Are you looking to start baking low-carb?
Wondering which ingredients you need to purchase to start your low-carb endeavour?
If you’re answer is “yes” to either of these questions, then you are in the right place.
If your answer is no, what are you doing here? (kidding 😉 )
Going from a high-carb lifestyle where flour and sugar rule the baking world to a low-carb, sugar-free lifestyle is a HUGE transition.
Most of us have lived our whole lives eating carby, grain-filled, delicious foods. It’s hard to imagine how low-carb alternatives could ever come close to being nearly as satisfying and indulgent.
But if you check out my recipe index and many other low-carb foodie blogs, you will clearly see, this is a very real possibility.
Low-carb foods can be rich, decadent, full of flavour and mouthwateringly delicious (see what I did there?).
But there’s a little problem, to start baking, we need a whole new set of ingredients.
Yes, this means ridding the cabinets of that giant bag of white flour, tossing the sugar and doing a little shopping around to find your new baking essentials.
In this post, I won’t go too far into detail about baking substitutions or how to customize and alter high-carb recipes to be your own low-carb creations…this information will be reserved for Part 2 of this series!
For now, I just want to get you started on WHAT YOU NEED to be able to start baking low-carb recipes that are already at your disposal (hint, hint-did I mention you should see my recipe index?).
So without further ado, here’s a check-list of essentials/some of my favourite low-carb ingredients:
*Note* Don’t go out and buy all this at once (LOL), it’s best to gradually build up your supply as you get more comfortable with low-carb baking.
*Please see disclaimer below*
- Almond Flour-go for almond FLOUR not almond meal if you can, it allows for a better texture in baked goods
- Coconut Flour– don’t be too scared of the price, a little goes a long way!
- Whey Protein Powder -there are so many brands! Quest All Purpose Protein, this one and this one are my favourites for baking! (I use both chocolate and vanilla of the Jamie Eason one. Though, it is slightly higher in carbs, so if you are aiming for ketosis then I suggest using a lower-carb brand instead)
- VitaFiber IMO Powder-high-fibre, flour and sugar substitute, has a light sweetness and adds a nice crispiness to a lot of low-carb baked goods such as cookies that would other-wise be just one texture, soft.
- Ground Flax Seed-can also be used as an egg replacement, flax is a great way to up your Omega-3 and fibre intake.
- Peanut Flour-makes baked goods taste like peanut butter! Again there are a ton of brands, this one is my favourite.
- Cocoa Powder-this one tastes great, though I also buy it at Costco in bulk!
- Psyllium Husk-such a healthy fibre source! Go for ground psyllium husk powder if you can, if not go with regular psyllium husk and grind it in a food processor for a better texture in your final product product.
I use a combination of these 2 in all of my recipes:
- Splenda -measures like sugar, similar level of sweetness, powder
- Truvia -2x as sweet as sugar, you only need to use half as much in any recipe, granular, combo of erythritol and stevia
Others you may prefer:
- Stevia -comes in liquid or powder form, liquid is highly potent (1 tsp/ 1 cup of sugar), powder form (2 tbsp/1 cup of sugar), considered one of the most natural sweeteners
- Swerve-measures like sugar, similar level of sweetness, mainly erythritol
- VitaFiber IMO Syrup-high-fibre, sugar, honey and corn syrup substitute, low glycemic index, Something to note: the website nutrition is for 100g which is a HUGE amount and you would consume much less in one sitting.
- Sugar-Free Pancake Syrup
- Yucon Syrup -good brown sugar flavour substitute
- Sour Cream
- Heavy Whipping Cream or 35% Cream
- Mayo-yep, you can use this in baked goods, chocolate cake? Um, yes! trust me!
- Coconut Cream/Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- Unsweetened Light Coconut Milk
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- White Vinegar
- Lemon Juice-super important, especially in ketosis, you should be consuming lemon water everyday! (This will likely be a future post)
- Full-Fat Greek Yogurt
- Vanilla Extract, Almond Extract, Maple Extract, Peppermint Extract, etc.
- Almond Butter-or Maranatha Coconut Almond Butter, my personal FAV (as in, I will literally throw some sugar-free chocolate-chips in the jar, grab a spoon and go to town, LOL)
- Peanut Butter
- Cashew Butter
- Sunflower Seed Butter
Best Fruits/Vegetables for baking:
- Avocado-great with anything chocolate
- Zucchini-shredded of course!
- Pumpkin-also great for soups
- Cauliflower-great thickener, and YES can be used in desserts too!
- Sugar-Free Krisda Chocolate Chips
- Nuts (Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts etc.)
- Unsweetened Flaked Coconut
- Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate
- Poppy Seeds
- Chia Seeds-awesome alternative to poppy seeds and of course great for making chia-seed pudding
- Quest Bars-optional, I like to chop them up into bite-size pieces and bake them then use them as a topping for cheesecakes or as a mix-in in low-carb cereal.
- Bacon -bacon + chocolate, sweet + salty= SO much YES
- Xanthan Gum-personally I use this more-so than guar gum. It’s fantastic for baking but it also creates EPIC volume in smoothies and is great for thickening sauces.
- Guar Gum
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
And there you have it! These are my baking essentials and the one’s I’d recommend to anyone interested in beginning low-carb baking.
If I forgot to mention an essential, please feel free to leave a comment below, I’d be happy to add it to the list!
Also, leave a comment if you found this post helpful and if you’d like to see a part 2 explaining how to use these ingredients in low-carb baking as well as, how to alter high-carb recipes to fit your life-style!
Disclaimer: this is a LOW-CARB list. If you are on a strict keto diet you may choose to leave out certain ingredients mentioned, although all of them listed ARE keto-friendly, it’s just a matter of how strictly you are restricting carbs and what works for you!
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Follow: @sammysamgirl for more!