7 Low Carb Flour Alternatives

7 Low Carb Flour Alternatives

Over the past several years, low carb diets like Paleo, South Beach and Atkin’s have become increasingly popular for fast, effective weight loss. However, they can also come with their fair share of cravings for carb-rich goodies like cake, cookies, bars and bagels.

But great news: if you’re on a low carb diet, you don’t have to give up your beloved baked goods. Instead, check out some of these low carb flour alternatives…

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7 Low Carb Substitutes For Flour

1) Protein Powder

Protein powder contains a special emulsifier which helps it absorb liquid ingredients, so it can be substituted for flour on a nearly 1:1 ratio. It’s an excellent way to cut carbs, increase protein… and it tastes good too!

From plain vanilla to malted milk chocolate all the way through salted caramel, protein powder comes in a variety of delicious flavors. Since flour isn’t typically flavored, substituting protein powder can really kick your recipes up a notch.

If you don’t want to modify the taste of your recipes, you can always buy plain, unflavored protein powder instead.

2) Coconut Flour

One of the most commonly used low carb substitutes for flour, coconut flour is sugar-free, fiber-rich and high in protein. The protein helps your body build and repair muscles while the fiber keeps you feeling full longer, thus reducing the urge to overeat.

The fiber also helps coconut flour absorb more liquid than almost any other flour alternative. For this reason, you only need about 1/3 the amount of coconut flour that you would typically use in any recipe.


Don’t like the taste of coconut? Don’t worry… unlike coconuts flakes, coconut flour doesn’t actually taste anything like coconut. Once it’s added to a recipe, any the coconut taste is quickly masked by other flavors.

3) Almond Flour

Almond flour is another amazing low carb flour substitute. It’s higher in fat than protein powder or coconut flour, but this will help increase the moisture content of your baked goods for a richer flavor and a tender texture. The flour is made from finely ground almonds, so there is a slight nutty taste to it.

4) Flaxseed Meal

Like almond flour, flaxseed meal also has a bit of a nutty taste to it. It’s also high in fat – however, it’s an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid, healthy fats which help promote heart and eye health.

While low in carbs and rich in healthy fats, flaxseed meal can be used to supplement any recipe – but it cannot be perfectly substituted for flour.

Instead, you can use flaxseed meal to reduce the amount of flour needed for each recipe. To swap out some flour for flaxseed, mix about 1 tbsp. of flaxseed meal with 4 tbsp. of water. This mixture will replace about ¼ cup of flour, which will shave around 24 carbs off of each recipe.

5) Sunflower Seed Flour

While sunflower seed flour makes a great low-carb alternative to regular flour, it’s also a wonderful substitute for almond flour.

Although almond flour is highly regarded as the go-to low-carb alternative to flour, it’s simply not an option for those who have nut allergies. It’s also incredibly pricey – with a 5 lb. bag of almond flour costing upwards of $30.

Sunflower Seeds

You can make your own sunflower seed flour at home for about half the price of almond flour! Just pick up some whole hulled sunflower seeds that have not been roasted at your local grocery store. Put two cups of the seeds in a blender and then blend on a high setting until it becomes a finely milled powder.

6) Hazelnut Meal

Hazelnut meal is another low-carb substitute for flour. Again, it is similar to almond flour because it is made from ground nuts. However, hazelnut has a richer, more decadent taste. For this reason, it’s a popular additive to chocolate treats like pancakes, brownies, homemade granola and more.

7) Cricket Flour

Cricket flour is made from… you guessed it: finely ground crickets! It might sound strange, but the melodic insects are actually quite nutritious and have been consumed regularly in other parts of the world for centuries.

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reports that crickets are low in carbs but high in protein, healthy fats and essential amino acids. You’ll find about 12.9 grams of protein per 100 grams of ground crickets, which is about half the amount found in more popular forms of animal protein such as chicken and beef.

Although crickets have been eaten for quite some time now, cricket flour for baking is still relatively new. For this reason, it might not be on shelves at your local grocer or neighborhood health food store just. If you want to try out cricket flour, you’ll have to buy it online through a major retailer like Amazon.

CLICK HERE To Take Advantage of Amazon’s Special Discount on Wild Bakery Cricket Flour – High Protein Flour (100% Cricket Flour, 0.25 lb)

Which Flour Alternative is The Best?

So which of these low carb flour substitutes should you choose? That all depends on your preferences! Here are four common factors people use to pick their perfect flour alternative:

– Price

At around $0.33 per pound, traditional flour is pretty cheap. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for any low carb substitutes. Almond flour is one of the most expensive – but hazelnut meal, coconut flour and the others aren’t much cheaper.

If you’re baking on a budget, try grounding your own sunflower seed flour at home. If you can afford to buy in bulk, protein powder usually works out to be less expensive per serving.

– Availability

If you’re ready to cook right now, pick a low-carb flour substitute that’s readily available. Almond flour and coconut flour can usually be found at most large grocers or health food chains. However, if you have a vitamin shop or sporting goods store near you, you can also usually find different varieties of protein powder pretty easily.

– Nutritional Content

Besides being low in carbs, what’s important to you? If you want to keep your diet low in fat, avoid the nut flours and pick protein powder or sunflower seed flower instead. If you want to increase your protein, the obvious choice should be protein powder – but cricket flour is also a good alternative.

– Flavor

Flavor is another important factor when it comes to deciding between low carb flour alternatives. For recipes that taste pretty much the same as regular flour, opt for coconut flour or unflavored protein powder. If you want a richer, fuller flavor, select almond flour or hazelnut meal.

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14 thoughts on “7 Low Carb Flour Alternatives

  1. Hi there,

    I am so glad that I came across this article. I have read some of your other posts as well and left comments.

    I have tried the low carb diets. I am a bread girl. It’s hard for me to cut out the carbs. I give up on them within 3 days.

    However after reading this and finding out new things… I have never heard of Coconut Flour. I am not too big of a fan of coconut taste.. but according to your article once cooked you can’t taste it. I will definitely be trying this here soon. Where do you get Coconut flour? Is it in the grocery store? LOL Thanks for sharing?

    1. Hi there Tanya,

      Coconut flour is a great healthy option and it really doesn’t taste of anything much – it certainly does not resemble the taste of whole coconuts! I usually purchase it on my local Amazon site as they seem to have the cheapest deals! 🙂

  2. I have been looking for wheat flour alternatives, but I have always heard that they are tricky to bake with and that you need to add other things like xanthan gum.

    I recently tried using protein powder in a recipe but found it quite similar to coconut flour in that it absorbs liquids more than other flours.

    I am not sure that I would give cricket flour a try. I have heard that they are actually quite healthy, but I can’t wrap my head around eating an insect.

    1. Don’t worry Simone, you’re not the first person to contact me and display a little disgust at the thought of cricket powder LOL

  3. Hi Chris I have to agree with some of the others here. Cricket flour will not be baking in my oven anytime soon. As far as the other various flours I might give them a try. I sometimes make my own buns. I make them the old fashion way – no bread maker machine for me just two hands. Will these flours mix up like regular flour? Thanks for the info!

  4. Hey Chris,

    You have a very nice website with great articles. I really enjoyed this one.
    I’ve heard of most of these alternatives before except hazelnut meal and sunflower seed meal.
    I have heard of the cricket flour before, but I’m not ready to try this one yet!
    I have never thought about using unflavored protein powder before. That is a great idea, maybe I will try half and half with flour and make pizza dough. Any thoughts on that?


    1. To be honest with you I think that’s an excellent idea Randy – at least you are cutting out the bad stuff by 50% and still keeping 50% of the original flavor! 🙂

  5. Hey Im interested with this things especially im kinda picky on the things I eat. Im building muscles and I dont want to get fat. I like how informative and fun to read your article. I have some questions. Is this things effective when cuttin on my carbs? How long should it take to notice difference if I switched from white bread to this breads?

    1. Yes of course! These are lower carb choices John, the sooner you switch the sooner you will feel/see the difference my friend! 🙂

  6. It’s great that there are some wonderful low carb flour alternatives. I’m just wondering, is it possible to make bread out of any of these, or cam you buy bread made with these flours? I think almond bread would be particularly delicious, don’t you think? I’m wondering what coconut bread would taste like, though. But it would certainly be great to be able to have some kind of bread without having all the carbohydrates.

    I’m not sure about the cricket flour, though. You can keep that one…

    1. Yeah the cricket flour seems to be the less popular option out of everything we’ve covered above Marcus – can’t think why? 🙂

      As far as bread is concerned I’m not really sure – I’m not a big eater of regular breads these days due to all the different health guides we try out here!

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