By Hubert Cormier, PhD in nutrition
Everyone loves fondue! Sharing and discovery are two ingredients that contribute greatly to its success. Indeed, it is possible to open up a world of possibilities far from the Québec adaptation of the Chinese fondue; popular slices of beef and chicken can give way to other very interesting ingredients. This adaptability of the meal allows people with different diets to fit in at the table and enjoy the meal to the fullest! This is particularly the case with the Ketogenic (or Keto) diet, which has become popular in recent years. How do you adapt the fondue when you are a Keto person or when you have guests who are fans of this popular diet? Here are some interesting tips.
Which broth to choose?
Most broths are low in carbohydrates. Its main role is to cook your food and then give it a bit of taste. Also, remember that the food absorbs very little of the broth, so the carbohydrate intake will be insignificant!
For cooks, it is easy to prepare a Keto broth at home from meat or chicken carcasses, a bit of ginger, onions, water, cider vinegar, garlic and celery and a little salt. This broth, once the solids have been removed, can even be drunk to ensure that its sodium needs are met and to get some vitamins and minerals, as well as collagen.
Most animal protein sources are very low in carbohydrates and are good options for the Ketogenic diet. This means that more traditional proteins such as beef and chicken, but also fish and some seafood are excellent choices. In Germany, cocktail sausages, filet mignon cubes and meatballs are featured in fleischfondue. Why not use this as inspiration for your next themed fondue party?
For a vegetable alternative, tofu cubes can be interesting knowing that a 75 g portion only provides 1.5 g of carbohydrates.
A few tips for vegetables
The Ketogenic diet encourages the consumption of vegetables that are low in carbohydrates. Therefore, vegetables with a higher sugar content should be avoided. This is the case for many colorful foods such as peppers, carrots and snow peas. Easily replace them with radishes, zucchini, celery, bok choy or cauliflower!
Meanwhile, the fondue staples, broccoli and mushrooms, are not a problem. On the other hand, because of its high carbohydrate and starch content, potatoes are shunned by Ketogenic dieters.
Fortunately, there are foods that can be excellent alternatives to potatoes! Think of celery root, kohlrabi, daikon, rutabaga or turnip, all of which are options with 5 g of net carbs or less per 100 g serving. This is a great way to incorporate vegetables into your diet while limiting carbohydrates.
The famous baguette
Not surprisingly, baked goods such as rolls or baguettes are high in carbohydrates. They are therefore not compatible with the Keto diet. However, some Keto breads made with tapioca starch are quite low in net carbohydrates.
These products are a great way to live the fondue experience to its fullest by dipping a little piece of bread in the broth! Otherwise, skip the baguette or other baked goods and eat more vegetables instead. After all, there’s no shortage of room in Fondussimo baskets!
What to do with the sauces?
A fondue would not be as delicious without the addition of various sauces served as side dishes, so don’t eliminate them! Sauces sweetened with maple syrup or honey are obviously to be avoided if you are on the Ketogenic diet.
Beware of ketchup, which contains 5 g of carbohydrates per 15 ml (1 tbsp) serving and no fat. It is often used in many sauce recipes to give them a sweet taste. Choose sauces made with mayonnaise and spices. Garlic, pepper, onion, curry, basil and Dijon mustard sauces are also good options! Pesto and chimichurri can be a great way to enhance the taste of meat or your sauces!
Never throw away your tasty broth! Freeze it for later use or make it into onion soup au gratin (omitting the baguette if you’re Keto!). Got some extra sauce? Simply use it as a dip or add a little extra-virgin olive oil and the vinegar of your choice to make delicious vinaigrettes!
Finally, fondue stands out because it forces us to enjoy our meal without rushing. In a world where everything – or almost everything – goes too fast, it is essential to take the time to eat well and spend a good time with family or friends. The Keto diet can be a hot topic of discussion and some people find it difficult to break away from their strict meal plans, which limits outings and eating out. Since fondue is one of the most versatile dishes, there is something for everyone to enjoy and it’s easy to adapt your choices to your dietary preferences.
It’s time to invite our friends and family and put aside our preconceived ideas about food. Instead, let’s enjoy a good time in good company.
In need of Keto inspiration? Try the Culinary Impostor’s Xmas Fondue!