Without a doubt, Pork Rinds are One Of My Top Five Keto Rescue Foods. In fact they are number three on my list:
Top FIVE Keto Rescue Foods:
- Pork Rinds
Why do I consider Pork Rinds in my top five list?
Because they are a ZERO CARB product. Yep, you read that right … 0 carbs, ZERO carbs. Zip, Zilch, NO carbs.
There are three ways I use Pork Rinds to stick to my Keto (or low-carb) diet.
In place of crackers, potato chips, and tortilla chips.
The common thing about all three of these is crunch …and Pork Rinds are definitely crunchy. If you are craving crunch foods, they will create pure happiness. The plain ones aren’t a fabulous taste on their own (hence the dip) BUT you can get them in several other flavors: BBQ, buffalo and hot & spicy.
The second common thing about crackers, potato chips, and tortilla chips is that they are used to carry other foods like cheese, salsa and other dips of all kinds. While balancing a slice of hard cheese may take some finger dexterity, Pork Rinds are perfect for dipping.
There are countless times when my mouth craves crunchiness. And even more times when I want to dive into a bowl of dip. Pork Rinds satisfies both cravings at the same time.
Fillers In Cooking And Baking
You will often see recipes asking for bread crumbs. Meat balls and meat loafs being among the most common. Once cup of dried bread crumbs can catapult a few slices of meatloaf into the carb stratosphere. And yes, I use it to substitute things like ” bran flakes” or crackers in some of my baking recipes.
Carb Data Comparison: (1 cup)
Bread Crumbs: 77.7 Carbs – 4.9 Fiber = 72.8 NET Carbs
Panko Bread Crumbs: 43.6 Carbs – 2.0 Fiber = 41.6 NET Carbs
Pork Rinds (crumbled to bread crumb consistency) 0.0 Carbs -0.0 Fiber = 0.0 NET Carbs
As you can see, Panko crumbs are a lot easier on the carbs, than regular bread crumbs, but they are still up there! According to MY math, which is at times a little off … you can’t get lower than ZERO.
One of my favorite Keto regulars are these Juicy Keto Meatballs. They are great as a main meal or as snacks or appetizers. When I have a bit of time I create a bit of an assembly line and freeze them up by the dozens. An easy meal any time and fabulous snacking when guests arrive!
There are all sorts of easy to make recipes that call for a breaded coating. From chicken fingers to fish fillets to casserole toppings that add some color and crunch to a dish. Sure you don’t use huge amounts of the bread crumbs, but when you are on a Keto Diet, every single carb counts … even one carb per chicken finger can add up quickly. Eat five chicken finger and you’ve used up five carbs. On a strict Keto Diet that is 20% – 25% of your daily carb allocation.
Bread those chicken fingers or wings with crushed rinds and the carb count becomes ZERO … leaving you with 5 carbs for dessert!
You will absolutely love these Crunchy Chicken Wings! They are the hit of any get together and I always have to make double and triple quantities.
Are Pork Rinds Good For Keto Diets?
The answer is a definite YES. If you skimmed through the section above, go back and look at the comparison carb counts. Pork Rinds are PERFECT for Keto Dieters.
Are Pork Rinds Actually MADE From Pig Skins?
Again, the answer is YES, which is unfortunate for anyone following Jewish or Muslim traditions.
Pork Rinds have actually been around for hudreds of thousands of years. Think back to a brawny caveman throwing a whole wild pig on the fire. Yummmm.
“Archaeological evidence from 300,000 years ago, in the form of ancient hearths, earth ovens, burnt animal bones, and flint, are found across Europe and the Middle East. Anthropologists think that widespread cooking fires began about 250,000 years ago when hearths first appeared.” –Wikipedia
Pork Rinds are found in virtually every culture around the world.
They are also know as:
Cracklins in the US, especially the South
Chicharrones in Mexico and many Central and South American countries. Mexico is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of pork rinds. You will find many traditional Mexican foods that include Pork Rinds as one of the main ingredients.
Pork scratchings is the British name for deep-fried, salted, crunchy pork rind.
How Are Pork Rinds Made?
“For the large-scale production of commercial pork rinds, frozen, dried pork skin pellets are used. They are first rehydrated in water with added flavoring, and then fried in pork fat at 200–210 °C (392–410 °F). Cooking makes the rinds expand and float on the oil surface. The rinds are then removed from the fat, flavored, and air-dried.” – Wikipedia
Are Pork Rinds GOOD For You?
Here’s the label from my favorite Utz Brand.
They are a bit high on salt, but I balance that against NO CARBS and I’m happy. I’m not too concerned about the saturated fat because I keep a watch and adjust my fat sources from day to day
YOU have to decide for yourself, factoring your your own health needs into your food choices equation.
Making Your Own Pork Rinds
For a few days I actually thought I’d try making my own. Then I read a few recipes and down graded my priority to “maybe, if.” The “if” referred to IF I could find pig skin. The whole idea kinda sent a shudder through me, but I figured that IF I could find it, and IF it didn’t look totally disgusting, MAYBE I’d be willing.
Thank goodness I couldn’t find it, even at a local Chinese Butcher shop which often sells delicacies such as chicken feet.
So … if the list of ingredients in the commercial Pork Rinds has you wanting to make your own, and IF you can find the ingredients, here are three recipes you can check out: *** NOTE: These are very different from the plastic bag Rinds!
Where Can You Buy Them?
I live in Canada, where potato chips reign and Pork Rinds are hard to find. Even in the big superstores where one whole long aisle is devoted to junk food, you are lucky if you find a few bags … so I get them from Amazon and have a regular delivery of two barrels a month. No more searching, no more tiny bags.
I get one “original” barrel for all my cooking needs, and one “hot & spicy” barrel for crunch munching and dipping.
Here are my two favorite “cheezy” dips:
Talk about the PERFECT almost no-carb recipe for your Keto Diet … This succulent and juicy Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Pork Rind Crust is not only easy to make, it is perfectly Keto friendly. Serve with a fresh green salad and the juices from the roast.