If you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake easily and relatively painlessly, low-carb flours are a great wheat flour alternative to include in a balanced diet. By using them alongside traditional flours you can offset some of their different behavior in your recipes while lowering your carbohydrate intake.
What is Low-carb Flour?
Low-carb flour refers to flours and meals that are an alternative to the usual high carbohydrate flour traditionally ground from wheat, corn and other grains. Low-carb flours include almond flour, coconut flour, soybean flour and flaxseed meal. These still contain carbohydrates, but not in as high a quantity as the regular wheat, rice and oatmeal flours. Technically, these flour alternatives are not ground from grain, so they are more of a fine meal than an actual flour.
Low-carb flours have different properties in a recipe, so it is wise to start using them sparingly or buy a low-carb flour baking recipe book. So to compensate and make baking easier, you can also use low-carb bake mixes, with many of them available on Amazon.
Low-carb flours come from the varieties of sources, for example, legumes, seeds and nuts, so it is important to look at the other minerals and properties and how they will benefit you in your low-carb diet. Higher carb wheat flours are relatively bland and with the additional oils and proteins in these low-carb flours, you will find that low-carb flour will influence the flavor of your baking.
Some physical properties you need to compensate for are due to the higher fat content. These specialty flours often brown faster on cooking than lower fat wheat flour and because fats go rancid fairly quickly, shelf life can be much shorter. With a low gluten content, leavening your baking can be tricky, so combinations of low-carb flours or using just a portion of low-carb flour alongside a regular flour means you can still reduce the carbs while having an edible product of delicious low carb crackers or cookies.
Almond flour and Almond meal
Almond flour and Almond meal can be made in small quantities at home using a food processor and blend being baked almonds to the correct consistency. This useful low-carb flour can be used for most baking including breads, biscuits and cakes. While almond flour is low in carbs and gluten, it is high in protein and fat so pay attention to overall calories.
Flaxseeds and flaxseed meal
This is another versatile low carbohydrate flour that has a very high nutrient and fiber content, to with low gluten. Flax seed oil and meal can go rancid quite quickly and should be used as fresh as possible. By grinding your own flaxseed meal from whole seeds in a little coffee grinder or blender will ensure that you get the maximum nutrition from this low-carb seed meal. It is also strongly recommended that you store any ground flax meal in the fridge or freezer.
Coconut flour is another with the low-carb and flour substitute. It is made from dried defatted coconut. It is extremely high in fiber and proteins and has some natural sweetness, and due to its properties is best used with other flours. You can add it to a recipe in moderation, but using 100% Coconut flour for a recipe may leave you a little disappointed.
This easy to find, low-carb lower meal comes from the soybean. It is light fluffy flour for baking but has a distinctive taste that will come through in the recipe. Soy flour can be high in fact, but is entirely gluten-free so does not hold its shape well in recipes that need to be leavened with yeast, baking soda or egg. And can come in a few versions one of them as defatted soy flour
Other less common low carbohydrate meals and flours
Other low carb nut and seed meals include peanut flour, sesame, and sunflower seed flour. These are generally purchased from health food stores and can be a lot more difficult to find than the low-carb flours mentioned above.
What are Low-carb Bake Mixes?
These are a blend of one or more types of low-carb flour or meal often with bran, baking soda, salt and a sweetener. These can be conveniently bought in premixed packages to use in place of regular high carb wheat grain flour in baking.
Bob’s Red Mill Low-Carb Baking Mix is very popular and well reviewed and comes in packs of 4.
The blend is supposed to give a more normal physical characteristic to the dry part of any baking that you do, and can save you money so you do not have to buy such large quantities of each item and store them separately until you use them. Freshness is the key to getting all the nutrition and goodness you can add with these low-carb meals, and low-carb bake mixes are way to do that. These also allow you to use many of your existing favorite cooking and baking recipes with just a minor adaptation.
Where do I buy Low-carb Flour?
As far as where to buy low-carb flours, grocery stores and ehalth food shops are certainly a local option, depending on your location. Amazon is extremely convenient for having these hard-to-find items delivered directly to your door and you can combine shipping on other low carb lifestyle groceries as well.
You can compare prices, types, and know that you’re getting the freshest items by buying from such a large supplier. Some of the harder to find low-carb flours, if you can find them, may have been sitting on a bricks and mortar store shelf for months so you must factor that in when shopping for low-carb flour. To check out Amazon’s prices for low carb flour click here.