Keto Gardening – How To Plant A Keto-Friendly Garden

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Keto is a popular way of eating that involves healthy fatsand very few carbs. If you want to plant a keto-friendly garden, you’re on theright track. Keto gardening is easy, and you can select from a long list ofdelicious keto vegetables.

What to Grow in a Keto Garden

Are you wondering what to grow in a keto-friendly vegetablegarden? The following suggestions should pique your interest.

  • Swiss chard – Swiss chard is healthy and easy to grow, and it’s also pretty to look at. The stalks can be eaten like celery, and the leafy tops are delicious raw or sautéed. Unlike many leafy vegetables, Swiss chard requires plenty of sunlight and tolerates heat as long as it’s well watered.
  • Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi plants produce sweet, delicious keto vegetables that are simple to grow. This crispy root vegetable can be boiled and mashed like potatoes, although the flavor is a bit stronger. It’s also yummy sliced and eaten raw.
  • Spinach – Spinach is a mainstay in a keto-friendly vegetable garden. Plant this cool weather veggie in spring or fall. Grow the plant in full sun, or in a little shade if your climate is hot and sunny. To harvest spinach, cut the outer leaves and let the inner leaves continue growing.
  • Cruciferous plants – Cruciferous plants like cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli thrive in sunlight and cool (but not cold) temperatures, and too much heat will diminish both the size and the quality. Although you can plant seeds, it’s easier to start with transplants.
  • Kale – Kale, like other cruciferous plants, is a cool weather, sun-loving plant, although it tends to do well in partial shade. Harvest this keto gardening favorite like spinach.
  • Radishes – Radish plants are extremely easy, and they require very little space. Plant seeds in spring and fall, because this fast-growing veggie doesn’t like heat. Harvest radishes when they’re young and small, before they turn bitter and woody.
  • Lettuce – Lettuce is super simple to grow by seed, beginning about a month before the last average frost date in spring. You can plant a second crop in fall, four to weeks before the first frost. Shade is okay in warm climates, but sunlight is better.
  • Tomatoes – Tomatoes are sweet and delicious, and they’re suitable for keto gardening if you don’t eat too many. This is a plant that requires plenty of heat and sunlight. Plant an early variety if your growing season is short.
  • Zucchini – Zucchini is as easy as it gets: just plop the seeds in the soil as soon as days are dependably 70 F. (21 C.) or above, then give them a little water and watch them grow. Harvest when the veggies are 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) for the best flavor. Pick regularly and the plant will produce for weeks.
  • Berries – Berries, primarily blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, shouldn’t be forgotten because they’re low in carbs and high in fiber, making them suitable for a keto garden.

Other keto vegetables include:

  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Eggplants
  • Green beans
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Collards
  • Carrots
  • Bok choi
  • Artichokes
  • Cucumbers

This article was last updated on

Read more about General Vegetable Garden Care

Top 10 Low Carb Options at Olive Garden For Keto Diet

Olive Garden is a chain restaurant that specializes in Italian-inspired dishes. They serve endless breadsticks and a lot of starchy pasta dishes that aren’t keto-friendly.

You can keep it low-carb here by opting for a slice of meat (or fish) and vegetable dish with a tomato or cheese sauce. Enjoy a side salad instead of pasta or breadsticks as your side dish.

Here are the lowest carb dishes you can order at Olive Garden in order from the lowest carb to highest, according to the nutrition information.

You Can Eat At Olive Garden On The Keto Diet—Here’s Exactly How

Low-carb and just as delicious.

"When you're here, you're family." That's the Olive Garden slogan for literally everyone—except, apparently, those on the keto diet, who basically sign an "I promise not to eat spaghetti for the foreseeable future" pledge.

But in doing that, do you really have to become totally estranged from your beloved fast-casual Italian chain restaurant? Not totally. While you definitely can't opt for the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl (or even just a breadstick, tbh), there are still ways to enjoy the OG on a low-carb diet.

“Since you generally want to keep your grams of carbs under 50 grams per day on the keto diet, aim to keep your carbs at any Olive Garden meal under half, or 25 grams, of your daily allotment,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a dietitian in New Jersey and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet.

Okay, so how exactly do you make this happen when you sit down to eat at the OG? The answer is, thankfully, easy peasy: by following a basic structure for building keto-friendly meals. That includes a low-carb base, sauce, and topping choice. Stick to this formula, and you’re good to go. Here are the deets:

  1. Your base. Instead of off-limits pasta, opt for a bed of leafy greens or fresh veggies, like broccoli. Depending on your location, some Olive Garden's offer zoodles as well.
  2. Your sauce. Palinski-Wade recommends opting for the creamy pesto or mushroom sauce, since the dairy will increase your fat intake. “In general, when aiming to build a keto-friendly meal, you want to aim for about 10 percent of calories or less from carbs, with 60 to 90 percent of calories coming from fats." If cream sauce isn’t your thing (no offense, but who are you?), she adds that a basic marinara—with meat or cheese optionally added—is a good low-carb choice, too.
  3. Your protein. Now, for the good stuff: Choose a solid protein to round out your low-carb meal, like grilled chicken, a sauteed filet of fish, shrimp, or steak. Avoid breaded options, like crispy chicken, which Palinski-Wade says will contain too many carbs. (And anyone who's tried to scrape breading off knows it ain't easy.)

Put it all together. and what do you get? A whole keto-friendly meal!

Palinski-Wade says, for example, you could end up with something that looks like this: broccoli (3 grams of net carbs) topped with alfredo sauce (8 grams of net carbs) and grilled chicken breast (1 gram of net carbs). That would give you a meal that comes in at only 12 net carbs—not too shabby, right?

Stacking a low-carb base, sauce, and protein together is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the Garden on a keto diet—but you’ll still need to keep an eye on portions, says Palinski-Wade. Even low-carb bases and sauces will have a small amount of carbs that could add up if you overindulge, she explains.

However, if building your own keto creation at the table isn’t quite up your alley, don’t panic—here’s a list of meals that are already pretty keto-friendly (or can be, with a few modifications) so you can feel like you're part of the family and stay in ketosis. Win-win.


A very common vegetable to see in a keto kitchen, and for excellent reason. Broccoli is packed full of vitamins C and K and only has 4g net carbs per one cup.

Some studies show that broccoli can help decrease insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics and may also contribute to protecting against a few types of cancer. It’s a staple vegetable to have on hand!

If you’re not sure what to make with broccoli and you dislike it, consider something unique like these broccoli fritters >

The 11 Best Keto-Friendly Vegetables That Are Low in Carbs and Won't Knock You Out of Ketosis

Adding these to the grocery list.

Let's make one thing very clear: Vegetables, despite being carbohydrates, are good for you. YOU SHOULD EAT VEGETABLES. But if you're on the ultra-restrictive keto diet—which demands that you follow a high-fat, low-carb eating plan—you might want to avoid certain higher-carbohydrate vegetables that could potentially knock you out of ketosis.

While vegetables are among the most nutritious things you can eat, there are a few starchy and carbohydrate-dense items that can definitely throw off your keto diet—and in small servings, too. (We’re looking at you potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots.)

Even if you aren't on the keto diet, the vegetables that follow on this list are great for you. Many of them are rich in gut-filling fiber and they're all loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. Plus, many of them also possess a high water content, which in addition to helping you maintain good hydration can also help you with your feelings of fullness (and thereby help you eat less at mealtime and avoid mindless snacking after mealtime. All these vegetables incredibly flavorful on their own—no ranch dressing needed—and are easy to work into healthful meals.

Feast upon them and you can even go ahead and call yourself "plant-based," even though experts still aren't entirely sure what the heck that actually means.

Instead, fill up your plate with these keto-friendly vegetables, all of which have few net grams of carbs and bring some more of the good stuff to your meals.

Watch the video: Keto and Vegetable Gardening, Oh and Ducks!

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