New Ingredients

All the new ingredients used in low carb baking might seem strange in the beginning but they are actually easy to obtain and work with.

First things first:

  • Find a supplier or store with reasonable prices close to you. Flours like almond flour can be very expensive so it is worthwhile to buy in bulk.
  • Buy air tight containers to store the flours, nuts and seeds in and label it clearly. Seeds like flaxseeds should be kept in the fridge and if you do not bake regularly it is also best to keep other nut flours in the fridge.
  • I find it easier to have all my baking equipment, like measuring cups, mixers and pans as well as the ingredients together in one place in the kitchen.

Also known as linseeds, it can be found in an oil form, ground or as whole seeds. There are two main colour types are brown and golden/yellow, which have similar nutritional value. Golden flaxseeds work well in recipes like the nachos (recipe page.) because the end product is lighter.

Flaxseeds can easily become toxic so it’s best to store in airtight containers in the fridge. Ground seeds should also be kept in the fridge or freezer but it is best to grind seeds as needed. A coffee grinder works very well to grind smaller quantities of seeds. It can be added whole or ground to breads, muffins or cookies.100g ground flaxseed contains 20g protein.

Also known as ground almonds or almond meal. Mostly made from blanched almonds but can also be made with almonds with the skin on. They contain omega 6 and other vitamins. It lends a nutty flavour to baking and can be used in quick breads, muffins and breads.

Almond flour gives a coarse, moist texture to baking. You can grind your own almonds in a food processor but the result is a more dense flour. Recipes using nut and coconut flours uses allot of eggs as raising agent and to give structure because these nuts do not contain gluten which normally gives structure to baked goods. ¼ cup (28g) of almond flour contains 5g carbohydrates and 7g protein.

Nuts like pecan nuts and macadamia nuts can also be ground and used in baking. Pecan nut flour contains less moisture than almond flour, so you might need more liquid when using it in baking. Walnuts and hazelnuts can also be ground for baking but I found the taste to strong in delicate bakes like cakes and pancakes.

A soft flour from the dried coconut meat. It is lighter and finer than almond flour, it is gluten free, high in fiber, low in carbohydrates and rich in protein. It work really well in recipes for cakes, muffins and breads but is a very dry flour which needs more liquid ingredients. Coconut flour is mostly used in combination with almond flour in baking. You can grind desiccated coconut in a food processor to make your own coconut flour.

¼ cup (28g) coconut flour can substitute 1 cup cake flour

A byproduct from milk. Milk is made into two proteins, casein and whey. The whey is made into a powder. It is a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. The addition of whey protein in baking lends a fine crumb and richness to baking. You only need a tablespoon or two in cakes and breads.

It can also be used in smoothies or health shakes.

Found in different sizes, forms and colour, the main ones being black and off white, you can use them whole, ground or as an oil.
Sesame seeds have the highest oil content of any seed and have a nutty flavour. They contain high amounts of protein, dietary fiber and fat as well as vitamin B.

They can be eaten raw or lightly toasted and are also made into a paste, called Tahini, which is usually added to Hummus.
Ground sesame seeds can be used in the same way as flaxseeds in baking or sprinkled on bread to add flavour and texture. I also use a coffee grinder to grind the sesame seeds.

Seeds like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds can also be ground and used in baking. I use a basic seed mix as a breakfast granola but also as a salad sprinkle and to add crunch to veggies like broccolini and beans. This basic seed mix are also ground and used in the basic seed loaf
Coconut oil is the extract from the meat of matured coconuts. It can be used instead of butter or olive oil in cooking. Coconut oil give flavour and has a high smoking point. You can also use it in smoothies or add a spoonful to your morning coffee for energy. Coconut oil boosts your metabolism which is good for weight loss, lowers your cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart disease. When purchasing look for organic/ virgin/refined or cold pressed. Store at room temperature. We buy the deodorized coconut oil because the coconut taste can be a bit overpowering.

Psyllium is a soluble dietary fiber which can help lower cholesterol and is gluten free. When used in baking the ground seeds help to keep moisture and make breads less crumbly and is also used as a thickening agent. You can also use it whole (dried), chopped or in a powdered form. It is added to a mixture by mixing it with either water or another liquid.

The Psyllium husks used in these recipes are mostly ground. To make mixing easier recipes using allot of psyllium will also contain allot of warm or hot water.

Chia seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids and are a near complete source of protein with 19 amino acids. They contain twice the amount of protein found in any other seeds or grains. Add it to recipes to provide a softer texture or to make things like wraps more pliable. It is important to first soak the seeds in water before mixing into the rest of the ingredients. They absorb between 9-12 times their volume in a short time. It can be used as a gel or seed form, and can be added to anything from smoothies, to soups, energy bars or desserts.

You can make your own sugar free jam by cooking berries like raspberries and mixing it with soaked chia seeds. I use chia seeds in the banana bread recipe to create the typical, moist banana bread texture.

Commonly used as a food thickening agent and stabilizer. It comes in a powdered form where water is added to make the gum or it is then added to a liquid. You will only require a very small amount in foods. It is also used in frozen foods and drinks to add a smooth, creamy texture. Just remember, the more xanthan gum to liquid ratio, the thicker it will be. If you add too much, it will give an unpleasant texture and taste and can also become too thick.