8 Low-Carb Foods You Haven’t Tried YetArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Sometimes following a low-carb lifestyle can feel repetitive, as with anything you stick to in your daily life. Even our everyday activities can feel like an endless loop. While we like to think of low-carb eating as a lifestyle change rather than a diet, it can still sometimes feel monotonous. To help you keep things interesting, we’ve come up with a list of low-carb foods you may not have tried or even discovered yet! Check them out below for some nutrition and health benefits.
Here are eight must-try low-carb foods to pick up on your next shopping trip:
Ghee is clarified butter that contains fewer dairy proteins. According to Healthline, it’s made by “heating butter and allowing the liquid and milk portion to separate from the fat. The milk caramelizes and becomes a solid, and the remaining oil is ghee.”
Why might someone use ghee instead of regular butter? Typical butter and ghee have very similar nutritional profiles, says Medical News Today. They explain that ghee might be a better alternative for people who do not tolerate dairy very well, as it has less dairy protein than regular butter.
Ghee also has a higher smoke point than butter, making it a better option for high-heat cooking like frying, says Healthline. “Butter can smoke and burn at 350°F (177°C), but ghee can withstand heat up to 485°F (252°C),” says Healthline.
Use a tablespoon of ghee in our Creamy Low-Carb Coffee recipe! >
A starchy root vegetable similar to a potato, jicama is slightly sweet but low in sugar! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by its sweet, mild taste that’s reminiscent of a pear, apple and potato. According to Medical News Today, jicama is an excellent source of fiber, boasting over six grams in just a one-cup serving. In that single cup serving, you will also find 26.3 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about a third of the daily recommended intake. This root veggie is also high in antioxidants and prebiotics that support healthy gut bacteria, says Medical News Today.
This nutrient-dense, low-calorie food makes a great substitute for potatoes. Chop up fresh jicama into sticks to use as dippers for hummus, pesto and salsa. Dust raw slices or sticks in chili powder with a sprinkle of lime juice for a refreshing summertime snack. You could even bake them for a low-carb diet take on French fries! We’ve also included jicama on our list of low-carb pasta swaps for your meal plan. Just put it through a spiralizer for a crunchy, sweet noodle that’s perfect in salads and stir fry.
Try out jicama in our Tropical Shrimp and Black Bean Salad! >
3. Dandelion Greens
Yes, you read that correctly, dandelion greens! Yep, those green weeds that sprout yellow flowers and pop up all over your lawn have a lot of nutritional value. According to Smithsonian Magazine, dandelion greens are high in calcium, iron and several different vitamins. They even contain higher amounts of protein and iron than spinach!
Although it’s possible to simple pick these from your yard and use them, it isn’t completely recommended due to lawn sprays, pests and pets, says Smithsonian Magazine. Better quality and organic greens can typically be found at supermarkets and health food stores.
Throw dandelion greens in your salad or sauté them with some ghee, garlic and other low- foods. Feel free to throw some into our Grilled Chicken Salad recipe! Even the root of this green is delicious and you can find tasty tea made from roasted dandelion root.
According to BBC Good Food, miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans that’s popular in Asian cuisine. They explain that it has millions of beneficial bacteria in it, making it a great option that promotes a healthy gut. Miso is also a great source of minerals, such as copper, manganese and zinc, as well as vitamins B, E and K. The other great thing about miso is that there are hundreds of variations of it, making it the perfect pairing for a plethora of dishes.
Miso can add a deep, savory, umami flavor to soup, stew, stir fry and otherfoods. Add a spoonful while cooking up our Thai Vegetable Stir-Fry! >
5. Coconut Aminos
Keeping up with the Asian cuisine, coconut aminos is thought to be an excellent substitute for soy sauce. “It’s not as rich as traditional soy sauce and has a milder, sweeter flavor,” says Healthline. And don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like coconut!
Although it’s not significantly rich in any vitamins or minerals, it can be a great alternative to soy sauce for those with dietary restrictions. According to Healthline, this savory sauce is soy-, wheat- and gluten-free. It’s also lower in sodium!
Coconut aminos is perfect for marinating meat and adding low-calorie flavor to your rice, stir fry and other hot dishes. We use it as the main ingredient in the marinade for our Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry! >
6. Algae Oil
Algae in your food may sound strange. However, certain types of this “marine organism” are prized for their oil that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, says Healthline. They explain that omega-3’s play an important role with heart health and brain function.
This high-heat cooking oil is flavorless, making it great addition to any low-carb foods you plan on making. Use it when grilling up meat, sautéing veggies or drizzle it over your dandelion green’s salad. It’s a unique and versatile ingredient that everyone should have in their low-carb kitchen!
7. Ceylon Cinnamon
You probably think that you already have this one sitting on your spice shelf. However, Ceylon cinnamon is very different than the average Cassia cinnamon you can find at your grocery store. Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon,” is lighter in color and has a more delicate taste. According to Medical News Today, Ceylon cinnamon has been shown to stimulate an insulin-like activity in the body and contains cancer-fighting enzymes. This secret weapon also has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Healthline explains that Cassia cinnamon also contains higher amounts of the compound coumarin, which can be harmful in large doses. “Cassia contains approximately 1% coumarin, while Ceylon contains only 0.004%, or 250 times less.” If you love to add a lot of cinnamon to your meals, snacks and desserts, Ceylon cinnamon is definitely the worth the investment!
Spice up your life with our Cinnamon Roll Muffins! >
8. Bone Broth
Upgrade your soups and stews with nutrient-rich bone broth! According to Medical News Today, bone broth is made from brewed bones and connective tissue of animals—it can be made from beef, chicken and fish. Depending on the type, bone broth can contain valuable nutrients derived from these tissues, such as calcium, iron and collagen. When it is cooked, the collagen turns into a gelatin that’s rich in amino acids, says Medical News Today. They explain that bone broth is thought to also help joints and fight inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
Regular broth is derived from the meat of animals. While it’s still a diet-friendly Free Food on the South Beach Diet, it contains little value in terms of nutrients. Bone broth is a nutrient-rich alternative that can easily substituted.
Use up your bone broth in a hearty yet healthy soup! Try our recipe for Simple Chicken Soup or swap bone broth into your family favorites.