by: Carina Wolff
Sometimes people associate the word “diet” with bad-tasting food, but just because you’re following a specific meal plan doesn’t mean your food shouldn’t taste good! If you’re used to adding sauces and seasonings into all your food, it’s easy to find keto-friendly versions of these flavorings to complete your dishes. As many common seasonings contain added sugar or carbs that are no-no’s on the keto diet, you’ll have to read the nutrition labels before you buy anything!. But fear not — there are plenty of keto-friendly seasonings you can keep at home to spice up your meals.
When shopping for seasonings, it’s also important to check your ingredient labels. You’ll want to buy ingredients that are minimally processed and that use whole foods. Another option is to make your own seasonings at home. Blending herbs and spices on your own can yield flavorful, keto-safe seasonings, and you won’t have to worry about added sugars or other sweeteners.
Whether you’re a fan of taco seasoning or prefer an herby blend, there’s a keto-friendly seasoning for you. Here are six you should always keep in your pantry:
1. DRIED HERBS & SPICES
Dried herbs can add flavor to your food, and you can mix and match depending on the dish you’re making. Some herbs do contain slightly more carbs than others, but it’s typically only a concern if you like to add a large amount to your dish. The lowest-carb options include thyme, basil, coriander, tarragon, mint, cinnamon, and ginger. Oregano, paprika, cumin, and cayenne have slightly more carbs, but are also keto-safe options when used in smaller amounts.
2. GARAM MASALA
A traditional blend of savory Indian spices, garam masala is a good way to add an aromatic flavor to your meals. It comes in both powder and paste form, and depending on where in India the recipe originated, it can be more mild or spicy. Typically, garam masala is made with coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but some versions contain different additions. This earthy spice blend can be added to foods like chicken, meat, and fish, or you can mix it into soups or sprinkle it on top of your meals for extra flavor.
3. TACO SEASONING
If you like to add a kick to your meals, taco seasoning is a good option for keto, particularly if you make your own. Many store-bought options are higher in carbs, since they add sugar and starch to the blend. Skip the pre-made packets and come up with your own low-carb version by sticking to the basics and using just a combination of simple spices. A typical homemade taco seasoning usually includes chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.
4. CHINESE 5 SPICE
Like garam masala, this sweet and spicy seasoning is a traditional blend of various spices used in Chinese cuisine. This flavorful blend generally contains cinnamon, cloves, fennel, anise, and Szechuan peppercorns, and it is often used as a dry rub for meats. Chinese 5 Spice pairs well with Asian dishes, but it can also be a great substitute for a dry barbecue rub, as it provides hints of both savory and sweet without using sugar.
5. ADOBO SEASONING
This all-purpose, Latin American spice blend typically consists of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper, although different spices can be added for heat or variety. You can buy Adobo seasoning in stores or you can easily make your own at home. Use it to season or marinate foods like chicken, pork, and fish to give your dishes some flair.
6. EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING
If you’ve ever browsed for recipes on Instagram, you’ve likely stumbled upon a meal topped with Everything Bagel Seasoning. Trader Joes made the spice ubiquitous with their own version they sell, but the seasoning has become so popular that many other stores carry their own. There are also plenty of recipes online to make the blend at home. This seasoning, reminiscent of the flavors atop an everything bagel, contains a combination of white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt flakes, dried garlic, and dried onions.
These six seasonings are a great place to start when you begin making keto-friendly meals. You can also experiment with making different blends of your own using ground spices and herbs. If you choose to buy seasonings at a store, just lookout for any added starches or sugar.