Keto-friendly Thanksgiving & Holiday Recipes

Thanksgiving and holiday meals tend to be food-focused. This can be stressful when you or a loved one is on the ketogenic diet for the dietary management of intractable epilepsy. However, with KetoCal® and a little extra planning (okay, maybe a lot), you can put together a delicious and keto-friendly holiday feast. Reach out to your ketogenic dietitian far in advance for help putting together a meal that meets your calorie and ratio requirements. Here are some delicious and keto-friendly recipe ideas to get you started.

For Hanukkah recipe Ideas, see our previous post here.

Main Course:

Every family has their own traditions when it comes to main courses for holiday dinners.  Whether ham, beef, poultry or fish is served, be mindful of rubs or glazes that may contain carbohydrates.  You can use  butter or a high-fat sauce to even out the ketogenic ratio. For example, you could create a creamy gravy using heavy cream or Liquigen® (emulsified MCT oil), mixed with chicken or beef bouillon granules.

Most families serve turkey on Thanksgiving. If possible, opt for dark meat since it has a higher fat content.  If you’re up for something a little different, consider these turkey dishes that are already in a 3:1 ketogenic ratio:

Side Dishes:

For many, side dishes are the best part of the meal! Here are some tasty and keto-friendly options:

Chef Rachel’s Stuffing (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Chef Rachel’s Green Bean Casserole (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Chef Rachel’s Mashed Fauxtatoes (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Chef Rachel’s Sweet Fauxtatoes (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Cauliflower & Cheese (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Dessert & Treats:

Who could forget the sweetest part? Whether you’re looking for a keto-friendly dessert for your holiday feast or holiday cookies to decorate, we’ve got you covered.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie (3:1 recipe)

Chef Rachel’s Apple Crisp (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Basic Cookies (great for decorating with food coloring or “keto sprinkles” (granulated stevia with food coloring)) – (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Gingerbread Cookies (3:1 recipe)

Chef Rachel’s Chocolate Chip Cookie (3:1 ratio)

Crème Brulee (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe, MAD recipe)

Chocolate Ice-cream (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe, MAD recipe)

Vanilla Ice-cream (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting (3:1 recipe)

Vanilla Cake Pops (3:1 recipe)

Chocolate Cake Pops (3:1 recipe)

Strawberry Panna Cotta (3:1 recipe, 4:1 recipe, MAD recipe)

Chocolate Candy (2.87:1 recipe)

Chef Rachel’s Easy Chocolate Pudding (3:1 recipe)

 

For more tips on managing the holidays on the ketogenic diet, see our previous post here.

From all of us at KetoCal, we wish your family a very happy, healthy and tasty holiday season!

Mallory

KetoCal is a medical food and is intended for use under medical supervision.

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy should be used under medical supervision.

Celebrating “Thanks-Keto-Giving”

Today’s guest blog post is by ketogenic dietitian and Nutricia Keto Ambassador Vanessa Aldaz, MPH, RD, CDE. Vanessa provides her tips and recipes ideas for families celebrating Thanksgiving on the ketogenic diet.


The holiday season is around the corner. Thanksgiving may have a different meaning for each household and how we choose to celebrate it may vary from home to home. However, I believe

thanksgiving 2that one thing most people can agree on is that it is centered around coming together with family, loved ones and friends. Here are some ideas for your keto family to consider when celebrating “Thanks-keto-giving” this year (aka: thanksgiving with a keto twist).

Keto-friendly Recipes:

The following are a few good recipe ideas for you to try. Don’t get overwhelmed with the options or feel that you need to make them all. Two sides and 1 dessert can easily make your keto-child or keto- friends feel included and very “keto-thankful”.

Main Dishes

Choose from an array of protein choices: These main dishes are perfect as most of them are carbohydrate-free.

  • Roasted turkey (not stuffed)- Instead of traditional stuffing, you can stuff with herbs and citrus rinds to give your turkey flavor and holiday flair
  • A “Turducken” (duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed inside a turkey)
  • Roasted whole ham leg or a spiraled ham (without the brown sugar glaze)
  • Non-traditional main dishes such as salmon, lobster or filet mignon

Side Dishes

  • Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower drizzled with good quality butter or try KetoCal® Mashed Fauxtatoes (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Try the KetoCal Cauliflower and Cheese recipe- sooo good! (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe, MAD recipe)
  • Green salads- use group A and B vegetables if you are on the Classic Ketogenic diet. Read the food label of your favorite creamy dressing and add heavy cream, mayonnaise, or oil to make it your ratio. Check your specific diet ratio and amounts with your ketogenic dietitian
    • My favorite: kale and baby spinach, cucumbers and sunflower seeds, topped with blue cheese dressing with extra heavy cream and mayonnaise.
  • KetoCal’s Thanksgiving Stuffing (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • KetoCal’s Green Bean Casserole Recipe (4:1 recipe, 3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Chicken or turkey keto gravy (3:1 recipe)
  • Charlie Foundation’s Squash Curry Soup (if you are not a fan of curry try adding pumpkin spice instead)
  • Charlie Foundation’s High Fiber Bread Roll (4.16:1 recipe) (you can also use these high fiber rolls as a base for stuffing)

Desserts:

Family Activities

Another way to make “Thanksketogiving” a success is to try not to completely focus the day around the food. Get up and go do other fun and exciting activities to add to your memories. Depending on where you live there are many holiday activities you can participate in.

Go to the movies!

Thanksgiving weekend is a popular time for opening day of some big movies of the year. There are a variety of movies, animated and not, that feature heroes, superheroes, and other beloved characters of the season. There is something for everyone!

Take a walk!

Weather permitting, it’s nice to get outside as a family. Take a walk around the neighborhood or out to the zoo.  If you live in warmer climates, play touch football, soccer or baseball in your backyard or a nearby park.

Play games!

Get your friends and family together and play charades! Have everyone write random words, famous people, phrases or themes on pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. Make your own rules and have fun as all ages can play this game. Or, if you don’t like charades, family board games are always fun.  If relatives are coming, have them bring some of their favorites so you can all play together!

Play & sing!

If your family likes to sing or play music, consider bringing music sheets or a karaoke machine! You can always use pots, pans and plastic containers that aren’t used for the meal to make musical instruments and form your own band.

Get crafty!

Set out festive craft supplies for your little ones to create placemats, napkin rings, wreaths and centerpieces to use as your Thanksgiving Day table decorations. You can find some Thanksgiving-themed craft ideas here.

And finally, don’t forget to share with each other why you are grateful to be together or what you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-Vanessa

I was paid by Nutricia for my time to write this blog, however, my opinions are my own. 

KetoCal is a medical food and is intended for use under medical supervision. 

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy should be used under medical supervision. 

KetoCal is a trademark of SHS International LTD.

A Keto Dietitian’s Tips for Families Celebrating the Winter Holidays, Keto-Style!

Thanksgiving is coming up and the rest of winter holidays are right around the corner! In today’s guest blog post, ketogenic dietitian and Nutricia Keto Ambassador Robyn Blackford, RDN, LDN, provides her tips for families celebrating the holidays while on the ketogenic diet. Thanks for these awesome tips, Robyn!


For people following a ketogenic diet during the holidays, it doesn’t have to be a season of additional stressors. Parents of children who follow a special medical diet, including the ketogenic diet, may even find the upcoming holidays easier to survive than they first thought.

I often hear that extended family members are very supportive of their child’s special diet. Educating others on the diet will open your family up to a potentially strong support system. Most people like to hear about the nuances of the special diet and learn how they, too, can help. Talking about the diet and getting that ‘pat on the back’ can give you just enough motivation and energy to make the next special meal. Siblings may ask if they, too, can have the yummy, magical keto food that you are preparing. What a nice, fun, supportive time that this can be for your whole family!

Whether you are hosting holidays at your house or joining others elsewhere, you are sure to be successful to sticking to your ketogenic diet during these festive days if you practice these tips.

Holidays at your house:

* Consider serving a low-carb dish on your menu. There are many low-carb recipes readily available, such as a cauliflower mash in place of mashed potatoes. This may be helpful for others to understand some of the details and enjoy the foods that are part of the special diet

* Using festive holiday plates, bowls, and napkins to distract from ordinary or special diet food is a welcome change for people of any age! Try using cookie cutters to make foods more appealing and brightly colored toothpicks to add fun to your holiday meal.

* Keep food out of reach for tiny guests that are on a special diet. This way they cannot snatch foods quicker than you can say no or be able to take it away from them. They can be faster than you anticipate!

Holidays as a guest:

* Consider eating or serving your keto meal before leaving the house. This way you do not have to worry about finding foods you can eat later when you or your child is hungry. Talking to the holiday host can help you be successful if you plan on eating a little something at the get-together.

* Plan to serve and eat your favorite keto foods while away from home in easy-to-warm-up containers. It can be quite a treat if you haven’t had that favorite food in a while.

* For smaller children, be sure to pack a bag full of toys and fun things to help distract them from focusing on food. Do not underestimate the power of non-food rewards during playtime!

 

In any case, make sure that you plan ahead. Mentally prepare your child to resist food that is not part of their special diet and prepare yourself to teach others about the positive impact the diet has had on your lives.

Helping people follow their ketogenic diet can be one of the best gifts you can give them during the holiday season!

-Robyn

I was paid by Nutricia for my time to write this post, however, my opinions are my own.

The ketogenic diet for epilepsy should be used under medical supervision.