If you missed part 1 of How Do I Organize My Kitchen?, check it out here!
Stocking Your Kitchen for a Ketogenic Diet – How Do I Organize My Kitchen? Part 2
So now you’ve gotten rid off all the junk that doesn’t belong in your kitchen and your shelves might seem kind of bare. No worries! I’m going to get you started stocking your kitchen for a healthy, Ketogenic diet. Don’t run out and buy everything at once, focus on the essentials (oils, butter, a few spices) and purchase other things as they are needed to avoid unnecessary spending. So let’s get right to it 🙂
Olive oil should only be used for salad dressings, mayo, etc. because when heated it breaks down MUFA’s (monounsaturated fatty acids), raising the free fatty acid level and turns rancid. Avocado oil is also great for salad dressings and mayo!
Vinegar – Vinegar is great for livening up dishes! There are many different kinds/flavors. Balsamic, red wine, apple cider (loads of benefits besides flavor for cooking!), white wine, distilled. I suggest purchasing one or two then adding to your list as you need for recipes. If I had to choose two I would purchase apple cider vinegar (get one with the “mother” for all the benefits) because it’s so versatile and red wine, because I love a good red wine vinaigrette on my salads.
Nut Butters – make sure you choose varieties with nothing added except maybe salt. Almond Butter is my personal favorite! These are great with celery, jicama or when you just want a quick snack.
Sweeteners – My go to zero-calorie sweetener is Stevia. It’s all natural, tastes great and doesn’t cause your blood glucose levels to rise like many other zero-calorie sweeteners do. Erythritol is a close second for me behind Stevia! I love this blend of both of them for baking.
Flours – Almond and coconut flours are the essentials. You could also play around with hazelenut, tapioca and arrowroot flours. Trader Joe’s just started selling coffee flour, but I haven’t tested it out yet!
Thickening Agents – Arrowroot powder and xantham gum are great keto alternatives to flour to thicken sauces and gravy. You’ll want to mix these in a bit of liquid prior to adding to your sauce/gravy, and please not that these are not interchangeable with flour on a 1:1 ratio. You’ll need to research this a bit and figure out how much to use. I recommend purchasing these in small quantities as they last a long time.
Spices – Sea salt and pepper are staples. I have grinders for both and use them to add to my plate if I need extra salt and pepper. I also always have on hand Himalayan salt. The rest may depend on your tastes and what you typically cook. My pantry typically has cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, thyme, oregano and paprika, chili powder and my homemade taco seasoning. I purchase other spices as I need them.
Butter – Raw, grass-fed is best. Raw can usually be found at local health food stores and farmer’s markets. If you can’t find raw, be sure to get grass-fed. Brands like Kerrygold and Challenge are carried mostly everywhere. I keep unsalted only, that way I can control how much salt is going in my food but salted is delicious as well.
Ghee – Ghee is a great alternative to butter if you are dairy free! It’s made from butter, but with the dairy solids removed.
Eggs – Farm fresh, free roaming are best! I can’t go into much detail on this post, but organic or cage-free labels at the grocery store can be deceiving and confusing. Pasture-raised is best. Do the best you can!
Fruit & Veggies – Fruits on a keto diet aren’t usually recommended, but occasionally berries are ok. Leafy greens are great to have on hand for salads in a pinch or to throw in smoothies. Avocados, once ripe, store really well in the refrigerator and are an amazing source of healthy fats and potassium (which is essential on keto!). Tomatoes and cucumbers are two of my favorites that I enjoy on salad or on their own with apple cider vinegar. Lemons and limes are great to add flavor to foods and sparkling water.
Bone Broth – Expensive to purchase, cheap to make. I always have this on hand. It’s great to drink on it’s own, but you can use in any recipe that calls for stock including soups, stews, gravy, casseroles, etc. I use my pressure cooker to make this super quick! (90 minutes). My favorite is using chicken bones after I roast whole chickens, add in some carrots and onion then fill to full line and that’s it! I let it naturally release pressure and cool down a bit before pouring in mason jars. If you don’t think you’ll use it in 3-4 days, you can freeze it as well.
Milk – Dairy milk has too many carbs for a ketogenic diet, but almond and coconut milk are great alternatives. Look for unsweetened almond, such as this Califia Farms (buy it at the grocery store, too expensive at Amazon!) and coconut milk that doesn’t contain carrageenan.
Mayo – I swear, this is possibly the HARDEST thing to find at your local market with good quality ingredients that you want to eat! Most mayo is made out of soybean oil and/or canola oil, even the ones that are labeled “Olive Oil”. I’ve purchased a few avocado mayo’s and my favorite is this one. Rosemary isn’t my most favorite, so I make my own. Super easy – grab a glass jar, an egg (yes, including whites!), sea salt and 1 cup of oil (I prefer avocado). You can add ground mustard, 1-2 tsp vinegar or lemon or any other flavor here you desire. Use your immersion blender, press it down all the way to the bottom of the jar, power it on and hold there for 25-30 seconds. Once you see the mayo coming towards the top, slowly start raising the blender to the very top. You can blend it a bit more here, slowly moving the blender up and down to get it all mixed up. Make sure you shut it off before taking it out of the jar completely!
Meat – grass-fed ground beef, organic chicken and turkey. Grass-fed is best, but can be expensive. Call a local farmer and meat processor. If you can go in with a few people, you can get an amazing deal on some beef! We pay around $2.29/lb for every cut buying it direct!
Fish & Seafood – shrimp, cod and salmon are great to have on hand for versatile meals. I’m not a huge seafood eater, so I’m sure any wild-caught fish will do.
Fruit – Berries are pretty much my go to frozen fruit
Veggies – I prefer most of my vegetables fresh, but that’s not always possible. I stock up on broccoli, diced onions, diced green peppers and minced garlic (buy a bunch and mince it yourself, then freeze in tiny ice cube tray molds, each cube is approximately 1 clove of garlic. It’s perfect!)
What staples do you keep in your kitchen? Comment below!