in the refrigerator.

What is the difference between brown and golden flax seeds?

You can find both the seeds and the meal in golden and brown varieties. Their nutrient profile is exactly the same, as is their nutty, bitter taste. It is said that the golden flax has a more delicate flavor, but from my own experience I disagree. What most influences the flavor of flax, from my observations, is how long ago the seeds have been milled. Freshly grounded seeds, as you get when making your own flour, taste much stronger than bagged flax meal.

I had to throw away a batch of keto carrot muffins baked with freshly milled golden seeds, so bitter was the taste. Such a tragedy never happened with the cheap brown flax meal bags I usually get. But I didn’t want my bright orange keto carrot muffins looking brown. I paid the price for my vanity, and learned a lesson.

How to bake with flax seed meal

Flax absorbs about 6 times it’s weight in water, but not in a dry, moisture sucking way (like coconut flour and protein powders). It has mucillagenous properties: when flax absorbs water, it gels up and thickens, in a manner similar to chia seeds, or psyllium husk. The longer you leave the batter after mixing the liquid in, the thicker it will become. Always let the batter rest for a few minutes before shaping it or taking it to the oven.

You can directly (1:1) replace a maximum of 20% of the total flour content in a wheat recipe for flax meal. More than that might cause the baked item to turn gummy. It could also prevent the inside from setting, with the moisture refusing to evaporate, no matter for how long you extend the cooking time. That’s similar to what would happen if you added more eggs than a recipe asks for.

If you want to start baking with flax meal with an easy keto recipe, check out these amazing one bowl chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.

Making a flax meal egg substitute

You can substitute the eggs in a recipe – if they are there just as a binder, not as a main ingredient – by a mixture of 1 tablespoon of flax meal and 3 tablespoons of hot water. Mix them up, and wait about 10 minutes until it thickens. The finished result will not have the same rise or fluffiness given by the egg, but it might do the trick when you need it.

The same mixture can also be used to replace one tablespoon of psyllium husk or one teaspoon of xanthan gum. The mucilaginous nature of flax meal mimics the binding characteristic of these ingredients, but not the gluten-like elasticity benefit that psyllium husk lends to dough.

The epic guide to oat fiber keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of oat hull fiber

πŸ– 2.15 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 0.48 grams of fat

🍭 2.65 grams of net carbs ⇨ 85.26 grams of fiber 🚽🚽🚽

πŸ”₯ 24 calories

Quick baking conversion tips

  • From a original wheat flour high carb recipe: 1:1 oat fiber to wheat flour. Ideally, keep oat fiber at a maximum of 50% of the total amount of flour in the new recipe. Complete with either almond, lupin, coconut or flaxmeal.
  • Increase liquid and fat in the new recipe by 1 tablespoon (15 grams) for every 1/2 cup (50 grams) of oat fiber added.
  • Bonus tip: A small amount (5 to 10 per cent of total flour) of oat fiber added to a keto recipe is enough to improve the crumb tenderness and give the recipe a carby mouth feel.

What is oat fiber, and is it keto?

If you just look at the macros in oat fiber, you’d think that it’s basically sawdust. Well, in a way, it is. Oat hull fiber is an ingredient made by grinding and purifying the outermost protective layer of the oat grain. It’s composed of lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose… in other words, oat-dust. Oat fiber is mostly used to bulk up the recipe, and reduce the amount of calories. I can have a cake recipe with almond flour only, or I can cut up the almond flour with up to half of oat fiber, basically cutting the calories in half. Neat, huh?

There’s some caveats to it, though. Although it’s keto, it’s not really a “food”. There’s no nutritional content to it: no carbs, no protein, no fat. It is basically a filler. Oat fiber is pure fiber, so the more you use the more you will, let’s say, unuse.

It’s easy to mistake oat fiber for other oat products (like oat flour, oat flakes, oat bran). Just be careful when shopping for oat fiber, and in doubt check the fiber/carb count on the label: only oat hull fiber is keto friendly. I wish it weren’t so… I used to love my warm porridge with cinnamon and whisky.

How to bake with oat fiber

Because of the thinness of the powder and slight oaty taste, it’s one of the keto flours that most resemble wheat flour, and it brings some lightness and “real-flour” like texture to keto baking. It absorbs high amounts of fat and liquid, up to seven times its weight, which improves the softness and texture of the crumb.

It’s best when combined with other keto flours like almond, coconut, flax and lupin, to give a lighter and more floury texture to the batter. It doesn’t pair as well with protein powders, that are overly fine. The batter might lose structure. These easy blueberry blender muffins are a great example of a oat fiber, almond and coconut flour combination.

The epic guide to lupin flour keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of lupin flour

πŸ– 40 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 6.6 grams of fat

🍭 3.3 grams of net carbs ⇨ 39.6 grams total carbs minus 36.3 grams of fiber 🚽🚽

πŸ”₯ 245 calories

Quick baking conversion tips

  • From a original wheat flour high carb recipe: 1:1 lupin flour to wheat flour. You can replace 100% of the wheat flour with lupin, or combine it with almond flour, coconut flour or oat fiber for a more subtle taste.

What is lupin flour, and is it keto?

Lupin flour is made from sweet lupin beans, a legume from the same family as peanuts. It’s one of the highest sources of natural, unprocessed protein. Lupin flour has superior digestibility and bio-availability of essential nutrients, compared to other flours. Unfortunately, it’s not yet wide available outside of Australia and a few European countries. Lupin flour is gluten-free, low GI, lowers blood pressure and acts as a pre-biotic for improved bowel health.

All lupin’s health benefits aren’t enough, though, if we can’t use it in keto and low-carb baking. The amazing news: lupin is probably the best keto friendly baking flour in existence.

How does lupin flour taste like

Lupin flour tastes good, although it can be a little bitter, but not anywhere near flax meal. When mixed with the liquid ingredients, lupin flour has a earthy aroma, reminiscent of chick peas or wet grass, but the smell goes away during cooking.

It looks good, too. The color isn’t as white as wheat flour, more a subtle yellow, but good enough for any “light colored” baked item. Your white breads and vanilla cakes will just be a little tanned.

How to bake with lupin flour

Lupin flour is incredibly easy to work with. You can just swap the whole amount of wheat flour in a recipe for lupin flour, at the same ratio. And it holds well enough by itself – yes, like almond flour, you can use lupin flour solo. But at less than half of the calories (and price!) from almond flour, and almost none of its phytic acid.

If you prefer to create a flour mix for a more subtle taste, the best flours to use in combination with lupin flour are almond flour, coconut flour and oat fiber. Mixing with protein powders is not necessary, as lupin is already very high in protein in itself. I wouldn’t recommend combining lupin flour with flax meal, because it would increase the overall bitterness, unless that is not a problem for you.

Best recipes for lupin flour

Lupin is great in recipes requiring some crunch, like crackers and bread sticks. It gives a nice crust to keto bread and pizza dough. And it makes a very good breading, when mixed with spices. You can get lupin in flake form as well, and use it as cereal, for homemade keto granola and sprinkles. Lupin flour goes very well in both sweet and savory recipes. Bread items made with lupin flour have a slight resemblance to corn bread in texture and aroma.

Lupin flour and peanut allergy

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect. Lupin flour is not recommended for those allergic to peanuts or soybeans, as they are close related plants and may trigger a similar reaction. But if you avoid soy because of its anti-nutrients, such as lectins and saponins (gastric irritants) and phytic acid, don’t worry. Lupin beans have negligible levels of these substances.

The epic guide to vital wheat gluten flour keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of vital wheat gluten flour

πŸ– 75.2 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 1.9 grams of fat

🍭 13.2 grams of net carbs ⇨ 13.8 grams total carbs minus 0.6 grams of fiber 🚽🚽

πŸ”₯ 370 calories

Quick Conversion Tips

  • From a original wheat flour high carb recipe: 1:1 wheat gluten to wheat flour. But replace a maximum of 50% of the total amount ofwheat flour in the new keto recipe for gluten flour. Complete with either almond/pumpkin/sunflower seed flour, lupin, coconut or flaxmeal.
  • Bonus tip: Adding vital wheat gluten will give any keto dough elasticity similar to that in regular wheat flour recipes. Knead the dough for proper gluten development.

What is vital wheat gluten flour?

Gluten, for the uninitiated, is the protein present in wheat flour. If you remove all the starch out of the wheat flour, you’ll have wheat gluten. So you just get from the wheat the only thing that you actually need from the wheat, which are not the carbs: it’s the gluten protein, the magical component that gives bread its wonderful texture.

Is wheat gluten flour keto?

If coconut flour can be considered a keto flour at 18 net carbs per 100 grams, then yes, vital wheat gluten flour is definitely keto friendly. Although the starch removal process doesn’t get rid of absolutely every carb in wheat flour, the remaining 13.2 grams of net carbs is low enough to be safely added in keto and low carb recipes.

What is the role of gluten in baking?

Wheat gluten is the reason why wheat flour baked goods are so delicious: air gets trapped in the elastic pockets created in the dough by the gluten protein, and these pockets pop when you bite into them, releasing waves of flavor. Gluten also gives structure to the dough, making it elastic and extensible. Psyllium husk and xantham gum are often added to gluten-free and keto recipes to try and mimic these so desired gluten properties.

Gluten protein is such an important element for the dough’s elasticity and rise that it is often added even to wheat flour recipes, as as a dough conditioner. Wheat flours are actually classified according to their levels of gluten: “strong” wheat flour has a larger percentage of gluten protein, which makes for a better structured dough. It is ideal to make bread, and to free form loaves. “Weak” or “soft”wheat flour has the smallest gluten protein content, and is used in cakes and delicate pastries. And all purpose flour’s level of gluten is somewhere in the middle.

How to bake with vital wheat gluten flour

For keto baking, vital wheat gluten flour is ideal for bread and bread like recipes, such as pizza, foccacia, panetonne and pretzels. You can make wheat gluten up to half of the total flour in your recipe. I wouldn’t recommend more, because it can create a rubbery texture in your dough.

To activate gluten’s properties, knead the dough for a while, it will give elasticity and allow for the development of those delicious air pockets. You can stop kneading when, pinching the dough with your fingers and gently pulling it apart, it stretches and doesn’t break.

But isn’t gluten bad for me?

Unless you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, there’s nothing wrong with consuming gluten protein. Contrary to common belief, gluten does not cause your dick to fly off and explode. Wheat gluten protein has been used in Asia for 2000 years for making seitan, which is now used by vegetarians worldwide as a meat substitute. I’ve never tried seitan, but there doesn’t seem to be anything diabolical about it. Well, maybe except for gluten 😈

Baking with protein powders

Protein powders improve the macro profile of your baked goods – who doesn’t need more protein? They are a little more difficult to work with than the other keto flours, but it gets easier after you understand them. And your specific powder – unlike flours, that are, generally, a more natural product with stable behavior accross brands, protein powders are heavily processed and the characteristics of each different brand might give you different results following the same recipes.

And protein powders will not behave like flours, as much as we would like them to. They are extremely drying, and just water or milk don’t cut for protein powder’s thirst. They need moisteners, ingredients that do more than hydration: they give structure, helping the protein powders create a stable mixture. You have a few low carb moisteners to choose from: Greek yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage or quark cheese. If you’re not into lactose, silken tofu also works.

Protein powders are easier to find in flavored version, already sweetened – vanilla and chocolate are the most useful for baking, but the amount of flavors available is actually bizarre. Any flavor of protein that you have at hand can be used for baking, but if you are going to buy a tube specific por baking purposes I recommend you get an unflavored version. This way, you can use your protein in both sweet and savory recipes, and adapt the flavors as you like.

The epic guide to whey protein keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of unflavored whey protein concentrate

πŸ– 82 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 7.5 grams of fat

🍭 4 grams of net carbs

πŸ”₯ 412 calories

Quick Conversion Tips

  • From a original wheat flour high-carb recipe: 1:1 whey protein to wheat flour, up to a maximum of 1/4 of the total amount of flour in the new keto recipe.
  • Add moistener: for every 15 grams (2 tablespoons) of whey protein, add about 30-40 grams (2 tablespoons) of Greek yogurt, sour cream, cottage, quark or cream cheese, or silken tofu.
  • Oven adjustment: decrease temperature by about 10 Β°C

What is the difference between whey concentrate and whey isolate?

You can bake with either whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate. They’re originally the same product, but whey isolate is filtered further than the concentrate, which removes more fats and carbs – specifically lactose, the carbs found in milk. This extra filtration process makes the isolate much more expensive. Kinda like a triple distilled whisky. The difference in macros, in the quantities suggested, are not significant to affect the results of your keto baking.

If you are going to drink a lot of protein shakes, or are lactose intolerant, the slightly larger carb (from lactose) count in whey concentrate might be a matter to consider. I chose to buy whey concentrate because it is much cheaper, if money is not a problem for you, or if you don’t do lactose, go for whey isolate.

How to bake with whey protein

Unfortunately, whey can’t be used by itself on baking… Oh, if only that was possible. It would be a true magical powder. But alas… by itself, whey protein is very flat and gives no volume to the baked item. If comprising most of the flour, it will render the batter too heavy and dry, which will turn your baked item into a sad rubbery brick. Don’t be discouraged, here’s how you can bypass this problems.

You need to add other flours to give it volume and make it rise. Make whey about 1/4 of your batter, as a rule of thumb (you might get away using 1/3 whey if you add a ton of moisteners – see above). Complete the dry mixture with almond, pumpkin or sunflower seed flour and/or coconut flour, and up to 20% flax meal, if using.

Whey protein is also great for cake toppings and frostings. Check out this beautiful frosting for cupcakes.

The epic guide to casein and pea protein keto and low-carb baking

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of unflavored casein protein powder

πŸ– 82 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 1.2 grams of fat

🍭 4.7 grams of net carbs

πŸ”₯ 350 calories

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of unflavored pea protein isolate

πŸ– 75 grams of protein

πŸ₯‘ 5 grams of fat

🍭 3 grams of net carbs

πŸ”₯ 357 calories

Quick Conversion Tips

  • From a original wheat flour high-carb recipe: 1:1 casein or pea protein to wheat flour, but they can only make half of the total flour amount in the new keto recipe.
  • Add moistener: for every 15 grams (2 tablespoons) of pea protein or casein protein, add about 30-40 grams (2 tablespoons) of Greek yogurt, sour cream, cottage, quark or cream cheese, or silken tofu.
  • Oven adjustment: decrease temperature by about 10 Β°C
  • Bonus tip: Casein can be substituted 1:1 to pea protein – and they can be mixed in any proportion without any further changes to recipe.

Can I swap casein for pea protein?

Although casein and pea protein come from completely different sources, their behavior in baking is so similar that the tips for keto baking can be combined. Like almond, pumpkin and sunflower seed flours, casein and pea protein can be used interchangeably.

Casein, like whey protein above, is derived from milk. If you prefer to follow a dairy-free diet, you can use pea protein instead with no compromises in your keto baking.

How are casein and pea protein different from whey?

Both casein and pea protein are more absorbent than whey, and they also absorb liquid in a different manner. While whey gets sticky and soupy with the addition of water, resembling cement, casein and pea protein seem to inflate, look like soft mashed potato. The wet texture of casein gets very thick and voluminous.

How to bake with casein and pea protein

Because of their liquid absorption behavior, when using casein or pea protein (instead of whey) you can add a larger proportion of protein powder to other flours. Substitute up to half of the flour content in the recipe. Still, casein and pea protein require the use of moisteners instead of straight up liquid to give proper weight to the batter: yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese or silken tofu are all keto friendly ingredients that can be used.

The best recipes for casein

Casein is great when in creating thick textures: puddings, flans, creams and frostings. But it has a grainier texture compared to whey. This sandiness disappears when cooked. The taste in the unflavored powder is really milky, much more than whey, which makes casein a better match for sweet recipes.

The best recipes for pea protein

Pea protein matches savory foods better, because it comes from a legume, and we’re used to eating legumes in savory dishes. It’s the same lupin flour. But don’t let that deter you. Adding sweeteners and flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, will be more than enough to mask the (perceived as) savory pea taste. Or you can start with a flavored protein powder, and skip the sweetener and flavor additions.

I hope you enjoyed this guide, and that you found the answers that you were looking for. I tried to share my first hand experiences with each flour, but this is not a definitive piece. There are other keto and low-carb flours that I haven’t had the chance to cook or bake with yet, and surely there’s more to learn even about the ones I listed here. I intend to update this guide as I discover new flours, and find out new tips to better work the flours already on the list. If you have any questions or any tips of your own to share, please leave a comment below πŸ™‚

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2 thoughts on “The Epic Guide to Keto and Low-Carb Baking Flours”

  1. Kathy E Yarberry

    Have you come up with some baking blends to take advantage of each flour’s best qualities? πŸ˜ƒ

    1. That’s a great idea Kathy, and I must admit that I gave it some thought but I’m just so used to just mix them on the go that I never actually come around to do it. But thank you for reminding me, because that’s definitely something that I should start working on!

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