It’s early February. It’s 39 degrees outside, a winter storm is forecast for tomorrow, and I’m busy sowing seeds that will produce delicious ketogenic vegetables. Not outside. I’ve been busy starting seeds indoors for the last 2 weeks. In January, it was my spring onions, spinach, cabbage, kohlrabi, and herbs.
Today it’s more leafy greens for my spring garden — Swiss chard, leaf and romaine lettuce, bok choy, collards, arugula, and more spinach. I’m also starting my summer garden with peppers and eggplant.
My beds are covered in snow, but in just a few weeks I start directly sowing carrots, beets and turnips. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to start working in the yard again.
How I’m Handling Higher Carb Vegetables
I know beets, carrots, leeks and turnips are not considered low carb. And I rarely purchase them. But let’s look at how many net carbs are in half a cup of each.
- Beets = 5g
- Carrots 4g
- Leeks: 6g
- Turnips: 3g
- Beet Greens: 2g
- Turnip Greens: 1g
Okay, the leeks are very high. But I mostly use leeks for flavoring a big pot of soup. The bigger the pot of soup, the lower the carb count. And leeks make a great roasting rack with onions and carrots. There is some carb transfer, but my roasts always taste amazing.
With the exception of the carrot, I prefer the greens to the taproots when it comes to root vegetables. Yes, I plan to eat the beetroot and turnips, but those vegetables don’t trigger carb cravings.
Now, carrots are a different story. I LOVE carrots. I’m growing three different types of carrots. Far too many for me and the husband. Why would I tempt myself with a high carb vegetable I love when I’m watching my carbs so closely?
First, I do love carrots, but I don’t have very many recipes where I cook with them. Maybe I’ll add a quarter cup of diced carrots to a stir fry for color and flavor. But that is a rare occasion. I also love big salads come summertime. I plan to pluck a fresh carrot out of my yard to go with my freshly picked salad greens. But I’m not going to do that everyday. I’m tracking my carbs so I don’t go overboard.
Second, I plan to give a lot away to family, friends and neighbors. That’s the wonderful thing about gardening. You get the urge to share your bounty!
In reality, I find the act of gardening, more than eating what I grow, the most satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer eating what I grow. But compared to working the soil with my hands, getting up every morning to inspect my seedlings, figuring out how to protect my zucchini plant from the dreaded squash vine borer moth (I will win this year!), spotting the season’s first honey bee, and creating a haven for Monarch caterpillars, eating the food just isn’t as exciting to me.
The journey is in many ways sweeter than any root vegetable, melon or tuber I can grow.
Rules for My Ketogenic Garden
I do have some rules for this year’s garden to help me stay ketogenic during the growing season.
- Plant what I (and my husband) like to eat.
- Share with family, friends and neighbors.
- Tracking my carbs doesn’t stop because I grew the food!
- Have fun!
Are any of you growing keto this year? If you are, what are you planning to grow?