Now you have made the great choice to go low carb, you will want some great low carb food substitutes to replace your old favourites. Or maybe you are thinking about going low carb, but think you will miss rice and pasta too much? Ok, so I’m here to share some great low carb food substitutes for both pasta and rice, plus a few other things like chocolate, flour and sugar.
Through trial and error, I have found some great low carb food substitutes that keep me on my keto pathway.
This includes low carb food substitutes for:
- Mashed Potato
- Cow’s Milk
I have a video below that gives a lot of detail on low carb food substitutes and actually shows the products I buy. Plus, there are recipe links and more info in the text below. It’s my aim to share all this with you to set you up for success on your very own low carb or even keto pathway.
Don’t be afraid of Keto, it’s just low carb with a specific number of daily carbs in mind.
For me it’s 20 grams net carbs or less a day. It can be different for you, sometimes more, sometimes less, but 20 is a good place to start. There are free keto calculators you can use to find out how many carbs will work for you. But, if you don’t want to do that then just minimise carbs as much as you can by eating lower carb foods.
There is more info on the specifics of low carb and keto eating here. Also I’d love to invite you to come join our keto tribe. Keto Queens Unite, is our private Facebook support group for women. Explore YouTube too, here’s my channel. I’m a bit chatty, have lots of conversation with my cooking and I don’t take things too seriously.
So let’s start by saying goodbye to the universally loved Italian, named pasta.
GOODBYE PASTA – HELLO ZUCCHINI
Remember in the 1980s we were told to eat less meat, eat less fat and eat more pasta? Well, pasta is part of my fat story. I loved pasta until about 20 years ago when I went gluten free. So I have been pasta free for a while. So I am thrilled to find low carb food substitutes for pasta include zucchini noodles, which I now love!
I make my own with the $12 Kmart spiral vegetable maker, or you can buy ready-made, fresh zucchini noodles from Aldi, in the fruit and veg section. Or frozen ones in the Aldi freezer. Woolworths and Coles also stock fresh zucchini noodles. But honestly, they are a sinch to make, so I say go get a machine from Kmart.
Throw your spaghetti away and get down and healthy with this low carb food substitute.
Throw away your lasagne sheets too. Just cut your zucchini in long horizontal strips to create a low carb food substitute replace those bad boy, high carb pasta sheets. Here’s a recipe to inspire you to try zucchini lasagne.
Here is my low fuss, low carb spag bol recipe that uses zucchini noodles. I also love these noodles, with lemon juice, olive oil and salt as a low carb food substitute salad. I use zucchini noodles with butter chicken too, in fact anything with a sloppy sauce gets either zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice on the plate. Here’s a yummy zucchini noodle and bacon salad recipe. If you watch the video you will also find out what to do with frozen zucchini, hint, it’s something you drink!
CAULI RICE, HOW I LOVE THEE
So we know rice and potato does not fit into a low carb way of eating. So what is a low carb food substitute for that? Yes, drum roll ….. cauliflower. And you can do way more than just roast that sucker! Although it is super yummy roasted.
How about the low carb food substitutes of cauliflower rice and mashed cauliflower … keep an open mind.
Here is a recipe for cauliflower rice, there are hundreds of variations out there. I bet soon you will be making up your own as you go along! Once you get the knack, you will never go back! Be sure to add heaps of butter to the cauli rice and a decent amount of salt. Butter, as we know, makes everything better. Plus you might add cooked bacon, herbs, shallots, cheese or spices to jazz up your new low carb rice substitute.
The next step is cauli mash, to replace that mashed potato on your plate. Again there are 101 recipes for cauli mash out there. Here is just one from a sweet little Aussie keto bloggler.
My basic recipe is half a head of cauliflower, salt, butter and cream cheese. This feeds the four of us. Cook the cauliflower to soft, drain, pat dry with paper towel. Next, mash it up, however you can. I use a stick blender or if I already have the food processor out I use that. Then add a big blob of butter, I’d guess about 40g and the same of room temperature cream cheese. Then blend. You can adjust these amounts to change the creaminess to your liking. Then add salt to taste. The key here is to start with cooked cauliflower that is dry, or as dry as it can be. Too much water a good mash does not make!
Once you have the basics you can go nuts and add anything else your little heart desires, like pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese etc.
I serve cauliflower mash anywhere we would have had potato. Like last night I did lamp chops and cauli mash. I also use it as a side with meatballs, stews roast chicken and slow cooked everything. It really is a winner in our house. If I have any leftovers, like nearly never, I pop it in the fridge and use it cold the next day. It also reheats nicely in the microwave.
LOW CARB FOOD SUBSTITUTES FOR COWS MILK – SHOW ME THE CREAM!
Ok, we are adults now, so really cows milk should already be limited to your tea and coffee right, so giving it up won’t be a big deal! So I hear you say, noooo Le, what about my breakfast cereal?? Well for one thing cereal needs to go, so it should be eggs and bacon for breakfast. But seriously, what do you now use instead of cows milk as a low carb food substitute?
Well, it’s right there in the supermarket fridge next to the milk. Heavy cream, thickened cream or whatever you call it in your home state. Not pouring cream, the chunky beautiful sister, the heavy and thickened cream.
This chubby bubby is now your best mate in the fight to give up cows milk.
In Australia and New Zealand it’s called thickened cream, and I get mine from Aldi as it’s cheaper than elsewhere. Yes, I am budget conscious to the max, except when I’m not. So put a blob of thickened cream in your coffee. Whip it up and then make a vienna coffee (yes I use to own a cafe, so I know my coffees). A vienna coffee is a long black coffee topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate powder (make it sugar free, more on that later as I think chocolate is its own food group) or cinnamon if you prefer.
Where else do I use cream instead of milk? Well in smoothies for extra creaminess, in scrambled eggs for smoothness. Plus in sauces, puddings and desserts. For example, when I want to bake chicken thighs in the oven I put them in my baking dish, smear over the pesto (just olive oil, salt, macadamia nuts, parmesan and basil), add a liberal amount of thickened cream over the top and then finish with grated cheese. Bake for 30 to 30 minutes, and out comes chicken in a creamy pesto sauce. Num, num, num.
Another low carb food substitute is almond milk. I use almond milk in my smoothies. I use half almond milk and half coconut milk in the boy’s smoothies. Again, the cheapest almond and coconut milk I can find in Australia is Aldi. HEADS UP! Make sure you buy the unsweetened versions of both milks. Otherwise, you will be getting sugars you don’t want or need.
While I’m in the dairy cabinet let’s also do sour cream, mozzarella and cream cheese. Use sour cream to make dips and spreads. Like add herbs to it for a savoury spread, or add keto jam to sour cream for a muffin topper.
Squish berries into sour cream for a decadent and filling afternoon snack.
My basic keto cheesecake recipe is thickened cream, sour cream and cream cheese. Go here for my keto raspberry cheesecake. Mozzarelle and cream cheese together are found in lots of keto bread and baking recipes. This is done to up the fat content and lower the flour content. My fat head dough scrolls are a good example of this, as is Tara’s Keto Kitchen keto bread. Tara’s bread is my go to weekly bread that I make into a small loaf and six bread rolls, or one big loaf.
All the food below has been made with cream, mozzarella and cream cheese in lead and/or supporting roles. I can’t say it enough, fall in love with these babies and give cow’s milk the flick.
BEYOND HIGH CARB BAKING
So have those pics got your baking hormones going, and now you want to cook up a storm? Excellent, as having low carb baking in da house has contributed to my weight loss keto success story. When I want a little something I go to my freezer and grab out a pre-cut for portion control brownie or coffee cake, then I zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds, top it with cream (the brownie) or butter (the cake), grab my black coffee and BOOM! Satisfaction is achieved. And virtually no carbs were harmed in the making.
There is no denying it, so let’s face it head on, that on a low carb diet gluten should go. Not only because of carbs, but because it mucks up your digestion. Do yourself a favour and ditch gluten for good.
Don’t be a sneaky Pete and start adding in gluten free baked items. Nope, as the carbs still live there.
Instead, use substitutes for wheat flour like almond flour and coconut flour. In Australia, I have found that Aldi has the cheapest almond flour. Here is my favourite baked scroll recipe to get you going. There are great low carb keto safe recipes everywhere. Try here to start with and then google your little heart out. Two of my favs are Katrin at Sugar Free Londoner and Tara’s Keto Kitchen.
Next, find a sugar alternative. Sugar is carbs wrapped in a pretty package, tied off with a white ribbon. That means all sugar, honey, dextrose, maltose, lactose and any other ‘tose’ has to go. Lucky for us low carb keto queens there are now heaps of low carb and zero carb sugar alternatives out there. Natural ones, not the junk found in Equal or soft drinks. Even Woolworths (Countdown) and Coles (New World) have sugar substitutes on the shelf in the sugar section.
There are choices on the shelves at Woolworths and Coles that can replace cane sugar, brown sugar and icing sugar in your baking. Plus, at online shops like Keto Direct and the Low Carb Emporium there are even more choices, most imported from America. Thank you America! Many have zero carbs, yes zero carbs. Some have a few carbs, but none have the high carbs of sugar. I talk about pricing on the video, as different kinds are cheaper than others.
Hint, in general, the blends are cheaper than the single source products.
Here is a really, really great post from Kartin at Sugar-Free Londoner on alternative sweeteners. My preference is 100% monk fruit or stevia when I bake for the family. This is because one of my sons is sensitive to erythritol. When I just bake for me I use a monk fruit erythritol blend as it’s cheaper.
Look for these as a starting point …
LOW CARB FOOD SUBSTITUTES FOR THE SIXTH FOOD GROUP – CHOCOLATE
How I love my chocolate, let me count the ways. Seriously, I could not have looked at keto if rule one was … Thou Shall Consume No Chocolate. Don’t think I mean it, well I have made a video just on low carb chocolate. In case you missed it, here it is. But what about chocolate to bake with?
Look for unsweetened cacao powder to use in place of cocoa powder. Find it at Woolies or Coles. You can add your low carb sweeteners to it, but let’s ditch the cane sugar and cocoa powder as it’s full of carbs. Cacao nibs are worth a look too. Sprinkle over yogurt, add to nuts and trail mix for a chocolate hit, minus the carbs. Also found at Woolies and Coles.
You might want to bake chocolate chip cookies right, so go find the Noshu range of sugar free choc buds. Plus as a bonus if you don’t want to bake, then Noshu has packet mixes and pre made items. My fav is the dark chocolate and raspberry donut, yes donuts.
Well that’s about it for my top choices in low carb foods to substitute into your low carb eating so you can ditch your old high carb favourites.
Hope this helps you along your own low carb keto pathway. Just remember I’m sharing my story and learnings to add value to your journey. Said with love, kindness and zero judgement.
Big squeeze, love Le xox