All posts by Jeff Fidler

fund summer drinks low sugur

Fun Drinks for Hot Summer Days

6 Awesome Low Sugar / Sugar Free Drinks for Hot Summer Days

During those sunny summer days, there’s nothing like a fresh and cool beverage to help beat the heat and quench your thirst. However, when you look at the typical drinks in your average supermarket or convenience store you’ll see tons of added sugar that you just don’t need or want. If you’re tired of always having to choose from a diet cola or plain old water, then this list of fresh and fun summer drinks is exactly what you need.

We’ve gathered together a handful of the most interesting low-sugar and sugar-free drink recipes that you definitely need to try this summer. Each one is pretty simple to make, and in just a few minutes you can have a batch of tasty drinks to share on the patio and take a break from the summer heat. Now, let’s get right to the list!

We’re starting this list off right with a unique kind of spritzer that’s as delicious as it is refreshing. Combining the light, summery sweetness of fresh watermelon with a hint of citrus from the lime, this drink is sure to please your taste buds. It’s a great way to offer an unusual and fancy drink at parties and barbecues that’s healthy and sugar-free, plus alcohol-free so everyone can enjoy it.

Add this to the menu for your next summer party, and we can guarantee that it’ll be a hit with all your guests.

With summer comes fresh berries, and all different ways of using them to create fresh and fun foods and drinks that the whole family will enjoy. In this case, the inspiration came from a mother and daughter who wanted to enjoy the trendy chia fresca drinks that are popular right now, but without all the extra and unnecessary sugar that the supermarket drinks have.

This amazingly tasty creation is simple to make and is loaded with fibre thanks to the chia seeds.

Here’s a classic, old fashioned cocktail that is simply perfect for sipping on a sunny summer patio with friends, but with a simple twist to help make it a better choice for low carb dieters. By substituting a liquid stevia sweetener instead of the simple syrup that the traditional recipe calls for, this version cuts the sugar out and keeps all the taste that makes this drink a favourite that stands the test of time.

If you’ve never had a Mint Julep, this recipe is definitely worth trying!

Sometimes the simplest drinks are the best, and when it comes to tried-and-true summer drinks, there’s not much that can beat lemonade when it comes to simplicity and great taste. This version is just about as easy as it gets, using only fresh lemons, ice, water, and your favourite alternative sweetener in place of the sugar. For sweetening the lemonade to suit your tastes, choose from any of the most popular sugar substitutes such as Splenda, Stevia, Equal, or any others that are popular with people living the low carb lifestyle.

Remember, there’s no definitive way to make fresh lemonade, so go ahead and make it either as tart or as sweet as you want.

Ok, yes, this is another lemonade, but it’s definitely not your standard version! This wonderful creation checks off all the boxes for low carb, keto, vegan, paleo, and sugar-free dieters, which is a feat that not many other drinks can do. It’s a wonderfully unique twist on a summer favourite that includes fresh strawberries, fresh basil, fresh lemons, and all-natural Stevia sweetener. You can also choose to add some fizz with your preferred brand of sparkling mineral water.

Whatever way you decide to make this drink, just make sure you prepare enough for seconds because you’re going to want another!

If fizzy drinks are your favourite, but you’re tired of regular old diet cola, then you’ve got to try the amazing variety of natural diet sodas from Zevia. You can find all your classic soda flavours like root beer, ginger ale, and cream soda, along with lots of fun and fruity taste sensations like black cherry, orange, grape, and lemon lime that kids will love to enjoy after a day of playing in the sun.

Zevia sodas are sweetened with all-natural Stevia to produce a great tasting drink without any added sugars.

Conclusion

These drinks are just the tip of the iceberg, however. There are dozens more delicious low sugar and sugar free beverages to enjoy this summer, including all your favourite brands like Kool-Aid, Snapple, Tang, and Arizona.

Having a wide range of drink choices to choose from means that no matter who’s raiding the fridge on a hot, humid day, there’s always something that will satisfy their thirst and cool them off, without loading them up with extra sugar that they don’t need.

We hope that you’ve found this list of fun summer drinks helpful. Cheers!

chocorite low carb snacks

ChocoRite Low Carb Snacks

Low Carb ChocoRite Bars, Shakes & Snacks

In the search for great tasting snacks and chocolatey treats, you will undoubtedly try many different kinds from the seemingly endless list of brands that line grocery store shelves. Finding a chocolate bar that fits with the low carb lifestyle and still has the authentic and natural taste and texture that you want can be a challenge. However, once you experience the great tasting chocolatey products from ChocoRite, your search will definitely be over.

In this article, we will take a look at the wonderful low carb and low sugar chocolate products from ChocoRite, as well as discuss how the company got its start and why they do things the way they do. Our customers consistently rate ChocoRite as one of their favourite snack food brands, and it’s not hard to see why. Let’s start with the origins of ChocoRite, and the secrets of their tremendous success.

History of ChocoRite

The team at ChocoRite has a wealth of experience in a wide range of different areas within the healthy food industry, including the low carb lifestyle. From day 1, their focus has always been on providing top-quality food products made using the finest natural ingredients and with a dedication to achieving the best tasting chocolate flavours. ChocoRite believes that healthy living doesn’t mean you need to give up the great taste of chocolate and has made it their mission to ensure that people can still enjoy the great taste of their products regardless of their special dietary needs.

All ChocoRite products are low net carb, high in protein, reduced calorie, and low in fat. They never use sugars or hydrogenated oils in their products, and sweeten their foods using Erythritol, also known as Stevia, which has an extremely low glycemic index. However, at the end of the day the real test is in the taste, and ChocoRite passes with flying colours. Rich, creamy chocolate taste is what you crave, and that’s what ChocoRite provides.

Our customers love the great taste and convenience of ChocoRite products. Here are some of the most popular chocolatey treats that we carry here at The Low Carb Grocery.

ChocoRite Protein Bars

If you’re looking for a snack that tastes simply delicious, but also is high in protein to keep your energy level up, then you’ve got to check out ChocoRite Protein Bars. Available in such delicious flavours as Cookies N Cream, Peanut Butter, Butter Pecan, and Caramel Cookie Dough, you’ll always have something new and fun to try. These bars are great for a healthy snack option at any time of day and are handy to keep in your desk at work or take some in the car to keep you fueled up on your next road trip.

ChocoRite Protein Shakes

Delicious and smooth, these protein shakes are perfect for a fast and easy meal replacement. ChocoRite Protein Shake mix is made from ingredients such as whey isolate, which is extremely high in protein, as well as natural prebiotic fibre to help promote a healthy digestive system. ChocoRite Protein Shake mix is available in great tasting flavours like Banana, Cappuccino, Chocolate Supreme, and French Vanilla.

ChocoRite Low Carb Candy

For those of us who like to indulge in something a bit more decadent, ChocoRite also makes delicious little snack bites available in a wide range of scrumptious flavours that you’re sure to love. Choose from yummy treats like Vanilla Peanut Cluster, Dark Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate Crispy Caramel, and Peanut Butter Cup Patties to satisfy that sweet tooth and keep the carbs and sugars under control.

ChocoRite Chocolate Bars

Chocolate lovers will definitely love to get their hands on these classic chocolate bars. Made in dark chocolate or milk chocolate, and available in other styles such as Milk Chocolate Crisp, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Dark Chocolate Almond, these are sure to satisfy your cravings for rich, authentic chocolate without the sugar to help keep your low carb diet on-track.

Conclusion

It’s quite clear to see that ChocoRite knows what they’re doing when it comes to creating great tasting chocolate treats. As they openly confess, the team at ChocoRite are their own greatest critics and they constantly challenge themselves to deliver on their promise of great tasting foods made only from the highest quality ingredients that fit perfectly with healthy lifestyles like the low carb diet.

Discover the entire selection of ChocoRite snacks, shakes, and treats here at The Low Carb Grocery, and add a little sweetness to your day!

discover joseph's bakery

Discover Joseph’s Bakery Low Carb Products

Discover Great Low Carb Breads, Wraps, Pitas, and More from Joseph’s Bakery

Finding breads, wraps, and pitas that have the right combination of low carbs, great taste and authentic texture used to be a real challenge for low carb dieters. Fortunately, thanks to brands like Joseph’s Bakery, you can be sure that you are getting nothing but the best in low carb breads and baked goods. Joseph’s Bakery products are some of the most popular and highest-rated among our customers, and for good reason. In this article, we’ll take a look at Joseph’s Bakery and discover its history, as well as explore some of the great products they provide for people living a healthy low carb lifestyle.

To start things off, let’s take a quick look at how Joseph’s Bakery got its start.

History of Joseph’s Bakery

Starting as a small bakery in Lowell, Massachusetts in the early 1970’s, Joseph’s quickly made a name for itself by delivering top-quality pita breads and excellent customer service. As the company grew and expanded throughout the New England region of the United States, so did their range of products. Eventually, the success of Joseph’s Bakery resulted in a major brand known for quality and its wide range of specialty products developed for health-conscious and low carb consumers, as well as those with specific dietary conditions, such as gluten allergies, diabetes, and others.

Joseph’s offers a broad range of top-quality baked products, such as pita bread, lavash, tortillas and more. Now, we will discuss the most popular products from Joseph’s Bakery that you can find in-store and online here at The Low Carb Grocery.

Pita Bread

The original claim to fame for Joseph’s Bakery is their amazing pita bread. Rich in omega-3, high in fibre, and incredibly delicious, these pita breads are perfect for low carb dieters. Made from a special blend of ingredients, and crafted using authentic and traditional techniques, these wonderful pitas have dozens of uses in all kinds of recipes. You can use them as a wrap for your favourite sandwiches, as a low-carb pizza crust, or cut them up and use them for dipping. Any way you serve them, we’re sure you’ll agree that these are definitely top-notch pitas! You can find them in original size, or in a mini-pita style for a snack-sized option.

Lavash Bread

This staple of Armenian cuisine is gaining a lot of popularity for it’s great taste and usefulness as an alternative to other styles of wraps. Lavash bread from Joseph’s Bakery offers a larger area than many other types of wraps, making them a great choice for all kinds of sandwiches and interesting creations that need a big wrap to hold them all together.

Tortillas

Along with all the great things about their pita bread and lavash bread, Joseph’s Bakery also offers fantastic tortilla products that are perfect for low carb dieters. These tortillas are soft, flexible, and have a great taste that we’re sure you’ll love. Joseph’s tortillas are a great low carb alternative to traditional tortilla shells, and work great in a wide variety of recipes, including your favourite Mexican and TexMex foods.

Recipe Ideas from Joseph’s Bakery

Aside from making amazing low carb products, Joseph’s Bakery also has plenty of incredible recipe ideas for their pita, lavash, and tortillas that you’ll love to try! Here are some of our favourites.

Lavish Lavash Hot and Spicy Pizza

Now here’s a pizza that’s not like anything you’ve tried before! Using Joseph’s lavash as the crust, this tasty pizza has delicious toppings like feta cheese and eggplant, along with a hot and spicy kick that will get your taste buds fired up for more.

Beef Things Up Pita Pockets

Need a new idea for lunch? These beefy pita creations should definitely do the trick. Stuff your pitas with savoury roast beef, then load it up with fresh veggies like cucumbers, onions, and lettuce. Throw in some feta, non-fat mayo, and a few other seasonings and you’ve got a healthy lunch in no time.

Have Your Chips Pita Snack

These tasty little chips are a great snack alternative, and you can customize them with all kinds of different seasonings and spices. Simply start with some of Joseph’s Bakery mini pitas, slice them in to wedges, and bake for about 10 minutes before you season them with your preferred flavours, and enjoy. They’re easy to make, and amazingly delicious!

Conclusion

For low carb dieters, Joseph’s Bakery is one of those brands that you’ve just got to know. Their reputation for great taste and top-quality products is definitely deserved, and our customers fully agree.

Joseph’s Bakery products are consistently some of the top-rated foods at The Low Carb Grocery, so give them a try today and we’re sure you’ll be glad you did.

Start shopping our complete line of Joseph’s Bakery low carb foods.

canada day bbq ideas

2018 Canada Day Low Carb BBQ Ideas

Celebrate Canada Day with an Amazing Low Carb BBQ Feast

Start inviting friends and family to your place for a big Canada Day celebration, because we’re going to give you all the tips and advice you need to put on a fantastic barbecue feast that everyone will enjoy. We’ve pulled together a great list of things to consider when planning your Canada Day barbecue that will help things run smoothly and ensure that everyone has something delicious to choose from before, during, and after dinner.

First, Know Your Guests

Planning a great barbecue for family and friends begins with knowing what kinds of things will be a hit and what things you may want to avoid. Food allergies and dietary restrictions should be considered first. Be sure to find out what types of foods and drinks are guaranteed to be safe for all of your guests. In addition, you’ll also want to be aware of any guests who may be vegan or vegetarian and take care not to cook their food on the same surfaces or with the same tools that have been used to cook meats. This includes setting aside a section of your grill for those foods and using a separate flipper and set of tongs. These guests will definitely appreciate your attentiveness and care.

Start with the Snacks

Canada Day parties tend to start earlier in the day when the sun is shining and there’s lots of time to laugh and play before dinner is served. This means that you’ll need to have a selection of snacks for your guests to munch on throughout the day until the big feast begins. Offering a selection of hot and cold appetizers to your guests will help make sure that no one will get too hungry through-out the day. Things like veggie sticks and dips are always a great fit and work for pretty much all kinds of dietary concerns. Chips and crackers are popular, too, and there are plenty of low carb options to choose from. Check out this article on great low carb appetizers for even more ideas for things to  keep your guests snacking on.

Stock up on Frosty Beverages

Keeping your cooler stocked up with ice cold drinks is absolutely essential on Canada Day, which is commonly one of the sunniest long weekends we have all summer, that is if mother nature co-operates. So be sure to have a variety of beverages for the kids to choose from, including sugar-free juice, sodas and kool-aid. For the adults, low carb beers, low sugar coolers and ciders, and a selection of mixed drinks will keep everyone refreshed and smiling throughout the day and long in to the evening. Here’s a great collection of sugar free drinks that are perfect for hot summer days.

Offer a Variety of Meats

When it comes to the main course of the meal, we recommend offering a variety of different meats for your guests to choose from. Your typical barbecue fare of hot dogs, burgers, sausages, and grilled chicken is always a great way to fill up your guests, but why not include a new option this year? Kabobs are fast and easy to make and are always a big hit at a barbecue. You can even do a make-your-own kabob station, where guests can skewer their preferred combo of meats and vegetables for you to grill up fresh and hot for them. Sure, this takes a bit more time and effort to prep, but for smaller groups of guests, it can also be a lot of fun.

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and want to offer something totally different for your Canada Day menu, check out this fantastic selection of summer barbecue recipes that are guaranteed to have your guests cheering.

Don’t Skimp on the Salads

To go with your freshly grilled meat, you’ve got to have some cool salads to choose from. It’s important to note that not all salads are created equal, and many standard salad recipes can have hidden carbs in them that you may want to avoid. In general, stick with leafy green salads that include plenty of other vegetables, and let your guests dress their salad themselves.

Offer a range of healthy salad dressing so that everyone ends up happy.

Here’s a handy resource you can use for great low carb salads and dressings.

Scrumptious Sweets & Desserts

Once the main meal is over, it’s time to indulge your sweet tooth and enjoy a nice dessert. If the day has been sunny and hot, consider offering a selection of frosty treats like sugar-free freezies, ice pops, ice cream and milkshakes. There are dozens of low carb and low sugar dessert recipes you can choose from to suit any style and any taste, from creamy and chocolatey to fresh and fruity. Here’s an amazing set of low carb dessert ideas that you can use for inspiration.

Finish with a Bang

Everyone loves a great firework show once the sunshine fades and things start to get dark. This year, kick things up a notch and put on a fantastic show for the kids by asking everyone to chip in a bit of money and get some big fireworks to end the evening with a really cool light show!

Forget roadside stands or the multipacks available at convenience stores. Buy your fireworks online as you’ll get more “bang” for your buck. Some of the biggest retailers include Kaboom, K&H Fireworks, and Victory Fireworks.  You can even see videos of what the different named fireworks will look like, so you know what to expect.

From flashy and sparkly to big and loud, you can find something that will make everyone ooh and aah!

Conclusion

Here at The Low Carb Grocery, we are proud to be Canadian! We certainly hope that this collection of ideas and recipes has inspired you to try something new and fun during the Canada Day long weekend this year.

Hosting a big barbecue with family and friends can be easy with the right planning, and with these tips we’re sure that your menu will be getting rave reviews from guests of all ages. Happy Canada Day everyone!

road trip eating and snacking

Low-Carb Guide to Eating & Snacking on Road Trips

Ultimate Guide to Eating and Snacking Low-Carb on Road Trips

It’s hard enough to find healthy food on a road trip. Try sticking to a low-carb diet at the same time. While not impossible, it will test you, for sure.

When the weather warms, everyone throws off their winter wrappings and sets off to explore the world outside. For many of us, this entails getting out of the neighborhood and poking around far afield. This could involve a quick jaunt to visit friends and family down the highway. Or it might mean an all-out sea-to-shining-sea extravaganza where you hit every conceivable roadside attraction along the way.

Whichever way you go on your road trip, you’ll still need to take care of your nutrition. Going low-carb takes dedication. Even if you allow yourself the occasional cheat day, a multi-day journey will demand careful planning to pull it off the low carb way.

There’s so much to consider. Where you’re going. How you’ll get there. What you’ll eat along the way. And what you’ll keep on-hand in the car to fuel you between stops.

It’s a daunting task, but one you can manage with ease. All it takes is a little planning and preparation. But don’t worry. We’re here to help guide you through.

Prepare for your trip

The best way to stay on-plan while you’re on the road is to make sure you have a plan you can stick to. That means stocking up on snack food and filling a cooler, so you have something handy to snack on in the car. How much you’ll need depends on how far you’re going, how long you’ll be driving, and how many people you’ll have in the car with you.

If you’re going on an extended road-trip, plan to stop at a good grocery store every few days to restock the cooler. Relying on the snacks available at gas stations isn’t going to cut it. Your options can be severely limited. As much as anyone can love pork rinds, every so often your body just screams out for more variety.

Plan your route

Take meal planning to heart when you plan your route. Use a map service like Google Maps that will show your restaurant options along the way. If you’re unfamiliar with a diner’s menu, you’re already online. Just look it up. When in doubt, get the buffalo wings.

If you’re going to be on the road a while, also figure out where your favorite grocers are so you can restock the car cooler on a regular basis.

One feature of Google Maps lets you plan a route that goes by certain businesses. See if your fave food options aren’t too far off the beaten path.

It might sound a little nutty on the planning and organization front. But if you do it right, your belly will be much happier overall.

Try planning for a few meal options to choose from on each leg of the trip. That way you can stick to a tight schedule and still feel like you’re being spontaneous.

Know your options

It happens sometimes. You’re bombing down the Trans-Canada Highway in the middle of the prairies. And there’s literally no other option than grabbing lunch at a roadside rest stop. Relax. The world won’t end.

The secret to dealing with this thorny scenario is to know how to order at a fast-food restaurant. Even if their menu specifies no low-carb options, you’re the customer, and therefore always right. Tell them you want your burger wrapped in lettuce and see what happens. It can’t hurt to ask, and sometimes they’ll give you just what you want.

Some sandwich shops will let you order a naked sandwich or a sub-in-a-tub. It’s basically the stuff they’d put in the middle of a sandwich—minus the bread. Tell them not to skimp on the meat, cheese, or olive oil. You get a big bowl of food that’ll keep you going for hours.

Most of the burger chains have salad options, too. You can often get grilled chicken or steak to accompany your leafy greens. Maybe they’ll even have spinach or a sugar-free dressing. If you’re not happy with the dressing options, you can always swap it out for aioli, mayonnaise, or extra virgin olive oil. Pack a bottle of olive oil in the car cooler so you can order your salad to go if necessary.

Stay hydrated

Sometimes when you’re on the road, what you take for a sign of hunger is, in reality, your body telling you it’s dehydrated.

People often think of travel dehydration as something that happens when you’re flying. But it also happens with long car trips, too. Being in a car warms your body, causing you to sweat more. But you don’t really get a chance to notice you’re sweating. The air circulating around the car constantly removes the water from your skin. To compensate, your body sweats even more.

Add to that the water you lose when you breathe, and you end up losing moisture at a constant and rather alarming rate. It seems crazy because you’re baring exerting energy. But there you have it.

Studies suggest that dehydrated driving is a big problem on par with drunk driving or driving while sleep deprived. Dehydration leads to:

  • slow reflexes
  • tiredness
  • blurry vision
  • light-headedness
  • dizziness
  • lack of focus

All things to avoid behind the wheel. Stay hydrated.

Pack plenty of water along. If you’re trying to use less plastic, bring along a refillable bottle. If you’re not into the taste of water, you have two options. One, acquire the taste. It’s an essential building block of life, after all. Or two, jazz it up a bit. Throw in some wedges of lemon or lime. Maybe some cucumber slices. Or a cinnamon stick. Perhaps some Flavorall Liquid Stevia.

10 great in-car snacks

Here are some great low-carb snacks to put in your cooler. Some should remain cold. Put some ice packs in the cooler and make sure you consume the cold stuff first.

  1. Atkins Advantage Sweet & Salty Trail Mix
  2. Nuts
  3. Pumpkin seeds
  4. Hard-boiled eggs – peel before leaving if traveling without a copilot
  5. Fresh vegetables – carrot sticks, cucumber slices, etc.
  6. Beef Jerky
  7. Sugar-free chocolate
  8. Cheese – slices, cubes
  9. Crackers & chips
  10. Berries

When all else fails, splurge happens

Okay. You’re on the road. You’ve planned. You’ve prepared. You’ve kept your options open. And still, there will be that odd time you’re stuck with no low-carb options. Or—dare we say it—you say to yourself, “You know what, I’m on vacation, and I’m going to eat something bad for me just this once.”

Totally your call. You’re an adult, you’ve been driving all day—you have earned an indulgence. It’s okay to splurge a little on occasion.

Remember the adage: Everything in moderation. Don’t make it a common occurrence.

One tiny slip won’t ruin everything. Just stay disciplined and get back on-track next meal.

Road trips are all about staying fueled

Road food is rarely healthy, let alone low-carb. But whether your road trip lasts for a few hours or several weeks, you’ll be happier about it nutritionally if you do a little planning.

Stock a cooler with ice packs and lots of quick and easy snacks. Plan your route with food in mind. And know you have non-menu options if you end up somewhere the food pickings are slim.

Stay hydrated, and if you choose to give yourself a splurge meal, remember moderation is crucial.

It can be a nightmare task if you’re not the most organized, but this is your health we’re talking about here. Rise to the challenge, stick to the plan, and your stomach will be much happier in the end.

make low carb chicken parmesan

How to Make a Perfect Low-Carb Chicken Parmesan

Perfect Low-Carb Chicken Parmesan Directions

Chicken parmesan, or chicken parmigiana. Either way you say it, it’s an ooey-gooey little hunk of heaven. A cheesy, saucy, flavorful explosion of unparalleled delight. Quite possibly the tastiest thing you could ever put in your mouth.

But if you’re trying to follow a low-carb diet, it’s an automatic no-no, right? How can all those carbs be justified?

Of course, there’s no justifying the carbs. But ultimately, there’s a savory solution to this problem. Simple, effective, delicious ways, too. For those who feel they’ve been missing out, chicken parmesan is back on the menu.

The secret? You have to get creative about it. While it’s true that a traditional chicken parmesan has a lot of hidden carbohydrates lying in wait to throw off your daily carb count, all it takes is a little outside-the-box thinking to get everything back on track.

Traditionally, the biggest chicken parm-related controversy is about pork. Specifically, chefs are divided about whether it’s still chicken parmigiana if you add a slice of ham or bacon to it? If something like that is enough to get chefs riled up, imagine the heated debate that would ensue if you suggested substituting the breadcrumbs with pork.

That’s right. Pork-crusted chicken parmesan! Of course, if pork isn’t welcome on your fork, we also have some other breading alternatives for you to try.

Intrigued? Read on.

Where do the carbs come from?

In a traditional chicken parmesan, the biggest carb culprits are the breadcrumbs and the tomato sauce. The breading should come as no surprise to anyone who’s used to counting carbs, but the sauce might throw you for a loop.

Here’s the deal with tomato sauce. Tomatoes are sugary. They may not have as much fructose as mangos, but they still have a fair bit.

To make matters worse, many commercial sauces add sugar to their recipes. And it’s your blood sugar pays for it in the end.

So let’s break it all down, look at what’s throwing your blood sugar off, and come up with some viable, tasty alternatives to get chicken parm back on the menu for you.

Step 1: Getting the right tomato sauce

So how do you get a decent low-carb tomato sauce? Well, there are essentially four ways to go about it:

  1. buy a pre-approved sauce from a list compiled by someone who’s done rigorous research with a low-carb focus
  2. spend a lot of time reading labels
  3. make your own sauce from canned tomatoes
  4. if you’re particularly hardcore and have a bit of time on your hands, buy bulk raw tomatoes and do your own canning

As far as pre-approved lists go, you might want to try this one compiled by the good folks at Greatist. If you need help narrowing the list down, try one of the marinara sauces. That’ll give your parm that essential tangy zip to truly elevate it beyond the mundane. Or if you have time to place an order, try one of these great sauces.

If you opt to go the label-reading route, a good shortcut is to go straight to the ingredient list. Don’t waste time doing mental long division as you look at the nutritional info and try to deduce what a recommended serving will do to your daily carb allowance. What matters is learning what ingredients are inside the jar. Short lists are better than long ones. And simple, pronounceable ingredients are better than a list of chemicals you might need a Ph.D. to figure out. And put back any jar that says it has added sugar.

If you’ve got any skills in the kitchen, whipping up your own sauce from scratch is dead easy. Grab a can of diced or crushed tomatoes from the canned vegetable aisle and a recipe from the internet and off you go. That’s definitely one way to make sure no one’s slipping extra sugar into your sauce.

Canning your own tomatoes

Of course, the ultimate way to control your intake is can your own tomatoes. However, if you’re not already canning things, this method requires some time, money, and space. There’s a bit of a learning curve, too.

Timewise, you have to track down bulk tomatoes, wash them, prep them, and all the other stuff it takes to get them ready to jar. In some Italian families that take tomato sauce seriously, days on end are devoted to canning tomatoes every year.

And let’s not forget that doing it right requires a fair bit of gear. And storage space, too—a cold cellar might come in handy, though it’s not necessary.

Canning is by far the best method of controlling everything that goes into your food. But roll up your sleeves. It’s a lot of work.

Step 2: The perfect breadcrumb

We tracked down the perfect breading substitute over at the Tastaholics website. It turns out they also wanted to figure out how to make chicken parmesan fit into the low-carb lifestyle and did extensive research and testing to figure it all out.

They tried a number of things instead of breadcrumbs. Almond flour, coconut flour, more parmesan. But in the end, they discovered the best low-carb breading was . . . pork rinds!

That’s right. Whiz up some pork rinds in a food processor until it’s the consistency of breadcrumbs. Then mix it with grated parmesan. A half ounce of pork rind breading to every tablespoon of parmesan.

You can get the whole recipe, including a demonstration video, here.

Other breading alternatives

If you’re not sold on breading your chicken cutlet with pork rinds, there are other things you can try. The recipe above uses pork rinds because that’s what stuck best to the chicken in their testing. But if pork isn’t your thing, there are other options worth exploring.

Others have reported good results breading with almond meal, parmesan cheese, coconut flour, and panko. If you try parmesan, use the real stuff, grated fresh off the block. Testers have reported that the shaky parm doesn’t form a good crust. And Italian food enthusiasts will shake their heads when they see you buying it. Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow. If it can be shelved at room temperature, it’s not real cheese. Don’t eat it.

Some have had good results with quinoa, but others argue that quinoa isn’t that low-carb. It’s better than breadcrumbs, but it’s definitely not suitable for a keto diet.

Step 3: Ditch the extras

Resisting the urge to add in extra carbs should be a given at this point. Sure, many of us fell in love with chicken parmesan served on a bed of white pasta. Still others were wooed by it baked in a pie. And let’s not forget how it wormed its way into the hearts of millions in its most carb-unfriendly incarnation yet, serving as the middle of a submarine sandwich.

If you’re going to go through the effort of finding or making a low-sugar tomato sauce and making your own breading out of pork rinds, why add extra carbs now?

Consider instead serving your chicken parmesan with a salad. Or, maybe brown rice. And if you’re going to use pasta, choose a good low-carb noodle.

Put the power of parmesan on your plate tonight

It’s tricky trying to figure out low-carb alternatives for all your old favorites. When you first try the low-carb lifestyle, it seems like you may never eat some of the things you love ever again.

Thankfully, some people living this lifestyle never surrender. They work tirelessly to find ways to bring all their comfort foods under the low-carb umbrella. And while some food faves may never be a good fit with this lifestyle, it’s good to know that breaded foods like the classic chicken parmesan—or chicken parmigiana—are now part of the program.

All it took was a little creativity.