Last Updated on April 26, 2022 by Toya
Most people are used to thickening their favorite recipes like soups, sauces, gravies and smoothies, with high carb ingredients like all purpose flour or even cornstarch. But, if you’re doing keto, you must be asking yourself, what can I use as a keto substitute for thickeners? Well, you will never need to ask this question again! Because today, I’ve listed all the best keto thickeners that you can use to thicken up your soups, gravies, sauces and more!
Best keto thickeners for all types of keto recipes
Chia seeds make a great keto friendly thickening agent for recipes like soups, sauces, smoothies, puddings, gravies, and even meatballs. You can use them in the whole seed form or use ground chia seeds in your favorite keto dishes. Many people think that you must either pulverize them or use them in ground form. Surprisingly, chia seeds absorb liquid very well and they soften up quite nicely once they’ve soaked up liquids. Thus, they will not affect your recipes if they’re whole.
Xanthan gum powder
If you’ve been doing keto for more than a day you’ve likely heard of xanthan gum. Xanthan is a food additive that has become a very popular keto pantry staple. It is popularly used to make keto friendly dough, bread and other baked goods. However, it can also be used to thicken up keto gravies, salad dressings, soups, sauces, smoothies and puddings. A little goes a long way, so use ¼ teaspoon for every cup of liquid in your favorite soups and other such dishes.
Guar gum powder
Guar gum is another low carb thickening agent derived from guar beans. Like xanthan gum powder, it is also used in many low carb baked goods, as well as salad dressings to prevent the separation of oil and liquid, sauces, gravies, soups, smoothies, stews, puddings and frozen desserts. Use 1/2 teaspoon for every cup of liquid.
Konjac gel powder (glucomannan)
Konjac gel powder is another great thickener that makes a great substitute for cornstarch or other high carb thickeners. It has no flavor so no aftertaste will be left behind. Add this to your smoothies, soups, glazes, gravy, casseroles, pie fillings and more. It is best to mix it with a little water before adding it to your keto recipes.
Agar agar powder
Agar agar powder is another low carb and vegan thickening agent made from red seaweed. It can be used to thicken frozen treats like ice cream, as well as puddings, jams, jellies and soups.
If you’re looking for a plant based keto friendly thickener, agar agar is your best bet! Use 1 teaspoon for every cup of liquid. It is also unflavored which definitely makes it very versatile in the kitchen.
Gelatin is another great low carb thickener worth checking out. Gelatin is ideal for people who aren’t vegan or vegetarian and works well as a thickener for cheesecakes, jellies, gummies, smoothies and even sauces, braises and stews. Use about ½ tablespoon of gelatin for every cup of liquid.
If you happen to have some grind flaxseeds on hand, you can use this product to thicken soups and stews.
Cream cheese is also another low carb thickener that can be used in keto recipes. Use cream cheese to thicken up sauces, dips, salad dressings and even keto pancake batters.
Heavy cream also makes a fine keto thickener for sauces and soups if you don’t mind the dairy.
Almond flour also works okay as a keto thickener. It has its limitations and should only be used sparingly, but, in a pinch, you can use it to thicken up keto gravies,, curries, stews and more.
Coconut flour can also be used as a low carb thickener. It is not the best option as coconut flour has quite a few carbs. i.e 1 tbsp has 2 net carbs. If you’re using it as a thickener only a little is required. Use it to thicken sauces, curries, stews, and other keto recipes that have bolder flavors so that the distinct coconut flavor will be masked.
Unfortunately, coconut flour is too gritty to be used as a keto gravy thickener.
But, since it is a staple pantry ingredient, it is very convenient and can help make many recipes thicker quickly.
Thickeners that are not allowed on keto
While the list of thickeners above are ideal for keto, there are also a few that many people think can be use, but are actually not ideal for keto eating. These include thickeners like corn starch, potato starch, arrowroot, and tapioca flour. This is why:
- Corn starch: This item is made from corn grain which is a high carb food and, in every tablespoon of cornstarch, there are 7 grams of carbs.
- Potato starch: This item is extracted from potatoes which is a high carb food and, in every tablespoon of cornstarch there are 8 grams of carbs.
- Arrowroot: This thickener is made from a starch and contains 8.8 grams of carbs in every tablespoon.
- Tapioca flour: Tapioca flour is made from the roots of cassava plants which is a high carb food, and generally have about 6 – 9 grams of carbs in every tablespoons.