10 of the Best Vegetarian Keto Finds at Costco, According to a Nutritionist

published Jun 21, 2019
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The keto diet has taken the world by storm, and it shows no sign of slowing down. As a nutritionist, I’m asked a lot of questions about the keto diet, and most surprisingly it’s from people who want to eat more keto-friendly plant-based foods (instead of all the meat that probably comes to mind when you think about keto). And I have first-hand experience to help, too, considering I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years and have quite the history with a low-carb diet.

One of the first things I tell people: Shop at Costco. Not only does the warehouse store have great deals on produce (of the fresh and frozen variety), but it also stocks plenty of extras (either from its private-label brand or national names) that taste great and ring in cheaper than other stores. Here are some of my favorite keto-friendly vegetarian finds to get at Costco.

My Experience with a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

Fifteen years ago I was a young woman living with a debilitating case of epilepsy and had absolutely no previous experience with nutrition or how food affected my health. Fed up with the seizure meds I was taking, which never seemed to work well for me and made me depressed, I’d had enough. I decided to try something different and began exploring options.

Then in 2003 while in college (way before keto was trendy), I came across some health studies about the benefits of low-carb ketogenic diets for epilepsy patients. (Ketogenic diets of multiple kinds have been shown to help treat epileptic seizures in children and young adults.) So I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done for my health: I gave up my love affair with sugar, white bread, and ice cream and traded the refined carbs and unhealthy fats for healthy proteins, healthy fats, fiber-rich foods, and lots of veggies — and I never looked back.

Sure enough, this approach helped my seizure condition, and more importantly, it freed me from medications and taught me a very important lesson about nutrition: A diet full of refined sugar and processed foods just isn’t the best route. This very experience got me eating better and led me to become a nutritionist. While I do not eat a low-carb diet today, I do eat a plant-based diet.

But enough about me and back to the keto diet. Despite what a lot of people believe, it’s not all eggs, cheese, and meat. To prove it, here are some of my favorite keto-friendly groceries to get at Costco.

The Best Vegetarian Keto Finds at Costco

Credit: Heather McClees

1. Kirkland Signature Organic Salsa, $7 for two 19-ounce containers

Is salsa a condiment? Take one bite of this stuff and you won’t even care about the controversial question. It’s low in carbs, packed with flavor, and, unlike most brands, has no added sugar (most of the carbs come from fiber from the tomato, peppers, and onions). Use it as a salad dressing with some avocado slices (instead of sugary or cream-based dressings) or as a healthy dip for veggies!

2. Kirkland Signature Almond Butter, $8 for 27 ounces

Because high-fat foods take the spotlight in keto diets, it’s important to choose heart-healthy options as much as possible. Costco’s almond butter totally fits the bill and the price is hard to beat! The only ingredient: roasted almonds! Add a tablespoon or two to a low-carb smoothie or just eat a spoonful when the afternoon sugar cravings hit.

Credit: Heather McClees

3. Kirkland Signature Organic No-Salt Seasoning, $8 for 14.5 ounces

I’m a huge fan of this seasoning, and not just because it tastes good. Mostly, I love that it’ll help moderate the amount of salt we eat each day (pretty much all of us consume way too much). You’d never know it didn’t have salt, due to all the flavorful herbs and spices it contains. Season any entrée with this stuff.

Credit: Heather McClees

4. Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $13 for two liters

Costco’s extra-virgin olive oil is so good that even professional chefs cook with it! You can’t beat the bargain price, either. Just be sure to keep it in a dark and cool place (like the pantry) to preserve those precious keto-friendly healthy fats! Drizzle it on your salad or over steamed veggies.

Credit: Heather McClees

5. Suja Uber Greens Green Juice, $12 for six 10.5-ounce bottles

Most bottled green juice is full of sugar from apple juice, but not this one by Suja! Their Uber Greens is the greenest drink they make and perfect for keto enthusiasts who may need some extra help taking in more greens during the day. It has a tart, earthy flavor and can be sweetened with a little stevia if you find it hard to down at first. Of course Costco has the best price on Suja that I’ve ever seen!

Credit: Heather McClees

6. Kirkland Signature House Blend Coffee, $13 for two pounds

I’m not normally a fan of buying coffee in bulk, but Kirkland Signature’s house blend is too good of a deal to pass up. And because many keto dieters incorporate intermittent fasting with the help of a morning coffee drink, buying coffee in bulk might just help you get through a tough morning without turning to sugary carbs. Plus, coffee has been shown to have multiple health benefits, which makes java-lovers like me super happy!

Credit: Heather McClees

7. Rao’s Marinara Sauce, $11 for two 28-ounce jars

Yes, you can get Rao’s at nearly any grocery store — but not for this price you can’t! What’s so great about Rao’s? Most marinara sauces sneak several teaspoons of sugar into one tiny serving. This delicious marinara sauce has no added sugar. It even gets a thumbs-up from several pros. It’s the perfect marinara sauce for low-carb zucchini noodles or can be used as a low-carb dip for any veggies you choose!

8. Kirkland Signature Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, $6 for three 32-ounce bottles

This stuff is a must-have for a keto dieter (as it’s free of carbs), but if you ask me, it deserves a spot in everyone’s kitchen for its many health benefits and culinary uses. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a salad dressing ingredient or as a health supplement for better blood sugar regulation or to help with digestion. Costco now has a three-pack of Kirkland brand organic apple cider vinegar that’s well-priced and delicious!

Credit: Heather McClees

9. Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, $7 for three 64-ounce cartons

Unsweetened almond milk is perfect for keto followers, and most brands, including this option from Silk, only contain 2 to 3 grams of carbs per serving. I like this one because it’s well-priced, creamy, and works perfectly as a low-cal and sugar-free replacement for milk or sugary non-dairy milk options. Costco also carries a shelf-stable unsweetened almond milk by Kirkland Signature, if you prefer an organic option.

10. Guacamole, $15 for three 10-ounce containers

Guac is the power dip for vegetarians and keto diets. Costco carries several brands of guacamole, but this new-to-stores option is my favorite. Every single batch is fresher than the last. And my local Costco keeps putting this stuff on sale for $3.50. THAT IS NOT A TYPO.

What are your favorite Costco buys for vegetarian or keto diets?