Scientifically known as Zea Mays Everta, popcorn is variety of corn kernel that puffs up or expands when heated. The hull of popcorn kernel contains hard and starchy endosperm having 14 to 20 percentage of moisture that converts steam when the kernel is heated. As the pressure from the steam carries on, the hull ruptures that allows kernel to expand forcefully from 20 to 50 times of its original size. Some corn strains are especially cultivated as popping corns. Corn is of six major types: flint corn, dent corn, popcorn, pod corn, sweet corn and flour corn. It resembles corn-on-the-cob. The seeds of popcorn are bred selectively for producing desirable results such as high popping success and favorable grain color.
Firstly, corn was domesticated 10,000 years ago in Mexico. It is discovered that popcorn was known to human for thousands of years. The residue of popcorn was found to be dated around 3600 BCE in Mexico.
During 19th century, the popping of kernels was obtained by hand on stovetop. The kernels were sold under the name of Nonpareil or Pearls on the East Coast of United States. The word popped firstly appeared in Dictionary of Americanisms in 1848 of John Russell Bartlett.
The popcorn machine was invented by Charles Cretors in 1880s in Chicago. In 1890s, with the invention of popcorn maker, the accessibility of popcorn rapidly increased. A Chicago candy store owner, Cretors, made a number of steam powered machine to roast nuts and also applied technology to corn kernels. In the century, Creators made street carts equipped with steam powdered popcorn makers.
At the time of Great Depression, the price of popcorn was reasonable (5 to 10 cents a bag) and became quite popular. When the other businesses failed but the business of popcorn thrived and became an income source for struggling farmers. The sugar rations lowered the production of candy during World War II and then the Americans refunded by consuming three times much popcorn they had before. It was then became popular at theaters much to the displeasure to the theater owners who had a view that it distracted from films but eventually their minds changed. In 1938, Glen W. Dickson, a Midwestern theater owner installed popcorn machines in lobbies of his theaters. It got financial success and from there the trend spread soon.
Orville Redenbacher’s namesake brand of popcorn got launched in 1970. General Mills got first patent for the microwave popcorn bag in 1981 by considering the increase in popcorn consumption following tens of thousands of pounds in years.
Preparation of Popcorn
- Firstly take a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Heat the pan by adding little oil. Add some kernels of corn. Cover and heat it. The kernels start to ‘pop’ by bursting out of its skins. When the popping sound decreases, remove the pan from heat and remove the lid carefully.
- A heavy-based pan is preferred to make popcorn so that the kernels don’t burn during cooking. Put only one-quarter full of corn kernels and not more than one-third full.
- Sprinkle it with icing sugar or a little salt while it is still warm or drizzle it with honey. Alternatively, little butter to the hot pan and put popcorn in it as it melts.
Health Benefits of Popcorn
Popcorn contains impressive amounts of fiber, antioxidants, polyphenolic compounds, manganese, vitamin B complex, magnesium and manganese. This nutrient offers numerous health benefits:
- Supports digestive system
Popcorn is a whole grain that contains germ, endosperm and bran. Similar to whole grain cereals, bread and rice, it also possess these three main parts. Being a natural whole grain, it comprises of fiber, Vitamin E, B complex vitamins and minerals. High content of fiber supports digestion by keeping the bowel movements regular, smooth and fast through digestive tract. It assists to prevent digestive conditions such as constipation. It also stimulates peristaltic motion of smooth intestinal muscles and promotes digestive juice secretion that maintains healthy digestive system.
- Maintains healthy cholesterol
Fiber is beneficial for the body and whole grains possess fiber that could eliminate excess cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and arteries by lowering the overall level of cholesterol and also reducing the risk of harmful cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis and strokes. It decreases the strain on cardiac system and the heart does not have to work hard for moving blood through clogged vessels as well as arteries.
- Level of Blood sugar
Fiber has a good impact on blood sugar. When the body holds adequate amounts of fiber, it regulates release as well as manages blood sugar and the level of insulin more effectively than people with low fiber. The lower chances of blood sugar fluctuations are helpful for diabetic patients and popcorn is preferable for the people with this disease.
- Prevent formation of cancerous cells
The research that has been conducted recently resulted that popcorn contains ample amount of antioxidants. It is regarded to be unhealthy junk food but now it has been stated that the popcorn’s hull encloses high polyphenolic compounds which is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants eliminate and scavenge free radicals which are associated with various ailments in the body such as cancer. Free radicals are responsible for mutation of healthy DNA cells in cancerous cells. The consumption of popcorn helps to lower these risks.
- Lower chances of premature aging
Besides cancer, free radicals are associated with the age related symptoms such as age spots, wrinkles, blindness, macular degeneration, cognitive decline, muscle weakness, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, hair loss and others. As popcorn contains powerful antioxidants, it keeps one healthy as well as happy by counteracting the free radical effects.
- Supports to lose weight
A cup of popped popcorn offers 30 calories which is five times less in comparison to greasy potato chips. Moreover, popcorn has fiber in it that makes full and prevents the release of ghrelin which is a hunger hormone. It also prevents the chances of overeating. Popcorn has low content of saturated fats as well as natural oils that is essential for maintaining healthy body.
- Bone health
Popcorn consists of adequate amount of manganese which is a great source of nutrition required to maintain and build healthy bones. It is a supplemental nutrient that supports the structure of bones in people with weak bones such as menopausal women. It also prevents the risk of arthritis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
- Anemia prevention
The serving size of 28 grams of popcorn according to USDA offers 0.9 mg of iron. Though it has low content of iron, an adult men requires 8 mg of iron a day and an adult women requires 18 mg a day as women loses blood during menstruation. The surveys show that 10% of women have deficiency of iron. So incorporating popcorn in the diet provides adequate amount of iron in the body and prevents anemia.
- Rich in antioxidants
Popcorns are loaded with antioxidants such as polyphenols. Antioxidants eliminate free radicals that are responsible for severe diseases such as cancer. With balanced diet, popcorn promotes the intake of antioxidants to maintain healthy body. The presence of free radicals is associated with various health issues such as wrinkles, hair loss and aging.https://www.youtube.com/embed/iII28y3Hfg4?feature=oembed
- Some people might get allergic reactions such as difficulty in breathing and swollen mouth.
- It also irritates the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
- The bag in which popcorn is prepared with coated with perfluorinated compounds that suppress an immune function in children.
How to Eat
- It could be served sweetened or salted.
- In Peru, popcorn is sweetened with small candy pellets and condensed milk and consumed with salt.
- Buttered or salted popcorn is popular in Brazil.
- Popcorn is offered with hot sauce, jalapeno juice, butter, cheese or salt in Mexico.
- The popcorn balls could be served as a Halloween treat.
- Kettle corn is cooked with white sugar and salt in a large copper kettle.
- In Illinois, popcorn is considered to be an official snack.
- Popcorn kernels can pop to 3 feet in air.
- Popped popcorn is found in two shapes: Snowflake and Mushroom.
- Popcorns which do not pop are known as old maids.
- The world’s largest popcorn ball was recorded in Guinness book of record that weighs 3,423 lb (1,552.64 kg). It was made on USA by employees at The Popcorn Factory on 29 September 2006.
- Marion Popcorn Festival is regarded as the largest popcorn festival which attracts over two hundred thousand people.
- 19 February is celebrated as National Popcorn Day.
For the Cook & Foodie on your List, Consider this Healthy Holiday Gift
Many people rely on olive oil when they cook, as it is thought to be healthier than many other oils that could be used. These health benefits have solidified olive oil as a culinary mainstay and is a main element in the Mediterranean diet. Much research has been done that has revealed the exact composition of polyphenols which protect the body from many diseases because they function like antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Although olive oils in general are good for the body, the best source of these benefits is extra virgin.
Did you know just a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil helps the body?
Because of these nutrients, researches have found that as little as 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day can lower anti-inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, lower the risk of cardiovascular problems, balance cholesterol, improve digestive system, support bone health, reduce gallstones, and improve cognitive function. It also works to keep control insulin levels in the body as well as protect your body from cell damage, colon, breast cancer, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, high cholesterol, weight loss, metabolism, digestion, aging and cancer. Consuming 4 tablespoons or more a day can significantly lower your heart risks such as stroke or heart disease. It’s important though not to overdo it. Olive oil is high in calories, but is a healthy fat. Therefore, moderation, as with everything, is important.
As many of us like to approach the new year with resolutions to be healthier, consider incorporating olive oils in your diet.Olive oil boosts metabolism leading to a reduction in body weight. It also is rich in vitamin E making it especially good for good bone structure and much more effective for preventing the aging process.
Just as olive oil helps heal cells internally, it can also help exterior skin cells heal themselves. It is used in everything from skin moisturizers and nail care kits as it helps give a skin, nails and hair a natural shine and glow.
Cooking – Start using olive oil for cooking or as a replacement whenever a recipe calls for butter. Or you can split the recipe by using half oil and half butter
Body Oil – Rub a couple drops on your body or face after washing. You might even try shaving with it or using it to remove makeup.
Control Hair Frizz, Dry Cuticles & Nails – Just comb a drop through your hair to control flyaways and frizz. Rub it into nail cuticles and nails for a naturally polished look.
Control a Nagging Cough or Scratchy Throat – Swallow a tablespoon to soothe a dry or irritated throat.
Shine Stainless Pots & Pans – Olive oil will prevent streaking and tarnishing and naturally condition your pots and pans.
Lip Balm – Olive oil is the perfect lip balm to keep chapped lips at bay. It’s also great to use on your hands as a soothing hand lotion in winter.
Bath Oil – Add a few drops to the water you’re running for your bath. The benefits to your skin will be obvious even after the first time you use it.
Olive oil, however, has to be stored carefully. As light can damage the oil through oxidation, at the store, you should choose a dark green glass bottle or other material. The oil should then be stored in a room temperature cupboard. Olive oil does go rancid after a while though. If kept in the cupboard away from light, it typically lasts about a year.
The 15 Best Keto Recipes For Weight Loss
The keto diet is also known as the ketogenic diet and is known as one of the most popular low-carb diets out there. It works by encouraging the liver to create the ketones needed for energy since the body isn’t able to get it as much from carbohydrates.
It also goes by the term low carb high fat (LCHF) diet, because there is a focus on getting more unsaturated fats. Some people find it similar to the paleo diet or even the Atkins diet for its low carb approach.
Does it work for weight loss? People certainly find that it does, while helping them improve their health. In some cases, it can help to reduce the risks and development of type II diabetes because it helps to reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to produce.
This is a complete change in lifestyle. The good news is that you get to find out lots of tasty and easy-to-make recipes. It’s a diet where you’ve probably already got the basics in your cupboards, and you’ll just need to make a few substitutes avoid the high carb foods that you may usually rely on.
While I have 15 excellent keto recipes for weight loss here, I want to share a little more about the keto diet and tips for substitution.
How Do I Follow the Keto Diet?
Being low in carb, the keto diet is needed in your body to produce ketones for energy. This is done by focusing on the right types of foods: those high in fat to keep the ketone production high.
This is because you get rid of the foods that cause high blood sugar, also known as glucose. Glucose is the easiest way for your body to get energy, but it can lead to energy crashes if you get too much in a short time. To get rid of the glucose and use it up, the body needs to produce insulin. As we produce more and more, our bodies become resistant to it, and this can lead to diabetes.
Instead, the body encourages the state of ketosis. This is the process that allows the body to work when the amount of food you get on a daily basis is low. The fat in the liver breaks down to produce the ketones to keep you going.
That doesn’t mean you’ll go hungry on a diet. It’s quite the opposite! You’re not starving yourself of calories but of carbohydrates. Your body won’t go into what’s known as starvation mode, which is where your metabolic rate drops considerably. You’re adding more fat to the diet and taking out the carbs, so the metabolism can still work, and you get the energy you need.
Substitutions to Cut Out the Carbs
So, now you know this, it’s time to look at ways to cut out the carbs. You can still enjoy many of your usual meals, but you just need to find substitutes. These can be very easy and healthy to come by.
At the same time, you need to remember to increase the amount of fat that you eat. Also, it doesn’t mean a complete ban on carbs. You just need to reduce the amount that you eat to 15g or less per day. On average, we tend to eat around a third to a half more than that on a daily basis. Reducing carbs won’t be easy for some, which is why having delicious recipes to try first is the way to go.
Keep in mind that this diet is excellent for your health. You’re reducing the amount of insulin in your system, which means you reduce your risks of type II diabetes. If you already have type II diabetes, you could reverse the problem entirely!
I also want to point out that this is total net carbs within the food. All foods will have carbs, but the fibre can balance them out. To get the net carbs, you just have to take the total amount and minus the fibre amount. You could find that the net carbs are much lower than you initially thought when looking at the carbohydrates on the labels!
So, does this mean your protein is high? Not quite! You will need your diet to be around 25 percent protein. With 5 percent carbs, that means 70 percent of your diet is actually fat. This is why it’s known as an LCHF diet, with the emphasis on the fat in many circles.
For those who love their potatoes, pasta, and even fruit, this is a diet that will change your lifestyle completely. You’ve probably already guessed that the pasta and other wheat foods are not allowed. Potatoes and other starchy foods, like legumes and beans, are also on the banned list and that makes sense to many. But fruit? Is fruit not allowed?
Unfortunately, fruit is full of natural sugars. Natural or refined, sugars are still bad and the foods are higher in carbs. You need to avoid them.
Your best options when it comes to vegetables are the dark leafy greens. They’re much lower in net carbs because of the fibre content. They’re also full of minerals and vitamins that you can miss out on by cutting certain fruits out of your diet.
The great news is that unlike the paleo diet, cheese is still allowed. In fact, cheese is encouraged because it is fatty. Oils are also encouraged, although the healthier options like olive, coconut, and almond are better options that vegetable oils. You can also happily eat butter, peanut butter, and snack throughout the day if you want.
The idea is that you eat until you are satisfied. If you feel hungry between your meals, feel free to snack on nuts and seeds. Just keep the dried fruit out of the way.
Some of the best substitutions for your carby foods include:
- Courgette or squash spirals instead of spaghetti
- Vegetable chunks and slices instead of pasta
- Spinach leaves in place of bread in sandwiches
- Pancakes instead of wraps—yes, you get to eat some pancakes!
Is It Really Going to Be Worth All This?
I get it. You’re wondering if cutting your favourite foods out of your diet is really going to be worth it all. I can tell you that nothing worth having was easy to get.
Just think about all the training that athletes do to get to where they are. Think about the years of studying that doctors do to become the best in their field. This happens with dieting too. Having the best health and body shape is going to take time to develop.
The keto diet is definitely worth all the hard work in the end. Well, the benefits that you get from the keto diet are worth it.
This diet is responsible for better cholesterol levels, reduced weight, lower blood sugar levels, increased energy levels, fewer hunger pangs, and even a reduction in your acne.
From all that you get more confidence, you feel happier within yourself, and you’re putting your whole health first.
And it doesn’t have to be ridiculously hard. With a bit of planning and setting some keto diet goals, you will be able to stick with it and find something brilliant about it. It’s time to focus on the good things about the diet and move away from the negatives—like the things that you can’t have.
Your Keto Recipes for Weight Loss
Now you’re ready to try out these 15 great recipes.
The Keto Friendly Pancakes
We’ve said no refined carbs so your first thought may have been that pancakes are out of the question. That’s where you’re wrong. The trick is to work around this grain-free, carb-free world to create your favourite breakfast.
Rather than pancakes, I have some pancake muffins for you. Yup, you get the best of both worlds with this recipe!
- 12 cup yoghurt—whole milk and plain
- 2tbsp coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 ¾ cup almond flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1. Place muffin cups in your 6-12 space tray
- 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 3. Blend your yoghurt, oil, vinegar, extract and any sweetener you have together. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Blend until combined.
- 4. Now add in the eggs and blend again. Pop it on a high setting and blend for about 30 seconds until the eggs just mix in to create your batter.
- 5. Now add in all your other ingredients and stir by hand.
- 6. Place the batter into your muffin liners. Add some chopped walnuts or almonds on top if you wish.
- 7. Bake for around 15-20 minutes. To test if they’re done, stick a knife or skewer into the middle and see if it comes out clean. If not, then the muffins need to go back in for a little longer.
You can add in some sweetener if you find you need it in your muffins. Opt for a natural sweetener like Stevia if you’re going to use it. You can also add some nuts and seeds into the mix for that little extra bite. Poppy seeds work really well!
Some keto recipes do add some blueberries and raspberries to them. While we say no fruits allowed, there are some fruits that work out lower in carbs. You can create muffins with 4.5g net carbs by adding some fruits.
Allow them to cool before you serve/eat.
Poppy Seed Muffins
If you’re not the biggest fan of the pancake muffins, why not try these poppy seed muffins instead? These muffins work great when served with cream cheese to add a little extra fat to your diet.
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- 1/3 cup natural sweetener like Erythritol
- 1tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup double cream
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Natural sweetener to taste
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350.
- 2. Combine the flour, flaxseed, erythritol, and seeds
- 3. Melt the butter. Stir it into the flour with the cream and eggs. Create a smooth batter.
- 4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
- 5. Place 12 cupcake moulds onto a baking tray. Pour the mixture evenly over them. Silicone moulds are great for keeping the regular cost down.
- 6. Bake for around 20 minutes, until brown. You can also do the skewer test mentioned above.
- 7. Allow to cool before serving
This mixture of ingredients will give you just 1.5g net carbs per muffin. They can be quite small, but will help to curb some of that sweet tooth. The best part is you feel like you’re being naughty without actually piling on the pounds!
Try serving by cutting in half and placing butter or cream cheese in between the halves. They can make a great breakfast or snack.
Pizza Breakfast Frittata
Have you ever just wanted pizza for breakfast? Of course, you have, but that’s not allowed on the keto diet, is it? Well, here’s a slight variation to keep you happy throughout the week.
- 12 eggs
- 9oz spinach ripped into smaller pieces
- 1oz pepperoni
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 5oz mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 4 tbsp oil
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Seasoning to taste
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375
- 2. Mix the eggs, spices and oil together
- 3. Add in the cheese and spinach
- 4. Add to a skillet, sprinkle with some extra mozzarella cheese on top
- 5. Add the pepperoni to make it look like a pizza
- 6. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes
Serve with your favourite fatty dressings.
This isn’t going to be your quick morning breakfast, but it is great for getting everyone to sit together on the weekend.
Mock McGriddle Loaf
Who said a loaf was going to be completely off the list? You can always make your own keto friendly options—and there are plenty of ideas out there. This is just one of the best ones available.
The best part about this keto recipe is that you can make it the night or even the day before. It keeps in the fridge for a few days, so you have a great quick breakfast idea.
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¼ cup flaxseed
- 1lb sausage
- 10 eggs
- 4oz cheese—cheddar or something similar
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp sage
- Seasoning to taste
- 1. Pre-heat the oven to 350
- 2. Add the sausage to a pan on the stove. Break up and cook until brown
- 3. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Combine and add the wet ingredients, except 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4. Add the sausage into the mixture
- 5. Place parchment paper into a casserole dish and add the mixture in
- 6. Drizzle the remaining syrup over
- 7. Bake for around 50 minutes, until completely cooked through
- 8. Remove and allow to cool
Try serving with some syrup or ketchup. It’s perfect for that Sunday morning treat.
Burger With a Twist
Burger buns may not be allowed on the keto diet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t opt for a burger for your lunch. This burger with a twist is a great alternate option.
I’ve already mentioned using spinach leaves for the bun, but what about using two burgers for the bun instead? They have plenty of fat, especially if you fry them in olive oil. You can add all the toppings you want and finish it off with a side salad or some fries—again, with a slight twist.
- 800g minced beef
- 8 rashers of bacon, chopped
- ¼ cup cheese, something like cheddar
- 2 tbsp chives, chopped
- Slices of onion
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Soy sauce/Worcestershire sauce to taste
- 1. Start by frying your bacon in a pan with some oil. Season as you like.
- 2. Once fully cooked, remove the bacon and place on some paper towels to soak up the oils.
- 3. Now mix your beef with all the ingredients, except the cheese, in a mixing bowl.
- 4. Create patties with your hands. You should be able to get 8-10 patties.
- 5. Fry each of the patties in your oil. You should be able to cook at least two at once.
- 6. Flip the burgers and cook until they are made just the way you like.
You can also add other toppings that you like. Try some tomatoes, pickles, and more! You could even spice things up by adding some extra flavours to your beef burgers. You could also add some jalapenos or chilli if you like a kick.
If you want something a little lighter on the stomach, consider some turkey mince or pork mince instead.
To serve, place one patty on the plate and then top with some cheese, extra bacon and all the vegetables you want. Top with the second pattie. Top with all the fatty dressing you could want.
French Fry Substitute
Did you think reading all this that you couldn’t have fries again? I’m happy to tell you that fries are definitely allowed—and I’ve got to admit that I was happy to hear that.
However, these won’t be the fries that you know best. You’ll need to make substitutes with Daikon radish. Nope, I’d never heard of this before learning about the keto diet, but I’m glad I did. You can also make fries out of other root vegetables, like butternut squash and parsnips.
You may need to go to an Asian butcher to find a Daikon radish because this is the region the vegetable comes from. It’s used in plenty of Asian dishes.
The best thing about the fries is that they couldn’t be easier to make. You can then top them with your favourites like bacon and cheese, and opt for sauces like ketchup and ranch dressing.
- 1 daikon radish, sliced into fries
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Spices to taste
- 1. Preheat the oven to 475.
- 2. Place the radish strips into a bag.
- 3. Pour in the melted coconut oil, salt, and spices. Tie up the bag and shake until the radish strips are completely coated.
- 4. Spread the strips on the tray.
- 5. Bake for about 15 minutes, flip and then bake for another 15 minutes.
- 6. Remove and allow to cool before serving.
The best length for these fries will be around 3”, and you’ll want them about a 1/2” thick. Make sure you wash the radish to get rid of the starch on it. Baking times will depend on the thickness, so keep an eye on your fries while they’re cooking. If they look finished, they probably are!
Serve them on the side of your burger.
Cauliflower Grilled Cheese
It’s not just fries and pizza that are still allowed when you find a twist. You can also opt for a grilled cheese sandwich. The different is you’re substituting the bread for cauliflower crust.
Cauliflower has become a great substitute for the likes of pasta and bread dishes. Cauliflower crust can also be used for pizza bases, which you can top with absolutely anything you want.
To get started with this recipe, you need to create your cauliflower crust for the bread. Oh, and you can use this for your burger if you really want a pun for the patties!
Start by grating your cauliflower, so it looks like cauliflower rice. Put it all in a bowl and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. This helps to pack everything together to make your bread slices. Make the cauliflower into patties and then pop onto a baking tray. Just put in the oven on a medium heat for around 15 minutes. They’ll be ready to go!
Yes, your bread substitute is really that easy. Of course, if you want a pizza base, you turn the cauliflower into a larger base. And get creative with shapes. Your imagination is your limit.
Now for the grilled cheese part:
- 4 slices of cauliflower crust
- The amount of cheese you want—and whichever type of cheese you would prefer
- 1. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a bit of oil.
- 2. Add one slice of cauliflower crust.
- 3. Top with your cheese and optionally other ingredients.
- 4. Add the top slice.
- 5. Cook until the cheese is melting out of the sides. Remember to flip to prevent one side burning!
This is a super simple lunch. You can add in all the extras that you would like. Some love cheese and tomato sandwiches, while others prefer to throw in some onion. There are some who just love grilled cheese on its own, with plenty of cheese!
You can also season your sandwich to taste. And don’t forget a dip for it on the side.
To get the golden look, butter the side of the cauliflower crust that is at the base of your pan.
Chicken & Mushroom Celery Root Pasta
This is a great low-carb pasta option—using the celery root as a pasta substitute. It looks and tastes very much like chicken noodle soup. Over time, you’ll barely even realise that you’ve not had noodles, pasta or rice in a while.
Ingredients for the noodles:
- 2 celery roots
- 1 tbsp ghee
- ½ tsp salt
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 1 ¾ cups of water
- ½ cup of cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Garlic and onion powder, and salt
Ingredients for the meat and vegetables
- 3 cups of chopped mushrooms
- 2-4 chicken breasts, skinless
- 2 tbsp ghee
- Garlic and onion powder, and salt
- ¼ cup of water
Start with the sauce and noodles
- 1. Peel your celery root and spiralize them. Sprinkle with salt.
- 2. Heat a pan on medium heat and place the spiralized celery in it. Add the ghee.
- 3. Saute until they are easily halved.
- 4. Blend all the ingredients for the sauce and then pour over the noodles. Simmer while partially covered on a low heat. Leave for about 20 minutes, while you work on the other part.
Mushrooms and chicken:
- 1. Saute the mushrooms over a medium heat.
- 2. Add the ghee and salt.
- 3. Leave until tender.
- 4. In another pan add ghee.
- 5. Sprinkle your chicken with the seasoning on both sides and then cook for a minute on both sides.
- 6. Add the water and place a lid over the pan with a slight crack.
- 7. Reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes.
- 8. Leave to cool and cut the chicken up into pieces.
- 9. Add the chicken and mushrooms to the noodles.
- 10. Mix together and serve with seasoning to taste.
The root vegetables mix in with the sauce, making anyone believe they are really eating pasta.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Curries are popular dishes, especially a tikka masala. The great news is you can still have one on the keto diet. You just need to substitute your rice for some cauliflower rice—and that is really simple and delicious to make.
The best way to cook this is with a slow cooker. Get everything in the pot and leave it to do the hard work for you. It’s a great way to set something for dinner and leave it until after work. You can make it in the oven if you wish.
- 1 1/2lbs chicken thighs, leave the skin on and bone in
- 1lb chicken thighs without the skin and bone
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 in ginger root, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Mixture of tomato paste, garam masala, smoke paprika, and salt
- 10 oz can of tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup double cream
- Guar gum and cilantro to taste
- 1. De-bone your chicken and chop all the chicken into pieces. Keep the skin on them.
- 2. Add all the chicken into the slow cooker and grate the ginger over the top.
- 3. Add everything up to (but not including) the coconut milk into the slow cooker. Mix everything together.
- 4. Add half the coconut milk.
- 5. Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
- 6. Once cooked, add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
Serve your curry over your cauliflower rice. Simple grate some cauliflower and place in a microwaveable bowl. Pop in the microwave for about a minute and then place on your plate as a bed for the curry. You’ll barely tell the difference!
Instead of the rice, you can also create a bed of mixed vegetables for your curry.
Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Courgettes
Another great dinner option is stuffed courgettes. You can add all the vegetables and meat that you want, but this recipe will use broccoli and chicken.
- 2 courgettes, hallowed out with 1in left near the skin
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 oz cheese, shredded
- 6 oz chicken, shredded
- 1 cup broccoli
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1 stalk of green onion
- Seasoning to taste
- 1. Preheat oven to 400.
- 2. Melt your butter and pour into the hallowed courgette. Season and place in the oven.
- 3. Cook the courgettes while following the rest of the steps.
- 4. Cut up your broccoli and then combine it with the chicken and sour cream in a bowl. Season well.
- 5. Once the courgette is cooked (should take 20 minutes) take it out of the oven and fill with the chicken.
- 6. Sprinkle with cheese.
- 7. Place back in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- 8. Garnish with your green onion.
Cauliflower and Jalapeno Cheese
Now it’s time to give your cauliflower cheese a bit of a spicy twist. This is one of those great dishes that works with everything and is even a dinner by itself. You can make it a side dish for Thanksgiving or opt for it as a main meal packed with vegetables and even throw in some bacon!
Consider adding some spiralised veggies, so it feels like you’re getting some pasta in your dish. It’ll feel like a twist on mac ‘n’ cheese!
Ingredients for the puree:
- 1 cauliflower head
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup cheese grated
- 1 tbsp jalapenos, chopped
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Seasoning to taste
Ingredients for the cheese:
- 6 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup of salsa
Ingredients for the topping:
- ¾ cup Colby jack cheese grated
- ¼ cup jalapenos, sliced
Start with the puree:
- 1. Preheat the oven at 375.
- 2. Break the cauliflower into medium sized pieces. Pop in the microwave with the cream and butter and cook for 10 minutes. Coat with the melted cream and butter and put in the microwave for another 6minutes.
- 3. Remove and place in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until pureed.
Now for the cream cheese:
- 1. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.
- 2. Add the cheese and salsa, mixing completely.
Create the casserole
- 1. Spread the puree across a casserole dish.
- 2. Spread the cream cheese over the top.
- 3. Layer with your toppings.
- 4. Bake for 20 minutes.
If you’re going to add the vegetables or bacon, do this with the cream cheese layer. You can also serve with crumbled bacon over the top.
Keto Friendly Sushi
Sushi is a delicious dish, but what do you do when it comes to all that rice? How do you get around it all? Well, you can. Here is a look at a keto friendly recipe for sushi to try out when you have some time.
Do bear in mind that sushi can take up a time to make.
The trick with the rice is to find a substitute, and we’ve already looked at cauliflower rice. Avoid over grating your cauliflower. You don’t want it so fine that it is a fine powder for this dish. It still needs to have a rice texture. You will also need to add some cream cheese to the cauliflower to work for this rice substitute. Otherwise you’ll just get the cauliflower everywhere!
It’s worth having a bamboo roller to make your sushi. This will help to keep everything packed together as you go. If you don’t have one, use some parchment paper to help with the roll.
- 16 oz cauliflower
- 6 oz softened cream cheese
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 5 nori sheets
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 mini cucumber
- 2 avocados
- 5 oz of seafood of your choice
- 1. Grate the cauliflower.
- 2. Slice the ends of your cucumber off and then tip it so it’s upright. Slice in half and discard the middle of both. Slice into strips and set to one side.
- 3. Add your cauliflower into a very hot pan. Season with soy sauce as it cooks.
- 4. Add the cauliflower to a bowl. Mix in the cream cheese and vinegar. Set in the fridge to cool down.
- 5. Once the rice is cooled, slice your avocado into small strips and remove the shell.
- 6. Place a nori sheet onto your bamboo roller. Spread on the rice, leaving about 3/4in at the top.
- 7. Place your fillers layering just the way you want.
- 8. Roll the sushi with your bamboo roller. This will take some practice to get right.
Serve with some wasabi and pickled ginger. You’ll feel like you’re in a Japanese restaurant, enjoying a local dish.
Chocolate and Coconut Bars
When you feel snacky, sometimes you just want to reach for the chocolate. This is something that you can do on the keto diet, but you need just the right type of recipe. Well, I’ve got you covered when it comes to your snacking needs.
This tastes just like a Bounty bar. You can make it as long or short as you want, and even cut it into bite-sized chunks for easy snacking on the go.
A coconut is a great option for a snack on the keto diet because it’s so fatty. This is just what you need, right! But doesn’t chocolate have the sugar and carbs? Well, there’s a slight secret to this, and you’ll see once you look at the ingredients.
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut, desiccated
- 1 packet natural sweetener like stevia
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut cream
- 4 tbsp coconut oil/cocoa butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1. Mix the coconut, cream, extract, and stevia together. Blend with a spoon.
- 2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the coconut mixture on it.
- 3. Shape into a rectangle about 1in thick.
- 4. Freeze for two hours. It will be solid.
- 5. While this happens, you can melt your coconut oil/cocoa butter (whichever you choose) in a sauce pan.
- 6. Add the powder and some stevia and extract the oil. Mix and heat for 2 minutes.
- 7. Allow to cool until at room temperature.
- 8. Remove the coconut from the freezer and cut into bars.
- 9. Dip the bars into the cocoa mixture, coating all sides evenly.
- 10. Place onto the cookie sheet and put into the fridge to cool completely.
- 11. Allow to remain in the fridge to keep the solid consistency when it comes to eating them.
- If you want them softer, allow reaching room temperature.
There you have your Bounty snacks. But what about dessert? It’s time to try out these last two keto recipes for weight loss.
Chocolate Mug Cake
You should know by now that just because we say carbs and sugar are banned that it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways around things. Yes, you really still can have a cake. The best thing about this one is that it’s super simple to make. You don’t even need your oven!
This will make one serving so you can benefit from a quick dessert just for you.
You could substitute the almond flour for protein powder if you want. It doesn’t quite give the right consistency and texture, but have a play around with it and test it out.
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp almond butter/protein powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1 ½ tbsp Splenda
- 2 tsp coconut flour
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1. Get your mug and put your butter into it.
- 2. Microwave for about 25 seconds until hot and melted. Add the sweetener.
- 3. Add the cocoa powder, coconut and almond flours, extract, baking powder, and egg.
- 4. Mix until completely combined.
- 5. You’ll need to make sure there are no lumps for this to turn out just right.
- 6. Microwave for about 75 seconds.
You can make up some whip cream in a mixing bowl while making the cake. Allow the cake to cool before you add the whipped cream on top!
Enjoy your dessert. You deserve it with how hard you’ve been working.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tarts
The last of the 15 keto recipes for weight loss the chocolate and peanut butter tart. Yes, this is another dessert, and it’s definitely worth trying at least once. You’ll want so much more of it!
You may question some of the ingredients. Avocado in a dessert? Well, this does work. Avocados tend to be bland on their own, so really soak in the flavours that you mix in.
Ingredients for the crust:
- ¼ cup flaxseed ground until fine
- 2 tbsp almond flour
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp sweetener
Ingredients for the middle layer:
- 4 tbsp peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
- 2 tbsp butter
Ingredients for the top layer:
- 1 avocado
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- ¼ cup sweetener
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp double cream
- ½ cinnamon
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350.
- 2. Mix the ground flaxseeds and rest of the crust ingredients until fully combined.
- 3. Press the mixture into a tart pan all the way up the sides.
- 4. Bake for 8 minutes until set.
- 5. Combine all the top layer ingredients in the blender. Smooth until creamy and set to one side.
- 6. Allow the crust to cool, while mixing your peanut butter and butter in the microwave.
- 7. Pour into the crust and refrigerate for 30 minutes until set.
- 8. Now layer with your top layer. Smooth and place in the fridge for an hour or so.
Serve up this delicious dessert with some cream on the side. Your guests will love it and not even notice the avocado.
Get Started With the Keto Diet
Those are just a selection of 15 recipes on the keto diet. They’re all great for weight loss and will work for all stages of the diet.
They recipes are a great way to get started with the keto diet. They’re fun and easy to make, and you’ll barely notice the change. You’ll be able to get your favourites like curries, sushi, pasta, and even sandwiches. With slight variations, you can cut out the carbs and focus on the fats that your body needs to create the ketones in the liver.
Go into this with full effort. You’ll benefit from it in the end. Your mind will be in the zone, and you’ll be able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. You’re saying no to anything. You’re just finding ways around the items that you shouldn’t have.
Now you’ve made the decision to follow the diet, it’s time to choose the type. There are four options. The standard ketogenic diet is the ones that we’ve already looked into, where your diet consists of 70% fat, 25% protein and the rest carbs. You can also follow a high protein option, which cuts your fat intake to 60% and your protein intake up to 35%.
Both of these versions of the diet have been fully studied, and the results are published. They have been proven to offer all the benefits I mentioned before the recipes.
The two other types of the diet haven’t been fully tested yet. However, there are some stated benefits.
When you want to add some carbs to a workout, you can follow the targeted ketogenic diet. You’re allowed a few extra carbs, but they are only on the days and around the timings of your workouts. The focus is on still getting the exercise without struggling with energy. You wouldn’t need to do this if you get enough fat into your diet and once your body gets into the ketone producing zone.
The cyclical diet is another one that focuses on more carbs. This is more of a cycle—hence the name. You’ll get five days where you follow the standard diet and then two days where you get more carbs. This sort of diet could be perfect for those who struggle to stick to a plan or just know they wouldn’t be able to last without any potatoes, bread or pasta at all. Think of this like your 5:2 diet, where you get two days off.
Now it’s your turn. Pick your diet and choose from the best keto recipes for weight loss shared above.
6 ways to healthy grilling
Cooking outdoors on the grill brings a wave of healthy appetite for most of us. It’s difficult to keep track of our calories and stick to the health goals while the smoky aromas are drifting all around.
Thank god, grilling is inherently a healthy cooking style. If you don’t have a grilling station you can get one for your outdoor kitchen from BBQGuys.
It is possible to keep those mounting daily calories in check, just by following a few tips for healthy cooking.
1. Marinate for health
A key to lip-smacking grilled dishes is the liberal rub of spices and flavors. You can infuse beautiful flavors with healthy marinades like lime juice, vinegar, wine, soy sauce, garlic and herbs.
Marinades are known to reduce the formation of cancer causing compounds by about 92-99%, and that’s the right way to healthy grilling. Ideally you should be marinating the vegetables for at least an hour for the best results.
You should also make a healthy choice with marinades. Instead of choosing packaged marinades, look for recipes that give you options for low-fat vegetable oil based marinade.
3. Embrace lean plant-protein
Plant-based proteins are a low-calorie healthier option that you can choose over animal protein. Animal protein comes with health risks and has been linked to increased risk of stroke and heart diseases. It’s a smart choice to choose the lean plant protein for lower risk of cancer, hypertension and obesity. You’ll get more nutrients, fiber and antioxidants to boost your overall health.
Choose chickpeas and black beans for making the patties in grilled burgers. Grilled tofu and tempeh skewers are excellent choices too.
3. Rainbow of nutrients
Adding a rainbow of colors through fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way to broaden the range of nutrients. You can use grilled vegetables and fruits as salads or as side accompaniment to the main dish. Smoked vegetables taste heavenly if cooked to the right temperature.
Make sure that the vegetables are brushed with olive oil or any other healthy vegetable oil before you place them in the grilling basket. This will prevent them from getting stuck and burnt at the base. Cutting the veggies evenly will also ensure that they are cooked quickly and uniformly.
4. Use fat consciously
Always make a conscious choice about the cooking oil for your dishes. When it comes to grilling you need to be extra conscious with the oil. At high heat, oils can oxidize and become rancid. Opt for healthy oils that are resistant to oxidation and rancidification.
Olive oil and coconut oil are options which are rich in healthy unsaturated fats. Opting for these oils while grilling can have positive effects on your cholesterol levels and heart health.
5. Grilled fruits for desserts
Desserts often carry the highest calorie in our meals. Unfortunately, we also over-indulge in desserts and lose much of our control at the end of the meal. A good idea to curb the calories coming in from desserts is to get the focus on fruits.
When fruits are grilled and cooked at high temperature, their natural sugars begin to caramelize. This boost of sweetness coupled with the smoky flavors can become a recipe for some delicious desserts. The best part is, you can have the grilled dessert to your heart’s content without feeling guilty about the calories.
6. Opt for healthy dressings and seasoning
Too much salt and sugar in food can increase your risk for hypertension and diabetes. Don’t get carried away and limit the use of salt and sugar while grilling. A lot of times we don’t realize but we end up favoring a lot of salty spices and sweet condiments when we are barbecuing. Packaged seasonings and condiments are especially high in salt and sugar, and can lead to overindulgence too.
Go for homemade condiments with reasonable salt and sugar, for a healthier take at your grilled recipes.
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