Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup that is as Mexican as it gets! It packs a good amount of nutrition and is commonly served on the weekends. But is Menudo keto?
Menudo is made using beef tripe, broth, and red chili peppers. It is keto-friendly only when served without the hominy.
Hominy, made from corn kernels, is the major source of carbs in a Menudo. A half-cup serving of hominy contains as much as 11g of carbs!
In this article, we’ll find out the best way to enjoy Menudo on a keto diet! We’ll also look at its complete nutritional profile.
What is Menudo Made of?
Menudo is one of the hidden gems of the Mexican culture! While it’s not as famous as the Mexican tacos, burritos, tostadas; it has a sweet spot in the hearts of those who ever tried it.
Menudo is made using beef stomach (tripe) in broth and hot chili peppers. Other common ingredients include lime, chopped onions, cilantro, oregano, and crushed red chili peppers.
Beef tripe might sound like a fancy word, but it actually refers to a cow’s stomach!
If you are from the U.S., it might be something unfamiliar for you. Beef tripe is the lining of a cow’s stomach with a rubbery texture.
But you just can’t use any kind of tripe for Menudo. It has to be honeycomb tripe which comes from the second stomach of a cow.
Other kinds are as tough as a brisket, which requires crazy long hours to soften and break down those extra layers.
Beef tripe has a mild taste and easily absorbs all the flavors of the chili base.
Menudo is also known as a classic hangover antidote! So ordering a Mexican takeout is definitely worth it when you are a bit too tipsy.
Now that we know what really goes inside Menudo, how does it score on the keto-test?
READ: Is Hot Sauce Keto?
Is Menudo Keto?
So you hoped onto the keto wagon and now your daily carb limit is capped at just 25 grams! Since every food item has some number of carbs, we need to be really careful while snacking!
But when it comes to menudo, you can let the guard down. However, there’s a slight catch!
Menudo is keto-friendly as long as it’s eaten without hominy. Hominy is made from corn kernels and is fully packed with carbs.
On the other hand, a single cup of Junita’s Menudo without hominy sets you back by just 2 grams of net carbs!
But I’ll miss those delicious balls of Hominy!
Don’t you worry at all! Add these low-carb veggies to add a crunchy element in your keto Menudo:
One of my “genius” keto mates had a great idea while sitting in a Mexican restaurant. He asked me “What if I just drink the soup and let all hominy sink to the bottom?”
These white little balls are the major source of carbs in a Menudo! As great as the idea sounds, I still think your soup might soak up some of those carbs!
Why take a chance? Always ask your server to get you a hominy-free soup whenever dining out.
(PS: Apply the same keto principles in a Pozole
When making your own Menudo, always focus on the quality of meats. Less common cuts like beef tripe aren’t as easy to find in the U.S. as they are in Mexico.
MORE: Is Miso Soup Keto?
Is Hominy Ok for Keto Diet?
Hominy is made using the same corn that is used in cornmeal and corn flakes. But honestly, it is 10 times better tasting!
Think of it as corn on steroids!
Hominy is the result of a process called nixtamalization (I can’t even pronounce it!)
It uses lye and limestone to separate the corn kernels from their hull. They are immersed in an alkaline liquid that removes the outer layer of the corn, meanwhile almost doubling the size of each kernel!
They turn out very soft and juicy and the end product is the delicious hominy that we know today!
But it is in no way keto-friendly! It’s sweetness says a lot about it’s nutrition profile (carb alert!)
A single cup of hominy rakes over 20 grams of net carbs! That’s exactly how much carbs you can eat in a single day (all meals combined!)
Is Pozole Keto Friendly?
Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew which is quite similar to Menudo in many ways!
It is a hot chili-based stew that includes broth, meat (chicken or pork), and hominy. Cooking pozole is a very time-consuming task, and hence our grandmothers kept it exclusively for family occasions.
Just like Menudo, Pozole is keto-friendly only if it is made without hominy.
This recipe from Wicked Spatula makes a Paleo Posole in under 5g net carbs per cup.
If you love chili, check out Butter Bob’s famous chili recipe and you’ll simply fall in love with it!
Is menudo keto-friendly?
You can have menudo on keto as long as it’s free from hominy. Hominy is a processed version of corn kernels which is larger and much sweeter.
A single cup serving of menudo has roughly 2g net carbs. It can be a great and healthy addition to your keto diet!