Sardines on Keto Mediterranean Diet should be included weekly. If possible, you will eat them daily as a side dish or even as a pâté! You might say, what’s there to Ketonise? Fish is already quite Keto-friendly food!
Well, we will not roast sardines in olive oil as you would expect! For roasting, I’ll use something that would never cross your mind when it comes to fish preparation. This unexpected fat combination is a result of historical research and personal experimenting. You will be surprised with taste and energy after this healthy meal!
A literal bomb of omega-3
Sardines are an extremely good source of easily digestible proteins from which we get amino acids. Our body then creates new proteins that are the basis of our cells. Protein makes muscle and connective tissues. It also creates antibodies important for immunity. Finally, it participates in the transfer of oxygen and nutrients.
When it comes to good fats, Sardines are one of the richest foods in omega-3 fatty acids! Now, you already must have heard about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in our nutrition! They have anti-inflammatory properties and they are necessary for the health of the cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems. The same stands for B vitamins, which are also found in large quantities in sardines, especially vitamin B12.
Vitamins B and D
It is important to know that sardines are an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium. They also contain phosphorus – all the building blocks for solid bone and teeth. Sardines are rich in iron and contain selenium, magnesium and iodine.
This small fish is fed with sea plankton and is found at the bottom of the marine food chain. Experts point out this as an extra “benefit” of sardines. Apparently, for this particular reason, sardines don’t accumulate heavy metals.
Fresh sardines are the best, but…
Sardines on Keto Mediterranean menu need to find place at least once per week. Now, we know that not everywhere in this globe sardines can be purchased fresh. If you are lucky enough to have them like we do in Greece and Croatia, make sure you prepare them the same day.
As soon as you bring fresh sardines home, remove the paper in which they are wrapped, wash them and start preparing your healthy treat! On the other side, if you cannot find them fresh, you’ll be more than safe with frozen sardines. There are companies that sell sardines frozen at the fishing boat, which means they could contain even more nutrients than the fresh ones that travelled to the market for several hours.
From roast to paté, sardines on Keto plate
Sardines can be prepared in a variety of ways, and one of the simplest and most favourite ways is to fry them. Now, this is not Keto way if flours are added. In Greece, you’ll find them grilled in many fish tavernas. In fact, I wanted to share with you my perfect experience with Greek fish taverna.
If you happen to travel to the Attic region (around Athens) in Greece, pay a visit to the historical Marathon! It’s only 40 kilometres away from Athens and the experience is unmatchable. Right in the seafront of main Marathon beach, you’ll find a fish tavern called O Psaras! (The meaning is simple – fisherman) You will eat the best grilled sardines with 100% Keto safety.
In fact, just say to the owner that Greek Goes Keto or Apollonas recommended you this place for Keto safe eating! He’ll be happy to prepare everything without sugar, starch, flour or potatoes for you! At the end of your meal, you’ll be offered some dessert on the house. Well, don’t reject this great Greek hospitality tradition! Just ask for some goat or sheep yoghurt (don’t worry, net carbs are under 4g) with some cinnamon and lemon! If you happen to carry your own keto-friendly sweetener, your dessert will be outstanding.
Sardines on Keto Mediterranean way
The filets can be finely marinated, filled with various additives (eg. mushrooms, cheese, olives, herbs) and baked or roasted. Furthermore, you can make a delicacy with sardines wrapped in vine leaves baked in the oven.
Maybe this will come as a surprise, but, you can prepare an excellent pie with sardines. This was one of the most popular pies in Ancient Rome. Greeks and Romans ate sardines more than any other fish and it was equally appreciated by all classes. There are numerous recipes where sardines were fermented and preserved for usage all year around. The most famous sardine sauce which was used as a spice was called Garum.
Sardines or other small fish were covered with salt, spread out in the sun during summer months. From time to time they would be turned. When they have been completely fermented they were pressed and strained. The liquid was then preserved in ceramic vases or later glass bottles.
Sardines on Keto Mediterranean way
For this specific occasion, I wanted to share with you our baked sardines on Keto Mediterranean way! I roasted the sardines in mutton tallow. From the first time we tried them prepared with tallow, we never used another fat for sardines! It’s just a heavenly combination. I know, quite unexpected but it turned out to be perfect!
After roasting, I used a sauce made of half a lemon, olive oil and garlic! This gave the final Mediterranean touch! Trust me, they will taste better than ever before and your Keto Mediterranean experience will be perfectly balanced!!!
Sardines baked in tallowCourse: Mediterranean, Recipes, Sea FoodCuisine: Keto MediterraneanDifficulty: Easy
1 kg (35,7 oz) fresh or frozen sardines
1 tbsp tallow (we used mutton tallow)
1 tbsp red paprika flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp sea salt
- Lemon sauce
Half a lemon (organic)
4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
- If you are using fresh sardines, wash them well. We eat them with heads in the Mediterranean zone, but if you don’t like this, remove the heads and guts. Place them in a deep baking sheet or pan.
- Melt the tallow and mix with all spices. Pour the tallow mixture all over the sardines. Bake at 200ºC (390ºF) for 20 minutes.
- While the sardines are being baked, prepare the lemon sauce. Cut the lemon into small cubes together with the peel. If you dislike the bitterness, you can remove the peel. Add olive oil, garlic and spices. Blend these ingredients in a food processor until you get a creamy sauce.
- Serve sardines drizzled with freshly prepared lemon sauce.
- You can serve the sardines with some pickled horn peppers like we did or they can be a starter to any meal with fish or meat.