The mere thought of some scrumptious donuts, moist double chocolate chip cookies, fresh Belgian waffles drizzled with chocolate, and fluffy maple syrup pancakes is enough to make our mouth water and stomach grumble. But can you enjoy all of these if you are on a keto diet? Usually not.
Chickpea flour is a common ingredient seldom used in adaptations of common Western recipes, but is chickpea flour keto? Can you eat the various mouth-watering treats chickpea flour can make when on a keto diet? ‘
This article delves into this very question and uncovers the answer to “is chickpea flour keto?”
What is Chickpea Flour?
Chickpea flour is a commonly used alternative flour in the West, made by grinding dry chickpeas. It is also widely known as besan or garbanzo bean flour.
Chickpeas are delicious and versatile legumes on their own, most famous for their primary use in making hummus. They are also rich in vitamins and essential minerals and are a popular choice for multiple kinds of diets because they are highly versatile, healthy, and allergy friendly.
Chickpea flour is, therefore, a healthy alternative to certain other kinds of flour. Although rarely available in grocery stores, it is very affordable. You can also make chickpea flour at home, as dried chickpeas are also inexpensive and easy to find.
There are various kinds of chickpea flour; the primary difference between them is the type of chickpeas they are made from.
Generally, chickpea flour is made from two different types of chickpeas:
- Kabuli chickpeas – the commonly available, tan-colored chickpeas most of us are familiar with
- Desi chickpeas – smaller chickpeas with a rougher hull
Desi chickpeas may also come in different dark colors, ranging from green to brown to almost black. Their color depends on the time when their seedpods were harvested.
Nonetheless, the traditional chickpea flour – also known as gram flour or besan – is made from the browner version of desi chickpeas, also known as Bengal chickpeas or kala chana.
The flour is produced by removing the dark hulls from dried chickpeas and splitting their inner seed. The split chickpea is also used domestically and commercially and is called chana dal.
The split and hulled chickpeas also resemble yellow split peas or yellow lentils but are, in fact, chickpeas. Although chickpeas, peas, and lentils come from the same botanical family, they belong to different species.
But is chickpea keto-friendly?
Is Chickpea Keto Friendly?
The most suitable keto-friendly foods are rich in healthy fats and low in carbs. Keeping the particular macros requirements of the food you consume is essential to deplete your carb resource and push the body to ketosis. The fat-rich food components act as fuel to provide your body with energy.
Unfortunately, the answer to “is chickpea flour keto friendly” is a big no. Chickpea flour is very high in carbs; even a tiny amount can kick you out of ketosis.
High In Carbohydrates
A 100 gram serving of chickpea flour contains 47 grams of net carbs. For reference, a typical keto diet restricts carb consumption to less than 50 grams per day.
Thus, even a small amount of chickpea flour will deplete almost all of your carb budget or even exceed it if you consume only 20-30 grams of carbs per day.
Your keto diet may not work if you do not reduce your net carb intake significantly.
Low in Fats
Fats comprise up to 70 to 80% of the typical keto diet. Not only is chickpea flour high in carbs, but it is also low in healthy fats, making it highly undesirable for keto.
A standard serving of chickpea flour contains only 6.69 grams of fat, considerably less than the amount required to fuel your body in the absence of carbs.
Ghee, avocado, and salmon are excellent food options that are both high in fat and low in carbs.
Minimally Processed But Carb-Rich
Although chickpea flour is minimally processed, which is a plus for a healthy keto diet, it is not suitable for keto because it is carb-rich.
It is crucial to keep both the ingredients and macros of your food options to attain a healthy weight loss on keto.
Chickpea Flour: Nutritional Profile
The following is the nutritional profile of 100 grams of chickpea flour:
|Net Carbs||47 grams|
|Total Carbs||57.8 grams|
Alternatives to Chickpea Flour
Since the answer to is chickpea flour keto is a massive no, let us look at a few keto-friendly, low-carb flour alternatives that you can use for healthy weight loss.
1. Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour is one of the most suitable alternatives to chickpea flour. You can easily use it in multiple recipes, may it be making cookies or muffins or baking bread.
This useful alternative boasts a nutritional profile comparable to chickpea flour, with the only difference between the two being the slightly more fibrous and grainier nature of whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat flour is also more neutral in taste when compared to chickpea flour and thus can be a better substitute for the latter in baking. You can also use all-purpose flour instead of whole-wheat flour as a suitable chickpea flour alternative.
2. Quinoa Flour
Quinoa is widely appreciated as a grain and is an incredible low-carb alternative to carb-rich chickpea flour. Quinoa flour has a smooth texture, incredible for making buns, nuggets, and quinoa balls.
You can also use quinoa flour as a binder: one or two tablespoons of this healthy flour can keep your material together when making kebabs or burger patties. It also boasts a rich balance of essential nutrients and is a great fiber source as well.
3. Cassava Flour
Cassava flour serves as a suitable alternative to chickpea flour because of its smooth texture and good flavor. The flour is processed out of the cassava root, which has a texture and flesh similar to a potato.
Cassava flour is rich in essential nutrients, fibers, proteins, and micronutrients. It is also a suitable gluten-free alternative to chickpea flour.
You can also add this white-colored flour to bake muffins, bread, or any other baked goods.
4. Millet Flour
Millet flour is widely known as an excellent source of amino acids, dietary fibers, and other vitamins and minerals. It has a smooth texture and offers a suitable level of consistency to multiple recipes, eliminating the need to add extra gluten.
Millet flour is not only a suitable alternative for chickpea flour but also all other gluten-free flour. Therefore, using millet flour is a great option if you are on a gluten-free diet.
You can use millet free instead of chickpea flour in equal amounts, whether you are making a snack, baking bread, or using it as a crispy coating.
5. Oat Flour
Oat flour is another suitable gluten-free option that can replace chickpea flour. Although it is readily available in the market, you can also easily make it at home by grinding oatmeal or oats in a food processor.
You can use oat flour for making multiple yummy and gluten-free baked goods such as muffins, bread, cakes, cookies, etc.
You can also use it as a thickening agent, making it highly suitable for cooking fritters or making a snack bar.
6. Almond Flour
Almond flour is everybody’s favorite low-carb ketogenic flour. It is readily available in the market and comes in unblanched or blanched forms, highly suitable as an alternative to chickpea flour.
It boasts a neutral aroma and delicious taste and is also full of vital nutrients. You can count on almond flour to restrict your carb intake on a keto diet!
7. Seitan Flour
Seitan flour can be conveniently used as an excellent alternative to chickpea flour.
Seitan is a product extracted from wheat and is rich in proteins. However, it is grainier than wheat flour, and its batter is also stickier when mixed with water. You can also use seitan flour as a thickener or to make baked goods such as bread.
8. Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat flour is generally used in healthy pasta recipes but can also be used as a keto-friendly alternative to chickpea flour.
Buckwheat is typically used as a cereal suitable for making morning meals or porridge, but it can also be used to make baked goods, snack bars, and balls.
9. Spelt Flour
Spelt flour is derived from the grain spelt and has a pleasing aroma and nutty taste.
Although it does not boast the same versatility in terms of consistency and taste in the culinary world as other flours, it can be used to make bread and desserts. You can also use it to make cookies, muffins, brownies, or any other desserts of your choice if no other flour is available.
10. Amaranth Flour
Similar to buckwheat flour, amaranth flour is also commonly used to make oatmeal and morning porridge. However, you can also use it to make baked goods and other delicious meals, including bread.
Today, the use of amaranth flour is declining, but it is still a suitable option to make tortillas, flat bread, and quick bread.
You can also use amaranth flour as a thickening agent to thicken curries, stews, soups, etc.
Chickpea flour is packed with essential minerals and nutrients but is unfortunately too high in carb content and too low in healthy fats to be keto friendly.
Now that you know the answer to “is chickpea flour keto friendly?” make sure to steer clear from all food options that may contain it and opt for the above-mentioned keto-friendly options instead!
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below: