When the keto diet first skyrocketed in popularity in the late 2010s, it quickly gained a reputation as the “bacon and butter” diet. Vegetables might appear on one’s plate as a small side of spinach or, more likely, cauliflower masquerading as everything from rice to pizza crust to wings. By and large, the focus was on limiting consumption to “keto vegetables” while focusing mainly on increasing fat intake. (I’m talking mainstream keto, mind you, not the Primal Keto Reset approach.) This, as you’d expect, led to no end of pearl-clutching from mainstream medical professionals and the popular media, who quickly branded keto as a dangerous fad diet, a heart attack in the making. It was true that many early adopters of keto went hard on butter, cream, cheese, bacon, and other high-fat foods, probably as an understandable backlash against the low-fat diet dogma that dominated the previous four decades. Some people still do, I’m sure. However, I think most keto folks now understand that they cannot (or should not, anyway) live on butter alone. At least in more forward-thinking health circles, contemporary keto looks less bacon-and-butter and more like a lower-carb version of the Primal Blueprint way of eating, complete with bountiful salads and larger servings of protein. Personally, I’m all for keto eaters embracing a wide array of produce (keto-carnivore diets notwithstanding). At some point, though, the carb question comes into play. By definition, keto requires you to limit your carbohydrate intake to keep glucose and insulin low enough to facilitate ketogenesis. All vegetables contain carbohydrates, some more than others. You can’t eat unlimited amounts of vegetables, especially the higher-carb ones, if you want to stay in ketosis all the time. So how do you decide which ones are best? What Vegetables Are Best for Keto? In order to achieve ketosis, most people need to limit carbohydrate intake to a maximum of 30 to 50 grams per day. Hence, the best vegetables to include on a keto diet are the ones that deliver the most nutrients with the fewest carbs. That sounds straightforward, but in practice, it can be hard to know where to draw the line. The internet is rife with lists that sort foods into discrete “allowed on keto” and “not allowed on keto” categories. They mean well—and they do help simplify the often confusing transition from SAD eating to keto—but they lack nuance. No food will knock you out of ketosis in a single bite. There are no “bad” vegetables. There are only serving sizes and carbohydrate content and fiber. Why does fiber matter? Because fiber is not absorbed into the bloodstream and converted into glucose. It’s counted as a carbohydrate, but it does not contribute to the glucose-induced insulin spike you want to minimize on keto. Fiber, especially the soluble type, is mostly just food for your gut microbes. From a ketosis perspective, fiber is neutral. And in vegetables, especially the leafy and above-ground non-starchy varieties, much of their carb content is actually fiber, meaning their glucose/insulin impact … Continue reading “Keto-friendly Vegetables”
Carbs, Diet & Nutrition, Keto, Recent Articles
This quick and easy green bean casserole is the perfect addition to any holiday dinner. This recipe calls for Primal Kitchen’s Mushroom Gravy to help cut down on the preparation time. In no time you’ll have a warm and comforting dish that will compliment any meal. We keep things simple with onions and mushrooms, but if you’re looking to switch things up this recipe would be great with chopped bacon or bacon grease instead of butter.
How to make green bean casserole
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then steam your green beans until they are tender. While they are steaming, prepare your crispy onions. Cut the onion in half and slice it into very thin half moons. Toss the onions in a bowl with oil, then add the almond flour, thyme and salt and pepper and gently mix until just combined.
Lay the onions out in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Give the onions a shake or toss and continue roasting until they are golden. I recommend watching them because they can quickly go from browned to burnt. Set aside while you finish the green beans.
Heat the butter in a large oven-safe skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Once melted and bubbling, add the chopped onion and sauté until golden, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and allow them to cook for about 2 minutes, or until they are just tender. Pour in the Mushroom Gravy and coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Strain the steamed green beans and add them to the skillet. You can also add some coconut aminos or even a squeeze of lemon if you’d like. Mix in the thyme, pepper and salt and let the sauce start bubbling again. Fold the green beans into the sauce and cook on the stovetop until the green beans are well coated in the sauce and the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, take the skillet out of the oven and spread the crispy onions on top all over the green beans. Place the skillet back in the oven for about 10 more minutes. The sauce the green beans are in should be fairly thick, and will further thicken as the casserole cools. Allow the casserole to cool slightly, then serve and enjoy!
Ingredients, Recent Articles, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables
Eggplant on the grill is such a simple and delicious side dish! In this recipe, we salt the eggplant to help remove some of the water and moisture from the slices so that you get a flavorful bite that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Enjoy the eggplant as is with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, or drizzle on balsamic vinegar, tahini sauce or Primal Kitchen Italian Dressing or Balsamic Vinaigrette.
We like using Italian, Graffiti, Chinese or Japanese eggplant for this recipe. They are meaty, firm, and hold up to grilling well. Feel free to adjust grill time depending on your grill and any parts of it that are hotter than others. The end result should be crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside without being chewy. If the flesh of your eggplant ends up chewy but the outside is already too browned, reduce the heat of your grill a little and cook the eggplant for longer – chewy eggplant usually means it’s undercooked.
Appetizers, Recent Articles, Recipes, Vegetables
Looking to satisfy a sweet craving but don’t want to forfeit nutritious ingredients? Our easy smoothie bowls are the perfect start to the day or even a mid-day, hearty snack. We’ve created two recipes that include a variety of fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, cauliflower, broccoli and more. Plus, both recipes include our Primal Kitchen Vanilla Whey Protein Drink Mix for an added boost of protein.
Since these smoothie bowls also call for frozen fruits and vegetables the prep time is minimal. Using frozen fruits and vegetables will also make the smoothie bowls thick and spoonable. We’ve listed a variety of topping ideas to use as the finish touch but the sky’s the limit with toppings! Use your favorite nuts, seeds, fruit, or anything else you’d like.
Breakfast, Recent Articles, Recipes, Vegetables
Keeping on our theme this week of minimizing food waste, today we’re going to talk about seasonal eating and getting the most out of the winter vegetables you’ll find at your farmer’s market and grocery store this time of year.
The statistics on food waste are sobering, as discussed yesterday. Reducing food waste takes a multi-pronged approach. Some of the things you can do to waste less food and be more sustainable in the kitchen include:
Prioritize the produce that is seasonal in your region.
Don’t buy more than you need.
Learn how to store food correctly.
Learn how to preserve food if you won’t eat it in time.
Use the whole plant when possible. (Hint: All of the vegetables we’ll be mentioning today have edible leaves!)
Use food scraps in broth, soups, smoothies.
Compost what you don’t eat.
Diet & Nutrition, Fermented Foods, Recent Articles