The keto diet is not my favorite thing ever, but —

So, I have pretty much been on the keto diet since January. I was driven to it by a sharp weight gain in 2018, which suggested a future trend less acceptable than the slower weight gain of the past couple of decades.

It reminds me of a comment I saw somewhere, actually: “I wish I could be the weight I was the first time I thought I was fat.” That pretty well captured my feeling at the beginning of 2019, except I would have settled for the weight I was the second time I thought I was unacceptably overweight. Well, now I’m getting close to that point, I’m glad to say.

Prior experience suggested that keto was the way to go for me. I am aware people don’t all respond to dietary changes the same way, but still, I had pretty clear evidence that this was the way I should go. Keto didn’t work as fast as I would have liked, though as far as that goes I didn’t stick to it with truly unfailing commitment either, so there’s that. Pretty tight commitment though, nearly all the time. Call it the keto diet with dark chocolate and very occasional complete backsliding.

Sometime in June, I hit my first goal, which was to lose the 20 lbs I gained in 2018. At that point I lightened up a bit on the keto thing, but I didn’t loosen it up too much. I’ve now just about gotten to my second goal, which was to lose another 5 lbs. I wouldn’t mind dropping another 5 or 10 after this, though no more than that.

Anyway, I hate the keto diet, though I’ve gotten somewhat used to it. I really like carbs, especially bread, rice, and pasta. Sure, desserts too, but giving up bread is worse for me than giving up sugar. I used to bake all the time, and so far as I can tell, there are zero really great bread-substitutes for the keto diet. I have tried some pretty terrible bread-substitutes, believe me.

However, there are several semi-okay bread substitutes. I thought I’d start posting a few of those now and then. Here’s one I made this morning for the first time. It’s not bread, but it’s not bad. It’s actually pretty tasty and might be worth making even if you’re not on any kind of diet.

Black Seed Bread

  • 1/2 C flax seeds, whole
  • 1/2 C flax seeds, ground
  • 1/2 C poppy seeds
  • 1/2 C white sesame seeds
  • 1 C black sesame seeds (I actually had a lot of black sesame seed in the freezer, which is why I decided to try this recipe. I can’t see why more ordinary sesame seeds wouldn’t work if you don’t have black sesame seed handy.)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Combine the seeds and set aside. Whisk the eggs. Whisk the tahini, olive oil, and salt into the eggs. Stir in all the seeds. Let rest 30 minutes to hydrate the seeds. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang of paper. Spray the pan and paper. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or so, until the top is firm to the touch. Cool five minutes. Lift the loaf out of the pan and cool on a rack.

Now, this recipe is from Bon Appetit. The above is pretty much unchanged from their recipe, which you can see here. I did use just one tsp salt. I see the online version of the recipe calls for a full Tbsp salt, but I think the version in the magazine, which is what I was working from, called for just a tsp, which makes much more sense anyway.

The texture isn’t bad. The bread is obviously very heavy, but it’s also fairly moist and pleasant. The mouthfeel is different from bread, but not bad. The taste seems to me distinctly and surprisingly buttery. Pretty good plain, a slice would certainly be nice with cheese melted onto it, or to dip in the yolk of over-easy eggs, or beside a bowl of soup.

I will be making this again, though since I’m now nearly out of black sesame seeds, probably with white sesame seeds.

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4 thoughts on “The keto diet is not my favorite thing ever, but —”

  1. Long-term studies of people who keep weight off find they use all kinds of diets to do it — whatever works.

  2. I’ve also been looking at bread replacements recently. Can’t say I’ve found any as of yet. Will have to give this a try!

  3. Panforte without the honey, sugar, dry fruit, or chocolate powder. Hmm. I am not convinced that would be as tasty.

  4. Pete, alas, I am not aiming for “as tasty.” I’m just aiming for “not bad” or “acceptable.”

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