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    Celebrating Lunar New Year with Mother-In-Laws and Nona Lim

    Celebrating Lunar New Year with Mother-In-Laws and Nona Lim

    As the name suggests, Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year or Spring Festival) marks the beginning of a new year in Asian culture. And we’re celebrating with our food family—Mother-in-Law's and Nona Lim! Meet founders Vincent Kitirattragarn, Lauryn Chun, and Nona Lim and learn about their Lunar New Year traditions, from dumpling rolling parties to receiving ang pow! Plus, score a Kimchi Crunch Noodle Salad recipe, perfect for serving up at your dinner table during the 15-day holiday and beyond. Sweet and crunchy with a hint of sour, this recipe combines products from all three brands for extra yum.

    Read the full Q&A below:

    Okay, first thing's first: Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year? Do you have a preference?

    Vincent, Dang Foods: We grew up calling it Chinese New Year (I'm Thai-Chinese American), but lately have been calling it Lunar New Year since it's more inclusive of other countries in East/Southeast Asia that celebrate it.
    Lauryn, Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi: Lunar New Year, please!

    Nona, Nona Lim: Chinese New Year.

    This two week period is a culturally-rich holiday full of traditions. How did you celebrate Lunar New Year as a kid? Did you wear specific clothing, eat special foods, or practice certain customs?

    VK: We do a few things:
    1) Wear red! Red is a lucky color associated with wealth and prosperity, so rock your red.
    2) Make dumplings! Dumplings look like little bags of money, and making them each year with family is one thing I look forward to. It's a way to pass on traditions and recipes between generations.
    3) Give money! Traditionally we give little red envelopes with money inside called ang pao (see a trend here?). It's a way to transfer wealth from old to young and teach children about the value of savings. Sometimes we give mandarins as well as they're lucky.

    vincent-dang-founder-giving-oranges-on-lunar-new-year

    LC: Yes, I wore my traditional Korean Dress (picture of me as a kid 6 years old from the cookbook) and we would bow to our elders to receive “lucky” money for the upcoming year. The bowing is specifically a deep, long bow called saebae and I’d practice it to get it right in order to receive New Year’s money or “lucky money” from my relatives and elders. This money is given by parents to their younger children and relatives, from older children to their parents and relatives, and from grandparents to their grandsons and granddaughters. I remember eating Teokgook (soup with sliced rice cakes). It’s Korean custom to celebrate another year, similar to a birthday, by finishing a bowl of this soup which was pretty exciting as a kid.


    NL: For our reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve our family would usually have a steamboat (aka hot pot) dinner, where there would be an array of meats, seafood and vegetables which were cooked by dipping into hot broth. Chinese New Year was the only time of the year when our home would have lots of goodies and treats, like delectable new year cookies and candies, fragrant barbequed pork slices, and soft drinks. Other traditions include receiving a new set of pajamas and two to three sets of new clothes to wear specifically on the first three days of the New Year, which were spent visiting relatives and receiving ang pows (good luck red packets filled with money).

    How do you celebrate as an adult? Do you have any new traditions in the works?

    VK: I throw a large dumpling-rolling party and invite our community to join us in rolling hundreds of dumplings. We have traditional pork and veggie dumplings, and introduce an experimental one each year. Last year's cheesesteak dumplings were a big hit!

    vincent-dang-founder-making-dumplings
    LC: My husband and I started a Lunar New Year tradition when we first met ten years ago. We host friends at our annual Lunar New Year party where we enjoy dumpling soup with rice cakes (Mandu Teokgook). We host the party every year on the first Sunday, and we’re excited that 2020 falls on 1/26 which is NOT a Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl Sundays seem to coincide with Lunar New Year, haha.

    NL: When I was working in London, I would host a Chinese New Year dinner and invite friends over. We usually had steamboat as well, along with lots of other dishes. Over time as life got busy, I haven’t been able to celebrate the holiday as much. I do have a young daughter now and she receives ang pows for the New Year. We have also taken her back to Singapore to visit family for the Chinese New Year holiday.

    nona-lim-founder-chinese-new-year-meal

    2020 is the Year of the Rat. What does this mean to you?

    VK: There's a 12-year cycle, and each time your zodiac sign comes back around, it's a huge deal. I'm a rat, my partner is a rat, and we're expecting a baby rat in mid-2020...I guess you could call us the rat pack. The rat came in first in the "great race" - one of the oldest fables in the world about how the Chinese zodiac animals got their order. I won't spoil it for you but rats are known for being hard-working, industrious, and intelligent which plays into how they got to #1.

    LC: Not much.

    NL: It doesn’t mean as much to me. I was born in the Year of the Tiger… so that’s a bigger year for me. =)

    nona-lim-family-photo

    How is this holiday celebrated in the United States versus in Asia?

    VK: To be honest, I haven't celebrated in Asia, but I hear it's many magnitudes bigger. Imagine millions of city-dwellers taking trains back to their home villages and that's a fraction of what happens during that week. It's a weeklong celebration with parades, fireworks, and tons of eating - I cannot wait to celebrate over in Asia sometime soon.

    LC: In Korea, there’s a much bigger traditional celebration that’s a week long and families travel in observance vs. in the U.S., the celebration is much smaller.
    NL: In the U.S., Chinese New Year celebrations are more subdued, as the holiday isn’t a national holiday and is generally only celebrated within some Asian communities. Some cities, like San Francisco actually recognize it as a public holiday for school kids; but for most of us it feels like a regular day. Depending on where you are in Asia (not all Asian countries celebrate Chinese New Year, which is also known as Lunar New Year) celebrations can stretch up to 15 days!

    Recipe: Kimchi Crunch Noodle Salad

    Kimchi-Crunch-Noodle-Salad
    Ingredients:

    Salad

    • 1 5 1/2 oz packet Nona Lim Pad Thai noodles, cooked, rinsed under cold water and drained
    • 1 small carrot, julienned
    • 3 scallions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup watercress, arugula, or other leafy green, rinsed
    • 1/2 cup Dang’s Savory Seaweed Sticky-Rice Chips or Original Sticky-Rice Chips, crushed into mixed sized pieces

    Dressing

    • 1/4 teaspoon Mother in Law’s Gochujang paste
    • 1/2 cup Mother in Law’s Napa Cabbage Kimchi, chopped into ½ inch strips
    • 1 medium garlic clove, crushed and minced
    • 1 inch ginger, grated or minced
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
    • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or cane sugar

    Instructions

    1. Place Nona Lim Pad Thai noodles in boiling water for 25-30 seconds until cooked (as per packet instructions).
    2. Scoop 1 tablespoon of boiling noodle water and set aside. Strain noodles and rinse under ice cold water. Set aside.
    3. Mix Mother in Law’s Gochujang paste into reserved noodle water and mix until paste loses clumps. Should be relatively smooth.
    4. Beat crushed garlic, ginger, soy sauce or tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar into gochujang paste mixture. Add sugar and mix well.
    5. Add Nona Lim noodles and carrot into dressing and toss until noodles are completely coated. If not enough dressing, add ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil.
    6. Toss with watercress or other greens.
    7. Top salad with ½ of crushed Dang crumbles, keep reserve aside to sprinkle on salad while eating to maintain texture!

    Low Carb, Keto Friendly Breakfasts

    Low Carb, Keto Friendly Breakfasts

    Tired of scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado?

    Keto blogger, Patrick Maese, has an abundance of amazing breakfast ideas and recipes on his site. Ranging from quick hacks to get you out the door quickly to more involved recipes for a lazy morning - they’re all Keto approved!

    For an open-the-fridge-and-go kind of morning:

    Keto Strawberry Coconut Chia Pudding - Prep this easy breakfast option the night before so it is immediately ready to grab-and-go in the morning - no hassle necessary. Top with fresh berries and coconut chips for extra yum and texture.

    Get the Recipe

    When you have 5 minutes to throw something in a pan with little clean up:

    Fried Hard Boiled Eggs

    Fried Hard Boiled Eggs - Eggs that are fried but also hard boiled? Whaaa?! This BRILLIANT hack instantly brings more flavor and texture to your boring hard boiled eggs. You have to try it.

    Get the Recipe

    When you can enjoy a fresh pot of coffee and the Sunday paper:

    Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

    Stuffed French Toast - The base of this breakfast is made with pieces of Keto Egg Loaf cooked French Toast Style. Stuff it with strawberry cream cheese, strawberry compote, and fresh whipped cream for a truly decadent Keto breakfast.

    Get the Recipe

    Coconut and the Keto Diet

    Coconut on a Keto diet

    You’re on board with a Keto or "Low-Carb" diet, you’ve heard all about the health benefits of coconuts, but now you’re confused by the options. Coconut cream, coconut milk, cream of coconut, coconut sugar—the humble ingredient is more eclectic than you’d think.

    Today we’re demystifying the many iterations of coconut, from the liquid forms we love to mix into curries and smoothies to gluten free coconut flour for baking and our Dang Toasted Coconut Chips that we put on, well, pretty much everything.

     

    Coconut for a Keto diet

    Coconut Meat

    Before we get into the many forms of coconut, it’s important to understand its core, literally. The white fleshy interior known as the “meat” has fat and fiber, with a moderate number of carbs and protein, which is why it’s a fixture of the Keto diet. Though you can buy already-scooped meat at some grocery stores, here’s a step-by-step guide if you want to DIY.

    Use it in: Stews, salads, and smoothies

     

    Carton of coconut milk

    Refrigerated Coconut Milk

    You’ll find cartons of this coconut variety next to other non dairy milks like almond, oat, and cashew. Coconut milk is made using coconut meat, plenty of water, and thickening agents like carrageenan or guar gum (made from guar beans) to help stabilize the beverage. Be mindful of these additives if you have a sensitive stomach—some studies have found it can mess with digestion.

    Use it in: Coffee, matcha, smoothies, and granola

     

    Canned coconut milk

    Canned Coconut Milk

    Canned coconut milk is thicker and shelf-stable compared to what you’ll find in the refrigerator aisle. It’s made by blending coconut meat with a little water and sometimes, additives. There’s variety within this category too, from sweetened and unsweetened to light and full-fat. We recommend the full-fat version for Keto friendly dishes. If you’re worried about BPA in cans, some brands sell shelf-stable coconut milk in cartons, though the flavor is said to be less rich.

    Use it in: Stir-fries and curries, and as a meat marinade

     

    Coconut cream

    Coconut Cream

    If you’ve opened a can of coconut milk, you’ve seen coconut cream. It’s that thick layer at the top of the can. Coconut cream is full of protein and fat and even less water than canned coconut milk. Given its luxurious consistency, it’s no surprise it’s popular as a plant based alternative in baked goods, but be mindful of its low water content and the amount of hydration a recipe needs.

    Use it in: Salad dressings, and desserts like pies and cakes

     

    Cream of Coconut

    The names sound similar and both are sold in cans, but cream of coconut is not the same as coconut cream. Cream of coconut adds (a lot of) sugar to blended coconut, which is why it’s popular for sweet drinks like piña coladas and is not Keto friendly

    Use it in: Tropical cocktails

     

    Coconut butter

    Coconut Butter

    What do you get when you take all that coconut meat and grind it down? A decadent, Keto friendly spread called coconut butter. Sometimes called creamed coconut, the fatty, nutrient-rich texture on this one can vary, from smooth and velvety in warm temperatures to hard and waxy in cooler environments. Bonus: It’s a great dairy free, nut free spread.

    Use it in: Baked goods and on toast

     

    Coconut oil

    Coconut Oil

    This is the oil that’s extracted from the meat of the coconut, but then come the variations. Unrefined (sometimes called virgin or extra virgin) coconut oil is extracted using zero chemicals or heat—either by an expeller that dries then mechanically presses the meat before separating oil from water, or by cold-pressing, which means pressing the meat without drying it first. There’s no clear cut winner between the two, but either option is said to be superior to refined coconut oil, which is extracted via chemicals and heat. (If you see “RBD Coconut Oil” on a label, that means “refined, bleached, and deodorized.”) While unrefined coconut oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, refined starts breaking down at about 400.

    Use it for: Sautéeing, roasting, and baking, body and hair oil

     

    Coconut water

    Coconut Water

    Many other coconut forms strain out the water, but in this electrolyte-rich liquid, the water is the star. Sourced from young, still-green coconuts, coconut water is made up of 94% water and little fat. As a post-workout recovery drink, it’s loved as a magnesium, potassium, and sodium replenisher. While there are no added sugars in pure coconut water, there are just over six grams of naturally occurring sugar in a single cup, so be careful of drinking too much of this on the Keto diet.

    Use it in: Smoothies, rice, and on its own

     

    Coconut flour

    Coconut Flour

    Whether you’re gluten intolerant or keeping carbs low on a Keto diet, coconut flour can sub in for all-purpose flour. It’s made by grating, straining, drying, and grounding coconut meat, resulting in a grain free white flour. Though research is new, coconut flour is said to be packed with fat, insoluble fiber, MCTs, and plant based iron. When swapping it in, keep in mind that it’s not a one-to-one replacement since it’s a dense flour that soaks up water more quickly. Aim for 20% of coconut flour in a recipe and up the liquid amount by 20% as well.

    Use it in: Pizza dough, bread, cookies, and muffins

    Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

    Coconut Chips

    Here at Dang, we’re partial to coconut chips. Bigger than shredded coconut, these chips are made by scooping out fresh coconut meat, slicing it into delicate ribbons, then toasting it to create crunchy slivers that are more nutrient dense (more fiber, less sugar) than potato or tortilla chips but offer the same satisfying crunch. Dang’s Lightly Salted and Tropical Mango Coconut Chips are not sweetened with any added sugar and are both Keto certified, making them perfect additions to a low carb diet.

    Use it on: Acai bowls, salads, stir-fries, and as grain free bread crumbs

     

     Coconut sugar

    Coconut Sugar

    Unlike everything we’ve discussed so far, coconut sugar (or coconut palm sugar) isn’t actually made from the coconut itself—it’s made from the nectar of coconut blossoms. That sap is then heated to evaporate the liquid and ground until it becomes caramel-colored granules that look like raw sugar and taste like brown sugar. Though coconut sugar has trace minerals like zinc and iron, there’s debate over whether its low glycemic index counts. At the end of the day, coconut sugar is still sugar and should be used sparingly. If you love cooking, it has the added perk of being an easy, one-to-one substitution in most recipes. Dang’s Caramel Sea Salt Coconut Chips use coconut sugar instead of cane sugar to create the caramel flavor, making them Paleo friendly.

    Use it in: Curries and baked goods

     

    Coconut Nectar

    Before it turns into granulated coconut sugar, the sap from coconut blossoms is nectar. Even though it consists mainly of sugar (and a little sodium) and is considered an alternative liquid sweetener, some say the syrup has a surprisingly earthy, bittersweet taste. Keep in mind that compared to other liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or agave, coconut nectar is more expensive.

    Use it in: Granola, pancakes, and smoothies

    Ketogenic Diet 101: A Starter Guide

    Ketogenic Diet 101: A Starter Guide

    Load up on fats, limit the carbs—that’s the motto of the Ketogenic diet. But thanks to Keto’s recent boom in popularity, the topic has become a much more talked about, studied, and extensive discussion. And with all the interest comes some confusion—“does it actually work?” “what’s the Keto Flu?”—so that’s where we come in.

    We’re breaking down everything you need to know about the Ketogenic diet, from what it is and the research-backed benefits to tips for success, whether you’re a foodie, fitness buff, or curious chef.

    What is the Ketogenic Diet?
    Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
    How to Reach Ketosis
    Signs You’re In Ketosis
    What are Macros—and How Many Do You Need to Eat?
    Side Effects and How to Minimize Them
    What to Eat on a Keto Diet
    Keto Snack Ideas
    Keto Friendly Grocery Shopping
    Tips for Dining Out
    A Plant-Based Approach to Keto
    Commit to Keto for 30 Days and Get $15 towards Dang Bar

    What is the Ketogenic Diet?

    The Keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carb food plan. When you increase your fat consumption and decrease carbohydrates, your body has to adapt to using fat as fuel instead of glucose. This results in a nutritional state of Ketosis, which aids in weight loss, boosted energy, and positive effects on brain health. 


    Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

    benefits of the keto diet

    With all the recent buzz surrounding Keto, it’s no surprise that researchers have taken note. Numerous studies have investigated just how positive a Ketogenic diet can be for your physical and emotional health. Some of the benefits can include:

    • Weight loss
    • Lower cholesterol
    • Balanced blood sugar
    • Improved sleep and mood
    • Better memory and cognition
    • Reduced inflammation on the brain
    • Positive effects on neurological disorders (epilepsy, dementia, ALS, etc.), as well as on cancers, metabolic disorders, and endocrine disorders

    How to Reach Ketosis

    The idea of the Ketogenic diet is to “shock” your body into a metabolic state called Ketosis. Typically your body uses glucose (from carbohydrates) for immediate energy. But after you’ve curbed your carb intake for three to four consecutive days, your liver adapts by using fat—not glucose—for energy. The liver turns the fats into fatty acids, which then become “Ketones.” These Ketones are a safe, highly efficient source of energy that can be metabolized by your heart, muscles, kidneys, and brain. 

    By the numbers, that means eating roughly 80% of calories from fat, 15% from protein, and 5% from carbohydrates. Nix starchy grains like rice and wheat, and instead, fill up on more satiating fats like avocados, eggs, and coconut (our personal favorite at Dang). Then, round out your meals with healthy protein like salmon and almond butter. 


    Signs You’re In Ketosis

    If you want to go the official route, there are urine and blood Ketone meter tests, such as Keto-Mojo, as well as the Keyto breath test. But for some people, all the measuring and micro-analyzing can get stressful. Instead, it’s helpful to focus on your nutrient composition and look for these telltale signs—yes, some are less fun than others, but they’re temporary!—that indicate you’ve reached Ketosis:

    • Weight loss: Expect a rapid initial drop—up to 10 pounds in two weeks or less—before continuing slower, more steady weight loss if you stick to the diet.
    • More energy: Once your body gets past the adjustment phase—dubbed the “Keto Flu,” which we detail below—you can adapt to fat as a consistent, efficient energy source. It’s no wonder studies have shown a Keto diet vastly improves performance in endurance athletes.
    • Decreased appetite: A Keto diet naturally suppresses hunger-stimulating hormones, particularly during week one.
    • Bad breath or “Keto breath”: Ketones are made up of beta hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. The last of those is the culprit behind “Keto breath,” which some say smells like metal or nail polish remover. The pungent breath is short-term—your body will adjust, but you can up your mouthwash and hydration to keep Keto breath at bay.
    • Increased urination: Thanks to the Ketogenic diet’s natural diuretic effect, you’ll need to head to the bathroom more, expelling mostly sodium and water, which accounts for much of the initial weight loss (a.k.a. water weight).
    • Dry mouth: Beyond the fact that increased urination will make you more thirsty, every gram of glycogen holds 3 grams of water. Once you lose that store of water-rich energy, you’re going to get dehydrated. Drink plenty of water and electrolytes—you can add a little salt to maintain sodium levels—but it’s best to avoid sports drinks, which are loaded with sugar.

    What are Macros—and How Many Do You Need to Eat?

    If you’re new to the Keto lifestyle, you’ll hear plenty of talk about macronutrients or “macros” for short. These are the three main suppliers of nutrients in your diet and include fats, carbohydrates, and protein. The way our bodies respond to each is different. Carbs and protein are considered “anti-Ketogenic” because both nutrients, especially carbs, increase blood glucose and insulin. Since fat, on the other hand, consists of such a small amount of glucose and doesn’t spike your levels, it’s the cornerstone of this diet.

    To help you achieve your Keto goals, aim to limit your Net Carbs consumption to 25-50 grams per day (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). You can figure out the number of Net Carbs by subtracting the Dietary Fiber and sugar alcohol amounts from the total number of carbs. (Since your body doesn’t actually absorb or process these two elements, you can take them out of the equation)

    how-to-calculate-net-carbs

    But the bulk of your meals will be plant and/or animal fats (more on that below), along with a moderate amount of protein, roughly 0.8-1.2 grams per pound of lean body mass. Use this  Keto calculator to help find the ideal ratio of macronutrients you should consume on a daily basis based on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors.


    Side Effects and How to Minimize Them

    No matter the food plan, if you shift your diet, you’re bound to feel some changes. When transitioning to Keto, there are two common side effects to look out for:

    • The “Keto Flu”: Fatigue, insomnia, nausea, headaches, constipation—these flu-like symptoms sometimes crop up two to seven days after starting a Keto diet. But to be clear, this isn’t influenza. While researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what causes these symptoms, they see similar side effects in people who restrict inflammatory foods or begin an elimination diet. Keep in mind that most of these effects are short-term. Within a few weeks, most people get back to a normal (or better!) sleep routine, resolve any diarrhea or constipation, and resume their regular exercise with renewed, focused energy. The best way to fight the “Keto Flu”? Stay hydrated and continue eating healthy foods. Though research on Keto friendly supplements is sparse, incorporating more magnesium, salt, and electrolytes to fight this “flu” has been anecdotally successful. (Remember to stay away from most electrolyte drinks, which are typically loaded with sugar.)
    • Decreased physical performance: When you begin a Keto regimen, fatigue and less-stellar-than-usual exercise performance can come with the territory, but those effects are short-lived. Studies have shown that over time, high fat diets like Keto can increase exercise performance. So although it may feel rough and frustrating at first, stick with it while your body adapts.

    What to Eat on a Keto Diet

    Your mantra is “high fat, moderate protein, low carb,” but the rundown of Keto friendly foods hardly feels restrictive. In fact, the list is a long one. Here are just some of the optimal foods and ingredients for a Keto diet:

    • Eggs
    • Seafood
    • Meat (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, etc)
    • Tempeh, tofu, and seitan
    • Dairy (cheese, butter, cream)
    • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc)
    • Coconuts
    • Avocados
    • Leafy greens and low-carb vegetables, including spinach, kale, and bell peppers
    • Low-carb fruits like berries
    • Bone broth
    • Oils (olive, coconut, avocado, etc)
    • Alternative sweeteners (stevia, monk fruit, etc)

    What should you avoid? Sugar (including honey, agave, and maple syrup), milk, pasta, bread, rice, corn, beans, and sugary drinks, to name a few. Most fruits—like bananas, apples, mangos, and oranges—are higher in Net Carbs, too, and should be avoided.

    keto-diet-meal-plan-dang-foods

    Here’s some good news: Alcohol is perfectly Keto friendly in moderation. A 5-ounce glass of red or white wine has 3-4 grams of Net Carbs each, a 12-ounce light beer has just 3 grams, and even better, liquor (rum, vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, etc.) has 0 grams of Net Carbs (mix it with seltzer or a zero-carb mixer for a Keto cocktail). The tipples you’ll want to avoid? Sugary drinks like margaritas, pina coladas, Bloody Marys, and sangria, which packs a whopping 22 grams of Net Carbs in an 8-ounce cup.

    keto diet food pyramid

    Keto Snack Ideas

    Once you see how comprehensive a Keto plan can be, then you can start having some fun with nourishing snacks to keep you going between meals. String cheese, celery with almond butter, and of course Dang Bars—our plant based bars with 15 grams of fat and 4 grams of Net Carbs—can all fit into the Ketogenic lifestyle by helping you meet your daily protein, fat, and caloric needs.

    Keto Friendly Grocery Shopping

    While it may take some planning to figure out what meals you like to cook and how much variety you need, your local grocery store should have almost all the items you need, including eggs, meat, seafood, vegetables, nuts, and oils. Some of the more gourmet ingredients like almond flour may require a trip to a specialty market or an online purchase.

    keto-friendly food swaps

    Beyond Dang Bars, there are other ready-to-eat Keto friendly foods you can find at the store, including Kettle & Fire soups and Lily’s Fair Trade Certified, no-sugar chocolate (both of which come in vegan flavors as well).

    Tips for Dining Out

    Cooking at home so you can monitor exactly what’s going into your food is ideal—but not always practical. That said, just because you’re on the go or have a dinner planned with friends doesn’t mean you have to derail your diet. Here’s how to successfully navigate eating out on a Keto diet:

    • Read the menu carefully: Menus are filled with words like “breaded” and “glazed,” which may sound fancy, but ultimately, they translate to more carbs, like in a breadcrumb coating or sugar-laden sauce. Opt for the most minimalist dishes, like salmon or an omelet and pass on the add-ons. For salads, look for low carb dressings like Caesar, bleu cheese, tahini, or olive oil and vinegar
    • Skip the bread: Whether it’s croutons on salads or bread baskets, restaurants are notorious for piling on the carbs, often before you’ve even ordered. Stay mindful of your Keto goals and focus on a nutrient-rich entree or a couple small plates.
    • Customize your dish: Depending on the restaurant, it might be worth asking your waiter if you can edit your meal, whether that means skipping a dressing or asking for no bun with your burger and swapping the fries for a side salad. 
    • Add a side: Scan the “side dishes” section of the menu for Keto friendly foods to tack on, like a side of avocado, seasonal vegetables, bacon, or deviled eggs. 
    • Be aware: Some non Keto friendly ingredients sneak up on you where you least expect them. Places like IHOP add pancake batter to their omelets and Starbucks matcha powder is sweetened with sugar. Swapping milk for a plant based option at coffee shops can be risky too since they’re probably using a sweetened almond milk. If you aren’t sure, just ask. 

      Looking for hacks at your favorite restaurants? Here’s a guide to Keto friendly options at chain eateries:

      • Starbucks: Swap milk for heavy cream, order a black coffee, or opt for an unsweetened iced tea.
      • Chipotle: Get a steak burrito bowl with lettuce, salsa, cheese, and sour cream—skip the rice and beans.
      • In-N-Out: Go bun-less with a “Protein Style” cheeseburger with onion wrapped in lettuce. Go extra off menu and order a "Flying Dutchman": two beef patties sandwiched around two slices of cheese.
      • Jimmy John’s: The sandwich chain coined the term “Unwich” for this low carb option that packs all the fillings—like a BLT or tuna salad—with a lettuce wrap instead of bread.

      A Plant-Based Approach to Keto

      plant-based keto diet

      While some Keto devotees emphasize seafood, meat, and poultry, we’ve been passionate about creating plant based Keto snacks from day one. Whether you’re vegetarian or vegan, or a meat lover looking for a lighter snack that isn’t loaded with animal fat, dairy, or whey, we prioritize making the most delicious Keto snacks that align with this ethos, from our Dang bars to our Keto certified Coconut Chips.

      For more plant based Keto inspiration, check out Ruled.me’s vegan Keto guide and Ketotarian, a “(mostly) plant based” guide to Keto cooking by Dr. Will Cole.

      Commit to Keto

      Ready to live the low carb life this January?

      We want to help make your Keto journey better by giving you $15 in Dang Dollars (yeah, that's 45% off!) to spend on a 12-pack of our delicious plant-based Keto bars.

      What are you waiting for? Simply tell us why you're committing to Keto, become a Dangster & share a photo to redeem your $15 in Dang Dollars!

      Commit to Keto

      Low Carb, Keto Friendly Recipes with Fathead Dough

      Low Carb, Keto Friendly Recipes with Fathead Dough

      While we believe a Low Carb or Keto diet rich in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, fish, and olive oil is the way to go, “Keto-fying”  your favorite traditionally carb-centric foods like pizza can be an occasional treat.

      Ever heard of Fathead Dough? It’s basically just shredded mozz, cream cheese, almond flour, eggs, and baking powder. And it’s the base for countless Low Carb hacks for things like bagels, pretzels, crackers, crusts, etc.

      Fathead Dough Contents

      Here Are Our 3 Favorite Fathead Dough Recipes from the Wholesome Yum blog:

      Keto Pizza

      Wholesome Yum Blog Fathead Dough Keto Pizza

      The classic use for Fathead dough is pizza crust. Now all you have to do is pick some toppings! If you’re using red sauce make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar.

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      Keto Bagels

      Wholesome Yum Fathead Keto Bagels

      Fathead dough bakes up just like a regular chewy bagel and can be sliced and toasted after baking. We suggest adding a smear of almond butter and a sprinkle of Dang’s Keto-Certified Lightly Salted Coconut Chip

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      Keto Cinnamon Rolls

      Wholesome Yum Blog Keto Fathead Dough Cinnamon Rolls

      Breakfast or dessert, you choose! And they only take 40 minutes to make which is a win for this type of baking. 

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