Ketogenic Diet Low Carb Cheat Sheet

Updated Mar 28th, 2021 – Written by Craig Clarke

When people are new to the ketogenic diet, they often wonder what type of foods they should and could eat while restricting carbs. Although we do have an in-depth ketogenic food list, it doesn’t cover everything and doesn’t include all of the keto-friendly replacements and recipes that are most commonly asked about.

Use our recommendations below to get an idea of the best alternatives for common high-carb ingredients and what foods you can replicate while going the low-carb route. Not only will this keto cheat sheet help make your new diet feasible for the long-term, but it’ll make it undeniably enjoyable as well!

Below, you’ll find a visual cheat sheet for meal and ingredient replacements on a ketogenic diet. If you want the specific recipes or explanations for each low-carb alternative, scroll down to the bottom to read more.

Alternatively, you can make your diet transition even easier by using our Keto Academy Program with keto meal plans, shopping lists, expert guidance, and much more.

If you want to skip ahead to a certain section, feel free to use the navigation:

keto diet cheat sheet - printable

Keto Breakfast Replacements

Ideas for common low-carb breakfast recipes

Typically when we talk about breakfast on a ketogenic diet, we think bacon and eggs. While this simple breakfast is a staple for many, it doesn’t always hit the spot. If you’re craving something a bit out of the ordinary, take a look at the following list!

Flavored Yogurt -> Full-Fat Greek Yogurt or Coconut Milk Yogurt

For a sugary yogurt replacement, you can sub in full-fat Greek yogurt, full-fat cottage cheese, sour cream, or you can even make your own coconut milk yogurt. Get creative and add toasted nuts, a few fresh berries (raspberries and blackberries are lowest in net carbs), and/or your favorite spices.

Cereals -> Chia Pudding, Flax Granola, Toasted Nuts

Instead of making your own cereal, you can always have a low-carb alternative. Try out chia seed pudding, flax granola sprinkled into coconut or almond milk, salted caramel pork rind cereal, or just mix together toasted nuts that are crushed and crispy. It’s quite easy to find a crunchy alternative to cereal (or just a low-carb replacement in general) so keep on the lookout and experiment for yourself to see which you like best.

Oatmeal -> Cauliflower, Chia Seed, Flax Meal Oatmeal

Oatmeal is something we all miss when it starts to get cold outside, but it is filled with carbs. You can easily make your own oatmeal by following one of the many recipes online. Or, if you’d like a different twist on oatmeal, give our Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal a try. Using what you might think are strange ingredients (cue cauliflower), you get an absolutely delicious faux oatmeal.

Pancakes and Waffles -> Cream Cheese Pancakes, Almond Flour Waffles

With the help of keto-friendly ingredients, you can easily make yourself some delicious, fluffy pancakes. There are, in fact, several ways to make fantastic keto pancakes, but our favorite is the Faux “Buckwheat” Pancakes made with almond flour and flaxseed meal. Try them for yourself if you want low-carb pancakes that taste just like the real thing.

You could also choose from one of our many other pancake recipes below:

Want a waffle instead? One of my all-time favorites is this Cinnamon Roll Waffle. Two perfectly crisp, fall-flavored waffles with a bright and creamy “icing” tucked in the middle. This will be a hit for the kids (and the inner child in all of us)! If you’re not in the mood for cinnamon waffles, take a look at our other low-carb waffle options.

Egg Whites -> Whole Eggs

Since you’ll have to keep your fat intake higher than usual on a ketogenic diet, you want to be consuming whole eggs rather than egg whites. Plus, all of the flavors come from the yolk!

Top your burger with an egg, make egg salad or deviled eggs, or even try our eggs benedict casserole. The possibilities are endless. Eggs can be used in almost every dish for every meal on keto, so don’t be shy!

Don’t care for eggs?

Eggs are a staple for many on keto, but if you’re not a fan (or if you’re allergic) – there are plenty of egg-free breakfast options. Get some extra ideas and creative inspirations from our breakfast keto recipe section.

Low Carb Dinner Replacements

keto dinner ideas

An average dinner for someone on keto is a moderate portion of protein with added fat and a side dish of green leafy vegetables topped with some more fat. Though you might want a heavy, comforting entree filled with potatoes or rice at first, you can keep this desire at bay with the right combination of keto foods.

In fact, with the help of the following delicious dinner ideas, you can make low-carb meals into your new go-to comfort food.

Burger and Fries -> Buttered Steak and Salad or Broccoli

Instead of getting a huge burger with a pile of french fries on the side, give yourself a moderate portion of steak that’s slathered full of butter. Have broccoli on the side with cheese if you’d like. Or, you could even make yourself a cheesy creamed spinach. The protein will fill you up, and the fats will keep you full for a long time.

If you’re looking to pinch some pennies and opt out of grabbing a steak, that’s no problem either. Other keto-friendly options include bunless burger recipes as a substitute that can replace even the crunchiest and softest bread out there. Some popular low-carb burger ideas include:

Lastly, we do have some alternatives for those that just need the bun on there. You can get creative and use vegetables (mainly portobello mushrooms) as the buns, or you can even use a low-carb hamburger bun that’s cooked in the microwave – easy peasy!

Pizza -> Mozzarella Cheese Dough

Thin crust pizza is easy to mimic on keto. Just make a mozzarella and almond flour pizza crust, and it’ll fool you into thinking you’re eating the real thing. Though there’s a ton of different pizza recipes out there, this one is definitely the best and most realistic.

If you want something a bit out of the ordinary, feel free to try one of our pizza recipes with a twist:

If you’re not in the mood for something as labor intensive, feel free to make our 5-minute pizza — it’s a hit with everyone that makes it!

Fried Chicken -> Pork Rind and Parmesan Crust

You can still get a super crisp crust on chicken while keeping it moist and juicy on the inside. There are a few ways to do this, but the best method we’ve found is by grinding up pork rinds in the food processor and adding parmesan cheese to the mix. This will result in a fantastic crust all the way around your chicken, giving you the perfect keto fried chicken.

If you don’t feel like grinding up pork rinds, you can also use the skin on your chicken thighs as the crispy element in your chicken. Give our Oven “Grilled” Asian Chicken a try if you’d like to experience what I’m talking about. If you want something a little bit different, check out our Coconut Curry Chicken Tenders.

Processed Soups -> Heavy Cream Based Soups

Stop eating soup from a can that is packed full of sugar, preservatives, and carbs. Start making them yourself, in bulk, and you’ll have a keto meal at the ready whenever you need it. Just freeze the leftovers and reheat when you want a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

One of our favorite soups to make is this Enchilada Chicken Soup. But, if you’re more of a seasonal eater, take a look at this low-carb Pumpkin Soup.

If the above recipes don’t sound appealing to you, feel free to try one of our other keto soups:

For a full list of soups, click here >

Pasta -> Zucchini Noodles, Shirataki Noodles

Also known as Zoodles, zucchini noodles are a great addition to any meal for anyone that really misses pasta. Smother them with alfredo sauce or make your own cream sauce, and you’ll have yourself a perfect ketogenic meal! To make zucchini noodles, you’ll need to use a spiralizer, which you can buy here.

If you’re in the mood to try one of our keto pasta recipes, we recommend:

Shirataki noodles are also a well-known replacement for pasta. They have a slightly strange texture – usually, keto dieters either love them or hate them. If you’re curious, try our Keto Pad Thai or Pumpkin Carbonara!

Alternatively, you can make a super realistic pasta that almost mimics whole-wheat pasta. This recipe, however, is inside of my cookbook (along with tons of other awesome recipes) which you can find here: Keto-fied! Comfort Foods Made Low Carb.

For a complete list of the 15 best keto pasta recipes, check out this recipe roundup.

Chinese Takeout -> General Tso’s Low-carb Chicken, Low-carb Sweet & Sour Chicken

Chinese takeout was our kryptonite before going keto. It’s our all-time favorite food, to be honest, but we’ve experimented and made some great low-carb renditions of our favorite Chinese dishes. My top two recommendations are our General Tso’s Chicken and Mock Sweet and Sour Chicken.

We have some other options as well if these don’t sound like they’ll fit the bill for you:

Rice -> Cauliflower Rice

You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that you could make fried rice with cauliflower, but you surely can. We will admit that it’s not the same as the real thing, but it certainly gets the job done and fills that hole in your stomach that you were just itching to fill.

Add in a bit of soy sauce, bacon, egg, and a couple of low-carb vegetables, and you’ll have an incredibly low-carb version of fried rice. Perfect to serve up with your keto Chinese takeout replicas.

If you want something that isn’t Asian inspired, feel free to give our Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto a try! From a denser version of low-carb rice, you can also use hemp hearts as the main ingredient, as we have done in our Mushroom Wild “Rice” Pilaf.

Mashed Potatoes -> Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Not only can you make rice with cauliflower, but you can make faux mashed potatoes as well. They’re super light and fluffy, can be mixed with cheese, and hold up their own against the real thing.

And guess what? You can even make low-carb shepherd’s pie with it, too. We use it in our southwestern inspired Nacho Chicken Casserole as a topping.

Burritos and Tacos -> Flax Tortillas, Taco Salad

Tortillas are something that plenty of us know about when we switch over to low carb. There’s a lot of options for low-carb tortillas in the store, but they’re generally packed full of gluten and other potentially harmful ingredients. We recommend sticking with keto-friendly tortilla recipes instead.

These flax tortillas and these psyllium husk tortillas are sure to impress. Give them a try for your next taco night.

Need more dinner ideas?

If you’re running short on time or just need some inspiration for your next keto dinner, we have hundreds of recipes to choose from. Make sure to see all the options in our keto dinner recipe section – Make sure to visit it regularly as it’s updated weekly!

Low Carb Snack & Lunch Replacements

low carb cheat sheet for lunch

Lunch on a ketogenic diet usually consists of something straightforward and easy. Whether it’s leftovers from the night before or a simple salad with some meat and homemade dressing, keto lunch doesn’t have to be complicated.

Some people also prefer to put together the ingredients for a mug cake (or a similar microwavable item) and take the ingredients to work to cook in the microwave. For more inspiration, read through the following examples of the low-carb swaps you can make for common lunch (and snack) items!

Note: We recommend keeping snacking to a minimum as it will slow weight loss down.

Bread and Sandwiches -> Lettuce Wraps, Flax Seed Wraps

Instead of cracking out that crusted rye bread to make a sandwich with, take the initiative to switch over to something that’s a better (and keto-friendly) option. From cabbage rolls to lettuce wraps, making wraps will be a simple process that you won’t have to worry about.

If you’re looking for a more realistic wrap, you can even try your hand at a flaxseed wrap or even a psyllium husk wrap. Both are fantastic alternatives to the store-bought low-carb wraps, and both won’t include any gluten!

Lastly, if you need a bread replacement, you can always go the easy route and make some microwave bread. A simple, easy, and painless process will have you a hearty sandwich in no time at all. And, you can even grill it to make some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.

Chips and Cookies -> Dehydrated Vegetables, Low-carb Cookies

If you’re one of the lucky people that have a dehydrator, you can take serious advantage of it by dehydrating thin slices of vegetables overnight (normally 12 hours) to get crisp, perfect vegetables that you can eat as snacks. Do this with zucchini, radish, or jicama. If you’re not lucky enough to have a dehydrator (like me), then you can easily make cheese chips in the oven and flavor them with your own spices!

Cookies aren’t a problem either. You can easily make your own almond flour cookies – or mix it up by using different mixtures of “flours.” From flaxseed to chia seed, there’s always something that you can make! Some examples of different cookies you can have are:

Or, read our ever-growing low-carb cookie recipes on the site!

Crackers and Dippables -> Flaxseed Crackers, Chia Seed Crackers

Looking for that hearty crunch that’s packed full of flavor? Look no more. Instead of cracking open a box of Ritz or Cheez-Its, go ahead and make your own! You can make crackers from anything including flaxseed meal (featured in The RULED Book), chia seeds, or even almond flour to make your own homemade crunchy snacks with a delicious flavor of your own.

You can make crackers out of many keto-friendly ingredients out there. For some examples, we recommend:

Sweets and Treats -> Fat Bombs, Mug Cakes

Give yourself something sweet that’s still packed full of delicious and healthy fats. Fat bombs get their name because they’re filled with fats – a delicious way to get those fats up in your diet and enjoy doing it instead of just eating oil off of the spoon.

Don’t believe me? Just check out these chia almond butter squares (with browned butter) or Neapolitan fat bombs. Even a rich and tasty mug cake for one. Get creative and make any flavor you’d like, too. Check out some of my other mug cake recipes here:

Looking for more snack or lunch recipes?

You’re not alone! Feel free to check out our growing list of keto snacks. If you need some lunch ideas (especially quick ones that are accessible for work), see our list of keto lunch recipes.

Low Carb Beverage Replacements

keto food cheat sheet for beverages

Simple is usually key when it comes to beverages on keto. Water will be a go-to drink when you need to quench your thirst. Try to keep diet soda consumption to a minimum as it is commonly linked with increased cravings.

If you’d like to read our complete guide to keto drinks & beverages (including alcohol), click here. For a quick overview of the most popular keto-friendly drink ideas, read below.

Soda and Fruit Juice -> Water, Smoothies, Tea

Try to replace all soda and juice consumption with something that has no sugar or only trace amounts of sugar. Switch out fruit juices for low-carb smoothies and tea. Tea comes in a variety of flavors that can help you get through the day if you get tired of water. There are a variety of different smoothies you can make for a meal replacement or as a quick snack as well.

You’re welcome to try one of our own smoothie recipes, too:

Water should be your go-to replacement for soda, and I don’t recommend drinking diet soda as it can bring back cravings for sweets. Stick to drinking at least 3 liters of water a day, but try to aim for a full gallon.

Coffee and Sugar -> Coffee & Stevia

Instead of adding sugar to your coffee, you can put a few drops of stevia in there to sweeten it up. Stevia is a great sweetener and won’t increase your blood sugar levels – so it’s a perfect way to sweeten your morning coffee. If you find stevia to have a bitter aftertaste, erythritol and monk fruit extract are two other keto-friendly sweeteners worth trying.

If you’re used to having a creamy body to your coffee, opt for heavy whipping cream, half and half, or unsweetened almond/coconut milk instead of milk or coffee creamer.

Cappuccino and Frappe -> Ketoproof Coffee

Are you missing your lattes and frappes? Time for a quick keto coffee fix! Keto butter coffee is a fantastic mix of coconut oil and butter in your coffee instead of the generic cream or milk. You might think that it sounds disgusting at first, but if you think about what butter is made out of – it’s pretty much just hardened cream. Once you melt it down and mix it all up using an immersion blender, you get a delicious latte-like froth on the top of your morning coffee.

Cocktails -> Dry Wine, Hard Liquor

Instead of getting sugar-filled cocktails, go after low-carb alcohol alternatives. Liquor is the best choice, being the lowest in carbs (most have zero carbs, in fact). Dry wines are the second best option, with 3-5g carbs per glass.

Make sure you keep an eye on flavored liquors or mixed liquors as they may have carbs. For wines, it’s best to stick with classic dry red and white wines.

Read more about what alcohol you can have on a ketogenic diet in our in-depth article here: The Ketogenic Diet and Alcohol

Mixers and Chasers -> Diet Soda, Water, and Lemon

Although I do suggest cutting out diet soda completely, you can make an exception to this rule occasionally while you’re drinking. This shouldn’t be done on a regular basis but is a much better substitute than using full-sugar soda or fruit juice as a mixer. Be very careful with even reduced calorie mixers as they are often packed full of sugars.

Low Carb Dessert Replacements

Ideas for common low-carb dessert recipes

Sweet treats are a great way to give yourself a break when you’re “dieting.” On the keto diet, we recommend that you limit dessert intake to once every other day, or once every three days.

It’s best when starting out to skip desserts for 2-3 weeks to help with sugar cravings. Below you’ll find some common desserts that are high-carb and their low-carb alternatives.

Ice Cream -> Avocado Ice Cream, Low-carb Sorbet

Ice cream can be made on a ketogenic diet, normally using eggs, cream, and some sweetener as the base, without missing out on any of the flavor. There are many different ways to make ice cream (with and without an ice cream maker), so feel free to experiment with some of our keto-friendly favorites:

Or click here for a roundup of the ten best keto ice cream recipes we’ve ever made.

If you want an “easy” version of ice cream, you can also use avocado. Avocado has a fantastic creamy texture that’s easily hidden or can even be accented to make your own delicious sorbet. Check out this Avocado Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. Or, if you want to get a bit more creative, try this Avocado and Lime Sorbet – delicious!

Cake -> Low-carb Cake, Cheesecake

Cake is always something that people miss because it’s so easy to come by and pick up in the grocery store. Just because you are on keto doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat it, too!

Commonly made with almond flour (or some mixture of different keto flours) you can have a delicious and airy cake, a dense and flavorful cake, or even keto cupcakes. Take your pick and make it as you want. Some examples of my favorite cakes are:

The other option you have (that is also high in fat and delicious) would be cheesecake. Using sugar substitutes, you can make some amazing flavored cheesecakes that will come out just as good, if not better, than regular cheesecake. Try your hand at these awesome mini key lime cheesecakes or even some raspberry cheesecake bites.

Brownies -> Avocado Brownies, Almond Flour Brownies

Not in the mood for cake? Brownies definitely come second on that list of delicious treats that we want once we turn to a ketogenic diet. You can easily make keto brownies that you can fully enjoy without having to fight against the craving to have more. Besides using almond flour and other mixtures of flours, you can make them out of avocado as well.

If you’re curious, we also have other low-carb brownie (and blondie) recipes that you can see here >

Puddings -> Flavored Avocado Pudding, Whipped Cream Pudding

To this day, our childhood cravings for pudding come back with a vengeance. To combat this, we can make some excellent pudding at home with many different combinations of low-carb ingredients. From avocado pudding to whipped cream pudding, there are tons of ways you can replicate this delicious dessert.

Even if you don’t want to go that route, you can even make pudding out of cottage or ricotta cheese. Flavor it up with extracts and sweeteners, and you’ll never know the difference.

Pie Crust -> Nut-based Crusts

Pie crust is usually a tough one to recreate, especially since you won’t be able to get that flaky and fluffy crust you might be used to with all-purpose flour. But, we can create thin and crispy, or thicker and softer crusts on the keto diet. Using almond flour or a mixture of flours, we can easily make our pumpkin, lemon curd, or even meat pies!

Recently I experimented with a new keto pie and found an absolutely delicious crust using both almond flour and psyllium husk. You can check that out on our Keto Pie Crust recipe page.

Looking to impress someone? Try our reader favorite – the Keto Chocolate Silk Pie>. It’s a little bit more labor intensive, but well worth it in the end!

Custard -> Pots de Crème

If you’re a sucker for custard or crème brûlée, then you’ll love pots de crème. Originally made in France, these super rich custards will be the perfect set piece for a dessert.

Impress your friends (even the non-ketogenic ones) and serve them something they’re sure to love!

They do take a bit of work and can be a bit finicky while cooking, but the result is an utterly delicious warm custard that is packed full of flavor.

Looking for More Desserts?

Feel free to check out our full list of keto dessert recipes. We’re constantly updating the website, so make sure to check back (or sign up for our email list) to see new recipes every week!

Low Carb & Keto Baking Replacements

Ideas on how to bake when using keto ingredients

Baking can be a challenge when it comes to a low-carb, ketogenic diet. Baked goods and carbs will seem synonymous at first, but with just a few swaps, you’ll be able to make keto versions of all your favorite guilty pleasures.

Flour -> Almond Flour and Eggs

Although almond flour doesn’t provide the same texture and rising ability as normal all-purpose flour, it’s a much healthier option and filled with delicious fats that can help us reach our nutrient goals for the day.

Almond flour works extremely way as a replacement for all-purpose flour, giving us cakey textures — and by using eggs, we can achieve the rising we’re looking for.

Alternatives include coconut flour with added eggs, but keep in mind that the texture does change when you do this. To learn more about how to mix and replace different keto flours, read through our guide to keto flour substitutions.

Chewiness -> Flaxseed Meal, Psyllium Husk

Chewiness is definitely something we look for when we make dense cakes, bread, or mostly anything that’s a low-carb version of the real thing.

My absolute favorite way to add that chewy texture is by incorporating psyllium husk in the recipe. Keep in mind that psyllium is very absorptive, so extra liquids may be needed to combat this.

Psyllium husk powder is what you’ll need, and you can find it on Amazon. Flaxseed Meal is another ingredient you can use to provide a slightly chewy texture. Although I feel that it’s not as good as psyllium (as it gives a slightly gelled texture), many people have used it successfully in place of psyllium. Make sure you grab a pack or 3 from Amazon. It’s super cheap and lasts a long time!

Breadcrumbs -> Pork Rinds

As mentioned for the fried chicken, you can use ground up pork rinds to get a breadcrumb type of effect. Besides chicken, you can do it on any meat – like pork chops! Grinding pork rinds in the food processor is definitely the preferred method here, as they reach a much better consistency and crunch up well.

If you’d like an example of a breadcrumb crust that I’ve used before, check out our Keto Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin. Here, the pork rind crust crisps up and gives you a great change in texture as you’re eating. Another great example would be our Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Alternatively, you can use pork rinds inside of meat as a filler instead of breadcrumbs. For example, in our Keto Gyro recipe, we sub pork rinds to provide the texture that bread is usually used for.

Margarine and Vegetable Oil -> Butter, Coconut Oil

Some of the studies over the last 20 years have shown us that margarine and vegetable oils are just plain bad for our health. Saturated fats like butter and coconut oil, on the other hand, are a healthy part of the keto diet. These fats are an absolute treat and can be used the same way margarine or vegetable oil would be utilized.

To get a good deal on oil, try buying Coconut Oil on Amazon.

Frosting -> Cream Cheese Frosting

Instead of getting that store-bought can of frosting that’s filled with sugar, food coloring, and trans fats, make your own! Cream cheese and butter come together perfectly to create a rich and creamy frosting that makes all of your cakes taste better. If you want an example of a great cream cheese frosting (with added fruit compote), check out our Low Carb Spice Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

You can also see how we make our frosting with these Vanilla Bean Cupcakes or Mini Vanilla Cloud Cakes. Alternatively, you can just make a drizzle or glaze as we did in our Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.

Sugar -> Keto-friendly Sweetener

Sugar is definitely something we aim to get rid of on a ketogenic diet, but we do need those sweet treats every once in a while, so keto-friendly sweeteners will serve as a replacement.

The sweeteners we recommend for keto are:

  • Stevia extract (liquid or solid with no other additives)
  • Monk fruit extract (liquid or solid with no other additives)
  • Pure erythritol
  • Swerve sweetener
  • Sweetener blends that only consists of stevia extract, monk fruit extract, and/or erythritol

Each one does not affect blood sugar levels, has a glycemic index of 0, and some research even suggests that they each have health benefits. Not to mention, they are natural sweeteners.

For optimal flavor, it is typically best to use sweetener blends, Swerve, or a combination of stevia extract, monk fruit extract, and/or erythritol. These options tend to provide the sweetness we want without any off-putting aftertaste.

To learn more about what the best and worst sweeteners for the keto diet, read through our guide to keto sweeteners.

If you would like to see some recipe examples that use these sweeteners, feel free to see our Keto Dessert Recipes page.

Chocolate -> Baker’s Chocolate, Dark Chocolate

Most store-bought chocolate bars are loaded with added sugar to remove chocolate’s natural bitter taste. However, this doesn’t mean we have to avoid chocolate on keto altogether.  There are some low-carb alternatives you can use – my two favorites are Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate.

With Baker’s chocolate, you’ll have to melt it down and add a bit of extra keto-friendly sweetener to limit the bitterness of the cacao. When buying dark chocolate, you want to aim for a high cocoa percentage, above 85% is usually best. You can also find chocolate bars in stores and online that are sweetened with keto sweeteners instead of sugar.

We can’t forget about cocoa powder either. You want to go after the dark and unsweetened varieties so you can control the amount of sweetness and the sweeteners that are in your chocolate.

For a quick chocolate fix, Just mix some cocoa powder and your favorite low-carb sweetener(s) into melted coconut oil, pour the mixture into a tray or container, and let it sit in the freezer for a few hours. Experiment with this simple process to create homemade keto chocolate and break off a piece when that craving hits.

Cocoa powder is also ideal for any baked goods that you want to have an overall chocolatey taste. You can use it in keto cakes, cookies, or even puddings.

If you’re going with a higher quality (Dutch style) cocoa powder, make sure to keep in mind its potency. You won’t need to use as much as the typical recipe calls for, as it normally has a much stronger taste.

Fruits -> Fruit Extracts

Although we can usually have a few berries here and there on a ketogenic diet without much negative impact, it’s usually best to avoid all fruit (especially in the beginning). Instead of using the whole fruit for flavor, we can get the tastes we crave from fruit extracts.

Want some blueberry muffins? Find a keto muffin recipe and add a little blueberry extract. You can even make smoothies using fruit extracts. This tropical smoothie, for example, will taste just like you used fresh fruit juice, but you can keep it a secret that you didn’t.

Cornstarch -> Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a very well-known thickener that’s gaining popularity in cooking techniques such as molecular gastronomy. It’s becoming increasingly popular in the world of ketogenic diets as well.

Xanthan gum can be used to thicken just about anything. From an ice cream custard base to your morning smoothie, and even in sauces too, you can use it whenever you need a thick and sticky consistency.

Just be careful not to add too much xanthan gum — a little goes a long way. To thicken sauces no more than 1/2 tsp should be used (and that’s for a large amount of sauce). If you add too much, it will turn into a jelly type of consistency, which can be quite unpleasant.

If you find that xanthan gum is a little bit hard to work with, you can choose to use Guar Gum instead. It has about half the thickening strength of xanthan, so it’s much more forgiving when you use them in sauces. As an example, here’s our simple 10-minute sausage gravy that calls for it.

High-Carb Vegetables -> Dried Spices

While preparing dinner, do you find yourself looking at an onion and deciding whether 14g of carbs is just too much for a single recipe? Fear no more – use the dried spice instead!

Replacing higher carb vegetables like fennel, celery, onion, and a myriad of other vegetables with their dried counterparts will allow you to pack in all the flavor you want with only a small amount.

Or, you can always replace higher carb vegetables with similar low-carb vegetables for texture. Take a look at our in-depth guide on keto friendly vegetables for a plethora of healthy low-carb alternatives.

Looking for more low-carb baking recipes?

Feel free to check out our ever-growing keto recipe page. We regularly update this page, so check back for more inspiration on a weekly basis!