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My partner is keto for health reasons, and I am vegan for moral reasons. We both want to eat the same meal, and not have me spend yet another hour and a half in the kitchen. But it is near impossible to get keto recipes that aren't hideous, never mind keto and vegan recipes at all.

I've baked with almond flour before, trying all sorts of brands, mixing with coconut flour, adding xanthan gum, adding vital wheat gluten, you name it. And nothing has come out right. The closest I've come with it, is a pancake that was nice and brown on the outside. It even held up after flipping. But the inside was like eating porridge.

Coconut flour, on the other hand? I tried a recipe for a keto coconut flour & butter cake, which turned out fabulously. I tried a bite while my partner ate the rest, it was good stuff. I even subbed the butter for Flora, with no averse results.

Question How do you actually cook the inside of an almond flour cake or pancake? It always ends up as hot porridge. Wheat (pan)cakes? Coconut flour cakes? They've turned out just fine, but almond flour is always hideous, even with extra fine flour.

My vegan pancakes are delicious. Subbing one large egg for one flaxseed meal "egg" is just fine. Even sugar-free, by replacing the 1tbsp golden syrup with 2tbsp erythritol. But subbing the wheat flour for almond flour and coconut flour? I would only use those pancakes for making compost.

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  • Hi, welcome to Seasoned Advice. We work differently from, say, a discussion forum, and are quite strict about the type of question we take. For example, we have a rule that there should be only one question posted, so I reduced your post to only one of the three questions you had. If you want more than one thing, you are free to post more than one question in different posts (and will gather reputation for all of them separately). Your substitute question for eggs might be considered a duplicate though - see cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/21427.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 26, 2021 at 11:17
  • Almond flour brownies are a thing, even vegan ones. They're gluten free rather than keto, but that's got a lot to do with the sugar. Maybe they'd suggest a starting point, or maybe the sugar has too much of a binding effect, forming a sort of thickened chocoolate fudge
    – Chris H
    Nov 26, 2021 at 13:33
  • To try to clarify or narrow your question a bit: you're looking for a keto pancake recipe that's also vegan? Does it have to include almond flour or coconut flour or can it could it be a mixture of different ingredients as long as they're vegan and low-enough in carbs? While I've developed several keto pancake recipes, I haven't done a vegan one yet, but my gut tells me it's entirely possible. Probably using lupin flour, vital wheat gluten, and resistant corn starch among other ingredients.
    – NSGod
    Nov 27, 2021 at 3:33
  • Rather than cooking one meal after the other, cook them side by side, two sets of ingredients and two pans.
    – Willeke
    Nov 28, 2021 at 7:53

3 Answers 3

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IMHO, This is not going to happen. There are simply not enough carb-free ingredients in the plant world, and not enough vegetarian ingredients in the protein world.

In that recipe, eggs have been used to provide the binding power which would ordinarily come from flour. But ordinary vegan egg substitutes (silken tofu, applesauce) assume that the eggs aren't needed for binding, because there are so many vegan binders out there; and the few that do provide binding (aquafaba, maybe banana) provide it through starches. The one cohesion-providing, gel-supporting ingredient I could think of would be xanthan gum, which is a carbohydrate but powerful in small amounts. The fact that I'm leaping straight to "industrially cultured bacterial slime" should give you an impression of what sorts of things you'll end up eating if you try to satisfy both of your diets simultaneously.

As for almond flour: yeah, it provides taste and bulking and nothing else. The starch in other flours (including coconut flour) are responsible for hydrating into a gel and trapping gas, making porridge into pancakes. You need something to do that... and the things we normally use for that are either carbs or egg albumen.

If you want to not spend extra time in the kitchen preparing a second dinner, cook extra and freeze leftovers.

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    From the top of my head, the only desserts I think you could make both vegan and keto without too much trouble are flour-free desserts. Mousse or ice cream or pannacotta (with vegan cream substitutes). Baked things are pretty much DOA.
    – user141592
    Nov 26, 2021 at 11:28
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    @user141592 Yep, the "two ingredient chocolate mousse" comes to mind. Things that set and chill are going to be more practical than things that cook.
    – Sneftel
    Nov 26, 2021 at 11:39
  • Aquafaba actually has very little in it, including carbs. Quick google search yielded 2.5g of carbs per 100g of aquafaba. So for making baked goods, that gloopy gel is needed. I'll try experimenting with aquafaba then. Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.
    – FiftyTifty
    Nov 26, 2021 at 22:05
  • I've developed a keto pancake recipe using a ratio of 20% flaxseed meal, 40% vital wheat gluten, 20% oat fiber, and 20% resistant corn/wheat starch as the flour ingredients. Granted, that recipe uses an egg and buttermilk as liquids, but it should be possible to convert it to vegan by using a "drying" form of protein flour in the form of lupin flour and almond milk or something similar.
    – NSGod
    Nov 27, 2021 at 3:44
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Almond flour still has carbs, and coconut flour is high in carbs, plus I think you'd still need some kind of binder, likely more carbs or egg or some starchy gloop that sets when cooked, to stop it from becoming a porridge.

An alternative might* be chickpea flour (aka garbanzo, gram, or besan flour). It still has carbs, but is relatively high in protein and fibre. Also no binder is required to make a batter with it.

Nutritional data for chickpea/gram flour per 100g

  • Carbohydrates 57g
  • Protein 22g
  • Sugars 10g
  • Dietary fibre 10g
  • Fat 6g

This flour is commonly used in Indian cuisine to make fritters such as pakoras (aka pakodas). The texture is somewhat cake-like when fried as a batter. The flavour is nutty, and it works well in either savoury or sweet dishes. It's also used in various Indian confectionery such as jalebi, and besan barfi.

You'd probably need to experiment a bit, but I can see nothing to stop you from using it as a higher protein flour substitute for pancakes. All they'd need is a little bit of rising agent such as baking powder. Also make sure the pancakes are cooked thoroughly, because any raw chickpea batter will taste overwhelmingly of peas.

*note: I say "might" because it ultimately depends on how many carbs are allowed in your partners diet. And so my answer is a bit subjective.

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  • Another name is "gram flour", also "besan" but from conversations with keto and near-keto dieters I think it will be too high in starch. It would need to be a major component to work, but I've made very tasty chapatis from it so it can hold together fairly well
    – Chris H
    Nov 26, 2021 at 13:30
  • @ChrisH - yeah I forgot. I'll add to the answer. Thanks!
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 26, 2021 at 13:31
  • Chickpea flour is simply too high in net carbs. Coconut flour has differing amounts depending on the site, highest I've seen is 24g net carbs per 100g, while chickpea flour has 43.2g net carbs. Almond flour is ideal, but that stuff is just nasty. The net carbs per day for keto should be 20g per day, so it's very low. Luckily, not much coconut flour is needed to make a proper cake with it.
    – FiftyTifty
    Nov 26, 2021 at 22:02
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You can consider potato starch/flour turning the pancake into a latke with a fine texture. I don't know if you get sweet Latkes but a potato-based pancake is certainly possible.

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    Potatoes are typically not considered keto-friendly. Too much carbs.
    – user141592
    Nov 27, 2021 at 19:13

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