Is Barley Flour Low Carb?

Is Barley Flour Low Carb?

Let’s be honest - we’d all like to eat a little (or a lot) healthier. And many of us are concerned about how our food choices are impacting the environment. So finding a tasty product that is both healthy and sustainable can feel like hitting the jackpot. And our upcycled barley flour certainly fits the bill. 

Not only is our upcycled barley flour incredibly healthy, it also has less carbs than regular barley flour. In fact, upcycled barley flour (also called ‘spent’ grain flour) that we rescue from breweries can actually be considered low carb and keto-friendly.

Keep reading to learn why and how our upcycle barley flour can be great for anyone looking to reduce carbohydrates in their diet (or just eat a little healthier in general).  

Why Does Our Upcycled Barley Flour Have Barely Any Carbs?

We know it seems to be too good to be true: low carb, nut-allergy friendly flour that is great for baking. Is that even possible?

It is—but only when you ‘rescue’ the barley. 

Our upcycled barley flour has barely any carbs because it is derived from the brewing process. We work with local Vancouver breweries who start their beer production with high-quality barley. These breweries extract all the sugars (ie.: the part of the grain you may not want) in the brewing process. What we’re left with is a flour that is lower in both carbs and gluten, and higher in fibre and protein. And while breweries would love to do something with it, without Susgrainable this healthy stuff spoils too quickly and gets thrown away!

Not only can this ‘spent’ barley flour be used in many of your favorite baking recipes, making it a lovely part of a healthier but no less enjoyable diet; it also means that repurposing this spent grain can help reduce food waste. 

When it comes to food waste, we need to take action now. In fact, spent grain from brewing is part of a food system in Canada that currently wastes 60% of food produced (you read that right). That’s why spent barley is such a great, sustainable resource. If you’ve seen our Kickstarter video, you’ll know that Susgrainable has quite the impact – resulting in only 13% of the grain going to waste instead of 68%! Now that’s something we can all break bread to.

‘Regular’ Barley Flour vs Spent Grain Flour

First, we should point out that even ‘regular’ barley is high in soluble and insoluble fibre, as well as protein. It’s also a good source of many critical nutrients, such as vitamin B6, folate, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

But of course, barley flour is also a whole grain, and that means it’s also fairly high in carbohydrates. Yes, it might have less carbs than other flours out there, but that doesn’t mean it will be suitable for carb-conscious diets. 

Specifically, regular barley flour has 23 grams of carbohydrates per serving, while our spent barley flour only has 2 grams of carbs per serving. That’s a huge difference—especially since spent barley flour bakes up just as nicely. 


If you’re unsure where to get started when using barley flour, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got lots of great barley flour recipes on our website:

Be sure to keep an eye on our blog, where we’ll be sharing more and more barley flour recipes to inspire you. 

And if baking from scratch isn’t quite your thing, or you get caught with not enough time, you’ll love our banana bread mix, pancake and waffle mix, and chocolate chip cookie mix, all of which use our upcycled barley flour. 

Does Upcycled Barley Flour Extracted From Brewing Beer Contain Alcohol?

When people hear that upcycled barley comes from the brewing process, they often have a follow-up question: is there any beer or alcohol content in spent grain?

We are here to reassure you that there is no alcohol content in our upcycled barley flour. To make beer, producers separate the sugars from the malted barley grain. The sugary liquid is what goes on to ferment and make beer. And the spent grain that’s left over is considered a by-product, even though it’s chock-full of protein, fibre and minerals. 

We like to refer to spent grain as beer’s healthier half. It’s got none of the alcohol, and all kinds of great nutrients. Once you learn this, you begin to realize that it deserves to be so much more than a by-product that gets wasted!

Ultimately, we’re proud that all of our baking products are healthy, tasty, and eco-friendly. We’re confident you’ll think that too! Give them a try by shopping our sustainable selection here.  

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