If you’re on the keto train, then you probably aren’t new to its restrictions for all things starchy. Among these delicious, carb-heavy comfort foods lies one of everyone’s favorite: the potato.
Similar to other carby foods like rice, potatoes are incredibly versatile and can be served with almost any meal. Whether it’s french fries to go with your burger, hash browns served up at breakfast, or a bag of potato chips as a snack, they can easily fit in anywhere.
Unfortunately, potatoes on a low carb diet are a big no-no, as are other vegetables grown underground. However, like many much-loved foods restricted on the ketogenic diet, there are some excellent low-carb alternatives for the potato that taste great and will satisfy your belly.
Why Can’t I Eat Potatoes?
If you’re on the keto diet or a similar low-carb diet, you’ll almost always want to avoid vegetables grown underground. These types of vegetables typically contain the most carbohydrates.
Potatoes come in many varieties, from fingerling to red, white, purple, yellow, and petite, and all are comprised of different macronutrients.
Potatoes are abundant in macros like vitamin B6, vitamin c, and potassium, and also contain protein. However, a single potato contains 25 grams of carbs, which can put you over your daily carb limit if you aren’t careful.
Instead of feeling guilty about consuming these tasty but starchy carbs, try one of these potato alternatives that will satisfy your stomach and keep your keto diet on track.
The Best Low-Carb Substitutes for Potatoes
Cauliflower has long been at the forefront of many low-carb recipes. It’s extremely versatile and fits in easily with many dishes. Try replacing your standard mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. You can also fry or roast cauliflower, incorporate it into your soups and stews, and use it to replace most potato dishes.
Cauliflower is also a popular choice to make some delicious and keto-friendly tater tots!
Considered the most popular vegetable in Japan, Daikon is a type of radish that’s eaten in a variety of ways: pickled, raw, as sprouts, simmered, and dried, and also comes with a fair share of health benefits, including:
- Abundant in minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium
- Helps fight cancer cells
- Aids in digestion
- Rich in vitamins A, C, E, and B6
Daikon is most comparable to potatoes when it’s simmered, fried, or boiled, and can pair well with most dishes.
One daikon radish only contains roughly 60 calories and 9 grams of net carbs per 100g serving. It also contains zero grams of fat and 2 grams of protein, making it a very keto-friendly option.
One popular way low-carb dieters enjoy daikon is by boiling it and then slicing it into thick chunks. This gives you something very close to boiled potatoes and tastes great when served with some oil or butter.
Celeriac is the root of celery, and may not be the first thing that comes to mind when searching for potato alternatives. While not the best-looking vegetable out there—spherical and brown— look beyond celeriac’s rough exterior to find a very flavorful and delicate interior popular with French chefs.
A 100 g serving of celeriac contains only 7 grams of net carbs and a total of 42 calories. There are also plenty of ways to prepare celeriac, many of which are similar to how you would make potatoes.
Oven-fried chips are one popular recipe. This calls for peeling a large celeriac of its outer skin, cutting it into slices, and boiling it in saltwater.
You’ll then want to add some oil and season it with salt and pepper before throwing it into the oven to roast.
4. Swede (Rutabaga)
The word “rutabaga” comes from the Swedish “rotabagge” and means thick root or root ram, but is most commonly referred to as Swede.
In the U.S., Swede is also known as the Swedish turnip and has long been a great low-carb alternative to potatoes.
This root vegetable is both tasty and packed with nutrition. It’s rich in manganese, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, calcium, thiamin, phosphorus, and even beta-carotene.
This low-carb treat gives a great potato-like texture and a 100 g serving only contains 5 grams of net carbs and 35 calories.
Turnips are another nutritional powerhouse and a great substitute for potatoes. They contain plenty of fiber and antioxidants, along with vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron.
All of these components found in turnips come with their own fair share of health benefits, such as improved bone strength, heart health, and more.
Turnips are very low carb, and only contain 4 grams of net carbs and 128 calories per 100g serving. You can prepare them by baking, boiling, steaming, or roasting them, but the best potato-like dish would be to prepare them like you would mashed potatoes.
Kohlrabi is an exotic member of the cabbage family and is chock-full of excellent nutrition while also being delicious. You may have seen this bulb-like vegetable at your local farmer’s market and is in season in fall and winter.
When cooked, it tastes a bit sweet, especially when caramelized. It can be cut into wedges or cubes to roast, or sliced and cut into tiny sticks and stir-fried. It has a very similar taste to a broccoli stem.
Kohlrabi is a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber, and only contains 2 grams of net carbs and 27 calories per 100g serving, making it extremely keto-friendly!
No matter what veggie or low-carb potato option you decide to try out for yourself, the important thing is sticking with your allotted carb count each day.
Try out some these potato alternatives to keep both your stomach and conscious happy and clean!