Friday, September 15, 2017

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Bagels (Gluten free, Sugar free)

Low Carb Pumpkin Bagels
Lately, I've been experimenting with low carb bagel recipes and landed on one I really like from the Low Carb Maven (click here for the recipe). It's good and chewy like a bagel should be but, because of its distinct cheese flavor (which is delicious!), I think it's best served with a savory spread, cream cheese or butter. In keeping with the season, this morning I had a craving for a pumpkin bagel, so I went to work. I needed to tone down the cheesy flavor with pumpkin and ramp up the spice, all while keeping the dense and chewy texture of a traditional bagel. This recipe definitely is a winner! I recommend splitting and toasting the bagel before serving for the best result. The slightly sweet cream cheese spread is the perfect companion that further draws attention to the pumpkin and warm spices. All you need to add is a cup of coffee or tea to enjoy a truly wonderful breakfast!

Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Bagels (Gluten free, Sugar free)
Makes 6 bagels

Bagel Dough:

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup gluten free oat fiber (not oat flour, or sub coconut flour)
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda (or 2 teaspoons baking powder)
2 tablespoons unflavored whey protein powder
2 tablespoons powdered erythritol (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces full-fat cream cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine, no sugar added)

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter (no sugar added)
1 tablespoon powdered erythritol
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1. To make the bagels, whisk together the almond flour, oat fiber, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda (or baking powder), whey protein powder and 2 tablespoons erythritol in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Place the mozzarella cheese and 2 ounces of cream cheese into a microwaveable safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave again for 15-30 seconds. Pour the melted cheese mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add the egg and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and process until smooth. Add the dry ingredients all at once and process until a dough forms. It will be sticky. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or plate, shape into a thick log about 8-inches long and place into the freezer to cool briefly for easier handling.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

4. When the oven is preheated, remove the bagel dough from the freezer and divide into six equal pieces. Lightly oil hands and roll each portion into a snake shape, form into a ring and pinch together the ends to seal. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Let the bagels cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, they can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. To enjoy, split and toast the bagels before serving. 

5. To make the cream cheese spread: Place all of the spread ingredients into a medium bowl and whip with a hand mixer until well combined and fluffy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 1 cup. Serving size is 2 tablespoons.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread
Nutritional Information per bagel (based on 6 per recipe, no topping): 268 calories, 13.5 g carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 1.8 g sugars, 5 g sugar alcohols), 21.3 g total fat (6.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 53 mg cholesterol, 381 mg sodium, 215.4 mg calcium, 243 mg potassium, 1868 mg Vit A, 1 mg iron, 14 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.5 grams

Nutritional Information Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread (2 TB serving): 126 calories, 2.1 g carbohydrates (0.6 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars, 1.9 g sugar alcohols), 12.1 g total fat (6.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 22.1 mg calcium, 9 mg potassium, 722 mg Vit A, 1.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 1.5 grams.

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

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sweet-Tart Lemon Blueberry Donuts (low carb, gluten free)

Sweet-Tart Lemon Blueberry Donuts
When I make something with lemon, I don't kid around! I like its mouth-puckering, bright flavor and this recipe doesn't disappoint. Combined with the sweetness of the blueberries, it's a flavorful morning eye-opener. It's actually the glaze that gives this donut its tart punch so, if you're wishing for a gentle lemon flavor, you can opt out and eat it plain. I recently purchased my last pint of locally grown, organic Maine blueberries of the season and thought this would be a great way to showcase them and I was right. You can use frozen, but be sure to purchase the very small wild berry (lowbush variety) so they'll be evenly distributed and enjoyed in every bite. As I look out my window and already see a few red, orange and gold leaves on the trees, this last sweet taste of summer is a special treat that will carry me into the cool weeks ahead.

Sweet-Tart Lemon Blueberry Donuts (Low Carb, Gluten Free)
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, but adds more lemon flavor)
Zest from one lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons lowbush wild Maine blueberries, fresh or frozen (small berry size, Wyman's is a good frozen brand)

Lemon Glaze:

1/4 cup powdered erythritol (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. For the donuts, lightly grease a donut pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol, stevia, whey protein powder, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, lemon juice, water, extract and zest. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Very gently fold in the blueberries until well distributed throughout the batter. (If using frozen, do not thaw to minimize turning the batter purple.)

3. Fill donut pan holes approximately 2/3 to 3/4 full (do not overfill). Bake for 20-22 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. For the glaze, whisk together in a shallow bowl the powdered erythritol and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until smooth. If too thin, add a little bit of erythritol. If too thick, add a few drops of lemon juice at a time and whisk until the desired consistency is reached.

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the lemon glaze. (Be sure to hold the donuts gently and carefully when glazing because they may be delicate. The distribution of the berries might have created some weak spots and you don't want them breaking apart.) Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack for a few minutes until the glaze is set. If there is any glaze leftover, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for a later use.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 111 calories, 6.7 g carbohydrate (1.6 g dietary fiber, 1.1 g sugars, 8 g sugar alcohols), 9.5 g total fat (3.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 93 mg sodium, 29.9 mg calcium, 97 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 168 mg Vit A, 3.7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.1 grams

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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Low Carb Maine Crab Au Gratin

Maine Crab Au Gratin
Years ago, one of my favorite restaurants was Downeast Village in Yarmouth, Maine. They featured many Maine specialities and their dining room was warm and inviting, often with a roaring fire blazing in the huge, brick fireplace. Sadly, they have closed, but I will never forget my favorite meal there: Maine Crab Au Gratin! Creamy, cheesy, decadent and so rich, it was a special occasion meal. It's perfectly low carb and keto, so I thought I'd recreate it at home this year for my birthday dinner. This easy main dish is every bit as good as I remember!

Low Carb Maine Crab Au Gratin
Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter
A pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum)
1/4 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
White or black pepper to taste
3-4 cups real crabmeat (not imitation), about 16 oz.
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a saucepan, combine the butter, salt, dry mustard powder, cream, coconut milk and Worcestershire sauce. Stir over low heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Slowly sprinkle in the Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum) while whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Stir in the cheddar cheese until melted and no lumps remain. Add the pepper and crabmeat and stir until the crabmeat is well coated. Transfer the crab mixture to a 2-quart baking dish or divide into four individual ramekins. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. (For convenience, you can refrigerate the casserole at this point and bake it later.) Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until the casserole is bubbling and the Parmesan cheese begins to brown. Serve piping hot! 

Nutritional Information per serving: 304 calories, 1.4 g carbohydrate (0 g dietary fiber, 0.6 g sugars), 21.3 g total fat (13.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 154 mg cholesterol, 599 mg sodium, 195.5 mg calcium, 39 mg potassium, 499 mg Vit A, 26.8 g protein. 

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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Low Carb, Gluten Free Autumn Recipes

When the mornings and evenings start getting cooler and the first kick-off of football season as occurred, I begin to experience cravings for the warm and comforting foods of autumn. I've been browsing through my recipe file and here are a few links to some of my favorite main dishes and treats to usher in the season. 

Main Dishes

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner from Cooking Classy with a Sprinkle of Fancy

Low Carb Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole from

Original Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole. Recipe by George Stella

Pulled Pork and Zoodles
Pulled Pork and Zoodles from the Comfort Bites Blog

Salmon in Cream from Salmon Recipes Old and New

Turkey Saltimbocca Meatballs
Turkey Saltimbocca Meatballs. Recipe by Melissa Sevigny from

Rainbow Chili by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta. Recipe by Gina Homolka from

Autumn Treats

Baked Cinnamon Spice Granola
Baked Cinnamon Spice Grain-Free, Low Carb Granola. Recipe by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Keto Pumpkin Spice Donuts from

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse. Recipe by Brenda from

Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Glaze
Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Glaze. Recipe by Carolyn from

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Recipe by Diabetic Living from

Bulletproof Pumpkin Misto. Recipe by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Low Carb Apple Fritters
Low Carb Apple Fritters from

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mini Banana Pie Chia Pudding Parfait

You usually don't think of a banana as being low carb because it's such a high-sugar fruit. But you can enjoy them in a very small amount, such as in this parfait, without overdoing your carb limit for the day. Chia pudding resembles tapioca in texture, but it's easier to prepare and has more nutrition, plus it's an excellent source of healthy Omega 3 fat and fiber. I love banana pudding and pie, so I set out to recreate the flavors in this recipe! It requires a couple of steps, but each is very simple and can be made ahead, if needed. The "pie crust" crumbles really give this parfait it's banana pie texture and flavor, so don't skip this step. You have the choice of topping with plain, unsweetened yogurt laced with vanilla or whipped cream, depending on the total amount of carbs in your eating plan. I like the yogurt version for breakfast! So, whether you start your day with this mini parfait or enjoy it for dessert, you can feel good about giving your family this special treat!

Mini Banana Pie Chia Pudding Parfait
Makes 8 small servings

Chia Pudding Layer:

1/4 cup whole chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon banana extract
1 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used A-Roy D brand)
6-8 drops liquid Stevia, or to taste (I used Sweetleaf brand)

Pie Crust Layer:

1/3 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon erythritol sweetener or 1/4 tsp stevia powder
A pinch of salt
2 teaspoons butter or coconut oil, melted

1/2 of a very small banana, cut into eight slices (a 3-inch length)

Yogurt or Cream Layer:

1-1/2 cups plain, unsweetened whole milk yogurt or 3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped (or whipped coconut cream for dairy free)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-8 drops liquid Stevia, or to taste

1. Make the chia seed pudding: In a small bowl, mix the chia seeds and cinnamon. In a measuring cup or separate bowl, mix together the coconut milk, extracts and stevia drops. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the chia seed mixture and stir vigorously with a fork, making sure all the chia seeds are incorporated and submerged in the coconut milk. Set aside to allow the pudding to absorb the liquid and thicken, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the pie crust layer: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener and salt. Stir in the melted butter until the dough comes together and resembles coarse crumbs. Turn out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Press down with your fingers to flatten into a 1/8-inch thick circle or oval (the shape doesn't matter). Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, about 13-15 minutes. Watch carefully because the edges can burn quickly! Allow crust to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove parchment paper or silicone mat to a wire rack to cool completely (keep crust on the paper or mat to prevent crumbling). When cooled, break the crust into small, bite-size pieces; set aside.

Pie Crust Layer
3. Make the yogurt or whipped cream layer: Mix together the plain, unsweetened yogurt with the vanilla extract and stevia drops to taste; set aside. (Or whip the heavy cream until semi-stiff. Add the vanilla and stevia and gently fold until well combined; set aside.)

4. Assemble the parfaits: Use a spoon to divide the chia pudding mixture between eight small jars or dessert shot glasses (about 2 TB each). Place one slice of banana on top of the chia layer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the pie crust crumbles on top of the banana (reserve some crumbs for garnish). Divide the yogurt (or whipped cream) evenly among the dessert cups. Sprinkle with the remaining pie crust crumbs. Eat immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Place banana on chia layer
Nutritional Information per serving (made with yogurt): 128 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 3.7 g sugars, 0.5 g sugar alcohols), 9.6 g total fat (4.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 39 mg sodium, 90.2 mg calcium, 106 mg potassium, 79 mg Vit A, 1 mg Vit C, 3.7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.1 grams

Nutritional Information per serving (made with whipped cream): 201 calories, 5.7 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 1.5 g sugars, 0.5 g sugar alcohols), 19 g total fat (10.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 44 mg cholesterol, 27 mg sodium, 53.4 mg calcium, 52 mg potassium, 444 mg Vit A, 1 mg Vit C, 2.6 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.6 grams

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chocolate-Covered Blueberries Smoothie

Right now the wild Maine blueberries are in season and abundant in the local stores and Farmer's Markets. On my low carb/high healthy fat/moderate protein diet (LCHF) I don't eat a lot of fruit, but these tiny sapphire jewels are carb-worthy in my opinion, so I indulge in a couple of pints every summer while they're fresh. I am picky about my berries though and only buy organic. This morning I made a smoothie with one of my favorite flavor combinations. This smoothie is packed with antioxidants from both the raw cacao and the berries, not to mention the fiber and other goodness from the freshly-picked kale from my garden! The deep, dark purple color is both pleasing to the eye and lets me know that this is a nutrient-dense, healthy way to start my day. Cheers!

Chocolate-Covered Blueberries Smoothie
Makes 1 adult-size serving (or 2 child-size servings)

1/2 cup plain unsweetened kefir or yogurt
1/4 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional, but adds an additional depth of chocolate flavor)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon stevia powder to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
2-3 kale leaves, roughly chopped (or substitute 1/2 cup any leafy green)
1/2 tablespoon collagen hydrolysate (or your favorite protein powder)
1 pinch of sea or pink Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon coconut or flax oil (healthy fat keeps you fuller for longer)
4-5 ice cubes
Water, if needed, to achieve desired consistency

Place all of the ingredients in your blender and blend on high speed until smooth.

Nutritional Information per entire recipe: 282 calories, 20 g carbohydrate, 12 g dietary fiber, 13 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 8 grams

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Low Carb Creamy Coleslaw

Sometimes I forget about coleslaw, but it's really the perfect side dish for a cookout, family gathering, picnic or potluck. It's so quick and easy to throw together, it's a shame that I don't make it often. With the help of a food processor, I can shred my own cabbage and carrot in minutes, but you can use a bag of prepackaged coleslaw mix, if you prefer. This recipe is super creamy with just the right amount of tang from the apple cider vinegar. Replace the sugar in a traditional recipe with erythritol or stevia and you have a delicious, low carb coleslaw the whole family will love.

Low Carb Creamy Coleslaw
Makes about 8 servings

1 small head green cabbage, shredded
1 small carrot, finely shredded

Dressing Ingredients:

2/3 cup mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons minced onion
1-2 tablespoons powdered erythritol, to taste (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrot in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add to the cabbage mixture and stir to coat the cabbage. (Use only the amount of dressing needed to coat the slaw mix. You may have some leftover dressing, which can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.) Mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or sweetener if desired. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or more to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutritional Information per serving (about 1/2 cup): 155 calories, 6.4 g carbohydrate (2 g dietary fiber, 3.5 g sugars, 1.9 g sugar alcohols), 14.5 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 236 mg sodium, 48 mg calcium, 246 mg potassium, 1230 mg Vit A, 1 mg iron, 1.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.4 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate without the author's permission.