As I’ve mentioned before, my family and I have been on the keto diet for the past few years, primarily because my husband has IBS and was pre-diabetic (even though he’s a sugar nazi). His functional medicine doctor recommended that he go on keto as a way of lowering his blood sugar and ameliorating some of his IBS symptoms. Keto, as you may already know, is a very-low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. Bruce, my husband, does full keto and I and my two kids do a modified keto diet because, although we don’t need it for health reasons, we definitely need to limit our carb intake. I reduce the fat in some of the keto recipes I make because I definitely don’t need high fat at my age, since my metabolism has come to a screeching halt.
So I’ve made it my business to look for good keto cookbooks. By “good” I mean cookbooks that have recipes that:
- don’t take hours to make
- have big, colorful pictures of the dishes made from the recipes
- have meal plans
- have lots of recipes so I have plenty to choose from
- have carb, fat, and protein nutrition facts (“macronutrients”) so that I can easily see which dishes are best to make, given how much I’ve eaten of each of those nutrients up until dinnertime.
Zilker Press recently offered me the opportunity to review Ketogenic Diet: How to Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself, Even If You’re a Complete Beginner.
I made three of this cookbook’s appetizer-type dishes because they sounded yummy and relatively easy to make. I didn’t really need to modify them to reduce fat; I just reduced my portion of the high-fat recipe. These are the dishes I made:
- Basil & Cheese Crackers
- Onion Cheese Dip
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
They all turned out extremely yummy, making me feel like a keto chef, and weren’t too hard to make. Best of all, they were a hit with Bruce, who said they were “not too bad.” Believe me, that’s high praise, coming from him.
Having made those recipes, then, and read the first half of the book, which is all about the advantages and challenges of the keto diet, let me share some reasons why you might want to get this keto cookbook if you’re considering starting the keto diet. I’ll also compare it with other keto books and cookbooks I’ve read to illustrate ways it could have been better.
Making the Dishes
Basil & Cheese Crackers
These were so easy–with just six ingredients and one fantastic whirl in the food processor–and quite tasty.
Here they are, made into a dough, which I then rolled out thinly, and baked:
Onion Cheese Dip
We dipped sliced carrots and the Basil & Cheese Crackers into this warm, fluffy dip, and the joy thereof was great.
Zucchini Pizza Bites
These were fun little mini-pizzas with zucchini slices for the crust instead of pizza dough. While the recipe called for pepperoni, I got a little adventurous with the toppings, branching out into pineapple and green onion (because pineapple pizza is totally a thing), chicken and bacon, and chicken and green onion.
Comparing Keto Cookbooks
Like Zilker Press’s Ketogenic Diet, Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric C. Westman, explores the science behind how keto works, which is good because, at first glance, keto doesn’t sound like a diet one could lose weight on. Keto Clarity, however, digs deeper, although it has much fewer recipes. Both books include meal plans and grocery lists. I really like meal plans and pre-populated grocery lists because they reduce the amount of prep time and brain work I have to put into cooking fresh for my family almost every night. Let’s be honest: that can be a real struggle in the midst of a busy life.
Neither Keto Clarity nor Ketogenic Diet: How to Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself, Even If You’re a Complete Beginner have pictures with the recipes. As I think I mentioned here, I prefer cookbooks with pictures, especially color pictures, because they can:
- sometimes make deciding which dishes to make easier
- show how the dish is supposed to look if done right
Then again, neither does The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook by Jen Fisch.
On the other hand, Keto Fat Bombs, Sweets, & Treats by Urvashi Pitre and The Big Book of Keto Diet Cooking by Jen Fisch do. If pictures of every dish are important to you, Zilker Press’s cookbook might disappoint.
Lest I digress too much, though, from reviewing Zilker Press’s cookbook on its own merits rather than on how those merits stand in comparison to other cookbooks, let me sum up their differences in this one handy-dandy table, using the criteria I mentioned earlier. Where there’s a number, it’s a ranking on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being the best and 5 being the worst:
|Ketogenic Diet by Zilker Press||Keto Clarity by Moore & Westman||Big Book of Keto Diet by Fisch||Keto Fat Bombs by Pitre||Easy 5-Ing Ketogenic Ckbk. by Fisch|
|ease of recipes||1||4||3||5||2|
|# of recipes||44||27||200||106||131|
If you need to modify a keto recipe, like I mentioned earlier, almost all of them can be by substituting milk whenever cream, cream cheese, or half-and-half is called for. Alteration, though, should be done with care because, of course, that alters the nutrients you get from the food, which alters its effectiveness in helping you reach whatever dietary goal you’ve set.
The Advantages of Ketogenic Diet by Zilker Press
As you can see from the table above, Zilker Press’ keto cookbook has a good amount of yummy, easy recipes, with helpful meal plans, grocery lists, and nutrition facts. Compared to the many keto cookbooks, blogs, and Pinterest boards out there, this cookbook, while not necessarily being the most colorful or having the most recipes, provides plenty of value for anyone striving to do the keto diet successfully. If you’re new to the keto diet, it’s explanation of it is simple and straightforward. I liked that it addressed variations of the keto diet, how it can help with epilepsy, and calculating your macros for the first time. Now, if I could just find an app that would do that for me….
So that you can try this cookbook for yourself, Zilker Press has generously donated two paperback copies for me to giveaway! I’ll be giving away one paperback copy each and one $25 Amazon gift card each to two winners. Here’s how to enter, and the rules:
Just comment below and tell me why you’d like to try keto, or if you’re already on it, why you’d like to try this cookbook. This giveaway will go from today to 6/29/20 at midnight MT.
- Must be 18 years or older to win
- Only one entry per person
- Not open to international (i.e., outside U.S.)
This giveaway isn’t affiliated with WordPress or any of the social platforms on which I’ll promote this giveaway.
But What If I Don’t Win the Giveaway But Still Want the Book?
Relax! I’ve got you: It’s free with Kindle Unlimited, or $6.99 for a new paperback copy on Amazon. That’s a great deal!