Herzegovina is the place where Greek Goes Keto team spends the winter! As you might have already read in the article about our road trip, we move a lot. But most of the year we spend in the land in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina. You would be surprised with Keto friendly food available here! If you pay a visit to a local market, you will find the most amazing organic products, meat, fish, dairy and even awesome nuts! Above all, in Herzegovina, they have an amazing tradition in preparing smoked meat. Some even say that Herzegovinian prosciutto, or as they call it here Pršut, could be the tastiest meat delicacy in the world.
Our visit to the Herzegovinian marketplace
Dried and smoked meat tradition
As a zero carb person, I must say, I live in a real carnivore paradise. In this area, you can find all sorts of grass-fed, wild and organic meat for a really affordable price! Furthermore, meat curing and smoking tradition are taken to another level. In fact, as a Ketonian, you should consider this wonderful destination for your next Balkan visit. Nothing compares to Herzegovinian smoked bacon, or as they call it here Slanina. Not long ago on my Instagram account I made a joke and posted a photo of Herzegovinian smoked bacon and compared it with Adidas brand stripes. I guess it’s a local humour that makes me feel at home here. In Greece, everything is similar, but you can feel the difference in small details, such as the tradition of smoking meat.
Traditional “Izljevača” from Herzegovina
Well, besides several stews and pies, Herzegovinian typical villager’s cuisine is quite rustic. I wanted to pay a tribute to a local traditional dish, but, of course, I wanted to ketonise it! And when I say ketonise I mean no cereal flour, no potatoes, not even onion! You see, these three ingredients are typical for Izljevača!
Calling it Keto Izljevača
In the mountain villages and in the western part of Herzegovina, they have a tradition of baking something similar to baked pancakes or casserole with smoked bacon and cheese. This wonderful simple delicacy is also called Izljevača. The meaning would be “poured dough”. You literally make a dough with the consistency of pancake batter and add bacon and cheese. Then you bake it with lard in the oven. The smell and aroma of garlic from smoked bacon is unmatchable! The texture? Pure perfection!
Of course, we will not use wheat flour
To make a Keto bread or even Keto Pogacha, nothing replaces wheat flour better than a combination of almond and sunflower seed flours. With just a dash of coconut flour, you will get the most neutral combination. Of course, you have to use free-range eggs and another great ingredient – sparkling mineral water. Let’s get to Keto “Izljevača”
(Try not to break your tongue while pronouncing it as Izli-ye-va-cha)
Keto "Izljevača" (Izlye-va-cha)
- 6 tbsp finely chopped smoked bacon
- 6 tbsp fresh cheese preferably goat
- 6 tbsp sour cream
- 4 medium eggs
- 6 tbsp sunflower seed flour alternatively use sesame seed flour
- 4 tbsp almond flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp psyllium powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp golden flaxseed you can use dark flaxseed
Finely chop smoked bacon and place it in a deep mixing bowl. Add crumbled fresh cheese (preferably goat) and eggs. Mix using a wooden spoon. Now add sour cream and mix a bit more.
Start adding all the dry ingredients spoon by spoon and in the end add salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Line a baking pan (30x15 cm, 11x5") with parchment paper and grease it with some lard or butter. Pour in the Izljevača batter and sprinkle it with sesame seeds and golden flaxseed.
Bake it in the oven for 20 minutes at 200ºC (392F)
Serve with some Tzatziki sauce!