Everyone has those few staple dishes that they just can’t live without. But if you’ve recently gone keto, they may not fit so well into your new diet.

But just because they’re carb-heavy doesn’t mean there aren’t equally delicious low-carb alternatives.

Here are 6 swaps to make your favourite foods keto compliant.

1. Mexican

Swap this: Rice

For this: Cauliflower (or any other veggie) rice

rice and cauliflower rice

Rice is a staple in Mexican cuisine, but with more than 45g of carbs per 1 cup cooked, it’s not exactly keto-friendly. But you don’t have to sacrifice your love of Mexican food just because you’re following keto.

Swap in cauliflower for your favourite rice dish. Simply chop up a head of cauliflower, throw it in the food processor, and pulse until it forms a rice-like consistency. Use in your favourite dish in place of rice for a low-carb alternative with more nutrients and just as much flavour as the traditional carb-based version.

2. Pasta  

Swap this: Wheat-based pasta

For this: Veggie noodles (carrot, squash, zucchini, etc.) or konjac noodles

 spaghetti and zucchini noodles

The rise of the spiralizer has been a blessing for anyone following a low-carb, or even gluten-free, diet. Just pop in your favourite veggie—zucchini, squash, beet, carrot, cucumber—and turn the dial. You’ll have a bowl full of veggie noodles that can easily sub into your favourite pasta dish.

Alternatively, opt for something like konjac noodles, also called shirataki noodles. You’ll see these labeled as the zero-calorie “miracle” noodle that is completely keto-friendly. They’re made from a type of fibre called glucomannan, which is derived from the konjac plant and contains very few digestible carbs. In fact, they’re actually 97% water! They have a similar texture and taste to rice noodles, and are the perfect sub to make your favourite dish keto-compliant.

3. Pizza 

Swap this: Wheat-based pizza crust

For this: Cauliflower crust

pizza and cauliflower pizza

Low-carb pizza? It’s a thing! Cauliflower crust pizza is becoming increasingly popular and is equally as delicious as its gluten-laden counterpart. Cauliflower crusts are generally made from a combination of cauliflower, egg, cheese, and herbs/spices. They come together in just a few minutes and are a great base for your favourite pizza toppings.

Be mindful, however, that if you’re purchasing a pre-made cauliflower crust it doesn’t contain gluten-free flours like rice flour, tapioca, or any other starch.

4. Brunch

Swap this: Wheat-based staples (pancakes, waffles, breads, etc.)

For this: Nut-flour alternatives

 wheat flour and almond flour

Pancakes, waffles, hash browns, benny’s—they’re all staples at any brunch buffet, but are generally not part of a keto-diet. That is, until now.

Swap out your traditional gluten flour-based favourites for nut flours! Coconut, almond, cashew, or any other nut flour and butter are amazing subs for traditional recipes. You’ll still get those light and fluffy pancakes, waffles or biscuits, only this time with way more nutrients and way fewer carbs.

And things like hash browns? Try rutabaga or cauliflower! It’s a similar taste and texture, and adapts well to any herbs or spices you want to add. 

5. Sandwiches and wraps

 Swap this: Whole-what bread and wraps

For this: Keto bread and lettuce wraps

wheat bread and lettuce wrap

If you’re a fan of sandwiches, you’ve probably found that they don’t really fit into a keto diet—but that’s not entirely true.

Keto bread is quick and easy to make, loaded with nutrients, and has substantially fewer carbs than the gluten-filled alternative. Whatever the toppings you like, keto bread is a great sub. Alternatively, swap your traditional wheat-based wraps for greens! Swiss chard, collards, and even romaine serve as an awesome vessel to load up with your favourite fillings. If you’re looking at a tougher green (chard, collards, kale, etc.), try giving them a quick blanch before using to remove some of the toughness and make them more pliable to fold and wrap.

6. French fries

Swap this: White potato fries

For this: Root veggie fries 

potato fries and carrot fries

There’s no question that a piping hot French fry straight out of the oven is delicious and an awesome side to a loaded burger, but on keto, it’s not exactly fitting. 

Swap out your traditional high-glycemic white potatoes for something a bit more nutrient dense and low-carb. Carrots, turnips, rutabaga, or squash are all great alternatives (in moderation) that can give you all the satisfaction of traditional fries with a fraction of the carbs.

Remember, root veggies still have carbs, so don’t go chowing down on an entire bowl. 


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