Spices and herbs play a unique role in the culinary world. No meal is complete without the use of certain spices: just a dash or a sprinkle can do wonders to enhance the taste and look of the dish. As one of the easiest ways to flavor foods without adding too many calories or carbohydrates, spices are a fundamental part of a tasty keto diet.
Condiments and sauces are another way to add different flavors, and it’s generally quicker since they don’t need to be cooked into the dish. Just make sure to check the carb count first. This is easy enough to do with online resources like the PlanKetogenic guide to keto-friendly foods.
There are dozens of seasonings out there in the grocery stores, but not all of them are right for a ketogenic lifestyle. Thus, if you or your family members are cutting carbs, it is vital for you to know which spices are best for cooking on the keto diet.
Certain spice mixes and ready-made seasonings may be laden with carbs and will offset the very purpose of following a clean and healthy diet.
Look for keto-friendly spices, herbs, and seasonings and check the ingredient labels to know how much sugar, sweeteners, and other additives have gone into processed spices.
- Use spices in their natural and purest forms and in moderation.
- Buy natural spices and grind them in your home with the help of a mixer or grinder.
- Store those spices in airtight jars for up to six months.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the approved spices for the ketogenic diet and the possible health benefits they can provide.
Mustard is a popular spice that is good for keto as it is low in net carbs. You can either use the mustard as seeds or in powder form in different ketogenic recipes. One tablespoon of ground mustard contains just 1.001 grams of net carbs. The dark yellow seeds or powder add a pungent, prickly aroma to the dish. As the spice is minimally processed, it’s just perfect for clean eating.
Use mustard seeds or powder in sandwiches, wraps, sauces, and salad dressings to add some pungent aroma.
- Health Benefits – Fights against asthma and pneumonia
Coriander seed is one of those spices that will instantly make you a better cook. It is commonly used to flavor different dishes, and people simply love the fresh taste and intense aroma.
It is perfect for keto as you get just 0.65 g net carbs from 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds. You can use the seeds themselves or grind them into a powder to pep up even the most lacklustre food.
Coriander seeds and powder are minimally processed and can be used in keto-friendly soups and salsas, as well as stir-fries, dips, and chutneys.
- Health Benefits – Raises good cholesterol and improves the digestive system
Cumin, like other spices, is available in seeds and powdered form, and you will simply love the warm and sweet earthy aroma of the aromatic spice. The best part is that you get just 2.02 grams of net carbs in 1 tablespoon of whole cumin seeds.
It is better to grind these up, as this makes it easier for the body to absorb the vitamins and minerals they contain. Add the cumin to keto recipes like guacamole, roasted vegetables, broccoli mash, and any type of meat.
- Health Benefits – Helps control blood sugar and has anti-cancer properties
The flavor and aroma of nutmeg can be overpowering, so you’ve got to be careful when using this one. It is commonly found in spice blends and gives an indulgently sweet and nutty kick to the dish. 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg has 0.622 grams of net carbs.
Add a small bit to any cream sauce, like alfredo or bechamel, or when making low-carb mac and cheese. You can also add it to soups, fish recipes, and baked goods.
- Health Benefits – Boosts blood circulation and keeps the digestive system healthy
Turmeric is a world-renowned spice that is popularly used in many Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern dishes.
It is the shining star in the healthy community of keto followers who love its golden color, earthy mustard-like aroma, and pepper-like flavor.
1 tablespoon of turmeric contains 4.18 grams of net carbs, but 1 teaspoon contains just 1.329 g. As with any time you’re making a keto recipe, keep in mind how much goes into each serving.
This low-carb spice can be used in chicken soup, lemon roasted cauliflower, baked tilapia, dressings, curries, and chutneys.
- Health Benefits – Powerful anti-inflammatory and controls cholesterol
You can absolutely use cinnamon on the keto diet as it adds just 0.72 grams of net carbohydrates per teaspoon. Its nutty and spicy-sweet taste and aroma have made it one of the world’s most popular spices.
While it’s best known for use in sweet dishes (think keto cinnamon rolls, cakes, cookies, muffins, bread, or pancakes), cinnamon also goes well in savory foods like meat or chicken.
- Health Benefits – Perfect for weight loss and loaded with antioxidants
7. Chili Powder
Chili powder is another popular spice that is used commonly in low-carb recipes. 1 tablespoon of chili powder has only 1.2 grams of net carbs, but you may want to use smaller amounts due to its fiery flavor! Just a pinch of the smoky red powder can spice up any meal.
Add a pinch of chili powder to meat, poultry, seafood, tomato sauce, stews, taco fillings, or even eggs!
- Health Benefits – Contains capsaicin, which helps to reduce inflammation and weight
Go ahead and use the above-listed spices in your keto recipes and keep them delectable and healthy. The bottom line is to know the right spices for your keto diet and take advantage of their health benefits.