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RealGood Foods

Hi all! I’m so excited to announce my first affiliate: RealGood Foods.

Their motto is “real food you feel good about eating” and hopefully you know how much I value real foods. Brand partnerships are something I’ve thought long and hard about. I want to be a source of information you can trust, but please know that RealGood is a company I’ve loved and enjoyed for myself since day 1. If they ever make something I don’t like, I promise to tell you.

Bonus: as a result of the partnership I’m able to offer you 15% off at their website with the code: ketovegetarian.

RealGoodFoods.com

This video is full of reviews and macro info for their food offerings. Bonus: take a shot every time I say “I’m excited” (No don’t, you’ll die. I’m sorry my inner thesaurus came up so short).

One last word of caution: many of their earliest products are chicken-based, so be sure to read the ingredients list if ordering something I haven’t reviewed.

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Apocalypse-Proof Pantry Staples

(for a keto or low carb vegetarian)

It’s a scary world for us rabbit-food-lovers when the produce isle suddenly becomes less safe. What’s a vegetarian to do?

There’s actually a couple questions wrapped up in one:

  • How do I get micronutrients in when produce is less safe?
  • Is there a way to make produce more safe?
  • How do I prepare for periods of food shortage or lack of electricity? What should my zombie pantry look like?

How do I get micronutrients when produce isn’t an option?

My approach has been:

  1. Increase nuts and seeds. My noatmeal recipe is a great way to pack in fiber and vitamins. You can buy all the ingredients well in advance, just make sure to refrigerate hemp seeds and flax meal after opening. I also love my sweetener free granola recipe (find it on Instagram) which freezes well for later.
  2. Increase dairy. This is a tricky one – obviously, if you have a dairy sensitivity, don’t eat it. But grass fed dairy is full of highly bioavailable micronutrients, so it’s a great choice if you tolerate it ok. If you have a lactose sensitivity, try a lactose-free cheese like jarlsberg. If you have a cow casein sensitivity (this is actually a more common cause of dairy sensitivity), try a goat cheese! To keep it from becoming “too much” I focus on “soft” dairy with probiotics, like full fat greek yogurt and ricotta. Just make sure you’re getting enough fiber (from nuts and seeds) to counteract the cheese.
  3. Increase frozen veggies and berries. I’ve got a smoothie recipe on my Instagram that I’ll post over here. But 3/4 cup of frozen small berries (raspberries, blackberries, cranberries) and a handful of frozen kale will go a long way to meeting your needs (and satisfying your sweet tooth) without kicking you out of ketosis.
  4. Supplement where necessary. One of my favorite things about the Cronometer app is that it tracks micronutrient intake, so that you can pinpoint your supplement needs. But, supplement quality matters. Please, do not buy your vitamins on amazon (buy this book instead). Look for name brands that have been independently lab verified – or buy through a verifying pharmacy like Valisure. My favorite vitamin of late has been “The Other Pill” from Even Health; It’s formulated for people who have been taking birth control, but also happens to align nicely with the things I’m low on most often.
  5. Focus on recovery and stress reduction. Stress actually increases our use of micronutrients and weakens our immune system. So, the less I watch the news, the more I sleep I get, and the more time I spend active and outdoors… the better my overall health with be. If the stress ship has sailed, this might be a good time to press pause on fasting and eating at a calorie deficit. Both mental and physical stress fill up the “stress bucket,” so cutting back on physical stress might be necessary in times of high mental stress. Also, consider increasing B vitamins, since cortisol (the stress hormone) consumes more of them.

Is there a way to make produce more safe?

If you’ve never paused to consider how disgusting your produce is before, I bet COVID-19 had you thinking on it and recoiling in horror. So, this is as good a time as ever to consider investing in an ozone generator. Its a very safe, effective, environmentally friendly, and chemical free way to purify veggies before eating. This article and this EPA Guidance Document talk about how it’s more effective than chlorine, and you can buy an ozone generator for around $100 on Amazon, but the best type generates ozone from the water rather than the air (which then has to be pumped into a bowl of water) like this one from Roving Blue. All you do is stick your veggies in a bowl of ozonated water for 5 minutes.

What should my Zombie Survival Pantry Look Like?

Personally, we try to keep 2 months of food on hand at a time. We don’t want to be wasteful, so that means it has to be food we’d eat normally – high quality, yummy, and keto. Also, periods of food shortage are great times to be in ketosis. It makes fasting easier, may increase immunity, and usually keto foods are left on the shelves long after bread disappears. Here’s a list of our favorites:

  • Electrolytes: Salt, K1000 (for potassium), and Magnesium Glycinate (we get Pure brand). Dehydration isn’t just about water, and it will kill you much faster than a food shortage. Remember that being in ketosis makes your electrolyte requirement go up.
  • Keto Bricks. These things are apocalypse gold. Each bar is 1000 calories of perfect keto macros, and lasts forever. I have to be honest, some of the flavors are… not delicious. But we LOVE the peanut butter flavor, it tastes like fudge. When not fighting off zombies, we take these along for hiking, biking, camping, and emergency snacks stored in glove boxes and desk drawers.
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters. In my pantry we currently have: pecans, macademia nuts, shredded coconut (unsweetened), peanut butter, almond butter, almond flour, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax meal, hazelnut meal, coconut oil and MCT oil (you can eat it with a spoon or blended in coffee), and others I’m probably forgetting. These are great for eating as-is, or making into noatmeal or sweetener free granola. Just don’t forget that hemp and flax need to be refrigerated after opening.
  • Phat Fudge, because obviously every apocalypse meal requires dessert. Also a favorite hiking food.
  • Jocko Molk Protein Powder. If you haven’t heard me harp on this stuff yet, its the most magical combination of good tasting & good for you ever created. But, if you don’t want to take my word for it on the magic of Molk, any protein powder (preferably one free of sucralose) will do. Remember that in times of lower calories, higher protein is important to preserve muscle.
  • Dang Bars. Listen, there are basically zero bars on the market that I’m willing to put in my body. Dang bars are the exception. And they’re vegan.
  • Keto Birch Benders pancake mix. This one is particularly good, because it only requires water to make. I stick to the plain version because it doesn’t have any sweeteners.
  • Cheese crisps. My favorite brand is “Just the Cheese” but there’s lots of others out there. Perfect for binge watching Netflix.
  • Lupini Beans. Low carb, high fat, Brami makes them in a convenient snack pack.
  • Flax Seed or Jilz Crackers (both available at Whole Foods). Topped with olive tampenade, pesto, artichoke bruchetta, or any other yummy dip you can think of. Consider serving pickles and olives on the side.
  • MCT oil or MCT Oil Powder (the powder mixes better without a blender). This stuff keeps you full for a very long time.
  • Coffee, beause we are learning first hand how much going without coffee sucks.
  • Canned black soy beans – The Eden Organics brand is good quality. They’re cheapest from Swanson Vitamins, but you can get them for a bit more on Amazon.
  • Palmini Pasta – the yummiest keto pasta around. No calories itself, but a great conveyance device for alfredo, pesto, and nutritional yeast. Also, if you have a fridge, throw some marinara, ricotta and mozzarella on there for a great pasta bake.
  • Assuming the freezer still works: frozen brocolli, cauliflower, raspberries, faux meat, frozen pizza, ice cream (calorie dense, yay), a few batches of meal prepped items like: keto soups, frittatas, and fathead bagels.
  • Assuming the fridge still works: the first thing we stocked up on were eggs, dairy, and tofu. All of the nutritionally dense things.

So there you have it, my very very long list of snacks to get you through these times. Have I forgotten anything? Comment your favorites below!

How to go off keto without going off track

Maybe you’ve reached maintenance and are looking to find a more moderate/flexible diet – but you never learned how to eat carbs and stay healthy.

Or maybe Coronavirus has made sticking to keto a little too difficult right now. Either way, I’ve created a video with some tips to help you out.

Topics covered include:
-How to intermittent fast when carbs make you hangry
-Controlling the blood sugar roller coaster
-Why whole grains might be better than “gluten free” breads made of tapioca and rice
-Why protein is your friend – and why protein powder is worth the upfront investment
-Moving more without killing yourself
-No, you didn’t gain 5 pounds of fat overnight
-It’s ok not to be ok, cut yourself some slack. Better to pause weight loss than to push too hard.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Because sometimes you just need something creamy and cheesy….

This can be made stove top or in a slow cooker. For stove top just keep everything at a very low simmer.

Ingredients:

  • 2lb broccoli (I used frozen)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 brick (8oz) cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tsp thyme
  • 2 cups pre-shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum (optional):

Instructions:

  • Mix the broth, cream, cream cheese, butter, and seasoning in the slow cooker and set to high.
  • I used frozen broccoli, so to speed things up I roasted it before adding to the soup. I dumped a bag of frozen broccoli and the garlic on a sheet pan, sprayed with olive oil, and roasted at 400F for 18 minutes. If you use fresh you can skip this step, or you can just put frozen broccoli in the slow cooker and cook for longer.
  • Add the broccoli and garlic to the slow cooker. Cook about 45 minutes, until hot and melty throughout.
  • Add the cheese and cook about 15 minutes more, until cheese is melted.
  • (Optional) add the xantham gum to thicken everything up a bit
  • (Optional) use a stick blender to lightly puree the soup and give it a more uniform consistency. Don’t pulverize it though!

Makes 9, 1-cup servings:

Makes 9x 1 cup servings, 337 calories / 7 net carb (6 if you omit garlic) / 30 fat / 11 protein each.

New Meal Plan!

Hey guys, just a quick announcement…

I’ve just linked a way more updated and super fancy meal plan for you to use! I hope this one is much more user friendly.

It also has options for vegan, dairy free, egg free, soy free, nut free… Etc.

I’ve been working on it for a while and tried to error proof as much as possible, but you know how it is when you’re too close to things… So if you spot an error please let me know!

>>Here It Is!<<

Fathead Flatbread

This flatbread looks super fancy, but really it’s a great weeknight dinner that’s ready in under 10 minutes if you meal prep the fathead bread part first.

It’s just a flatbread with Boursin garlic cheese spread, arugula, 2 fried eggs topped with melted muenster, and pickled onions. Pickled onions are also super easy to make for yourself, and last in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Fathead Flatbread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pre-shredded, low-moisture mozzarella (trust me, you don’t want to use the authentic wet stuff here)
  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp xantham gum (optional, but gives it that authentic chewy texture)
  • 2 eggs

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Combine dry ingredients, then add the 2 eggs and combine further until you have an even paste.

Melt the mozzarella and cream cheese together – you can use the microwave or do it stove top. You want the mozzarella very melty, so usually I err on the side of over melted and then let it cool just until I can touch it without burning myself.

Knead together the almond flour and mozzarella mixtures. This takes a LOT of elbow grease and you have to work quickly because the mozzarella gets harder to work with as it cools. Your goal should be to eliminate almost all of the marbling appearance so you have a homogenous mixture, but don’t worry if you can’t get it 100%.

Roll out the dough to “pizza crust” thickness (a little under 1/4″, and a bit smaller than a large cookie sheet) between two sheets of parchment paper. Transfer the dough, still on a parchment paper, to a cookie sheet.

Bake until browned on top, about 15 minutes.

Allow to cool, and then slice into 8 squares.

You can store these in the fridge for a few days, but they also freeze incredibly well. Just broil on low to reheat.

Macros:

Makes 8 flatbreads. Each is 300 cal / 3 net carb (8 total) / 25 fat / 15 protein

Fun modifications:

  • You can replace 1 cup of the mozzarella for another cheese, maybe cheddar or asiago?
  • This dough makes a great pizza dough, just add toppings before cooking instead of after.
  • Make bagels instead!

Cauliflower Baked Mac & Cheese

Another pre-keto household favorite was Alton Brown’s baked cheddar Mac and Cheese. That stuff is gold. So obviously I had to figure out how to ketofy it.

Ingredients:
3 pounds (about 12 cups) frozen cauliflower (or broccoli, or Brussels sprouts, or really any other low carb veggies)
4 tbsp butter
4 oz (8 tbsp) cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp mustard
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
16oz (1lb) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated vegetarian parmesan

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Put frozen broccoli on a 9×13 casserole pan (or cookie sheet if you have a ceramic casserole pan like me) and spray with olive oil spray.
Bake for 17 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown.

Meanwhile, heat butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream over medium low heat until melted but not boiling.
Add in all the spices.
Add the cheese and stir with a whisk until melted and clumps disappear.

Lower the heat to 350F.
Pour cheese sauce over cauliflower in casserole pan. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling.

If you didn’t mistakenly grab shredded parm at the grocery store like me, you’ll end up with a lovely grated Parmesan crust if you broil for a second at the end!

This is a pretty easy recipe to tweak to fit your macros. I went with a “generous” ratio of cheese to veggies, but you can easily go up to 12 cups of veggies in this. Or, leave off the parmesan for less calories, or pile more on for a high protein boost.

Macros: makes 8 servings

435 cal / 5 net carbs / 38 fat / 17 protein.

Baked Zoodles

This is one of our go-to easy week night meals, ready in well under 30 minutes. My husband’s favorite meal before keto was baked ziti, so this is my attempt to recreate it. It’s also great reheated from the fridge, although ricotta isn’t always amazing from frozen.

This is also a great dish for mixed veggie and non-veggie households. I make a “meat” sauce while my husband makes a Meat sauce, and we’re both happy. Plus, ricotta is a great source of protein even if you leave out the “meat” crumbles at 7g protein per 1/4 cup.

Ingredients (makes 1 serving, multiply by desired # servings):

  • 1 zucchini, spiralized, about 130g*
  • 1/4 cup no-sugar-added sauce
  • 1/2 cup “meat” crumbles (I use Beyond Meat beef crumbles because it’s soy free) (optional)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta (some brands are higher carb so check the label, the one I use is 2g carbs in the 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 oz (1/4 cup) mozzarella, divided
  • Plenty of Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper

*A note on zoodles: you can find these in the fridge or freezer section if almost every grocery store these days, but a spiralized turned out to be an awesome investment for us because I think the texture is fresher, its cheaper, and takes only a minute to do. You can also totally use sliced zucchini, or sub in any other veggie like brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, spaghetti squash, or eggplant.

Instructions:

Cook the zoodles and beefy crumbles in an oiled pan over medium heat until tender (we keep the meat and zucchini separate since my husband uses real meat).

In the mean time, combine ricotta, parmesan, half the mozzarella, and the seasoning in a bowl.

Once the zoodles are cooked you might fine a bit of water in the bottom of the pan, I drain that off. Add your sauce to the zoodles, and then spoon on the ricotta mixture.

Top with the remaining half of the mozzarella.

Broil on low until bubbling and golden.

Macros (with Beyond Meat crumbles):

500 cal / 8 net carb / 35 fat / 35 protein

Macros (WITHOUT meat crumbles):

420 cal / 8 net carb / 32 fat / 22 protein

How to Set Up Your Macros in Cronometer

There are a lot of ways to track your food intake and macros. There’s a bunch of apps, or, if you’re real old fashioned (like my husband) you can even use a journal and calculator to do it. Choose the way that works for you – all that matters is that you do track. Because, trust me, its awful hard to do keto intuitively especially at first. Those sneaky carbs add up!


I post more info on MyFitnessPal and Carb Manager below, but Cronometer is far and away my preferred app.


Make Every Bite Count &amp; Count Every Bite

So, how do you set up Cronometer for a ketogenic diet?
(Screenshots are at the bottom of this post if you get stuck, I just didn’t want to clog up the instructions!)

  1. Download the app or register on their website. (Their website is shockingly good, you might actually prefer it to the app!)
  2. Enter the initial setup data. From the settings tab, edit the following:
  3. Activity level: Select the activity level that best fits your lifestyle.
    • If you wear a Fitbit or other device all day, then select ‘none’ and then connect your tracker.
  4. Weight Goal: change your ‘weight goal timeline’ to your desired weight loss speed. This should not be more than:
    • 1 pound a week if you have less than 75 pounds to lose
    • 0.5 pounds a week if you have less than 15 pounds to lose
  5. Macronutrient Targets:
    1. Track carbs as: net carbs
    2. Set macros using: keto calculator
    3. Select keto calculator: custom
    4. Grams of protein per kg of lean body mass, set to a minimum of:
      • 1.6 if you are very sedentary
      • 1.8 if you work out, but it’s mostly cardio and sore muscles are seldom
      • 2.0-2.2 if you have a regular muscle building workout routine
      • 2.2-3.3 if you are an athlete, or in a serious bulking season
    5. Set grams of non-fiber carbs per day to:
      • 20g if you want to stick with a number thats guaranteed to work for 99% of the population
      • 25g if you want a number that works well for most vegetarians. If the majority of your carbs are coming from veggies, and you only eat sugar alcohols / sweeteners as a rare treat, you’re probably ok here.
      • 30g if you do not eat keto junk food (artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or commercially sold low carb bread substitutes), and are religious about tracking all of your food. This number is one that many vegans or ‘clean keto’ practitioners find more sustainable. You can also go with this option if you work out on a regular basis. Just be careful, because there is no ‘buffer’ built into this one.
    6. Athletic Bonus should be off (unless you do carb cycling, but that’s some level 12 stuff)
  6. Nutrient Targets -> Minerals
    1. Potassium: turn on custom, and set the minimum to 3500mg (maximum 4700mg)
    2. Sodium: turn on custom, and set the minimum to 3500mg (maximum 4700mg)

Using Cronometer to track

Now you’re set to go! Just click the + button to add your food and exercise. Pro tip: instead of scanning the barcode, search for the generic versions and look for foods with the source “NCCDB” so that you get credit for the micronutrient content of your foods.

When you go to the diary tab, you should see a status bar across the top. By swiping left on that status bar, you can get more information.

  • The far left bar shows calories consumed, calories burned (how many you could eat and maintain your current weight), and calories remaining/over (to hit your goal weight loss)
  • The second bar is the most helpful. It shows you your macro breakdown for the day. Protein and carb allowances will always be set, and fat will fluctuate to match your activity level. Remember, protein is a minimum, carbs are a maximum, and fat can vary to hit your calorie goal.
  • The third bar shows micronutrient targets, and you can change what you show there from settings -> nutrient targets -> highlighted
  • If you have Gold, you can turn on the far right tab, which is for fasting tracking

You can also tap the three stacked dots at the top right of your screen, and select “daily nutrition summary” for lots more data.


If you’ve followed all these steps, but something doesn’t look quite right:

The most important rule of weight loss is not to starve yourself. Weight loss shouldn’t feel like suffering. One benefit of keto is that over time it regulates hunger hormones and allows the weight to come off naturally. That means, if you are hungry, chances are that hunger is ‘real’. Even the most advanced calorie estimator in the world is just a guess – so listen to your body.

If you set 0 activity because you’re using a fitness tracker:
If you set 0 activity, then your day will start out with your BMR minus your calorie deficit goal (Eg 1300-500=800 goal). Don’t worry, it won’t stay that low. As the day goes on and your tracker registers activity, you’ll get more calories added to your goal, ending up at something much more reasonable just in time for 11:59pm. It’s actually a bit annoying, because I always end up about 20 calories ‘over’ at 8pm when I log, but then midnight rolls around and I’m right on track.
Its really, really not a good idea to eat less than your BMR. So if you ever forget your tracker for the day or something doesn’t add up, its a safe bet to eat your BMR at a minimum.

If you end up with less fat than protein,
or a calorie target lower than your BMR:
Its not a requirement that your fat be higher than protein, but if it ends up that way, its a good hint your calories are too low. Its also really not a great idea to be eating less calories than your BMR.
Particularly as you get closer to your goal weight, weight loss slows down and its even more critical to keep your calorie deficit at safe levels so you don’t risk long lasting / serious damage to your hormones and metabolism. Maximum safe weight loss is 0.5-1.0% of your body weight per week. Which means, as you get into those last 10 or so pounds, its pretty normal to have to reduce your deficit to 0.5 pounds/week (or 250 calorie deficit instead of 500).

Solution: Change your activity level or weight loss goal to something more reasonable.

If you work out:

  • Consider the importance of fueling your body, and change your settings to a more gradual weight loss goal. The good news is, your body doesn’t turn protein into fat. So if your protein is higher, you can probably eat more total calories and keep losing weight.
  • Make sure you’re logging your workouts (plus sign -> add activity). Its important to eat ‘net calories’, meaning your count your calorie deficit AFTER you add your workout. For example, if your calorie target is 1500 but you work out and burn 300 calories, your new calorie target for the day is 1800. Thats an extra 300 calories (33g) worth of fat!

If you’ve tried all that and still things aren’t working, email me! ketovegetariangirl@gmail.com


If Cronometer isn’t for you, here are some other options:

  • MyFitnessPal – I actually really love MFP. It’s what I used until I discovered Cronometer. It has the biggest food database and is very simple to use. There are just two catches that make it tricky to use for keto.
    • It doesn’t calculate net carbs for you (unless you pay). That means you have to go into your diary, or the food listing, and manually subract fiber from total carbs to get your net carb intake for the day. Fiber doesn’t impact ketone levels or glucose, so there’s no reason to count it against yourself. Besides, fiber is good for you so don’t skimp!
    • It doesn’t let you set your macro goals by grams instead of percentages (unless you pay). Here’s the thing, your body’s protein needs and carb tolerance are based on your lean body mass, which has nothing to do with how many calories you eat in a given day. So the percentage way of calculating macros is fundamentally flawed. It also makes it really tricky to set a firm upper net carb limit in MyFitnessPal, which means, again, more manual calculation.
    • So what can you do if you like MyFitnessPal but want to modify it to fit the ketogenic diet? Just override the automatically calculated macros! You can use ruled.me to calculate your macros, but one warning: people notoriously underestimate their body fat, which again results in low calories and protein. So make sure you double check your calories against another source, like this one (subtract up to 500 calories for a safe deficit) to make sure you guessed your fat % correctly. Then go ahead and adjust the percentages to try to make it fit as well as possible. I tend to aim for 15g fiber a day, so your total carb goal might look something like [20g net carb + 15g fiber = 35g total carb]
  • Carb Manager – this one is popular because its marketed specifically to keto. But, on principle, I can’t recommend it because it tells people to starve themselves.
    • Carb Manager uses a ‘dumb’ calculation to determine your macros that doesn’t check against BMR. What that means is it subtracts too many calories, with no lower limit. I’ve seen it tell people to eat in the order of 750 calories a day! You can do really, serious, long term damage to your metabolism and thyroid by eating like that. Unless you’re a woman under 5 feet, you don’t need to eat less than 1,200 calories a day, period. And for most people, a safe and sustainable calorie level is above 1,500 calories a day.
    • Carb Manager uses the protein recommendation from the ‘classical’ ketogenic diet, which was developed for children with seizures. Modern science has shown that this low level of protein has negative consequences and is actually not necessary to sustain ketosis or even prevent seizures.
    • So what can you do if you like Carb Manager but want to set healthy and obtainable macro goals? Just override the automatically calculated macros! You can use ruled.me to calculate your macros, but one warning: people notoriously underestimate their body fat, which again results in low calories and protein. So make sure you double check your calories against another source, like this one (subtract up to 500 calories for a safe deficit) to make sure you guessed your fat % correctly. Then go ahead and adjust the percentages to try to make it fit as well as possible. I tend to aim for 15g fiber a day, so your total carb goal might look something like [20g net carb + 15g fiber = 35g total carb]

Screenshots:

Fathead Bagels

These bagels are definitely “As Good As The Real Thing Certified”… In fact, when we went off keto for vacation a few months back we had some regular bagels and were super depressed that they weren’t nearly as flavorful as our fathead bagels, for 10000x the carbs.

I can’t take credit for this recipe, there’s a million versions of it floating around the internet and I think the original recipe actually appeared on Reddit. But, I can add in my little tips and tricks to make sure it comes out as good as promised.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pre-shredded, low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella (trust me, you don’t want to use the authentic wet stuff here)
  • 2 oz (4 tbsp) cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp xantham gum (optional, but gives it that authentic chewy texture)
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Optional toppings: I like Trader Joe’s “everything but the bagel” seasoning, but you can use any traditional bagel flavoring

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Combine dry ingredients, then add the 2 eggs and combine further until you have an even paste.

Melt the mozzarella and cream cheese together – you can use the microwave or do it stove top. You want the mozzarella very melty, so usually I err on the side of over melted and then let it cool just until I can touch it without burning myself.

Knead together the almond flour and mozzarella mixtures. This takes a LOT of elbow grease and you have to work quickly because the mozzarella gets harder to work with as it cools. Your goal should be to eliminate almost all of the marbling appearance so you have a homogenous mixture, but don’t worry if you can’t get it 100%.

Divide the dough into 6, roll into logs and then pinch the ends to form a bagel shape. It’s worth mentioning at this moment that this dough also makes incredible pizza dough.

Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and press any toppings onto the top and bottom of the bagels.

Bake for 18 minutes, rotating front to back halfway through. If you have a convection oven, bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

You can store these in the fridge for a few days, but they also freeze incredibly well. I make a double or triple batch and freeze for easy dinners. Just microwave until soft enough to slice, and then broil on low to toast.

Macros:

Makes 6 bagels. With whole milk mozzarella, each bagel is 400 cal / 4.5 net carb (8 total) / 33 fat / 21 protein

Fun modifications:

  • You can replace 1 cup of the mozzarella for another cheese, maybe cheddar or asiago?
  • They don’t have to be bagel shaped, you can use this to make a delicious pizza or calzone crust, garlic knots, etc
  • I love to use these to make veggie sandwiches. The one pictured has melted Kerrygold garlic herb butter, sharp cheddar cheese, peppers, pickled onions, radish, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and sprouts