When you’re starting the Keto Diet, you don’t need much to set yourself up for success (check out our post The 5 Keto Essentials You Need to Get Started to see what we recommend). But as you’re creating a new lifestyle for yourself, you may find a few other products that really add to your day-to-day life. So we wanted to create our Keto Diet "Nice to Have" list to share our top favorite ingredients, products and gadgets!
1.) Coconut Flour (available on Amazon)
As you explore recipes that fit the Keto diet, you’ll likely come across ones that call for Coconut Flour in conjunction with or instead of Almond Flour. We listed Almond Flour in our 5 Keto Essentials posts because it is the easiest flour to replace all-purpose flour in baking recipes, but we also LOVE using Coconut Flour!
Coconut Flour bakes differently than almond or all-purpose flour. It’s very absorbent, which makes it excellent for fluffy baked goods like muffins or cakes. This also means that a little goes a LONG way. A large bag can easily last you for months.
Additionally, Coconut Flour is a great alternative for anyone with nut aversions or allergies.
2.) Xanthan Gum (available on Amazon)
While Almond Flour and Coconut Flour serve as excellent replacements for All-Purpose Flour in baking recipes, they do NOT work as a thickening agent. In case you’re wondering, yes, we learned this the hard way… but don’t worry! We found the perfect Keto alternative: Xanthan Gum.
This little powder, often found in molecular cooking, is an EXCELLENT binding agent. We use it most often when baking Keto bread or when thickening up sauces, smoothies, or puddings.
To see Xanthan Gum in action, check out our 5-Minute Chocolate Coconut Pudding recipe.
Like Coconut Flour, a little goes a long way, and one bottle will last you awhile.
3.) Extracts (available at your local grocery story in the baking aisle; each of the ones listed below are also linked)
All. The. Extracts.
Extracts are the best way to add flavors to recipes without adding carbs. Vanilla Extract is the most popular and well-known, but we’ve also added quite a few other flavors to our collection. For example, Banana Extract works WONDERS when you’re craving banana bread or banana pancakes. Seriously, you can’t even tell that you didn’t use real bananas. We also love Orange Extract (great in Margaritas), Almond Extract, Maple Extract, Peppermint Extract… truly, there is no limit to the flavors you can achieve with a few extracts in your cabinets!
1.) Collagen Peptides (available on Amazon)
You won’t be able to get very far into Keto diet research without hearing plenty of Keto-ers talking about this fantastic addition to your health arsenal. Adding Collagen Peptides to your diet comes with a crazy amount of benefits, including:
- Improving your gut health and aiding in digestion
- Strengthening your hair and nails
- Reducing wrinkles
- Clearing up your skin
- Supporting healthy joints and bones
- Retaining muscle mass
…...yeah, it’s kind of a health powerhouse. We recommend adding it to your morning coffee or smoothie, but it also bakes well! Or you can choose to just add it to a glass of water for simplicity.
2.) Prymal Coffee Creamer (available on Prymal.com)
To say that we love Prymal Coffee Creamer is an understatement -- these delicious packets of heaven absolutely changed our morning coffee game! The creamers come as a powder that you stir into your coffee, and there are a variety of flavors to choose from (or plain, if that’s your thing). They are sweetened with Erythritol, and 2 rounded tablespoons come in at only 1 net carb.
If you aren’t sure where to start, I recommend ordering the variety pack and sampling all the flavors. I’m very partial to Salted Caramel, and Jared loves the Madagascar Vanilla. However, my FAVORITE combination is my “Nutella Latte” -- 1 tbsp Hazelnut, 1 tbsp Cacao Mocha, 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, all blended together with my immersion blender for 30-45 seconds. It’s DIVINE!
As with most powdered creamers, it usually doesn’t dissolve all the way into the coffee if you just stir it in. This doesn’t bother Jared or me, but as a big fan of lattes, I choose to blend it into my coffee with my immersion blender on most mornings. It easily dissolves all of the creamer, plus it adds an AMAZING froth to the top of my coffee! It’s just such a pleasant way to start the day.
Oh, and did I mention that Prymal is a small start-up business and that the owner is incredibly sweet, helpful, and all-around wonderful? Shop Prymal, enjoy delicious coffee, and support a fantastic entrepreneur starting an awesome business!
3.) Tumaro’s Low-Carb Wraps (available on Amazon)
Sometimes, having a low-carb tortilla on hand for a simple wrap or a Taco Night is everything. One 8-inch multi-grain wrap is only 4 net carbs and 60 calories, so they’re easy to fit into your macros.
If you love Taco Night as much as we do, we recommend stocking your pantry with a pack or two!
4.) FitVine Wine (available on FitVine.com)
Before Keto, I considered myself a connoisseur of $16-and-below wines. The “wine guy” at my local grocery store knew me by name. My favorite nights were the ones where my best friend and I split a bottle and sat in my kitchen talking until we realized it was way past our bed time. And when I accomplished a big goal or got a promotion at work, I would come home to find that my amazing husband had opened a bottle of something wonderful for us to celebrate.
I don’t mean to sound like a lush, I certainly wasn’t drinking every night or anything... I just truly enjoy wine.
So when my husband and I talked about starting the Keto lifestyle, I wasn’t worried about giving up bread or pasta or anything like that… I was just sad that I might have to give up my beloved red wine.
Then I discovered FitVine Wine.
As I write this, I’m sipping on a FitVine glass of Cabernet Sauvignon that only has 3.4 grams of carbs and 0.2 grams of sugar per 5 oz serving. And it is delicious! I have tried their Cab, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, all of which have similar macros and all of which get my seal-of-approval. I am yet to try their Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Rose, but I’ve heard great things. Each bottle is $14.99 at our local Whole Foods, so it falls right in my perfect price range.
So if you’re like me -- if you love a great Cab with your steak, or a Chardonnay to sip while you dice veggies for dinner, or a Pinot Noir to compliment your shiritaki-noodle pasta -- then I highly recommend looking for a local retailer that carries FitVine wines (or ordering a case online!)
1.) Immersion Blender (available on Amazon)
I cannot tell you how much I LOVE my Immersion Blender! We bought ours when we first started the Keto diet so we could make Bulletproof Coffee (it takes some high-powered blending to get the oils to actually blend into the coffee), and the results did not disappoint.
Now, it's rare for a day to go by that I don’t use my Immersion Blender. First, I really believe that a delicious cup of something warm (coffee or tea) is the best way to start the day, and that experience is ALWAYS enhanced by froth! I mentioned above that I use my Immersion Blender to mix Prymal Coffee Creamer into my coffee most mornings, but I also love using it to froth a ½ cup or so of almond milk for a homemade Almond Milk Latte.
Want to get even fancier and add some whipped cream to your coffee? Just pour heavy whipping cream into the beaker (comes included with the blender) a jar or bowl with a little sweetener, blend for a few seconds, and you’ve got perfect whipped cream to top off your drink, your dessert, or to just eat plain!
Finally, when we aren’t drinking coffee or eating dessert, we love using the Immersion Blender for homemade salad dressings or sauces.
It is truly so versatile, I don’t remember what I did before I owned one.
2.) Instant Pot (available on Amazon)
I’m fairly confident that an Instant Pot is just a good ole-fashioned pressure cooker that was given a marketing makeover. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am head-over-heels in love with mine!
Just do a quick Pinterest search for “Keto Instant Pot Recipes” and you’ll be absolutely overwhelmed by the results. It’s becoming more and more popular because it cooks easy, DELICIOUS food! A few of our Instant Pot staples include wings (cook in the Instant Pot, broil in the oven for crispiness), chicken thighs or breasts (perfectly moist and ready-to-shred), soft- or hard-boiled eggs, and ribs.
I used to think oven-baked chicken breasts were the easiest way to make a quick dinner. Now, I’m all about my Instant Pot.
3.) Sous Vide (available on Amazon)
My husband loves to cook, and we tend to get a lot of cooking or kitchen-related items for birthdays and holidays. So for Christmas of 2017, my amazing parents gifted him (and me) a Sous Vide.
We were so intimidated by it that it sat in the corner of our dining room, still in the box, for almost three months. To be fair, we had also received the Instant Pot (see above) for that same Christmas, and one new toy seemed like enough to experiment with for awhile. But finally, one Friday, we decided to bite the bullet. We went to Whole Foods, bought some incredible New York Strip Steaks, and gave the Sous Vide a try.
It was so incredible that we ended up using it 5 out of 7 nights that week. I am not exaggerating.
If you are unfamiliar with a Sous Vide, it is cylindrical device that you clip to the side of a stock pot. You fill the stock pot with water, set a temperature on the Sous Vide, and then it heats the water to that exact temperature. And then you set the temperature of the water to the perfect interior temperature of the food that you are cooking.
So the perfect medium-rare steak should be about 128°F. We set the Sous Vide to 128°F, seal up our steaks in ziploc bags with seasoning and butter, place them in the “water bath,” and then let them sit for about 2 hours. The result? Because the water never goes above 128°F, the steak never cooks more than medium-rare, but it is cooked completely and perfectly edge-to-edge. The amount of time you leave it in the water bath just dictates the texture, and we’ve found that 2 hours is perfect to render the fat (we originally tried 1 hour, and while the steak was cooked perfectly, the fat was a little tough). After the 2 hours is up, we take the steaks out, sear them in a pan or on the grill, and then serve. And they are PERFECT every time!
Also, unlike steak cooked on a grill where the outside is warm and the inside is cool, a steak out of the Sous Vide is warm all the way through. The water bath keeps it at the perfect temperature so that it doesn’t overcook, but the entire steak is hot. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I love more than a hot, juicy steak, especially when it stays hot the very last bite.
I’m not drooling. You’re drooling.
4.) Slow Cooker (available from Amazon)
I believe the slow-cooker was the first kitchen gadget that my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I bought together. It is the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it device. It gets less use now that we have an Instant Pot, but we still like using it for chili or for cooking shredded chicken in large batches.
In my opinion, the best times to use the slow cooker are when you know that you’re going to have a long day and that you’re not going to want to put a lot of effort into dinner when you get home. In this scenario, I’d even argue that it has the slight advantage over meal-prepping for two reasons:
- It helps prevent you from impulse-buying something else for dinner (ie: deciding to just pick up Chipotle on your way home from work).
- The moment you walk in the door, it smells so good that you’re instantly excited to eat whatever you’re cooking.
So while the Instant Pot has taken the spot the Slow Cooker once held for us, the Slow Cooker still has its place in our kitchen.
Oh, and did we mention that it’s amazing for Buffalo Chicken Dip?
And that concludes our list of Nice-To-Haves for the Keto diet! I'll link everything below for easy access in case anything caught your eye. I hope I pointed you in the direction of a few products that get you excited to start living the Damn Good Keto life!
Food (Ingredients + Products):
- Coconut Flour
- Xanthan Gum
- All the extracts (we use Banana, Orange, Almond, Maple, and Peppermint)
- Collagen Peptides
- Prymal Coffee Creamer
- Tumaro’s low-carb wraps
- FitVine Wine
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