Healthy Eating

Must-Have Low-Carb Pantry Items For Anyone Just Starting Keto

Delicious and nutritious foods that make following the keto diet easier.

By: Lexy Parsons

The keto diet is nothing new! Buzzing in the health scene for quite some time, the keto (or ketogenic) diet is a trendy low-carb, high-fat diet that has gained popularity in recent years. With an emphasis on reduced carbohydrate intake and increased consumption of healthy fats and proteins, the primary goal of the keto diet is to induce a metabolic state called ketosis. In ketosis, the body switches from using glucose as its primary fuel source to using ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat. This causes the body to burn stored body fat and dietary fat for fuel, leading to weight loss and other potential health benefits.

As with any diet, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting a balanced and healthy mix of nutrients. And good news — with so many jumping on the keto craze, many food companies are offering low-carb keto-approved meals, snacks, and treats. 

However, if you’re new to keto, you may feel a bit lost when it comes to getting started — and that’s totally normal. But, we’re here to help!

Ahead are some helpful shopping tips on the healthiest keto pantry staples. Nutritious and delicious, stock your kitchen with these keto-approved foods, for healthy eating made easy.

Keto Pantry Staples

#1 Nuts & Seeds

Low in carbs, rich in fiber and healthy fats, and packed with nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium, nuts, and seeds are a great addition to a healthy keto diet. And, having nuts and seeds readily available in your keto pantry is going to save you so much hassle when you’re looking for something quick and easy. Plus, thanks to the protein and fiber, it will keep you satiated and satisfied — goodbye hanger!

You can easily grab a handful of raw nuts like almonds or cashews to snack on when you’re starving. Plus, you can easily add them to smoothies, breakfast bowls, and salads. Additionally, fiber-rich seeds like chia, flax, and hemp are great options that add some serious superfood power to just about any recipe. You could even make your own keto-friendly nut and seed milk or nut and seed butter!

Here are some of our fav go-to keto pantry staple choices.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds

Using these nuts and seeds, you could even make a Keto-friendly trail mix or granola to keep in the pantry! 

#2 Coconut Milk

Speaking of nut milk, we love coconut-everything around here. Not only is coconut milk a keto-approved beverage, but it also makes a deliciously creamy dairy-free choice for anyone avoiding dairy. It’s rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), low in carbs, and a good source of iron, magnesium, and potassium. 

And if you’re looking for a creamy milk alternative for things like smoothies, coffee, or even keto baked treats, coconut milk is the perfect pick.

  • Use it as the base for your chia seed pudding or overnight oats
  • Add it to low-sugar smoothies as your blending liquid 
  • Stir it into your coffee as a dairy-free creamer
  • Blend it into your soups or stir fry

Just keep in mind, not all coconut milks are the same. Make sure you’re reading the ingredient labels and reaching for full-fat canned coconut milk (vs the one in the carton).

#3 Keto-Friendly Sweeteners

When you go keto, you ditch processed sugar, but that doesn’t mean you can’t swap out sugar for a healthier alternative (aka stevia.) There are quite a few healthier, all-natural, low to zero-carb sweeteners we recommend having as a keto pantry staple item that can be used in baking recipes or even mixed into your morning cup of joe, such as:

  • Stevia
  • Monk fruit sweetener

If sugar alternatives like stevia and monk fruit aren’t your thing, try sweetening your dish the natural way with spices and natural flavors such as:

  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla or almond extract
  • Ground ginger
  • Cacao powder 

RELATED: Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Sugar Intake

#4 Low Carb Flour

No matter if you’re team sweet or team savory, having a handful of low-carb flour options stocked in your pantry is a keto-friendly must! Perfect for whipping up something sweet, like low-carb baked goods such as muffins, cookies, or pancakes. Or, if you’re craving something savory, transform your low-carb flour into healthy homemade bread or pizza dough. 

Low-carb flour also comes in handy to make keto-approved breaded recipes like onion rings, and chicken tenders! 

Here are some of the top options to have on hand:

  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour 
  • Flaxseed meal

Give these Quick & Easy Almond Flour Pancakes a try! Aside from the eggs and non-dairy milk, these keto-friendly pancakes are made with just a few simple pantry items.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1½ cups almond flour

Directions:

Step #1: Mix together the almond meal, flaxseed meal, salt, and baking soda.

Step #2: In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, oil, and vanilla extract. If you would like to add sweetener, add it here as well. Add this to the almond meal slowly and stir until smooth.

Step #3: Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup per pancake. Cook on one side until firm and then flip and cook on the other side.

#5 Healthy Oils

Oils like coconut, avocado, and olive oil are all great sources of healthy fats that can be used for cooking and baking. Look for the least processed varieties that are cold-pressed or unrefined! Use in salad dressings, sauces, and baked goods.

#6 Condiments

When you need to amp up the flavor in a low-carb and low-sugar way, call on healthy condiments! 

Some of our keto-friendly favorites include condiments and sauces such as:

  • Coconut aminos
  • No sugar added marinara sauce
  • Dijon mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Avocado oil mayo
  • Salsa

A Handful of Grab-and-Go Keto-Approved Snacks & Treats

Following a keto diet doesn’t mean giving up all sweet treats and snacks — there are plenty of delicious options that can satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you in ketosis! We’re looking at you low-sugar chocolate and low-carb keto chips and cookies! Because let’s face it, it can be hard to make everything from scratch. Plus, having some keto-approved snacks in your keto pantry ready to grab and go makes life so much easier (and tastier) on those busy days! 

Here are some tasty store-bought snack options to keep handy.

  • Lily’s Sweets: Stevia-sweetened chocolate and dark chocolate chips
  • Eating Evolved: Keto Cups
  • Justin’s Nut Butter: Classic Almond Butter Squeeze Packs
  • Go Raw: Sprouted Pumpkin seeds
  • Purely Elizabeth: Keto Grain-free Granola
  • Primal Kitchen: Avocado Oil Salad Dressing
  • Dang: Unsweetened coconut chips
  • Brad’s: Veggie Keto Crisp
  • Epic: Jerky, pork rinds, and bars

The Takeaway

Having a well-stocked keto pantry is going to be a huge part of being successful on the keto diet. Plus, putting together a keto pantry with these staple items doesn’t take all that much time. So, make a list, head to the store, and stock your pantry with some basics to make following the keto diet ten times easier.