Do you know which flours have the highest number of calories and which ones have the lowest?
When baking, healthy or not, FLOUR is one of the main staple ingredients that makes up most of your treats. Therefore, knowing the calorie count for various flours is quite helpful if you are interested in maintaining a low calorie diet.
I was SHOCKED to find out which flours had the most calories. This information WILL alter how I create new low calorie recipes going forward.
Who Cares About The Calories of Flours?
You might ask, when baking healthy goodies who cares what the calories of one flour or another? Great question. This was my thought for years until I recently have begun to be interested in not only baking HEALTHY treats, but ones that are reasonably low in calories.
Yes, eating healthy whole grain baked goods provides fiber, vitamins, minerals and helps balance the sugar to help maintain proper blood sugar levels. All of that is wonderful! However, this does not mean that you can’t gain weight when you eat baked goods that are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Some people mistakenly think that just because something is “healthy” that it does not have a lot of calories. This is incorrect. Even when eating healthy baked goods, you still have to be aware of the calories to help maintain weight.
How I Calculated The Calories In Flours:
The great news is, if you want to bake lower calorie treats you can! All you have to do is understand which flours are lowest in calories and use more of them in your baking!
My refrigerator has at least 12 different flours in it at all times. I LOVE healthy baking. I am always experimenting with new flours and love to try them all as I create my recipes.
So many of my calorie counts I took from the flour packages themselves itself. Other calorie counts that I didn’t have, I used an IPHONE program called “Lose It” to find the calories of a particular flour. (A great application to know the calories of what you eat, if you have not tried it) Still others I went to the site of that particular flour manufacture.
NOTE: Blanched almond flour information was taken off the label from the Honeyville brand which puts out a great product.
- Then once I had all the flour calorie information, I converted the calories to an 1/8 of a cup portion size so they could all be compared with each other.
What Flour Has The Most Calories?
The flour that had the highest number of calories by a large amount was blanched almond flour (the skin has been removed from the almond) with 160 calories for 1/8 of a cup. Yickes! Compare this to 1/8 of a cup of whole wheat flour which is 55 calories, you can see how drastic the calorie increase is. The labeling on the package shows the grams, which most people don’t convert to cups as easily.
What was most interesting about these results is “almond meal” (where the entire almond is ground up) actually had fewer calories, coming in at 80 calories.
I can only guess that the since the fatter part of the nut is inside, the calories are more concentrated when the skin is removed and only the inside of the almond is left.
Why Use Blanched Almond Flour if it is SO high in calories?
This is a very reasonable question to ask when you see how much higher it is. It is filled with nutrition, but so are many other types of flours.
Many gluten free bakers and healthy bakers including myself, have recommended using blanched almond flour more often than almond meal in the past. The reason is that using blanched almond flour without the skin, you can typically get a fluffier baked treat. You can also use only blanched almond flour in a recipe, versus having to use a blend of different flours. Some people prefer this.
However, since we never stop learning, this new information about the calorie count will change my use of blanched almond flour.
For gluten free recipes, blanched almond flour is one of the few flours that you can use without adding other flours to it which is great.
Personally though, gluten free or not, I am no longer going to create any recipes that only have a single ingredient of blanched almond flour. The calorie count is too high. Most of my recipes were like this anyway (where I combined other gluten free flours like coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour, spelt flour and qunioa. ) When you do this, the added calories doesn’t add up to be a lot more and you get the added nutritional value.
In saying that….if you are interested in controlling calories, you might as well use almond meal combined with other flours; which is actually more nutritious. Just my thoughts on the topic for a later blog post.
THE WINNER! Which Flour Had The Least Number of Calories?
There were three winners in the low calorie flour contest!
1.Kamut flour came in at 47 calories per 1/8 cup! I LOVE this flour and have experimented with it quite a bit. Stay tuned, more posts on this flour and more recipes to come.
Stay tuned for a whole new category of low calorie recipes, where I will offer low calories cookies, muffins, breads and other treats.