The ketogenic diet is one of the most popular and widely-acknowledged diets to exist today. It is one of the rare diet programs with long-term followers: people on the keto diet usually stick to it even after they’ve shed off the extra pounds and reached their ideal weight. Unlike typical diets that focus on eating less of everything, Keto cuts back on only one food group: carbohydrates. People on this diet are free to eat as much fat and protein as they like. What’s not to like, right?
Another point in favor of this diet is it’s easy to find the right kind of food. You can find some in fast-food chains, restaurants, convenience stores, and even your kitchen. There are also plenty of ready-to-eat, keto-friendly meals and snacks that you can order online.
Present circumstances have made it difficult (even impossible, for some) to eat out and indulge in delicious and juicy steaks, fried chicken, fatty fish, avocadoes, and other rich sources of protein and healthy fats (monosaturated and polyunsaturated). Many of said restaurants might even be closed due to lockdown orders. It’s therefore crucial to learn how to cook keto dishes at home so that you can keep up with your diet goals.
Unlearn Carb-Based Cooking
Many of the easiest meals to cook are carbohydrate-based. Examples are pasta, noodles, and savory soups. Since the goal of keto is to severely reduce carbohydrate intake (only 20-50 grams of carbohydrates is allowed), you need to find alternatives for ingredients that are rich in carbs.
Here are some cooking tips that can help if you want to try and start the keto diet or avoid falling out of ketosis:
- Dredging – Dredging is the process of rolling a piece of meat in flour, then dipping it in an egg bath before coating it with breadcrumbs. To make your chicken fingers and crispy-fried porkchop more keto-friendly, use almond flour, almond meal, sunflower seed flour, or flax meal as alternatives to high-carb white flour, wheat flour, and breadcrumbs.
- Pureeing – Vegetable purees are a good alternative to flour when whipping up stews and soups. Flour is widely used for these dishes because they give broths a rich and savory texture. So when you’re making stew, puree some of the vegetable ingredients and add them to the soup when the cooking is nearly done.
- Roasting and grilling – When you’re hunkered down at home, it will be difficult to look for low-carb ingredients every so often. Make things easier by mastering roasting and grilling instead. Both don’t need coating and breading mixes; a few choice spices and liquid dressing or sauces will do. A master tip for roasting: sear the meat in your pot or slow cooker first and brown your vegetables. This locks-in the flavor of the meat even after you add the broth.
Below are other keto cooking tips for newbies to keto, cooking, or both:
- Skip the potatoes – ‘Tatoes are staples in pot roasts and soups, but they have a very high carb content. One small potato has 30g of carbohydrates, which can be the entirety of your daily carb allowance. Depending on the flavor or texture you want to achieve, use celery roots, squash, radish, carrots, turnips, or parsnips instead of potatoes.
- Avoid grains – Rice products, standard crackers, wheat bread, and quinoa are widely regarded as weight-loss diet staples. But in keto diets, they are prohibited because they are rich in carbohydrates and starch. Steam some cauliflower, chopped cabbage, or broccoli instead. These are just as filling and satisfying as rice and bread.
Try these keto cooking tips and best of luck on following your keto diet plan this quarantine period!