When you’re looking for low-carb wheat flour substitutes to use in your cooking and baking, whether it’s to limit your carb intake or to prepare low-carb gluten-free dishes, you can always count on there being at least a few great alternatives you can use.
Low carb flour alternatives are very easy to find in the grocery store and health food stores today. There are many different variations of flour that can be used to bake cakes, make muffins, or even create a low-carb breading on chicken or shrimp.
» Also read about these 12 Honey Substitutes for a Low-Carb Diet.
Here are 6 of the low carb flour substitutes that we use every day in our low-carb lifestyle. If you haven’t tried them, I recommend giving each one a try to see how it behaves in your cooking and to determine which you like best, both texture and flavor wise.
Do keep in mind, however, that they aren’t all interchangeable and can’t be used in the same ratio as flour in a recipe. You’ll want to look specifically for recipes that use these types of flour for the best results.
Best Low-Carb Wheat Flour Substitutes to Use
#1 Coconut Flour
You’ve heard about all the health benefits of coconut oil, but have you tried coconut flour? While there’s a slight taste of coconut, the flour takes on the taste of the other ingredients it’s mixed with.
Coconut flour is a low-carbohydrate alternative to regular flour. If you’ve been trying out new low-carb recipes, you’ve probably already realized that coconut oil is one of the healthy choices you can make as an oil substitute for cooking and baking. Coconut flour is no different.
While coconut flour does have a slight taste of coconut, it can also easily assume the flavors you combine with it. I prefer to use coconut flour for baking and sweet things, rather than for savory dishes because the coconut flavor can be overpowering for a savory dish.
There are 16 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of fiber in a quarter cup of coconut flour. And since this flour soaks up liquid easily, you don’t need much of it, so you’ll likely be looking at less than 6 net grams of carbs per serving in the food you’re making.
If you’re looking for a really low carb alternative, then coconut flour is likely not your top pick, because it’s higher in carbs than other low carb flour substitutes. However, the texture is less grainy than almond flour, which leads to a fluffier outcome and it’s more absorbent than other flours so you will use less.
Coconut flour has a lot of great nutritional value, packing in a lot of fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, iron, manganese, and copper.
Coconut flour isn’t a 1:1 substitute for wheat flour. You’ll need to use more water or less flour for the same consistency. Try 2 tablespoons of water to every 2 tablespoons of coconut flour. If this seems too dense for your batter, you can water it down a little more.
I use coconut flour from Wholesome Yum, which you can buy directly through that link (it’s our affiliate link). It’s the best coconut flour I’ve found it has just one ingredient: premium organic coconuts. It’s a super fine coconut flour that works great in gluten-free and keto baking.
#2 Almond Flour
Almond flour is gluten free, like coconut flour, and is one of the top contenders for a wheat flour alternative. While almond flour does have a very different texture to flour – being more mealy than smooth – it can be used in many of the same ways as regular flour, which makes it very versatile.
There are fewer carbs in almond flour than in coconut flour, with only 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, for a total of just 4 net grams of carbs in a quarter cup.
Like coconut flour, almond flour also has a lot to offer in terms of health benefits. You already know that almonds are a healthy food. They can improve heart health, lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar and energy levels. Almond flour is also a good source of vitamin E, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
The choice for the best outcome is blanched almonds, which have their skins removed, which is a finer grain of flour. If you buy blanched almonds, you can even make your own almond flour at home in your food processor.
Almond flour doesn’t soak up as much liquid as coconut flour does, making it an easier (almost) 1:1 substitute for flour. You can use it to bake cakes, muffins, and even pancakes.
I use almond flour from WholesomeYum, which you can buy directly through that link (it’s our affiliate link). It’s the best almond flour I’ve found. It’s a blanched finely ground almond flour with a great texture and flavor, with just 2 grams or net carbs per serving.
#3 Almond Meal
Almond meal has a slightly different texture than almond flour, due to the fact that the skins of the almonds are left on when making it, rather than removed. This makes it slightly thicker and more mealy. Almond meal also has a slightly more bitter taste, due to the skins.
So then how do you decide which one to use? Well, because of the thicker texture, almond meal isn’t as good for things like cakes, biscuits, and pancakes that need less texture. They will likely turn out more mealy than you expected. Instead use it for things like pie crusts and muffins that need more texture. You can also use it as a breading.
Almond meal has 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber in a quarter cup, for a total of 3 net grams of carbs. Almond meal has a slightly higher mineral content due to the almond skin being left on.
Almond meal is best in things that benefit from a grainer texture, like pie crusts and muffins. Avoid using it for finer things like cakes and biscuits. It is a very good, neutral-flavored flour alternative.
#4 Sunflower Seed Flour
One of the lesser-known flour substitutes is sunflower seed flour. Made from the grinded pulp of sunflower seeds, it’s a good flour alternative because it’s lower in carbs, gluten free, and nut free.
My favorite thing about using sunflower seed flour instead of almond flour is that they are very sustainable and take very little water to grow, unlike almonds.
A quarter cup of sunflower seed flour contains 5.57 grams of carbs and just .75 grams of fiber, so the net carb count is slightly higher than other options.
Nutritionally, sunflower seeds contain B vitamins, vitamin E, and antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavonoids.
You can bake just about anything you want with sunflower seed flour. It has a similar texture to almond flour – not quite as smooth as regular flour – but it doesn’t have a flavor to it, so it can be adapted and changed as you need.
Made from ground flaxseed, flaxmeal is a great flour alternative. Some people call it one of the most powerful plant foods there are, and it’s long been considered a super food.
There’s even evidence that flaxseed helps reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
The great news is that flaxseed flour contains 6 grams of carbs and also 6 grams of fiber, so it’s one of those rare carbless wonders. However, you can’t use flaxseed only to bake, like you can with some of the other flours on this list. You will have to combine it with another flour to complete the recipe.
#6 Pecan Flour
Pecans are not just a topping for your favorite Thanksgiving pie anymore! Surprised that they can be used to make a low-carb flour? So were we until we tried it.
Pecan flour is one of the best sources of vitamin E and it has high levels of protein and fiber, too. That makes it a great alternative to flour for baking and cooking, even for those on a low carb diet. It has half the amount of carbohydrates that wheat flour does. In 1 ounce, there are just 2 net grams of carbs.
As you might expect, pecan flour has about the same texture as almond flour, and it also has a nutty flavor to it. You should use it to make things that will benefit from that nutty flavor, but even savory dishes go well with this flour, so you can also use it as a breading.
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Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.