“Spices add flavor, depth and soul to your food, as well as numerous health benefits”
[ Dont worry, as always i’ll include a TLDR at the bottom of the page ]
Through this Keto journey than i have undertaken I have discovered three very important things,
The first is that the Ketonic diet works! I am testament to this as I have lost an astounding 10kgs at time of writing WITHOUT exercising due to post surgery recovery from my knee injury.
The second thing that I discovered is that there was an amazing amount of confusing terms, posts and dietary information. This is mainly due to the difference between Australian nutritional information and the American version.
The third is that Keto actually has quite a small pool of items to select from in comparison to the world I used to live in with near limitless possibilities
Herbs and spices provide an excellent way to add flavor, depth and soul to your food, as well as numerous health benefits.
Below I have listed the spices and flavor groupings that I personally use also they tend to be fairly cheap, only around $1 – $2 depending on the brand
General Purpose Spices
Good quality sea salt flakes, I tend to use Pyramid Salt or Maldon, both are readily available in Australia and New Zealand and quite reasonably priced. This is the standard for most high quality restaurants and because of the quality you’ll find it lasts a long time. Try and stay away from Iodised salts because they are designed to sit out and not clump up, but tend to leave a bitter aftertaste in the mouth and can make stocks, soups and sauces go cloudy
Cracked Black Pepper, It is always better to have whole pepper in a grinder and crack it fresh, the aroma, flavor and texture are incredible. never use fine pre-ground pepper for anything other than cooking due to the poor quality and strong aftertaste. Supermarket grade peppercorns are fine.
The grades generally go black, pink and green and simply down to the age and thus the strength of flavors. Pink and green are more often used in sauces due to their softer texture.
Dried Herbs, Dried herbs are great for creating and enhancing base spice mixes. But generally as a personal preference I will always use fresh herbs over dry due to the aromatic nature and health benefits of fresh herbs. If you use dry herbs just remember that the flavor is slightly different and more intense than the fresh stuff, so it can overpower a meal fast and will also burn quite easy. But still very useful to have.
Aromatic Spices, These spices along with some herbs will form the base of a flavor pallet that covers most of the Middle East, South East Asia and Indo-china. These can also be combined to make a mixed spice, Chinese 5 spice Mix and the Japanese 7 spice mix. Aromatic herbs will also feature frequently in many stock, soup and curry bases.
- Ginger/Garlic/Onion (I will always prefer fresh, but these are good substitute is fresh isin’t readily available or if the spice mix calls for it
- Dried Chili
- Star anise
- Sichaun pepper
- Fenugreek Seeda
- Aleppo Pepper
These spices can help form the base for hundreds of different tastes and flavours spanning much of the world. There are many blends mixes and specific spices that exist that are not on the list, I have a dozen such things sitting in my pantry such as Baharat, Masala, Ras El Hanout, Sumac, just to name a few.
What this list is designed for is to provide a cheap, easy to find list that is accessible to everyone and can be used for a variety of purposes to create similar flavours. Once you start experimenting and finding the flavors that you love, then I would suggest going out and purchasing the slightly more expensive, harder to find spices and mixes.
As for the Keto aspect most spices do contain some form of carbs but due to the small quantities used this is seldom ever an issue.
Anyway that wraps up my thoughts on spices.
Thanks for reading.