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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

GLUTEN-FREE LOW-CARB WAFFLES (GF)


Gluten-Free Low-Carb Waffles
Easy and tasty! Toast them in the toaster when required to crisp them again. Use in place of bread with eggs and bacon or spread with spreadable cream cheese (6 oz cream cheese, 2 tbsp DaVinci; process) or use low-carb syrup. Lots of ideas - even strawberries or blueberries and whipped cream or Creme Fraiche or ice cream.

8 oz regular cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1/2 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix (link to the right under recipes - with coconut flour )
2 packets Splenda (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat waffle maker for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This is important to prevent waffles from sticking. They must come out easily. Liberally brush inside forms with olive oil before placing 3 tbsp of batter on each form. Cook 3 minutes.

Process cream cheese, eggs, Gluten-Free Bake Mix, Splenda (if using), baking powder and baking soda in food processor or blender, scraping sides occasionally to incorporate all ingredients.

Nutritional Analysis: 10 waffles, 1 waffle per serving.

125.9 calories, 5.6 g protein, 10.2 g fat, 2.5 g carbs (Calories are not too out of line (but are higher due to olive oil used) and carbs are low enough - sugar free and gluten-free).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

*COCONUT SULTANA COOKIES* (GF)


COCONUT SULTANA COOKIES
Delectable cookies! These did not last the day with our family.

2/3 cup finely grated coconut,(unsweetened)
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1 egg
1 cup SPLENDA® Granular
1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix (see link under recipes)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sultanas, OR seedless raisins

Combine coconut and 2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular and spread out on dinner plate. Set aside.

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, process butter and lemon peel. Add egg and 1 cup SPLENDA® Granular; process.

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking soda and salt. Add to food processor alternately with sour cream. Mix in sultanas or raisins. Leave mixture on counter top or in refrigerator 20 minutes (I actually skipped this step this time and worked with the soft dough).

Roll teaspoons of cookie batter into balls and roll in sweetened coconut. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets, leaving spaces between cookies for slight spreading. Bake in 350°F oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown underneath. Cool on cookie sheets. Keep at room temperature or in refrigerator.

Nutritional Analysis: 48 cookies, 1 cookie per serving.
49.5 calories, 0.8 g protein, 3.8 g fat, 2.8 g carbs

Helpful Hints: For those people wanting to use my Low-Carb Bake Mix instead - use 1 1/2 cups (2.4 g carbs per serving)

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Source for Gluten-Free Oats

Hope your Christmas was lovely.

Here is a useful source for gluten-free oats at Netrition: Netrition.com/gluten-free oats Apparently, Bob's Red Mill also makes certified gluten-free oats, which can blended finely in a blender for oat flour.

Here is some information about oats and Celiac disease: oats and Celiac disease

I myself don't have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance (not that I'm aware of anyway), but I'm intrigued that many people (15% of the population, but judging from the blogs on the internet, I would have to think there are more people that simply prefer to eat gluten-free due to an intolerance or perhaps a desire to eat gluten-free, simply because they view it as healthier) have one of those conditions. It is also intriguing to me that not much exists in the way of gluten-free and low-carbohydrate cooking and baking. I know Lauren of Healthy Indulgences follows gluten-free and low-carb (not necessarily sugar free though, but low sugar, however, many recipes are sugar free (not Splenda either))and Jamie - her links to her blog (The Lighter Side of Low Carb - plus I notice a super listing of her recipes - that's new!) and national examiner are in my favorite blog links. I myself thought I'd include some gluten-free, low-carb recipes on this blog amongst my usual fare. I enjoy a challenge and the whole food chemistry thing. I'm not saying I'm the greatest cook in the world (I typically don't tackle anything too difficult, too fancy or too time consuming - and I'm certainly not a gourmet cook. I typically use ordinary ingredients with a few exceptions to that rule when it comes to specialty baking.), but I do come up with some good substitutes for favorites for folks following special diets. That is my specialty. :-) I believe that particular talent of mine is God-given, lest I take any credit for it or seem boastful. Generally, everyone gets given talents and it is neat to find out what they are. It took me forever and a day to find mine it seemed after a couple of tries at 3 different careers and being either in university or the work force for a few years and then came babies and then my books.

It is difficult to diagnose a simple intolerance to gluten, but I would think "cause and effect". If you eat gluten or something containing gluten (such as bread) and notice a negative effect soon thereafter, then chances are you might be sensitive to gluten.

Sometimes Celiac symptoms mimic Candida symptoms: candida vs Celiac

Here are some gluten intolerance symptoms I found on the internet: Ana Wilde (author)

* Weight loss or weight gain
* Nutritional deficiencies due to absorption e.g. low iron levels
* Gastro-intestinal problems (bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea)
* Fat in the stools (due to poor digestion)
* Aching joints
* Depression
* Eczema
* Head aches
* Exhaustion
* Irritability and behavioral changes
* Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle and miscarriage
* Cramps, tingling and numbness
* Slow infant and child growth
* Decline in dental health

It is clear from this list that there could be overlapping with other conditions that mimic these symptoms. So, best is to check what happens after consuming foods with lots of gluten. There are tests that can be done if Celiac is suspected - antibody test as well as a minimally invasive intestinal biopsy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

FANCY CHOCOLATES




The taste of this chocolate is awesome! This chocolate makes a fabulous sauce as well (use right away). The hedgehog shapes are fun and substantial.  If you want fancy-looking, tasty chocolate, this recipe is a great recipe for that purpose.  Again, with this recipe, you're cutting down on the amount of sugar alcohols (tummy distress - who wants that?!) or eliminating them entirely, except for the erythritol, which typically isn't a problem for most people.


  I like them all.  I have to watch dark chocolate as I can get migraines.  I love LOVE chocolate, however, it doesn't always love me back anymore.  That's too bad, hey?  I can typically have white or milk chocolate (in rather small amounts), however. 

1 Batch Condensed Milk (For Baking)
2 oz cocoa butter (melt about 3 min in microwave oven - careful - very hot!!)
1 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate
1/2 cup (3 oz) sugarless chocolate chips, OR
use 70% Lindt chocolate, or gluten-free chocolate of choice
1 - 2 tbsp liqueur of choice (optional)

Prepare condensed milk as directed in blender. Add cocoa butter, melted chocolate (pour boiling water over all the chocolate in a bowl until molten - pour water off - do it twice if necessary) and liqueur, if using.

Spoon into candy molds. One could first add some chopped nuts or whole almonds or hazelnuts to the forms and then pour in the chocolate. Freeze. Use a knife to lift out of forms (from one corner) or flip and flex slightly to release the candies.  Keep the chocolate in the freezer.

In the photo some frosting is visible on the surface of the chocolate, but it does not interfere with the taste which is smooth and creamy.

Helpful Hint: They can be poured into bon bon foil cups (use two foil cups for stability and to keep the shape better).   I don't know how many chocolates you will make, so a carb count is not really possible. The carb count is given for the condensed milk and the chocolate and cocoa butter are minimal carbs spread over many chocolates.

BETTY CROCKER-LIKE FROSTING (GF)



UPDATED RECIPE:

BETTER THAN BETTY FROSTING
Jennifer Eloff
This frosting is reminiscent of Betty Crocker® Frosting, but I think it is nicer.

3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)
2 tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup (30 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  Sugar, OR to taste
1/4  cup sifted, powdered erythritol (60 mL)
1/4  cup whole milk powder (60 mL)
1/2  tsp cornstarch (2 mL)

In blender, combine butter, sugar-free pancake syrup, liquid sweetener to taste, powdered erythritol, whole milk powder and cornstarch.  Blend until smooth.  If the frosting is too thick, add water 1 tsp (5 mL) at a time and blend.  If the frosting is too soft, let it sit for half an hour and it should thicken up.


Helpful Hint:  Instead of sifting the erythritol, you could place it in a coffee bean grinder or blender to make sure there are no lumps. 

Yield:  1 batch
1 batch (total amount)
469.2 calories
8.8 g protein
43.1 g fat
13.5 g net carbs


Betty Crocker-like Frosting:
(The low-carb pancake syrup, such as Estee, Maple-Flavored Pancake Syrup, has thickeners in it and it makes this frosting a thicker mixture)
1/2 cup Splenda Granular (125 mL) or use zero carb liquid sweetener
4 tbsp powdered erythritol (50 mL)
4 tbsp whole milk powder* (50 mL)
1 tsp cornstarch (optional) (5 mL)
2 tbsp low-carb syrup (25 mL)
3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)

In blender, combine Splenda Granular, powdered erythritol, whole milk powder and cornstarch (if using). Add sugar free syrup and butter; blend until well combined. If the frosting is not thick enough, then use a tiny amount of Xanthan gum.

The dry mixture up to cornstarch in the listing above can be stored in the refrigerator until required. It will rival the real thing any day! No one will guess and that's the best part. The cornstarch is totally optional and not necessary - I was just trying to mimic the taste of the real thing but you'll hardly miss it. Thing is though it only saves 0.2 g carbs per tbsp (15 mL) by leaving it out.

Yield: 3/4 cup (175 mL) delicious frosting. Double the recipe for 1½ cups (375 mL) frosting. The frosting is slightly maple-flavored.
3/4 cup (175 mL) = 12 tbsp, 1 tbsp:
43.9 calories; 0.7 g protein; 3.6 g fat; 2.3 g carbs

Helpful Hints: This recipe can be multiplied several times. One could keep the dry ingredients (mixed) in a container in the refrigerator or freezer for a long time. Whole milk powder can be found in Publix or the Hispanic section of a Super Walmart. *Instead of whole milk powder, use skim milk powder but first blend finely in a blender before using to prevent lumps in the frosting.

The above amount will frost two mini loaves, one regular loaf, bundt cake or one single-layer 8 or 9 inch cake.

Nutritional analysis For two mini loaves (10 slices per loaf)
1.4 g carbs

16/25 servings (8-inch square cake)
1.7/1.1 g carbs

18 servings (1 large loaf or tube cake)
1.5 g carbs

CARBS FOR DRY INGREDIENTS ALONE:
1 Batch: 24.3 g carbs

Sunday, December 21, 2008

*TRUFFLES* (GF)


TRUFFLES
These won’t last long! If desired, roll some truffles in diced almonds or cocoa.

2/3 cup regular cream cheese (150 mL)
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (50 mL)
1/4 cup raisins, snipped in half (50 mL)
1/2 tsp rum extract (2 mL)
1/4 cup desiccated coconut, (50 mL)
unsweetened
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular (25 mL)


In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup (50 mL) SPLENDA® Granular, raisins and rum extract. Use a wooden spoon to mash everything together. On a dinner plate, combine coconut and 2 tbsp (25 mL) SPLENDA® Granular. Form small balls out of the cream cheese mixture (refrigerate first if mixture is too soft) and roll in sweetened coconut. Place in pretty bon bon cups and refrigerate.

Helpful Hints: Use a melon baller, if desired. 1 1/2 tsp real rum may be used instead of the rum extract. Sometimes I add 1 tbsp cocoa to the mixture and reduce the Splenda Granular and add a tablespoon powdered Erythritol. Rolling the balls in plain cocoa works well and dipping them in my Dipping Chocolate from Splendid Low-Carbing is a treat (first allow chocolate on dipped truffles to harden in deep freeze before placing in bon bon cups).

Nutritional Analysis: 18 truffles, 1 truffle per serving
48.4 calories, 1.1 g protein; 3.7 g fat; 2.6 g carbs

Thursday, December 18, 2008

*GOLDEN FRUITCAKE* (GF)



About the Gluten-Free Bake Mix: When substituting for white flour, extra fluid or wet ingredients may still be required, but quite a bit extra is required when subbing for one of my bake mixes (in this case 3/4 cup extra), therefore, less Gluten-free bake mix could conceivably be used to further lower carbs. This bake mix can be substituted in most of my baking recipes quite successfully. Use certified gluten-free oat flour or finely grind the certified gluten-free oats from Bob's Red Mill. I would like to try my bake mix with a little less Xanthan gum, because I feel it cuts sweetness somewhat and I can detect its presence ever so slightly in some baked goods. Also, there should be other alternatives for coconut flour (by the way it is so subtle the flavor that usually it is not perceived in the baking, but adds extra fiber and cuts carbs. I guess flax seed meal and whey protein powder would work, changing liquid requirements mostly in the latter option.) Anyway, I'm really chuffed to be able to offer something like this for gluten-free folks who are also carb conscious. The thing about gluten free flours is that they are often more carbs than white flour! Go figure - that is sad. However, that said, other gluten-free flours can be substituted for my bake mixes. I use Splenda Granular, however, another sweetener of choice may be subbed in my recipes.

These attractive mini loaves make great Christmas presents for someone with diabetes or someone who lives gluten-free and lower carb. Place frosted loaves on a pretty paper plate. Cover with plastic wrap and transparent colored wrap (the one I had was transparent with blue stripes). I taped the wrap underneath, but you could bring it up to the top in a bunch and tie a bow around it.

Another idea I like for Christmas presents are my spiced pecan clusters (awesome!) or curried walnuts or almond clusters placed in pretty Christmas tins. I was amused to see in a recent post by Dana Carpender that she likes to do the same thing with her nut recipes.

GOLDEN FRUITCAKE(Makes 2 mini loaves)
This flavorful fruitcake is quite moderate in carbs compared to the real thing. Use certified gluten-free oat flour or finely grind the certified gluten-free oats from Bob's Red Mill.

1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup seedless California raisins
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp rum extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 3/4 cups Gluten-free Bake Mix
3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Hood Carb Countdown Milk OR mixture of cream and water
1/2 cup yogurt
Icing:
1/2 cup Splenda Granular
4 tbsp powdered erythritol
4 tbsp whole milk powder (hispanic section of Super Walmart or Publix)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp water

In medium bowl, combine dried apricots, raisins, dates and almonds. Stir in lemon juice, rum extract, vanilla extract and lemon peel. Set aside. In another medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, SPLENDA® Granular and baking soda.

In food processor with whipping assembly, whip egg whites until stiff. In mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat egg yolks and butter together. To egg yolk mixture, add half dry ingredients, Hood Carb Countdown milk, yogurt and remaining dry ingredients. Fold egg whites into batter and stir in fruit and nut mixture. Spread evenly in two greased nonstick 53/4 x 31/4 x 21/4 inch (15 x 8 x 6 cm) mini loaf pans. Bake in 300°F (150°C) oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out and frost with Icing. Cover and store at room temperature for 2 days. Refrigerate thereafter.

Icing: In blender, combine Splenda Granular, erythritol, milk powder and cornstarch. Add melted butter and water; blend until smooth. Frost mini fruitcake loaves immediately.

Nutritional analysis without icing:10 servings, 1 slice per serving: 89.9 cal; 2.9 g pro; 5.0 g fat; 7.4 g carbs

Nutritional analysis with icing:10 servings, 1 slice per serving: 111.9 cal; 3.3 g pro; 6.5 g fat; 9.0 g carbs

Helpful Hint: Considering regular fruitcake runs at least 25 g carbs per slice, this is moderate in carbs.

Here is another recipe from Splendid Low-Carb Desserts:

GOLDEN FRUITCAKE (Not gluten-free)
Do you miss traditional fruitcake? I’m not really a fan of fruitcake; however, I really enjoyed this lighter version. This fruitcake is quite moderate in carbs compared to the real thing.

1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped (75 mL)
1/4 cup seedless California raisins (50 mL)
1/4 cup chopped dates (50 mL)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, (50 mL)
lightly toasted, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
2 tsp rum extract (10 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 tsp grated lemon peel (5 mL)
1 3/4 cups Low-Carb Bake Mix (425 mL)
3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (175 mL)
3/4 tsp baking soda (3 mL)
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, softened (50 mL)
1/2 cup yogurt (125 mL)
Icing:
3/4 cup Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute (175 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (25 mL)
1/4 cup Da Vinci® Sugar Free French Vanilla Syrup, OR (50 mL)
Low-Carb Pancake Syrup

In medium bowl, combine dried apricots, raisins, dates and almonds. Stir in lemon juice, rum extract, vanilla extract and lemon peel. Set aside. In another medium bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, SPLENDA® Granular and baking soda.

In food processor with whipping assembly, whip egg whites until stiff. In mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat egg yolks and butter together. To egg yolk mixture, add half dry ingredients, yogurt and remaining dry ingredients. Fold egg whites into batter and stir in fruit and nut mixture. Spread evenly in two greased nonstick 53/4 x 31/4 x 21/4 inch (15 x 8 x 6 cm) mini loaf pans. Bake in 300°F (150°C) oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out and frost with Icing. Cover and store at room temperature for 2 days. Refrigerate thereafter.

Icing: In small bowl, whisk together Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute, page 65, butter and Da Vinci® Sugar Free French Vanilla Syrup. Add extra syrup as needed. Using a cream cheese frosting (think spreadable cream cheese, powdered erythritol, vanilla) will reduce carbs a bit.

Nutritional Analysis: Yield: 10 slices per loaf, 1 slice/without icing
130.7/106.4 calories; 6.1/5.2 g protein; 8.3/6.6 g fat; 7.7/6.3 g carbs

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Regaining after having lost weight and feeling great


This story is all too common and probably more common than not. It is heartbreaking to say the very least. Some people simply have a much much more difficult time with weight problems. I have the cheek to bemoan the few pounds I have not been able to shed easily - truth be known I could starve it off, I guess, but I'm not into that. The point I'm trying to make is the challenge to lose weight and keep it off for someone who has a battle on their hands with lots more weight is astronomically more difficult. One is fighting genes and set points and the fact that once the fat cells have been laid down, they want to be full again and who knows what else - simply life and how difficult it is at times emotionally. Add into that pregnancies, parties galore at the end of the year and you name it - all kinds of things happen to derail the best of us. Think also of the times one cuts down on calories and the thyroid resets its thermostat to foil our efforts and some of us actually have an autoimmune thyroid disease to begin with.

There is one person who comes to mind who is famous and struggles too. Her name is Oprah Winfrey. Dr. Eades did a great post and had over a hundred comments. Yikes! Anyway, it is fun to read all the comments over there to that post. Everyone agrees that Oprah would lose the weight and keep it off if she did low-carbing and stayed on the WOL. It was more interesting to me to read the comments than the article itself and that is often the case on some blog posts. Here it is if anyone is interested: Oprah's Plight. I actually sent in the link to Oprah Winfrey!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Season through Valentine's Day Bonus


Let me know right away if you buy my books. Email me (look in my profile for the email address). You may be eligible for a free book! Buy 2 or more books and get an extra one of equal or lesser value free. Buy all 5 low-carb cookbooks and get an extra book of your choice free (even if you choose the most expensive book, Splendid Low-Carbing). The free book could be used as a gift for a family member or friend.

It is very important that as soon as you order you email me with your choice of free book, because it needs to go out in the same shipment as your order.

Friday, December 12, 2008

*CRANBERRY SAUCE* (GF)



CRANBERRY SAUCE
This is an excellent sauce as an accompaniment to turkey or chicken dinners.

1 1/2 cups SPLENDA® Granular (375 mL)
1 1/4 cups water (300 mL)
1 pkg frozen cranberries (600 g)

In medium saucepan, dissolve SPLENDA® Granular in water; add cranberries. Over medium heat, bring to boil and cook until cranberries pop (about 20 minutes). Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes more. Allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate.

Nutritional Analysis: 3 2/3 cups (900 mL), 1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving:
7.6 calories; 0.0 g protein; 0.0 g fat; 1.5 g carbs

Variations: Smooth Cranberry Sauce: Cook as above, except omit simmering step. Stir 2 tsp (10 mL) unflavored gelatin softened in 2 tbsp (25 mL) water into sauce. Pour into strainer over bowl. Mash cranberries with back of spoon, frequently scraping outside of strainer until no pulp is left. Stir contents of bowl. Pour into serving container. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate. Yield: 3 cups (750 mL), 1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving. (1.6 g Carbs)

Jellied Cranberry Sauce: Prepare as for Smooth Cranberry Sauce above. In small bowl, combine 2 tbsp (25 mL) unflavored gelatin and 1/4 cup (50 mL) water. Microwave 40 seconds on high power to dissolve. Stir into sauce. Refrigerate until set.
Yield: 3 cups (750 mL), 1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving. (1.6 g Carbs)

Cranberry Fruit Spread: As for Smooth Cranberry Sauce above. Use as fruit spread on low-carb toast or crackers.
Yield: 31/4 cups (800 mL), 1 tsp (5 mL) per serving. (0.5 g Carbs)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

*CONFECTIONER'S SUGAR SUBSTITUTE AND FROSTINGS* (GF)

CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR SUBSTITUTE & FROSTINGS
This Substitute makes an incredible coffee creamer. Handy for coffee in hotels or motels, when all they have in the rooms is powdered creamer with sugar in it.

Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute:
2-1/4 cups SPLENDA® Granular
1-1/3 cups whole milk powder
1/2 cup whey protein
Creamy Vanilla Frosting:
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Thickening Agent, page 109, Splendid Low-Carbing OR use Xanthan gum
1/4 cup sour cream

In large bowl, combine SPLENDA® Granular, whole milk powder and whey protein. Blend in small batches in blender. Stir together in bowl to combine well. This mixture will keep well in airtight container at room temperature.

Nutritional Analysis of Confectioner's Sugar Substitute: 3 cups, 2 tbsp per serving
47.2 calories, 3.1 g protein, 1.8 g fat, 4.7 g carbs

Creamy Vanilla Frosting: In food processor with sharp blade or blender, combine cream, Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute, SPLENDA® Granular, vanilla extract and Thickening Agent, page 109. Process until stiff. Stir in sour cream.

Yield: 11/2 cups (375 mL) - to frost a 2-layer cake, 12 servings (1.3 g Carbs) or tube cake (sliced horizontally in half), 16 servings. (1.0 g Carbs)

Variations: Creamy Lemon Frosting: Omit vanilla extract. Also add 2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon extract.
Yield: 12 servings. (1.5 g Carbs) Yield: 16 servings. (1.1 g Carbs)

Creamy Chocolate Frosting: Add 2 tbsp (25 mL) cocoa and also 1 extra tbsp (15 mL) SPLENDA® Granular.
Yield: 12 servings. (1.6 g Carbs) Yield: 16 servings. (1.2 g Carbs)

Creamy Maple Frosting: Omit vanilla extract. Add 2 tsp (10 mL) maple extract. Yield: 12 servings. (1.4 g Carbs ) Yield: 16 servings. (1.0 g Carb)

Helpful Hints: For frosting to frost sides of cake as well, use 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream, 3 tbsp (45 mL) Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute, 1/4 cup (50 mL) SPLENDA® Granular and remaining ingredients as for principal recipe.

*ALMOND MILK-CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE* (GF)



ALMOND MILK-CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
This cheesecake is so firm that it tastes like a baked cheesecake.

Graham Cracker-like Crust:
2/3 cup Low-carb Bake Mix
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 SPLENDA® packets
Milk Chocolate Filling:
1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute (here)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 envelope gelatin
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular
1/4 cup water

Graham Cracker-like Crust: In medium bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, ground almonds, butter and SPLENDA® . Press into 9-inch glass pie dish. Bake in 350°F oven 10 minutes, or until turning brown.

Milk Chocolate Filling: In medium saucepan, combine Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute, cocoa and gelatin. Gradually whisk in whipping cream and 1/4 cup water. Whisk over medium-low heat just until gelatin dissolves. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract.

In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in a bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese until smooth. To cream cheese, add SPLENDA® Granular and 1/4 cup water; process. Add milk chocolate sauce; process until smooth. Fill prepared crust. Sprinkle with teaspoon grated, unsweetened chocolate, if desired. Refrigerate.

Nutritional Analysis: 12 servings
244.3 calories, 8.1 g protein, 21.4 g fat, 5.4 g carbs

Helpful Hints: For a different garnish, omit grated chocolate. Allow cheesecake to set. Garnish with sweetened Crème Fraiche or whipped cream and sprinkle with some grated, unsweetened chocolate. Another idea is to use my drizzling chocolate. This cheesecake is also wonderful with my Nanaimo bar crust. page 185 of Splendid Low-Carbing. (7.8 g Carbs)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Intermittent Fasting - another weight loss and health tool

INTERMITTENT FASTING

Are you trying to be a good little low-carber, but failing these days, especially with all the holiday treats around? Do you want a measure of control and a more structured schedule to help with that?

Before you run away in horror, read a little further. This is not about huge deprivation. Intermittent fasting can be austere, but it can also be very manageable and you can still eat every single day on the less austere regimen - not only that, your meals can be a bit more carby if you are not prone to great cravings. The eating window can be as wide as you like in the beginning, but optimally should be about 5 to 9 hours. Some people prefer to eat once a day - in which case their eating window will probably be 2 hours. There are specific programs out there: One called Fast Five and another called Stop Eat Stop.

Although, I have yet to try intermittent fasting myself for more than a day or two, I think it is possibly something I might try in the new year sometime to lose 5 lbs, but more importantly to reduce my CRP levels, which were a little bit high the last time I was tested. Perhaps it will be a WOE that I will adopt more frequently in the future. Dr. Eades had a post on this that indicated intermittent fasting reduces inflammation: A Fast Way to Better Health and Study

The advantages of intermittent fasting as I see it:

1) Cuts down on grazing and, therefore, calories
2) Eating takes time and energy (preparing food several times a day and worrying about what to make, etc.) Eating once a day cuts down on work.
3) Most likely the food budget will go down
4) Weight loss
5) Hardly any muscle loss - so the studies show - some googling will bear me out
6) Feeling and looking like your girth is getting smaller and the empty feeling in the stomach being almost enjoyable as a result
7) More control over food - wrestle back that control
8) Get more done during the day without thinking about food
9) More energy

Disadvantages:

1) Difficult to cook while out of the eating window - try not to
2) Social events - especially unexpected ones - need to shift the eating window and sometimes the intermittent fasting day will go out the window if one has already eaten
3) Occasional hunger - cannot relieve it with eating, however, a cup of tea or coffee with cream (with sweetener for those who can handle it without cravings)
4) Being offered something tempting to eat outside of the eating window
5) Needing to exercise some will power
6) Ketone breath
7) Perhaps not getting enough calories
8) Sometimes binging if one is prone to that sort of thing
9) Feeling a bit of a failure if the intermittent fasting day is messed up

Here is a thread on a forum that is interesting. It is closed now, but inspiration can be gained from reading in it: www.lowcarber.org

A blog of interest: www.theiflife.com

Anyway, it is just a thought this morning, and perhaps it will help someone who is struggling to be a good little low-carber, but is failing too often. This method gives one freedom from having to count anything and even freedom to eat more good carbs depending on the person.

If cravings are super strong, Wellbutrin (an anti-depressant), can help with that - giving the necessary serotonin boost without eating (googling will show that this drug can actually cause anorexia in extreme cases, so do exercise caution). Drugs are a last resort though as they almost always have side effects, some of which could be more serious. Dr. Atkins said L-Glutamine helps as does Chromium-GTF (I think - don't quote me on that one!)

During the fasting period, 100 calories are allowed if necessary. One or two cups of coffee or tea with cream and sweetener will cover that. It might just be enough to still the hunger. The sweetener might cause cravings, so do monitor that.

Effects of fasting on blood sugar? Here is an interesting blog article where Brad Pilon author of Eat Stop Eat (for weight loss) did some experimenting on himself: Fasting blood sugar levels

All the best to anyone who tries this. I'd like feedback, if you get the time.

Jennifer Eloff
www.low-carb.us

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

DULCE DE LECHE (GF)


Here is my condensed milk recipe (it is decadent to say the least!):
Condensed Milk (for baking)

Add 2 tsp molasses and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp extra butter (to make sure the dulce de leche topping sets up properly) - this results in a confection reminiscent of caramel, dulce de leche or a toffee-like flavor. When sufficiently cooled and thickened in refrigerator, use about 2/3 to 1 cup as a topping for a New-York style cheesecake, for instance. The carbs increase from 2.9 to 3.3 per serving. Using 2/3 cup, this adds less than 3 g of carbs per slice of cheesecake (12 servings). Freeze the rest if you have that kind of will power. Also, remember most cheesecakes freeze really well, sliced, in a sealed tupperware-type container.

Helpful Hints: For many low-carbers the molasses will be a total no-no. Instead flavor the condensed milk with butterscotch extract (no more than 1/2 tsp) or caramel extract (is there such a thing? - Caramel DaVinci Sugar Free Syrup would work but be careful to use no more than 1 or 2 tsp, otherwise the mixture will not be viscous enough for a topping.