The Complete Guide to Keto Baking
If you are trying to cut sugar and carbs out of your life, I want to help you with this Complete Guide to Keto Baking!
My love for baking started at a very young age!
When I was a poor college student I would make homemade food gifts for my friends, aunts and uncles. It was usually my caramel apple pie (not healthified!). It would be unbaked and frozen with a label on it on how to bake it (temperature and time amounts), so they could enjoy a fresh baked pie whenever they desired.
I still love to give food gifts but I just make healthified gifts now. I love to make keto baked goods for my friends and family!
There are a few reasons why I allow keto baked goods:
1. FOOD MARKETING TO MY KIDS
For one, I’m competing against a multi-trillion dollar food industry that markets products filled with food-dye, chemicals and sugar to my children. Providing cute Keto treats keep them happy. I also teach them how certain foods make them feel good, super smart and run fast;)
2. OUR WORLD REVOLVES AROUND FOOD
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say…
Thanksgiving? I think of Pumpkin Pie.
How about the word Christmas? I think of Christmas cookies and Eggnog.
Valentine’s Day = Do you think Chocolate???
Birthdays = Do you think of Cake and Ice Cream???
Minnesota State Fair = Deep fried cheese curds, corn-dogs, deep fried Twinkies???
They all create images of Food!
Even when our children learn to go on the potty as toddlers we reward them with food. My son, Micah, always asked for kale chips after he would go on the potty. But still food was a reward. I hear it all the time from parents who are frustrated when their kids little league team has to get ice cream after every game. One of my clients sent me a picture of the giant bag of Skittles her type 1 diabetic second grader was given for getting 100 percent on her math test!
3. IT HELPED ME STAY KETO FOR OVER 23 YEARS
I love a dessert. Having Keto options at home helps me say no to a slice of cake at a wedding. If I were to never let myself have a treat like keto ice cream (which I have some all the time) I wouldn’t be able to say no to sugary filled treats. I no longer feel deprived by allowing keto treats.
HOWEVER, most of the keto desserts I make are nut free like my flourless chocolate torte or my lava cakes. I have better results when my clients eat nut/nut flour free.
I love to bake and create beautiful food. It is enjoyable to me. I love being in the kitchen on a rainy day (if it is nice out I prefer to be on my bicycle or kayak!). I am not one to meditate on a mat with my eyes closed. I like to think of my baking and cooking time as mindful meditation.
There are some health-care clinics and counselors consulting with me to bring in keto cooking to their hospitals as therapy tools for people suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental-health problems. Sounds crazy right? But it soothes my stress, builds self-esteem and helps my clients curb negative self-talk by focusing the mind on following a recipe.
KETO FLOURS TO AVOID
The reason I wanted to write this post for you is because I see bad keto advice all over the internet! So called “keto recipes” that use lupin flour, chia, flax, tapioca starch, and others I would never recommend using.
If you want to be successful on the keto diet, you can not subtract fiber from the total carbohydrates to get this magic “net” carb number. You must count fiber in your carbohydrates. Don’t believe me? Wear a CGM and check your glucose after you eat a high fiber Quest bar. Your body will respond as if you ate a KitKat bar!
Be careful when baking keto. Do not just look for gluten free baking mixes. Gluten-free flours are ultra-processed and use rapidly absorbed starches that are higher in carbs than white flour and often contain tapioca starch, rice flour or corn flours. I do not recommend just going gluten free, but I recommend going GRAIN FREE for ultimate healing.
Let’s start with flours that I do NOT recommend for a proper keto diet:
1. Flax-meal (and Chia): Flax and chia increase bad estrogen and high toxic estrogen causes estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is the leading cause of breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid cancer and even prostate cancer in men; yep, men can have estrogen dominance. Click HERE to read how harmful flax-meal is!
If you see a recipe with flax, run away!
2. Lupin Flour: Lupin flour is a legume flour made from sweet lupin beans. Beans have anti-nutrients and should be avoided. It is also too high in carbs at over double the total carbs of almond flour. Too many carbs for me.
3. Vital Wheat Gluten: You will often see this ingredient in “Keto Tortillas” and “Keto Breads” at Costco and other grocery stores. STAY AWAY!
This makes a “paste” in your gut and causes a lot of inflammation. Especially if you have an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s, Graves Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, or another autoimmune disease, you MUST stay 100% gluten free if you want to heal like my clients do! Many get off all medications!
Even though I do not have a gluten allergy, if I eat vital wheat gluten, my blood sugars go through the roof and I am out of ketosis.
4. Tapioca Fiber (and Tapioca Starch)
We have also been mistakenly told by our trusted doctors that a high-fiber diet is a great defensive against the change of diverticulitis and IBS. On the contrary, it has been proven that a high-fiber diet decreases gut flora and irritates the lining of the gut; which increases risk of this disease.
Fiber is like steel wool on your intestines!
Do not be fooled my keto marketing of products using Tapioca Fiber.
5. Oat Fiber
All grains are inflammatory and are not recommended for anyone. I avoid all parts of any grain (rice, wheat, oats, etc).
6. Carb Quick
PLEASE stay away from this harmful baking mix! Check out the ingredients:
INGREDIENTS: Carbalose flour (enzyme-modified wheat, vital wheat gluten, wheat fiber, high protein wheat flour, vegetable fiber, soy oil, salt, dextrose, emulsifiers, enzymes, ascorbic acid, sucralose, calcium propionate), partially hydrogenated soy oil, buttermilk powder, baking powder, egg white powder, lecithin, salt, natural and artificial flavors.
Not only is it filled with carbs, it also has trans-fats and sucralose (an artificial sweetener that is hard on the thyroid, CLICK HERE for more on sweeteners)!
7. Cassava Flour
Bringing in a whopping 100g carbs per cup, I do not recommend this gluten free flour that you will find in many keto products like keto tortillas and keto breads.
8. Soy Flour
Soy flour is a very harmful low carb flour to use! Soy increases bad estrogen and high toxic estrogen causes estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is the leading cause of breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid cancer and even prostate cancer in men; yep, men can have estrogen dominance. Read more HERE.
Yeast isn’t a flour but as far as keto recipes including yeast. It might be ok in small amounts for some people but could drive yeast overgrowth and candida is not careful it isn’t needed by the body so I wouldn’t consider it healthy and don’t use it in my recipes for this reason.
10. Keto Cereals
I’ve been seeing a lot of keto dieters on Instagram post photos making cereal bars and keto baked goods with these Keto Cereals. Please do not be fooled by these marketing geniuses, they are not a healthy keto baking item. The main ingredient is whey protein and tapioca starch. Whey protein should be avoided for anyone trying to lose weight or with an autoimmune disorder. Whey protein is too quickly absorbed into the blood stream and causes a blood sugar spike. The Tapioca Starch will also increase blood sugar.
11. Arrow Root Powder
This is another one that is just too high in carbs and will raise blood sugar.
APPROVED KETO BAKING FLOURS
If you are doing keto and want to have results like my clients do, these are the approved Keto Flours:
1. Blanched Almond Flour
Blanched almond flour is the most common keto baking flour. To make blanched almond flour, the almonds are blanched to remove the skins then finely ground into a flour. The flour is rich in vitamins and minerals. Since almond flour can go bad fast, I store my almond flour in the freezer after opening. I personally don’t eat a lot of nut flours.
A serving (1/4 cup or 28 grams) of almond flour has around 160 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber.
2. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is another great keto baking flour! The biggest difference between coconut flour and most low carb flours is that it needs a lot more moisture when baking. Too often people will substitute my recipes that call for almond flour and use coconut flour instead. If you do this, you will end up with a dense, inedible end product.
When using coconut flour, the batter may be thin at first but after a few minutes, the coconut flour will absorb the liquid and it will thicken.
Not all coconut flours are created equal. There is a lot of variance on the different brands of coconut flour. This is frustrating as the recipe writer because sometimes people don’t come out with the same baked good as I had hoped.
Here is a tip when choosing and using coconut flour in your keto baking:
“It’s not so much the different types of flour but the weight of it. Different brands weigh differently(e.g. homemade coconut flour is not ground as smoothly as commercial so 1 cup homemade would have a different weight than 1 cup commercial). I’ve been using a measurement of 120g for 1 cup coconut flour and it works so much better now.”
The carbohydrates in Coconut Flour are more than blanched Almond Flour, however, you only use a fraction of coconut flour vs almond flour in recipes so usually the carbs are very low in recipes that use coconut flour.
Store coconut flour in an airtight sealed bag or container in your pantry. Make sure it is sealed because coconut flour can easily absorb moisture.
Here is a chart to help when converting to coconut flour from other flours.
3. Almond Meal
This is basically ground up almonds with the husk. It isn’t as fine as blanched almond flour so if you substitute a recipe with almond meal, the finished product will not be the same but many recipes will work with almond meal and it is often much cheaper. It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.
I suggest to store almond meal in the freezer after opening, since it can go bad fast.
4. Pecan Meal
Pecan Meal is ground up pecans and I love to use pecan meal. It makes such a flavorful product! I have a great keto Pecan Pie Pancake recipe using Pecan Meal! It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.
Store pecan meal in an airtight container in the fridge for freezer.
5. Walnut Flour
If you love the taste of walnuts, you would love walnut flour! You can sub any recipe that called for blanched almond flour with walnut flour. It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.
Store walnut flour in an airtight container in the fridge for freezer.
6. Sunflower Seed Flour
Sunflower seed flour is a fine option however, your keto baked item will have a strong flavor of sunflower seeds. It is a good option for those who are allergic to almond flour or coconut flour. It can generally can be used 1:1 in place of almond flour in recipes.
Store sunflower seed flower in an airtight container in a dark pantry or better would be the fridge.
7. Pork Panko
This is a great option for dairy free and nut free and it is an approved option for those of you following my protocol for The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse! It is also great for keto dieters who have a nut allergy. It can can be used 1:1 in place of blanched almond flour in recipes.
Store pork panko in an airtight container in a dark pantry.
8. Egg White Protein Powder
This is my favorite for a weight loss treat. It is dairy free and nut free. It is also great for keto dieters who have a nut allergy. I use it to make my angel food cake, protein sparing bread, Yorkshire Pudding and my keto Popovers.
Store egg white protein powder in an airtight container in a dark pantry.
15 years ago I wrote THIS recipe for the perfect chewy puffy low carb bread that uses psyllium! It went gang busters on the internet and now people call it the “Diet Doctor Bread” because he put it on his website, but it isn’t his recipe. He doesn’t write recipes. It is my recipe. Sorry for the venting, it just took me a year and hundreds of dollars in ingredients to perfect that recipe and it is frustrating when he claims it as his recipe.
However, if you are doing keto for weight loss or gut healing, I would avoid all recipes with psyllium. It is just all fiber and fiber is an irritant to the intestines. This is why when someone is diagnosed with Crohn’s or Colitis, they are told to not eat ANY fiber.
I feel that my recipes like my keto Monkey Bread using psyllium are still healthier than store bought breads and breads with gluten, but if you are doing my recipes using psyllium, eat them in moderation. And if fat loss is your goal, it might be a good idea to leave psyllium recipes until you are closer to your goal.
2. Whey Protein
Whey protein should be avoided for anyone trying to lose weight or with an autoimmune disorder. Whey protein is too quickly absorbed into the blood stream and causes a blood sugar spike.
If you are doing keto for muscle building and are an athlete, not concerned about weight loss, then whey may be a fine option if you are not allergic to dairy. If fat loss is the goal, then stick with egg white protein powder.
KETO BAKING ITEMS
Be careful when using “sugar-free” chocolate chips. I see WAY too many keto dieters on Instagram using Hershey’s Sugar Free chocolate chips. These are NOT a good option and will cause high blood sugar and a lot of bloating and gas!
Stay away from Choc-Zero products with soluble corn fiber. They claim it is a fiber, it is not absorbed! But check this out!
If you need a chocolate chip, you can either make my recipe for chocolate and make them into chips OR what I do is purchase The Good Chocolate and chop them into small pieces for chocolate chips.
You don’t expect Baking powder to contain corn. But, yep, it is there. Cornstarch (or potato starch) is often added to baking powder to avoid clumping. I always purchase THIS baking powder which is cornstarch free and potato starch free!
NATURAL SWEETENERS in KETO BAKING
If you are looking for more help and more recipes that are DAIRY AND NUT FREE for maximum weight loss, yet still DELICIOUS, I wrote 5 books that are dairy and nut free for a reason! That is how I lost weight and kept it off for over 20 years! I still enjoy a dessert, but I make sure they follow my guidelines!
TESTIMONY OF THE DAY
“I will second all of that. I am doing week one of the food (in The Art of Fat Loss) and loving it. I am doing it as OMAD as that works with my work schedule. Can’t wait for the ginger chicken tonight. I have lost 85 pounds doing keto but I think I was doing a lot of things wrong. I am loving Maria and Craig’s advice and recipes. Thank you!” Karen
Most people I consult are doing keto totally wrong. Get fast results with the my NEW Keto Packages!