fbpx Skip to main content

Skordalia (Greek “Potato” and Garlic Dip)


 Testimony of the Day

My heaviest weight was 456lbs. I needed a total lifestyle change. My heart was enlarging, I couldn’t walk very far, hard to breathe, asthma, acid reflux.. The only thing I had on my side was my age.. I was only in my early 20s. I had even dropped out of high school because of my weight. After moving to a new town I focused on myself. I adopted the low carb way of eating and shed so much weight so fast.

About 2 years ago I hit a plateau that lasted almost a year. No matter what I changed it wasn’t coming off. I found Maria and learned so much about my body and the way it works. With the help of Maria’s knowledge and recipes I broke through my plateau and have shed another 70lbs bringing my total loss to 254lbs to date and still losing… My asthma is gone, my heart is ok now, I can walk with no issues, I actually run 80 minutes a few times a week.. I feel amazing!! This is the best lifestyle for me.. I will continue to follow for the foreseeable future.. Thank you Maria for sharing your knowledge and amazing recipes with us.” Ashley

To get the results like Ashley, click HERE for easy to follow keto-adapted meals.

What new habits are you starting today?

Why not take the planning out and let me handle it? I’ll even send you the grocery list and walk you through a “virtual” grocery store visit!



Every week until Valentine’s Day, I will pick a winner of a photo contest. This week post your “Healthified” meals of the week.

To enter, all you have to do is post a photo of your meals from my blog or cookbooks on Maria Mind Body Health Fan-page and you could win!

If your photo is chosen as a winner, you win The Art of Healthy Eating Sweets cookbook!

Good luck! Contest starts now:)



Low-sugar vs low-fat: Twin doctors experiment to see which diet works best

I have been getting constant questions about the experiment featured on ABC news and will be featured on the BBC. In this bogus “experiment,”35-year-old twins decided to “prove” which diet works best. There are many issues on why this experiment was not well-formulated, but I wanted to point out 2 reasons why the ‘low carb’ twin didn’t have the greatest experience while going low carb.

1. First off, there is a difference between low carb and ketosis. The definition of low carb can be anything under the RDA’s recommended 300 grams. Many studies that “prove” that low carb doesn’t work is 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

After years of healing with people with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, that isn’t going to help anyone get off medication and get rid of inflammation.

Ketosis is very specific. It is extremely low carb, MODERATE protein and high in healthy fat.

The lean human body is 74% fat and 26% protein (broken down by calories). Fats are a structural part of every human cell and are the preferred fuel source of the mitochondria, the energy-burning units of each cell. A fetus naturally uses ketones before and immediately after birth. 


2. It was not a “well-formulated” low carb diet. In my book, Keto-Adapted, I always write a “well-formulated keto diet.” I write that because many people jump into this diet without adjusting electrolytes and hydration and they end up with low energy, dizziness, and headaches.

When clients first adapt this lifestyle, one of the first side effects is a rapid improvement in insulin sensitivity.  Eating low carb starts to banish insulin resistance and causes insulin levels to fall quickly.  And as insulin falls, the kidneys begin to promptly release fluid.  One common complaint I get from clients when they first adopt this lifestyle is that they are up in the middle of the night urinating more than usual. I explain that this will go away eventually and it is good, but there is some bad news that comes along with it. The good news is that when you release that excess fluid, fat oxidation becomes easier. The bad news is as the extra water goes; it also removes essential sodium and electrolytes. (See below about potassium and water loss).

When sodium levels fall below a certain level, which can happen quite fast, there are some undesired side effects such as headaches, low energy, dizziness and cramping. When you first start your well-formulated low carb lifestyle and you notice if you stand up quickly and get dizzy or feel faint, you are dehydrated! Just drinking water isn’t going to work like is would with a high carbohydrate diet. You need to add more sodium! You can add more salt to your food, drink bone broth or take sodium tablets. Salt is not the evil nutrient that your doctor warns you about. You’ve got to start thinking differently.  Just like understanding that eating more fat lowers your cholesterol, understanding that a well-formulated low carb diet requires more a lot more sodium.

POTASSIUM and Low Carb Diets

If you don’t want to lose lean muscle, pay attention here! Since you lose a lot of sodium through the diuretic effect (loss of water retention) of a low-carb diet, you will eventually lose a lot of potassium as well. Keeping your potassium levels up helps to safeguard your lean muscle mass during weight loss. Also, just as with sodium, adequate potassium levels prevent cramping and fatigue. A deficiency in potassium causes low energy, heavy legs, salt cravings, and dizziness, and you may cry easily. Causes of low potassium would be dehydration from having diarrhea, sweating, and low-carb diets that are not well formulated.

Keeping your sodium as well as your magnesium intake up will help preserve your potassium levels. I often teach nutrition classes, and at the end of each class, I answer questions that participants ask. One question I had was, “How do you recommend getting potassium if you don’t recommend eating bananas or potatoes (especially if someone has high blood pressure)?”

I think it is interesting that doctors often recommend bananas and potatoes to their patients when they have high blood pressure. Sure they are going to recommend those things: they taste great, and people love them. But in reality, those two foods are causing the problem, not fixing it! Aside from that, there are foods that are much higher in potassium than the insulin-increasing banana and potato.

Dried herbs have a lot more potassium without any of the sugar or starch. And in second place is the avocado!

My top choices for potassium are:
#1: Dried Herbs: Dried Chervil, Parsley, Basil, Dill, Tarragon, Ground Turmeric, Saffron, and Oregano!
#2: Avocados
#3: Paprika and Red Chili Powder
#4: Cocoa Powder and Chocolate Dark chocolate (ChocoPerfection dark chocolate!)
#5: Nuts: Almonds, Hazelnuts, Pine nuts, Coconuts and Walnuts.
#6: Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash, Sunflower)
#7: Fish (Pompano, Salmon, Halibut, Tuna)

This study, in my opinion, was not a well-formulated study! Skordalia

If you would like to read more on how to become keto-adapted with a “well-formulated” diet, check out my book Keto-Adapted.

Click HERE to get a limited edition of the Hard Cover.

Click HERE to get a soft cover.

Thank you all for your love and support!




Years ago, Craig and I were at a Greek restaurant called Shish on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN. Craig had the kabobs with garlic dip. It was the most flavorful dip and the owner said it was just mashed garlic. I’m not sure if he was telling the truth or not because when I looked up “Greek Garlic Dip” what I discovered was that this dip was called Skordalia and is made with potatoes.

I often ponder how to re-create some of my favorite bites that I have experienced, I thought, this would be easy to re-create. Most of the flavor was a creamy roasted garlic profile. Instead of mashed potatoes, I thought that avocado would provide a creamy texture with lots of healthy fats and very little carbohydrates.

So try this recipe for a ton of potassium! Oh, and don’t forget the salt!



Skordalia (Greek "Potato" and Garlic Dip)

Maria Emmerich
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sauces and Condiments
Servings 12


  • 8 plump garlic cloves optional: use roasted garlic for a sweeter and milder garlic profile
  • 1/2 tsp Redmond Real salt
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 3/4 cup MCT oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper


  • If using roasted garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Arrange heads of garlic on a baking sheet. Sprinkle garlic with MCT oil. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, when the garlic is soft and squeezable, it is ready. Remove, let cool, and serve.
  • Place the garlic (raw or roasted) and salt in blender and puree until smooth. Add avocados and puree. Alternating oil with lemon juice and vinegar, gradually add to garlic mixture, pureeing in between. Using a fork, add pepper, mixing briskly until very smooth.
  • Spoon into a dish and serve with kabobs or sliced peppers.
  • To store extras, covered and store in refrigerator. It will keep for about 1 week. Bring to room temperature several hours before serving.


Traditional Skordalia = 170 calories, 10g fat, 0.8g protein, 12g carbs, 1g fiber
"Healthified" Skordalia = 166 calories, 17.4g fat, 0.8g protein, 3.5g carbs, 2.3g fiber
(92% fat, 1% protein, 7% carbs)







Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Cindy from Canada says:

    Ooooooooh I’m so excited to try this dip. My father who is 77 years old still makes this dip on special occasions. When I was a teenager he use to make this dip at the restaurant he worked at it was so popular that he could hardly keep up. He even made a slightly watered down version for a friend who couldn’t have dairy and she would put it on your salad.

    Thank you so much!

  • Cindy from Canada says:

    Sorry I meant to say – she would put it on her salad.

  • Pam says:

    What is MCT oil?

  • Mary says:

    What is on the skewers in this picture? I’m thinking about making beef kabobs (ground beef, parsley, onion, spices) but want to know if Maria has a better recipe?

  • Tracy A says:

    I got goose bumps reading Ashley’s testimonial! Way to go! You, Ashley, are amazing young woman. :-)))

    The food looks really good, too, Maria!

  • Miya Kunin says:

    Maria can you be keto adapted while being vegan. I am a life long vegetarian and have been vegan for 15 years or so.

    I have been reading your new book and am curious of if and how that would work. Truly what would a meal loom like??

    Please let me know
    Miya Kunin

    • cemmerich says:

      Vegan is tough. I have vegetarian meal plans but they have eggs. Lots and lots of coconut oils and other oils on your veggies. And lots of herbs to get the antioxidants you need. 🙂

  • Sharron says:

    Maria, m’dear! Why am I still finding reasonably current ‘health’ info on the internet saying coconut oil is BAD for you??? I know there’s tons of info ‘out there’, but when one is trying to ‘do a body good’, it’s frustrating coming across such conflicting information. Just sayin’!! 🙂

    • michele says:

      Sharon you have much research to do if you don’t believe in the health benefits of coconut oil. You will never find everyone agreeing with all things food. Maria deserves a lot of credit for putting herself out there and I’m telling you many of us wouldn’t spend the amount of time she does in her kitchen. She knows what she is talking about. Research the plants used for vegetable oils and how they are processed. Cotton seed oil? When was the last time you ate cotton?

    • cemmerich says:

      The posts about coconut oil being “Bad” for you are all based on the old dogma that saturated fat is bad for you. That is old science and old data. Kind of like saying the world is flat.

  • paulette says:

    The proof is in the pudding (or when eating coconut oil in how you feel) and in the numbers such as blood sugar, thyroid function tests, etc). My thyroid medication has been reduced for the first time in 33 years. Hi fat, low carb mod protein (the Maria Way) is the way to go. Trust how you feel.

  • Susan Lynn says:

    I also was looking for what the Kabobs were made of??? Is there a recipe in one of your book? I wish there was a way to INDEX the info in your books…The hardest thing for me is to go back and find some recipe or info I have read in your e-books. i bought the $300 pkg so have all of your e books but finding the info means trying to skim each book looking for info or a recipe. Sorry I’m showing my frustration and laziness…Currently I’m trying to list which supplements I want to try and when and how many mg’s to take…the info is all over the place. Guess I NEED to re-read your books over and over to remember what I just read…am I alone? or is it new low carb brain on low salt??? Anyhoo, I do soooo appreciate the work that you have done and are still putting out there for all of us! Happy Health!

  • Kathy says:

    I have read Keto-adapted and want to start eating this way. How do I get started knowing I am doing it correctly. I have done low carb before and I don’t want to make the mistake of not enough fats.
    Thank you

  • Wenchypoo says:

    This reminds me of how I put garlic puree in your Amazing Maria bread recipe when I make it into sandwich rolls. They’re DELICIOUS and put anything Subway ever created to shame!

  • M. says:

    You dont need the potato nor the avocado.
    It’s a lebanese dip called Toum, and it’s easy to make if you have the technique down. I use High-oleic sunflower oil with great results.

  • Addie says:

    Maria, thank you for another recipie. Can’t wait to try it. If we are using raw garlic and not roasting it , do you need the mct oil? Or is that only for roasting the garlic? Thank you!

  • Karen says:

    I just got your book, Maria, and I’m blown away by your knowledge and all the inspiring stories. I can’t wait to “seriously” start my own journey (I’ve been eating low carb for a few months, but haven’t followed a specific program, and realize I’ve been doing a LOT wrong.)

    I know you’re extremely busy, but would really appreciate it if you have time to answer a few questions?

    How do you feel about liquid sucralose? (EzSweet?)
    Canned tuna? (I get wildcaught in water and mix it with melted butter, mashed avocado and salt)
    Almond milk (I drink alot of it, and the label states it has less than 1 CHO per 240 Ml, which is all fiber. Does this count toward daily fluid intake, by the way?)
    Organic dijon mustard? (0 carbs per 5 g, but I eat way more.)
    100% raw cocoa powder? (mixed with butter, boiling water and the mentioned sucralose)

    My sincere apologies for all the questions, Maria. Again, thank you for your wonderful book, blog and recipes, I’m so excited to get started.


    • cemmerich says:

      Thanks! I am not a fan of sucralose. Wild caught is best, but regular canned is ok too. They still add to total carbs and yes it counts towards daily liquids. That is good, just keep track of how much to know your total carbs for the day. I would use Swerve or stevia with cocoa. 🙂

  • Kim says:

    Where can I find the recipe for the keto barbeques sauce shown above in the picture?

  • Rustybeth says:

    I am no longer using Facebook because it is too stressful for me–and your contact page says to use blog posts for nutrition or recipe queries. I would just like to ask if you ever use bottle gourd in your testing of recipes? It’s got a good nutritional profile and low carb content. I just haven’t seen any recipes in your books that I have or on the website (but I haven’t read ALL of the website).

  • Diane says:

    Hi Maria, I notice you use a lot of swerve in your recipes. Is that anything like Xylitol? Xylitol cause intestinal issues with me. Does swerve cause this kind of problem with some indiviuals? Do you have a spot on your blog that gives me your background education to know all about this stuff. Thanks Diane

  • Diane says:

    Marie Never mind about my last question, i found the About me section that answered my question.

  • Jana says:

    Thanks again Maria! Are ther other oils that you can recommend as MCT based oils? Are coconut, macadamia or camalina oils considered MCT based?

  • Heidi says:

    I am writing to ask you about your meal plans. I’ve been keto for 3 weeks, and was losing but now I’m not. I am guessing I need to cut dairy also autoimmune disorder. I lift heavy weights 3x a week that consists of some cardio due to the way it is programmed. I walk the dog/snow shoe another 3x a week on different days and I can do all training on an empty stomach with no loss of energy. I am willing to cut dairy, I’ve done it for years before, but I’d like to bring it back in at some point. I am not overweight but I’d like to get more muscle definition.
    Which plan is right for me (am thinking the $300 plan)?

    • cemmerich says:

      Yes, that plan would be perfect for you. It is really complete and easy to follow. 🙂

      • Heidi says:

        Hi – One more question. I currently own the latest book you released and know that is also a part of the ebooks that I will receive as part of this package. I respect you and your knowledge; therefore, I would not pass along any of these books to another. I am asking if I can pass that one along to a friend that needs to hear this message. Just that one and no other since I’ve paid for it twice. “Keto Adapted”

        • cemmerich says:

          Yes, that is a great option. 🙂

          • Heidi says:

            I just purchased the 30 Day Accelerated Plan and have only taken a cursory look, and can already tell that it is worth it! Thank you so much for the hard work and effort you’ve put into this. I’m grateful!

          • cemmerich says:

            Awesome! Thanks!

          • Heidi says:

            hi sorry for all the questions. I did purchase the 30 day accelerated plan however, I’m a little concerned about the caloric intake number/calorie count. I’m tall and I train fairly hard an the calories are only 1200 on some days and others go as low as 1000 or high 900s. I will need at least 1700 and this is still a deficit to my caloric needs and I am looking to lose fat. Even if I went to 1500 (which I think is too low).
            Should I add protein/fat/carbs to every meal to increase the calories? How do you suggest doing this?
            Do you find that men who go on this plan can eat that low and be okay (this question is out of curiosity)?
            Or when you go keto do calories not matter, going low is fine since you are getting higher fat in?
            The plan is easy to follow and beautifully laid out, and I do not want to appear as if I’m complaining I’m just wondering how to manage this for me.
            Thank you.

          • cemmerich says:

            You can just add more portion sizes to the existing plan (so the ratios stay the same) to meet your needs. So 3 eggs and 3 slices bacon instead of 2, 1.5 servings instead of one. Calories to matter if you are trying to lose weight. 🙂

          • Heidi says:

            i figured the calories mattered i just don’t want to go too low. thank you 🙂

  • Kathy says:

    I am wanting to get one of your plans but I am not sure which one would be the best. I am 58 need to lose about 40 pounds. I have osteoarthritis in one knee so I need low impact exercise. I have been gluten and diary free for about 2 years since diagnosised intolerant to both. Your way of eating makes so much sense for healing my body. In the past was also diagnosised with adrenal fatigue but have been better being off of gluten and diary. Please help! On a limited income otherwise I would do the health assessment. Thank you

    • cemmerich says:

      Well, the 30 day accelerated meal plans would be a great option (you can get it without ebooks to make it cheaper if you like). Otherwise, the Intro regular plus keto advanced 7 day meal plans is a great option too. Here is a recent testimony from a client similar to you. Losing weight and healing is 80% diet so that is the most important part. 🙂
      I quit eating grains, especially wheat & corn, & sugar. I have lost 60 lbs & no longer have fibromyalgia, acid reflux, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, & high cholesterol. The arthritis in my knees is much better. -Susan

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you I look forward to the plan

  • Kathy says:

    A question about drinking fluid with meals. I agree and understand about the digestive enzymes but how long do you wait after eating before drinking fluids?

  • Kathy says:

    Maria I am so excited that my daughter gave me your book to read. My question is about spinach is it ok to eat or should I stay away from it?

  • sophie says:

    I’ve read and been told that taking (supplemental) potassium (and even simply eating foods high in potassium) is bad for those with adrenal fatigue. The book by Dr. Wilson on AF states this…that it can make you even more fatigued. I’m not sure what to do because I follow a low/moderate-carb diet and have INSATIABLE salt cravings (to which I give in freely of course 🙂 )…I’m too scared to add potassium because I don’t want to feel worse.

    Any advice?

    • cemmerich says:

      If you have adrenal fatigue, potassium could be an issue because the lack of aldosterone production lets potassium build up as sodium depletes. So focus more on salt and water. 🙂

  • Pam says:

    Regarding your reply about avoiding potassium if you have adrenal fatigue…. I was about to start your suggestion for not avoiding sodium and potassium supplement as I constantly battle edema. Hypothyroid and very low potassium. How can I find out if I also have adrenal fatigue?

  • MEGAN says:

    I just came across this blog after looking into the Keto Diet/lifestyle and I was pleasantly surprised when you referenced the restaurant Shish as inspiration for this recipe. I actually worked at the place and the dip/paste is a lebanese dip called Toum. Traditionally prepared with garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt. Absolutely delicious! I thought I would pass that along and thank you for the wealth of information and recipes! Loving it!

  • Melinda says:

    Just read the testimony by Ashley at the top of the page and I’m moved to tears. Ashley you are an inspiration!!! What a beautiful young woman you are, and so courageous to not give up. Maria, I hope you are as encouraged as I am. Thank you for what you do!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Free Email Updates

Don't miss any of our free content or sales!

We respect your privacy. We never share your information with anyone.