As keto bakers, we have all heard of almond flour and coconut flour and used them in lots of delicious keto recipes. But did you know there’s another keto flour powerhouse out there? Well, it’s time to meet sesame seed flour! It is a versatile flour with the perfect nutrient profile for the ketogenic diet, making it a great ingredient for keto baking.
Keto diet basics
On the keto diet, we maintain a high intake of fats, a low intake of carbohydrates, and a moderate intake of protein. Eating this way for a sustained period of time makes the body use fat as the main source of energy instead of carbohydrates as it normally would. If you are thinking about starting a keto diet or have questions, check out this page to review the basics.
Overall, a ketogenic diet limits net carbohydrate consumption to below 50 g/day. Net carbs are the total amount of carbohydrates you eat minus the carbs that come from fiber and sugar alcohols.
These carbs are not counted because they do not affect blood sugar.
What remains after this calculation are the “impact carbs” that do affect blood sugar and should be kept low to maintain a ketogenic diet. Don’t start completely eliminating carbs though, they are important for our health. We just have to be conscious of the type of carbs we consume and in what amounts.
Sesame seeds—full of nutrition!
So what’s the deal with sesame seed flour? We’ve all seen sesame seeds before, but might not have come across the flour. Sesame seed flour is made from sesame seeds, which are a high fat, low carb, and moderate protein food. Perfect for the keto diet!
Sesame seeds have one of the highest oil amounts of all seeds, so they are truly a keto superstar! On average per 100 g, sesame seeds have 49 g fat and 17 g protein per 100 g, with 23 grams total carbs and 11 grams net carbs.
They do have a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, which means they have more inflammatory than anti-inflammatory fats. They are also high in many healthful nutrients though, so they can still be a great part of a healthy diet.
Sesame seeds have high amounts of iron, zinc, copper, vitamin E, thiamin, calcium, and magnesium. So many nutritional benefits!!
Related: Seeds on keto diet
There has been a lot of scientific research on the health effects of sesame seeds. Studies have shown that sesame seeds can lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, reduce blood sugar making them good for diabetes, and can benefit bone health thanks to their high calcium and magnesium levels.
So many great health benefits come from this one ingredient! It’s time to start incorporating them into your diet!
How to buy sesame seeds
You might notice seeing different colors of sesame seeds at the store, and indeed they can range from white to black depending on the specific variety of plant they come from and how they are treated.
You can find “hulled” sesame seeds, which means the outer husk has been removed, as well as “unhulled,” which still have their coating. Hulling the seeds removes some nutrients and slightly decreases the nutritional value. You can also find them roasted or non-roasted. Roasting the seeds gives them a browner color and a nuttier, toasted flavor and has been shown to increase the nutritional value.
Try them out and see how you like them best! You can even buy unroasted sesame seeds and toast some briefly in the oven to test out the roasted flavor.
Tahini — a creamy sesame paste
Sesame seeds are native to India and Africa, and are common in the cuisines of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. One common form sesame is found in is tahini—a creamy paste made from grinding sesame seeds until they form a smooth “seed butter.” Tahini is a helpful fat source in keto baking and makes delicious cookies! It is also great way to add creaminess to sauces and dressings without using dairy.
Try blending tahini and lemon juice into a flavorful salad dressing! It’s delicious drizzled over roasted vegetables, too.
Sesame seed flour—how to make or buy it
As keto bakers, a helpful way for us to use sesame is in the form of sesame flour, which is also called sesame meal. Sesame flour is a grain-free flour that is a good alternative for people who are sensitive to nuts or coconut.
We can easily make sesame seed flour at home by grinding sesame seeds in a food processor, coffee grinder, or spice grinder until they form a fine powder.
It is commonly sold “defatted,” which means the oil from the seeds has been extracted and what remains from the seed is ground into a powdery flour. This makes the defatted sesame seed flour we would buy at the store lower in fat than the homemade version. Removing the oils also prevents the flour from going rancid, so you don’t have to worry about it spoiling.
You might be thinking, but don't we want all of those fats on the keto diet?! Why are they removed from sesame seed flour? Yes, we do try to maximize fats as keto dieters, but with 19 g fat, 6 g carbohydrates, and 15 g fiber per 100 g, sesame seed flour actually has no net carbs! So even when defatted, sesame seed flour still falls under the keto guidelines and can be very useful in baking.
How to bake with sesame seed flour
The high fat content of homemade sesame flour makes it adaptable to recipes using almond flour. Try taking your favorite almond flour recipe and using sesame seed flour instead!
Defatted sesame seed flour is more similar in nutritional composition to all-purpose flour, and acts similarly in baking. This means sesame seed flour might be our new best friend for making keto bread! It can also be used to make any other baked good like cookies, cakes, and biscuits.
Keto pancakes, both sweet and savory, as well as flatbreads are other great ways to use it. You can even try to bread meats or vegetables with sesame flour!
Open sesame! It’s time to start baking with this new keto ingredient! With so many health benefits and a wide versatility in the kitchen, sesame seeds and sesame seed flour are an all-around helpful addition to a keto diet.
Sesame seed flour is a grain-free, nut-free flour with the perfect high-fat-low-carb composition for the keto diet. With a nutty, toasted, complex flavor, it is a great way to add variety to your keto baking beyond the usual almond and coconut flour! It has many beneficial nutrients and studies show it has positive effects on your health.
Sesame seed flour comes from sesame seeds, which you can find in different forms and transformed into different products. It can be used in sweet recipes, savory recipes, and you can even make it at home!
Here we explain the different types of sesame seeds and flours and suggest delicious ways to use the flour in keto baking. It is easy to use and adaptable to many different recipes.
Start baking with sesame seed flour and you’ll be excited by the results!