Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Coconut Flour, two ways

Lemon cupcakes today!!! I used coconut flour and I made them two ways. Chocolate coated for the lowest carb count, which can be made GFCF; and one with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. You can combine them both if you like a lemon cupcake with a chocolate layer, just be sure you put the cupcake in the fridge to harden the chocolate before you frost it. My recipe makes SIX, but can be easily doubled.

I used agave for the frosting... all I can say is, better than sugar. I cannot find another way to make edible frosting. I think agave is ok in small amounts, but basically I would say, eat the chocolate topped one and give the kids the frosted ones!! This frosting is REALLY sweet with 4 Tablespoons so you can reduce the agave to 2 if you like.. I made them that way because that is what people really seem to like in a cupcake.

NET CARB COUNTS: Add them up however you are making them: 1 plain cupcake using butter/cream: 1.8 carbs. Chocolate topping using Green & Black's 85% bar: 2.25 each cupcake. Lemon Frosting using 2 TBLS agave: 5.8 each cupcake. So, a cupcake with just chocolate is 4g, and a cupcake with less-agave-lemon frosting is 7.6 .. and all three is 9.85.
More-agave-lemon frosting: 11g per cupcake
GFCF version (coconut oil/coconut milk) with chocolate: 4.9 carbs each

DOUBLING TIP: make sure you write out all the doubling measures out to the side on your recipe page or you can easily mess it up. Same thing goes ESPECIALLY if you half a recipe. Make sure you read this through before you start, as some actions may require time sensitive actions (the chocolate).

Coconut flour cupcake TIP: Do not use cupcake papers with these, because it is impossible to grease them enough and you will lose most of the cupcake in the paper.

Important UPDATE: Tip for getting these cupcakes out of the muffin tin in one piece: Cut out parchment paper circles for bottom of cupcakes, and be sure to butter/oil them.  Then when cupcakes are cool, run the back of a butter knife around each cupcake and then try to lift them out with the parchment paper attached.  Coco flour cupcakes stick a LOT.  They also stick badly to cupcake papers, which are impossible to butter well.  I haven't tried foil cupcake liners, mainly because I don't think it's that healthy to bake with foil, but let me know if you try that, that might work better.

Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes with Coconut Flour
makes 6

3 fresh eggs, cold, separated
3 Tablespoons melted & cooled organic butter or high quality coconut oil

2 Tablespoons organic cream or coconut milk
Tablespoons Erythritol
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon of grated organic lemon rind - approx. one small lemon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon good quality stevia, measured exactly, sharp knif
e! --->
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Whip egg whites in a clean and dry metal (glass 2nd choice) bowl until stiff
peaks form.
Place in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400˚F. In another bowl, blend together butter (coconut oil), egg yolks, cream (coconut milk), erythritol, lemon rind, salt, and lemon extract. Sift together coconut flour, stevia, and baking powder (you can sift it right into the batter if you remove the blender whisks) and add to mixture. Whisk until there are no lumps. Fold egg whites using this method. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or butter very well. Fill muffin tins almost to the top. Bake for 12- 15 minutes until set and a little golden brown on top. Remove from oven, and use the back of a butter knife (as in backwards) to loosen the cakes from the baking pan. Run the knife around the edge of the cupcake and try to get underneath it too (these really stick!) to really loosen it. Take them out to cool on a baking rack or on a plate if you are topping with chocolate.

GFCF Low Carb Chocolate Topping
Half of Green & Black's (or Lindt is low carb too) 85% chocolate bar (or a little less)

Chop the chocolate coarsely. As soon as the cupcakes are out, place on a plate and put the chopped chocolate on top. Let it melt a bit, then spread. Let it cool.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2.5 Tablespoons softened organic butter (7.5 teaspoons)
3 ounces of softened organic cream cheese
2 - 4 Tablespoons agave nectar (4 is really sweet, so go to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons organic lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon organic lemon rind, about half a small lemon

Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together agave, lemon juice and rind. Pour the liquid mixture into the cream cheese mixture while beating on high. Frost your cupcakes when they are cool!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

This is a YUMMY version of apple crisp that I made for a party. I am going to give you two choices with both the filling and the topping. One is lowish carb, if you are, say, bringing this to a party or Diabetic. And the other is if you really want to keep your carb count very low (Version 2). Sorry, I did not add up the carb counts but it should be easy to do (please post!)... I am very low on time lately! The second version of topping is just to use coconut instead of oats. I did a mix for myself - the lowest carb filling but I used oats on top, and it was gooooood. :)
By the way, I did not use any kind of cooking apples for this. We had too many apples, so I made apple crisp. No big deal. I used pink lady and gala.
Also- if you use oats, MAKE SURE they are LABELED gluten free, because if not, they are not!
My picture here is of an individual one I made later... the big one was consumed before people started asking me the recipe...
UPDATE: When I say 4-5 medium sized apples, that can be 8-9 small ones (I used granny smith once and they were small) - or just anywhere between 4-6 cups - loosely measured after slicing.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Filling version one:
4 -5 medium sized apples; peeled, cored, and cut into about 3" chunks
2 Tablespoons of melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch
1 Tablespoon Almond Flour or nut flour

Stir until mixed. Cover and cook over low to medium heat until apples are soft, stirring occasionally (15-30 min depending).  The sauce will thicken.  Pour into a medium sized baking dish.  I used a 8" deep round pottery dish but you could use a rectangular baking dish easily.

Filling version two:
4 -5 medium sized apples; peeled, cored, and cut into about 3" chunks
3 Tablespoons of melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon stevia extract
2 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1 Tablespoon Erythritol
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon arrowroot starch
1 Tablespoon Almond Flour or nut flour

Stir until mixed. Cover and cook over low to medium heat until apples are soft, stirring occasionally (15-30 min depending).  The sauce will thicken.  Pour into a medium sized baking dish.  I used a 8" deep round pottery dish but you could use a rectangular baking dish easily.

3/4 cup nut flour or chopped nuts (I used almonds)
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
3/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/3 cup of gluten free oats OR 1/3 cup grated or flaked coconut
dash of salt

Mix dry ingredients together, and stir well.  Add melted butter and stir until clumpy. Layer on top of filling. You may want to crumble it with your hands.  Bake at 375˚ until top is browned and filling is bubbly about 35 minutes. Enjoy!!

We ate ours with an agave-sweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk ice cream called "Purely Decadent" , which was very good, but takes a long time to defrost, beware!! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

Since I haven't had time to post lately- thought I'd tell you about the Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte recipe in The Cake Bible. My sister, Luci, who is also Gluten Free, made it for me for my birthday, and it was INCREDIBLE. And, the only sugar in it is in the bittersweet Chocolate, not bad. She uses Lindt's Bittersweet bars for hers.

Here's a link to another Blog which has the recipe: 101 Cookbooks

She makes this with the raspberry topping, and strains out all the seeds, and uses very little sugar. You can easily substitute that yourself with any kind of sweetener on hand. Let me know how it turns out!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Butternut Squash on a low-carb diet??

Hi All! I know most of you probably already know how to cook a butternut squash (just in case.. recipe follows). But the point of this post is options/ideas and portion control. And, can one EAT butternut squash (oh so healthy and delicious) on a low carb diet? I believe you can, once you are maintaining (maybe not at the beginning) if you use portion control and eat with a low carb meal.

Butternut squash is so delicious, and is one thing I usually eat when my Hubby has to have potatoes (all the low carb/gluten free cooking doesn't bother him, but he misses his potatoes! Must be the Irish in him). It's inexpensive, and easy to cook. Really what you have to watch out for is portions. One cup of butternut squash weighs in at 18.4 net carbs. I suggest 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup as a side dish of a low carb meal.

From It is a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. Yellow/Orange foods are a great source of anti-oxidants too. I looked up the G.I. and it came in at 75, which worried me a little until I read this, and I agree:

Have you done a GI study on winter squashes (pumpkins) such as hubbard, acorn, butternut etc? There’s only been one published result for winter squash (it is listed as pumpkin) and it had a high GI (75). The actual variety tested isn’t given. But a typical serving of say 80 grams cooked winter squash is only going to have around 5–6 grams of carbohydrate, so the glycemic load will be quite low. That’s why we classify these healthy vegetables like winter squash and swedes etc. as ‘everyday caution with portion foods’ as we want people to eat plenty of vegetables (at least five servings a day) on a low GI diet. It’s only the starchy, carb-rich potato with a high GI that we suggest people cut back on.

So, decide for yourself. This squash I had looks to be a normal size (they were all about the same at the market). I didn't slice it in half evenly, so when I measured the bigger half, it was more than 1/2 cup. Please measure your at least once so you can learn to eyeball how many carbs are in a portion. I ate this with a small stuffed pepper (recipe will be in my cookbook!), and green beans. Really, I couldn't even eat my 1/2 cup. So try 1/4 cup!

Roasted Butternut Squash

one butternut squash
2 Tablespoons of butter, or olive oil
sea salt
optional: sprinkle of cinnamon & nutmeg

Slice your squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out with a spoon the seeds and strings. Place both halves in a baking dish (now you get to see what we call "the bucket" around here, in the photo!) face down with 1/4" water and pin prick a few holes with fork all over.

Bake at 375˚ for about 20 minutes or until soft. Flip the squash halves over in the dish. Make sure there is still 1/4" of water, you will probably have to add more. Put a tablespoon of butter or oil on each half. I usually put it in the hole where the seeds where, then use a pastry brush to brush a little over the rest after it melts a little. Sprinkle a little sea salt and bake again for about 5- 10 minutes. At this point you can measure out your portion. If you wish, you may sprinkle cinnamon (one little sprinkle) and nutmeg (hardly a sprinkle!) and mix in. I don't do this very often, but sometimes it's nice.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dinner in a Bucket

Ok, so this is one of those days- you get home late, it's time to make dinner and you have no time! What do you do? Can't order pizza because you are GLUTEN FREE, and you don't want to eat a bunch of carbs and mess up your insulin levels. Ordering out, if you are a celiac, is a minefield.. and if you are, say, a household of 5, very expensive! So, this is what I call Dinner in a Bucket. Now, we are only two people, so increase accordingly.

So here it is. Preheat the oven to 400˚ - 425˚, grab a casserole dish or bread pan (what I usually use, hence the bucket term) - whatever size fits your household... and layer it like so:

1st layer- chopped onions (can be loosely chopped like in rings) and sliced garlic
2nd- a green vegetable
3rd- a quick cook meat like chicken breasts, precooked sausage or sausage quickly broiled/browned and sliced down the middle to increase cooking time, or cubed beef. (If cooking boneless chicken, you might want to reduce to 375˚ and cook a little longer).

Now sprinkle liberally with s&p and pour some olive oil (or organic bacon grease) to coat everything.

Optional: throw some small halved tomatoes on top, and favorite spices (oregano?)...

Toss it around a bit to ensure everything is touching oil about halfway through. And.. cook until meat is done.

This is quick and delicious. The secret is the oil... but if you are low-carb, you already know that healthy fats (mono-unsaturated, organic pastured saturated lard or tropical virgin saturated oil) are good for you!!

Ours is broccolini and andouille chicken sausage - with garlic powder and chili flakes, at 425˚ for 20 minutes. If you can cook longer, do so, the onions get better and better..