There’s an important caveat to this list: the only “must-have” to follow a keto way of eating is just regular, unprocessed food, while avoiding carbohydrates. But most American chefs wouldn’t consider their pantry complete without some basic items, like salt, pepper, garlic, onion, tomato, flour, sugar, etc.
If you have some basic staples, you are freer during the week to make whatever recipe you stumble upon instead of waiting for your next grocery run. I’ve included below the items I consider to be my “keto pantry staples” that permit me freedom to pick a random recipe during the week and cook/bake with confidence.
My go-to sweetener, this tickles my palate much better than dry Stevia blends or Splenda. I usually keep both the granulated and confectioner’s varieties on hand.
While you can convert between coconut and almond flours if you’re really in a pinch, I prefer not to. Also, I love the taste of coconut flour.
3. Almond flour
Almond Flour is most ketoer’s go-to replacement for wheat flour. I recommend getting as fine of a variety as you can. While some finer varieties are available online, I use Bob’s Red Mill Super-fine almond flour because it is reliable (and conveniently) stocked at my neighborhood Kroger.
4. Xanthan Gum
I use Pamela’s Not Xantham Not Guar Gum. This has been a very trusty thickening agent, good to have on hand for if you accidentally make something too soupy. It is also occasionally used in desserts.
Since following a keto way of eating, some spices are in my pantry that I previously rarely/never used. These include garlic powder, onion powder, and tarragon.
I most commonly use my Kroger brand flavor enhancer (love the Pineapple Coconut flavor). I recommend trying a bunch from a few different brands and seeing what makes you look forward to drinking 3+ liters of water per day.
Sometimes, no matter how much potassium I ingest, I still wind up with leg cramps. At that point, I take magnesium. If I have a headache that doesn’t improve with sodium intake, I also take magnesium.
With any weight loss diet, you are at risk of some hair loss after a couple of months. When my hair started thinning after 30 pounds of weight loss in 3 months, I researched into collagen supplementation. I started using this product, and my hair stabilized, and then filled back in. I now use one serving at last 3 times per week whenever I am losing weight.
10. Pork Rinds
In addition to satisfying a craving for something salty and crunchy that isn’t a potato chip, pork rinds also serve as a great coating for anything you want to bake/fry in combination with other spices.
11. Water Bottle
Your goal is to fill it up and drink at least 3 times per day. Having a splash guard with a spout on top makes it easier to eyeball the amount of salt you need when making a drink using the flavored water infusers shown above.
So much of my keto way of eating revolves around using this trusty skillet – for eggs, quesadillas, stir-frying meat, sauteing chicken thighs – just one skillet can do all of these tasks.
13. Kitchen Scale
This scale is easier to store, converts between multiple different measurements, has a high accuracy (can detect changes as little as 0.5-1 tsp), and a weight limit of 5 kilograms (over 10 pounds). I’m so happy we took the plunge and purchased a good kitchen scale.