Over the years, I’ve become an expert at ketofying things. Seriously, I can find a way to make a keto version of anything. A large part of that is my imagination, and, of course, google. But, I owe my keto success in large part to the items I keep on hand at all times. These are those items *Law & Order voice*
An artist is only as good as his or her tools. That’s what they say, right?
I mean, what’s Picasso without his brushes? Rodin without his...chisel? (Idk, I don’t really know art that well).
This is how I feel about my kitchen tools. I am, by no means, calling myself a master in the kitchen. However, when I want to make some keto magic happen, there are a few tools I turn to every time. I’m not talking about obvious things such as a knife or a skillet—you already know you need those. These are tools I use specifically to keto-fy my favorite foods.
I want to point out that these items are by no means necessary to eat keto—there are no “start up” costs to eating a healthy diet full of good fats. Rather, think of these tools as a “level up” of sorts. In each case, these specific tools either make it easier for me to track my macros, prepare my food, or store it for easy access.
(Looking for a list of essential kitchen tools? Get my free resources guide!)
Due to the varying costs, I’ve listed my keto kitchen items in list of least to most expensive. Let’s get to it!
1 // Ziploc Bags
I talk about these often, but it’s because I love them so. I use these bags for everything, but especially for storing quick snacks and freezing foods. Ziploc bags are awesome for portion control, especially if you buy in bulk: Whether I’m dividing up nuts into serving size portions or rationing out individual portions of cooked proteins for the freezer, ziploc bags are my go to. My tip: Buy a variety of sizes—snack sizes for (duh) snacks, quart sizes for individual proteins or cut up veggies, and gallon for larger items. The quart and gallon sizes come in both storage and freezer varieties; I buy freezer all around, even though they’re a little more expensive, for versatility. Nothing worse than using a storage bag to freeze some food and having to throw it away later because of freezer burn!
2 // Kitchen Scale
People everywhere who have memories of early Weight Watchers pre-points just cringed. I’m sorry, guys. As you know, I’m not a huge stickler for tracking EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth, but I *do* like to get accurate numbers when I can, and a kitchen scale helps me with that when preparing foods or portioning snacks. What is worse than giving it your all in the gym and supposedly eating perfectly keto just to see no results, or even worse, the scale going up? To help prevent this, I like to measure out most things and track them in myfitnesspal. As you may know from my instagram, I tend to go out fairly often, and foods prepared by others are harder to track. Therefore, I like to know exact numbers for the foods that are within my control.
3 // Salad Spinner
I know you’re thinking this isn’t a keto tool, but hear me out. Salads have completely saved my keto life, and I’ll tell you how. Prior to keto, my favorite thing in the world was a sandwich. I just freaking loved sandwiches. Obviously, not having traditional sandwiches was a blow when I started la vida low carb. Then I thought, why not just make sandwich salads? Ever since that epiphany, I haven’t missed a sandwich since. I just turn every sandwich I want (Reuben, Italian, Cheeseburger, etc.) into a salad. To do that, of course, you need some greens. For the amount of salad I eat, buying the pre-chopped bag salad wasn’t enough. One head of romaine nets you about four salads, yet costs the same as one bag of salad, which nets you roughly one meal-sized salad. No thanks. Plus, bagged salads aren’t that great for you. So, enter the salad spinner! Hands down, the quickest (and most fun) way to clean off the sandy grit that lives in most fresh greens.
4 // Veggie Spiralizer
This was probably my first foray into keto kitchen tools, and I think it's a valuable addition to your kitchen even if you're not living a ketogenic way of life. After all, who doesn't need more veggies? A veggie spiralizer takes your veggies (if you're keto, you're mostly working with zucchini and squash here) and cuts them into little ribbons that resemble pasta. The type of ribbons cut vary by the type of spiralizer you use (you can have the standard spaghetti, or you can get fancy and make wide ribbons with your veggies), but all can be used like you would a pasta. When I'm craving spaghetti carbonara or a good alfredo, I reach for my handy dandy spiralizer. No keto kitchen is complete without it! (They even have electric spiralizers these days...I haven't tried one, but they look pretty cool!)
5 // Immersion Blender
I think I said somewhere else that the immersion blender is my favorite tool in the kitchen. It still is, and will be for the foreseeable future. It’s so handy! It basically helps you keto-fy most things—I use my immersion blender to make homemade mayo in five minutes, whip fresh cream, make salad dressing with no weird additives, and more. It also features prominently in my mashed faux-tatoes preparation. What’s not to love?
6 // Food Processor
Another workhorse in the kitchen. A food processor is key to keto favorites such as cauliflower rice and pork rind bread crumbs. I like to use it to shred veggies such as cabbage and brussels sprouts as well, which are great for sauteing. Some people use their food processors to make nut or coconut butters, or even little fat bombs. One of my most frequent uses, however, is to shred cheese—store bought pre-shredded cheese has preservatives and stabilizers in it, which I try to avoid, while the blocks of cheese don’t. I’m not the type to stand over a box grater with a block of cheese—a food processor gets the job done in seconds.
7 // Instant Pot
I know, I know, you’ve seen the internet go crazy over Instant Pots lately, and you’re wondering if the hype is true. Well folks, it is. I’m not quite sure if I should call this a keto-specific tool, which is breaking my rule. However, I cook a LOT of foods in here, so I felt I’d be remiss if I didn’t. Besides the fact that it makes bone broth in under two hours (usually a 12-24 hr process), I use it to make pork chops, stews, green beans, and more. Basically, anything that takes a long time to cook on the stove? At least half the time in the Instant Pot. One of my favorite recipes? Carnitas!
8 // Air Fryer
I saved the best for last. You may not know this about me, but I’m gadget-happy. If there’s something on an infomercial, I’m obsessed with it. The air fryer was no different—as soon as I saw them make chicken wings, I knew I had to have one. However, on this rare occasion, I recognized my junky-ism and decided not to get it. I held off for several months...that is, until I had a craving for fried brussels sprouts I just couldn’t shake. Being that I stay away from most vegetable oils at home, I rarely fry things. So what was a girl to do? How was I going to get my fried brussels sprouts fix? That’s when I remembered the air fryer. Let me tell you folks, GAME CHANGER. I use the air fryer for so many things now—chicken wings, keto mozzarella sticks, parmesan fried cauliflower, and of course, the aforementioned brussels sprouts. It’s just so easy. If you were missing fried foods on keto, or just looking for a different way to prepare the foods you eat all the time, look no further. The air fryer is here to save the day!
Well, I’ve shown you mine, you show me yours! What tools help you whip up your favorite keto meals? Share in the comments!