Many positive things come with living a low-carb and keto lifestyle. For example, stocking a pantry is much simpler since you’re working with a more limited set of ingredients. Now, this most likely isn’t the case for everyone living a low-carb or keto lifestyle, but it certainly is for us since we try to keep recipes simple. However, when you’re working with a more limited set of ingredients, it’s much easier to stock and manage your pantry and plan and prepare meals for the week.
It’s important to stock your pantry with the right ingredients so you always have something on hand to eat, even when you don’t have anything planned for a meal, snack or dessert. This is crucial when following a low-carb or keto diet since you don’t want to grab something you’ll likely regret.
When stocking a low-carb or keto pantry, you need to make sure your pantry staples work for you and your family. So, what might that mean? Here are some simple tips to follow when stocking and managing your low-carb pantry:
Determine your short list of pantry staples: To get an idea of the ingredients you may use on a regular basis, look at several dinner, lunch, breakfast, snack and dessert recipes. You’ll likely see reoccurring ingredients that are used in the recipes, such as olive oil, garlic, parmesan, etc. These should be included in your list of pantry staples. Additionally, you might want to consider items that you may use on an infrequent basis, such as when baking or cooking a special meal (such as vanilla extract or curry powder). These ingredients are helpful to have on hand when needed.
Always check the nutrient and ingredients label before purchasing: Of course, not all products are created equal – some are far superior than others. Therefore, when you’re purchasing items for your low-carb pantry, it’s essential to check the nutrient and ingredients label for each product. For example, if you’re buying canned tomatoes, it’s important to assess the amount of carbs listed and determine if there are any questionable ingredients. You want to be sure you’re not purchasing any products that are high in carbs and sugars, or even contain hidden carbs (such as tapioca starch) and other unwanted ingredients.
Don’t forget to stay organized: If your pantry is disorganized, it may be hard to even know what is in it. Therefore, you may be purchasing stuff you already have, which is a waste of money and creates clutter. When developing your grocery list, you’ll first want to check your pantry to see what is needed and what is not. If there is an opportunity to consolidate pantry items, then you’ll want to do so when possible. For example, if you have several bags of half empty nuts like we usually do, it’s best to consolidate them into one container or jar and label them as such. Also, it’s important to see if any products have expired and purchase new ones if needed.
Sample low-carb and keto pantry list
Obviously everyone’s list of pantry staples will differ since we all like different things. But, if you’re following a low-carb or keto lifestyle, here is what a sample list of pantry staples may look like:
Oils and vinegars
Extra virgin olive oil
Avocado oil / coconut oil
Red wine vinegar, apple cider, or white vinegar
Nuts and seeds
Almonds / pecans / walnuts
Flavored nuts for snacking (be sure to check the amount of carbs in each as the carbs can vary greatly)
Sunflower / pumpkin seeds
Sugar-free chocolate chips (we use Lily’s Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Chips)
Sugar alternatives (we use Swerve Sweeteners)
Pure vanilla extract
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Herbs and spices
Red pepper flakes
Canned Goods and Condiments
Unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened nut milk)
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Low-carb marinara sauce (we use Rao’s Arrabbiata Sauce)
Unsweetened coconut milk
Low-sodium chicken broth
Tuna / Sardines / Mackerel (sardines and mackerel are lower in mercury than tuna)
Fresh cheeses such as mozzarella, feta, parmesan
Greens for salads
Riced cauliflower and/or broccoli