My Personal Take on Dieting
Disclaimer — if you’ve been following along for awhile you know I’m not a big fan of diets.
This is because every person is so unique — your genetic makeup, environment and exposure to toxins, gut health, hormone balance, lifestyle and personal preferences are singular to you — so what works for someone else (keto! paleo! vegan! etc.) might not be optimal for what you need.
This encompasses diets, which target the masses and keep individuals focused on the rules of the diet itself rather than tuning into your body to see what actually works well for you.
That being said, there are certain pillars of diets that can be applied in helpful ways.
My Thoughts on The Keto Diet
Take, for example the keto diet, which I do not personally follow (I’m not on any diet, as you can probably guess at this point). Strictly following the keto diet wouldn’t work well for me now as I’m breastfeeding and focusing on maximizing my calories and nutrients (instead of limiting certain food groups). I also know I feel my best when I eat a good mix of protein, fat and carbs derived mainly from plants like sweet potato and squash (which are considered too high in carbohydrates for the keto diet).
But, for someone has Type 2 Diabetes and is looking to improve insulin sensitivity or a person struggling with managing their epilepsy — following more of a keto way of eating could be a good fit.
I also think the average person following the standard American diet (SAD) could benefit from incorporating more healthy fats and whole foods into their lifestyle while cutting back on refined and processed flours, sugars and grains.
Overall there are certain tenants I can appreciate about a keto approach (and some I even incorporate into my own lifestyle) but I think it’s very important that you consult a licensed functional medical practitioner or nutrition coach, get an update on your health biomarkers (hormone balance, cholesterol etc.) and consider how this would work and fit into your lifestyle (short and long-term) before following a strict protocol.
Why I made This Keto Cauli Bacon Chowder (+ Why It’s Healthy)
So why did I make a Keto Cauli Bacon Chowder then? It just happened to be a happy, healthy accident.
+ I had a bunch of cauliflower on hand, which is in season, rich in antioxidants that lower inflammation and promote detoxification, and a great thickening agent for soups that also happens to be low carb.
+ I love pairing organic bacon with cauliflower, as I think the taste really compliments one another, and this along with the ghee provides a good dose of healthy fat required on a keto diet.
+ I added in organic bone broth with is also rich in protein, collagen, amino acids and healthy fats, and omitted any beans as they sometimes cause me digestive distress (as much as I love them).
The chowder turned out thick, creamy, hearty and insanely flavorful while naturally being low-carb and filled with healthy fats. It’s also got plenty of fiber to keep things moving along (which is a common complaint on a traditional keto diet) and additional health benefits with the incorporation of fresh herbs like thyme (known for it’s immune and mood-boosting properties).
While it can be technically considered keto, you don’t have to be following a keto diet to enjoy this chowder. Anyone looking to incorporate more plants and fiber, healthy fat and gut-healing collagen into their diet could benefit from this soup. It’s also the perfect thing to make right now as it’s warming and cozy, and I seriously think it tastes even better as leftovers (meal-prep FTW).
Oh, and if you still had any lingering doubts, it’s also one of the ever-picky Meat-Lovin’ Hubby’s faves and I’ve never NOT seen him go in for seconds 🙂
Happy Keto-ish Cooking,
Keto Cauli Bacon Chowder
This chowder is thick, creamy, hearty and insanely flavorful while naturally low-carb and filled with healthy fats. It's also got plenty of fiber to keep things moving along (which is a common complaint on a traditional keto diet) and additional health benefits with the incorporation of fresh herbs like thyme (known for it's immune and mood-boosting properties).
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets (or two small heads) about 4-6 cups
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp organic ghee
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme (if not fresh can use dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp sea salt
- ¼ - ½ tsp red chile flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
- fresh black pepper to taste
- 8 strips organic, nitrate-free bacon cut into ½" pieces
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (omit if on a strict keto protocol)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2-3 cups organic bone broth
- 1 ½ cups nutpods original creamer (can sub for full-fat coconut milk) use code SOFRESH15 to save 15% off your first order
- Optional -- ⅓ cup full-fat, organic shredded Parmesan cheese (or dairy-free substitute)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread chopped cauliflower florets on a parchment-lined baking pan and drizzle with 2 tbsp avocado oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp sea salt and fresh black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown.
- While cauliflower is roasting, place a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a plate and set aside.
- Pour off most of the bacon fat from the plan, leaving behind about 1-2 tbsp. Add in the 2 tbsp ghee and melt. Then add in chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until translucent.
- Once the onion is cooked add in the rest of the garlic, sea salt, pepper, thyme and chile flakes, stirring for one minute.
- Toss in the carrot and celery and cook for another couple of minutes, until softened.
- Add in 2-4 cups bone broth (start with less and gradually add more until you get a preferred consistency -- I liked 3 cups as it was still super thick) and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add in roasted cauliflower once it's done cooking and simmer everything together for 15 minutes. When done remove from heat.
- Stir in nutpods creamer (or coconut milk) and optional parmesan cheese (or dairy-free alternative).
- Use an immersion blender to lightly mix soup or remove 4 cups of soup and mix well in a high speed blender. You want the creamy and chunky consistency of a chowder, so make sure to only puree part and leave some chunks.
- Stir in most of the cooked bacon, reserving some to top soup with
- Garnish with more parm and fresh herbs.