We, at Perfectly Pastry, are extremely excited about the keto-friendly craze. I know what you’re thinking... well that’s a weird thing to say.
I know it is, but we come from a long line of diabetics in our family, and oddly enough, the concept of low carb, no sugar is inline with the diabetic diets our doctors have been shoving down our throats for years.
As a matter of fact, our chef is insulin-dependent and cannot try any of our typical desserts. She has been really excited to experiment with our keto-friendly products and keto-friendly recipes because now she gets to actually enjoy them. Like for real, she can’t keep out of the coconut chocolate chip cookies that we offer. They are her favorite. If you want to know more about the products we offer, then go here to check out our healthy menu.
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We want to start off by saying that creating keto products that are worth selling and products to be proud of will take time, money, and testing.
We go through a process anytime we convert our recipes to a keto product or when we work on a keto recipe.
First, let’s talk about some of the items you will need to buy for your keto baking.
You will need a sugar alternative. Currently, we have been using Swerve. Swerve offers powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. As we have worked with these ingredients we have noticed that so far they act like their sugar counterparts. We also noticed that you can substitute pretty much at a 1:1 ratio depending on how sweet you want the final product.
In the world of keto-friendly products and diabetic friendly products, Swerve is 0 net carbs and sugar-free. However, there are some downsides to using Swerve.
Swerve cannot be bought at our local GFS this means that we have to take extra time to order and pick up this product when creating recipes. Thankfully Target, Walmart, and Amazon all sell the products, but they cannot be bought in bulk.
Swerve is pricy and buying in bulk does not necessarily save money like other ingredients. As a matter of fact, to bake keto and diabetic-friendly baked goods, the key ingredients can be costly, not available in bulk, and not available at your local food vendor of choice (for us that is GFS).
Ok, next on the list for baking keto will be alternative flours. To cut carbs from your products, you will need to get familiar with alternative flours. We mostly use almond flour and coconut flour. We feel that these carry the lowest carb counts.
Almond flour has a lower carb count than coconut flour, but it does come with a higher price tag. We do have a few tips when working with flour alternatives.
Almond flour can be substituted usually at a 1:1 ratio
You will need to increase the water content when using coconut flour. The flour tends to absorb more liquids.
Coconut flour cannot be subbed at a 1:1 ratio. You will need to cut the flour requirement down by more than 1/2 to get the product to turn out correctly.
There are some drawbacks to using alternative flours. We, personally, are not fans of almond flour, almond extracts, or almond milk. It’s just a personal preference. However, coconut flour can create a strong coconut flavor in your baked goods that can be hard to mask in some products but adds its own sweetness to a product.
Fresh fruits are better than any frozen, canned, or dried fruit. You do need to be very aware of the carb count in these products. We suggest you get a carb count manager to help you manage the number of carbs in a fruit you choose to incorporate in your baking.
Extracts and Oils
Extracts and oils can be your best friend. Some fruits will just be too high carbs. Extracts and oils can be used to help get an achiever flavor. Just check the nutritional label on your extracts and oils before using the ingredient in your products.
Fats are your friend in keto so including full-fat items are great. For example, try subbing sour cream, heavy cream, or even half and half in your recipe to substitute for milk. Also, things like olive oil are better than vegetable oil. Always, always check your labels when using products to ensure that you are calculating your carbs correctly.
Lily’s Chocolate Chips are going to be your best friend during your creation process. We started with chocolate products. Once we felt confident about converting recipes to keto-friendly recipes, we expanded products that don’t include chocolate. These chocolate chips here are our favorite because they are 0 net carbs. (Honestly, they are some of my favorite snacks ☺️)
Ok, before we end our tips on converting recipes into keto-friendly and diabetic-friendly recipes, I wanted to leave you with a basic overview of how to calculate net carbs. (Remember you want to avoid adding ingredients with sugar.)
When you read the product label on your ingredients, you are looking at the total carbs. You take the total carbs (per serving), subtract out the dietary fiber, and minus any sugar alcohols (erythritol). This will give you the total net carbs per serving. Then you can use this to calculate the net carbs for your recipe.
To help with the above process we highly suggest that you use precision baking. If you want to know more about precision baking, then go here to learn more.