Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Frosted Vanilla Custard Donuts (Low Carb, Gluten Free)

Frosted Vanilla Custard Donuts
Vanilla custard is traditionally made with plenty of egg yolks, which are what make these donuts so rich and delicious. The batter rises up light and airy, so they have a tender crumb. If desired, this recipe would make wonderful cupcakes, but I like using my donut pan and filling each cavity high enough with batter that the hole of the donut disappears as it bakes, creating the perfect little platform for holding the dab of frosting. I just happen to have some decorating icing tips in my kitchen collection, so I had fun making them fancy and appropriate for Valentine’s Day, but that’s not necessary. Anyway you decorate them, these donuts will be both beautiful and delicious!

Frosted Vanilla Custard Donuts
Makes 8 donuts (more or less depending on your donut pan)

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup erythritol sweetener, granulated
2 tablespoons unflavored whey protein powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (or seeds scraped from a vanilla bean)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon butter, softened
4 ounces plain mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered erythritol (Confectioners), or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray each cavity of your donut tin with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the almond flour, erythritol, whey protein powder, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt. Whisk to combine and until no lumps remain.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, cream, almond milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine. 

4. Fill each donut cavity to almost full. Be sure to fill each cavity until almost to the top because you want the donuts to puff up and fill in the hole as they bake, so there’s a place in the center of the donut to hold the frosting later. (see photo below) Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the tops are just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let the donuts cool 10 minutes in the pan, then flip them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Baked donut with center depression
5. To make the frosting: Whip together the room temperature cream cheese, butter and mascarpone cheese until fluffy using a handheld or standing electric mixer. Add the powdered erythritol and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is reached. Taste and adjust sweetness to your taste. If desired, put the frosting into a piping bag with a decorator tip and pipe (or spoon) a tablespoon or so of the frosting into the center of each donut. (Note: This recipe for frosting will yield more than you need for eight donuts, which allows for dividing the frosting into batches and coloring each differently, if desired. Save any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator to use for another recipe.)

Frosted Vanilla Custard Donuts
Nutritional Information per donut with 1 tablespoon of frosting (based on eight per recipe): 230 calories, 8.6 g carbohydrate (1.5 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugars, 13.5 g sugar alcohols), 21.7 g total fat (9.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 114 mg cholesterol, 139 mg sodium, 102 mg calcium, 130 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 431 mg Vit A, 6.1 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 7.1 grams.

Recipe and photos by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2018
All rights reserved.  Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Low Carb Chocolate Mint Snaps (Spritz Cookie)

Low Carb Chocolate Mint Snaps
I hate to do this to the industrious Girl Scouts peddling their wares right now but, if you like their Thin Mint Cookies, then you’ll love my amazing gluten free, low carb, sugar free version just as much! I mean, really...chocolate and peppermint, what’s not to love? The addition of a small amount of arrowroot starch is the secret ingredient that gives these cookies their crispy crunch. (Right out of the oven, they’ll be soft, but will crisp up upon cooling.) To make these beautifully shaped cookies, I used a cookie press (spritz cookie press), but that’s completely optional. If you don’t have one, just roll the dough into balls and then flatten with your hand. That works just as well. Refreshing and bursting with cool mint flavor, these cookies are one of my new favorites!

Low Carb Chocolate Mint Snaps (Spritz Cookies)
Makes about 32 cookies

1-1/2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (4 oz or 1 stick)
1/2 cup granulated erythritol sweetener
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used SweetLeaf brand)
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, or to taste
About 1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips, enough for 5 chips per cookie (I used Lily’s brand)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with silicone pan liners or parchment paper. (Note: If you plan to use a cookie press and don’t have silicone liners, omit the parchment paper and leave the cookie sheets ungreased for easier dough release from the press.) Set pans aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot starch, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork to combine and remove any lumps. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl and using a handheld or standing electric mixer, beat the softened butter until fluffy. Add the erythritol and stevia and beat until creamed together and well combined. Add egg and peppermint extract and beat again until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat until well incorporated.

4. Fill your cookie press and, with the desired disks, press cookies onto the cookie sheets. If you don’t have a cookie press, roll dough into 1-inch balls and flatten with your hand until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick. Top each cookie with 5 sugar free chocolate chips in any pattern you desire.

5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. They will crisp up as they cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Low Carb Chocolate Mint Snaps
Nutritional Information per cookie: 69 calories, 4.5 g carbohydrate (1.4 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars, 3.4 g sugar alcohols), 6.3 g total fat (2.1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 49 mg sodium, 18.4 mg calcium, 41 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 97 mg Vit A, 1.7 g protein. Net carbs per cookie: 3.2 grams

Recipe and photos by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2018
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bulletproof Cinnamon Chai Kefir Frappe

Bulletproof Cinnamon Chai Kefir Frappe
In New England, a frappe (pronounced “frap”) is an iced milkshake, sometimes with a coffee or ice cream base. In this variation, I’ve used brewed tea instead. You can use either a chai or cinnamon tea bag, but brew it strong in 1 cup of hot water so the flavor is prominent after blending with the ice and other ingredients. It’s important to cool off the tea before adding the kefir so the gut-healing probiotics remain alive. To make this beverage “bulletproof,” and thus a great meal replacement, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. This is a delicious way to begin a happy and healthy New Year!

Bulletproof Cinnamon Chai Kefir Frappe
Makes 1 serving

1 cup of strongly brewed chai or cinnamon tea
1 cup of ice
1/2 cup of plain, unsweetened kefir
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder or to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)

1. Place the brewed tea and ice into a blender. Blend until the tea is cooled and the ice is melted.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until frothy. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: 249 calories, 3.3 g carbohydrate (0.6 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugars), 23.2 g total fat (16.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 33 mg cholesterol, 121 mg sodium, 129 mg calcium, 149 mg potassium, 234 mg Vit A, 4.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.7 grams

Recipe and photo by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Low Carb Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

Low Carb Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
If you haven’t made some sugar free dried cranberries for the upcoming holiday season of baking, it’s time! (Click here for the recipe.) They’re easy to make and so versatile. This delicious pound cake is just one recipe in which these sweet-tart berries can be the star of the show. 

Low Carb Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
Makes 12 servings

1-3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used SweetLeaf brand)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon almond or coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup sugar free dried cranberries, chopped (see separate recipe here)
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, stevia, baking powder and salt. Whisk until no lumps remain; set aside.

3. Using a handheld or standing mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese and erythritol in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the almond or coconut milk, orange and lemon extracts and beat until incorporated and batter is smooth.

4. Add the dry ingredients and orange zest to the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed until well combined. Fold in chopped cranberries and pecans. The batter will be thick.

5. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake should be deep golden brown and when you stick a toothpick in the center, it should come out clean. Cool the cake in the loaf pan for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/12th of recipe): 183 calories, 9.6 g carbohydrate (3.2 g dietary fiber, 1.1 g sugars, 5.3 g sugar alcohols), 16 g total fat (5.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 84 mg cholesterol, 228 mg sodium, 102.4 mg calcium, 110 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 302 mg Vit A, 5.8 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 6.4 grams

Recipe and photos by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Low Carb Eggnog

My Low Carb Eggnog

It’s that time of year when I start seeing eggnog in the stores...and wishing I could have some. Store-bought eggnog is loaded with sugar, but not my recipe! You will be amazed and delighted by the real, eggnog flavor of this low carb holiday specialty. It’s thick and creamy, just like I remember from my pre-Keto days, and satisfies my desire for good, old-fashioned eggnog. The addition of alcohol is completely optional (I didn’t add any, since I don’t care for boozy nog). Raise your glass this holiday and enjoy! Cheers!

My Low Carb Eggnog
Makes 6 servings (1/2 cup)

4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons granulated erythritol, divided (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum)
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
A pinch of allspice
1/2 teaspoon mace
Bourbon or rum to taste (optional)

1. Add 1 tablespoon of the sweetener to the egg yolks in a small bowl. Beat until the egg yolks are light in color.

2. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cream, coconut or almond milk, water, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons sweetener. Heat over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges, stirring occasionally. With a ladle, pour about 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks while whisking. Repeat with another 1/4 cup hot mixture, then pour the tempered eggs into the milk mixture and whisk to combine. Heat over low heat for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring constantly (do not boil).

3. Sprinkle the Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum) a little at a time, whisking constantly. Cook and stir until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

4. Remove from heat and pour into a blender. Add the vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, mace and alcohol (if using). Blend to combine. Cool before serving. (Mixture will thicken a bit more as it cools.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup (no alcohol): 193 calories, 5.3 g carbohydrate (0.5 g dietary fiber, 0.4 g sugars, 6 g sugar alcohols), 18.6 g total fat (10.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 194 mg cholesterol, 99 mg sodium, 153.7 mg calcium, 46 mg potassium, 146 mg Vit A, 2.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.8 grams

Recipe and photo by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Chocolate Peppermint Kefir Smoothie

Chocolate Peppermint Kefir Smoothie
Chocolate and peppermint are one of my favorite flavor combinations, especially around the holidays. Creamy and delicious, this smoothie is loaded with antioxidants, electrolytes, probiotics and is packed with immune and brain boosting nutrition. But it’s the cool mint taste that wins me over! I find that it’s the perfect way to start my day. Because of the “slow carbs” and healthy fat ingredients, this smoothie keeps me feeling satiated and my blood sugar stable all morning and long into the afternoon.

Chocolate Peppermint Kefir Smoothie
Makes 2 servings (or 1 large, meal replacement serving)

1 cup plain kefir
1 cup coconut or almond milk
2/3 cup organic spinach leaves (or Swiss chard)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
1/4 avocado (see Tip*)
1 tablespoon coconut or flax oil
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (I used SweetLeaf brand)
1/8 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (or about 15 fresh mint leaves), to taste
5 ice cubes
Enough water to reach desired consistency (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth.

*Tip: I buy avocados when they’re on sale and, when they’re ripe, I cut them into quarters, put the slices in a freezer bag and freeze them. They remain fresh and are great for adding to smoothies. Did you know that avocados contain more potassium than a banana? Plus they’re low in sugar and high in fiber!)

Nutritional Information per serving (1/2 recipe): 243 calories, 9.8 g carbohydrate (5.3 g dietary fiber, 3.2 g sugars), 17.8 g total fat (7.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium, 378.3 mg calcium, 223 mg potassium, 477 mg Vit A, 4 mg Vit C, 5 mg iron, 8.1 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.5 grams.

Recipe and photo by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cranberry Nut Donuts with Orange Glaze

Cranberry Nut Donuts with Orange Glaze
For me, tart cranberries with nuts and sweet orange are an autumn or holiday flavor combination. For many years, I’ve avoided using dried cranberries due to their extremely high sugar and carb content. (You’d think that someone would have figured out to make dried cranberries without sugar, but I guess not. I’ve searched and they are not available in stores or online.) The other day, I discovered a very easy recipe for making my own sugar-free dried cranberries at home (click here for the recipe) and they turned out perfectly! I’m so delighted once again to have this pantry staple on hand to use in muffins, salads, cookies and my husband’s famous Thanksgiving dressing. Also, because they are so delicious, I was inspired to use them this morning to create these marvelous low carb donuts. I’m ready now! Bring on the holidays!!

Cranberry Nut Donuts with Orange Glaze
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
1 tbsp + 1 tsp granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit Sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used SweetLeaf brand)
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
3 tablespoons sugar free dried cranberries, chopped (see recipe here)

Orange Glaze:

1/4 cup powdered erythritol (I used Swerve Confectioner’s)
1 tablespoon orange juice (or water)
1/8 teaspoon orange extract (if using water, increase to 1/4 teaspoon)

1. For the donuts, lightly grease a donut baking pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, whey protein powder, erythritol, stevia, baking powder and salt until no lumps remain and the ingredients are well combined.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, water, orange extract and orange zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk thoroughly to combine. Fold in the chopped pecans and cranberries until well distributed.

3. Fill the donut holes approximately 2/3 to 3/4 full (do not overfill). Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the donuts are browned on the edges and spring back when touched. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

4. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered erythritol, orange juice and extract in a shallow bowl until smooth. If too thin, add more erythritol. If too thick, add more liquid, a few drops at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the glaze. (Be sure to hold the donuts carefully because they may be delicate. The distribution of the cranberries and pecans might have created some weak spots and you don’t want them to fall apart.) Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack for a few minutes until the glaze is set. Leftover donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Cranberry Nut Donuts with Orange Glaze
Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 127 calories, 6.8 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 1.1 g sugars, 8 g sugar alcohols), 11.2 g total fat (3.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 107 mg sodium, 31.6 mg calcium, 104 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 175 mg Vit A, 3 mg Vit C, 3.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.7 grams

Recipe and photos by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.