The ketogenic diet is a diet that revolves around maintaining extremely low levels of carbohydrate intake. The aim is to reduce the amount of sugar in your blood, thereby avoiding a potential spike in insulin that can lead to weight gain and other issues.
Sugar is an incredibly destructive force in our diet and can cause everything from nerve damage, to addictive eating behaviour, to rapid weight gain and poor mood. Lowering sugar has been shown to improve your health in a huge variety of ways and to be an incredibly effective tool for losing weight. But when you take this even further and enter a ‘ketogenic state’, the health benefits become even greater.
A ketogenic state – or ketosis - is a state in which the body is so low on blood sugar (glucose) that it must rely on an alternate form of energy – ketones – instead. Ketones can help to boost brain power in a number of ways, they aren’t stored as fat, they stabilize the mood and they can even help to improve insulin sensitivity making this an instrumental tool for combating diabetes. Ketosis might also help to improve lifespan and reduce the likelihood of cell damage and genetic mutations and this is also one of the reasons that intermittent fasting is so popular – this is another way to reach ketosis.
But there’s just one problem and that is that sugar is delicious. Most of the desserts that we enjoy most are ‘simple carbohydrates’, meaning that they’re pure sugar that is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream to trigger a spike in insulin. In short, things like cake, sweets, ice cream, chocolate… these are all completely counter-productive for those trying to stick to a ketogenic diet and they in fact have the opposite effect of what we’re trying to accomplish.
So the question is: can we have our cake and eat it too? How can we enjoy a ketogenic dessert that doesn’t involve a massive hit of sugar?
Read on for some examples of indulgent keto desserts that contain less than five grams of carbs. They taste delicious but they won’t spike your blood sugar!
See below for some delicious and healthy desserts that are fun to make.
There’s a little sugar in blueberries but you only need a few to get the delicious sweetness you need in the yogurt. Yogurt meanwhile is comforting and creamy while having a slight sweetness to it. Both ingredients are absolutely packed with goodness – yogurt being a great source of natural healthy fats that improves digestion and healthy gut flora and blueberries being incredibly high in vitamin C and antioxidants for reducing the risk of cancer.
Fats of course are instrumental for any ketogenic diet, as they provide a slowly absorbed source of energy that prevents you from reaching exhaustion while still avoiding a spike in blood sugar. This is an incredibly simple dessert to make that is surprisingly tasty, a good one to have to hand!
Macaroons are absolutely delicious and taste great with a nice mug of coffee. The best part about them though, is that they’re made with coconut which is every ketosis-fan’s dream. That’s because coconut oil (which comes from coconut, of course) is high in MCT. MCT is ‘medium chain triglycerides’, a type of fat that stimulates the body to produce more ketones naturally. Combine this with the mild natural sweetness of coconut and you have a dessert that boosts ketones and doesn’t need a ton of sugar slathered on it!
To make them, you will need ¼ cup of organic almond flour, ½ cup shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons Swerve, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon coconut oil and three egg whites. Mix the almond flour and coconut in a boil, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and add the vanilla extract, then mix these two dishes together. Meanwhile, chill a medium bowl of egg whites and then whisk until stiff. Now gently incorporate the egg whites into the flour mix without overmixing and then spoon your mixture onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes until they’re nicely golden brown on top… enjoy!
Another simple way to finish off a meal is with dark chocolate and coffee. The two go fantastically together, seeing as the coffee will counteract the bitterness of the dark chocolate. If you look for something that is 75% cocoa or higher though, then you’ll be able to avoid high levels of sugar and sweetness while also benefiting from some of the incredible health benefits of dark chocolate. Meanwhile, caffeine can help to increase the heartrate, which is ideal for anyone looking to burn more calories and lose weight.
Here’s a delicious looking keto dessert that is heavier in fats than carbs and that requires just three ingredients to make! All you need is 1 cup of unsweetened peanut butter, 1 cup of coconut oil (there’s that magic ingredient again) and ¼ cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. You can also add a tiny bit of salt and perhaps a little vanilla liquid stevia if you want to sweeten things up. Top with dark chocolate.
Now melt or soften the peanut butter and coconut oil together in a pan or microwave. Then blend them together along with the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan and refrigerate until set – this should take about two hours!
Surely you can’t still enjoy chocolate mousse if you’re going ketogenic right…? Wrong! Just follow this recipe and pour 1 cup of coconut milk into a bowl with two tablespoons of Natvia for baking and one tablespoon of dark cocoa powder.
Now whisk it all thoroughly and sprinkle ½ a teaspoon of glucomannan powder while whisking. Now microwave and voila – one delicious, healthy chocolate mousse!
As you can see, eating desserts while staying keto is not only possible – it’s actually easy and delicious! Let us know what your favorite recipes are in the comments below.