Keto as a Way of Life
The items on this page are all ingredients that we have experimented with, cooked with, and enjoyed. Most of them have become staples in our kitchen.
For us, Keto meant discovering new ingredients and ways of preparing food. Many of these were complete diviations from the way we grew up eating.
Rebecca and I have had a lot of fun with the challenges in what we call our “Keto food adventures”. Hopefully, we can help you find some new ingredients, new experiences, and some fun along the way. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about these ingredients or anything you read on Keto Ginger.
You can really use any nut butter you like in most Keto recipes, but we like Almond butter because of it's macros.
If you've read my other stuff, you know that I like to make things from scratch. I'm a DIY kinda guy. You can make your own almond butter with some almonds and a food processor, but we did the calculations; it's less expensive and much less time consuming just to buy the stuff pre-made. I don't think you're sacrificing flavor by doing that either.
Made of blanched and ground up almonds, this flour offers texture, flavor and substance to baked items.
Since there is no gluten or binding agent in almond flour, you typically have to use eggs in combination with this ingredient in your recipes.
We've tried a few different brands, and they're all good quality, but for the price, we like Blue Diamond. As I write this, it's $.28 cents/oz on Amazon versus $.52/oz for Anthony's and $.66/oz for Bob's Red Mill.
Baking soda is a levening agent in baked goods. It's especially important in Keto since most carb free baked good lack gluten, which is what helps bread to rise.
Also, Rebecca uses an elecrolyte drink when she does extended fasts called “Snake Juice”. It’s a mix of salt and other things. One of the ingredients is Baking Soda.
She likes the Bob’s Red Mill brand because it doesn’t have aluminum in it. That’s not a metal you want a whole lot of in your diet!
Bob’s Red Mill does a great job of not adding a lot of extra junk to their products.
Watkins makes some of the best extracts on the market. The advertisement says that a little goes a long way, and they're not kidding about that!
The flavor is of their banana extract is on point with just a few drops. Just don't use more than that for a recipe because you'll quickly overwhelm the dish with banana flavor.
The flavor of Watkins extracts doesn't get lost in other ingredients, or when they are baked.
Blue Diamond Almonds
I wish I could say these almonds weren't addictive, but I'd be lying.
All the flavors Blue Diamond makes are good, but those Habenero BBQ ones have my number.
Just perfectly smoky, salty, spicy, crunchy.... and typing this is making me want some of them.
Almonds are a great Keto snack. Just make sure to limit yourself to a few ounces at a time and not the whole bag like I've 'accidentlly' done... more than once.
Monkfruit is a wonderful, Keto-approved sweetener. Since we discovered it, we’ve started using it in everything that needs sweetness.
Monkfruit sweetener stands up well to the heat of baking, it tastes great and doesn’t have a bad aftertaste. It has no carbs, and actually contains a substance that is reported to help stabilize blood glucose levels.
Amazon is the most reasonably priced and convenient place we've found to purchase it.
We tend to use this ingredient a lot in Keto cooking, so I've listed it in our Keto Ingredients section of the blog.
It adds a depth of flavor... a 'roasty-ness', if you will, to a lot of dishes; especially baked recipes.
You don't need much to add some richness and character to a dish without necessarily making it taste like coffee.
Espresso powder provides a great background note and flavor without adding carbs, so we love it!
Golden Monkfruit is the perfect Keto substitute for brown sugar.
It has the sweet, caramel-like flavor with a hint of molasses that you would expect from brown sugar. But it has none of the carbs!
Monkfruit, in all its forms, has become our Keto sweetener of choice.
Ground Flax Seed
Flax seed is one of the essentials of Keto baking. It adds a depth of flavor to breads/muffins. With only 1 net carb per 2 tablespoons, it’s a great addition to any recipe that might use flour or meal.
We like it because it’s also a good source of Magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids.
For more on Flax Seed, check out our blog post about it, "Why Flaxseed is Good for Keto and Great for You"
This is one of those ingredients we’d never heard of before Keto. Since we discovered Hemp Hearts, we’ve found about a brazillian uses for them!
With 1 carb and 1 dietary fiber per serving, it’s the perfect ingredient to use in Keto oatmeal, to make Keto breads/muffings and all sorts of other things. Needless to say, you’ll see this ingredient in a lot of the recipes on this blog.
Monkfruit is hands down our favorite sugar-free sweetener. We were excited when Lakanto released a liquid version.
It sweetens without the aftertaste of the popular sugar alcohols, and the liquid form is perfect for recipes where you don't wan to add additional dry ingredients.
It's also perfect for tea and coffee. A couple drops and you're all set!
Watkins makes some of the best extracts on the market. Their Maple hits the mark in a big way!
The flavor of their Maple extract will make you think you poured syrup in your recipe. Just don't use more than a few drops for a recipe because you'll quickly overwhelm the dish with maple flavor, which turns sort of bitter.
The flavors of Watkins extracts don't get lost in other ingredients or when they are baked.
Monkfruit quickly became our favorite Keto sweetener. It tastes good, has no aftertaste that we can discern and it doesn’t affect our blood glucose at all. It also stands up to heat better than most other Keto sweeteners.
The only downside is that it’s a little more expensive than other sweeteners, but we think it’s worth it.
Granulated (aka Classic) Monkfruit is a substitute for white sugar, and can be used as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes.
Also known as brewer's yeast, this is an inactive yeast that is normally used to add a slightly toasted, mildly cheesy flavor to a recipe.
A lot of people use nutritional yeast in salads for texture and flavor.
I use it in my Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce where it rounds out the flavor, giving it depth and character while picking up some of the slack left by the absence of the not so keto molasses.
A Nashville-based business that sources their meat from select local farmers.
They process all their products themselves and sell those products online to make great meat available nationwide.
We were attracted to them at first because they're local to us.
We continue to support Porter Road because their service and products are amazing!
It can be a challenge to find Pumpkin Puree in stores during off seasons, but Amazon Pantry always has you covered.
The key is making sure you get 100% Pumpkin and NOT Pumpkin Pie filling, which has sugar in it.
We love pumpkin so much, we stay stocked on this year round. It's really almost as good as roasting and pureeing a pumpkin yourself.
Only... WAY easier!
Red Wine Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar adds the acid that most dishes need to balance out the flavors.
Red wine vinegar provides some additional flavor as well without adding any carbs like a Balsamic vinegar might.
We like the Pompeian brand because it tastes great, it's easy to find, and usually reasonably priced.
LorAnn Strawberry Bakery Emulsion
This strawberry emulsion smells and tastes like fresh strawberries.
It brings that sweet, one of a kind, flavor to any baked dish you make, and it makes an amazing strawberry frosting!
You can add it by itself to provide a strawberry flavor, or you can add with fresh strawberries to really highly that amazing berry flavor.
This is far superior to any strawberry extract we've ever used.
We like pure vanilla extract for most of our recipes but be careful which brand you get. Some brands have added sugar.
McCormick All-natural Vanilla Extract is our go-to. It’s the cheapest, best tasting and has no added sugar.
No kitchen is really completely without vanilla extract. It seems like a couple drops go into just about everything!
Without getting into the specific science of this product, just understand that it’s used in a lot of foods to stabilize texture.
For example, it makes gluten free baked goods a little fluffier and it helps make sauces a little thicker.
There are a lot of uses for xanthan gum, but we use it in our baking recipes for the ‘fluffy’ factor. Without it, they tend just to be a little flat and dense.
Note: Don’t overuse this ingredient, especially if you use it in a sauce or pudding. Too much will give your dish a weird, slimy texture. If you’ve ever used too many Chia Seeds in something, it’s like that