Welcome to Low Carb Time’s 2017 Low Carb & Keto Holiday Gift Guide!
Buying holiday gifts for someone on a low carb diet can be tricky. You want to support their new way of eating, but you also want them to enjoy and appreciate their gifts. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite products in four categories: stocking stuffers, kitchen essentials, fitness, and books.
Whether you’re shopping for that special low carb or keto person on your list, or making a wish list for yourself, this list will give you plenty of great ideas.
Jump to a category:
Fat Bomb Molds
Fat bombs are a quick and easy way to increase your daily fat intake (and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time!). Often made with peanut butter, chocolate, or cream cheese, the best part about fat bombs is that they don’t have to be cooked. Most recipes involve mixing a few key ingredients, putting the mixture into a mold, and refrigerating until the “candy” hardens. These silicon molds make it easy to pop the fat bombs out once they’ve hardened.
Moon Cheese is a great on-the-go snack. Great for low carbers or ketoers who try to avoid too many chemicals in their foods, this product is made of 100% natural cheese. The cheese has a great crunch. It’s perfect on its own, although some people use Moon Cheese in place of croutons on salad. When you’re on a diet that eliminates lots of crunchy foods, products like Moon Cheese are an exciting find!
Quest Bar Sampler Pack
If you’ve ever checked the nutrition label on a protein bar, you’ve probably noticed that while they’re mostly healthy and full of decent ingredients, they’re usually super high in carbs. This is usually due to nuts and oats, not necessarily sugar, but it doesn’t help those of us on a low carb diet. Quest Bars, however, come in at around 5-6 net carbs each! They’re perfect as a quick lunch on the go, a snack when you feel yourself losing steam, or just as a treat! They come in a variety of flavors, so this sample pack is a perfect way to test them out and find your favorites.
Jack Link’s Pepperoni Sticks
Meat snacks are a good default snack for anyone doing low carb or keto (watch out for the carbs in jerky, though; some are higher than you’d think!). Holiday foods are usually full of sugar and carbohydrates, so pepperoni sticks are a great snack to have on hand, to help keep those temptations at bay. The Jack Link’s pepperoni sticks only have one carb per stick – totally reasonable for a carb-conscious eater.
The “MCT” in MCT oil stands for medium chain triglycerides, which are a type of healthy fat found in coconut oil and palm kernel oil. MCT oil is highly concentrated and is an easy way to get these fats into your diet. Have you ever heard of bulletproof coffee? MCT oil is an important ingredient in BPC, as it helps increase fullness, promotes fat burning, and helps burn calories. It also helps you stay fuller longer, and helps with brain function.
Lily’s Chocolate Bars
Lily’s makes chocolate that is sweetened with stevia. The fact that Lily’s uses stevia means that your body can usually handle a little more without the gastrointestinal upset that you’d get from other sweeteners, such as maltitol. The chocolate is made with Fair Trade certified cocoa. Some of their bars have as few as 4 carbs for the entire bar!
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At first, many people assume that the Instant Pot is simply a pressure cooker. In fact, it actually works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, and warmer, and it sautés. You can buy different versions of the Instant Pot; some have more features than this one (there’s even a 10-in-1 option!). Customers report that it’s easy to use and easy to clean, and the variety of foods that you can make with this one appliance is impressive. It’s perfect for making meat dishes, steamed vegetables, casseroles, and even hard-boiled eggs!
Perhaps one of the best features of the Instant Pot is the fact that it eliminates the need for lots of other appliances. It’s a very versatile product that allows you to cook more than one item at a time, and there are very few foods that you can’t cook in the Instant Pot. With such a variety of features, this product is particularly helpful for those of us who aren’t incredibly skilled in the kitchen!
Slow Cooker – Large
The Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker is a fantastic kitchen tool. It’s perfect for days when you’re out and want dinner to be ready when you get home. This model offers up to 10 hours of cooking time, and is dishwasher safe, making it one of the most handy appliances for busy folks who still want to enjoy home cooked meals. Customers report that the product is durable with a tight seal on the lid. A 7 quart slow cooker usually feeds a family of four easily.
Slow cookers have been around for a long time, and it’s easy to find accompanying products, such as liners (making clean up even easier) and travel bags, perfect for when you’re visiting family on the holidays.
Slow Cooker – Small
A slow cooker is a great gift for anyone who spends more time in the kitchen than they’d like. However, when cooking for only one or two people, a 7 quart slow cooker is just too much. This 1.5 quart version is much more reasonable for cooking small amounts. Smaller slow cookers are also perfect for making appetizers, such as dips, for parties and gatherings. Another benefit to the small size of this cooker is that the stoneware insert is small enough to slide right into your fridge for storage!
A good food processor is a total lifesaver for someone on a low carb or ketogenic diet. This product can be used to make cauliflower rice, which is the basis for several low carb dishes, like low carb fried rice, pizza crust, and even hashbrowns. It can also be used to puree the cauliflower, making a low carb version of mashed potatoes. It can also be used to grind meat, and comes with a slicer attachment for evenly sliced onions, tomatoes, and cabbage. Great for salsas and sauces, this food processor can make holiday prep much quicker and easier.
This machine is really quiet, so there’s no limit to the late-night snacking you can do! A food processor saves a lot of time in the kitchen, so it’s a great gift for someone without a lot of extra time on their hands.
A FoodSaver is a great gift for someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, especially if they buy in bulk. Most people who follow a low carb or ketogenic diet buy lots of meat, and it can get quite expensive. The FoodSaver allows you to buy your meat in bulk and store it in your freezer without worry about having freezer-burnt meat later. It’s also a great product for individuals cooking for one or two, as you can make larger portions and vacuum seal them to portion out little by little. It’s also great for folks who garden, as they can freeze their vegetables easily.
The FoodSaver also features a retractable handheld sealer for containers, canisters, and other containers. The FoodSaver bags are sturdy and reliably hold liquids as well as solids, and are BPA free. The machine features a built-in cutter that allows you to create custom-sized bags.
Cast Iron Skillet
There are several benefits to cooking with a cast-iron frying pan. They’re typically less expensive than similar aluminum or stainless steel pans, and the naturally non-stick surface isn’t coated with potentially harmful ingredients. Why are they great for low carbers? Well, the fact that they have a non-stick surface makes it much easier to cook eggs and vegetables – the basis of lots of low carb meals – without worry. They’re also great for cooking frittatas, steaks, and bacon – all popular low carb and ketogenic foods.
Cast iron pans do take some effort, as you have to keep them seasoned properly, and you can’t just toss them into the dishwasher. Still, a good cast iron pan is a great tool to add to your kitchen, and the durable quality means it will last years.
A food scale is an absolute necessity for anyone watching their macros or counting calories. We often think we’re estimating correctly, but sometimes it’s a shock to see how far off our estimates really are! This is where a food scale comes in handy. For a low carb or ketogenic dieter, a few extra ounces of a snack could actually be enough to throw off your macros completely, or knock you out of ketosis. It’s important to learn exactly what a serving size looks like, and a food scale is a great way to do that.
A spiralizer is one of the most commonly used appliances when it comes to low carb diets. It makes it easy to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, and it allows you to make low carb versions of some of your favorite foods. For example, the spiralizer turns zucchini into long noodle-like strands, making them a perfect replacement for spaghetti noodles. The straight blade can also be used to make wider pieces, which is a great replacement for lasagna noodles.
The product can also be used to slice or spiralize vegetables for salads and soups, and you can even spiralize a head of cabbage in order to make coleslaw! This product is a great way to add some variety to your low carb diet, and it’s a fun way to introduce your kids to a low carb diet, as well.
Measuring Cup/Spoon Set
Stainless steel measuring cups and spoons are a great gift for anyone who likes to cook or bake. When cooking low carb or ketogenic meals, it’s important to get the measurements down exactly – not so much to make sure the food tastes right, but to make sure that you don’t accidentally get your macros out of whack.
Even an extra teaspoon could be enough to change the nutritional makeup of your meal, so it’s crucial that you use measuring cups and spoons so that you stay within your macros. It’s especially important to keep those measurements exactly when you’re doing low carb baking, because a little bit too much sweetener or cream cheese can have a huge impact on your dish.
These cups and spoons are awesome because the measurements are engraved, so you don’t have to worry about printing that rubs off or fades. In addition, the cups and spoons stack neatly for easy storage, and are durable.
Digital Meat Thermometer
While a food thermometer isn’t a complete necessity in the kitchen, it’s a great tool to have around when you need it. Low carb and ketogenic diets typically feature a lot of meat, and you don’t want to take chances with undercooked chicken or beef.
One of the great things about low carb diets is that you try new types of meat, but it’s often frustrating to try to remember exactly what temperature each one needs to be cooked to. Not only does this thermometer read the temperature, but it also features preset temperatures for 8 different meats, and allows you to preset the ‘doneness’ settings that you prefer.
Portable Milk Frother
Here’s another product that’s great for all those bulletproof coffee fans. This milk frother is a perfect portable mixer for blending the butter and MCT oil into your coffee. Anyone who has tried to make bulletproof coffee without one of these mixers knows how difficult it can be to melt the butter, and if you’re using coconut oil, that’s likely even more difficult, but the frother makes it easy. It’s also a great way to blend protein shakes. The frother is small enough to travel with you, so you can drink your BPC no matter where you are.
People who follow a low carb or ketogenic diet don’t traditionally do much baking, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need baking sheets! These baking sheets are great for meat as well, and they’re perfect for roasted vegetables. Fans of cloud bread/oopsie rolls will appreciate the nonstick design, and the three different sizes allow you to make low carb pizza dough in any size you want! If you’ve never tried baking your bacon, grab these baking sheets and give it a try – it turns out perfectly every time, and with much less mess than cooking it in a frying pan!
Fitbit Activity Tracker
As I’ve mentioned before, you don’t have to exercise when you’re following a ketogenic diet – but you should. One of the best ways to motivate yourself to exercise is using a fitness tracker. A product like the Fitbit is personalized so that you can see exactly where you need to improve – not taking enough steps during the day? Not sleeping enough at night? The Fitbit will help you monitor these kinds of behaviors so that you can improve your overall health.
While the Fitbit comes with its own app, it can also connect with your My Fitness Pal account, helping you manage your daily calorie goals effectively.
Running shoes are a great gift for just about anyone who’s on a low carb or ketogenic diet. As most people progress through their weight loss journeys, they find that they want to add some type of exercise into their regular routine. It’s important, especially when you’ve just started exercising, to make sure that you’ve got good quality shoes in order to avoid setting yourself up for injury. People who aren’t avid athletes tend to wear their running shoes down and wear them longer than they should, so it’s a good gift idea for someone who may not splurge on themselves often.
Dumbbells are a great gift option for anyone, but especially for someone just starting their fitness journey. Their small size makes them easy to store, and they can be used pretty much anywhere. They come in a variety of weights, so they’re appropriate for people at pretty much any level.
If you know someone who is severely overweight, their range of motion and abilities may be somewhat limited. However, hand weights are perfect for anyone, regardless of ability. They’re easy to use and don’t require any special equipment, making them a great gift for anyone embarking on a fitness journey.
Bluetooth Body Weight/Fat Scale
A bathroom scale is a perfect tool for someone trying to lose weight. However, lots of bathroom scales simply measure weight. Nowadays, simple bathroom scales can measure body fat, BMI, bone mass, and more! This is a perfect gift idea for someone working to decrease their body fat percentage, or someone who is trying to build muscle and wants to measure their muscle mass.
The RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Scale also has an app that allows you to store data and track your progress.
Blood Glucose Meter
As I’ve mentioned before, when someone follows a ketogenic diet, it’s important that they check regularly to make sure they’re staying in ketosis. One of the ways they can do that is by using a blood ketone testing meter. This meter functions like a blood sugar monitor. You prick your finger with the lancet, add a drop of blood to the test strip, and insert it into the monitor. The monitor tells you the level of ketones in your blood. The blood ketone meter is one of the most effective and accurate ways to make sure that you’re in ketosis.
Ketone sticks are a simpler way to check to make sure that you’re in ketosis. In order to use the ketone test strips, you simply run the end of the stick under a stream of urine. The color on the stick changes to denote the amount of ketones in your urine. These sticks are particularly helpful to people who are just starting a ketogenic diet, as it’s a quick and easy way to make sure that the body is entering a state of ketosis.
Low Carb Reading
The Ketogenic Bible
The Ketogenic Bible gives us a detailed look at exactly how the ketogenic diet works. In addition, it also explains how to follow a ketogenic diet and what that diet does to our bodies. The book is based on scientific research conducted by the Applied Science and Performance Institute. There are also 75 recipes to help you on your ketogenic journey.
Ketogenic Pressure Cooker
Although this book is titled “Ketogenic Pressure Cooker,” you can use it with an Instant Pot as well. The recipes are designed specifically to adhere to a ketogenic diet.
Wheat Belly is a study of how wheat affects our bodies in various ways. After years of research, Dr. William Davis has come to believe that wheat is actually the basis for the obesity epidemic, and that by eliminating wheat from our diets, we can regain our health.
The Keto Diet
Leanne Vogel is the founder of Healthful Pursuit, a website that focuses on modifying the ketogenic diet to fit each individual’s needs. The book is a great starterkit for anyone interested in a ketogenic diet: it features recipes, five month-long meal plans, and a variety of other tools to allow you to personalize keto to fit your needs and lifestyle.
Low Carb Essentials
Low-Carb Essentials is a fantastic cookbook for people who want to focus on cooking without processed foods. Written by Food Network chef George Stella, the book provides over 120 recipes to help guide you in your low carb lifestyle!
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living is a great book to read if you’re curious about the benefits you’d see from a low carb diet. Authors Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney have over 50 years of clinical experience working with patients on low carb diets, and they share how this diet will work for you.
Living Low Carb
Do you known someone who is trying to figure out the best low carb diet? This book is a perfect resource. Author Jonny Bowden discusses the new discoveries about how sugar addiction affects your brain chemistry, appetite, and more. In addition, he uses that research to evaluate several popular low carb diets, helping readers determine which diet is right for them.
The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners gives a good deal of information about exactly what the ketogenic diet is, how it works, and how to test for ketosis. In addition, author Amy Ramos also provides 75 recipes, a 14 day meal plan, and charts illustrating calories and nutritional information.