I still remember the first time I heard the word "ketogenic." I was in a brainstorming meeting at a cookbook publisher several years ago, and the question was, "What's the next Paleo?"
We tossed around all the up-and-coming eating trends and picked a few we would watch. I tucked the word "ketogenic" into my back pocket and soon forgot about it.
This New Year's Day, I bought my first ketogenic cookbook. Because, you see, now everyone is doing it. It is the next Paleo. And since my job as a cookbook agent means I look at hundreds of cookbooks each year, you might wonder: Which ketogenic cookbook did I pick?
Not the blogger cookbook with the attractive cover that clocks in at a comprehensive 336 pages (for that, I'd recommend Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss, with 100+ Easy Low-Carb Recipes by Suzanne Ryan). And not the cookbook with a great promise by a bestselling author (that would be The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever by Mark Sisson and Brad Kearns).
No, instead, I chose a simple, slim, unfussy paperback called The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle by Amy Ramos.
This unassuming little book is one of the top healthy cookbooks on Amazon this January, and it's been one of the bestselling ketogenic cookbooks on Amazon for over a year.
Why Everyone Is Starting Their Keto Journey with This One Book
Let me guess: Your boss, mailman, cousin, and college best friend are all going keto. And maybe, for a few brief seconds, you're thinking about it, too.
This high-fat, low-carb diet puts your body into a natural metabolic state known as ketosis, where your body begins to burn fat (including your fat reserves) for energy, rather than burning carbs for energy. The macronutrient ratio for triggering ketosis is 70% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs. So yes and yes to that cheese and charcuterie plate. (But no to those crackers.)
As soon as that twinge of panic rises, it's time to call in The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners. This is one of the top healthy cookbooks on Amazon for good reason: It's relentlessly practical, no-frills, and proudly simple.
It's not going to bog you down with pages of introductions, explanations, anecdotes, and throat-clearing. In fact, it's not going to give you much of the author's voice at all. But it will tell you just what you need to know (no more, no less) about what the ketogenic diet is, why it works, why it's safe (more on that below) and how to do it, exactly.
But Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe?
As Amy Ramos, author of The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners, writes:
"…you've no doubt been taught that saturated and monounsaturated fats cause heart disease, cholesterol problems, and many other issues. In the last decade, dozens of studies and multiple meta-studies (studies that analyze other studies' results) with over 900,000 subjects from almost 100 different data sets have shown similar conclusions: Eating saturated and monounsaturated fats has no effect on heart disease risks, short- or long-term."
Get the book: The Complete Ketogenic Guide for Beginners by Amy Ramos
You can read more about the ketogenic diet in our series, Keto for Newbies.
The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners opens up like a toolbox, and inside, you'll find all the pieces you need to start putting this keto thing together.
5 Tools in This Book for Keto Newbies
- A 5-step plan for going keto, including a handy chart for swapping simple carbs for non-carbs. (I'm calling it right now: Shirataki rice is the new quinoa.)
- A 14-day meal plan, perfect if you have no enthusiasm for the mental acrobatics of converting your usual recipes.
- A shopping list (44 slices of bacon is item #1, and you are welcome).
- 75 recipes, which call for you to do wonderful things like slather steak in a blue cheese butter compound.
- Complete nutritional information, including an icon that indicates the Keto Quotient of each recipe, because of course, you must always know your KQ.
Yet to hit that coveted 70% fat intake per day, you're going to need to call in the big lipids. And that's where a great fat bomb recipe comes in.
What Is a Ketogenic Fat Bomb?
Fat bombs are snacks that pack a huge amount of fat into one bite. In The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners, you'll find recipes for sweet Blueberry Bombs and Spiced Chocolate Bombs, but if you snack toward the savory side, you'll want to try these Bacon-Pepper Fat Bombs.
This Bacon-Pepper Fat Bomb recipe is a very creative way to eat butter, and for that reason I worship it. It calls for just four simple ingredients, which can be cooked and rolled up in about 15 minutes.
And might I recommend rolling up an extra tin of these to bring to the office? If colleagues ask why you are feeding them a ball of butter, gently remind them: Keto is the new Paleo.
Bacon-Pepper Fat Bombs
Makes 12 fat bombs
soft goat cheese, at room temperature
unsalted butter, at room temperature
bacon slices, cooked and chopped (Here’s how to make perfect bacon in the oven.)
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Using a tablespoon, drop the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze until very firm but not frozen before serving, about 1 hour.
Storage: Store the fat bombs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners by Amy Ramos, copyright (c) 2016, Rockridge Press.