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April 23, 2018 / Emily Polson

Your Menu for a Low Carb, Low Sugar Cinco de Mayo

Watermelon granita

Looking to enjoy a fun Cinco de Mayo party with friends but worried about watching your carbs and sugars? You’re not alone. It seems like most Mexican favorites rely on carb-filled tortillas, chips, or rice: nachos, tacos, burritos, fajitas, Mexican rice. Desserts like tres leches cake and even your favorite Mexican mixed drink, the margarita, are traditionally full of sugar.

But we’re here with some recipe recs and some creative substitutions so you don’t have to miss out. Here’s how to have a low carb, low sugar Cinco de Mayo party.

Taco Salad

This simple, tasty dish can be personalized however you like. Just cook the taco meat in your favorite blend of Mexican spices and toss over mixed greens. Serve with salsa and cheese so your friends can garnish their own salads to their liking. Plus, you can make use of any in-season local produce now that spring has officially sprung.

Cauliflower Rice

Most classic Mexican dishes are served with a side of Mexican-style rice, but when you’re on a low-carb diet, rice is a high-carb culprit. Substitute cauliflower rice in any dish that calls for regular rice. This substitution has just one-ninth of the carbs, and once it’s seasoned, your guests won’t even be able to tell the difference.

Veggie Dippers for Guacamole

Instead of serving salty, carb-packed tortilla chips with your guacamole, slice up some fresh veggies. Celery, cucumber, radishes, and pepper all taste great and give that satisfying “crunch” just like chips.

You can also try making your own veggie chips. Thinly slice your veggies (eggplant works great!), sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt, and bake for 40 minutes at 400F. Avoid the temptation to use sweet potato--it’s higher in carbs than you’d think! You can also buy veggie chips, but be careful to check the sodium, fat, and carb content; making your own allows you to curb these, which can be out of control on some store-bought brands.

Fajita Kebabs

Select your fajita ingredients like your normally would (think chicken or beef, onions and peppers), but instead of cooking them in a skillet and wrapping them in warm tortillas, cut them in larger chunks and skewer them. You can cook these kebabs a number of ways: in a skillet, in the oven, or on the grill. When you serve your fajitas on a stick, your guests won’t even miss the wrap. Plus, it’s is an easy grab-and-go party food for guests milling about and nibbling throughout the evening.

Low Carb, Low Sugar Desserts

It may seem impossible to make desserts without sugar or high carbs, but it isn’t. If you have a favorite recipe already, check out our guide to artificial sweeteners to find the best sugar substitute for your dish. If you’re looking for inspiration, try this delicious sugar-free, low-carb tres leches cake that calls for coconut flour and your preferred sugar substitute. It’s the perfect dessert for a Cinco de Mayo party menu!

Low-Sugar Margaritas

Your Cinco de Mayo party wouldn’t be complete without a celebratory cocktail (or three), but be careful what you’re mixing with your tequila! Fruit juices, cocktail mixes, and even tonic water can be chock-full of unexpected sugar and carbs. Use pureed fruits like watermelon, fresh-squeezed citruses, and sugar substitutes to keep your cocktail low carb, low sugar.. Check out some fun, festive low-sugar margarita recipes here.

Emily Polson

Emily is a writer, reader, and traveler from Iowa who has visited twenty-one countries and lived in three. Her first publication was an article in Muse magazine about her summer job as a corn detasseler. She’s a Slytherin, an amateur ukulele player, and a Peter Pan enthusiast. You can follow Emily on Twitter @emilycpolson.

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