Low-Carb Vegetables…as long as you eat vegetables!
Low-Carb Vegetables are a hot topic right now, however, no matter the diet one follows, it is always a good idea to include more vegetables, as these can be low in calories, yet extremely rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals; there are plenty of low-carbohydrate vegetables that are rich in fiber and extremely versatile, making them very easy to add to most diets.
The definition of a low-carb diet varies vastly depending on who and how is following it, however, as a general rule, diets that include less than 150g of carbohydrates each day are considered low-carb; some diets go even as low as 20g of carbs per day.
Find below a list of the tastiest low-carbohydrate vegetables which are extremely versatile and therefore easy to add to most recipes.
If before reading the below you want to know more about carbs per se, have a look at this interesting article: Carbohydrates: What are they? How do we use them?
This may be one of the most popular vegetables to use when it comes to low-carb diets, as cauliflower contains less than 5g of carbohydrates per 100g and nearly 3g of them are fiber.
Cauliflower is extremely versatile!
Serve it as a side dish, dressed with some salt, olive oil, and a bit of vinegar if liked, or blitz it and use it as cauliflower rice (for a low-carb vegetables alternative!).
If you love this cruciferous vegetable, which is associated with a reduced risk of cancer and heart-related diseases, try out this delicious Vegan Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup which can be served as a starter or as a warming lunch during a winter day!
Zucchini, or courgettes, are another great vegetable suitable for such diets, as 100g of it has under 3.5g of carbohydrates.
This vegetable can be eaten both raw or cooked and it can be steamed, grilled, roasted, spiralized (to be used instead of spaghetti or noodles) as well as added to soups and blitzed; they work very well with citrusy flavors, as well as mint or garlic – or make a tomato and zucchini sauce for a low-carb vegetables meal!
If you’re looking for a light summer dish that is easy to prepare (and can be prepared in advance as well) try out this Grilled Zucchini and Flavored Ricotta Salad Platter
At less than 6g of carbohydrates per 100g, bell peppers are a great vegetable rich in carotenoids, an antioxidant that may assist with reducing inflammation, decrease the risk of cancer, and also protect fats and cholesterol from oxidative damage, on top of also being rich in Vitamin C.
Bell peppers, also called sweet peppers because of their taste, can be eaten raw in a salad or as a dipping stick, as well as cooked, added to stews, curries, and sauces.
Try grilling them and dressing them with a bit of olive oil, garlic, thinly sliced parsley, and salt and serve them with some grilled chicken, or try this nutritious Roasted Peppers, Baby Leaves and Feta Salad
Onions have 9.3g of carbs per 100g, however, they bring so much flavor they are easy to add to most recipes in low quantities (perhaps in recipes with other low-carb vegetables!).
When raw, these can be added to salads, salsas, and slaws, however, they can be served cooked in curries, sauces, stews, and soups, as well as adding to roasted or grilled dishes.
For a rich chicken meal with a tomato and onion based curry, try this easy-to-prepare Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe, while for a heart warming winter treat try a glorious French Onion Soup topped with a slice of satisfying crunchy bread and delicious and filling cheese.
Tomatoes are a fruit that is usually consumed as a vegetable and contain only 3.89g of carbohydrates every 100g, of which 1.2g is fiber.
This fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, such as Vitamin A, C, and K and they are also rich in potassium, which has been linked to reducing blood pressure and lowered risk of stroke.
Tomatoes can be eaten raw in salads or as a healthy snack, as well as cooked in sauces, curries, stews, and spreads.
For some glorious summer, inspiration check out this Tomato Burrata Salad with Homemade Pesto without Pine Nuts
Broccoli is a superfood that comes in at under 7g of carbohydrates per 100g, of which nearly 3g is fiber.
This cruciferous vegetable may assist type 2 diabetics by decreasing insulin resistance and it may as well protect against multiple types of cancer, such as prostate.
This low-carb vegetable can be eaten cooked, stir-fried or raw, making it a very easy addition to curries, sauces, and stews.
If you love brunching and are thinking of adding broccoli to your diet, try these Low-Carb Broccoli Pancakes and Gammon
Eggplant, or aubergine, has only 6g of carbohydrates per 100g, of which 3g is dietary fiber.
In the purple pigment of the eggplant’s skin, there’s an antioxidant known as nasunin, which some studies claim may reduce free radicals and help towards maintaining the brain’s health.
This vegetable is found in many Asian and Italian dishes and it is consumed cooked. If you’re looking for an Italian recipe try this Lighter Vegan Caponata Sauce or, if it’s Indian what you’re after go for this Eggplant Curry
Green beans have only 7 grams of carbohydrates every 100g of which 3.4g is dietary fiber.
This vegetable is often called also snap beans or string beans and it is a member of the legume family, however, it has much fewer carbs than most other legumes.
Green beans are mainly served as a side dish and they are excellent boiled and dressed with some garlic and oil or just some simple butter; furthermore, they can easily be added to vegetable curries or stews.
Green beans are not only a great tasting vegetable, they are also a very important one for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, as they are good source of proteins, along other vegetables such as watercress, spinach and asparagus and many others, of which a longer list can be found here.
While carrots are not as low in carbohydrates as most leafy greens, they are not that high in them like most other root vegetables; they are also a great source of other vitamins (such as Vitamin C) and nutrients, making them a great addition to most diets.
Carrots have 9.6g of carbs per 100g, of which 2g is fiber.
This vegetable can be eaten in many different ways as it is excellent raw, cooked, or sautéed. If you’re looking to add it to salads you can simply wash it and grate it, or use it as a dipping stick; add it chopped julienne or in roundels to sauces or stews or make a great Carrot and Coriander soup to warm you up during a cold winter day, or this vegan Roasted Carrot Soup… spectacular!
100g of this delicious spring vegetable has under 4g of carbohydrates, while also being a great source of different vitamins.
Studies have shown that consuming asparagus may help protect against some types of cancer.
Asparagus can be served boiled and dressed, but as an alternative, this vegetable can also be lightly grilled and served with a bit of lemon juice or wrapped in a slice of Parma ham (prosciutto).
Try adding some cooked asparagus to an egg omelet or serve it as a side dish to this glorious Stuffed Chicken Breast with Herby Cream Cheese and Prosciutto
Other Low-Carb Vegetables
Many other versatile vegetables have a low carbohydrate content, such as the below:
Spinach: 3.6 g per 100g of which 2.2 g of fiber
Iceberg Lettuce: 3.0 g per 100g, of which 1.2 g fiber
Radishes: 3.4 g per 100g, of which 1.6 g fiber
Cucumber: 3.6 g per 100g, of which 0.5 g fiber
Arugula (or rocket): 3.65 g per 100g, of which 1.6 g fiber
White Mushrooms: 3.3 g per 100g, of which 1.0 g fiber (Try them in this Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup pictured above!)
Celery: 3.0 g per 100g, of which 1.6 g fiber (Why don’t you try this Chicken and Mushroom Hotpot?)
Avocado: 9 g per 100g, of which 7 g fiber
Conclusions on Low-Carb Vegetables
Although this list may not contain all of the low-carb vegetables, the ones I have included are those I feel are the most versatile and easy to add to most diets; some can be eaten both raw or cooked and most can be easily chopped and added to a stew, sauce or curry to bulk up without adding too many carbohydrates.
While these vegetables (and a couple of fruits eaten as vegetables) are low in carbohydrates, most of them are also low in calories and rich in nutrients, such as minerals and Vitamins.
If you like very few vegetables, try cooking them in different ways to ensure you don’t get bored! As an example, carrots can be added to a beef stew, grated in a salad, julienned to use as a dipping stick, added to soups, or also roasted and served as a side dish (whit a bit of butter, perhaps?)
No matter what diet you are following, remember to ‘eat the rainbow’ as different colored vegetables, will have different nutrients, minerals, Vitamins, and benefits.