Think you can’t enjoy your holiday meals while staying low carb? Think again.

With the holidays creeping among us, food is always the center of attention.  All the yummy casseroles and sweet treats leave us feeling weighed down and well, just like the Grinch.  So, do you ever wonder how you can still enjoy the food and stay low carb?  It may be simpler than you think.

A few holiday staples are already naturally low in carbohydrates, like turkey, ham, deviled eggs… well, thats about it so lets get creative!

Look for alternatives and substitutions for the ingredients with high carbs.

My favorite holiday staple is green bean casserole, which comes in at 17 grams of carbs!  If you are doing a Keto diet, that would take up more than half of your daily intake of carbs.  So what do I do? Replace the can of cream of mushroom with real mushrooms, chicken broth and cream cheese.  Don’t forget the yummy french fried onions… those are easily replaced with crushed pork rinds.  Poof! You now have a green bean casserole with 6 grams of carbs. (And, your family will never notice the difference!)

“Mac” and cheese your favorite holiday dish? Remember, cheese is not high in carbs, so you can still enjoy that without an guilt. Try replacing the pasta with cauliflower; you’ll be amazed at how closely it resembles macaroni and cheese. Remember, cauliflower is a great substitution for a lot of heavy carb vegetables, like our old friend the potato.

Appetizers troubling for you?  Those are easy to stay low carb; stick with whole ingredients using vegetables and meat. And don’t worry about the butter, because butter is perfectly okay while staying low carb.  A Charcuterie board with parmesan crisps instead of crackers.  Deviled eggs are always crowd pleasing appetizer and super low carb (1 gram of carbs).

low carb charcuterie board

Desserts.  Do we even count carbs on desserts? Well if you are trying to stay low carb, yes you do count them. Pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies…..  Ok, lets start with the pumpkin pie. Another easy substitution.  Get rid of that granulated sugar and use a sugar substitute!  Try using almond flour and pecans for the crust.  Skip the whip cream, of course, trust me, you are not missing anything.  For the chocolate chip cookies, replace the granulated sugar with a sugar substitute, bleached flour with almond flour, and the chocolate chips with sugar free chocolate chips.

For tips on carb counting and adult beverages, please see our previous blog or click here:

When I am trying to find a great alternative to a staple favorite dish, Google is always around to help guide you.  So just search for a low carb version of you favorite.  You may find that staying low carb over the holidays is a lot easier than you expected.  Also keep in mind when that when grocery shopping, some items have a sugar free version, so always take advantage of those.  Happy Holidays and remember, staying low carb can be easier than you think!

-Melanie Heinl