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