The keto, or ketogenic, diet gets its name from the word “ketosis,” which is the state your body reverts to when fed a low-carbohydrate diet. This eating lifestyle focuses on high fat foods such as butter, cheese, nuts, oil and avocados, as well as high protein foods like red meat, poultry and fish. Eating this way puts your body into a metabolic state that converts stored fat into ketones, which are then utilized for energy.
While “keto diet” and “party” may not seem like they belong in the same sentence, we have to disagree. Many traditional party foods are packed with starchy carbohydrates, so finding better-for-you, keto-friendly crowd-pleasers can increase your menu’s variety. Not sure what to make? Don’t fret, we’ve put together a few fan-favorites for you to test out yourself:
- Cheese chips are essential. You can enjoy them by themselves or paired with a dip. Mix 1 cup shredded cheese with 1 cup Parmesan and add any seasoning you’d like. Grab a muffin pan, spray with oil and divvy up the cheese. Bake at 400°F for 6 minutes. Store in an airtight container or refrigerator. They’re crunchy, delicious and a good source of protein!
- Buffalo chicken dip with celery or veggies is a dangerously good staple for any gathering. In your crockpot, combine 1 lb. cooked chicken, ¾ cup hot sauce, 1 lb. cream cheese and 1½ cups cheddar cheese. Set on low, stir and serve when hot.
- Fat bombs are a must-have dessert. Each bite-sized treat is a good source of protein and heart-healthy fats. Mix together ½ cup no-sugar added nut butter (peanut butter is preferred), ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, ½ cup chopped nuts, ¼ cup cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon vanilla and ¼ teaspoon sugar substitute. Mold into as many 1 to 2” balls as you can make. Ta-da, that’s it!
- Guacamole with bacon chips are a salty, indulgent match made in heaven. Bake bacon in the oven at 400°F for 15 minutes (feel free to add more time for a crisper chip). Let cool 10 minutes, then you’re ready to enjoy. For the guacamole, mash together 2 avocados and mix in garlic, lime juice and a bit of salt and pepper.
- Lettuce wraps with taco meat prove that sometimes tacos are better without the tortilla. This light appetizer can easily be jazzed up with non-starchy vegetables such as peppers, cabbage and onions. Cook the veggies and meat together, stuff the lettuce wraps and enjoy.
- Cream cheese and salami roll-ups are an easy addition to a charcuterie board filled with non-starchy vegetables, cheeses and meats. Spread cream cheese on the salami, top with fresh herbs (like dill), roll up and place a tooth pick through to hold everything together. They’re cute, portable and highly likely to disappear.