The ketogenic diet, widely known as keto revolves around low-carb, high-fat meals designed to put the body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. By significantly reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing that with fats, the body shifts from using glucose as fuel to using ketones, resulting in fat loss.
Understanding Carbs in Traditional Mince Pies
Mince pies have been a Christmas special in the UK for years. The delectable blend of dried fruits and spices creates a rich filling which creates a beloved holiday treat. Unfortunately, the traditional recipe features ingredients that significantly contribute to their high-carb content making them incompatible with keto diets. The traditional mince pie recipe consists of dried fruits, sugar and flour which are all the things that create the high carb content. Usually, to balance the taste of fruits, huge amounts of sugar are used which enhances the overall sweetness.
Impact on Ketosis
The substantial carb content in traditional mince pies can disrupt the state of ketosis. Consuming these can cause the body to revert to glucose for energy, kicking the body out of ketosis.
A Better Way
Introducing Keto-Friendly Mince Pies
What does it take to make a keto-friendly version of traditional mince pies? Simply replacing the fruits with something else? Removing sugar and using low-carb sweeteners instead? No. Creating a keto-friendly mince pie involves re-imagining the traditional mince pie recipe substituting high-carb ingredients with low-carb ingredients without compromising on flavour.
This change means taking the traditional recipe and replacing all the high-carb ingredients with low-carb ingredients. Sugar-laden fruits, refined sugars and flour-based pastry with low-carb substitutes. These substations often include erythritol or stevia as sweeteners—popular low-carb sugar alcohols and low-carb fruit options. All to reduce the glycemic impact of the snack overall.
Apple Chayote — A Low-Carb Substitute
At No Guilt Bakes, Chayote Squash is the ingredient we use in our low-carb mince pies. It offers a versatile, low-carb alternative to traditional high-sugar mince meat and fruits that other brands use. Chayote mimics the texture and sweetness of traditional fruits while significantly reducing the carb content.
Chayote is also known as mirliton and can be consumed raw in salads, pickled, sautéed, steamed, boiled, or baked, adding a tasty crunch and flavour to various recipes.
It has a high water content making it filling without excess calories. A significant portion of its carbohydrates comes from dietary fibre adding digestion and prompting satiety.
It’s rich in nutrients and is a good source of Vitamin C and K providing antioxidants for immunity and supporting bone health. With its’ low carbohydrate content and subtle sweetness, it acts well as a base for many meals and snacks—among them, our mince pies.
Traditional Ingredients vs. Keto Substitutes
- High-Sugar Fruits: Dried fruits like raisins, currants, and sultanas are prevalent in traditional mince pies. While rich in flavour, they contribute to high sugar and carb content.
- Refined Sugars: White sugar and sweet syrups are used to sweeten the mincemeat, adding significant carbs and calories.
- Flour-based Pastry: Shortcrust pastry, typically made from wheat flour and butter, further elevates the carb count.
- Low-Carb Sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit sweeteners replace traditional sugars, reducing the carb content.
- Nut Flours: Almond flour, coconut flour, or a blend of these replace wheat flour, offering a lower-carb alternative for pastry.
- Low-Carb Fruits: Apple chayote, with its low-carb profile, replaces high-sugar fruits in the mincemeat, reducing overall sugar content.
Your Questions Answered
Isn’t fat bad for your body?
Monounsaturated Fats (Found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds), Polyunsaturated Fats (Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds) and Saturated Fats (Often from animal sources like meat, butter, and cheese, as well as coconut oil) are essential in the body for multiple reasons.