Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gluten Free Low Carb Chocolate Mousse Pie

I forgot to put chocolate curls on this pie 

I love Chocolate Mousse Pie. It's so easy and tasty. And VERY easy to make low carb. Here's a version with stevia and a little honey. Make sure to use good tasting stevia powder and carefully measure. Scoop into the measuring spoon and use a knife to make it perfectly even on top, because just a little too much is too much. If you'd rather use all stevia, you can. It tastes better though to mix it. You should definitely use high quality eggs for this since it calls for raw eggs.

So, make the crust and melt the chocolate first and let them cool together before making the rest. Read the whole recipe before starting! And, Happy Holidays!!!

I brought this pie to my brother's house on Christmas Day, and it was gone in seconds. No one even noticed it was low carb and gluten free!! Even the kids came back for seconds and thirds! I was proud of myself! The whipped cream topping held its shape nicely for quite a few hours, I was impressed.

GFCF peops: you could try subbing virgin coconut oil for butter (if you put your oil melted in a glass bowl, put in freezer for a few minutes so that it just starts to harden, then take it out and whip it up, you can get some extra volume) and adding .. maybe a 1/4 cup of coconut cream at the end of mixing the ingredients... then topping with a little flaked coconut?? Let me know if that works ;) Then it will be sort of a chocolate coconut cream pie.

2011 UPDATE: I made this with a stevia that had a measurement of 1/4 teaspoon = 1/2 cup sugar.  So if you use NuNaturals brand, you want to up the stevia- NuNaturals' measurement is 1/2 teaspoon = 1/2 cup sugar.

Chocolate Silk Pie, gluten free and low carb
2 Tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
¼ tsp stevia powder - exact measure
2 Tablespoons  honey
1 c. nut flour (does not need to be blanched)- I used hazelnut
¼ c. organic butter, cut into slices, and slightly softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (why not?)

Grease pie pan with butter and set aside. Put all ingredients in food processor and process on low until well mixed. Press into bottom of a pie pan. This is messy. You will probably have to use your hands. But make sure it’s not too thick.

You want your crust to be thin, so take some out if you have to. Poke a few small holes with a toothpick or fork around the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, and cool completely on wire rack.

3.5 bar 85% chocolate like Lindt or Green & Black's organic (preferred)
3/4 cup (12 TBLS/1.5 sticks) organic butter, like Kerrigold, softened
1/2 teaspoon stevia - exactly measured
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 organic pastured eggs

Break off a few squares of chocolate to save until later, about a .5 ounce worth (this will be for grated chocolate on top of pie). Melt the rest in a double boiler over barely simmering water and the burner off. Remove and cool.

In a clean bowl, mix butter until fluffy, add stevia and mix well. Blend in cooled chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on HIGH for at least a minute after each addition. Beat until fluffy. Pour into cooled pie shell. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Topping - do before serving, or as close as possible
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a little stevia or honey, to taste
reserved chocolate (see above)

Whip cream on high with a mixer. Add stevia and vanilla when almost fully whipped. When whip cream until soft peaks form. You can do it a little longer, as long as you are careful - too much whipping will turn it to butter. Now, you can do a few things here. You can artfully put this cream in a pastry bag with a star tip and make little dollops all around the pie, and then top with chocolate curls. Or, you can make a thin layer of whipped cream on top of your pie (or thicker, just double topping recipe) and top with chocolate curls or shavings. OR you can use a Tablespoon and dollop little whip cream rounds in a pattern on top and then shave chocolate in any fashion on top.

Shave chocolate: It will melt in your hands, do it quickly. You can put chocolate in freezer or refrigerator before shaving to make it easier and put a paper towel between your hand and the chocolate. Use a knife to shave against the side to make short shavings, or use a cheese grater to make grated chocolate. Or get fancy (not my style! too much to do!) and go here.

Keep this pie in the fridge!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil

As you all know, I am a huge fan of Virgin Coconut Oil. It is the only source besides human breast milk of such a high concentration of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). What does that mean? MCFA's are processed directly in the liver and converted to energy. Of course, most of you who read this blog know all about the benefits of saturated fat, as I've bombarded you with book recommendations and links. All the bad rap you have heard about tropical oils actually is all about partially hydrogenated oils.. which of course we should avoid like the plague. Studies say that consuming VCO can increase your metabolism and is very helpful for hypothyroidism. It is, of course, free of trans fats, and a fantastic oil to cook with as well.

Well, the important rule when buying Virgin Coconut Oil is that it is made very naturally. The only brand I use is Tropical Traditions Gold Label. It's very naturally made, using old fashioned methods. It is raw, and it is pure white, creamy, and tastes delicious. There are many coconut oils on the market that just take dessicated coconut and make an oil from it and you can tell which ones these are because the oil will be slightly off white, or even yellow. To make sure you are getting the best benefits from the healthiest coconut oil, you should really research the brand. Tropical Traditions sells coconut oil made by many different healthy methods. I also buy their expeller-pressed coconut oil for frying because it is naturally expeller pressed.

Since coconut is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial (go here for more), I also use it for all other kinds of things- I put it in my netti pot saline solution when I'm sick, I use it on my skin religiously... I eat it when I am worried I am getting a little sick... this is no end to good uses of a good quality coconut oil.

Lucky for me, Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample for reviewing their product, although I was going to mention it anyway.. it really is good stuff. If you don't know about Virgin Coconut Oil, or you still have reservations, please do some Google searches and inform yourself. Or read one of Bruce Fife's books which are impartial (he doesn't own stock in any coconut oil companies) and incredible. It's amazing what he talks about in this book, and it really talks about the dangers of poly-unsaturated oils. I never use any poly-unsaturated oils. After reading this book, I use only EV olive oil, virgin or high quality expeller pressed (Tropical Traditions is the only company I trust for that) coconut oil, organic lard or butter in my cooking (TT's Palm Oil is good too).

And, oh look, they provided me with a little deal for you. If you place a first time order with them and use the referral instructions HERE, you can receive a free book about how Virgin Coconut Oil has changed people's lives.

OK this is totally sounding like a commercial! Seriously, I am telling you the truth, I love this oil. And I am more than happy to make more people aware of this oil and to get a free sample (because it is a little expensive!). So go here for the nuts and bolts of the referral. And THROW AWAY YOUR CANOLA OIL! xo

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.

PS TT's blog is announcing.. they are selling a pint of this Gold Label VCO for only $1, if you order before Sunday night, 12/20. That's a really great deal!!

UPDATE**: This is old but you can order a quart and help my website by going to THIS referral link!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints or Cherry-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

These cookies are perfect for a holiday party .. if you are like me, you want to bring something gluten free and not bad for you... but... not everyone enjoys a cookie that's really low on sweetness. Here is a compromise. These two cookies are gluten free, of course.. and they contain agave nectar which is low G.I., with some fruit juice sweetened preserves and low carb chocolate they are sweet enough to pass with the usual high sugar-carb-gluten goodies at a party and you'll have something to snack on with minimal guilt. That will keep you from cheating on high sugar treats (or wanting to anyway)! So these are the kind of cookies that are almost a cheat- not that low carb, so go easy!

This recipe is adapted from
Elana Pantry's Butter Cookies. I just made it a little easier.. and sweeter. You can, of course, substitute a different kind of preserves (like raspberry), I just happen to love cherries!

If you are making the sandwich cookies, warning that they will get soft with the preserves... so you can cook these cookies longer to get them a little harder and assemble them right before leaving for the party, or before serving. They are still good when soft, very good! So, however you want the

Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints / Cherry-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup organic high quality butter, cut into pieces

¼ cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Organic cherry preserves sweetened only with fruit juice

a few squares of chocolate - about 1.5 ounces worth

parchment paper

In a food processor, place almond flour and salt and pulse briefly. Add butter, agave nectar, and vanilla and pulse until ingredients are well blended. Separate dough in 2 balls. Place each ball on a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a log. Wrap the parchment paper around each one and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit on your cookie sheet. Take one log of dough out to work with at a time, as it will get to room temperature quickly. Make a thin slice of cookie dough, roll into a ball and then flatten into a circle with the palm of your hand (for sandwich cookies) or press your thumb into the ball to make an indention (for thumbprint) onto parchment paper/cookie sheet.

Use your own judgement, but you will want these cookies on the small side.. and try to make the sandwich cookies all roughly about the same size. For soft cookies, bake for 5-7 minutes until edges turn golden brown (just a little, or just in spots is okay too). Or bake a little longer until golden brown all over to make them a little harder.

When done, you can lift the edges of the parchment paper carefully and place paper and cookies directly on a cooling rack, or onto a surface away from warm oven to cool.

For Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies:

Melt chocolate in a double boiler (read here if you don't have one) or in microwave. Mix with equal amount of cherry preserves in a small bowl. With a small spoon, scoop mixture into the hollow part of the thumbprint cookies.

For Cherry-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

Spread cherry preserves on the flat bottom part of one cookie and place the flat bottom part of another on top to make a sandwich cookie. Yes, it's that easy. Just wait until they are cooled. If you are now realizing you make them too big, you can do what I did. Just slice them in half with a sharp knife. These tend to get soft so assemble last minute.

Make both and enjoy your holiday! Happy Holidays!!!