9 Simple Ketogenic Carb Swaps (2024)

I have to confess that I avoided most of the ketogenic carb swaps like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles for a long time. They seemed like a lot of extra work when I’d rather spend less time in the kitchen.

My thinking has changed recently when I actually made cauliflower rice for the first time. I was blown away by how tasty it was.

In fact, it was delicious and added a wonderful flavor to the meal compared to rice which merely carries other flavors. I am now a total convert to cauliflower rice and if you haven’t already tried it – I recommend it!

9 Simple Ketogenic Carb Swaps (1)

The benefit of having of few ketogenic carb swaps up your sleeve is that you can easily adapt meals already in your repertoire.

Instead of learning a whole lot of new recipes, just add a ketogenic carb swap for yourself and the family can eat their regular favorites.

This works perfectly for a lot of family style dishes such as meatballs, pasta and meals served with rice.

1. ZUCCHINI NOODLES (zoodles)

The other ketogenic carb swap that I was too lazy to try was making vegetable noodles to serve with pasta dishes.

Eventually a friend gave me a Microplane Spiral Slicer(Spiralizer) and I begrudgingly made zucchini noodles.

Creating the noodles was easier than expected. It was just a matter of pushing the zucchini into the cutter and turning it.

The added job is cooking them if you choose to.

How To Cook Zucchini Noodles.

Heat some olive oil in a fry-plan and cook zucchini noodles, tossing frequently for 5 mins or until cooked.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with your favorite pasta sauce or meatballs.

2. CAULIFLOWER RICE

Cauliflower rice is delicious when cooked in butter and with salt and pepper. I prefer this over rice as it adds another layer of flavor to your meal.

You can add spices (dry or fresh), lemon juice, garlic, pine-nuts etc. Check out the recipe for 10 Minute Cauliflower Rice.

There are also now many pre-packaged cauliflower rice products that you can buy. You can buy frozen cauliflower rice (and broccoli), fresh cauliflower rice and also packaged cauliflower rice. It is getting easier and easier to stay on track with low-carb.

Be sure to share any great new carb substitute products that you have discovered in the comments below, so we can all benefit!

Time-Saving Tip

After blitzing the cauliflower in your food processor (before cooking) keep unused cauliflower it in the fridge for 3-4 days ready to use.

3. KONJAC NOODLES & PASTA

So you thought you would have to bid farewell to pasta and noodles while on the Ketogenic Diet? You will love this ketogenic carb swap.

Konjac noodles are made from the konjac vegetable and are pre-cooked and only require 1-2 minutes in boiling water and they are ready to eat.

Use them with delicious creamy pasta sauces or add to Asian dishes, noodle style. Quite handy when you need a quick noodle/pasta alternative.

Never heard of konjac? Konjac is an ancient root vegetable grown in Japan, China & South Korea. The root of the Konjac is used to make flour, pasta or noodles and it is a dietary staple in Japan. It has close to zero carbohydrates but has some fiber.This makes it ideal for ketogenic diets and low-carb diets.

Depending on where you live, these products are becoming more widely available as low-carb eating becomes more popular. Check your local grocery store for these or new similar products. Try Miracle Noodles and Better Than Pasta.

4. KETO BREAD

There are a few recipes for low-card bread which are quite easy to make. They essentially use only eggs and protein powder.

I have made this one from Maria Emmerich a few times. I would recommend watching the video and make sure you whip the egg whites until they are very stiff. On my first attempt at this, the bread was very eggy tasting because the egg whites were not stiff enough.

Here are some great recipes to try:

Keto Cloud Bread – ready in 30 minutes

The 20 Best Low-Carb Breads

5. ERYTHRITOL

Despite the very unnatural sounding name, erythritol is not an artificial sweetener like aspartame.

I have tried a number of natural sugar substitutes and erythritol is one of the better tasting. It has close to zero carbs and zero calories and looks like sugar.

Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol. It is found in plants, fruits and fungi including mushrooms.

You need to use a greater quantity to achieve the same taste because it is only about 70% as sweet as sugar.

The uses are many – from baking to adding to tea, coffee, smoothies or anywhere that sugar would be used. Erythritol can be purchased in granulated form (Now Foods do a great one) or powdered form (such as the Swerve brand).

Non-sugar sweeteners are also great for controlling your blood sugar levels without cutting out all sweet foods. They are a useful sugar substitute for diabetics.

Other natural sugar substitutes to try are xylitol, stevia and stevia glycerite (liquid version of stevia).

6. CAULIFLOWER MASH

If you are missing your potato mash then you have got to try cauliflower mash. It’s the ultimate ketogenic carb swap.

I was not expecting to like this but found that it was very tasty as well as being having a beautifully smooth texture. The cauliflower is cooked in stock, and cream so this infuses it with a lovely flavor.

The addition of butter when it is pureed completes the creamy deliciousness.

Try the recipe for Cauliflower Mash here

7. ALMOND MEAL

Almond meal can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs, baking or to make a crispy crust for fish, chicken or pork.

Make easy 30-minutelow-carb meatballs with almond meal instead of breadcrumbs. Serve with zucchini noodles or konjac pasta (see point 3 above).

Or serve low-carb meatballs on a bed of baby spinach leaves with some olives, avocado and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. That is my favorite way to have meatballs!

Cookies, scones or muffins can be made with almond meal in place of flour. They will have a denser texture but will be much lower in carbs.

While you cannot directly replace the quantity of flour with almond meal, there are hundreds of almond meal baking recipes out there. A quick search on the internet will turn up plenty of options.

Just make sure you substitute erythritol or another low-carb sweetener (see point 5 above) for any sugar in the recipe.

To make a crispy crust for fish, chicken or pork – dip your protein in beaten egg and then coat in almond meal. Pan fry in a generous amount of oil. Easy!

Using almond meal is also a good substitution for gluten-free diets.

8. CAULIFLOWER PIZZA BASE

I haven’t yet tried cauliflower pizza yet but it is high on my list of keto recipes to try. The photos of cauliflower pizza look mouth-wateringly delicious so I will be sure to post when I have tested some of the recipes out there.

Here are a couple of recipes that I plan on trying:

Foolproof Cauli-Pizza Pepperonifrom www.ketodietapp.com

Low Carb Pizza Recipe w/ Cauliflower Crust from www.wickedstuff.com

9. AVOCADO

Our final ketogenic carb swap is avocado. Avocado is your friend when eating low-carb, high fat. They are high in monosaturated (healthy) fats, Vitamin C, folate (important if you are pregnant), vitamin E,fiberand potassium.

Low-carbers can easily become deficient in potassium and avocado is a good source. This is because the body sheds excess water and loses some electrolytes while eating fewer carbs.

Try using half an avocado instead of banana in your regular smoothie as it creates an amazing creamy texture. It’s not as sweet though, so you could add a sweetener (see point 5) such as erythritol or stevia glyceriteif you need to.

RELATED: Find out how to swap out your sugar-laden takeout coffee here: Low Carb Starbucks

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As someone deeply immersed in the world of ketogenic diets, I can confidently attest to the transformative power of low-carb alternatives. My personal journey led me to explore various ketogenic carb swaps, pushing the boundaries of culinary norms to create meals that are not only delicious but also aligned with the principles of this lifestyle.

The revelation began with my initial skepticism towards ketogenic carb swaps like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles. I shared the sentiment of many who found them to be additional work in the kitchen, an inconvenience overshadowing the desire for a quick and easy meal preparation. However, my perspective shifted dramatically when I decided to venture into the realm of cauliflower rice.

The first-hand experience of making cauliflower rice was nothing short of a culinary awakening. The taste was not just satisfactory; it was truly delightful, introducing a new layer of flavor to the meal compared to conventional rice, which often serves as a neutral base. This newfound appreciation propelled me into becoming a devoted advocate of cauliflower rice, urging others to give it a try.

Now, armed with the knowledge and expertise acquired through my own culinary explorations, I delve into the concepts presented in the article:

  1. Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles): The introduction of vegetable noodles, particularly zucchini noodles, may seem daunting at first. Still, with tools like the Microplane Spiral Slicer, the process becomes surprisingly straightforward. These noodles, when cooked in olive oil and seasoned, offer a low-carb alternative to traditional pasta, providing a refreshing option for those on a ketogenic journey.

  2. Cauliflower Rice: Cauliflower rice, cooked in butter with salt and pepper, emerges as a delightful substitute for traditional rice. Its versatility allows for the addition of various spices, lemon juice, garlic, or pine nuts, creating a flavorful accompaniment to meals. The availability of pre-packaged cauliflower rice products further facilitates adherence to a low-carb lifestyle.

  3. Konjac Noodles & Pasta: Konjac noodles, derived from the konjac vegetable, stand out as a convenient and low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. With minimal preparation time, these noodles offer a quick solution for those craving noodle-based dishes while adhering to ketogenic principles.

  4. Keto Bread: The prospect of bidding farewell to traditional bread on a ketogenic diet is mitigated by recipes for low-carb bread. These recipes often rely on eggs and protein powder to create a suitable bread substitute, exemplified by options like Keto Cloud Bread. Proper preparation, including whipping egg whites to stiffness, ensures a satisfying result.

  5. Erythritol: As a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, erythritol emerges as a favored sweetener in the ketogenic realm. Despite its somewhat unnatural name, it stands out for its zero carbs and calorie content, resembling sugar in appearance. This versatile sweetener finds applications in baking, beverages, and various recipes, providing a viable option for those seeking to control blood sugar levels.

  6. Cauliflower Mash: Offering a ketogenic twist to the classic potato mash, cauliflower mash combines the vegetable with stock, cream, and butter for a creamy and flavorful alternative.

  7. Almond Meal: Almond meal serves as a versatile substitute for breadcrumbs in various dishes. It can be used to create low-carb meatballs, baked goods, and crispy crusts for fish, chicken, or pork, making it a valuable ingredient for those following a ketogenic or gluten-free diet.

  8. Cauliflower Pizza Base: While personally unexplored, cauliflower pizza bases represent an exciting frontier in ketogenic recipes. Various recipes, such as Foolproof Cauli-Pizza Pepperoni, offer the promise of a low-carb alternative to traditional pizza crusts.

  9. Avocado: As a high-fat and nutrient-rich option, avocado becomes a crucial element in a low-carb, high-fat diet. Its inclusion not only adds creaminess to dishes but also provides essential nutrients such as healthy fats, vitamins, fiber, and potassium.

In conclusion, the world of ketogenic carb swaps offers a myriad of possibilities for creating flavorful, satisfying meals while adhering to the principles of a low-carb lifestyle. From innovative noodle alternatives to creative bread and pizza substitutes, these options showcase the adaptability and richness of a ketogenic culinary journey.

9 Simple Ketogenic Carb Swaps (2024)
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