The ketogenic diet is all the craze these days.
What started as a high-fat, low-carb eating approach to manage seizures has become one of the go-to ways to lose weight fast.
But with low carbs and high fat allowed on a diet, this meal plan can be challenging to follow. And that’s especially true around Halloween when candy and desserts are difficult to dodge.
So how can you do a low-carb diet while still enjoying food-focused holidays like Halloween?
Easy and creative dishes can be keto-friendly. Some examples are dips with low-carb veggies or a meat and cheese platter. That said, check out these low-carb Halloween recipes:
Healthy Low-Carb Marshmallows
They are light and fluffy but there’s no sugar, so they won’t be as chewy as the real deal. They’re still quite close, though!
They work well as topping in pies, muffins, or even in my Low-Carb Candied “Yams,” which is perfect for Thanksgiving.
If you want to roast them on a stick, remember to dry them well by leaving them at room temperature uncovered overnight.
Nutritional values (per serving):
- Net carbs – 0.2 grams
- Protein – 1.4 grams
- Fat – 0.1 grams
- Calories – 8 kcal
Ingredients for Low-carb Marshmallows:
- 3 large egg whites
- 4 tbsp gelatin powder (44 g/ 1.5 oz)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup powdered Erythritol or Swerve (80 g/ 2.8 oz)
- 15-20 drops liquid Stevia extract
- 1 vanilla bean (about 1/2 tsp vanilla powder) or 1 tsp unsweetened vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of cold water (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
- 3/4 cup boiling water (180 ml/ 6 fl oz)
- 1 heaping tbsp coconut flour or arrowroot powder for coating
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 dark chocolate bar, 85% cocoa solids or more (100 g/ 3.5 oz)
- 3 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut (18 g/ 0.6 oz)
- Ground or chopped nuts, cinnamon, cacao powder or cacao nibs, freeze-dried berry powder
- Line a pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle it with a layer of coconut flour. I used an 8 x 8-inch dish.
- Place the gelatin into a pot and add 1/4 cup of cold water. Tilt the pot to allow the water everywhere. The gelatin will bloom and become firm in just a couple of minutes.
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. (You will only need the egg whites in this recipe, but you can store the egg yolks in the fridge and use them to make your mayonnaise or low-carb lemon curd.)
- Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the tiny seeds out.
- Using an electric mixer, begin stirring the egg whites. Slowly add the powdered Erythritol, cream of tartar, vanilla seeds, and salt. Keep beating for a minute or two until it becomes thick and forms soft peaks.
- Add the remaining boiling water to the pot with the gelatin and stir until dissolved. If you still see some lumps, briefly boil over low heat and stir well until fully dissolved. Add stevia and combine well.
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and slowly pour a steady stream of gelatin into the egg whites. After you pour all the gelatin, turn the mixer to high and continue beating until it becomes thick and creamy (3-5 minutes).
- Turn off the mixer and quickly transfer the marshmallow cream into the pan lined with parchment paper and coconut flour coating. Spread evenly all over the pan.
- Sprinkle more coconut flour on top and pat level if needed. If you are not using any coating, grease your hands with coconut oil and pat smooth.
- Place it inside the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight until the marshmallow cream is fully set. When done, take out the pan and peel the parchment paper off. Cut into cubes to create marshmallows.
- If you make plain marshmallows with no topping, put it on a plate and cover with a towel for a few hours. Then, store them in the fridge in an airtight container to avoid drying.
- Melt the chocolate in a water bath. Dip a lolly stick into the chocolate and then add the marshmallow. It’s best to use a water bath for melting chocolate, especially if it’s high in cacao content. Melting chocolate directly could result in burning.
- Dip each marshmallow into the melted chocolate and keep turning until the chocolate stops dripping. Alternatively, you can skip the lolly stick and just dip the marshmallows in chocolate.
- Sprinkle each marshmallow with shredded coconut and put it on a parchment paper until the chocolate hardens.
- Let them dry at room temperature (they’d get sweaty in a container). After they dry, you can place them in a container lined with a paper towel and store them sealed in the fridge.
Low-Carb Witch Hat Halloween Cookies
If you want to make something specifically for Halloween, look at Şekerpare (a cookie that originated from Turkey) for inspiration.
This is what cookies should look like and just add a spooky twist with simple green matcha icing.
- Net carbs -0.8 grams
- Protein – 1.5 grams
- Fat – 3.2 grams
- Calories – 42 kcal
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Cookies:
- 4 large eggs
- 2/3 pumpkin purée (133g / 4.7 oz)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
- 1 cup coconut flour (120 g/ 4.2 oz)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice mix
- 1/2 cup powdered Erythritol or Swerve (80 g/ 2.8 oz)
- 15-20 drops liquid Stevia extract
- 40 whole almonds (48 g/ 1.7 oz)
Ingredients for Green Glaze:
- 1/4 tsp matcha powder
- 1 tbsp powdered Erythritol or Swerve (10 g/ 0.7 oz)
- 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil (15 ml)
- Preheat the oven to 160 °C/ 320 °F (fan assisted), or 180 °C/ 355 °F (conventional). Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add Erythritol, stevia, and melted coconut oil.
- Stir in the pumpkin purée.
- Add coconut flour with the spice mix and combine well.
- Using a measuring spoon or your hands, form small-shaped cookies.
- Put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top each cookie with an almond. Put it inside the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on the cookies. Coconut and nut flours tend to burn faster.
- When baked, remove from the oven and let the cookies cool down. Then, place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Chilling the cookies in the freezer will help the glaze set well.
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Mix the matcha, powdered Erythritol, and melted coconut oil. If you don’t have matcha, try cinnamon.
- Remove the cookies from the freezer and drizzle the glaze over them. Ensure the glaze is chilled before drizzling it over the cookies to ensure it will firm up nicely.
- Let the glaze firm up and enjoy it! Coconut oil melts at 24 °C/ 76 °F. Make sure you keep the cookies in a cool room. Store in a cool place for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Low-Carb Pumpkin & Orange Cheese Bread
This is the perfect low-carb & keto recipe for fall. Simple orange and pumpkin spice flavored cake topped with a creamy orange and pumpkin cheesecake layers.
The grain-free base is soft and moist, while the sugar-free cheese topping dissolves in your mouth. One loaf makes 10 to 12 servings depending on the size of each cut.
Instead of a regular loaf, you can make muffins instead. They are suitable for portion control and also freeze well.
For best results, use a kitchen scale for weighing all the dry ingredients. Using just cups may not be enough to achieve the best results, especially in baked goods.
Weights per cups and tablespoons may vary depending on the product or brand. The same thing goes when you make your ingredients like grinding almonds for almond flour.
Using a water bath helps keep the top of the cheesecake moist and will prevent it from cracking. To do that, simply place a small baking dish or a ramekin filled with water in the oven. It will evaporate slowly while baking.
When combined with baking soda, cream of tartar acts as a leavening agent. Instead of cream of tartar and baking soda, you can use two teaspoons of gluten-free baking powder.
If you don’t have the cream of tartar, you can either use apple cider vinegar or a teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder.
- Net carbs – 5.5 grams
- Protein – 10 grams
- Fat – 28.7 grams
- Calories – 298 kcal
Ingredients for Cheesecake Topping:
- 2 1/2 cups cream cheese (600 g/ 1.3 lbs)
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup powdered Erythritol or Swerve (53 g/ 1.9 oz)
- 1 tsp natural orange extract or 2 tsp fine orange zest
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice (30 ml)
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix or cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (100 g/ 3.5 oz)
Ingredients for Bread:
- 2 cups almond flour (200 g/ 7.1 oz)
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
- 1 tsp cream of tartar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp fresh orange zest
- 1/4 cup butter or virgin coconut oil (60 ml/ 2 fl oz)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated Erythritol or Swerve (100 g/ 3.5 oz)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (150 g/ 5.3 oz)
- Prepare the cheesecake topping. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, sweeteners, egg, orange extract, and orange juice. Optionally, add a few drops of stevia. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C/ 350 °F (fan assisted), or 195 °C/ 380 °F (conventional). In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: pumpkin spice mix, almond flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs, melted butter, and sweetener. Optionally, add a few drops of stevia.
- Place the egg mixture into the first bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon in the pumpkin puree and blend in.
- Add orange zest (finely grated or roughly like I did mine). Optionally, you can add 2 to 4 tablespoons of orange juice. This will result in a more moist cake.
- Spoon the bread batter into a loaf pan (I used 23 x 13 cm/ 9 x 5 inches pan) and spread evenly.
- Add a layer using half of the cheese mixture on top of the bread batter and spread evenly.
- Mix the remaining cheese mixture with the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.
- Lightly spoon the pumpkin cheese mixture on top and spread evenly. Transfer into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Keep an eye on the bread, as it may get burnt on top. (To prevent the cheesecake from cracking, place a small ramekin filled with water into the oven next to the loaf pan.)
- When done, open the door of the oven and let the bread slowly cool down. When it reaches room temperature (1-2 hours), carefully remove from the baking dish and slice. Best cooled completely overnight in the fridge. It will make it firm and easier to cut.
5 Ingredient Keto Green Cookies
Five ingredients and less than half an hour – that’s all it takes to make these quick green keto cookies.
How does it work? Sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid. It is an antioxidant that enables it to turn green under certain conditions.
When chlorogenic acid mixes with alkaline baking ingredients such as baking soda, it turns green.
Chlorogenic acid is beneficial because it may slow down glucose release into the bloodstream after a meal. If you don’t want your baked goods to turn out green, you can neutralize it by adding some acidic ingredients like cream of tartar, vinegar, or lemon juice.
Although the green effect is not always desirable, it’s perfect for St Patrick’s Day, Easter, or Halloween!
If you follow a ketogenic diet, it’s not easy to get enough magnesium. What’s great about these cookies is that they will both satisfy your cravings and boost your magnesium intake.
One cookie contains almost 25% of your daily magnesium requirements!
- Net carbs – 3.6 grams
- Protein – 6.6 grams
- Fat – 17.3 grams
- Calories – 193 kcal
- 1 1/4 cups sugar-free sun butter (310 g/ 10.9 oz)
- 1/3 cup powdered Erythritol or Swerve, or more to taste (50 g/ 1.9 oz)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp baking soda (NOT baking powder)
- 2-3 tsp of cinnamon or vanilla powder or pumpkin spice mix
- Preheat the oven to 160 °C/ 320 °F (fan assisted).
- Mix until well combined. Using your hands, create small cookie dough balls (one should be about 1 1/2 oz). Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat.
- With a fork, press down to flatten each cookie ball until about 1/2-inch thick.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Focus on the cookies – seeds burn faster than regular flour cookies.
- When done, take out from the oven and let them cool down. At first, they will be fragile but will crisp up as they chill. Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Spooky Halloween Low-Carb Pizza
This cute pizza from Chef Mom! had a recipe for the pizza crust that you can re-create as a grain-free version. Thus, making the pizza suitable for the ketogenic diet.
This pizza dough is so versatile! Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days to make more pizza crusts, tortilla chips, tortillas, taco shells, or even keto breadsticks!
- Net carbs – 3.6 grams
- Protein – 10.7 grams
- Fat – 23.4 grams
- Calories – 281 kcal
Ingredients for One Large Pizza:
- 1 large Keto Pizza Crust (1/3 of the dough)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or any other Italian hard cheese (30 g/ 1.1 oz)
- 1/2 cup Marinara sauce (120 g/ 4.2 oz)
- 2 oz mozzarella slices for pizza (56 g)
- 1/3 cup olives, black or green or both (35 g/ 1.2 oz)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh basil for garnish
- Prepare the pizza crust and marinara sauce. To make a large pizza, divide the dough into three parts. Each part will make one large pizza. The best way to make the crust is to use a silicone mat and roll the dough out with a non-stick silicone rolling pin. Ideally, use the same silicon mat to roll and bake, so you don’t have to move the dough and risk breaking it.
- Alternatively, place a piece of the dough between two baking paper pieces and roll out until the dough is very thin. Finally, use your fingers to roll the edges in creating a rim to hold the pizza filling.
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C/ 400 °F. Just before placing it in the oven, sprinkle the crust with finely grated Parmesan cheese. Put it in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the marinara sauce all over the pizza crust apart from the edges.
- Sprinkling the cheese on top of the dough before baking the crust will seal it and help the crust stay firm after topping it with the marinara sauce.
- While the crust is baking, make the cheese ghosts and olive spiders. Use a cookie cutter to form the shapes. You can use all sorts of Halloween cookie cutters. Cut the olives in half to create the spider body and then cut thin slices for the legs.
- Once the crust is baked and topped with the marinara sauce, top the pizza with the cheese ghosts and add two small pieces of chopped olives to make the eyes. Make the olive spiders (begin with the legs and then top with the bodies). Place in the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Don’t throw away the inverse cut-outs. Just use them in another batch. When baked, remove from the oven, garnish with fresh basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.
Tips for Following Keto During the Holidays
To stay on track, planning is the key.
Fill up on a keto-friendly meal before leaving for the event, so you aren’t hungry when you get there. Doing so also lets you focus on enjoying the time out.
You can also volunteer to bring your homemade dish, so there’s a keto-friendly option on the table.
Before exploring this idea, know that there is limited research on the safety and benefits of the keto diet. You’ll also want to check with your doctor if you have any underlying conditions.
For example, if you have type 2 diabetes, a 2015 research suggested this approach may reduce your need to take medication. However, people with diabetes who are on meds can experience hypoglycemia while on the keto diet.
Therefore, if you have any underlying conditions, you’ll want to clear it with your doctor.
If you’re doing this for weight loss alone, keep in mind that the diet is not the only solution. This means you shouldn’t take exercise out of the equation.
Part of what makes the keto diet hard to sustain is the minimal carbohydrate intake. This makes eating at social events and during the holidays a challenge.
Many party foods are full of carbohydrates, so it can be difficult for those on the keto diet to eat at such events. Nonetheless, the recipes listed above ensures that you can still enjoy Halloween while limiting your carb intake.