There is a bit of a learning curve, I have come to learn, when it comes to cooking keto or low carb recipes. Here is a list of the things I have learned over the years, including a list of my recipes that follow these rules!
My Personal Story with the Keto Diet
I started low carb or keto back in 2015 when I was first diagnosed with epilepsy. My first neurologist started me on a anticonvulsant that he described as a “one size fits all”. That was not the case for me and soon, my usual diet was making me sicker than ever before. My mother-in-law mentioned to me about a friend they knew whose son was also diagnosed and they decided to put him on a keto diet. His seizures improved. I started my own research, started listing foods that were keto-approved and trying new foods and eliminating pasta altogether. Back then, my favorite part about keto was that I could eat a bunch of bacon, sweet potato fries with cream cheese, fat bombs and more. The worst part, to a 19-year old still figuring out how to “adult”, were the several restrictions.
A few months after being diagnosed, my neurologist changed my meds, I felt better and stopped keto. Looking back, that was a mistake. I still got migraines, but only sometimes, and he just told me that it was something I would have to just live with. He didn’t offer any suggestions, so I went on 3 more years suffering every month with terrible migraines. In 2018, I switched to a female neurologist who would put several of my personal values into consideration before just adding more meds to the mix. Fast forward to 2020 when I asked for insight about things I could do to naturally combat my headaches/migraines, she offered a low carb diet. For December 2020, I started a low carb diet with my mom to lose weight, and it’s been a success ever since!
Things I’ve Learned about Cooking Keto
Cooking keto recipes has it’s challenges! You have to do so much supplemental reading for figuring out how to use substitutes for your favorite recipes. And even the recipes that you don’t need substitute ingredients for, you come into other challenges such as having the right appliances, affording the low carb diet, and more. Here are 10 things that I have learned about cooking keto.
#1- If the Keto Recipe says use parchment paper, use it!
There have been so many times when I didn’t use it- because I didn’t understand why you would need it. But then it took forever for my to pull my keto pizza off the pizza sheet because I didn’t use parchment paper!
#2- Use olive oil on your hands when handling almond flour recipes.
Ingredients like almond flour and flaxseed are super sticky. If you need to use your hands to move or shape the food, then it sticks all over your hands- but if you coat a little on your hands while working through the recipe, then it sticks to itself. Not you!
#3-Coconut Flour isn’t always the best for baking
That’s because coconut flour absorbs the liquid in the recipe- if you plan to make something like cobbler, my friend says the liquid will be absorbed by the coconut flour.
#4- Keto Cooking doesn’t actually call for a food processor
There are a lot of recipe that “call for it” but I have found that you can go without it. If you have a blender or a electric kitchen mixer with a whisk attachment, then you can achieve the same. Say you have a recipe that needs to really blend up an avocado, it’s the same as mixing up softened butter for a cookie recipe. 🤷🏼♀️
#5- Keto Cooking doesn’t have to be expensive.
Read more about how I make my Low Carb Diet Affordable.
#6- There are a lot of sugar substitutes/sweeteners for Keto Recipes
- Monk fruit
- Sugar free chocolates
#7- Cauliflower is a weird but worthwhile substitute.
You can substitute cauliflower for rice, pizza crust, and I’m sure many more. Making cauliflower rice is actually super easy. You just finely chop cauliflower over and over again until it is as small as you want it to be. It’s practically flavorless, has quite a bit of protein and hardly any carbs. Using it as a substitute takes some time though.
#8- You have to get creative about finding sources of protein.
To keep things from feeling blah, and to keep my carb count low, I have done a lot of looking at Pinterest for sources of protein and low carb- such as beans, quinoa, avocados…
#9- Just because you are low carb, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy or feed yourself carbs.
The whole world is about moderation and you need carbs in your diet. That’s why you can substitute white bread or white flours for quinoa, whole grain, and healthy carbs. If you’re a woman, you especially have to remember to get your dose of carbs- complex and simple- into your diet. I’m working on cycle synching and making recipes that help me through that.
#10- You change your mindset when your are cooking keto recipes.
This is the most valuable thing that I have learned about keto/low carb cooking!
Since changing back to keto, or low carb, I’ve become more aware about what my body needs as opposed to what I think I want. I’ve come to learn about the different things that my body might need. When I think about how my body feels, and look back at what I have eaten that day, I think of the different foods that my body needs to bounce back. What will give me energy, less fog and make me feel better?
What do we do when our phone batteries are almost dead, or when our plants look sad, or when our fur babies are feeling well? We look into ways to fix that, we give our dogs sweet potatoes or applesauce or change their diet. We move our plants, water them, or move them into different pot. We change our phone battery or take the phone case off because it’s overheating the phone thus draining the battery.
Follow my personal Instagram for up to date inspirations!