The ketogenic diet has been gaining a lot of momentum lately. It's very popular with fitness enthusiasts and those who swear by it for significant weight-loss results. While there are many diets out there that can help you lose weight, some of them are just ineffective, in the sense that it takes your grocery list to a level you might not afford, or it involves foods that might not be accessible in your area, or within the season.
But the keto diet is a more straightforward diet to follow. Basically, you're on a keto diet when you eat a high-fat, low carb diet. So, if you want to follow a keto diet, you must say goodbye to bread and pasta and say hello to cheese and oils. The keto diet works because it makes your body use fats for brain fuel and energy instead of carbs. When you have little glucose from carbs in your body, you will have to burn something else for energy, and that something else is fat. This trains your body to burn more fat quickly.
Of course, the keto diet doesn't only provide benefits to those who want to lose weight. Even if you have other goals in mind, you can still find it appealing. Because this diet limits the intake of sugars and processed grains, you lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, eating healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, and fish is good for your heart and decreases your risk of heart disease.
You can still reap the benefits of a keto diet even if you apply a modified version of it, such as having a 75% intake of healthy fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Just don't mistake a keto diet with a junk-food diet. There is a big difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. Eating keto doesn't mean gorging on ice cream. You have to mindfully choose the foods that are high in healthy fats and low in carbs. If you don't know where to start, the delicious recipes below are a good place to begin your keto journey.
1. Avocado and Eggs
This recipe is a great way to add some extra healthy fats and protein to your diet. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats and vitamins, while eggs are rich in protein and vitamin B.
- 3 eggs
- 100g peeled avocado with seed removed
- 55g homemade mayonnaise (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped onions or chives
- 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Hard boil the 3 eggs.
- Halve your peeled avocado and the hard-boiled eggs. Spoon the egg yolk into a bowl.
- Cut the avocado into pieces and throw it in your food processor alongside the egg yolks, salt, pepper, lemon juice and homemade mayonnaise (optional).
- Process until smooth, or if you don't have a food processor, you can mash the mix with a fork until you are happy with the consistency.
- You can add this mix to bell pepper or cucumber slices and enjoy it like that.
- Or you can make deviled eggs by filling up the egg white halves with the creamy avocado mixture.
2. Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
This is the perfect low carb sandwich that allows you to enjoy the comforts of grilled cheese, and the benefits that cauliflower has to offer – one serving of cauliflower contains 77% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C!
- 1 cauliflower head cut into small florets
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon of herb seasoning of your choosing
- 2 slices of white cheddar cheese
- Place the cauliflower in a food processor and process the crumbs until they are half the size of a grain or rice.
- Place it in a microwave for 2 minutes until it's soft and tender.
- Stir the mixture and place it in the microwave again. Do this until it looks dried and clumped (about 3 or 4 times total). Remove from the microwave and allow it to cool.
- Add the egg, Parmesan, and herb seasoning. Stir until it's smooth and divide this dough into 3 parts.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and shape them into square bread slices, about 1/2 inches thick.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove and let it cool.
- Make your sandwiches by adding a slice of cheese in between each pair of cauliflower bread slices and place them in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
3. Cheesy Zucchini Gratin
This easy recipe is a perfect low carb side dish. The cheese will give you a healthy kick of good fat and protein, while the low-calorie zucchini will provide you with anti-inflammatory benefits.
- 4 cups of sliced zucchini
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese
- 2 teaspoons of grass-fed butter
- 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat your over and grease an oven proof pan.
- Overlap 1/3 of your zucchini and onion slices in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded cheese over it.
- Repeat this until you have 3 layers of zucchini, onions, and shredded cheese.
- Combine the garlic powder, butter, and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat in the microwave for a minute until the butter is melted and stir.
- Pour the mixture over the zucchini layers.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and serve warm.
4. Low Carb Taco
This low carb taco recipe is perfect for your keto diet when your taco cravings hit. Not to mention that these taco shells are made from cheese, which is absolutely delicious!
- 1/2 lb of ground beef
- 1/2 lb of ground chorizo
- 1/2 taco seasoning
- 10 oz of canned diced tomatoes and chopped green chilies
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
- Taco toppings: sour cream, avocado, lettuce, cheese, etc.
- Place 2-3 oz piles of cheese 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press the cheese lightly to make it seem like a uniform layer.
- Place it in the oven and bake for about 7 minutes until the edges of the cheese are brown.
- Let the cheese cool for 3 minutes then lift it up and place it over the handle of a spoon or another kitchen utensil that is balanced on two cups. Do this to get that taco shell shape.
- Let the cheese cool completely into the shape and then remove.
- Place your ground beef and chorizo in a skillet over medium-high heat until it's completely cooked.
- You can drain the grease from the meat if you want to, and then add your canned sliced tomatoes, chopped green chilies, and your packet of taco seasoning.
- Simmer for 5 minutes and salt to taste.
- Add the meat mixture to your cheese taco shells and top with sour cream, cheese, lettuce, or avocado.
5. Keto Chocolate Mousse
This recipe will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth! You won't be guilt-tripping yourself afterward because this is healthy, homemade and has avocado in it – yes, the very keto friendly and healthy avocado!
- 8 ounces of softened cream cheese block
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 peeled and pitted avocado
- 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of your desired sweetener (optional)
- 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 90% dark chocolate shaved
- Beat the cream cheese until it's smooth and creamy and slowly mix in the cocoa powder. Add the avocado to the mix and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract and your sweetener of choice (optional) and mix for another couple of minutes.
- In a different bowl, whip the heavy cream until it has a perfect consistency.
- Add the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and fold until fully incorporated.
- Pour the chocolate mousse into a piping bag and pour it into different containers.
- Garnish with dark chocolate shavings and put it in the fridge until serving.
These delicious and healthy recipes are not exactly what people expect when they read ‘low carb, high fat’. But that’s what makes the keto diet great! Aside from training your body to run on fats instead of carbs, it educates you on the very controversial issue of fats. Even if you don’t want to fully adopt a keto diet, you can incorporate some of these recipes into your diet every now and then.
As long as you know your fats – which are right for you and which are to be avoided, you cannot go wrong on a keto diet. Just make sure you ask for professional advice before you switch your diet because that can significantly help you make the right choice for you. Nonetheless, these delicious recipes won’t hurt you one bit if you just give them a try.