Stock a Low Carb Pantry + Recipes!
Welcome to the low carb corner of Live Eat Learn! I hope to make this an ultra-informative place for you to come for all things low carb (with a vegetarian vibe). Let’s jump to the good stuff first…the recipes! I consider recipes with 10g or less of carbohydrates to be “low carb”, and you can find all of those recipes on Live Eat Learn by clicking the link below!
On this page, you’ll also find:
- How to stock a low carb pantry
- Low carb ingredient substitutions
- Low carb resources around the interwebs
How to stock a low carb pantry
While my pantry is not completely low carb-approved, the following are some of my low-carb-specific pantry and refrigerator staples for a well-balanced diet. Note that this isn’t absolutely everything you need in your pantry, just a few low carb specific staples to help you keep good nutritional balance and make really tasty low carb food!
- Canned and Dried Beans (Note: these aren’t ultra-low in carbs, but are very high in fiber and therefore have a relatively low net carb count)
- Canned chickpeas: These make a hearty substitute for meat, like in Roasted Chickpea Gyros!
- Canned black beans, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and navy beans: Packed with protein and fiber, beans are an easy way to add a nutritious boost to just about any meal. Plus, you can use them to make gluten-free Black Bean Fudge Brownies!
- Frozen edamame: I love snacking on these. Just cook ‘em (either microwave or boil, depending on packaging), sprinkle with coarse sea salt, and snack away.
- Grains and Flours
- Almond flour: This is simply finely ground almonds, but makes a great substitute or addition to baked goods.
- Nuts, Seeds, & Dried Fruits
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews (especially for vegan dairy alternatives), macadamia, pine): Stock up on nuts for snacking, adding crunch to meals, or for grinding into flours.
- Seeds (pepitas, hemp, chia, flax, sunflower): Like nuts, these tend to be nutrition powerhouses that can easily be worked into a lot of dishes.
- Olive oil: My go to for almost all stovetop cooking.
- Extra virgin olive oil: An important member of the oil team for cold dishes, like salad dressings. This one has a lower smoke point, meaning you can’t heat it quite as high.
- Safflower oil: With almost no flavor, polyunsaturated fats (the good kind of fat), and a high smoke point, this is your oil for healthier frying.
- Sesame oil: This also has a high smoke point, but brings a really sesame, nutty taste. Super tasty in Asian stirfries!
- Coconut oil: This has a high smoke point and a distinct coconut aroma and taste. It’s high in saturated fat, so use it in moderation.
- Odds and Ends
- Cocoa powder: Low in calories and full of flavor, I always keep cocoa powder on hand.
- Raw cacao nibs or powder: While cocoa has been roasted at a high temperature, cacao is raw, so a lot of the nutrients are still well and intact. You can use cacao and cocoa interchangeably in most recipes.
- Unsweetened applesauce: You can replace butter or oil with unsweetened applesauce (ration 1:1) in many recipes, so I like to keep this on hand!
- Coconut milk (full-fat and light): Skim the cream off full-fat cans to make dairy-free whipped cream, or use light coconut milk to add a lot of creaminess to soups or smoothies.
- Low-sodium vegetable broth or bouillon: Instant flavor for so many dishes!
Refrigerator & Freezer Staples
- Low Carb Veggies
- This site has a comprehensive list of low carb veggies to stock your fridge. At the minimum, you should always have a leafy green (like spinach) for smoothies and salads, a large leafy green (like big lettuce or cabbage) for salads and for using as a tortilla wrap of sorts, a veggie to snack on (bell peppers, carrots, cucumber), and veggies to work into your dinner line-up.
- Low Carb Fruits
- Though not completely low carb, fruits like cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, and rhubarb are great to have on hand in the freezer for smoothies, topping yogurt, or for low carb desserts.
- Condiments and Sauces
- Walden Farms Products: This company makes a huge variety of dressings and sauces that are all calorie-free and carb-free. If you need proof of their tastiness, I’ll point you to my father, who buys them in bulk and has at least 43 bottles at any point in time.
- Soy or Tamari: Tamari is a sauce made from soy beans that is a lot like soy sauce, but a bit thicker and smokier. It’s free from gluten and has a lot less sodium.
- Tahini: Made from sesame seeds, this is a potent little sauce that I incorporate into Asian dishes and baked goods alike.
- Hummus: Made from chickpeas and tahini, this is a protein-packed spread that’s great in sandwiches or as a veggies/pita bread dip.
- Almond and soy milk: Cow’s milk is high in lactose, which is a type of sugar. Almond and soy milk are much lower in carbs and pack some serious nutritional punches!
- Odds and Ends (for when the cravings hit)
- Last but not least
- Good Quality Vegetable Spiralizer: Because spiralized zucchini really is all that.
Low Carb Ingredient Substitutes
- Pizza crust, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, rice: Behold the power of cauliflower! Recipes here, here, and here.
- Pasta: Substitute spaghetti pasta with shirataki noodles (a Japanese noodle made from a root), or sub in spiralized vegetables or spaghetti squash.
Low Carb Resources
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P.S. Have an awesome low carb tip that’s not listed here? Send me a message and I’ll include it so we can all learn from each other!
P.S.S. This post contains affiliate links for products I love, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.