Combining a plant based and ketogenic diet is possible, especially if you have a selection of inspiring recipes for meal planning.
There have been many new vegan keto cookbooks released over the last couple of years to assist those switching to a plant based diet, whilst also maintaining a ketogenic lifestyle.
Unfortunately, I found that most of the recipe books fell short when it came to variety of recipes and ingredients. Many use ingredients that are more low carb than keto. Some recipes were far too reliant on soy, and some used ingredients that no true vegan would ever eat (eg honey!).
So, after a long, tiresome and tedious process of eliminating the rubbish, here is my top selection of the best keto vegan cookbooks for 2021:
Vegan Keto – 60+ High Fat Plant Based Recipes
I’m impressed with the informative content of Vegan Keto – 60+ High Fat Plant Based Recipes to Nourish Your Mind and Body.
Written by Liz MacDowell, who is a certified holistic nutritionist, the recipes easy to follow and great for beginners transitioning to a plant based keto diet.
I really enjoy the meal plans, with breakfast lunch and dinner set out for you for 4 weeks. If you follow the set meals each day you will remain under 20 grams of net carbs per day.
This book also makes meal prepping for keto easy, where you can cook a batch of food once (for example tahini bagels) and eat over the next few days.
Some of the keto plant based recipes in this book are:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Easy Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Spicy Coconut Soup
- Taco Salad
- Hemp Seed Nuggets
- Coco-Nutty Trail Mix
You’ll also find a few sweet treats such as chocolate almond butter cupcakes and some everyday staples such as keto buttery spread, creamy hemp sauce and easy vegan pesto.
Best of all the index is really well set out. For instance, if you look up H for Hemp Seeds, you’ll find all the recipes that use hemp seeds, such as Creamy Cauliflower Soup. Then if you look up S for Soups, you will also find Creamy Cauliflower Soup listed there.
To me, this makes so much sense. There are times when I have an abundance of a particular food and I want to look for a recipe to make with that food.
PROS: Good for beginners, easy to follow, meal plans, shopping lists.
CONS: Heavy use of hemp seeds, psyllium husks and flax meal. No recipes with MCT oil. Not a lot of spice variety. If you are a long term vegan used to a variety of flavors, this book probably isn’t for you.
Also, there are no alternatives in the meal plan to swap out if you are not fussed on a particular recipe.
You can purchase Vegan Keto on kindle, paperback or as a spiral bound book, all 3 options being fairly inexpensive.
The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook
The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook is more of a low carb recipe book than strict keto. Many of the main meal recipes are around 12 grams of net carbs, which we all know is more than half your daily carb allowance on keto.
If you are just transitioning from a plant based diet to a plant based keto diet, this cookbook would be a good place to start to get used to eating lower carbohydrate meals.
If you’re a seasoned keto dieter however, I fear the recipes in this book won’t be low enough in carbs to maintain ketosis, unless you were intermittent fasting, or following the one meal a day fasting routine.
You will find a variety of recipes in the Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, ranging from sauces, dressings and salads to soups, mains and desserts. Breakfast recipes are included but not a specific lunch section, although soups, salads and mains could easily cover this.
Recipes you can find in this plant based cookbook are:
- Cauliflower Tacos
- Blackberry Cheesecake Bites
- Keto Cobb Salad
- Vegan Sour Cream
- Hurry Curry
- Good Shepherds Pie
- Raw Keto Ranch Dressing
Nutritional information is provided for each recipe, and there are some meal plans. With a little creativity you could create your own meal plans, omit higher carbs foods or reduce serving sizes to cut down on the net carbs.
PROS: Good for transitioning from vegan to vegan keto. Good for lower carb vegan diets.
CONS: Some recipes are too high in carbs to be considered keto, not enough images of the recipes.
You can purchase the Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook in both kindle and paperback format.
The Essential Vegan Keto Cookbook
Another vegan cookbook that borders more on low carb than true keto, with most of the main meal recipes around 8-10 carbs per serving.
There are some good keto recipes, such as the bagels at 1 gram of net carbs per serve,
Some of the recipes call for pre-packaged or store bought products such as vegan protein, vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. There don’t appear to be recipes to make your own vegan butter. Quite a few recipes use tofu as well.
One of the recipes mentions sour cream, another yoghurt, and another ricotta with no clarification on vegan options for these dairy based products.
With some creative thought, you could swap out the sour cream dressing that one recipe calls for; for the vegan ranch dressing (recipe included), which makes so much more sense. This also avoids having to buy pre-packaged items.
Some of the plant based recipes in The Essential Vegan Keto Cookbook are:
- Roasted Pepper and Cauliflower Soup
- Walnut Zucchini Bread
- Jackfruit Meatballs with Shirataki Noodles
- Macadamia Nut Mug Cake
- Creamy Coconut Berry Granita
I think The Essential Vegan Keto Cookbook could be a good resource if used in conjunction with other plant based keto recipe books.
I wouldn’t be buying this book as a single resource for keto vegan recipes though.
Vegan Keto – 100% Plant Based Whole Foods Ketogenic Diet
This book almost didn’t make it onto this list, as it took me a little while to figure out. I was most excited about the 21 day meal plan, but unfortunately, there’s no nutritional information with the meal plan for handy reference.
When looking at the recipes, the nutritional information gives you the total carbs and dietary fiber. You then need to work out the net carbs yourself. This is not hard to do, you simply take the total carbs and minus the dietary fiber.
I also had to question some of the servings. For instance, the No Fuss Breakfast Cereal has 8 servings. I initially wondered why you would need to make breakfast for eight, then realized this is something that is likely to keep if it remains well sealed.
I can’t say the same for the Cauliflower Breakfast Bowl however, which serves 6. Given the recipe calls for frozen cauliflower, frozen zucchini and frozen raspberries, it would be better to break the recipe down and create serving sizes of 2.
There’s also no images in this book. Personally, I prefer the visual experience of cookbooks just as much as cooking and creating the recipes. I want to know how the meals should look.
Having said all that, I have included this plant based keto cookbook in this list as some of the recipes sound delicious, and I’m enthused about creating them. Here are some of the recipe’s you can find in Vegan Keto:
- Macadamia Nut Bars (makes 8 bars – I’ll be adding these to my keto meal prepping)
- 4 Seed Keto Vegan Bread (2.1 grams of net carbs per slice)
- Cashew Coconut Breakfast Bars (again for the meal prep)
- Mushroom Cauliflower Soup
- Zucchini Spinach Ravioli with Keto Vegan Raw Cashew Cheese Sauce (this one’s a bit of work and not for the faint hearted but is absolutely delicious!)
- Roasted Mushroom Burgers
- Raspberry Avocado Smoothie
I did find a big mistake in this cookbook in Gluten Free Nut Free Red Velvet Cupcakes (which I immediately sought out wondering about the ‘nut free’) only to find that they have almond butter and almond milk in the recipe.
My advice on this is, if you have any allergies, please read the recipes carefully.
Plant Based Keto Cookbooks I Considered For This List But Can’t Recommend
This list will be more exhaustive than the actual cookbooks featured above. I reviewed so many plant based recipe ketogenic recipe books prior to selecting just the best for my readers.
Here’s why the following books didn’t make the list:
The Keto Vegan: 101 Low Carb Recipes for a Plant Based Ketogenic Diet
- This is book 5 out of a series of keto recipe books by author Lydia Miller.
- It is not a bad book, but I didn’t include it on the list of best books for 2021 as it has a huge amount of recipes containing soy.
- There are arguments for and against soy – if you don’t mind incorporating soy product into your vegan diet, please check out this series of cookbooks, there are good recipes in there.
Keto Diet With a Vegan Heart
- No images
- Most recipes around 12 grams of net carbs
- Some recipes suggest using Splenda
- Confusing – the week 1 shopping list says to buy 24 bananas?
Vegan Keto: 2 Books in 1 – Keto Vegan Cookbook for Beginners and for Women over 50
- I felt this book was misleading and contained a lot of non keto foods
- Recipes use bananas, maple syrup, quinoa, chocolate chips, brown sugar
- Nutrition facts are confusing, no fiber count, no mention of total vs net carbs
- I didn’t find the section for Women over 50
Eat Real Food or Else: A Low Sugar, Low Carb, Gluten Free, High Nutrition Cookbook for the 21st Century
- Feels outdated – can’t agree with the title
- Not specifically vegan
- Based more on paleo than keto (although mentions low sugar, low carb)
Vegan Keto Meal Plan: The Complete Guide for Beginners
- The author writes that some honey is ok in moderation, however honey is neither keto nor vegan
- Nutritional information missing – the recipes list the carbohydrates, but are they total carbs or net carbs? How is this beginner friendly?
- No fiber is listed for each recipe.
- No planning has gone into the 21 day meal plan – for example vegan meatloaf is a dinner (which serves 8), but isn’t planned as lunch the following day? The same can be said for the mushroom curry pie (also serves 8), but appears once? You’d best have a large budget if you want to create every recipe on this meal plan.
- The 21 day meal plan has no nutritional information against it. You don’t know how many carbs you’ll be consuming per day if you followed the plan.