Must Have Ingredients

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Some friends recently asked me to post a list of the most important ingredients I use, along with where to find them. This one’s for Kelly and Jody!

When you start cooking low carb, the recipes and ingredients may be a little confusing. After lots of experimentation, these are the ingredients I’ve found that I must have in my kitchen. It may seem daunting the first time you stock your pantry, but it is really simple after that. It’s also an investment, but for me it was a better investment than glucose testing strips for my husband. :)


First and foremost, you must have almond flour in your low carb kitchen. The 5lb bag from Honeyville is the best buy, and it’s also the best consistency of the different brands I’ve tried. Order directly from Honeyville here.





Erythritol in both granular (crystals) and powdered form. You can powder your own, but I think it’s easier to just order both. I get mine from Netrition. (Click here.)





EZ Sweetz is liquid sucralose, which is the sweetener that Splenda contains. I use the .5 FL OZ container which contains 450 servings. In this particular concentration 24 drops = 1 cup of sugar.

You can order this from Netrition here. (It is also sold by several vendors on Amazon.)


*Please see footnote for why I use EZ Sweetz instead of Splenda.


Xanthan gum is a thickener that can be used in various applications instead of corn starch or flour. It also helps hold baked goods together. I have used the same container of xanthan gum for over a year now, and I still have plenty left. It still works, so apparently it has a very long shelf life. Remember you only need very small amounts of this at a time.

Available at Netrition here.




Oat flour is a key ingredient in the bake mix I use. (See bake mix discussion here.)

Purchase from Netrition here.






Milled Flax Seed and Protein Powder are on my list of must haves because they are also ingredients in bake mix.

I picked up both of these in my local Wal-Mart.

Check the carb count on your protein powder. Mine is Vanilla Cream flavor and has 3 grams of carbs per scoop.



Carbquik Bake Mix

I also enjoy having Carbquik in my pantry. It is a low carb version of Bisquick but it’s made from carbalose flour. I use it for bicuits, waffles, and fried foods.

This is also available at Netrition here.



I hope this shopping list is helpful. Let me know if you have further questions!

*You can use Splenda instead, but if you do please remember that a cup of Splenda does have over 20 grams of carbs. The sucralose itself does not have carbs, but the white fluff they mix it in to make it measure like sugar does have carbs. It says zero carb on the label because the serving size is a tsp, and that amount is below the limit for what they have to list as a carb.


15 thoughts on “Must Have Ingredients”

  1. Is Carbquik about the same as the Atkins bake mix? I was given the Atkins bake mix for my birthday but was considering buying Carbquik if it’s different somehow.

    1. I have never used the Atkins bake mix, so I’m not sure how it compares to Carbquik. Carbquick is basically carbalose flour with fat already added. What are the main ingredients in the Atkins bake mix?

      1. Atkins baking mix: wheat gluten, whole grain soy flour, modified wheat starch, unprocessed wheat bran. It says it’s 5g net carbs per 1/3 cup.

        1. It sounds to me like the Atkins would be very different than Carbquik. The Carbquik has leavening agents and fat added. So, I wouldn’t substitute one for the other. I think I would try using the Atkins mix in place of any recipes that call for bake mix instead.
          Hope this helps!

  2. I’ve started preparing ketogenic (<40g carbs/day, high fat) meals for my son, to try and help with impulsive behaviors due from a traumatic brain injury, while my husband is a vegetarian (one year) successfully lowering his total cholesterol from 300 to 154. Both diets are very important in our family. Being the one who prepares the food, I am so excited to have stumbled on to your blog!!! Low carb high fat transition has been a difficult concept for everyone who know my son. With the holiday, I don't want him to feel restricted because others get a sweet, and he cant have the high carb item. I've been using some of your "must need" ingredients already, and I cant wait to dig in and try some of your recipes! Thank you taking the time to post!

  3. I want to thank u thank u for this list of must have ingredients and to thank u for having recipe’s that fit in with my way of eating but just with a lowcarb spin on it. I have tried recipes that were blah and blah looking so I look forward to trying most if not all your recipes

  4. I am new to low carbing so my question might be dumb! Is the Ez Sweetz the same thing as the liquid Splenda and Stevia? Thank you for the site. I thought I’d be doomed to eggs and more eggs on this diet but you’re showing me that I have many options.

    1. Not a dumb question at all. EZ Sweetz is concentrated liquid Splenda. Stevia is a different sweetener that some people prefer because it is plant based. Most recipes will tell you the equivalent amount as compared to sugar. For example, with the brand I use if a recipe calls for 12 drops, that is equivalent to 1/2 cup of sugar. Since liquid sweeteners come in a variety of types and concentrations, just look up the equivalent number of drops per cup of sugar for whatever type you use. You can use the type you prefer in pretty much any recipe. I hope this helps!

  5. I just stumbled upon this site and I’m grateful to find this list and your various recipes. I was recently diagnosed with some unusual food allergies. Sugar, maltitol and some odd others have left me on a very specific diet from my doctor. I can’t have sugars obviously, But also most carbs. :( I’ve been trying to learn how to eat again and the small handful of foods I know are safe are getting boring. I feel better, but need some options. As a single mom, I need to keep my budget in tact, and special diet stuff for mom is hard to fit in, and I don’t want to make my kids suffer because of my unique situation. Thank you for posting the must haves… at least I know how to get started on a good balance in my kitchen without breaking the bank or living on eggs and chicken every day for the rest of my life. I subscribed and I’m looking forward to more recipes! ☺

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