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Favorite Seasonings for the Keto Kitchen

with fresh recipes ideas

Favorite Seasonings for the Keto Kitchen

Going keto means becoming a very good label reader. No more mindless grabbing of packets and jars of seasonings off of store shelves. Once you start reading labels, you will be shocked at how many sauces, spice mixes, and other types of seasonings are loaded with added carbs in the form of sugars, starchy fillers, anti-caking agents, and god only knows what else. But this doesn’t mean you now have to eat bland and boring foods—quite the opposite actually! Read on to learn about all the tasty seasonings for the keto kitchen.

So let’s take a look at some of our favorite ways to flavor our food while sticking to a ketogenic diet.

SPICES & DRIED HERBS

There’s no shortage of tasty spices that are great to have on hand for the ketogenic diet. Here are just some of our favorites:

Under 1 gram carbs per tablespoon:

  • Tarragon
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Cloves
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander
  • Chinese 5-spice
  • Garam masala

Under 6 grams carbs per tablespoon:

  • Ground cumin (2.75 grams)
  • Cayenne (3 grams)
  • Oregano (3.3 grams)
  • Curry powder (3.7 grams)
  • Paprika (3.8 grams)
  • Pumpkin pie spice (3.9 grams)
  • Chili powder (4.1 grams)
  • Turmeric powder (4.4 grams)
  • Onion powder (5.4 grams)
  • Garlic powder (6 grams)

VINEGARS, SOY SAUCE & TAMARI

Vinegars are amazing for adding flavor to foods and drinks. Most vinegars have zero carbs, but be careful with balsamic, which sometimes has a lot of added sugars. Here are just some of our favorite vinegars and soy sauces that can be used to make seasonings for the keto kitchen:

Under 1 gram carbs per tablespoon:

  • Distilled vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Ume plum vinegar

Under 3 grams carbs per tablespoon:

  • Tamari soy sauce (1 gram)
  • Shoyu soy sauce (1.2 grams)
  • Balsamic vinegar (2.7 grams)

Homemade Keto Mustard

This is a wonderful and super easy seasoning for the keto kitchen that you can make yourself at home. Make it as spicy or mild as you like by adding cold water and letting it sit for 2-10 minutes.

Mustard seed is one of the world’s oldest spices and has been prized for its medicinal properties since ancient times. But store bought mustards are frequently sweetened with sugar or honey. Try making your own keto mustard with whole mustard seeds and mustard powder instead!

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keto mustard
Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time12 hrsTotal Time12 hrs 5 mins
 4 oz whole mustard seeds
 4 oz ground mustard seed powder
 1 cup cold water
 5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
 2 tsp Himalayan salt
 2 tsp turmeric
1

In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the whole mustard seeds.

keto mustard ingredients

2

In a small mixing bowl, combine the coarsely ground mustard seeds with the salt, mustard powder, and turmeric powder.

3

Pour the cold water on the spice mix and stir well until smooth. Let the mustard paste sit for up to 10 minutes. For a spicy hot mustard, let it sit only a couple of minutes. For a mellower mustard, let it sit the whole 10 minutes. When your desired time has elapsed, add the apple cider vinegar, which will keep the mustard from mellowing out more than desired.

4

Pour the mustard into a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours so it can thicken up and some of the bitterness can dissipate. Store your mustard for up to a year in the fridge.

Ingredients

 4 oz whole mustard seeds
 4 oz ground mustard seed powder
 1 cup cold water
 5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
 2 tsp Himalayan salt
 2 tsp turmeric

Directions

1

In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the whole mustard seeds.

keto mustard ingredients

2

In a small mixing bowl, combine the coarsely ground mustard seeds with the salt, mustard powder, and turmeric powder.

3

Pour the cold water on the spice mix and stir well until smooth. Let the mustard paste sit for up to 10 minutes. For a spicy hot mustard, let it sit only a couple of minutes. For a mellower mustard, let it sit the whole 10 minutes. When your desired time has elapsed, add the apple cider vinegar, which will keep the mustard from mellowing out more than desired.

4

Pour the mustard into a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours so it can thicken up and some of the bitterness can dissipate. Store your mustard for up to a year in the fridge.

Homemade Keto Mustard

If it grows above ground…

On the keto diet, you can eat just about as many above ground leaves as you want, which means pretty much all herbs and spices are keto-legal. We love buying fresh herbs when available, but dried herbs are fine, too. Just make sure you are buying 100% pure herbs and spices, without any added sugars or things like MSG. Spice mixes are particularly notorious for containing added sugars, but single herbs or spices will almost always be safe. And fresh herbs are always a safe, nutritious and delicious bet! You can use basil to make pesto with walnuts and olive or avocado oil. Use other herbs to make lots of different herbed butters. Or make chimichurri to go with your steak dinner!

Chimichurri steak sauce is a South American herb sauce that is usually served with beef steak. It’s quick and easy to put together in the food processor, and adds fresh green flavor to any ketogenic dish.

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Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time5 minsTotal Time10 mins
 1 cup fresh cilantro
 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
 2 sprigs fresh oregano
 2 garlic cloves
 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
 0.50 tsp chili pepper flakes
 salt & pepper, to taste
1

Place cilantro, parsley, garlic, vinegar, oregano and chili pepper flakes in food processor; pulse until finely chopped.

chimichurri steak sauce ingredients

2

Add MCT oil in a thin stream and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

3

Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld.

4

Serve with your favorite steak. Store leftover chimichurri steak sauce in refrigerator covered, up to 1 week.

chimichurri steak sauce

Ingredients

 1 cup fresh cilantro
 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
 2 sprigs fresh oregano
 2 garlic cloves
 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
 0.50 tsp chili pepper flakes
 salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

1

Place cilantro, parsley, garlic, vinegar, oregano and chili pepper flakes in food processor; pulse until finely chopped.

chimichurri steak sauce ingredients

2

Add MCT oil in a thin stream and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

3

Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld.

4

Serve with your favorite steak. Store leftover chimichurri steak sauce in refrigerator covered, up to 1 week.

chimichurri steak sauce

Chimichurri Steak Sauce

…or in the ocean

The “leaf rule” also applies to “leaves” from the ocean. Not only do they add interesting flavors and textures, but they are some of the most mineral-rich, nutrient dense vegetables out there. Researchers in Japan have suggested sea vegetables can help fight against obesity. And they even have anti-aging properties! What’s not to like?!?

FRESH HERBS

Under 1 gram per tablespoon:

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Spearmint
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Dill
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Bay leaf
  • Jalapeño

SEA VEGETABLES

  • Nori
  • Kombu
  • Arame
  • Wakame
  • Dulse
  • Agar
  • Kelp

The following seasoning mixes contain sea vegetables, sesame seeds, and other spices and flavorings. Make sure to read the labels, or mix them yourself at home.

  • Furikake
  • Gomashio
  • Shichimi togarashi

Easy Peasy Keto Pesto Sauce with MCT Oil

This keto pesto with MCT oil is as delicious as it is easy to make! If your garden is overflowing with basil this summer, now you know what to make!

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keto chicken with pesto
Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time5 minsTotal Time10 mins
 2 cups fresh basil leaves
 1 cup walnuts
 0.50 cup MCT oil
 2 garlic cloves
 0.50 cup grated parmesan cheese
 2 tbsp unsalted butter
 salt & pepper, to taste
1

In a food processor, process the walnuts until finely chopped.

keto walnuts

2

Add basil, MCT oil, garlic and blend until thoroughly combined.

keto pesto ingredients

3

Add Parmesan and butter, and blend a few seconds more. (Note: If you’re planning on freezing the pesto, leave out the cheese and butter and stir in once you have defrosted the pesto base.) Taste and add salt if desired.

keto pesto

4

Use pesto immediately or store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container covered with a thin layer of olive oil (to further seal out air and prevent it from oxidizing) for about a week.

homemade keto pesto

Ingredients

 2 cups fresh basil leaves
 1 cup walnuts
 0.50 cup MCT oil
 2 garlic cloves
 0.50 cup grated parmesan cheese
 2 tbsp unsalted butter
 salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

1

In a food processor, process the walnuts until finely chopped.

keto walnuts

2

Add basil, MCT oil, garlic and blend until thoroughly combined.

keto pesto ingredients

3

Add Parmesan and butter, and blend a few seconds more. (Note: If you’re planning on freezing the pesto, leave out the cheese and butter and stir in once you have defrosted the pesto base.) Taste and add salt if desired.

keto pesto

4

Use pesto immediately or store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container covered with a thin layer of olive oil (to further seal out air and prevent it from oxidizing) for about a week.

homemade keto pesto

Easy Peasy Keto Pesto Sauce with MCT Oil

CITRUS & ALLIUMS

Although most vegetables that grown under ground as well as most fruits are very limited on the keto diet, you can use the following in small amounts to flavor your food:

  • Lemon (1g/TBS zest, 1g/tsp juice)
  • Lime (1g/TBS zest, 1g/tsp juice)
  • Onion (1g/TBS)
  • Garlic (1g/large clove)
  • Shallots (1.7g/TBS)

RHIZOMES

Root vegetables are typically not allowed on the Keto Diet, but there are always exceptions. The following plants grow underground, but are not exactly root veggies. Instead, they are considered rhizomes. They are well-worth adding to your diet for their many health benefits and delicious flavor:

  • Ginger root (1g/TBS)
  • Turmeric root (under 1g/TBS)
  • Burdock root (under 1g/TBS)

AVOCADO

And finally, don’t underestimate the power of avocado! You can use it to make lots of different sauces and seasonings for the keto kitchen because they are so mild and can take on lots of other flavors. Here is a quick and easy 5-minute avocado sauce that goes well with just about everything!

5-Minute Superfood Avocado Cilantro Sauce

This is another must-have condiment for the keto pantry. Avocados are rich in healthy fats, and just about the perfect ketogenic food!

Homemade sauces are a wonderful way to add lots of flavor and nutrition to any meal and to really control what goes into your body. A quick and easy way to make delicious homemade sauces is to use perfectly ripe avocados as a base and blend in other ingredients and seasonings for a tasty avocado sauce. Avocados are naturally creamy and rich in healthy fats, yet mild flavored, so they work perfectly for this purpose.

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keto avocado cilantro sauce jarred
Yields1 Serving
Prep Time4 minsCook Time1 minTotal Time5 mins
 5 avocados
 3 bunches fresh cilantro
 1 lemon, juiced
 1 lime, juiced
 2 garlic cloves
 0.50 tsp Himalayan salt
 0.50 cup water (more or less, as needed)
1

Place all the ingredients, except water, in a food processor or blender. Pulse while adding the water until smooth and creamy and the desired consistency is achieved.

keto avocado cilantro sauce

2

Serve immediately by drizzling over salads, grain bowls, roasted veggies or whatever your heart desires! Store leftovers in jar or bottle with tight-fitting lid in the fridge for 2-3 days.

keto avocado cilantro sauce blended

Ingredients

 5 avocados
 3 bunches fresh cilantro
 1 lemon, juiced
 1 lime, juiced
 2 garlic cloves
 0.50 tsp Himalayan salt
 0.50 cup water (more or less, as needed)

Directions

1

Place all the ingredients, except water, in a food processor or blender. Pulse while adding the water until smooth and creamy and the desired consistency is achieved.

keto avocado cilantro sauce

2

Serve immediately by drizzling over salads, grain bowls, roasted veggies or whatever your heart desires! Store leftovers in jar or bottle with tight-fitting lid in the fridge for 2-3 days.

keto avocado cilantro sauce blended

5-Minute Superfood Avocado Cilantro Sauce

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