If there’s one thing I know about being Keto and running a (mostly) Keto food blog, it’s that people want their Keto desserts. And Keto desserts require the best Keto flours.
Seriously, my most popular recipe by far is a recipe for Keto Red Velvet Cupcakes. Coincidence? I think not.
There are lots of questions about what is and isn’t Keto approved or Keto friendly so I’m here to help you out.
By the time you’re done reading this article you’ll have a better understanding of what the best Keto flours are. This knowledge will help to ensure your success on the Ketogenic Diet.
First, let’s get a couple common questions out of the way.
Can I substitute all purpose flour with Keto flours?
Unfortunately, no. There is no single Keto flour that can be used as a substitute for all-purpose wheat flour. Some have had success by mixing a combination of some of the flours listed below but there is no 1 to 1 Keto friendly flour replacement for AP flour.
How many carbs are in flour?
cup of all-purpose flour contains 95 grams of carbs.
That’s enough carbs for one week on the Ketogenic diet. In one cup of wheat flour.
people on the Ketogenic try to stay within 15-20 net carbs per day, for
Now imagine how many cups are in a traditional cake or pie recipe. And we haven’t even gotten to the sugar yet!
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Ok guys, let’s get into it.
The Best Keto Flours
Almond flour is easily the king of the low carb flours. It’s in almost every single recipe for Keto baked goods there is. And with good reason, it’s extremely versatile and easy to find. This makes it one of the best Keto flours there is.
Almond flour is made from ground up, blanched almonds. The blanching process removes the skin from the almonds, which allows for a finer grind to the flour.
Almond flour is similar to almond meal but almond meal is made by grinding up almonds with the skin on. Almond meal is much more coarse than almond flour so it’s not used nearly as often.
Almond Flour Nutrition Facts
For just a little contrast, let’s remember that traditional wheat flour has 95 grams of carbs in one cup. Even if we’re talking about net carbs there are still around 92 grams of carbs per cup.
If that same cup were full of almond flour, it would have 40 grams of total carbs and 32 grams of net carbs.
Confused about what the heck I’m talking about? Checkout my Beginner’s Guide to the Keto Diet where I talk about counting your carbs.
Now you might notice that there’s a decent amount of fat in almond flour and that’s ok. Remember, we actually want good, healthy fat in our foods on the Ketogenic Diet. There’s also even a little bit of protein in there.
Almond Flour Storage
Now, because almond flour is so fatty there’s the chance that it could go rancid. Rancid means the almond flour could spoil, and while it may give off a strange odor, it very well may not.
If you eat rancid or spoiled almond flour, or any food for that matter, you could get really sick.
And we do not want that.
The best way to store your almond flour is in an airtight bag but a sealed container will work as well. Store the flour in your freezer or refrigerator if you can. This will keep the oils in the almond flour from going bad and stinking up the joint.
Where to Buy Almond Flour
Almond flour is so popular in gluten free and low carb cooking, you can even find it at big box stores now. You know which ones I’m talking about.
The big blue one.
I primarily shop online for my almond flour, all my Keto flours really. I know that’s the one way I’ll be able to find the brands I love. But if you’re in a pinch or don’t like ordering online, whatever you find near you is fine.
What about almond meal?
While almond meal is a low carb/Keto friendly flour, it isn’t used as often because of its texture and flavor. Almond meal is usually ground almonds with the skin on so it’s not as fine as almond flour. The skin of the almonds also provides almond meal with more flavor than almond flour which usually isn’t what we want.
Almond meal and almond flour are technically interchangeable but the texture and flavor will not be the same.
Almond meal is most often used for pie crusts and sometimes in cookies.
Coconut flour is another extremely popular ingredient in low carb and Keto cooking. It’s made from the meat of the coconut, after it’s been dehydrated and ground into a fine powder. It’s one of the best Keto flours it’s high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.
Depending on the brand some coconut flours have a slightly stronger taste than others. Trying different brands will help you determine which one is best for your own taste buds.
Coconut flour nutrition
The nutrition facts for coconut flour seem to vary by brand, as with most things. Overall though, coconut flour seems to have around 36 grams of carbs per ¼ cup with 20 grams of fiber. This gives ¼ cups of coconut flour about 16 grams net carbs.
The fiber in coconut flour makes it great for digestion and gut health and it also has medium-chain triglycerides, a healthy fat that has been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels. You can read more about medium-chain triglycerides and their benefits by clicking here.
Can I substitute coconut flour for almond flour?
Unfortunately many have learned the hard way that you cannot swap coconut flour to almond flour in a 1:1 ratio.
I am one of the many.
Coconut flour absorbs waaaaaay more liquid than almond flour and it would be almost impossible to say in which ratio you could swap the two flours without knowing the entire recipe.
This need for liquid is usually why you’ll see that most coconut flour recipes contain at least 4 eggs.
Coconut flour storage
Since coconut flour has the majority of its natural oils removed before its ground and packaged, there’s much less of a chance it will go rancid like almond flour.
Simply storing your coconut flour in a cool, dry place should suffice. If any moisture were introduced to the coconut flour it would absorb it immediately so make sure wherever you store it is tightly sealed. It’s not recommended that you store coconut flour in the refrigerator or freezer like you would with almond flour since there would be a much higher risk of coming into contact with water.
So just be mindful of the expiration date on the packaging
Lupin flour is a seemingly unknown low carb friendly Keto flour but it really does deserve more shine. It comes from the same family as peanuts, legumes, so it’s a big no-no if you have an allergy to peanuts.
Lupin beans were originally used to feed livestock but have since been ground into flour or made into to flakes for gluten free baking.
Lupin Flour Nutrition Facts
One ¼ cup of lupin flour contains 12 grams of carbs and a whopping 11 grams of fiber. That means ¼ cup contains on 1 gram of net carbs. That’s pretty impressive, especially when you compare it to its coconut and almond flour counterparts.
That same ¼ cup of lupin flour also contains about 10% of your daily recommended dose of potassium, which is an important micronutrient on the Ketogenic Diet.
Lupin flour storage
Since lupin flour is low in fat there isn’t much risk that it will go rancid. Storing your lupin flour in a sealed, airtight container should keep it nice and fresh for you. A cool, dry place like a cabinet is better than storing it out on the counter, for example.
Flaxseed meal, otherwise known as ground flaxseed, isn’t necessarily a flour per se but I thought it deserved a mention here. Although flaxseed meal is really never used on its own, it does make appearances in low carb cooking.
Flaxseed meal is most often used as a thickening agent or as an egg replacement, especially in vegan cooking.
Flaxseed meal nutrition
Flaxseed meal is great for the Ketogenic diet since ¼ cup of the ground seeds contains 16 grams of total carbs but 12 grams of fiber. That means it has a total of 4 net carbs per ¼ cup serving.
Not only is flaxseed packed with fiber, which makes it great for digestion, but it’s also a source of protein and Omega 3. It’s also a decent source of vitamin B and magnesium.
Flaxseeds also contain a compound found in plants that may reduce your risk of developing cancer.
And that’s pretty darn cool!
Flaxseed meal storage
As with all the other Keto flours we talked about here, flaxseed meal is best kept in a cool, dry place. This can be in a cabinet or cupboard but it’s recommended that you keep your flaxseed in the refrigerator or freezer.
This is because flaxseed has a decent amount of fat in it and fat can go rancid if it gets too warm for too long. This might not be a problem in the winter months but in the summer time, your flaxseed meal could go bad if left on the counter for example.
Pysllium Husk Powder
Psyillium husk is another “flour” that is essentially never used on its own, but used in combination with either coconut or almond flours. Psyllium husk boasts a slew of health benefits including lowering bad cholesterol and reducing markers for heart disease.
In one study, it was found that psyllium husk was helpful in relieving constipation and improving gut bacteria. I’ll spare you some of the yuck details but if you’re into that kind of thing, you can read about it here.
Since Psyillium husk is usually used in such small amounts I won’t go deep into deal about the nutrition but 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk contains only 1 gram of net carbs.
Protein powder isn’t technically a flour but it is sometimes used in low carb and Keto baking. The nutrition facts will vary between brands so I won’t list them here but you can check out the brand of protein powder I use for my Keto cooking by clicking here.
something to look out for when buying Keto flours
One thing to be mindful of when buying your Keto flours: check the ingredient list!
While the packaging may say “Keto/Low Carb” some companies add fillers to their low carb flours. Some use a blend of soy or even rice flour in their products so always be sure to purchase flours that are 100% almond flour, coconut flour, etc.
Is tapioca flour Keto?
Tapioca flour isn’t one of the best flours to use when following the Ketogenic diet. Tapioca flour contains 27 grams of carbs per ¼ cup with 0 grams of fiber.
Tapioca flour is most commonly used as a thickening agent so a tablespoon or two in a soup or stew probably won’t throw you out of ketosis but lupin flour or flaxseed meal might be a better option which much fewer carbs.
Is chickpea flour Keto?
Chickpea flour is another example of a flour that isn’t necessarily bad for the Keto diet but the other flours we talked about are better. ¼ cup of chickpea flour has around 21 grams of carbs with 5 grams of fiber. This brings it to a total of 16 grams of net carbs which can really add up, especially when baking.
Because of this, chickpea flour isn’t really suitable for the Ketogenic diet.
Is arrowroot Starch keto?
Arrowroot starch is another thickening agent commonly used in gluten free cooking and baking but it isn’t Keto friendly. One tablespoon contains 8 grams of carbs and zero grams of fiber. If it fits into your macros, go for it, but flaxseed meal or even chia seeds would be better for thickening with less carbs and more fat.
Is cassava flour Keto?
Cassava flour isn’t considered Keto friendly because ¼ cup of the flour contains 31 grams of carbs and only 2 grams of fiber. This brings total net carbs to 29 grams, about as many as are in traditional wheat flour.