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Keto Crash Course
Let's talk about one of my favorite topics in the whole world: keto! The ketogenic lifestyle, or keto (pronounced key-toe) diet, as it is commonly called, continues to grow in popularity across the United States and globally. Developed in the 1940s as a remedy for epileptic patients, the ketogenic diet became mainstream at the turn of the twenty-first century. In 2018, the attention centered on keto outshined any other popular diet/lifestyle, including the Paleo, Whole30, and Atkins diets. When compared to its rivals, a ketogenic diet is the optimal choice because it focuses on fueling the body with fat instead of glucose.
In a nutshell, the term ketogenic means keeping your body in a state of nutritional ketosis, making it rely on fat instead of glucose (sugar) for energy. To do this, you must restrict your carbohydrate and glucose intake.
When you restrict your carbohydrates to a very low amount, typically fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day (though most people limit it to fewer than 20 grams), your liver starts producing magical gems called ketones. These ketones are your fuel source when you are in nutritional ketosis, or are "fat adapted." This means that your body is efficiently burning fat (ketones) instead of glucose for energy.
So why would you want to stay in nutritional ketosis? There are several reasons, but here are the top three:
1. The brain works most efficiently when you consume fat instead of glucose for energy. You will feel more alert and experience less brain fog throughout the day. No more 2 p.m. sugar crash!
2. You will experience a naturally suppressed appetite. When you eat a low-carb, high-fat diet and your body is burning ketones, you will find that you do not need as much to eat in a day as you did when you were a glucose burner. No more cravings or ravenous feelings!
3. You'll probably lose weight. When your body is burning fat (ketones) for energy, it first uses the fat that has been consumed through food. When it uses up all that fat, it then burns the fat stores within the body (that is, "extra" fat), resulting in weight loss for you!
There are other health reasons people might start following a ketogenic diet. People with type II diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, migraines, anxiety, and high blood pressure have been able to successfully manage their conditions by making a few simple adjustments to adopt a keto diet.
HOW IT WORKS
The three main components of a ketogenic diet are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Together, these make up your macronutrients, or "macros" for short. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Mostpeople tend to follow a 75-20-5 ratio, meaning that 75 percent of their macros comes from fat, 20 percent comes from protein, and 5 percent comes from carbohydrates. Of course, these numbers can fluctuate depending on your body type, activity level, age, gender, and so on, but thankfully, calculating your macro needs isn't as tricky as it sounds. There are several free resources on the Internet to help you get started. Search "keto macro calculator" to calculate your specific macro requirements.
It's important to note that calories are not the be-all and end-all on keto. While the most important factor is your carbohydrate consumption, that's not to say that calories don't matter. On the contrary, the fact remains that you must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. Though it's important to stay within a range for your body type, consuming slightly more calories occassionally will not derail your state of ketosis.
WHAT EXACTLY CAN YOU EAT?
This is naturally the first question people ask. If you were to ask a non-keto person what they thought someone following a ketogenic diet eats, their response would probably include bacon, butter, and avocados. This assumption leads people to believe that a ketogenic diet avoids all nutrient-rich foods.
In reality, a keto diet is centered around macronutrients. The goal with keto is to eat whole and clean foods that meet the only requirement of being low carb. Unlike in other diets, a list of "keto-approved foods" is nonexistent. That said, my motto is that if you make the best choices 90 percent of the time, then the other 10 percent can be your buffer. This means you're not forbidden from eating a hot dog ever again!
Fat: The Lever
Contrary to popular belief, healthy fats such as those found in avocados, nuts, and eggs generally improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. You may experience sticker shock the first time you calculate your macros and see that you need to consume more than 100 grams of fat per day, but don't fret!
Think of your fat macros as a lever. You can pull that lever all the way down on days when you're exceptionally hungry and need to be satiated. On other days, you may only need to pull the lever down halfway. Just know that you do not need to consume every gram of your calculated amount every day to stay in ketosis. Also, more fat does not equal deeper ketosis. Once you are fat adapted, you'll find that you're not as hungry, and you'll pull the fat lever all the way down less frequently. (I wish someone had told me this when I first started keto!)
You want your fats to come from foods such as butter, ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, full-fat cheese, cream, high-quality meats, nuts, and seeds. When you think of fat, it's important that you train your brain not to imagine donuts and French fries. Fat is not the enemy any longer! Have you ever opened leftover pot roast and pulled out the clumps of fat before reheating your food? Well, those clumps of fat are the exact kinds of fat that we now want to eat!
Protein: The Goal
Ideally protein should come from high-quality meat, seafood, and vegetables. Whenever possible, purchase grass-fed and grass-finished meats, free-range eggs, wild-caught seafood, and organic vegetables. (Fresh and frozen vegetables are better than canned because they have the highest nutrient density.) Believe it or not, broccoli and asparagus and many other vegetables contain protein! In your pre-keto days, you might have tried to amp up your protein by adding beans, legumes, and lentils to your diet. Though those foods are not necessarily unhealthy, they are high in carbohydrates and thus not proper for a ketogenic diet. One serving of beans has more than double the amount of carbs someone on a ketogenic diet should consume in an entire day.
Remember the key to a ketogenic diet is to eat in a way that puts you in a state of nutritional ketosis. That means we consume a high-fat, moderate- protein, low-carbohydrate diet every day. The rule of thumb for protein macros is that they are a goal. You should aim to hit all of your protein grams each day, but if you don't, don't sweat it.
If you're an athlete, you might worry that if you don't eat enough protein, you won't gain muscle. Although protein is essential to muscle building, the amino acid found in protein, called leucine, is actually what stimulates muscle growth. When you eat keto and are in nutritional ketosis, your leucine levels actually increase.
Consuming an exorbitant amount of protein is not necessary to build muscle. Eating a moderate amount of protein will not stall your physical fitness. For someone looking to build muscle, the recommended protein intake is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), then 150 grams of protein would be appropriate. However, it's always good practice to consult a professional when experimenting with diet and intense physical training.
Carbohydrates: The Limit
When you are limited to 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates per day, you have to make the most of them. You want the bulk of your carbohydrates to come from healthy sources such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, or seeds. Even cheese has a small amount of carbs — but also a healthy dose of fat and protein, making it an ideal low-carb food for the keto lifestyle.
Carbs are your expensive item in the macro budget. Too many can make you go in the red (that is, kick you out of ketosis), so it's important that you budget wisely and track your expenses.
Carbohydrates can be tricky to track because it seems as if everything contains carbs. There is some validity to that. Many foods, especially processed foods, contain carbs. Your ultimate goal should be to eat as cleanly as you can, avoiding processed foods as much as possible.
The wonderful thing about counting carbohydrates is that you can also take into account dietary fiber. Every gram of fiber can be deducted from your total carbohydrates because fiber does not affect blood glucose levels; therefore, it cannot interrupt your state of nutritional ketosis. This practice is called counting net carbs. It's also important to note the third element of the equation, sugar alcohols. I'll get into this more in depth on page 21, but for now, know that when you are reading nutrition labels and see sugar alcohols listed, you may deduct them as well. Here's the formula:
Net carbs = total carbs -fiber - sugar alcohols
Let's break down the net carbohydrate counts for the most commonly eaten foods on a ketogenic diet:
Even though there's no list of "keto-approved foods," when you follow keto, certain foods are typically off the table. Fruits, vegetables, and grains — including apples, bananas, oranges, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, legumes, rice, and wheat products — all have higher carbohydrate counts in one serving than is permitted in an entire day of a keto diet! The "How to Replace High-Carb Foods with Keto-Freindly Foods" chart below lists some of them. You might be surprised to see milk on this chart; that's because milk is high in carbs. One cup (240 ml) of whole milk has almost 12 grams of carbs!
Along with the 100 Instant Pot recipes in this cookbook, I thought it might be helpful to include a few keto-friendly recipes that make great accompaniments to some of the delicious meals you are soon to make. These recipes are not for the Instant Pot, but they're very simple, very quick, and can be made while your dish is cooking in the Instant Pot.
FAT HEAD DOUGH
This type of dough is often referred to as "fat head" dough, as the concept was invented by the creators of the documentary Fat Head. I played in the kitchen until I found a method that produced a chewy and pillowy bread. It might seem odd to make "bread" dough out of mozzarella cheese, but trust me when I say you're going to love this! With a little creativity, you can transform this basic dough into pizza crust, sandwich thins, or even cinnamon rolls!
SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 10M COOK TIME: 10M TOTAL TIME: 20M
1½ cups (180 g)
shredded mozzarella cheese 1
cup (112 g) almond flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a microwave-safe bowl, add the mozzarella cheese. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the cheese is very melty and stretchy.
Add the almond flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt to the cheese. Fold into the cheese with a wooden spoon. Once the almond flour is completely incorporated, add the egg and mix with the wooden spoon until a dough is formed.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Wet your hands with water and knead the dough until it is uniform in color. You should not see white or yellow spots throughout. Continue wetting your hands, as needed, to prevent sticking. The more you knead the dough, the easier it becomes to manipulate.
Cut the dough into four equal parts. Roll the dough out on the parchment paper to your desired thickness and shape (round for sandwich thins, long for breadsticks, etc.). Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the tops are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: If desired, brush the tops of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, Parmesan cheese, or ranch seasoning before baking for extra flair!
Calories: 308 Carbs: 7.9 g Protein: 16.9 g Fat: 24.6 g Fiber: 3.9 g Net Carbs: 4 g
HOMEMADE EGG NOODLES
Many of the dishes in this book are traditionally served with some sort of pasta. Unfortunately, there are not many keto-friendly pasta options aside from spiraled vegetables. While those are delicious, they're not always in season or practical. These easy-peasy egg noodles are a tasty way to bulk up a dish and sop up your sauce!
SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 5M COOK TIME: 5M TOTAL TIME: 10M
2 ounces (56 g) cream cheese, softened
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line an 18" x 13" (46 x 33 cm) baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the eggs, cream cheese, xanthan gum, and salt to a blender or food processor and pulse until completely blended. The mixture will become thick.
Pour the egg mixture onto the baking sheet and use an offset spatula to spread it in an even and thin layer.
Bake until the mixture is set, about 5 minutes.
Remove the sheet from the oven and use a pizza cutter to cut into ribbons of your desired length and width.
Note: You may use a 9" x13" (23 x 33 cm) baking pan instead of a baking sheet to get thicker noodles.
Calories: 250 Carbs: 3.5 g Protein: 14.6 g Fat: 18.5 g Fiber: 1.8 g Net Carbs: 1.7 g
MEXICAN CAULIFLOWER RICE
Mexican food is one of my guilty pleasures, and Spanish rice has long been a preferred side dish for all of my favorite Mexican dishes. I remember the first time I went to our local Mexican joint and didn't eat the rice — I nearly cried. That's when I went home and created this cauliflower rice version. You don't make this in the Instant Pot, but it's very simple to make on the stovetop. Make sure not to skip the Sazón seasoning. You can find it in almost every grocery store in the ethnic foods aisle.
SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 5M COOK TIME: 12M TOTAL TIME: 17M
1 tablespoon (14 g) butter
1 package (12 ounces, or
340 g) frozen cauliflower rice with veggies
(about Vi can, or 196 g)
diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 packet Sazón Goya seasoning Pinch salt
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken broth Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
Stir in the cauliflower rice and let it cook until it begins to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, Sazón, and salt and stir to combine. Let the mixture cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and stir. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the broth is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.
Calories: 59 Carbs: 6.6 g Protein: 2.6 g Fat: 2.8 g Fiber: 2.3 g Net Carbs: 4.3 g
Last, but certainly not least, avoid ALL added sugar! This includes honey, agave, pure maple syrup, molasses, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and brown sugar. You can replace them with sweeteners that are known not to raise blood glucose or insulin levels, such as stevia, erythritol, xylitol, and monk fruit.
Erythritol and xylitol are sugar alcohols that have little to no effect on blood glucose and insulin levels. Though they're called sugar alcohols, they don't actually contain any alcohol. In fact, they're derived naturally from many foods we eat. They're perfectly safe and FDA approved for adults and children to consume. Some people notice a cool aftertaste when using erythritol for the first time; it's appropriately called "the cooling effect." You may not notice the aftertaste at all, but if you do, give it time and you'll hardly taste a difference.
My recipes will always call for granulated or powdered erythritol. I choose to work with this sweetener because it yields the most natural tasting product and is an easy 1:1 conversion for sugar. If you prefer monk fruit, xylitol, or another sweetener, read the packaging to see whether any measurement adjustments need to be made before using them.
Stevia and monk fruit are also naturally occurring sweeteners that do not affect blood glucose levels. Stevia comes from the stevia leaf plant. You can purchase it in granulated or liquid form. Some people love stevia, but others find it to be bitter. (I am in the latter group.) Granulated monk fruit is also a fabulous sweetener, but be aware when using it for baking and cooking that the conversion is not always equivalent to sugar in a 1:1 ratio. The package, however, should indicate the proper ratio to use.
You will also see "brown sugar substitute" listed in many recipes. You want to buy one that is erythritol based and not a "brown sugar blend." (It's good practice to always be mindful of the ingredients list when shopping for groceries.)(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Family-Friendly KETO Instant Pot Cookbook"
Copyright © 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc..
Excerpted by permission of The Quarto Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Keto Crash Course 10
The Basics 12
How It Works 12
What Exactly Can You Eat? 13
Fat: The Lever 13
Protein: The Goal 14
Carbohydrates: The Limit 14
Bonus Recipes 16
Keto Sweeteners 21
Keto + Kids 21
Let's Go Shopping 22
Keto on a Budget 23
What A Full Day Of Eating Keto Looks Like 24
Chapter 2 Get To Know Your Instant Pot 26
Accessories For Your Instant Pot 30
Caring For Your Instant Pot 31
Chapter 3 Breaking Your Fast 32
Chapter 4 Appetizers and Party Snacks 44
Chapter 5 Soups, Stews, and Chilis 58
Chapter 6 Covered Dishes 76
Chapter 7 Beef 90
Chapter 8 Poultry, Pork, and Seafood 112
Chapter 9 Side Dishes 152
Chapter 10 Desserts 174
About The Author 195