Low Carb Cooking (Mostly Baking) 101

Hello all, and Happy New Year! I haven’t posted in forever, and I’m super sorry about that. Maybe I should have made one of my New Year’s Resolutions “blog more often,” haha. Anyway, I started off the year with a lovely case of the flu, but thankfully I feel much better! And now that I feel better, I can get back to eating low carb again since I’ve been doing the horrible “holiday slack.” I’ve had a few friends and family members ask me about eating low carb since A) I’ve essentially been on and off it for over a decade and B) I’m technically in a “program” through a doctor’s office and have the medical suggestions, and they have made the decision to try it themselves… So, I wanted to write a little post about some of the baking and other cooking staples that are helpful to have around for some good healthy cooking!

Baking

I’ve made sure to link each of these items to Amazon – they can get pretty pricey if you buy them from the grocery store, and Amazon has them at much better prices. If you have a bulk foods store like Winco, you also can sometimes find a lot of the ingredients for super cheap!

  • Almond Flour – this is key for baking in replacing flour. You’ll notice that most recipes require it. I like Blue Diamond a lot – the link is for a 3lb bag which can still go pretty fast.
  • Coconut Flour – sometimes paired with almond flour for textural reasons, but can also be used by itself in some recipes (like Zucchini Bread!)
  • Xanthan Gum – key for texture issues (thickening, stabilizing). The link is for a smaller bag, because you won’t use much of it in most recipes.
  • Erythritol – a sugar alcohol to be used in place of sugar! Your body doesn’t recognize sugar alcohols, so they are able to pass through your bloodstream without problems. Fewer GI problems than some other sugar substitutes.
  • Swerve Sweetener, Confectioners – Swerve is one of the best sugar substitutes, though slightly pricier than some. I recommend at least having the powdered version on hand.
  • Swerve Granular Sweetener – just in case you don’t mind spending a little more for a GREAT sugar substitute. (It also can be easier because it uses the same measurements as regular sugar).
  • Pyure All-Purpose Blend Stevia – there are many different options for Stevia sweeteners, but I have been particularly fond of Pyure, but there are many other options for this (Natural Mate Stevia All Purpose Natural Sweetener, 1 Pound). This is also a sugar substitute.
  • Truvia Brown Sugar Blend – A lot of recipes have a brown sugar ingredient involved, so this is a good option.
  • Premium Dark Chocolate, Sugar Free, Low Carb – I’ve become a huge fan of ChocZero – they’re less expensive than some other forms and they taste great! You can’t really use milk chocolate for anything, so having Dark Chocolate (it’s got to have a high percentage) in the pantry can be a big help.

Having given you a bunch of sweetener options, here is a link to the best sugar conversion chart that I’ve found: Sugar Conversion Chart (Wholesum Yum). You can mix and match which sugar option you want to use per recipe, so it is 100% necessary to use a conversion chart.

Other Handy Pantry Items

  • Psyllium Husk – This is a super handy/easy way to add a little extra fiber to your diet! Any time you’re cooking, just pop a little of this in. Having extra fiber in your diet can help to negate carbs and is just overall good for you.
  • Liquid Stevia Drops – This is a combo pack for liquid Stevia drops — I use them in my coffee on the reg!
  • Al Dente Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine – Carba Nada is a great pasta option! It’s definitely not for the super low carb/keto people, but for an occasional use, it really isn’t bad. This is a 6 pack.
  • Steaz Half and Half, Green Tea with Lemonade – These have become my new favorite beverage option – with NO carbs. They’re a little pricey, but if you’re lucky, you can find them super cheap somewhere. They’re also 16oz. cans so that’s not horrible.
  • Zevia – These can be a life saver for some soda-drinkers. It’s soda for sure – carbonated and flavored. It couldn’t replace soda for me, but I know a bunch of people who love it. It’s also regularly entering grocery stores.