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Keto recipes

Keto replacements

Many products commonly used in a standard household for food preparation are not suitable for a ketogenic lifestyle. Fortunately, there are perfect replacements available for almost all of these unsuitable products!

In this blog article, you will learn about the most commonly used substitute products to keep your meals completely keto-friendly.

Table of Contents:

Thickening Sauces or Soups

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Normally, cornstarch is used for thickening sauces or soups. Cornstarch is made from the starch of corn kernels. Since both regular corn and starch are not suitable for a keto lifestyle, it’s better to avoid this product. To make a delicious thickened sauce or soup that is completely keto-friendly, there are three different products to choose from.

Carob bean gum or xanthan gum
These products are used in the same way as cornstarch. Both of these products have virtually the same thickening effect, so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. They can also be used in two different ways.
Method 1:
Add ¼ tsp to ½ tsp at a time to the dish, sprinkle the powder over the dish while stirring well to prevent lumps. Keep stirring the dish and wait for 5 to 10 minutes before deciding to add more thickener. These thickeners need some time to thicken and bind, so adding too much will result in a thick, jelly-like mixture.

Method 2:
Take a small portion of what you want to thicken and stir in ¼ tsp to ½ tsp of carob bean gum or xanthan gum. Once everything is well mixed with no lumps, mix it into the larger dish. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the thickener to work. If the dish is not thick enough, repeat the previous steps.

Egg Yolk
Whisk 1 or 2 egg yolks, and while stirring, add them slowly to the dish over low heat. Continue stirring until the dish reaches the desired thickness.

Replacing Potatoes

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Potatoes are not suitable for a ketogenic lifestyle because they contain a high amount of starch. Sweet potatoes are also not suitable as they contain not only starch but also natural sugars. Fortunately, there are several suitable replacements! While you won’t get the exact same taste and texture experience, these substitutes are still delicious!

Turnip or Celeriac
Both of these root vegetables are excellent choices to replace fried or boiled potatoes. The preparation is exactly the same as for regular potatoes; however, the texture may be a bit glossier, and the taste is slightly sweeter.

Cauliflower can be turned into a delicious replacement for mashed potatoes. It’s ideal for mashed potato dishes like stamppot (a Dutch dish with mashed potatoes and vegetables) and also great for making gratin!

To prepare cauliflower mash, cook cauliflower florets until they are tender but not mushy, then drain them well. Puree the cauliflower together with a pat of butter, a small splash of unsweetened liquid heavy cream, salt, and a pinch of nutmeg.

If you want to make a gratin, follow the same steps as above but add some grated cheese of your choice to the puree when blending. Spread the puree in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle extra grated cheese on top, and bake the dish at 180-200 degrees Celsius (356-392 degrees Fahrenheit) until the top is nicely golden brown.

Pasta Substitutes

Regular pasta is made from wheat and is not suitable for a ketogenic lifestyle due to its high starch/carbohydrate content. There are several types of pasta that are lower in carbohydrates (such as Dreamfields brand), but they still contain too many carbohydrates for a ketogenic lifestyle. Substitutes you can use include:

his is a decent substitute, and it’s a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. However, personally, I don’t find it comparable to regular wheat-based pasta in terms of texture and flavor. The texture and taste are quite different, so it’s not the same.

You can certainly make delicious dishes with it, as you can read about here, but don’t expect it to be exactly like real pasta.

Konjac Pasta
This product is made from the konjac plant. Konjac pasta itself doesn’t have much flavor; the flavor comes from the sauce you choose to use with it.

Preparation: Heat the pasta together with the sauce and mix it well. By heating it this way, the pasta can absorb the flavor of the sauce the best.

Want to prepare/serve it separately? Heat the pasta in a pot of strong broth.

The texture of this pasta is best described as elastic rubber. Some people love it, while others don’t like it at all. It’s a matter of personal preference, so you’ll need to try it for yourself.

Useful Tip: Before using this product, be sure to rinse it thoroughly (for 5 to 10 minutes) under cold running water, as it has a very strong odor when it comes straight out of the package.

Edamame Bean Pasta
This pasta is made from edamame beans (soybeans). This pasta, available from the Slendier brand in the Netherlands (at the time of writing), comes closest in texture to regular pasta. It contains 4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, which is a bit on the higher side in terms of carbohydrates but still fits within a ketogenic lifestyle in terms of carb count.

Note: Opinions are divided regarding soy in a ketogenic lifestyle. Form your own conclusion about whether you find it suitable.

Replacing Rice

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Rice is another product that is not suitable because it is high in starch (carbohydrates). There are several replacements you can use that fit well with the keto diet.

Cauliflower Rice
The most well-known and commonly chosen replacement for regular rice is cauliflower rice. As the name suggests, this rice is made from raw cauliflower. You can buy it ready-made in the store, or you can easily make it yourself by grating a raw cauliflower or finely grinding it in a food processor (be careful not to grind it too fine, as it can turn into a paste).

Heat a good chunk of butter (or oil of your choice) in a skillet and stir-fry the rice, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it’s cooked. The rice only needs a few minutes to cook, so taste it to check if the texture is to your liking. Season the rice with pepper and salt. You can also give it a delightful Eastern twist by adding a bit of turmeric or curry powder while stir-frying.

Broccoli Rice
This is a slightly less common replacement, but still worth trying! Just like cauliflower rice, you can either buy it ready-made in the supermarket or make it yourself from a raw broccoli stalk.

The reason broccoli rice is less frequently chosen might be because it has a slightly sweeter taste, making it less versatile with the rest of the meal compared to cauliflower rice.

The preparation of broccoli rice is the same as that of cauliflower rice. Heat a good chunk of butter (or oil of your choice) in a skillet and stir-fry the rice, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it’s cooked. The rice only needs a few minutes to cook, so taste it to check if the texture is to your liking. Season the rice with pepper and salt.

Konjac Rice
This product is made from the konjac plant, just like konjac pasta. Konjac rice doesn’t have a taste of its own; its flavor is determined by what you serve it with.

The best way to prepare this product is to heat it along with the dish you’re serving it with. This allows the flavors to blend well into the rice.

Of course, you can choose to serve the rice separately, but it won’t have the same flavor experience as regular rice. If you prefer to serve it separately, heat the rice in a strong broth and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water before serving.

Usage Tip: Rinse the product thoroughly under running cold water for 5 to 10 minutes before use, as it has a very strong odor when taken directly from the packaging.

Sugar Substitutes

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Sugar is, of course, not keto-friendly. However, you may still want to create delicious sweet dishes like cookies and desserts. Sometimes, you might want to add a touch of sweetness to a savory dish to achieve the perfect flavor balance. Thanks to fully keto-approved sugar substitutes, you can satisfy your sweet cravings without breaking your ketogenic lifestyle. Read more about the best sweeteners for a ketogenic lifestyle here.

Flour and Meal

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Regular flour and meal are not suitable for a ketogenic lifestyle due to their high carbohydrate content. Fortunately, there are several replacements you can use for cooking and baking while staying keto-friendly.

The most well-known option is almond flour, which you can substitute one-to-one in a recipe. But there are many other ingredients you can use to create your own flour, such as seeds, nuts, and other grains! In this article, you’ll find information about other suitable substitutes for almond flour and the proportions in which you can use them.

Keto recipes

Hmmmm! A delicious breaded piece of meat, or a crispy topping on a casserole, delightful! Regular breadcrumbs are made from dried bread crumbs, not really keto-friendly… But hooray for substitutes! This means you don’t even have to miss out on this while staying completely keto.

The substitutes you can use are:
– Almond flour
(or other finely ground nuts of your choice)
– Grated coconut
– Finely chopped pieces (or powder) of pork rinds
– Finely ground seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
– Sesame seeds

Depending on the product you want to bread, consider what works best as a breading layer. The breading process remains the same as when using regular breadcrumbs.


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