Cooking is an art. Baking is a science – especially when it comes to low carb baking!
It can be a challenge to figure out what works and what doesn’t when nothing looks or sounds familiar. To make low carb baking a bit easier for those just getting started, I’ve compiled a list of the supplies and brands that we use in our daily lives. If you’re already following gluten free and/or sugar free lifestyles, then you’re likely already familiar with many of these low carb flours and sugar alternatives.
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Note: Any nutritional info shared here are estimates based off the nutritional labels for low carb baking supplies currently in my pantry as well as the Carb Manager app. Different brands can change their ratios or how finely ground an ingredient is and that can slightly change the nutritional stats for these items. *But* they should be very close.
Tip: If you’re trying to get into or stay in ketosis, review the nutritional stats for some of these products before using them. Also, even though a product has extremely low to no net carbs, some folks are still very sensitive to certain fibers, starches, and sugars which could kick them out of ketosis regardless of the carb count. It’s great to try new things, just be mindful of what your consuming vs what your goals are.
Low Carb Flours
Unlike all purpose flour (wheat, runs around 73g net carbs per 100g flour), different low carb flours are often best suited for different types of low carb recipes. For example, we’ve found that almond flour and coconut flour (often combined) are really well suited for pastries and sweet baked goods. We’ve enjoyed some of the bread and pasta recipes we’ve tried with almond and coconut flours, but we’ve found that our taste buds favor combinations of ground flaxseed, vital wheat gluten, oat fiber, and ground psyllium husk for these types of low carb foods.
Our favorite brand of almond flour (and the main ingredient for most of our cookies and cakes) is currently Blue Diamond Almond Flour. And while slightly more expensive, we really enjoy Beveri’s Golden Flaxseed because it’s very finely ground compared to other brands we’ve tried, which makes it ideal for baking.
Have you checked out my guide for our favorite Sugar Substitutes yet? The page reviews pros and cons of each of our preferred Sugar Alternative Sweeteners along with their relevant GI/GL info and different uses. In the last several years, we’ve discovered that the right sweetener will differ from person to person because our needs and tastes buds are all different.
Some of ya’ll coming across this section are gunna be like, what in the heck is all this binder nonsense? To be fair, I was exactly the same. Low carb flours simply don’t hold together without some help. Eggs and vital wheat gluten work to a degree, but they aren’t always appropriate for certain recipes or dietary needs. Plus, the sheer amount of eggs needed to duplicate certain structures can be… epic. That’s where these lovely helpers below come in. Most low carb binders will preform as thickeners and add more stability to otherwise crumbly piles of sweet baked goods. Just be sure to follow the recipe’s instructions for using these ingredients and don’t go overboard as they are quite strong.
Note: Since a little goes a VERY long way for each of these thickeners, I’ve adjusted the 100g for each ingredient to 1 tbsp.
Info: Varies by brand – usually 0g net carbs per 1 tbsp of Psyllium Husk
Low Carb Baking Chocolate & Candies
Ahh. Chocolate. Candy. This is the Achilles’ heel for pretty much the whole of humanity. First, we get addicted to the real sugar to the point that it practically kills us. Then, we’re given some very deceptive sugar-alternative sweets that aren’t actually lower in carbs and don’t taste particularly great half the time. Now, luckily, science is awesome and some manufacturers have taken note of healthier sugar substitutes available so a new wave of awesome low carb baking chocolate and candy products have become more widely available. Huzzah! We’re longtime fans of most ChocZero products but their No Sugar White Chocolate Chips were so much fun to use for the holidays and worth noting!
Some of the simplest baking tools just make life easier. When you’re first starting out with low carb baking, a digital scale is incredibly useful as the best way to recreate another cook’s recipe is to measure ingredients by weight. My favorite recipes, and the ones I try to create here, don’t usually rely on weight. My focus is on “how can I make this as easy as possible?” and for me, weighing isn’t as easy as scoop n’ swoop. But if you’re serious about duplicating the recipes made by pros, then a scale is a life saver. Another life saver – silicone baking mats. These are a great replacement for parchment paper, absolutely essential as low carb batters tend to be super sticky.
2 Piece Pastry Dough Scraper & Cutter with Non-Slip Grip | View on Amazon
Appliances don’t just speed up your active cook time, they’re fun. Last year, something called “Chaffles” (aka mini waffles made with cheese) took the low carb and keto world by storm. Can’t have chaffles without a waffle maker! And my favorite low carb pancake batter is made in our blender which also makes pouring really easy. Last but not least – the multifaceted food processor. This awesome machine is great for making pie crusts, cookies, and even bread.