It seems like in the past few years, the trend within the diet and natural foods movement has been all about low carb. There seem to be reports, articles, and personal testimonies frequently touting the benefits of a low carb diet. These include claims of weight loss, more energy, better overall health and more mental clarity. The paleo diet and keto diet are all the rage.

Many vegans are also curious to find out if the claims are true. However, these diets and their advocates tend to rely heavily on animal products. These low carb diets fill up on beef, chicken, bacon, eggs and dairy as. They also embrace a variety of other types of animal flesh and by-products. Low carb diets tend to eschew grains, beans, sugar in all forms. Although some include lower carb fruits, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes and some even steering clear of carrots. From tons of meat including bacon, lard, butter, eggs in everything and dairy, it seems almost impossible to find low carb vegan-friendly recipes. Luckily, there are a variety of plant-based foods one can eat while also lowering or limiting their carbs. We’ve found some great low carb vegan recipes to help you try out or continue enjoying your low carb diet.

What Does Low-Carb Mean

best low carb vegan recipes

It’s easiest to start or maintain a low carb diet by determining exactly what low carb means to you. For some, in diets such as a Keto diet, low carb means no sugar in any form including fruit, and counting all your carbs out daily to keep them under a certain goal such as 30 grams or less. This goal can vary but a Keto diet tends to be the lowest carb diet that is currently popular.

A Paleo diet tends to just omit grains and beans, as well as most sugars except fruit. The diet tends to include starches such as sweet potatoes and carrots. The truth is that low carb can really vary depending on personal goals or dietary preferences. For this reason, it’s best to determine what this means for you. If you have specific goals to reach, such as dramatic weight loss, it may be best to try and limit your carbs more than if you just want to lose a few pounds or are hoping for more energy.

We generally find that many low-carb diets agree on a few things, such as:

  • No grains including corn
  • No beans
  • Fruit is the only sweet allowed in its whole or blended form (not juice)
  • No potatoes 
  • No added sugars whether refined, maple syrup, coconut sugar or dried fruit
  • Keep fruit to lower carbohydrate and lower glycemic options
  • Limit excessive intake of starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and beets
  • Eat fat in abundance 

What exactly does one eat on a low carb diet?

Remember this list can vary depending on your own personal goals or diet. Nevertheless, these items are a good place to start for stocking up and using as staples on your low carb diet.

  • Low sugar fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, grapefruit, lemons and limes
  • Avocados
  • Fresh Coconut Meat
  • Coconut yogurt such as natural coyo or cocoyo
  • Raw, sprouted, or roasted nuts
  • Raw, sprouted or roasted nut butters
  • Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, romaine, and arugula
  • Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, greens beans
  • Plant oils such as avocado, coconut, olive and hemp 

The Best Vegan Low Carb Recipes from Around the Internet

best low carb vegan recipes

Where to Find it: Eat Yourself Skinny

Why We Love it:  Zucchini noodles are absolutely amazing. They’re soft yet firm, relatively flavorless making them the perfect vehicle for flavor-packed sauces and this dish does that well. The creamy avocado sauce is flavorful, filling, fatty, salty and healthy. This makes it a great go to sauce for any dish, or just for eating with a spoon.

Our Suggestions: This sauce is really easy to modify. You can add in dill instead of basil. Or you can roast the garlic prior to adding it to the sauce for sweetness and depth. You can steam the noodles before hand for a more dense and authentic noodle feel.

Where to Find it: Mommy Cooking

Why We Love it: This Mexican inspired dish uses on-hand and easy-to-find ingredients to create a flavorful masterpiece quickly! Cauliflower is a low carb hero. It works remarkably well as a rice substitute, especially when fried up with lots of spices. This dish is a great staple dish and works well served warm or cold. 

Our Suggestions: This dish is incredibly flavorful and just needs some fat to make it more filling. Try adding a whole avocado, sliced or as guacamole on top. A cashew sour cream would take this dish over the top. A hint of salsa can add an extra layer of flavor and. It can make it feel like you put far more effort into the dish.

Where to Find it: Detoxinista

Why We Love it: This recipe is absolutely delicious and perfectly covers any craving for quick takeout food. It’s loaded with fiber rich vegetables and an incredibly flavorful yet simple dressing. It’s a really quick meal to throw together. You can easily enjoy it cold the next day for a quick lunch. 

Our Suggestions: To make this more filling, consider adding some crushed cashews or peanuts atop it. Or you can even add avocado along side it. This would also be easy to eat in wraps spread with cashew butter or peanut butter for a creamy extra boost of fat and protein.

Where to Find it: Healthy Nibbles

Why We Love It: Everybody loves tacos. And just because you’re going low carb doesn’t mean you have to give them up. This flavorful recipe is super satisfying, simple, and easy to make. The variety of textures and spices makes the recipe seem far more complex than it is. This makes it a perfect easy meal to add into your recipe rotation. 

Our Suggestions: Try using different mushrooms in place of portobello, such as cremini or maitake. If you’re not a huge fan of collard greens, romaine leaves make the perfect swap and are still light and refreshing. For a more filling wrap, look for coconut wraps, which are delicious and low carb.

best low carb vegan recipes

Where to Find it: Cotter Crunch

Why We Love it: Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that many people try as an adult and can’t believe they got such a bad rap in childhood. These nutrient packed veggies contain vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and even cancer fighting compounds so it’s safe to say this recipe not only tastes absolutely amazing, it’s incredibly good for you. Plus, a mustard, garlic, cashew cream sauce? Yes please!

Our Suggestions: Try swapping out the Brussels for broccoli or adding in a few dried goji berries in place of the cranberries for an antioxidant rich sweetness.

Where to Find it: The Blenderist

Why We Love it: This creamy smoothie proves that banana isn’t needed to make a thick, delicious, decadent smoothie. It features the amazingly fiber filled, vitamin packed avocado as well as the antioxidant rich super veggie the beet. Not only is this low carb smoothie loaded with nutrition, it also features cocoa powder, which makes pretty much anything taste amazing. It’s an all around win and great way to start the day, enjoy as a snack or even an after-dinner dessert.

Our Suggestions: For an extra energy boost, try adding in some maca powder. It is a non caffeinated option to help you feel more energized, balance hormones and it just adds an incredible malt flavor, making it more like a milkshake.

Where to Find it: The Chalkboard Magazine

Why We Love it: This is the ultimate, low carb, superfood recipe. It requires some extra time, work and ingredients, but we promise it is so worth it. The creamy Brazil nuts and coconut meat offset the chlorella perfectly and the tocos at a well rounded, fluffy feel to the ice cream, making it feel authentic. We just can’t get enough, especially knowing it’s filled with selenium, vitamin e, chlorophyll and a wealth of other nutrients. 

Our Suggestions: This recipe can easily be changed substituting in spirulina for the chlorella or just adding a few tbsp of crunchy cacao nibs for a mint chocolate chip feel.

Recipe: Donut Holes

Where to Find it: The Clean Program

Why We Love it: This recipe is really easy and surprisingly truly reminds us of donut holes, so of course that makes it amazing. There is coconut palm sugar but less than a tablespoon so we still consider it low carb, although that can always be swapped out and stevia or another low carb sweetener can be used in it’s place.

Our Suggestions: Try using another nut butter in place of almond butter if you find yourself making these a lot for a different nutrient profile and taste. Consider rolling these in cacao or cocoa powder, shredded coconut or even ground up freeze dried berries. 

Two of Our Very Own Homemade Low Carb Recipes

Low Carb Sandwiches

This recipe is easily customizable depending on what you can find and what you prefer. The wraps, sprouts and onion make this feel fresh and sandwich like while the avocado and fermented foods give it more depth and make it filling.

  • Siete Almond Flour Wraps OR Simple Mills Sprouted Crackers OR Romaine leaves
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh alfalfa or clover sprouts
  • 1 avocado, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup raw sauerkraut or 2-3 raw pickles, thinly slices
  • Kite hill cream cheese, optional

Lay out your wrap, crackers or romaine leaves. Start by putting a dollop of cream cheese on each if you’re using it. Next, lay out a few onions per wrap or cracker. Next add on tomato, followed by avocado, your sauerkraut or pickles and top with fresh sprouts. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and demolish. These sandwiches are great enjoyed with freshly made kale chips or even pre packaged ones.

Low Carb Smoothie - 3 Ways

Smoothies are one of our favorite easy ways to start the day, use as snacks or serve in place of lunch. They’re easy to make, hydrating, nutrient dense and can be incredibly filling. Low carb smoothies are a little different than fruit based ones but tend to be more filling and satiating, and can offer just as much variety as their sugary counterparts. Avocado is our favorite base as it is full of fiber making it filling and gives the smoothie a nice creamy, smooth texture. Feel free to substitute with a few tbsp of nut butter and a tbsp or two of chia seeds to add thickness in place of avocado if you don’t have any ready.

Green Smoothie

best low carb vegan recipes
  • 1 ripe avocado OR 2 tbsp almond butter and 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp raw hemp seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water (can use plain water if wanting to cut more carbs)
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 6 drops sweet leaf vanilla stevia OR green stevia powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp spirulina powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth!

Chocolate Smoothie

  • 1 ripe avocado OR 2 tbsp almond butter and 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup coconut water (can use plain water if wanting to cut more carbs)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder 
  • 6 drops sweet leaf vanilla stevia OR green stevia powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs - optional
  • 1/4 fresh alfalfa sprouts - optional 

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth!

Fruity Low Carb Smoothie

  • 1 ripe avocado OR 2 tbsp almond butter and 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 - 1 cup frozen berries of choice
  • 1 cup coconut water (can use plain water if wanting to cut more carbs)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1/2 cup raw kale - optional

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth!

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