Friday, 17 January 2020

Chinese New Year dishes to eat while on a keto or low-carb diet

The CNY feasting season can wreak havoc for even the most committed of dieters. If you have been good all year, counted carbs and restricted your sugar intake, don’t let reunion dinners with yu sheng (raw fish salad) and festive snacking ruin it for you. For those on the keto, paleo and LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) or LCHP (low-carb, high-protein) diet, here are some options for guilt-free indulging.

Seriously Keto - Kueh Buloh CNY keto diet
Snack on these guilt-free Kueh Buloh

1. Cookies and Crisps – Seriously Keto

Singapore’s first bakery dedicated to keto bakes has CNY specials. They include Cashew Cookies ($28.80; 30 pieces), Kueh Buloh ($18.80; 27 pieces), Cheese Crisps ($20.80; 22 pieces), and a Keto New Year Bundle ($58) comprising all three. Seriously Keto uses low-carb ingredients such as almond flour, cashews, peanuts, eggs, cheese and Swerve, a zero-calorie, erythritol-based sugar replacement.

Bakening Prosperity Bag CNY keto diet
Bakening’s cookies are vegan and gluten-free

2. Paleo cookies – Bakening

Proudly calling itself a ‘flourless bakery’, Bakening has a wide variety of bite-sized cookies called crunches in flavours such as Sea Salt and Choco Hazelnut. These are vegan and gluten-free, and can be consumed by paleo dieters. The cookies are made with almond, cashew, arrowroot and coconut flours, and flavoured naturally with coconut sugar and sea salt. Priced at $7.90 a bag or $62.80 for a CNY Cookie Prosperity Bag of eight bags.

3. Keto bak kwa – Mahota Singapore

For many of us, the festive period is the perfect excuse to stuff ourselves silly with bak kwa (barbecued pork jerky). Traditional recipes use copious amounts of sugar and sodium-rich sauces. If you’re after a keto version, buy your bak kwa from Mahota. It’s made with succulent Australian free-range minced pork with 40% less fat that’s flavoured with fish sauce, liquid aminos, five-spice powder, rose wine and monk fruit sweetener. Priced at $10.80/100g (minimum order: 50g).

COMO Cuisine Prosperity Toss Salad CNY keto diet
Toss to a better year with COMO Cuisine’s healthier version of yu sheng

4. Low-carb yu sheng – COMO Cuisine

Although yu sheng is often called a salad, its ingredients are usually high in carbs, thanks to the deep-fried crackers and added sugars (sauces). For a low-carb, healthier take, get COMO Cuisine’s Prosperity Toss Salad ($24++ to $50++ for two persons). Here, Tasmanian ocean trout, pickled carrot and zucchini spirals, julienned beetroot and carrot, shaved white and red cabbage, daikon and cucumber, as well as diced dragon fruit, snake gourd and pomelo are tossed with five-spice powder, sesame seeds, cashews and a dressing of plum and hoisin sauces, honey and orange and lemon juices. There is no added sugar or oil. Tip: Go easy on the dressing as the salad ingredients are packed with serious natural flavours. 

Available on 26 and 27 January 2020 for lunch and dinner (dine-in only) at COMO Cuisine, Dempsey Road. 

Locaba CNY keto diet
Locaba’s cake is low-carb, diabetic-friendly and gluten-free

5. Low-carb cake – Locaba

Bursting with festive flavours, Locaba has a cake called the Happiness “Fu”. Keto- and paleo-compliant, and free of refined sugars and gluten, it consists of flourless chocolate sponge, layered with mascarpone with hints of mandarin oranges as well as orange purée. Coconut and almond flour is used, and the cake is sweetened only with erythritol and small amounts of coconut sugar. Priced at $108 for a cake with 12 servings.

Delcie's Pecan Cookies CNY keto diet
Delcie’s is known for being a healthy bakery for sensitive tummies

6. Cookies, tarts and crackers – Delcie’s Desserts And Cakes

Known as one of the first bakeries in Singapore to introduce healthier versions of baked goods, Delcie’s also has a variety of CNY offerings to suit various diets, including vegan and diabetes-friendly. There are Melting Pecan Cookies ($32.80 per tub) with only nuts and stevia and Chocolate Chip Cookies that are made with coconut and nut flours and cocoa. If you allow yourself small amounts of healthy carbs, Delcie’s has vegan and eggless pineapple balls and tarts ($35 per tub), both of which are free of refined sugars. Don’t forget to try the Seaweed Crackers ($28.80 for 140g) as well.

Online orders are closed. A limited quantity is available in store, but do call 6282-2951 (Tue-Sun, 11am-7pm) to reserve for same day collection. 

7. Keto collagen puffs – Kekito Bakery

Crunchy snacks need not be made up of carbs and trans fats. Kekito Bakery’s airy, crunchy, bite-sized Collagen Puffs ($12.90 per 40g bag) are made with grass-fed beef tendons and flavoured with either Himalayan salt or Nori seaweed. Great on their own, you can also add them to yu sheng. The bakery’s other Lunar New Year offerings, also zero-carbs and all-natural, include Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Cookies with Sea Salt and Salted Egg Yolk Cookies. All are priced at $36 each for 30 large cookies.

Keto Lapis OLLELLA CNY keto diet
This cake is sugar-free, keto-friendly and gluten-free

8. Keto-friendly kueh lapis – Ollella

Choux-pastry specialist, Ollella, has a variety of Lunar New Year offerings, but most intriguing is its sugar-free, keto-friendly and gluten-free kueh lapis (from $36 for 350g)  The 20-layer cakes are made with keto-friendly ingredients such as additive-free Lescure French butter, egg yolks, cream cheese, Lakanto monkfruit sugar and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Available online and at B2 Takashimaya Square, Lunar New Year Fair until 9 February

9. CNY roasts – Cedele

Roast meats are a delicious way to load up on proteins during festive feasts. Unlike most restaurants, Cedele’s festive meat preparations do not include sugar-laden marinades. Oven-baked for two hours, the low-salt Roast Pork Belly ($48) has a crisp crackling. Its Szechuan Roast Chicken is flavoured with five-spice powder and peppercorns, and served with a ginger chilli sauce.

SEE ALSO: 3 days in Singapore: The Lunar New Year edition

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