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.