Minimising one's intake of carbohydrates tends to deprive one of some rather lovely culinary items such as pasta and bread, because grains contain a lot of carbohydrates thanks to the high amount of starch in them. Typical substitutes are non-grain flours such as almond flour or coconut flour, but those come with their own problems - a distinctive taste (especially for coconut), a crumbly texture and they're around 20 times as expensive.

Since I can happily eat gluten and gluten is not just apparently the key to the typical texture of wheat-based dough products but also a protein with rather low carb content, I decided to try and make a flour substitute mix that I can use more or less like wheat flour with the help of vital gluten. However, I am unsure about just using pure gluten as a flour substitute - partially because there's a lot of claims about its inflammatory properties even for non-coeliac/intolerant people and partially because I sort of just assume there's a reason nobody seems to be doing it.

Because of that I wanted to ask whether there was an easily available, halfway affordable and low-carb (let's say under 8%) edible substance that I can use as a bulk base for my flour substitute which doesn't have weird reactions when used in baking or noodle making and isn't too far off in terms of taste (as a scale: I can tolerate almond flour, but coconut flour is too much for me outside of cake). I'm considering adding some psyllium husk to jack up the fibre content, but I don't think it's suited for this purpose. Advice as to the ratio for mixing is also appreciated.

  • 3
    Gluten-only things tend to be chewy (seitien for example), but may be able to make a workable pasta if small enough. There are other keto friendly pastas out there already, like shirataki, kelp, and soy noodles, but they have texture issues for some people (YMMV). I tend to use lower carb noodles (that include soy and whole grains), but they don't qualify as keto due to there middlin' carb counts. Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 23:56
  • And let's not forget the diet muffins of the 80s that had sawdust in them. (well, it might've been cellulose, but it sure tasted like sawdust)
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 0:23

2 Answers 2


Konjac flour, which consists mainly glucomannan gum, is a natural low-carb bulking ingredient. I have never used it in baking, but I ate noodles made of it. It does have its taste though, so you should probably try eating some shirataki noodles before ordering and baking with this flour to know if you can tolerate the taste.


I have read that flaxseed meal helps in baking. I use a combination of almond meal, coconut flour and baking powder with mct oil & eggs to make keto bread, it works really well toasted or fried as a carrier for cheese or eggs, or anything savoury. Slendier have some nice soy, edamame and black bean pastas if you are looking for a wheat substitute. Hope this helps.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.