Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Simple Lemon Cookies for Santa! Low-Carb & made with coconut flour.

I have been wanting to try some coconut flour cookies for a while.. and these turned out pretty good!  These Lemon Cookies are adapted from a recipe in Bruce Fife's Cooking with Coconut Flour, one of my favorite cookbooks.
I did like them much better after they cooled. This recipe is easy to half, as well, if you just want to make a few. I hope you enjoy these!  I am looking forward to getting more creative with some coconut flour cookie recipes in the future, but thought these simple little treats would be just right for your low-carb Santa!  I hope you all have a great holiday.

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Simple Coconut Flour Lemon Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen. Carbs: 0.9 (effective) each, 22.2 ECC whole batch.

4 eggs
1/2 cup erythritol
1/4 teaspoon of powdered Stevia, or 1/2 teaspoon of NuNaturals Brand
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil
3/4 cup sifted coconut flour
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C).  Combine erythritol, stevia powder, lemon extract, salt, and butter, and mix well.  Add eggs one at a time, and beat after each addition.  Stir in sifted coconut flour.  Let batter rest about 5 minutes to thicken it slightly.  Drop batter in spoon sized mounds 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Smash with fingers a bit to flatten each one.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chuck Roast, slow-cooked, grass-fed, low-carb & gluten-free!

Chuck Roast, slow-cooked, grass-fed, low-carb & gluten-free!  What more could you ask for? Oh, don't worry, it's also easy.  Recently, we bought a 1/4 of a cow from a local grass-fed farm.  It filled our freezer promisingly... but we made quick work of it.  Some of the cuts I had no idea what to do with.  The Chuck Roast was one of them.  Cooking grass-fed beef is a bit more of a challenge since grass-fed beef is leaner than the corn-fed beef that we Americans are used to.  So, when you look for a recipe for grass-fed meat, you do have to keep that in mind.  Slow cooking grass-fed beef is the best option, because it can get tough with all that lack of fat.  This recipe makes almost a soup. You can strain the meat and veggies out of it with a slatted spoon and serve with just a little broth on top, or serve it like a soup.

This recipe is based on this one on, but with my own low-carb and delicious additions.  I hope you enjoy it!  It's fairly simple, the only time you'll really spend is cutting veggies.  I managed to get this done with a sick baby and husband.

A few notes:  If you don't have beef broth, but you have a beef bone, you can put a cup and a half of water and your bone in the slow cooker and turn it on high while you do the chopping, etc.  Then, turn it down and just leave it in there a while longer after you throw everything else in.  If you buy your beef broth, check and make sure it is gluten free!!

If you are just appalled by my use of carrots- I only use two! You can leave them out.  I figured it was still pretty low-carb with only 2... it adds 4 net carbs to the whole pot.

Start this VERY early for dinner or just start it any time and eat it tomorrow - that's usually what happens at my house!  Safer that way, sometimes it does take more than 12 hours.  I usually start a slow cooking recipe Saturday afternoon and eat it for Sunday lunch or dinner.

PS I have no idea what size my chuck roast was, please forgive me.  It was BIG! So don't worry if your roast is a little bigger or smaller.

Chuck Roast, slow-cooked, grass-fed, low-carb & gluten-free! 
makes 4 - 6 servings 

 1 (3 - 4 lb) chuck roast, grass-fed is best!
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, palm oil, or lard (for high heat)
1 - 2 large carrots, thickly chopped (optional)
1 cup of gluten-free beef broth or 1.5 cups water and a beef bone

1/2 cup red wine
14.5 oz can of organic diced tomatoes (or half of the big can)- Muir Glen Organic is best, they do not use BPA in the can lining. 
1 cup chopped celery
2 large garlic cloves or 4 small, sliced thin-ish
8 ounces pearl onions, peeled or 1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces button or small mushrooms, cleaned and sliced in 1/2 or 1/3rds, depending on size
1 handful of broccoli florets (I used the head of one large stalk)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

If you are using water + beef bone, put that in your cooker on high right now.

Wash and pat dry your roast.  Determine if it fits in your slow cooker.  If not, cut it in half.  In a small dish, mix salt and pepper - start with about 2 teaspoons of each if you are not sure how much to use.  Rub the roast(s) all over with the mixture.

In a large cast iron skillet, melt and heat the oil.  Make sure there is enough oil to cover entire skillet.  When it is hot, but not smoking, add roast(s) and turn heat up.  Brown each side, including the sides, not just top and bottom.  How?  Let sit a few minutes, then turn with tongs or spatula(s).

If you are not already making stock with a bone in that cooker, pour your pre-made broth in.  Add wine and tomatoes.  Place your roast(s) in - side by side if 2 - and then add everything but the broccoli and mushrooms.

Cook on low, until the meat is tender.  I had to cook mine for 14 hours, but most likely yours will be done in 12. Add mushrooms and broccoli at about 10-12 hours in, so they won't cook down to nothing.  When meat is tender, shred the meat by taking it out and shredding it with 2 forks.  Add back to the pot, and serve.

Two ways to serve: You can take all the meat and vegetables out with a slotted spoon, then pour just a little of the broth on top like a thin gravy OR serve like a soup.  The broth mixture is divine.

salt- celery 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Take the xylitol poll

Hi Folks! I want to hear from you.. come over to Facebook and take the poll on whether or not you are still interested in recipes that have xylitol in them, after reading this blog post by Crunchy Betty.  If you don't do Facebook, then please comment here.

UPDATE: Seems to be a BIG difference on brands.  Now I think I know why some people report stomach problems with just a tiny bit of xylitol.  Turns out, cheap brands can do that.  Dragon Herbs Xylitol and The Ultimate Life Sweetener Xylitol are both reported to be high quality birch sugar brands.  Yay!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gluten Free Lower Carb Vanilla One Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting

This is a little cake I made yesterday for my honey and our 7 year anniversary.  I made the cake low-carb and used lower g.i. coconut sugar for a real tasting frosting.  You can grind the sugar in the coffee grinder.  I didn't clean it out perfectly first- a little mocha flavor was a plus!  So - yes, this is a quick and dirty cake.  You can use coconut sugar in place of the erythritol as well- or even do half and half.  I've done all versions of this vanilla cake myself.  You could use erythritol for the icing and grind it the same way but I think it will taste weirdly cool, so it's your call. 
I used an 8 inch heart shaped pan- didn't get a pic of the whole cake but I think you could use any shaped pan sized 7" - 9".  Also, you can make this dairy free.  I used a high quality expeller pressed coconut oil for the frosting since I ran out of butter, and it was fantastic.  Why do I use expeller pressed? Because it has no coconut taste so it doesn't change your recipe.  Also, it's a bit cheaper than the virgin coconut oil. I buy mine from Tropical Traditions, where they use the old fashioned method for extracting the oil.  No chemicals. If you don't yet know the benefits of coconut oils, please go google-crazy on that topic and educate yourself.  It's the only oil I use besides grass-fed butter and lard from pastured animals.
I put effective carb counts for 10 servings, but we really got a lot more than that out of this cake.

Side note: I found that Icelandic brand Smjör butter is entirely grass-fed and a little cheaper than Kerrygold. Go get you some! Score!

TIP: Coconut cakes are more moist the second day and must be kept in the refrigerator or they will get so moist, they will mildew.

GF Low Carb Vanilla Cake, one-layer
18.9 ECC entire cake made with erythritol & milk, 1.9 carbs for 1/10 slice, 8.9 ECC with frosting (coco sugar)

6 TBLS Butter, melted and slightly cooled or or High Quality Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, semi melted or melted
6 eggs, separated
2 TBLS whole milk, half and half or coconut milk
½ cup erythritol or 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or mix of two
½ teaspoon NuNaturals stevia or  ¼ teaspoon of another brand
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
parchment paper

Line your 7"- 9" cake pan (if it is not silicone) with oiled or buttered parchment paper (oil both sides).  You can use a pen to mark where it touches the sides then cut it out to make it fit perfectly.   Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C).
Whip egg whites in a clean and dry bowl until soft peaks form, set aside.  In a separate bowl, whip butter or oil.  Then add the egg yolks, milk, erythritol or coco sugar, stevia, salt, and vanilla and blend.  
In a [gf] flour sifter, combine coconut flour and baking soda and sift into ingredients. Mix well to ensure no lumps. Beat in a 1/3rd of egg whites to soften the batter, then fold in rest.  Pour batter into prepared pan and  bake for 12 - 25 minutes, depending on the size of your pan, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool.

Chocolate Frosting with coconut sugar
makes enough to cover this cake. carbs with half & half =  7 g carbs per slice (1/10 cake) but lower g.i. than sugar.
3 Tablespoons [grass-fed] butter, or expeller pressed coconut oil, soft
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
2 Tablespoons whole milk, half and half or coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
coffee grinder or nut grinder

Wipe out inside of grinder (a little coffee will taste good in the frosting, if you wish).  Pour 1/3 cup coco sugar and grind until powdered consistency.  Set aside.
Whip butter or oil until fluffy (if you are using the oil, you can harden it in the fridge a little before whipping).  Add rest of ingredients including powdered sugar and blend well.  Add more milk if it's too thick.  Spread on cooled cake. Store cake in refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gluten Free and low carb Raspberry and Cream Pie

This is my favorite pie.  It always gets rave reviews.  And it's very simple!  I used almost 2 pints of raspberries for the pie picture, because they were so big, but actually it was too many. So I recommend sticking to one pint.  If you cut this pie into 8ths, it will be 5.5 effective carb count for each slice, and for 16 slices, it will be 2.75 ECC per slice. By using just stevia, it becomes completely corn free (use Sweetleaf Stevia), and it is egg-free too, for those with sensitivities to eggs.

Raspberry and Cream Pie
8 servings = 5.5 ECC per slice; 16 servings = 2.75 ECC

Crust: chocolate crust is found here.  This is what I used.
regular crust found here.

1 (8 oz) package organic cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals brand stevia powder or 1/4 teaspoon Sweetleaf Stevia Powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 pint organic raspberries, small- medium sized

1/2 2.5 oz bar of Green & Black's 85% chocolate bar
1 Tablespoon high quality coconut oil or butter (I recommend coco oil)

Make the crust as instructed on bottom of a tart pan and cool completely - can refridgerate.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and stevia until fluffy.  Add almond extract and blend well.  Fold in whipped cream.  Spoon into cooled tart pan with crust.  Arrange raspberries stem side down. Refrigerate.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and oil/butter, stirring constantly until smooth.  Drizzle over raspberries and filling.  Put back in refrigerator. Serve after pie has set, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Strawberries and Cream GF/LC Pancakes

In my constant search for a topping for pancakes, I tried this.  Pretty yummy!  
This is just a simple whip cream and strawberry yogurt topping.  I think you'll like it!
For a pancake recipe, use this one: PANCAKE LINK.  The pancakes pictured are my ongoing trial for the perfect coconut flour pancakes.  They didn't make the cut!  But I loved the topping!  It's not very sweet, so bump up the sweet factor if you need to.

Strawberries and Cream Pancake Topping
serves two

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia or 1/8 teaspoon of another brand
5 medium fresh strawberries
1 Tablespoon Full Fat Greek Yogurt
hand mixer

Whip the cream and stevia together in a bowl with a mixer on high speed until it starts to thicken.  Add vanilla, then whip again until soft peaks form--> meaning when you turn off the mixer and lift it up.  Underneath the mixers you will have little whip cream peaks whose tops slightly turn down.  Set aside.  In a mini-chopper, blend strawberries and yogurt until well blended.  Serve

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quick Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Blueberry Pie

Hi Everyone!  I'm finally posting again.. thanks for hanging in there with me!  My Mom picked tons of beautiful blueberries when she was visiting her sister in NC and I have been cooking with them!  This is a quick recipe.. in retrospect, I should not have used such a big tart pan (10").  So, my picture is of this recipe stretched to a 10" pie pan, but I have written the recipe for an 8" pie pan.  This could also be made in a square, for Blueberry Bars.  This is my shortbread crust with a twist.
This can be made gluten and casein free by using coconut oil instead of butter.
According to this site, fresh blueberries have 16 effective carbs (ECC), and frozen has 14.  I did these Effective Carb Counts for fresh blueberries.


Quick Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Blueberry Pie
serves 8, carbs per servingwith fresh blueberries = 8.8 ECC

shortbread crust:

1 1/2 cups almond flour, I used Honeyville
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia powder (or 1/8 teaspoon Sweetleaf or other brand)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 Tablespoons organic butter, melted (or expeller-pressed coconut oil)
1/16 scant teaspoon cinnamon

Edges of crust slightly browned
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork.  Press into a 8" pan and bake 10 - 15 minutes until the edges are slightly brown. (Like this pic--->).While baking, you can make the filling.


3 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia or 1/8 teaspoon Sweetleaf or other brand
1/4 cup Erythritol
4 Tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Starch
1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour

Mix well cinnamon, stevia, erythritol, butter, arrowroot, and coconut flour together.  Add blueberries.  If your blueberries are frozen or your mixture clumps, put in a saucepan over low heat and mix gently until it is liquid (except the blueberries) and mixed well.  Pour into pie crust and return to oven for 10- 20 minutes or until set.
Serve warm with or without low carb ice cream.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Our bundle of joy

Our sweet Robert was born 5/11.  New posts as soon as recovered.  Also a big state move soon... but even while recovering, recipes are brewing in the back of my mind for you...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stevia Lemon-Lime Jell-O!

I've been wanting Jell-O, but didn't want the carbs or artificial sweetener.  So I thought I'd make my own low carb version.  This is a tart & sweet lemon-lime flavor that I use often to make lemonade.  This entire recipe is about 17 ECC (19 carbs without subtracting fiber) and probably serves about 6.  So that's about 2.8 ECC a serving, pretty good!  It's very refreshing.

Gelatin has been used since the time of ancient Eygpt, over 3000 years.  Pretty cool, huh?

Stevia Lemon-Lime Jell-O
6 servings, 2.83 ecc per serving

1 ounce unflavored gelatin (I used 4 packets/1 box of Knox)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed organic lime juice, chilled
1/2 cup fresh squeezed organic lemon juice, chilled
3 cups hot water
1 & 1/4 teaspoons NuNaturals powdered Stevia (or half as much of another brand- to taste)

Sprinkle gelatin over chilled lemon and lime juice in a bowl, let sit for one minute (you don't need to stir).  Add hot water and stir for a full 5 minutes, to make sure gelatin is completely dissolved.  Add stevia and stir well.  Pour into a 13 x 9 x 2" pan and refrigerate for 3 hours until firm.  Cut into cubes or serve!  Keep in fridge.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yummy Low Carb Snack with Celery and Bleu Cheese

I love low-carb snacks made with celery... they are crunchy, salty, and satisfying.  We bought some Raw Bleu D'Auvergne Cheese the other day, and found it really stinky, strong, and delicious.... but a little too strong, so we've been whipping it into dishes all week in ways we can handle its strong flavor.  If you use a regular blue cheese when you make this, you might want to pump up the flavor by using more blue cheese and less cream cheese.  That will also lower the carbs.

This is a perfect side dish with a packed lunch. This is for 2 servings.  It is easily halved, doubled, tripled, etc.  For your calculations, 1 ounce creamy cheese = 2 Tablespoons creamy cheese.

Also I have to tell you that the bulk of the carbs in this recipe are from cream cheese, which I have found conflicting reports of carb info.. ranging from zero carbs to 2 carbs per ounce.  I used the 2 carbs per ounce calculation.

Celery with Blue Cheese Spread
makes 2 servings, 6.5 ECC per serving

2 Tablespoons/1 ounce strong blue cheese, we used a raw Bleu D'Auvergne
4 ounces organic cream cheese
2 Tablespoons coarsely ground walnuts
1- 2 teaspoons pastured organic milk
4 medium sized stalks of organic celery, cleaned and both ends trimmed.

Place cheese, walnuts, and 1 teaspoon of milk in a food processor or mini-chopper (use food processor if doubling or tripling recipe).  Combine until well mixed.  Add more milk if mixture is too thick to combine.  When well mixed, spread on celery sticks and serve.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

GF Low Carb Peanut Butter Bread by 24/7 LCD

Mr Peanut Bread with pastured butter & eggs
OK, if you are missing all the fun on my Facebook page (join!, 24/7 Low Carb Diner posted this amazing Peanut Butter Bread.  And I'm in love with it.  It's cheaper than the almond butter bread I was making, it's lower carb, it's easier to make, and it's tastier.  Yes, it has a mild peanutty flavor, but I prefer that to a mild almond butter flavor.  I would imagine you could try any kind of nut butter in this recipe... let me know if you try cashew.. or hazelnut! yum.

It will make a small half loaf.  Use a regular loaf pan like a 9 x 5. is the link.  I made it without the optional sweetener and with apple cider vinegar (printed below).  Alo I added my directions to make it fluffier.  Yummy!!  So far I've had it: toasted with eggs, toasted with cream cheese and poppy seeds, made into sandwiches, LC cinnamon toast... endless possibilities!!

UPDATE: Made it with almond butter and with tahini (sesame seed paste) and it was also very very good!

Mr. Peanut Sandwich Bread
1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Mix peanut butter with a mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one,  Add in remaining ingredients and mix. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ginger Apricot Scones

1 scone with cream cheese and butter, cut in half
Ok folks, I know I am scone crazy lately, posting all variations... but these are yummy and don't even make me want jelly.  Yes, I admit to a extreme pregnancy jelly craving which forces me to make extreme low-carb vehicles for one small teaspoon of jelly.  But this one has a little apricot within, so that's not necessary.  The spiciness of the ginger and cinnamon are really nice in this as well.

I'm not sure if any of you are middle of the night snackers..  I never was until pregnancy (hopefully will not be after) but one of these with grass-fed butter, organic cream cheese and a small glass of grass-fed raw milk is the perfect super-tasty protein punch to put me blissfully back to sleep. The scone with cream cheese and butter will be only 1.9 effective carbs.  Well, the milk will have it's own carbs, but I believe in raw milk, despite the carbs- good protein, good flora pro-biotic, and good fats.

As always, I recommend a high quality blanched almond flour like Honeyville's, otherwise it might not turn out. And of course... if you don't use NuNatural's Stevia Powder, you'll have to start with half of what you've got and taste test- although I don't recommend any other brand except Sweetleaf is ok.  Most stevia powders are bitter.

UPDATE: This recipe is featured in the book Low Carbing Among Friends

GFree LC Ginger Apricot Scones
makes 8 scones,at ~ 4.8 ECC each

2 1/2 cups Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour
2 large pastured eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, very soft or melted (5 1/3 Tablespoons) or high quality coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia powder (or 1/8th of another brand)
1/4 cup Erythritol
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon ginger powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 unsulphured organic apricots, diced (mine came out to 7.6 ECC for 2)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, stevia, erythritol, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.  In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy, then add the softened butter and beat until well mixed.  Add wet mixture to dry and mix well.  Add diced apricots and mix again.  Make sure you separate all the little pieces of apricot to spread them out.  Drop by heaping tablespoons on parchment paper, an inch or so apart.  Flatten the top a bit.  Bake for 25- 35 minutes until lightly browned.  Let cool on baking sheets for another 30 minutes.  Serve with butter and cream cheese! (1 Tablespoon of cream cheese = 0.4 ECC)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Ahhhh... chocolate chip cookies. Miss those?  These came out really well.. they are the soft kind, I have yet to figure out how to make them crispy on the edges (oh I tried) but they are very good as they are.  I definitely recommend using the brands I used - Honeywell's Flour, NuNatural Stevia, and Green & Black 85% chocolate bar.  Otherwise, you'll have to experiment with sweetness, and they may not hold together as well with a different almond flour.  If you make them without nuts or want to calculate the carbs with a different kind of nut, subtract 4g from the total batch carb number, and go from there.
These are REALLY good with a glass of fresh raw milk from a pastured grass-fed cow! I hope you enjoy these.
Low-Carb GF Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
About 2g ECC each, depending how many you make; 50.8g ECC for the entire batch (using walnuts, G&B choc bar)

2 ½ cups Honeyvilles Almond Flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons soft or melted (see above) organic or pastured butter like Kerrygold
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons erythritol
¾ teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia powder (½ as much of another brand)
2 organic pastured eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1 3.5 oz low carb chocolate bar like Green & Black's 85%, chopped like chips (instructions here)
½ cup walnuts or pecans, optional
parchment paper

Stir together the almond flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk together in a separate bowl: butter and erythritol.  Sprinkle evenly over mixture the stevia, then mix in well. Whisk in eggs. Add the vanilla extract, molasses, and stir, and then add the flour mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips (and nuts, if using).

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into small balls, and put on parchment paper.  Make a small indention with two of your fingers to make it flat on top, but don’t smush all the way down.  You want them to still have height, just not be round. They will not spread so you can leave just a little room between each cookie. Bake at 350˚F for 10 - 13 minutes until golden brown. These are better warm, so you might want to warm up any that you eat the next day – if they last that long in your house!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cinnamon Walnut Scones, GF, Low-Carb

Another gluten free low-carb scone recipe.. I'm addicted! A low-carb vehicle for a tiny bit of fruit preserves that I've been craving like mad, here in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy!  Of course, these are all based on Elana's scone recipe in The Almond Flour Cookbook which I highly suggest you buy!  I don't like to use much agave anymore so I convert her sugars.

I use organic grass-fed butter in this recipe (well, all, really), which I believe is the best choice if you can have dairy.  The CLA and beta-carotene alone is worth the use of grass-fed butter over regular butter (or any other type of oil).  CLA is the anti-cancer fat which fights cancer, infections, and builds lean muscle.  Also, of course, grass-fed butter is a source of healthy saturated fat.  I try not to use any poly-unsaturated oils in my diet... and especially anything high in Omega-6.  Our American diet is often way too high in Omega 6 and too low in Omega 3's.  The proper balance is 2:1 (Omega 3: Omega 6) but unfortunately the American Diet is often more like 1:20. Here's a good little tidbit about that from Dr Merkin that I agree with (although I'm not sure who he is, to be honest):

Eating too much omega-6 and too little omega-3 causes clots and constricts arteries to increase risk for heart attacks, increases swelling to worsen arthritis, and aggravates a skin disease called psoriasis. It may block a person's ability to respond to insulin, causing high insulin and blood sugar levels and obesity. It increases hormone levels of insulin like growth factor-1 that causes certain cancers. 

And here are some reasons to eat grass-fed butter from Tropical Traditions:

Butter is a traditional fat that has been consumed for thousands of years in cultures all over the world. When the anti-saturated fat campaign started in the US, many people stopped using butter and switched to margarines made from hydrogenated vegetable oils, high in trans-fatty acids. Trans-fatty acids are now banned in some European countries, and food manufactures in the U.S. must list all trans-fats used in their products as people seek to avoid them.
Butter is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids, including even small amounts of lauric acid. It is rich in antioxidants as well, in the form of beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium. It is one of the best sources of vitamin A. Because living grass is richer in vitamins E, A, and beta-carotene than stored hay or standard dairy diets, butter from dairy cows grazing on fresh pasture is also richer in these important nutrients. The naturally golden color of grass-fed butter is a clear indication of its superior nutritional value. (Searles, SK et al, “Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Carotene Contents of Alberta Butter.” Journal of Diary Science, 53(2) 150–154.)
By nature, cows are grazing (grass-eating) animals. 85–95% of dairy cows today are raised in confinement on a diet of grain, particularly corn, because it is far more cost-efficient for agribusiness. This grain-based diet can cause changes in the ph in cows, creating many abnormal physiological conditions in the cow which can increase the need for the use antibiotics. Many of these dairy cows are fed a variety of growth hormones to increase milk production. Most grocery store shelves offer the dairy products from these types of cows. Butter from grain-fed cows is very high in the omega-6 fatty acids, of which most people are consuming too much due to the high amounts of omega 6 vegetable oils and foods in the US diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in most conventional dairy products today are very low, and most people are dangerously deficient in them. Milk from grass-fed cows has a much higher content of omega-3 fatty acids.
 The CLA Advantage
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring free fatty acid found mainly in meat and dairy products in small amounts. CLA was discovered by accident in 1978 by Michael W. Pariza at the University of Wisconsin while looking for mutagen formations in meat during cooking. The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3–5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grain-fed to grass-fed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA. (Dhiman, T. R., G. R. Anand, et al. (1999). “Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets.” J Dairy Sci 82(10): 2146–56.)

Anyway, these made my house smell wonderful and were thoroughly enjoyed by my gluten-eating bakery-working husband. Since there is a little less than 4g (effective) carbs per scone, there is room for a little preserves on top of your cream cheese!  I recommend Apricot preserves.  I buy the Whole Foods brand of fruit sweetened preserves, it is 2.6 g ECC per teaspoon.  So, one scone + 2 teaspoons cream cheese (0.26g ECC) + 1 teaspoon apricot sugar-free preserves (2.6g ECC) = 6.8 g ECC.  Here's the recipe.  Please post if you try it with any substitutions you like and remember I have that substitution tab up therethat you can always go to for subs.

I suggest an extremely high quality blanched almond flour like Honeyville, for these to turn out well.

Gluten Free Low Carb Cinnamon Walnut Scones
makes about 8, 3.975 ECC each scone

2 1/2 cups Honeyville Almond Flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, very soft or melted (5 1/3 Tablespoons) or high quality coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia powder (or 1/8th of another brand)
1/4 cup erythritol
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, stevia, erythritol, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy, then add the softened butter and beat until well mixed.  Add wet mixture to dry and mix well.  Add walnuts and mix again.  Drop by heaping tablespoons on parchment paper, an inch or so apart.  Flatten the top a bit.  Bake for 25- 35 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick entered comes out clean.  Let cool on baking sheets for another 30 minutes.
I suggest serving each one with 2 Tablespoons cream cheese and one teaspoon fruit sweetened preserves which makes 3.4g Effective Carb Count per scone (if your preserves are also 1 Tablespoon = 8g).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Low G.I. Blueberry Pancake Syrup

What to do about pancake syrup? I experimented with some xylitol- blueberry syrup and it was very good. Blueberries have a low glycemic index of 6, but still contain carbs. So use this in moderation. Here, the serving is 1/4th the mixture, roughly 1/4 a cup. You can sub other low g.i. berries, just as blackberries, raspberries, or boysenberries if you like. Also this syrup isn't that sweet. If you make it and want it sweeter, I'd advise adding a pinch of stevia.
Here, we have used sauce and whipped cream to top our pancakes. You could use half the syrup I did (effectively making this recipe 8 servings instead of 4) and use more butter and whipped cream.  That is about the amount of syrup I used in this picture (1/8th mixture).
Anyway, I thought it was worth posting. Maple syrup is 107.36g carbs for 1/4 cup vs. 23.25g carbs for this sauce... so at least it's a better alternative for your family, for now. I'll keep working on alternatives. We love pancakes and bacon over here!!!
PS Xylitol can have some "adverse effects" when over 40g is consumed.  That is roughly a little over 3 Tablespoons per person.  This recipe is way below that, so there is no need to be concerned about xylitol use here.
Go HERE for my pancake recipe.

Blueberry Xylitol Syrup
serves 4
23.25g carbs per serving using maple syrup

¼ cup xylitol
2 Tablespoons filtered water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons maple syrup or use maple extract, maybe 1 teaspoon (haven't tried that) [9g carbs)
1 ½ cup blueberries, pulverized in a mini food processor
¼ cup organic butter (4 Tablespoons)

Add xylitol, water, vanilla, and maple syrup to a small pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until all melted together. Raise heat to bring to a boil, stirring once or twice (watch it). Add blueberries and butter, stir, and simmer for 15- 20 minutes until thick.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing.. GF and Low Carb!

GF Low-Carb Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes!
Here's a great dessert you can make anytime.. but I am posting for Valentine's Day because it is my Hubby's favorite combination... PB & Chocolate.  So this is the perfect dessert to make for Valentine's Day if you want to stay away from making something pink!!! If you use erythritol in both cupcake and icing, the effective carb count for each cupcake is 4.6 ECC.

This icing is VERY peanut buttery... if you like less, you can lessen the peanut butter a little and increase cream cheese - just keep it to the same measurement of pb + cream cheese = 2/3 cup.  The icing also must be refrigerated. But coconut flour cupcakes do well in the fridge (they don't last more than 3 days out of the fridge at all- they will get moldy because of moisture content).

Of course, I used all raw dairy for mine, and organic everything.  It's healthy that way!  The erythritol keeps carb counts much lower, but you can sub coconut sugar for erythritol if you cannot have corn.    The erythritol can be used in this icing... as long as you eat this cupcake cold from the refrigerator to prevent that "cool" feeling from sugar alcohols.  Coconut sugar is a very nice low g.i. sugar you can use, in moderation.  For Valentine's Day (special occasion), I used erythritol in the cupcake, and coco sugar in the icing.

TIP: I use NuNaturals Stevia.  It is non-bitter.  If you are using anything else, it might not be as good.  Start with HALF the amount that I use and work your way up.  Sweetleaf is ok, but use half as much for sure. ALWAYS measure stevia exactly - flat spoon measurements.

TIP:  When baking with coconut flour, you MUST use parchment paper or it will not come out of the tin.  I tried cupcake papers, they also stuck badly. Take piece of parchment paper cut slightly bigger than the bottom of each cupcake indention in tin, and place in bottom of a cupcake tin. Hold in place while running around the bottom edge with a pen (doesn't matter if the ink doesn't come out, you'll still see the mark).  Then, take out and cut that circle out.  Test to make sure it fits well.  If so, use as a template to make 5 more.

TIP: Don't start the icing until cupcakes are cooled.  They don't take long and are spread more easily when fresh.  You can spread with a knife, silicone spatula, or icing spatula OR you can get fancy and put in an icing bag with a tip and make a beautiful presentation.  I did the former.

Print Recipe Link

Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 6 cupcakes, Carbs: 1.66 ECC each

3 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup milk
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup erythritol
½ teaspoon NuNaturals powdered Stevia 
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
parchment paper, cut out circles for bottom of each cupcake

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Well grease a 6 muffin pan with butter and place in each bottom a parchment paper cutout, which you want to grease the top as well as underneath. In a saucepan over low heat, stir together butter and cocoa powder until melted and blended. Remove from heat and let cool. In a bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and set aside in a cool place (refrigerate is possible).  In another bowl, mix together milk, egg yolks, erythritol, stevia, salt, and vanilla. Stir together cocoa mixture and milk mixture.  Combine coconut flour and baking powder and sift into batter.  Then fold batter into the beaten egg whites.  Pour batter into muffin pan/tins just about 3/4ths- 7/8ths full. Bake in pre-heated oven for 16-18 minutes. Let cool completely.  Run a butter knife backwards (using the non sharp side) around the edge of each cupcake and they should pop out easily.

Peanut Butter Icing
for 6 cupcakes, carbs:  2.9 per cupcake with erythritol. 10.44 with coco palm sugar (7.5 of which has a low g.i.of between 35- 54).

2 ounces (or 4 Tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon milk
1/3 cup organic natural smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals powdered Stevia
3 Tablespoons coconut sugar or erythritol (2 Tablespoons for less sweet)

Whip cream cheese, stevia, and erythritol until well mixed. Add peanut butter and milk, beat again until mixed.  Fold in the whipped cream.  Spread on cooled cupcakes immediately and refrigerate.  You can take these out for an hour or so before serving if you'd like.. but mainly should be chilled to harden icing and kept cool because of the dairy.  Put leftovers back in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lamb Steaks and Cheddar Broccoli

This is another low-carb GF dinner we make - always delicious.  Very simple, and easy to make.  Lamb is one animal you can buy from the grocery and know it wasn't force fed grains.  We bought ours from Whole Foods, which has good policies.  They are expensive, ours in NY were $16.50 for 1.27 lbs (for 2).  But alas, really healthy food with green practices are rarely cheap.  I am not sure what kind of lamb steaks these are (where are they cut from?) but they looked like filet mignons.

TIP:  If you have thick steaks, start by steaming broccoli, then go straight to prepping steaks.  They can cook side by side in the oven.  The lamb will probably take longer (unless your steaks are thinner).

Lamb Steaks & Cheddar Broccoli - naturally low-carb & gluten-free

Lamb Steaks

lamb steaks
grain mustard
GF flour, such as nut, millet, anything
salt & pepper
pastured lard, or butter for cooking
a cast iron or other skillet that has no plastic, and can go into oven

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Wash steaks, and pat dry.  Coat each steak in a thin layer of grain mustard.  Pour a little GF flour in a bowl and put your steaks in, turning to coat evenly.  Place a cast iron skillet over medium heat until heated.  Then add a small amount of lard/butter - enough to coat bottom. Sear the steaks just a minute or two on each side, you just want to brown the outside.  Transfer into heated oven to cook until desired temperature.  You can use a meat thermometer or just cut into one when you think it's done to check for redness (rare), pink (medium) or brown (well- though I personally don't recommend this on lamb).  My recommendation is not to cook it over medium, these don't have much fat inside and may get tough.  Click here for meat temperatures for lamb.  Ours we cooked medium-rare, 130˚- 135˚F.  Our steaks were very thick and took about 15- 20 minutes to cook.
floured & mustard coated lamb steaks

Cheddar Broccoli
serves 2

1 bunch of broccoli
4 Tablespoons organic pastured butter
Cheddar cheese - we used most of a block of Kerrygold cheddar (grass-fed)
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Wash and cut broccoli at the stems, to make smaller.  Steam broccoli about 5 minutes after water is boiling- until tender.  Transfer broccoli to a cutting board to cut into smaller pieces, then transfer to baking dish. Slice butter and place in slices all over broccoli.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle almonds.  Slice up the block of cheddar (or grate, if you wish) and place all over the top.  Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes until cheese is melted all over broccoli.

Broccoli before baking

Broccoli when done