Love for the ketogenic (keto) diet is still going strong – and we often get requests for keto recipes that can be easily made at home. Following a keto diet is much simpler when you have an orgnanized pantry stocked with keto-approved ingredients, along with a menu and meal prep plan in place to help you cook your favourite foods from scratch. We’re sharing our favourite essential keto ingredients that are fueling, nourishing and supremely tasty.
Top 10 Keto Ingredients
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry and fish are the mainstays of a keto diet – but the following keto ingredients are great to have on hand in your pantry to add flavour and nutrition to your meals.
The milk proteins and milk solids are removed from butter to make this concentrated and flavourful alternative. It’s rich in beneficial fats that can actually reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, support digestion and help you maintain a healthy weight.
How to Use: We like to use it as a cooking oil for sautéeing or roasting, in this chocolate spread, both in and on gluten-free baked goodies, in dairy-free elixirs and just straight off the spoon too.
Homemade Hack: Learn how to make your own ghee at home – it’s really quite easy and can save you cash when you cook it yourself. It’s also lovely when infused with herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, parsley, chives, turmeric or curry powder.
This slightly sweet tropical fat has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, plus its medium chain fats are easy to digest, absorb and use for energy. It’s also great for our skin and hair, making it a great option for homemade beauty care.
How to Use: Like ghee, coconut oil is a wonderful fat for cooking, baking, to make dairy-free elixirs and for smoothie recipes. Some brands of coconut oil are milder in flavour than others, so experiment to see which one you like (the more coconutty the better, we say).
Tip: Opt for organic, unrefined coconut oil if possible.
Coconut flour is extremely high in protein and fibre, making it a nutrient-dense, filling keto ingredient.
How to Use: Coconut flour is a unique gluten-free flour because it soaks up a lot of liquid. It’s best to use for things like pancakes, cookies, waffles and crusts, plus it works well as breading for meat and fish, as well as in no-bake snacks like keto fat bombs.
Homemade Hack: Ever tried making coconut flour on your own? In What to Do With a Whole Coconut, we break down how you can make it at home.
This flour adds protein, fibre and vibrant taste to grain-free and gluten-free ketogenic recipes.
How to Use: Use almond flour in cookies, cakes, muffins, hearty crusts, pancakes and crumble toppings. It also works well as grain-free breadcrumbs in a variety of recipes.
Of course we love almond butter, but tahini – made from ground sesame seeds – is usually a more cost-effective option. It’s also a fantastic source of bioavailable calcium.
How to Use: Use tahini just as you would any nut or seed butter – in smoothies or elixirs, in baked goods, in dips and spreads, slather it on toast, or blend it into homemade salad dressings. For a change of pace, try black sesame seeds.
Homemade Hack: Toss 3 cups of roasted or raw sesame seeds into your food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Toss in a pinch of salt at the end, or go sweet and add cinnamon and maple syrup.
We adore olive oil for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, its antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory properties. There are many vegetable oils (including soy, corn, canola, safflower, cottonseed, etc.) that pose health risks due to the way they’re processed and the types of fats they contain.
How to Use: We use olive oil for light sautéeing, and in sauces, salad dressing and dips. In this Guide to Choosing Healthy Cooking Oils, we offer a full breakdown of the best oils to use and at what temperature.
Tip: Purchase cold pressed, unrefined olive oil in a dark glass bottle if possible.
Tip: Opt for organic, free-range eggs if you can grab them.
This fermented food is rich in probiotics that help with digestion, immunity and mood. Plus it has a tangy, salty and zippy flavour.
How to Use: Start off with a small about (1 Tbsp) per day, either on its own or as a condiment alongside meals.
Homemade Hack: Sauerkraut is cheap to make at home – all you need is cabbage, water and salt.
Raw cacao powder is one of our favourite keto ingredients. It’s packed with antioxidants, magnesium for relaxation, and iron to boost our energy levels. Plus, chocolate contains the neurotransmitter anandamide, which helps us feel joy and bliss. And who doesn’t love a good dairy-free chocolate recipe?
Homemade Hack: Learn how to make chocolate chips in our free culinary nutrition mini-training.
This easy staple is rich in amino acids that support digestion, joint health and reduce inflammation, plus it contains minerals that support bone health and the nervous system. It’s a great recipe to make in your slow cooker or Instant Pot and we highly recommend cooking it in big batches so you have it on hand for meals.
Homemade Hack: Save money by cooking broth at home, either with bones from your butcher or from a roasted carcass. You can also save your vegetable trimmings in the freezer to cut down on food waste and add extra flavour and nutrition to your broth.