02 Apr Top Tips for Low-Carb Baking – With Food Substitute Ideas
Curbing the carbohydrates in your family recipes promotes a healthier way of life. A low-carb diet means lower insulin resistance, lower cholesterol and improved blood pressure levels, to name just a few benefits. Check out our top ten reasons to go low-carb; this dietary decision really is a no-brainer folks.
Low-carb baking and cooking can seem a bit daunting at first; the flours behave differently, your batters might feel too runny or too crumbly, and you’ll probably be concerned about the best way to ensure each recipe is balanced, with maximum nutrition and minimal empty calories. These smart tips will guide you on this exciting experimental journey, and soon have you feeling like a pro in your low-carb kitchen.
Coconut Flour: Use More Liquid
Depending on which low-carb flour you choose, you may need to use more or less than your ordinary wheat flour. Coconut flour absorbs more liquid than any other low-carb flour; so you only need one third the amount of coconut flour as you would other flours. If your mixture is very crumbly and dry, simply add a little more liquid (like almond or coconut milk), until you have a better consistency.
Almond Flour: Use Less Liquid
Almond flour on the other hand, is a bit less absorbent than other flours; use it in a 1:1 flour replacement ratio, but add less liquid to the mixture.
Another point about almond flour; it tends to brown more quickly than other flours, so is not recommended for high-temperature baking, or for recipes that need to be baked for an extended period of time.
Pump Up the Protein
If you’re stuck for a flour substitute, you can actually use the protein powder from your morning shake! Use it in a 1:1 ratio to replace your ordinary flour. Just make sure the protein powder you’re using is natural and low in carbs, with no harsh additives. Those with natural chocolate or vanilla flavouring will also add sweetness.
Sweeten with Stevia
This natural sweetener has no effect on the glycaemic index (GI). Plus it’s actually sweeter than sugar, so you only need to use it in very small amounts. Check that the stevia you buy is really natural, and doesn’t contain any fillers like dextrose.
Use Flax Meal for Faux Breadcrumbs
Simply dip your fillets and French-fries in a little egg white, then roll them in flax seed meal. This will give you a crispy crust just like breadcrumbs would, but without the gluten.
Use Fruit & Veg to Replace Fats!
If your low-carb recipe is high in fats, oils or eggs and you’re looking for a healthier alternative, did you know you can use puréed fruits and veggies in their place? The smooth, slightly sticky texture is perfect for binding and adding moisture.
- Unsweetened pumpkin purée can be used to replace at least half the oil and butter required for your recipe.
- Homemade applesauce can replace oil, sweetener and even eggs!
- Avocado is a great substitute for butter, rich in nourishing unsaturated fats; the high water content means softer, chewier baked goods that are less likely to crumble.