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.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Low Carb Macaroni and Cheese (Gluten Free)

Macaroni and Cheese
I must admit that I created a masterpiece tonight! I made a low carb “macaroni” and cheese casserole that only has 4 carbs (2 net carbs) per serving. It was spectacular! The sauce was so creamy and the “noodles” absorbed the cheezy deliciousness perfectly. The ingredient used to replace regular wheat pasta in my recipe was Palmini Linguine Noodles (made from hearts of palm), which I purchased on Amazon (see photos below). These “noodles” have been an excellent low carb replacement for pasta in many of my favorite dishes, but this one may win the prize! They’re a bit pricey, but worth it in my opinion because their texture and mild taste work so well in pasta recipes. Give them a try. I think you’ll be pleased, too.

Low Carb “Macaroni” and Cheese (Gluten Free)
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon organic butter
A pinch of salt
White or black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup organic heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up (or organic xanthan gum), enough to thicken
1/4 pound organic sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz.)
One 16 oz. can Palmini Linguine Noodles (hearts of palm), cut into 1” pieces
1/4 cup additional organic cheddar cheese, shredded
Paprika

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the salt, pepper, dry mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, cream and water. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Slowly sprinkle in the Thick-It-Up or xanthan gum while whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Stir in the 4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese and whisk until the cheese has melted and sauce is smooth.

2. Drain and rinse the Palmini noodles in a colander and pat with paper towels until most of the excess moisure is removed. Use scissors to cut the noodles into 1-inch pieces. Add noodles to the cheese sauce and stir until well coated.

   

3. Pour the noodle-cheese mixture into a 2-quart baking dish or into four individual ramekins. Sprinkle the additional shredded cheese over the top and dust with paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until piping hot, bubbly and the top is browned. Serve immediately. 

Note: You can prepare the casserole several hours to a day ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. It’s best served immediately after baking.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/4 recipe): 230 calories, 4.5 g carbohydrate (2.1 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 22.1 g total fat (12.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 72 mg cholesterol, 339 mg sodium, 189.2 mg calcium, 43 mg potassium, 722 mg Vit A, 8.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.4 grams

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Low Carb Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
I was browsing through some broccoli soup recipes and landed on a good one asserting to be a Panera copycat recipe but it was too high in carbs and called for flour, which are both no-nos for me. So I adapted this recipe to be low carb and ketogenic with a few minor adjustments. This is the creamiest and, by far, the BEST Broccoli Cheddar soup I’ve ever made and will definitely be my go-to recipe from now on! Perfect for a cool fall evening or anytime.

Low Carb Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Makes about 6 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
A small pinch of cayenne
3 cups broccoli florets and stems, diced into small pieces
1 small carrot, sliced into thin rounds
8 ounces high-quality cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Thick-It-Up low carb thickener (or xanthan gum), if needed

1. In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just starting to turn golden in color. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and heavy cream and whisk to combine. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, dry mustard powder and cayenne and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and add the broccoli and carrots and allow the mixture to gently simmer on low heat uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and the broth has thickened slightly.

2. Meanwhile, grate the cheese and set aside a portion to use as a garnish later. After the soup has simmered and the vegetables have softened, add the cheese and stir continuously until it has melted and is fully incorporated into the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings. If needed, sprinkle the Thick-It-Up (or xanthan gum) into the soup while whisking continuously until the desired thickness is reached.

3. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, garnish with the reserved grated cheese and serve immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is best reheated in the microwave or heated very gently in a heavy saucepan over low heat while stirring often. Do not freeze.

Nutritional Information per cup: 305 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate (1.8 g dietary fiber, 1.9 g sugars), 30.9 g total fat (19.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 105 mg cholesterol, 651 mg sodium, 323.9 mg calcium, 217 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 2888 mg Vit A, 41 mg Vit C, 13.1 g protein. Net carbs per cup: 5.5 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
Adapted from a recipe on averiecooks.com
All Rights Reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mini Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting

Mini Spice Cake
I have a set of adorable 4-inch springform pans, which are the perfect size for making mini desserts. When I want a little something sweet, but don't want an entire cake calling my name every time I walk through the kitchen, I reach for my mini pans. Four small servings, just enough for my small family, and the craving is satisfied and the temptation is gone. This particular cake was inspired by my husband's Aunt Margie. She made a spice cake with penuche frosting that he remembers fondly. Penuche is a brown sugar fudge similar in taste to pralines and is a southern favorite. Of course, brown sugar was not an option for me, so I recreated the flavor of her beloved frosting using low carb ingredients that passes the husband taste test! The addition of caramel flavoring gives the frosting a richer, more authentic flavor and tones down the peanut butter a bit, but it's just as delicious without it. I think you'll agree that this flavor combination of warm spices and caramel is a perfect fall treat.

Mini Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting (Low Carb, Gluten Free)
Makes 1 mini cake (4 servings)

Cake Ingredients:

5 tablespoons almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Golden LaKanto Monkfruit Sweetener (or other erythritol sweetener)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream or almond milk

Frosting Ingredients:

2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons peanut butter, no sugar added
2 tablespoons powdered erythritol (I used Swerve Confectioners)
4 drops English Toffee stevia (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 drops caramel flavoring or extract, optional (I used Capella brand, see photo below)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 4-inch springform pans or ramekins well; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, whey protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, spices and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and erythritol. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on high until well combined. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and beat well. Add 1 tablespoon of cream (or almond milk) and beat again. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and cream, beating well between each addition until a smooth batter is formed. Divide the batter equally between the two prepared pans and level out.

3. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges and remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

4. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, peanut butter and butter. Add the powdered sweetener, stevia drops, vanilla extract and caramel flavoring (if using) and beat until well combined. Add the whipping cream one tablespoon at a time, whipping after each addition, until fluffy and a spreadable consistency is reached.

5. Assemble the cake by placing one layer on a serving plate and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top and spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides. Chill the cake for about 30 minutes to set the frosting before serving. 

Caramel Flavoring
Nutritional Information per serving (1/4 cake): 311 calories, 7.9 g carbohydrates (2.1 g dietary fiber, 1.4 g sugars, 6.8 g sugar alcohols), 28.5 g total fat (14 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 107 mg cholesterol, 167 mg sodium, 103.5 mg calcium, 42 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 711 mg Vit A, 7.7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.8 grams

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

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 bunsinmyoven.com

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 ibreatheimhungry.com

Rainbow Chili by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta. Recipe by Gina Homolka from skinnytaste.com

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 ketosizeme.com

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse. Recipe by Brenda from sugarfreemom.com

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

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Recipe by Diabetic Living from diabeticlivingonline.com

Bulletproof Pumpkin Misto. Recipe by Kathy from Diabetics Rejoice blog

Low Carb Apple Fritters
Low Carb Apple Fritters from forestandfauna.com


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mini Banana Pie Chia Pudding Parfait

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.

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.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Triple Butter Caramel Pecan Fat Bombs

Triple Butter Caramel Pecan Fat Bomb
On my low carb/high healthy fat (LCHF) Keto diet, Fat Bombs offer me a quick energy boost or even can replace a meal without raising my insulin levels if I'm in a hurry to get out the door. Also, they're great on a day when I'm intermittent fasting, but I need a little something to keep going. If I experience that afternoon slump about 3:00 PM, just one fat bomb wakes me up and provides instant energy without caffeine! I always have a batch of Fat Bombs in my refrigerator. They are delicious, have so many uses and are my secret weapon to reduce cravings and keep me on track!

Triple Butter Caramel Pecan Fat Bombs
Makes 10 servings

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa butter
3 tablespoons nut butter of choice (I used peanut butter)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon Caramel Sweet Drops, or 8-10 drops English Toffee liquid stevia to taste
10 pecan halves

1. Melt coconut oil, butter, cocoa butter and nut butter together in a small saucepan until melted or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.

2. Add in the vanilla extract and liquid stevia and whisk until combined. Divide equally between ten mini-size silicone muffin liners and place in the freezer for a few minutes or the refrigerator for about 15 minutes until just beginning to set.

3. Remove and place one pecan half on the top of each fat bomb. Return to the freezer or refrigerator and chill until completely set. These fat bombs must be stored in the refrigerator until just prior to serving because they can melt quickly.

Nutritional Information per fat bomb: 109 calories, 1.1 g carbohydrate (0.4 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 11.4 g total fat (5.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 8 mg sodium, 1.7 mg calcium, 7 mg potassium, 72 mg Vit A, 1.2 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 0.7 g

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Miracle-In-a-Minute Low Carb Bread (or Hamburger Bun)

 
I finally did it! I made the easiest and best gluten free, low carb bread I've ever tasted. It fits all the requirements for a Low Carb/High Fat, Keto, Diabetic or Paleo lifestyle. This definitely will be my go-to sandwich bread or hamburger bun recipe from now on. It's based on "magical microwave bread" recipes that have been floating around the internet for a while, but I've taken it to the next level and perfected it by adding psyllium husk powder to the batter. This simple addition turns the often spongy, too soft miracle bread into one with real bread-like taste and texture. The miraculous part is that it cooks up in the microwave in about 1 minute. I like to toast this bread after cooking to create a nice golden crust. To me, toasting further improves the real bread texture. AH! After 4 years, to be able to have a slice of fresh bread that is gluten-free and tastes really, really good with so little effort...this may be my winning recipe of all time!

Miracle-In-A-Minute Low Carb Bread (or Hamburger Bun)
Makes 1 slice or 1 hamburger bun (1 serving)

3 tablespoons almond flour
A pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder (I used NOW Foods brand)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted) or olive oil
1 large egg

1. Grease a 5" by 5" square glass microwaveable dish with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.  In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, salt, psyllium husk powder and baking powder. Add the melted butter and egg and whisk vigorously until well combined. Quickly pour the batter into the greased dish. Spread out evenly and to the edges.

2. Microwave on high for about 60 seconds until the top of the bread feels firm and dry to the touch. If additional cooking time is needed, microwave for another 15 seconds.

3. Cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then remove the bread to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the bread is cooled, you can eat it, toast it or use as you would a normal piece of bread.* This recipe makes 1 slice of bread. (If you use a baking dish of smaller dimensions, the bread will be thick enough to cut into two slices.)

 Low Carb Hamburger Bun
Variations: 

To make a hamburger bun, follow the directions for making the batter and pour into a greased, small, round glass dish (choose a dish that is the dimensions you wish for your bun). If desired, sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. Microwave as directed, although you may have to increase the cooking time to about 90 seconds or until the top feels dry and firm to the touch. Once cooled, cut the bun in half and toast before serving, if desired.

Flavors! You can add herbs or spices to flavor your bread. For example, to make a focaccia or Italian-style bread, use olive oil in place of butter and sprinkle rosemary or Italian seasoning on top of the bread before cooking (or incorporate the herbs into the batter). Dip into olive oil dusted with freshly-ground black pepper and enjoy. To make cinnamon bread, add 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and vanilla extract and 1/8 teaspoon of stevia powder to the batter and sprinkle the top of the bread with additional cinnamon before cooking. Use your imagination!

*Bread can be cut into cubes and toasted to make croutons. Or make gluten-free breadcrumbs by placing bread cubes into a food processor and pulse until the crumbs achieve the consistency you desire.

Nutritional Information per serving (1 recipe): 352 calories, 7.9 g carbohydrate (4.4 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars), 31.8 g total fat (12.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 246 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 208.1 mg calcium, 222 mg potassium, 2 mg iron, 270 mg Vit A, 10.8 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, April 30, 2017

Low Carb Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 
Sometimes you need a little something sweet, but don't want an entire jar full of cookies calling your name every time you walk through the kitchen. This recipe makes two good-size cookies and was inspired by a jumbo chocolate chip cookie from the Cafe Delites website (click here to view that recipe), but I wanted a sugar free version that tastes great and fits into my low carb, ketogenic lifestyle. You won't believe how amazing this cookie is! You'll never believe it's gluten free, very low in sugar (the chips add a tiny bit) and low carb. I've provided both a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe and a plain chocolate chip version, and both variations are delicious. (Any nut butter can be substituted for the peanut butter.) Warm out of the oven, they have the taste and texture of fresh bakery cookies! This has become my favorite low carb cookie recipe and, no doubt, it will become your favorite, too.

Low Carb Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 cookies (2 servings)

2 teaspoons butter, melted (use ghee or coconut oil for dairy free)
1 tablespoon creamy or chunky peanut butter, no sugar added (melted)
1 tablespoon beaten egg
2 teaspoons erythritol sweetener (I use LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons mini dark chocolate chips (70% or higher)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit (176 degree Celsius). In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter), 1 tablespoon beaten egg, sweetener, stevia, baking powder, a pinch of salt and vanilla. Whisk with a fork until well combined.

2. Add in the almond flour and chocolate chips, mixing until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into two equal portions, place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten each into a circle about 1/2" thick (I used the bottom of a glass). 

3. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the cookie is set. (If you like a soft and chewy cookie, bake for 15 minutes.) Remove from oven and allow to sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool for about 10 minutes and serve.

Nutritional Information per cookie: 190 calories, 8.7 g carbohydrate (2.2 g dietary fiber, 2.4 g sugars, 4 g sugar alcohols), 16.4 g total fat (4.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 61.1 mg calcium, 112 mg potassium, 140 mg Vit A, 1 mg iron, 5.8 g protein.  Net carbs per cookie: 6.5 grams

 
Plain Chocolate Chip Cookie Variation: Increase butter to 1 tablespoon, omit peanut butter, reduce beaten egg to 2 teaspoons, increase vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon and increase almond flour to 1/3 cup. Follow directions as above.  Nutritional Information per cookie: 170 calories, 7.9 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 15.5 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 4.2 g protein.  Net carbs: 5.9 grams

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.