Breading Ideas in Low-Carb Diets

Breading Ideas in Low-Carb Diets

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There are many breading substitutes when you're on a low-carb diet.

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Traditional breading technique follows the acronym FEB: flour, egg and bread crumbs. The item is first floured, then dipped in whisked eggs and finished in bread crumbs before baking or frying. The biggest challenge when breading on a low-carb diet is finding a replacement for bread crumbs and flour that will properly adhere to the item you are cooking without sacrificing the taste. Although there is nothing that will replicate the texture and consistency of bread exactly, there are many items that will offer a similar crunch that breading provides.

Flax Seeds

A good source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, flax seeds and flax seed meal provide a crunchy coating to your food while sealing moisture inside. When breading, the flax seed flour is much easier to work with and also much easier to eat. Chia flour is a similar option, high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Make sure to use ground seeds to get the most benefits -- not only will whole flaxseeds be too crunchy to stick properly, they seal the healthy omega-3s in so your body can't access them.


Toasted chopped nuts or nut meal add a nice crust to chicken and fish. Create a nut meal at home by pulsing nuts in the food processor until they are a fine consistency. For a fine texture, sift them to remove the larger bits. Chopped nuts provide a bit more crunch, while the thin texture of nut meal coats the food more evenly. You can get creative in the kitchen by mixing the chopped nuts with herbs. Hazelnuts and cumin are great for chicken, while pistachio and tarragon work well for fish.

Dried Coconut

Unsweetened, dried coconut adds a tropical flair to savory dishes. Coconut flour or dried coconut pieces coat the food nicely while adding a hint of natural sweetness. You'll also significant boost your fiber intake with coconut flour, while dried coconut supplies iron. Coat shrimp in coconut flour and lime zest to create your own low-carb version of coconut shrimp.

Parmesan Cheese

When baked, Parmesan cheese forms a salty and satisfying crust around your food. Because the flavor of the cheese can be too strong, use it as a flavor enhancer and combine it with some of the other low-carb options. For example, using chia powder, Parmesan and chopped basil to coat eggplant helps to provide a nice crust while sealing in the moisture of the food and adding flavor.