Is Injera Keto-Friendly?

  • Date: February 15, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Have you ever heard of injera? It’s a type of flatbread originally from Ethiopia but widely consumed in other African countries as well, being particularly popular in Eritrea and Sudan. More importantly, is Injera keto-friendly? Less chattering and let’s find out!

Traditional injera is made of teff flour. But there are varieties made from barley, millet, sorghum, and as of late even corn and rice. It seems most flours are fit to make injera, so how keto-optimal it is, depends on the flour used. 

A Keto-Cap (aka A Keto Recap!)

If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.

As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.

For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;

  • 70% of their calories from fat
  • 25% from protein
  • 5% from carbohydrates

Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.

There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.

Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.

One of the main benefits which attract people to the keto diet is that it can cause significant reductions in insulin levels (by up to 75%) and blood sugar levels, which can be attractive to those that struggle with diabetes, amongst other health complaints.

What is Injera?

As mentioned above, injera is a type of African flatbread, traditionally made from teff flour. That said, what truly makes injera injera is fermentation. It doesn’t necessarily need to be made out of teff – barley and millet, at least, are pretty common, and a variety of other grain is used as well.

But to make injera, you need to ferment the dough.

The flour is mixed with water, and then the fermentation process starts by adding ersho to the mixture.

Ersho is a yellow liquid that accumulates on the surface of the teff flour mixture during fermentation. Then it’s taken off the surface and stored to aid with future fermentations.

The fermented dough is supposed to be thin and viscous so it can be poured onto a griddle in a thin layer. It’s baked on a single side, resulting in a smooth bottom layer and a porous top one.

What is the Nutritional Value of Injera?

The macros below is for 1 serving of traditional teff flour injera which is usually defined to be 125 grams*

  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Protein: 4.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams 
  • Calories: 126

*The macros may change based on the flour type that was used for injera dough. 

How Many Net Carbs are There in Injera?

Injera has decent fiber content, but it’s still quite low compared to the overall carb content. Injera is very high in net carb content with 21.5 grams per serving. 25 grams of overall carbs – 3.5 grams of fiber equals 21.5 grams of net carbs.

Is Injera Keto-Friendly?

No, unfortunately, injera is decidedly not keto-friendly. Even though it’s traditionally made out of teff flour which is comparatively low-carb and can be somewhat successfully added to a keto diet, one serving of injera itself contains more net carbs than your entire daily allowance.

This is all the more true for other varieties that are made from flours with even higher carb content (millet, barley, corn, and rice flours).

For more on keto flours check out our article which explains everything you need to know about keto flours.

What are the Best Keto Alternatives to Injera?

You can try making a keto-friendly version of injera by substituting teff flour with fermented almond flour. The taste will likely be quite different, but it should have a characteristic sour element.

Or, you can simply substitute with a simple almond/coconut/cauliflower-based tortilla-type flatbread.

Check out our recipe here for the ultimate keto coconut flour flat bread.

Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.

If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.

Summary: Is Injera Keto-Friendly?

In summary, no, unfortunately not, Injera is not keto-friendly. It is far too high in carbs and will put you over your daily carb allowance. As always, there are keto friendly alternatives to this delicious bread that can be eaten without breaking the carb bank.

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