THE Premier Low-Carb store .. .. AND Meeting Place

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can we have fruit on our low-carb diet?


So many people are afraid of fruit on their low-carb diet. The truth of the matter is that in the ongoing weight loss phase and especially in maintenance, fruit needs to be a part of one's diet. Think of all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that keep us younger and healthier.

Here is a quote from Mary Shomon's site that made me realize just how many people on low-carb diets are probably shunning fruit even these days: "June 2004 -- In a national telephone survey , many low-carb dieters told ACNielsen pollsters they are shunning fruit in their attempt to lose weight, even though nutritionists say fruit plays an important role in a healthy diet. Fruit consumption is encouraged during the maintenance phase of popular low-carb diets, but that message may not be getting through. The pollsters spoke with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, 12 percent of which said they were following a low-carb diet. Among those on low-carb diets, 30 percent said they had reduced their fruit consumption and 14 percent had stopped eating it altogether. That means that 44 percent of low-carb dieters -- roughly 11 million Americans -- may have dropped from their diets some essential nutrients commonly found in fruit."

By the way, most low-carbers will not eat bananas, but I eat them. What I do is slice them and freeze them and then eat a few slices a day. They go further that way and I don't feel deprived. I will also use bananas sparingly in baking. When I'm not in weight loss mode (most of the time), I will eat a banana a day and not gain weight, so it really depends on the person.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Dangers of Undercooked Chicken


This blog post would not have occurred to me had my husband's cousin not contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome from undercooked chicken. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a situation that arises when one's immune system attacks the nerves and causes paralysis that can last several weeks. Most people make a full recovery within a few weeks or months. However, some may take longer to recover and others may have permanent nerve damage.

Here is the full article on campylobacteriosis There are some precautions to be taken when handling raw chicken and if you're presented with undercooked chicken at a restaurant, send it back to be cooked properly. Choose rotisserie chickens that look more well-done to prevent parts of the chicken from being undercooked. Don't eat it if it looks pink or red. Juices should run clear as well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sweeteners used in Diet Coke and other light sodas:


Many years ago, cyclamates were the first to be used in diet coke, but it was banned when cancer was found in lab rats consuming the cyclamates. They switched to saccharin and that was banned for about 14 years, but by then diet coke and others started using aspartame. Today there is a great suspicion surrounding the safety of aspartame, to the point that I'm nervous as well. They do have only Splenda diet coke and also Splenda plus acesulfame-k diet coke (I'm not happy with that last sweetener). Since my family has consumed Splenda (sucralose) for many, many years and in quantities most people would not have, I'm more comfortable with it. I'm not saying I know sucralose to be perfectly safe, only that we've not experienced any noticeable ill effects.

As I mentioned before, I do drink diet coke, but have cut down and have it mainly at restaurants when I feel like it, but typically I drink water or use a packet of Splenda-sweetened herbal tea in it. It might interest people to know that a diet coke is coming out using Stevia - possibly by the end of the year depending on FDA approval. This would be interesting to try for sure. I believe it is in a form of Stevia called Rebiana, a more pure form of Stevia without the licorice aftertaste.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Will Diet Coke Leach Calcium Out Of Our Bones?


This article about Diet Coke seems to suggest that there is a link between drinking cocoa cola (diet or not) and osteoporosis. Maybe it is no coincidence that my mother-in-law who has drunk regular coca cola every day most of her adult life has severe osteoporosis and is bent over these days. She used to stand 5 feet 8 inches, but has shrunk to closer to my height at 5 feet 3 inches (okay, I'm not measuring to see if I have shrunk. I don't want to know!)

Another vice of mine lately: I've been drinking diet coke too often and worrying about the aspartame at the same time. Let me tell you, it is very addictive, as anyone reading this probably already knows - more so than my drinking tea any day! That's it now! I'm reigning myself in before it is too late. Besides drinking sodas contributes to inflammation, Dr. Perricone says.

The experts are not sure exactly how colas affect calcium absorption and some speculate it may actually be the caffeine or the phosphoric acid, phosphorus or carbonation. I think it cannot be these last three if regular sodas don't do the same thing. What do you think? At any rate, if diet coke is your vice, take your calcium supplements or eat yogurt or whatever else you like containing calcium.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Caffeine Issue


I'll be honest. At the moment, I am still addicted to caffeine, however, I am starting to cut down using my Rooibos tea (see a previous post) during the day and at night. I have been drinking regular tea or diet coke whenever I need a pick-me-up during the day. A cup of regular tea in the morning should be all I need, but from a recent study, it indicates that I should expect a bigger insulin release even with my low-carb breakfast.

Judy Barnes Baker (author of Carb Wars: Sugar is the new Fat Judy's super blog found a study that discovers that caffeine stimulates insulin release. This study compared people eating a low-sugar breakfast with regular coffee and those eating a high-sugar breakfast with decaffeinated coffee. The low-sugar breakfast with caffeinated coffee folks had a greater insulin response than those folks eating a high-sugar breakfast with decaffeinated coffee.

Here is the study.

This was disturbing to read re caffeine addiction from MyAddiction.com

"Caffeine addiction is for real and to make matters more disheartening for the avid coffee drinker or cola fan, caffeine employs the same effects as alcohol, LSD, cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, nicotine, opioids, benzodiazepines, and other major drugs. This makes caffeine the widest used psychoactive drug in the world.

Another compounding problem with caffeine addiction is that it affects many people differently. Some caffeine addicts are satisfied with a low level of caffeine intake, like a few cups of coffee. Others can't seem to function without a liter of cola and a few Red Bulls everyday. Since an addiction to caffeine is highly personalized, any standardized treatment remains a riddle.

Caffeine addiction also has a social aspect. Where as all other drugs have a social stigma attached to them, caffeine products from chocolate to coffee are widely accepted by the general public. Despite its acceptance and central nervous stimulant affecting a person's sense of well being, caffeine's use is also associated with a number of physical and psychological syndromes that are similar to other drugs, i.e. caffeine addiction.

Both the WHO and the APA consider Caffeine Effects and the intoxication from caffeine to be a valid diagnosis. Doses vary from individual to individual. While rarely fatal, Caffeine Effects can include anxiety, insomnia, tremors, fever, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and hyperventilation (tachypnea).

Often, when caffeine intoxication is fatal , the user consumed caffeine pills and his death was due to ventricular fibrillation—the muscles in the heart go out of whack, causing it to pump inadequately and depriving the body of oxygen. Thus the Caffeine Effects can range from mild tremors to fatality."

Can drinking caffeinated beverages really be likened to being addicted to some of those serious drugs? This was disturbing to read....

I should point out though that there have been studies done pointing to the benefits of drinking coffee - even saying that it staves off Diabetes 2, Parkinsons and Alzheimers. It is difficult to know what to believe. Dr. Atkins told us to stay off caffeine if we want to lose weight, however, many people lose weight anyway, caffeine or not. I think this is a controversial subject, but, for me, I'm only planning on cutting down during the day. I need my cup of tea in the morning and, besides, I like it!

Jennifer Eloff
www.low-carb.us

Monday, September 22, 2008

Diabetes and Low-Carbing


When I first began writing cookbooks, it was baking with Splenda and specifically for people who have diabetes and needed to lose weight on the traditional diet. Little did I know in those days, that there is a better way. My first two cookbooks were written with some input from the Diabetes Association in Canada - mainly for the provision of the diabetes nutritional values for the recipes. Branches of the Diabetes Association across Canada regularly ordered my books for distributing to patients.

I have not said enough on my blog about Diabetes and Low-Carbing, so here is a perspective from a man who has had type 1 diabetes since the age of 6 and is now, among other things, vice president of the International Diabetes Federation. He has lived with this condition since 1957 (51 years)

Here is his perspective on low-carbing to help with his diabetes: www.diabetes-low.carb.org

I have a friend with type 2 diabetes who lost 90 lbs on Atkins (she did induction levels all the way) in 9 months, who was later declared by her doctor to be a latent diabetic and taken off all her diabetic medications. That was awesome news besides the fact that she looked and felt so much better.

Here is a testimonial by a young man who has type 1 diabetes. It is really worth reading:
D-Solve

These people I have mentioned are people who have Diabetes 1, which means they make no insulin at all and would die without some intervention. They are living proof that it is possible to live with such a serious disease and live well and long, despite that enormous challenge - largely due to adopting the low-carb way of eating. Finally, to its credit the ADA is looking at the low-carbohydrate way of eating, but its recommendations for low-carb still fall far short of what we call low-carb. I seem to remember that they suggested 130 grams of carbs per day, way in excess of some people who consume 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrate a day, some of whom don't even have diabetes!

It stands to reason that if people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes benefit from low-carbing, then surely people who don't have the condition would benefit as well, perhaps staving off diabetes forever. I think if we lived long enough, most likely most of us would eventually develop diabetes - actually I didn't say that, Ian's dad who is a retired medical doctor said that.

P.S. That photo was taken of me when I was 35 years old. I am now 51. I also weigh quite a bit more - about 15 lbs more and I'd really like to lose a few of those, but for me it's like pulling teeth these days. I love low-carbing though and I think with my Hashimoto's thyroid disease (autoimmune diseases run in my extended family) I'd be much bigger if I was not low-carbing. I kept that pretty dress, but needless to say it does not fit me anymore. :-) A more recent pic of me is in my profile and I weigh about the same today.

Jennifer Eloff
www.low-carb.us

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fun Caffeine-Free Teas: Rooibos and Honeybush Teas





Rooibos (Afrikaans/Dutch-like name) or Red Bush tea originates in South Africa, where I grew up as a child.

This is the exact package I have at the moment as well as a box of Organic Rooibos Flavour Pack made by Carmien in South Africa.

Rooibos is pronounced "Roy-boss". Some of us want a cup of tea before bedtime, but the caffeine will either keep us awake or wake us later in the early hours of the morning. Rooibos tea is a great tea to have. I like it with a little milk and Splenda, but one can drink it plain or with a slice of lemon, depending on the flavor of the tea. If I'm brewing a pot of tea, then I sometimes add vanilla extract to flavor the plain Rooibos tea. Another trick I use is in the mornings when I make a pot of tea for Ian and I is that I will use some Earl Grey Black tea or Breakfast Tea leaves and then open a tea bag of Rooibos tea to dilute the caffeine - i.e. half-and-half. This way I can have 2 cups of tea! There's method in my madness as they say.

Ian and I have bought all manner of teas and all kinds of flavors in various places in Canada and all over the world. We even bought super peach and apricot and vanilla-flavored teas at the prestigious Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, where the queen has stayed and dined. One time I did a demo in their bookstore and provided goodies for people to taste that were made out of my cookbooks. It was such a wonderful couple of days and the guests (many American) were so nice and I sold lots of books, which really made it even more fun. As a result of my "gig", we stayed in this majestic palace-like hotel for the weekend - free! While I worked for hours, my grateful husband caught up on his tan around the swimming pool with the Rocky Mountains in the background. Meantime, our sons climbed Sulphur mountain with a friend, who also got to stay for free! As a reward, Ian took us on the last day to the buffet brunch, which is always spectacular!

The British love their tea and English ladies have such pretty complexions as we know. I think it is partly that they don't get too much sun and partly the fact that they drink so much tea. That's my theory.

Here is a website that talks about the tea: Rooibos Tea

On the first site, Honeybush tea is also mentioned. That is another nice tea to try. I still prefer Rooisbos tea though. Rooibos tea is full of flavonoids. "Flavonoids are most commonly known for their antioxidant activity. However, it is now known that the health benefits they provide against cancer and heart disease are the result of other mechanisms. Flavonoids are also commonly referred to as bioflavonoids in the media."


Jennifer Eloff
www.low-carb.us

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Plastics - a danger to our health?

I've known for a while and have avoided heating food in plastic containers in the microwave oven. Apparently molecules of chemicals (BPA) from the plastic can leach into the food: Danger of Plastic Containers (grinningplanet.com) What I didn't realize is that acidic foods like tomato paste and liquid foods can also cause this leaching from plastics without any heating having taken place. I think I've done this kind of thing all my adult life. I suppose now I need to slowly start switching to glass containers of some sort. I will need to find space in the kitchen for them. My Tupperware container drawer is a disaster zone (untidy and too small) and won't do for glass containers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Antibacterial Soaps - It's a wash out!

Antibacterial Soaps

The implication is that it can affect thyroid function, the immune system and make us more susceptible to antibiotic-resistant bugs. It is apparently contra-indicated for pregnant women as it can affect the fetus.

So, I guess, I'm going back to regular soap and water! I just bought a big jug of antibacterial liquid soap too. Oh dear!

5 Super Foods To Help One Lose Weight?

In the news today, I read about these 5 foods that are supposed to help one achieve one's healthy body weight. Super Foods?

I read through the foods and made some comments for the benefit of us low-carbers.

1. Millet (this is a grain and is high carb) - Although a whole grain, it is hugely carby - even more so than white flour.

2. Asparagus - this is a good one for us.

3. Pomegranates - At 25 g of carbs - a bit too carby, unless we eat half at a time, but even then for some folks that will be too much. An ancient fruit, pomegranates were cultivated in Egypt before the time of Moses. They are about the size of a large apple and have a hard reddish rind. Inside are hundreds of scarlet seeds or pips encased in a white membrane. One needs to remove those as they are inedible and eating those could lead to an appendix attack.

4. Pine Nuts - pretty good at about 12 g net carbohydrate per cup. They are really edible seeds.

5. Green Tea - most people can enjoy this in moderation. People with hypothyroidism should avoid green tea due to the fluoride content.

Not in this article, but I read that drinking coffee and caffeine all day long can stimulate the appetite and cause emotional overeating. Caffeine is so addictive that it is not difficult to fall into this trap - especially if one is very busy and needing a constant pick-me-up to simply get through the day.

Blurb about Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Vol. 2


The FINAL blurb ... my last book.



To purchase directly from us: Amongfriends.us or order from Amazon.com

What sets this book apart from the others is Biskmix, a fun biscuit mix (super low-carb at 1.8 g carbs per 1/4 cup) with several recipes, including Red Lobster-style Cheddar Biscuits (remember those?), Italian Flatbread, Cheese muffins, Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler (nicer crust than the original), Apple Crumble Pie, Coconut Custard Pie, Peaches and Cream Scones, Biskmix Mexican Pie, and Italian Chicken Pie to name a few.



The other thing that sets this book apart from the others is that it includes a Western Chinese Cooking section just for fun. Cauli-rice is what I normally use instead of regular rice. The way I make it stir-fried, the cauliflower becomes denatured and hardly recognizable (very tasty). Recipes such as Ginger Beef, Cantonese Roast Pork, Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken, Sesame Chicken in Lemon Sauce and several stir-fried veggie dishes as well as a couple of shrimp dishes.



In the beverage section is a homemade Cinnamon tea which is great as cinnamon is very healthy for one. A Pakistani study using people with diabetes as subjects who consumed 1, 3 or 6 g cinnamon daily had a significant drop in serum glucose, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol. Scientists believe cinnamon has a component that may enable it to serve as an insulin substitute in Type 2 Diabetes.

Appetizers: Mmm, Molten Cheese Potato Skins - these are super. We eat the peel and the non-low carbers get the rest! Tortilla Crisps, Guacamole, Jalapeno Cheese Squares add an array of appetizers to choose from.

Soups: The Hawaiian Shellfish Soup made with frozen shrimp and frozen scallops, thawed, is incredible with 1 oz fresh ginger and 1 to 2 jalapenos (seeded, otherwise it will be too spicy) and made with coconut milk, tomato sauce, paprika and ground macadamia nuts (optional), etc. A condensed cream of mushroom soup as well as a condensed cream of tomato soup that may be used in lieu of these commercially available soups in recipes.



Salads: Several picturesque salads and easy, quick beet pickles that are ready overnight. Strawberry “salad” made with jello to feed a crowd is really pretty and some might think it would be better for dessert with some whipped cream or my famous (in my house) Creme Fraiche.



Breakfast items include Eggs with a Mexican Flair (big casserole to feed a crowd), Pumpkin Waffles, Peaches and Cream Scones, Ultra Low-Carb Crepes, Cottage Cheese Mini Pancakes, Sweet Cottage Cheese Omelet, innovative Sausage-Apple Ring unmolded and center served filled with scrambled eggs. Jumbo Sour Cream Pancakes round out that section.

Meat: The best Microwave Meatballs ever - rival my best efforts - not my recipe (belongs to my sweet and incredibly talented mother-in-law, Kay Eloff), Beef Tacos, Swiss Steak, Mexican Crock-Pot Pork, Ham with Chutney Glaze, Indonesian Roast Pork with a rich gravy, Biskmix Mexican Pie and Herb lamb Roast.



Poultry: Remember those wraps we went crazy about for a while? Chicken and Bacon Veggie Wrap, Chicken Fajita in a Monterey Cheese Taco, Italian Chicken Pie, Chicken Guacamole Melt (turns ordinary chicken into an elegant supper), Chicken Mushroom Casserole (mild curry flavor - awesome and very quick to assemble with one roasted chicken), Fried Chicken (great way to use up any leftover bake mixes), Mexican Chicken Casserole (another delicious, easy casserole for supper) and a healthy Chicken Broccoli Casserole.



Vegetables: Some excellent vegetable dishes such as Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini (ricotta, eggs, Cheddar and seasonings), Cauli-nugget Casserole (this mimics an awesome potato casserole made with hash browns), Maple Pecan Squash, Special Broccoli 'n Cheese, Mexican-Style Green Beans, Cheesy Zucchini Tomato Bake and Cottage Faux Mashed Potatoes. The Faux Baked Potato - scoop out the pulp - filled with creamed Faux Mashed Potatoes and all the optional fixings of a normal baked potato (real, crispy bacon chopped, chives, sour cream, etc.) - incredible - better than the real thing (with a bit of the real thing - the baked skin) - 5.9 g carbs per Faux Baked Potato. Not half bad!

Miscellaneous: Raspberry Lemon Jam or Blueberry or Strawberry Jam and Saskatoon Mixed Berry Jam (blueberries can be used in place of Saskatoons which are like tiny wild blueberries). We used to have Saskatoon bushes growing all over the forest and on our property where we lived for 6 years in British Columbia, Canada, overlooking Lake Okanagan and the mountains. It was sad to leave. I have never again canned as much fruit as I did in the Okanagan Valley which is wine growing country as well as perfect for growing many fruits such as apricots, cherries and apples.

Let's see, there's a Pizza Sauce that is very useful and gives one’s pizza an authentic taste. I have a great pizza crust in this book and also a slightly different one on this blog that some might prefer – developed by an Italian expert baker. Easy Peach Butter, Sweet 'n Spicy Mustard Sauce is great with baked ham, or even with hard-boiled eggs. Creamy French Dressing (better than store bought in my family's opinion), Honey Mustard Dressing (has only 1 tsp honey or imitation honey), Molasses Substitute, Pumpkin Pie Spice (I like this), Ranch Dressing, Oven Peach Syrup and my Thickening Agent (more about this later, as I'm thinking of sharing the recipe in another post - super useful for thickening sauces at 0.4 g carbs per tsp). My friend, Linda Parsons, from Atlanta, Georgia thinks it is very good.

Breads, Bake Mixes & Baking: Corn Bread, Biskmix, Vital Ultimate Bake Mixes and Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, Red Lobster-style Biscuits (2 recipes), Italian Flatbread, Thin 'n Crispy Pizza Crust (a favorite around here - my son likes it better than the thick, white flour crusts), Cheddar Cheese Muffins, Dumplings (using Biskmix), Oat Tortillas (tasty - but my best one is probably still the one in Splendid Low-Carbing (not the high protein one, the other one), Gingerbread Muffins, Easy Biskmix Crackers (use the microwave oven - to take care of leftover Biskmix), Zucchini Raisin Bran Muffins and Lemon Cranberry Mini Loaves.

Frozen Desserts & Miscellaneous Desserts: Refreshing Cranberry Slushy only 25 calories, Strawberry Sherbet, 31 calories, Caramel Top Hats, Strawberry-Apple Almond Crisp, Lemon Curd Cream( for topping fresh strawberries, a cheesecake or to stir into plain yogurt) and the fabulous Strawberry Rhubarb or plain Strawberry Cobbler (incidentally any fruit may be substituted – sliced peaches would be great).







Pies, Cakes & Cheeseakes: All my pies have crusts and one of them has a double crust. Strawberry Pie, Single Piecrust, Apple-Peach Lattice Pie (double crust – still under 10 grams of carbs per serving), Cherry or Peach Cheese Pie, eyecatching Bumble Berry Tart, Biskmix Buttermilk Pie, Biskmix Apple Crumble Pie, Biskmix Coconut Custard Pie, Peach Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Cake Roll, Deluxe Carrot Cake, Kathy’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Chocolate Ecstasy Cheesecake, Pralines ‘n Caramel Cheesecake (these last two may be frozen and served as smooth, frozen treats after thawing 20 minutes), Black Bottom Peanut Butter Cheesecake, and Mocha Sour Cream Cheesecake.

Confections & Frostings: Not many cookbooks provide this section, but my sweet tooth compelled me to add such a section to each cookbook. Peanut Butter Cups (taste explosion – recipe and photo on blog), Melting Moments Chocolate, Butterscotch White Chocolate, Condensed Milk Chocolate Sauce (decadent!), Condensed Milk Chocolate Frosting, Caramel Sauce/Frosting, Any-Flavor Sauce, Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute, Dark Chocolate Almond Bark (semi-sweet), “Sugared” Almonds, “Sugared” Almond Chocolate (made with Dutch cocoa) and Crème Fraiche with a lower carb alternative.



Cookies & Squares: My best Chocolate Chip Cookies yet (featured on this blog), Ginger Hearts, Pecan Crescent Cookies (1.1 carb), Snowy Cinnamon Balls, Peanut Butter Chewies, Coconutty Lemon Squares (watch these disappear), Chocolate Macaroon Squares (very good), Chunky Chocolate Pecan Squares and finally another brownie recipe (can we ever have too many?) which I called Award-Winning Brownies because they were so dense and fudgey.

Jennifer Eloff
To purchase directly from us: Amongfriends.us or order from Amazon.com

Thursday, September 11, 2008

*COCONUT OIL FUDGE* (GF)


Fudge Recipe #1 (Fudge is pictured foremost in photo)

2 oz cocoa butter (Netrition.com)
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup whole milk powder (this is finely ground), OR
skim milk powder (blend finely in blender)
12 Splenda packets
1/8 tsp salt

In double boiler, over medium heat, melt cocoa butter, chocolate and coconut oil. Stir in milk powder, Splenda and salt. Pour into 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Freeze until hard. Keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator for longer storage and for more of a snap when biting into it.

Helpful Hints: Cocoa butter may be melted in the microwave oven in covered cereal bowl - about 2 minutes. Pour boiling water over chocolate in cereal bowl. When soft, pour off water and add melted cocoa butter.

Yield: 27 pieces, 1 piece
41.2 calories, 0.7 g protein, 3.8 g fat, 1.4 g carbs


Fudge Recipe #2 (Fudge pictured behind in the photo)

2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 oz cocoa butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp unsalted, OR salted butter
2 tbsp whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk powder, OR
skim milk powder (blend finely in blender)
24 Splenda packets, OR 2 tbsp powdered erythritol and Splenda to taste
1/2 cup vanilla or chocolate whey protein
1/4 cup whole, OR skim milk powder

In double boiler, melt chocolate and cocoa butter over medium heat. In cereal bowl, melt coconut oil and butter in microwave oven 1 minute. Stir in cream. Stir in 1/2 cup whole milk powder or skim milk powder and Splenda.

Add sweetened milk mixture to melted chocolate mixture in double boiler; sitr. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla or chocolate whey protein and 1/4 cup whole or skim milk powder. Spread in 8-inch square glass baking dish. Press out evenly with back of soup spoon. Freeze. When frozen solid, store in covered container either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Helpful Hints: Powdered erythritol is available at Netrition.com. I found my whole milk powder at Costco and in a health food store. It works a little better than the skim milk powder in creating a fudge-like consistency.

Yield: 36 squares, 1 square
59.9 calories, 1.8 g protein, 5.2 g fat, 2.0 g carbs

Jennifer Eloff
www.Low-Carb.us

Recipes from: Splendid Low-Carb Desserts

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Amazing Weight Loss Benefits of COCONUT OIL

I found this amazing web site talking about coconut oil and had to share it with readers of this blog:

Coconut-Info.com

I've known for several years now that many low-carbers have discovered that consuming some coconut oil (not too much obviously - calories!) each day definitely helps the majority of people lose weight more easily. What amused me no end as I went looking for something to write about coconut oil, I found this site and it totally supports low-carbing!! Surprise, Surprise! The man who runs the site is a Christian and shares his testimony, which I found to be a very interesting read - amazing story really - nothing short of at least three phenomenal miracles that were worked in his life.

There are recipes using coconut oil for those interested.

One woman's testimony is thus:

"Another benefit of coconut consumption is it helps me control my blood sugar levels. Have you ever eaten any carb intensive food and had a sugar crash? Try eating some coconut oil along with the carb and it may prevent the sugar crash or at least mitigate them. I try to keep my blood sugar level steady all day and so have a nice level energy all day, and not ups and downs all day long. I use to always be a little chubby. (wonder why?) Eating coconut does help control the chubbiness. So the direct health benefits that I have experienced from coconut oil consumption is: increased thyroid function and the blessings that brings; eliminate yeast infections; and, it also helps me control blood sugar levels. I am sure the increased thyroid function and controlling the blood sugar accounts for not being chubby anymore and the stuff tastes good in food." – Phyllis from the Coconut Diet Forums" (see link in my blog - right hand side).

There have been studies done that show that coconut oil in the diet is more effective than a low-fat diet in reducing stored fat! The site is choc full of amazing facts, so rather than waste your time here, go and check it out:

Coconut-Info.com

I will add a few of my own recipes using coconut oil in the next couple of posts. Stay tuned as they say! :-)

Jennifer Eloff
www.low-carb.us

Friday, September 5, 2008

COCONUT CHEESE SCONES (GF)


Here is a scone-like muffin that could add needed fiber in the diet. Nice with low-carb, sugarless jam (see my cookbooks or this blog for several recipes).

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:
Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 
http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!

Coconut Cheese Scones
6 eggs
Liquid sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar (10 mL)
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour (may need to sift)
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese, OR
other tasty cheese

In food processor, process eggs, liquid sweetener and add butter; process. In medium bowl, combine coconut flour, ground almonds, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Stir in cheese. Stir in egg mixture and fill 6 well-greased large muffin cups or 9 smaller muffin cups.

Bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Yield: 6 muffins
Nutritional Analysis: 281.5 calories; 14.2 g protein, 23.7 g fat, 9.4 g carbs and 7.0 grams fiber for 2.4 g net carbs

OR it makes 9 smaller muffins

Cautionary Note: Since these are high in fiber, one scone a day should suffice, especially if you're not used to coconut flour.

Helpful Hint: The Xanthan gum as well as the coconut flour swells with the wet ingredients and thickens the batter substantially.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Much-Maligned Mighty Egg Rises Victorious Once Again




This morning I spent some time on a few blogs and found some egg-related articles that I enjoyed: Dr. Eades, author of Protein Power, and Ron, the former Donut Junkie.

Eggs are such a complete food - think about it - a whole chicken with beak and feathers and the whole bit develops from one egg! I knew of a woman who had a svelte figure who for years started her day with a couple of eggs, as she said it kept her satiated for many hours.

Vikki's Low-Carb Kitchen has a post about her favorite egg dishes. She says, "Let me get down to two dozen eggs in the fridge and I begin to panic." Eggs are a staple for low-carbers and I'm sure many other people share her sentiments.

Jennifer Eloff
www.low-carb.us

Monday, September 1, 2008

BRUSCHETTA


This recipe to my mind is nicer than the real thing (delicious!), but maybe it has been a while since I had the real thing. Nevertheless, I still think I would prefer this, especially when I think of the white bread sitting somewhere on my body where I don't want it!

BRUSCHETTA A LA LOW-CARB

3 medium Chinese eggplant (light purple in color)
Breading:
A mixture of ground almonds, Parmesan cheese, low-carb bread crumbs (low-carb toast, blended in the blender) or one of my low-carb bake mixes and salt or "No Salt" to taste and dried, crushed basil or Spicy Spaghetti Seasoning

Egg wash:
3 eggs
2 tbsp water

olive oil for frying

Bruschetta Topping:
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 tsp basil or Spicy Spaghetti Seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt or No Salt

Wash and dry eggplant. Cut ends off and slice thinly. Set aside.

Breading: Combine your choice of ingredients on a dinner plate.

Egg Wash: Combine eggs and water and beat lightly with a fork.

Dip eggplant slices in egg wash and then in breading. Fry in olive oil on both sides until nicely brown and tender. Layer slices of cooked eggplant in 9 x 13 inch dish. Spread some of tomato mixture over eggplant. Repeat.

Bruschetta Topping: In frying pan, stir fry garlic until beginning to turn brown. Add tomatoes, water, basil and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Helpful Hints: Chinese eggplant is milder tasting than American eggplant, because it has fewer seeds and the skin is less tough. Eggplant is a wonderful low-carb vegetable - probably one of my favorites. I did not give a carb count as that will vary depending on the type and amount of "breading" used. Suffice is to say this recipe is an OWL recipe. It will add interest and flavor to almost any meal.

Jennifer Eloff
www.low-carb.us