Well, by now, if you have been following us, you know how we feel about artificial sweeteners and those other sneaky names used so you won’t know that sugar is in the ingredient list.
Believe it or not, those sneaky names are in the fine print of many pantry items you never would have imagined. For instance, my family used to love it when I mixed in the little seasoning packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip and Dressing mix with sour cream for a yummy dip to serve with vegetables. One of the main ingredients I discovered, as soon as I went Keto and started looking at the back of packages, is Maltodextrin.
A little about Maltodextrin: It is a food additive derived from corn, rice, potatoes, or wheat and therefore a carbohydrate. It ranks higher than table sugar on the glycemic index – 106 to 136 depending on the derived source and is in a TON of packaged foods! This means that it will spike your blood sugar levels so beware and read those labels.
It became a mission of mine and that of a few of our followers to find a better way to make ranch dressing and dip. One of the best parts of Keto is freeing yourself from all of those tasteless, chemical ridden low-fat salad dressings! You actually get to eat the real thing as long as it is real food. The Maltodextrin kind of ruined that for us though. Thanks to one of my friends and fellow ketoers, Kelley, we have found the solution! This may be even better than Hidden Valley Ranch, and it is a seasoning blend that can be used in other sauces or dressings as well. I did some minor tweaking, and we all think it is delicious. We hope you enjoy!
Ranch Dressing Seasoning
1 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP dried parsley
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (with a little extra for garnish)
1/2 tsp dried mustard seed
To mix into a dressing or dip, the possibilities are endless.
For a dip, I use the traditional 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.
If you want to make it into a dressing, you can put all of the above ingredients into a blender and add some half and half or cream to liquify it slightly.
Modifications you can make are to add some fresh parsley instead of the dry, add some cilantro to the dressing, or even spice it up with some jalapeños or your favorite peppers. This is super easy if you use the blender! The possibilities for making this your own are endless, nutritious, and beautifully Ketogenic! Have fun with it, and enjoy!
These are Cindy’s boys! This dip with mini peppers is one of their favorite after school snacks!
There is a golden sauce so delicious, it is worth the price of gold!
It was just yesterday that I mentioned the amazingly delectable Hollandaise Sauce as a favorite of mine on poached eggs. The best part – it is easier than you can ever imagine!
One of the things we have to be mindful of while living in a state of nutritional ketosis is our intake of protein. We all know that carbs will take us down, but did you know that protein can as well?
When there is a significant intake of protein, the body converts the protein into sugars during a process called Gluconeogenesis. This is a metabolic process that makes glucose, a simple sugar, that provides the body with energy from non-carbohydrate sources when you are a carb burner.
This is why it is super important to make sure you are getting ample healthy fats when you are consuming meats and vegetables in order to stay a fat burning machine. We don’t want those proteins turning into carbs in our body so make sure you have the fat to counteract the carbs and proteins.
And…this is why I love Hollandaise! You can put it on your veggies, your meat, your eggs – pretty much anything your heart desires! My favorites are eggs, spinach and asparagus. It is wonderful tasting, and as long as you are using our favorite grass-fed butter, it is a great source of fat! You can also ask for it at many restaurants that will gladly bring you a side of this delicious sauce.
Place in your blender:
2 Egg Yolks
1 TBSP Lemon Juice
Salt and Cayenne to taste
Turn your blender on low for 5 seconds.
Melt 1/2 cup butter (Kerrygold) in a pyrex glass measuring dish.
In a very low stream on the lowest speed, gently pour your butter into your egg yolk mixture.
As soon as it is combined – you have hollandaise.
I have never had it curdle, but if it does, add two egg yolks on high speed with whipping cream one TBSP at a time.
Let’s face it…being on a Ketogenic diet with REAL food is not inexpensive! We are trying to be as healthy as possible, which comes at an expense to our wallets. In fact, today, while listening to a Livin’ La Vida podcast, a nutrition expert and author was discussing the fact that higher income countries are actually consuming less grains now than low net income countries because those packaged foods and grains cost pennies compared to “real food” which is actually nourishing. Very sad! I totally believe it is worth every penny to feed my family well, but at the same time, I try to save where I can! This is where buying in bulk can help, especially when feeding a hungry family of five. I have two growing boys that eat constantly.
Now, I do have to say, a high fat, real food diet, keeps you full much longer that the recommended, low fat Standard American Diet (SAD), so in terms of food, you are not eating the same quantity. There are certain foods that we consume more often than others, so using a store like Costco or Sam’s can help you. One of the more frequent questions we receive is where we buy our groceries. The answer is…everywhere, but I don’t shop at every store every week. I probably make a Costco run every two weeks, so I thought I would share the basics I keep on hand in bulk.
From left to right:
1. Almond Flour: I have said this before, but do not even try the other brands…Honeyville is far superior to any of the others. I have tried all of them, and hands down, Honeyville bakes the best with the least amount of heavy texture. Costco saves you a ton…you can’t find a lower price even on Honeyville’s own website!
2. Berries: (On both sides – All organic!) While we do not recommend a large amount of fruit on a Keto diet, berries are by far the best choice. They are the lowest in fructose and have a high amount of anti-oxidants. These are primarily for the children, but every once in a while, I will have a small handful in a bowl of sugar-free whipped cream (homemade) with Swerve and vanilla for a sweet treat. Remember to always eat protein and carbs with lots of fat so you stay a fat burner!
3. Avocados: Costco usually has bags of five or six avocados. I use these for lunch filled with shrimp salad or plain with salt and lime or on salads. We ALWAYS have guacamole in the house. We use it on eggs in the morning and meat in the evenings. You can never have too many avocados.
4. Cheese: One of the biggest differences between the Ketogenic diet and the Paleo diet is the allowance of dairy. We love cheese! I bought the blocks of cheese because many of the shredded cheeses use potato starch to keep the cheese from clumping. I use my food processor attachment to shred the cheese for large quantities. I DO cheat, and buy shredded cheese on occasion to keep in the fridge for morning eggs and a quick grab, but the blocks are better as well as cheese sticks. All are a great buy at Costco or Sam’s.
5. Organic Ground Meat: I keep these in the freezer for an easy throw together dinner. You know we prefer the Grass-fed beef, but in a pinch these are great to have stored. While not as great as Grass-fed, it is a better alternative than your antibiotic and hormone ridden meats.
6. Kerrygold Butter: Need I say more? I think you all know how we feel about Kerrygold. It is delicious Grass-fed butter from Irish cows! It comes in packs of 3 at Costco, so I always pick up a couple when I am there!
7. Sausage: My kiddos love sausage. My husband grills it, and we serve it over zucchini noodles or eat it plain. Kiolbassa is also made in San Antonio so you are supporting a local business if you live here!
8. Daisy Sour Cream: I always have sour cream and cream cheese (I buy cream cheese at Sam’s) on hand for sides to add more fat. Remember, you want full fat. The low fat and fat free versions are NOT REAL FOOD! They are filled with chemicals and additives. Stick with the good ingredients our great-grandparents used, and their ancestors before them!
9. Veggies: We LOVE veggies…We are fortunate that Costco has many organic vegetable options. Not all of them are organic, however, so please wash well! A friend was over recently, and I was washing fruit with soap and water when she questioned me about it. Water alone will not wash off the chemicals. You really need to wash in a fruit and veggie wash or use a soap. I make a bath of soapy water and soak them in the wash and then rinse in a colander with cold water. This still does not guarantee the removal of all chemicals, but it is a better bet. I love the cauliflower, spinach, and mushrooms at Costco. These are always on my list. I also stock up on limes in the summer to make infused water and iced tea. I must admit, that I also like a cocktail on the weekends made with a lot of fresh lime juice mixed with vodka and soda, or dare I say, tequila, for a homemade sugar-free margarita! One drink usually takes 4 to 5 limes (or more) so that explains the bulk on these. Broccoli and celery were also on the list this week. Please make sure you wash your celery VERY well. It can be a really dirty one!
10. BACON: Who can have too much bacon? Always on the list. Try to buy bacon as naturally as possible without a lot of curing ingredients. Each Costco carries different bacon I’ve noticed, so look at your labels.
11. Coconut Oil: It is not in the picture, but another staple that we all buy at Costco is Coconut Oil. This makes great Bulletproof Coffee for all of us each morning! A definite staple, and a much better buy at Costco or Sam’s.
Any questions or comments? Leave us feedback. We would love to hear what Low-Carb High-Fat foods you like to buy at Costco or Sam’s!