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.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dark Chocolate Coconut Donuts (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb)


Donuts, donuts and more donuts! I made these as a dessert for a special friend who is on a very restricted low-carb diet, so they're dairy free, gluten free and extremely low in sugar (you could make them completely sugar-free by using sugar-free chocolate chips, such as Lily's brand). I attempted to mimic the flavors of a popular dark chocolate coconut candy bar, and I believe I succeeded! Be sure to lightly toast the unsweetened coconut before sprinkling over the top to bring out its naturally sweet and nutty flavor. Go ahead and have one! It's okay to go cuckoo for coconut...and chocolate!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Donuts
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-6 drops liquid stevia (coconut flavor or regular)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

Chocolate Glaze and Topping:

2 ounces 85% or higher dark chocolate, chopped (I used 16 squares from a Green and Black bar)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
A pinch of salt
1-1/2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a donut baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, erythritol, stevia, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork until no lumps remain.

2. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, stevia drops and coconut milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk with a fork until well combined and batter is smooth.

3. Fill holes of the donut pan 2/3 to 3/4 full (do not overfill). Bake for 18 minutes or until set and donuts spring back when touched. Remove from oven and allow the donuts to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before flipping them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, toast the unsweetened shredded coconut in a small skillet over low heat, stirring often, until the coconut begins to brown and becomes fragrant. Then immediately remove from the heat to prevent burning and pour in a bowl. Set aside to cool.

4. For the glaze, place the chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl; set aside. Place coconut milk and salt into a small saucepan and heat until simmering (or microwave in 10-15 second intervals until it begins to boil). Add the hot coconut milk to the chopped chocolate. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before whisking until the mixture is smooth.

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack to cool until the chocolate is set.

Note: How many donuts you get will depend on the size of your donut pan. You will have plenty of extra glaze leftover (this recipe will glaze about a dozen donuts or more). Place leftover glaze into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator to glaze other donuts later or to use as a drizzle over fresh berries. Heat gently to restore to a liquid consistency.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 179 calories, 8.3 g carbohydrates (2.6 g dietary fiber, 1.3 g sugars, 4 g sugar alcohols), 15.4 g total fat (8.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 87 mg sodium, 89.2 mg calcium, 80 mg potassium, 3 mg iron, 45 mg Vit A, 4.3 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.7 grams

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cherry Cream Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze (Low Carb, Gluten Free)


I've been having way too much fun with my new donut baking pan! Yesterday I picked up some beautiful, organic fresh cherries and this recipe magically appeared in my mind. These donuts are reminiscent of the chocolate-covered cherries my grandmother used to love, so this recipe is dedicated to Gaga. The choice of chocolate for the glaze is important to keep the carb count down, so look for a very dark chocolate bar. My favorite brand is Green and Black's Organic 85% Cacao. Also, because cherries are higher in carb and must be limited, chop the few cherries called for in this recipe into small pieces so you will enjoy their sweet flavor in every bite. 

Cherry Cream Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon 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 kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons heavy cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 fresh cherries, pitted and finely chopped

Chocolate Glaze:
2 ounces 85% or higher dark chocolate (I used 16 squares from a Green and Black bar)
1/4 cup heavy cream
A pinch of salt

1. For the donuts, lightly grease a donut pan and preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol, stevia powder, whey protein powder, baking powder and salt until no lumps remain. Stir in the melted butter, egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whisk until the batter is well combined and smooth. Fold in chopped cherries until well distributed.

3. Fill donut pan holes approximately 2/3 to 3/4 full (do not overfill) and bake for 16-18 minutes or until donuts are lightly browned and set. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

4. For the glaze, place the heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan and heat until just simmering (or microwave in 10-15 second intervals until it is hot and just begins to boil). Meanwhile, chop the chocolate and place into a small, heat-proof bowl. Add the hot cream to the chocolate and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before whisking until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain. 

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the chocolate mixture.* Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack to cool until the chocolate glaze is set.

*Note: You will have plenty of extra glaze leftover (this recipe will glaze about a dozen or more regular-sized donuts). Place leftover glaze in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator to glaze other donuts or to drizzle over fresh berries. Heat gently to restore glaze to a liquid consistency.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 173 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars, 2.7 g sugar alcohols), 15.4 g total fat (6.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 58 mg cholesterol, 126 mg sodium, 90.9 mg calcium, 107 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 197 mg Vit A, 4.4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.2 grams

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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cinnamon Donuts with White Chocolate-Vanilla Glaze


Muffins are good, but donuts are FUN! Maybe it's the hole in the middle or the perception that you're eating a forbidden food. No matter the reason, you can fit these delicious, sugar free donuts into your low carb lifestyle.

Cinnamon Donuts with White Chocolate-Vanilla Glaze
Makes 6 donuts (more or less, depending on your donut pan)

1/2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon granulated erythritol (I used Golden LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea or pink Himalayan salt
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons heavy cream or almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:

2 ounces unsweetened cocoa butter (24 discs)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
A pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 tablespoons powdered erythritol to taste (I used Swerve Confectioners)
1/2 ounce cream cheese, room temperature 

1. Lightly grease a donut pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol, stevia powder, whey protein powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Stir in melted butter, egg, cream or almond milk and vanilla extract. Whisk to create a smooth batter.

2. Fill each donut hole in the tin 2/3 full (do not overfill) and bake for 15-18 minutes or until donuts are lightly brown and set. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then flip onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.


3. For the Glaze: Place the cocoa butter, heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan and heat until cocoa butter is melted (or microwave in 10-15 second intervals). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in cream cheese and whisk until well combined and no lumps remain (if desired, you may use a handheld mixer). Add erythritol to taste and vanilla extract, whisk together and pour into a shallow bowl.

4. The glaze will be thin, but will thicken as it cools. To hasten the process, place the glaze into the refrigerator for 5 minutes, whisk and continue cooling in intervals until the desired consistency is reached. (As the glaze thickens, it might become spreadable like frosting, which is an option too.)

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the glaze. Place on a wire rack to cool until the glaze is set.

Note: You will have some glaze leftover. Place it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use it to glaze other donuts or to use as a drizzle over fresh berries. Heat gently to restore to a liquid consistency.

Nutritional Information per donut (based on six per recipe): 156 calories, 5.3 g carbohydrates (1.8 g dietary fiber, 0.7 g sugars, 5.8 g sugar alcohols), 14.9 g total fat (6.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 136 mg sodium, 77 mg calcium, 88 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 197 mg Vit A, 4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.5 grams

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

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones
Low carb, gluten free scone recipes made from almond flour abound on the internet. I've found them to be too dense and heavy, almost too rich for my tastes. So, I set out to make a scone that's lighter in texture, with a subtle flavor that doesn't overpower...in other words, the perfect scone for a traditional English tea. A cream tea is a speciality of Devon and Cornwall counties and is a form of afternoon tea consisting of scones, clotted cream and jam. The true stars of this delightful past time are the clotted cream and jam, so the scone is actually just a vehicle to get these yummies from the plate to your mouth! The coconut flour imparts a softer, more delicate texture than you can get using almond flour alone and, for that reason, I think these are the best scones I've ever made. They are slightly sweet with a subtle vanilla flavor that is perfect for hosting your very own cream tea.

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones
Makes 8 scones

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons granular erythritol sweetener (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (reduce to a pinch if using salted butter)
5 tablespoons very cold butter (unsalted preferred), cut into cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Plus coconut flour for dusting board

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until well mixed. Add cubed butter and, with a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the dry ingredients until it is coarse, pea-size crumbs.

3. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the eggs, cream and vanilla extract until thick and well combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir quickly with a fork to combine thoroughly. Allow the batter sit for a few minutes until the coconut flour absorbs the liquid and a soft dough forms.

4. Dust a board or your countertop lightly with coconut flour. With a rubber spatula or your hands, gather the dough into a ball and put it onto the board.  Lightly dust the top of the dough with more coconut flour. Using your hand, pat and shape the dough into a 6-inch circle that is about 3/4-inch thick. Try not to overwork the dough. Cut evenly into 8 wedges (like you're cutting a pie) and place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, being sure to allow space between each wedge because the dough with puff a bit while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the bottoms and outer edges are golden brown and the tops are just beginning to brown.

5. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature with clotted cream or butter and sugar free jam (here is a good recipe: https://www.lowcarbmaven.com/low-carb-sugar-free-strawberry-jelly/). Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Best Low Carb Vanilla Cream Scones 
Nutritional Information per serving (1 scone, no toppings): 206 calories, 8 g carbohydrate (3.3 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugars, 3 g sugar alcohols), 18.4 g total fat (9.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 238 mg sodium, 101.5 mg calcium, 83 mg potassium, 508 mg Vit A, 4.5 g protein. Net Carbs per serving: 4.7 grams.

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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Double Chocolate Donuts (Gluten Free and Low Carb)

Double Chocolate Donuts 
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a donut pan and am now having fun making and eating low carb, gluten free donuts! The best part is that they're so good, the whole family is enjoying my baking efforts. They are particularly delicious with a cup of coffee! For Father's Day, I made these chocolate donuts dipped in a rich and decadent chocolate ganache glaze for my chocoholic hubbie. We had some for breakfast, then topped them with homemade sugar free ice cream for dessert later. Donut sundaes are a delightful way to end a celebratory meal!

Double Chocolate Donuts
Makes 12 donuts (more or less, depending on your donut pan)

1-1/4 cups almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used SweetLeaf brand)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan or sea salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 drops stevia (I used SweetLeaf brand)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons water

Chocolate Glaze:

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (70% cacao or higher)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
A pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a donut pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, erythritol, stevia, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a fork and break up any lumps. In another small bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter or coconut oil, vanilla, stevia drops, 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream and water. Add egg mixture to almond flour mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined and batter is smooth.

3. Fill each cavity of the donut baking pan 2/3 full (do not overfill). Bake for 18 minutes or until set and the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes and then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.

4. While the donuts are cooling, make the glaze. Place 1/4 cup heavy cream and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan and heat until just simmering (or microwave in 15 second intervals until it just begins to boil). Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before whisking until the mixture is smooth.

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the chocolate mixture. Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack to cool until the chocolate glaze is set. (You will most likely have some chocolate ganache glaze leftover. Save it in an airtight container. It makes excellent hot fudge sauce!)

Donut Sundae 
Nutritional Information per donut (based on recipe making 12 donuts): 165 calories, 7.6 g carbohydrate (2.7 g dietary fiber, 1.2 g sugars, 3 g sugar alcohols), 14.9 g total fat (6.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium, 93.2 mg calcium, 135 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 155 mg Vit A, 5 mg caffeine, 4.7 g protein. Net carbs per donut: 4.9 grams

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