To cut breadcrumb carbs, you can stretch regular breadcrumbs with lower-carb ingredients. Using a lower-carb food in place of all or part of the regular breadcrumbs can enhance flavor and affect the texture, so it's best to pick an ingredient that suits the food you're breading and how you're going to cook it.
Almond meal takes on a tasty toasted flavor when baked or fried, making it an appetizing option for coating chicken, fish and pork. The texture and color complement regular breadcrumbs, and adding its protein, fat and fiber to breadcrumbs reduces the carb content. The oil in almond meal makes it more prone to scorching, so avoid high-heat cooking. Slice meats or vegetables more thinly than you would for plain breadcrumbs so that the food cooks faster to reduce the risk of overcooking the almond meal. Almond meal by itself can be heavy as a food coating. For a lighter coating, combine 1 part almond meal with 1 part coconut flour.
Finely grated Parmesan, Romano, asiago or a blend of these hard cheeses combine well with breadcrumbs to reduce carbs. They also add their distinctive flavors to the dish. Add 30 to 50 percent cheese to your breadcrumbs, depending on your desired carb reduction. The resulting mixture creates a cheesy crust when baked. This mix complements Italian recipes and savory dishes such as breaded meats and vegetables. You can also substitute these cheeses for breadcrumbs, although the resulting texture will be softer.
Panko creates a light, crisp coating for poultry, fish, meat, vegetables or seafood. The plain versions take on any seasoning from mild to spicy. Panko, Japanese-style breadcrumbs, offers a ready-to-use substitute for regular breadcrumbs. They are crispy and have a flaked texture, creating a crunchier coating than regular breadcrumbs -- and they're lower in carbs. You can buy white, whole-wheat and seasoned panko in grocery stores. Boost the flavor by grinding toasted shredded coconut in your food processor and adding 1 part coconut to 2 parts panko. Alternatively, use 1 part Parmesan to 1 part panko.
Making breadcrumbs from low-carb bread offers a satisfying substitute for regular breadcrumbs. Specialty breads made with flax or nuts and sunflower seeds add a nutty flavor and robust texture to breadcrumbs or you can use a low-carb version of your favorite bread. Toast the bread or leave slices sitting out of the package overnight. Crumble the dry bread into a food processor or blender to create low-carb breadcrumbs. Low-carb breadcrumbs tend to brown faster, so reduce cooking temperatures and keep an eye on the food during cooking until you're used to them.
Several ingredients can reduce the volume of breadcrumbs in your breading, such as dried herbs, red pepper flakes, poppy seeds, ground pork rinds, toasted pecans or toasted coconut, each of which is lower in carbs than bread. Flaxseeds increase fiber and add a nutty flavor to breading, although some people find the taste sharp or slightly fishy. Add dry seasonings as they come and put bulkier ingredients in the food processor or blender and grind them to the desired fineness.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation: Coconut Breaded Baked Chicken
- Sound Bites -- The Best of the Low-Carb Lifestyle; Marilee Berry
- The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook; Ursula Solom, et al.
- Epicurious: Parmesan Monkfish With Pastina Pasta and White Clam Sauce
- Epicurious: Pecan- and Panko-Crusted Chicken Breasts
- Epicurious: Braised Turnips With Poppy-Seed Bread Crumbs
- The University of Michigan Health & Wellbeing Program: Crispy Baked Chicken Breasts