Low-carb snacking on-the-go, made easier by one of our favorite stores.
If you’re tempted to try the ketogenic (keto) diet, or if it’s old hat by this point, you may realize that snacks are some of the trickiest elements of sticking to this ultra-low-carb diet. That’s because most snacks, at least the shelf-stable kind you buy in a grocery store, are loaded with carbs and hidden sugar. Crackers, chips, cookies? They’re all off limits. Fresh fruit? With a few exceptions, they’re a no-go. Carrots and hummus? Keep the carrots; kick out the hummus. It’s a tricky game, which is why it’s important to find a source—and some options—you can trust and turn to time and time again.
Thankfully, Trader Joe’s makes keto snacking much easier. They have a wide variety of snacks and foods you can keep with you, store in your desk drawer, or hide out in the fridge for those moments when you desperately need something to nosh. These choices make it easier to keep your carb count down while meeting your cravings. Here, nine of my favorite keto-approved snacks from Trader Joe’s.
Oven-Baked Cheese Bites ($2)
These oven-baked cheesy bites are made with just two cheeses, a semi-aged cheese and grana padano cheese. They also come in a perfectly portable two-ounce bag, so it’s easy to keep these on you when the need to nibble hits. Half the package contains less than one gram of carbs, but offers 12 grams of total fat and 15 grams of protein. Eat them as they are—they’re delightfully crispy bites with a tang—or toss them into salads for a pop of crunch.
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip ($3)
One of the great things about the keto diet is that you can easily continue hosting movie nights with friends or having the crew over for a game. So many party foods aren’t off limits. You just have to adjust the dippers you serve with them. Case in point is this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip, which has just two grams of carbs per two tablespoons, and cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, and herby ranch flavors. Serve with carrots, celery, or raw cauliflower for a keto-friendly snack.
All The Cheese!
The entire cheese case (with the exception of some sweetened options) is your oyster. No need for crackers or sugar-loaded fruits. Just pick a few options and slice into single-serve (about one ounce) pieces for quick snacking.
Truffle Marcona Almonds ($6)
Nuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and filling fiber. These roasted and salted marcona almonds are an especially luxurious treat thanks to the hefty dose of oil and truffle sea salt. A quarter-cup serving has three grams of net carbs and six grams of filling protein. If you like herbaceous rosemary, look for the Marcona Almonds with Rosemary on the next shelf.
Parsnip Chips ($3)
Do you miss the crispy crunch of fried potato pieces? Great news! Trader Joe’s Parsnip Chips are a crispy, delicately sweet chip alternative that fits within your keto guidelines. A one-ounce serving, or about 15 chips, has six net carbs. Serve these root vegetable crisps with deli meat-and-cheese roll-ups for an incredibly easy snack or light lunch.
Broccoli Florets ($3)
If your snack philosophy is “the more funk, the better,” you’ve got to try these Broccoli Florets. A flash fry process leaves broccoli pieces crispy, slightly sweet, and full of vegetal bite. An entire bag (an entire bag!) is just five net carbs, but it’s a very filling 1.4-ounce serving, so pace yourself. You’ll probably want to eat this one in small doses.
Wasabi Roasted Seaweed Snack ($3)
Dried, roasted seaweed is a crispy chip or cracker alternative for when you’re hankering for a crackling nosh. Reach for the wasabi-flavored variety for a little extra kick of heat. (It also helps mask the oceanic flavor if that’s at all off putting to you.) Teriyaki is also available and has a sweet-sour flavor profile that’s equally delicious and good at masking sea-flavored funk.
Organic Pitted Kalamon Olives ($3)
Salty, briny olives are an especially great keto snack. They’re low-calorie—four olives have just 20 calories—but they’re packed with fat and less than one gram of carbs per serving. Trader Joe’s offers a variety of olives, so try them all until you find your favorite, or start with this classic option.
Chomps Snack Sticks ($2)
Jerkeys, meat bars, and dried meat are a go-to snack for many keto eaters, but the flavors, textures, and price tags can vary greatly. The Chomps Beef and Turkey Sticks deliver deliciously meaty flavor without any unnecessary herbs—seriously, back off with the rosemary—and at a budget-friendly price. They also boast a crispy skin, which is reminiscent of a childhood favorite that rhymes with Flim Him (the ingredients in these are much less questionable). Keep these meat sticks in a desk drawer, pantry, or gym bag for a quick hit of no-carb protein and fat.