easy keto dessert recipe for Valentine's Day (keto brownies)
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If you’re one of the millions of Americans “going keto,” you know that the diet is somewhat strict and difficult to adhere to, especially on holidays like Valentine’s Day that involve copious amounts of chocolate and Champagne. (Quick recap: The keto diet emphasizes cutting out carbohydrates and amping up foods high in fat, so that your body starts to break down fats instead of storing them.) And yet, whether you’re a champion of the low-carb, high-fat diet or just a skeptic who’s in a relationship with one, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without veering too far from the keto script.

A Key Keto IngredientThe Ultimate Guide to Almond Flour“It just takes a little bit of planning,” say Alex and Lauren Lester, the couple behind Cast Iron Keto, a site dedicated to keto-friendly recipes. Both keto acolytes for just over two years, the couple has become pros at whipping up inventive keto-compliant meals like these delicious fish tacos that make the breadless way of life seem much more doable.

For a romantic keto dinner, Alex and Lauren suggest a cast iron steak with a charred brussels sprout salad, rounded out by their keto white chocolate blondies. True to the site’s name, all of these dishes are meant to be made in a cast-iron skillet, which also cuts down on time spent in the kitchen cleaning up a bunch of pots and pans.

The reality is you don’t have to get too creative when planning a romantic keto dinner for two. A classic baked brie is a perfect, gooey appetizer that doesn’t require any adaptations. Other great options that can be starters or sides are steamed artichokes, Alex’s garlic butter mushrooms, or a light and crunchy cucumber salad. Sick of meat-and-threes? Switch things up with breakfast-for-dinner (or breakfast-in-bed). Egg muffin cups are super easy to customize. Almond flour pancakes and zucchini waffles read indulgent but are still low in carbs.

Cast Iron Keto’s Garlic Butter Mushrooms recipe

A cozy butter chicken with a side of cauliflower rice is another good option, especially paired with a naturally low-carb side of Indian raita, and a vegetable dish.

If pasta is always your thing for Valentine’s (Lady and the Tramp-style), try shirataki noodles instead of spaghetti. Also known as “miracle noodles” (the name of a common shirataki brand), they’re a popular Japanese ingredient made from water and konjac yam. Toss them with an almond butter sauce, use them in a pad thai, or even substitute in a carbonara.

Miracle Noodle Shirataki Angel Hair and Fettuccine, 6 packs for $18.37 on Amazon

Try two varieties of these soy-free, zero-carb, gluten-free, vegan noodles.
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Dessert on keto can be a bit trickier, but there are still recipes that stick to the low-carb, high-fat formula. In addition to white chocolate blondies, the Lesters recommend their keto magic bars, packed with shredded coconut, pecans, and dark chocolate chips. Peanut butter and chocolate truffles are also great, as is a tart lemon bar.

Cast Iron Keto’s Keto Magic Bars recipe

And let’s face it, maybe on Valentine’s Day, it’s okay to break from keto. While Alex and Lauren have both been fairly strict keto acolytes for the last couple years, even they say it’s necessary and in fact healthy to take a break once in awhile.

Good Dee’s Brownie Mix, $12.34 on Amazon

Low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and maltitol-free, this mix is an easy route to keto-compliant brownies to end your evening.
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“We both believe in living your life,” says Alex. “And that includes enjoying time with each other without worrying about macros.”

Related Reading: Plan for Success: Keto Meal Prep Guide | The Best Low- and No-Sugar Cookbooks for Keto, Paleo, and Diabetic Diets

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Header image courtesy of Cast Iron Keto.

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