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Feb 5, 2008 02:09 PM

Low carb baking - banana bread, clafoutis, etc

My boyfriend has recently read, and I've just started reading, Gary Taubes's Good Calories Bad Calories. We're both trying to eat a lot less grains and grain products. Not because of weight - I've never been overweight - but just generally for our health. I've been experimenting with baking using non-grain flours, like nut flours.

First, do you think a clafoutis would work using almond and coconut flour? I was thinking of making one for dessert tomorrow night when we have friends over.

Also, last night I modified a banana bread recipe I have. I replaced the flour with a combination of coconut flour, almond flour, and hazelnut flour. I also took out the sugar and just used a little bit of honey; the ripe bananas were so sweet that it worked beautifully. The whole thing came out really well. I'll post the recipe on my website in the next few days and add a link here. Only simple, real ingredients, like butter, vanilla, nuts, eggs...

Recipe from an earlier project, pear tarts with hazelnut and whole wheat flour, is here:

Any other ideas for low-carb, delicious, full-fat baking?

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  1. I have used almond flour a lot, but usually cut it with cornstarch. I can't eat wheat flour (celiac disease). Calfoutis is very forgiving in my experience, so I think it would work, although it will be less "light" with almond flour especially if you don't used blanched almonds. I often use Deborah Madison's version with pears and a crisp topping from VCFE.

    1. I have used CarbQuick mixed with nut and whole wheat flours in my baking. Carbquick has 90% less carbs than regular flour. Results have been quite good.
      You can find Carbquick here:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jill Brazil

        i think the OP is trying to avoid grain flours, and according to that link, carbquick is primarily a wheat product.

      2. If you're doing this for health reasons, excess fats (from your nut flours) can also have deleterious effects on your health. There's nothing wrong with carbs in moderation.

        1. Jacques Pepin in 'The short-cut cook' has a clafoutis that uses cornstarch (1T) and ground almonds (1cup) in place of flour.

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            could you please clarify in your brownie cookie recipe

            how much unsweetened cocoa?


          2. the nut flours are interesting. there's also macadamia.

            you might also look into other grains, such as amaranth flour, which though not necessarily that much lower in carbs, is a very nutritious (gluten free) grain. don't know how low carb you're looking to go, but there's spelt flour, oat flour, bran to up fiber and lower effective carbs...

            there's also flax flour, which would contain lovely omega-3's

            sub soy flour (2/3 cup) and wheat gluten (1/3 cup) for 1 cup flour

            a recipe for nut flour muffins... you can add any spices, like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or ginger etc. as well as flax seed

            a page of nut flour based recipes

            Brownie Cookies
            2 1/2 cups almond flour
            1/2 cup Splenda® granular
            2/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
            10 oz soft butter
            2 eggs
            2 tsp almond extract
            1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum -- (or guar gum)
            1 1/2 tsp baking powder
            3/4 tsp salt
            4/2 cup chopped walnuts

            Cream the almond flour, Splenda, and butter.
            Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add xanthan gum, baking
            powder, salt, and nuts.

            Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.

            Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

            Other Ideas: Use unsweetened coconut or orange
            zest instead of nuts. Sub orange, peppermint, or
            raspberry extract for vanilla. You can also use this as a cheesecake crust.

            Citrus Cookies
            2 1/2 cups almond flour
            1/4 cup Splenda® granular 8 ounces soft butter
            1 egg
            4 tsp lemon extract
            1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
            1 1/2 tsp baking powder
            2/4 tsp salt
            3/4 cup lemon zest

            Cream the almond flour, Splenda, and butter.
            Stir in egg and lemon extract. Add xanthan gum, baking powder,
            salt, and lemon zest. (You can also sub orange extract and zest for the lemon.


            Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased sheet

            Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Store airtight to retain chewiness.

            Zucchini Muffins (you can sub oat flour for wheat bran if you want, but the wheat bran has high fiber)