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How do you add more flavor to a low carb or keto recipe without adding any additional carbs? No, the answer is not artificial sweeteners… it’s seasoning! It sounds pretty basic…and it is. Spices, herbs and extracts will (for the most part) add a negligible amount of carbohydrates to your meal, while adding a TON of flavor. Plus, there are a vast array of health benefits attributed to various herbs and spices. For instance, turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties, while cinnamon has been shown in studies to be protective of heart tissue, and beneficial in blood sugar regulation. Pretty great, huh?
If we focus on cinnamon a bit more…adding this spice to a recipe can increase its sweetness without increasing the sugar content. The same applies to vanilla extract! Citrus flavors (the juice will have some carbohydrates present, so watch for that) will also provide a lot of flavor with few added carbs, the zest in particular.
There are a few things to keep in mind when adding spices, herbs and other flavorings to recipe:
- make sure the herbs and spices are fresh: you can still use dried herbs, but be sure to check the expiration date! The oils and other volatile flavor compounds will degrade over time, and the flavor will disappear.
- wash citrus thoroughly: I usually buy organic citrus for zesting, and wash the fruit well, to reduce the level of pesticides that end up directly in my food. This is fairly important, as you will actually be adding the skin of the fruit (the part designed to protect the inside from outside toxins) to your food.
- add in small doses: you can always add more, but you can’t remove flavors from a recipe. If you’re unsure of how much flavor you want present, start small (a few shakes, or a 1/4 tsp), and taste the food. Slowly add more seasoning until you reach the amount that works for you.
So that, in a nutshell, is an effective way to add flavor to any recipe without adding carbs! If you have any questions, I’d love to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.