You’ve done the research and now you want to start practicing a ketogenic diet. For plant-based eaters, this is simpler said than done. A standard ketogenic diet relies on high fat and low carbohydrates, many of these necessary calories coming from animal-based products. Yet, don’t fear! There are still plenty of plant-based ketogenic-friendly resources to pull from.
Breaking your nighttime fast is by far one the favorite times of the day. Yet, the basis of this craving is due to the fact that most traditional breakfast meals are based around sugar-heavy cereals and sweet bread. The ketogenic diet strives to change this perception of breakfast. Glucose, which is basically sugar, is a big no-no on the ketogenic diet. Instead of grabbing for that toasted piece of wheat bread with jelly on top, keto will have you gobbling down some high-fat and incredibly filling alternative options.
Coffee the Keto Way
For most of us, coffee is a must have in the morning! Why not make it worth your while? A popular, easy, and quick breakfast remedy that is also keto-friendly is high-fat coffee. Simply add a dollop (or more) of coconut oil and/or a dollop of your favorite plant-based butter to that morning brew. Not only will you infuse delightful coconut flavors and creamy textures, but you’ll also be imbibing a concentrated source of plant-based fat to keep you full longer and kick you’re fasting body into ketosis bright and early! Here are two high-fat coffee-based recipes to try: Amaretto Coffee Creamer —to make this plant-based creamer recipe fully keto, avoid the sweetener and instead use coconut oil —or Christine DesRoches‘s Maple Cinnamon Late — exclude the syrup altogether or follow suit with the amaretto coffee creamer and add coconut oil instead.
Cacao the Keto Way
This by Katja Meier is a great foundational plant-based recipe that will require a few tweaks to make it ketogenic-friendly. The keto-friendly ingredients are cacao (85 percent cacao and higher only!), instant coffee (without sweeteners), flax seeds, vegan yogurt (nut-based, unsweetened), and ground sunflower petals and edible flowers. You’ll need to substitute keto-friendly berries for the banana and blood orange, as well as seeds (chia, flaxseed, hemp) or shredded coconut for the oats.
Porridge the Keto Way
/One Green Planet
Besides our caffeine addictions, one of the hardest things to give up in the morning is a steaming bowl of oatmeal, hot cereal, or porridge. While you’ll have to give up the actual oats, there are substitutes that are keto-friendly and can simulate that old-fashioned breakfast that warms your tummy! Taryn Fitz-Gerald‘s Antioxidant Green Tea Porridge is a perfect recipe to turn keto! It relies on friendly healthy fat nuts as a base — almond milk, brazil nuts, and pecans — and for the porridge simply substitute cauliflower rice. Also, make sure to the berries, choose only keto-friendly varieties, and completely exclude that date syrup to avoid unwanted sugar consumption.
It may not become clear until you begin the ketogenic diet, but lunch is oftentimes the most carb-heavy meal. This is where prepping at home and bringing a sack lunch will come in handy. It’s best to use lunch recipes that are fewer ingredients and therefore are easier to prep and pack, less detrimental to your wallet, and are simpler to substitute in order to make keto diet friendly.
Healthy Chili/One Green Planet
Chili is easy to make and does great when frozen and reheated, landing it as the top lunch choice for the keto-friendly diet. I like Wendy Irene‘s Healthy Chili recipe due to its minimal ingredient list, the fact that there are only three required substitutes (butternut squash, kidney beans, and black beans), its high content of low-carb vegetables such as zucchini, tomato, peppers, onion, and the inclusion of high fat extra-virgin olive oil. For the three substitute items, consider switching them out for meaty textured, low-carb veggies such as cauliflower, snow peas, or mushrooms.
Raw Zucchini Wraps/One Green Planet
Next up on the easy lunch list are wraps. The most important aspect of the wrap is the wrapping material and making sure to choose a keto-friendly exterior. With that said, once you’ve got your exterior picked out, wraps are one of the easiest foods to make fully raw. Eating raw is a great way to ingest all the nutrition possible from your food, while also avoiding extra calories from cooking oils. Julie West‘s recipe for Raw Zucchini Wraps is a must in the keto kitchen and only has one substitute to make it keto-friendly! While carrots can be ingested on the keto diet, they do fall on the root vegetable list, therefore have a higher calorie count, and should be ingested with care. Therefore, if you fall in love with this recipe, look to substitute the carrots with another low-carb veggie of your choice. Also, make sure that your tahini is whole sesame tahini (also referred to as sesame butter) for the most bang for your buck when it comes to protein and fat.
If neither of the above seems appetizing, let’s turn to the most traditional lunch recipe. Salads are quick to make, easy to diversify, and they happen to be one of the easiest types of meals to make keto. Almost any salad recipe can be tweaked into a keto-friendly meal. Taylor Kise‘s Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Salad is a great example of the salad’s amazing simplicity. It packs a punch of great keto-friendly veggies including green beans, zucchini, tomato, fresh herbs, and healthy fat filled olive oil. Instead of using all those dates, maybe use one or two and mix with raw cashew and coconut oil for that same creamy texture with more fat than sugar!
The final meal of the day can be the most challenging. This is generally the most meat-heavy meal, which means, for plant-based dieters, there will be a necessity of very specific nutrient-based substituting. Since grains are not a part of the ketogenic diet, finding vegetables that can simulate grains (such as cauliflower or broccoli rice), as well as simulate meat (such as eggplant and squash) will be the key to success. Here are three simple, plant-based ingredients that can play the central role on your dinner plate!
If you’re a plant-based dieter, eggplant is most likely already part of your regular shopping list. For the keto diet, eggplant is an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, minerals (especially magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium), as well as vitamins (including A, C, K, folate, and choline). Ingredient simplicity is still a ketogenic diet key, which is why Taryn Fitz-Gerald‘s Grilled Eggplant Stack With Roasted Red Peppers Sauce recipe is a great option. If this becomes a favorite of yours, try reducing the amount of or substituting altogether the corn and onion.
There are many wonderful things about mushrooms, but one of the best is the variety. Each has a distinct flavor and texture, some offer more nutrients than others, yet all mushrooms are an excellent meat substitute due to their dense design. Many people shy away from different varieties of mushrooms due to their exotic look. Yet, anyone can cook a mushroom to perfection! For a filling, keto-friendly mushroom dinner recipe try Raymund Macaalay‘s simple Broccolini Mushroom Stir Fry. While the ingredient list is a bit longer than others, almost everything is keto-friendly. Simply substitute onion and, if you tend to use a lot of soy sauce, either substitute or downgrade the amount you use.
I have to include avocado, not only because it’s an incredibly delicious, fatty, and nutritious treat, but it plays well in any of these meal categories including breakfast, lunch, snacks, and desserts. Yet, avocado landed in the dinner section due to the fact that it’s an incredibly filling ingredient for the stomach and the mouth, meaning plant-based eaters who are excluding grains, will still feel that they are ingesting a large number of foods. For dinner, try out Liz Martone‘s Green Chili Cauliflower Summer Tacos With Avocado Slaw. With wonderful avocado as a base, it also utilizes low-carb veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage, cilantro, and healthy fat olive oil. Instead of a corn tortilla, try a hearty cabbage leaf!
Hopefully, the above recommendations will get you started off right with your ketogenic diet, yet once you get going we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook, for thousands of more plant-based recipes that are easily made keto-friendly! The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!