Chef Benita's Secrets to Cooking Keto

Chef Benita Bezuidenhout

Chef Benita

Chef Benita answers some Frequently Asked Questions about eating KETO and which healthy alternative food items to stock your food pantry with


1. Can I use stock powders/cubes?

You should not use any pre-mixed powders or stocks.

Most contain maize flour, cornflour, brown sugar, etc.

Make the bone broth (recipe on website:, freeze in small containers, and use this as stock.


2. How do I thicken a sauce/soup?

Use a product called Xantum Gum.

For 500 ml sauce, you will need about 5 ml of powder.

Alternatively use cream in creamy sauces.

Chia seeds are excellent to thicken an eggless mousse for example.


3. How do I create a white sauce?

Make a white sauce with:

250 ml cream,

2.5 ml of Xantum Gum,

1 cup grated cheddar cheese &

seasoning (salt & pepper).


4. How do I cook for my family, if they do not want to do KETO?

Although KETO is off-course the healthiest way of eating, you can add items such as potato or Basmati rice or brown rice, to the meal plan for other family members who do not want to partake in this way of eating. The health benefits are very good. Potatoes are high in fibre.

If you need to lose fat, these items contain too many carbohydrates.


5. What type of meat can I use?

Any type of meat, but preferably "Free Range, Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished."

If you use standard meat, do not eat too much of the fat, as the toxins usually reside in the fat.


6. What type of cooking methods can I use?

Most cooking methods are acceptable. However, do not use any vegetable oils, e.g. Canola (No - it is not healthy), sunflower, etc.

Use Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Walnut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Sesame Oil, (although a very strong flavour), and Olive Oil.

Some oils should not be used for high-temperature cooking, due to the “smoking point”. This is when the oil becomes toxic at high temperatures.

Coconut oil is the best option.

Shallow fry with a mixture of Coconut Oil and butter (for the flavour).

Grapeseed oil can be used by exception, for cooking – take note, NOT Rape Seed oil.


7. Can I never deep-fry anything?

Yes, you can but it does become expensive. Use Coconut Oil.


8. Can I never eat Pizza again?

You can create pizza bases by using a mixture of Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cheese, and eggs. (Most Keto Websites have this recipe)

Top with your favourite toppings, be careful of processed meats, e.g. Salami and Sausages. Use home-made bacon instead.

When making your home-made bacon (recipes can be found on the internet) leave out the sugar, it will not make a difference. Home-smoke it with Rooibos tea (only) or a mixture of Rooibos tea and wood sawdust.


9. Do I really have to eat all that FAT?

Yes, the good and healthy fats.

Most diseases started (even new diseases, that we never knew about before) when low fat, high-carb diets were introduced.

The reason you MUST eat "the good quality" fats are for brain health, healthy hormones, energy, and enhanced skin health to name a few. Refer to Dr Illona’s posts on the myths pertaining to fat and high cholesterol:


10. Can I never eat condiments: jam/chutney/ mayonnaise/tomato sauce, again?

Create your own.

You will need Citric Acid/ Tartaric Acid as a preservative.

Use 1 cup Erythritol to 2.5 ml Stevia = sweetness of 1 cup sugar.

Remember there is no sugar to create a jelly, so use the Xantum Gum here as well.

Do not buy sugar-free/diabetic friendly (it usually contains sucralose and other sugars with different names that are just as unhealthy as sugar)

Mayonnaise can be created by using, for example, Grapeseed oil, or Olive Oil (Olive Oil will create a different taste though) - Click here for my recipe.


11. Can I use tomato puree?

Yes, this is not too high in Carbs (16/100), but you use very little in a bolognese for example, that it balances out.


12. Am I not allowed to eat desserts/ chocolate?

Yes, you are.

There are a number of recipes for Keto-friendly desserts, e.g. Cheesecake (use butter and Macadamia Nut Flour or Almond Flour and butter for the base.) Macadamias have some of the lowest carbs out of all the nuts and are rated as the healthiest nuts, with good quality fat.


13. Am I not allowed to eat bread?

You can create very nice bread from various low-carb flours, e.g. Almond, Macadamia, Sunflower, Sesame, Flaxseed and a combination thereof.


14. May I not eat anything that has been crumbed?

Yes, you may.

Use ground nuts, nut flour or coconut flour instead of breadcrumbs.


15. May I have a glass of wine/whisky/beer?

You certainly may.

However, do keep in mind that the liver must remove alcohol from your system prior to digesting foods. Prioritising the removal of alcohol therefore prevents you from going into Ketosis.


16. I find Stevia too bitter, what can I use instead?

Remember that Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Use it accordingly.

Alternatively, mix 1 cup Erythritol with 5 ml Stevia.

It will be sweeter, and you will not even taste the Stevia. You can also use Xylitol - infrequently.

Do not use Aspartame, Saccharine, Sucralose, or any other sweeteners, AT ALL!


17. I do not like Butter, Coconut Oil in my coffee ("Bulletproof" coffee). What can I use?

You can get MCT oil in a powder form. It tastes like creamer in the coffee.

MCT = Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

These are the fats found in foods like coconut oil. They are metabolised differently than the long-chain triglycerides (LCT) found in most other foods. MCT oil is a supplement that contains a lot of these fats and has many health benefits.

Triglyceride is simply the technical term for fat.


18. What can I use to flavour my food?

Any type of herb (green) or spice.

DO NOT use pre-mixed spices, such as BBQ, Chicken Spice, Fish spice. They all contain MSG (Monosodium Glutamate), which is very unhealthy and can cause various allergic reactions.

Use herbs such as: Parsley, Oregano, Mint, Marjoram, Basil.

Use spices such as Cumin, Coriander (powder or leaves), Curry mix, Marsala, Paprika, Mustard seeds.

Cayenne Pepper and Turmeric both have excellent health benefits.

Curcumin in Turmeric is considered "THE" most potent Anti-Inflammatory!


19. Must I cut off the Chicken Skin?

No, the fat it contains is good for you.


20. What about Cholesterol, when eating all this fat?

Refer to Dr Illona’s posts:


21. I do not like the taste of Coconut, what now?

Coconut oil is available as a flavourless option as well.


22. I am told that vegetables that grow below the ground should not be eaten.

Dr Illona will soon publish a post on the website, discussing night-shade vegetables and those that grow below the ground.

We are supposed to eat ALL the natural food God provided for us to eat. Some of these vegetables that grow below the ground like sweet potatoes, carrots, and beetroot contain some of the highest nutrient values in a single vegetable serving.


23. What about food for lunchboxes?

Make your own pastrami (corned beef) from recipes found on the internet, but once again, just leave out the sugar.

Make wraps by using lettuce leaves, wrap your ingredients in the whole leaves and you can eat it by hand.

Make kebabs with boiled egg, baby tomato, cucumber pieces, cheese, and pastrami/ roast beef cut in blocks.


24. I often use tomato and onion tins.

If you check the labels, you will see it contains sugar. Make your own mixture and freeze in small containers. You can then just defrost and add to your sauce or soup.


I hope this answers some of the questions you may have about KETO! If you have any other questions, reach out and we will be happy to assist!

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