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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

By Clicking on the Photos.....

usually it takes you to another screen where the photo can be viewed as a larger, more attractive image.

This is useful, I think. :-)

Happy Low-Carbing!
Jennifer

Sunday, September 27, 2009

FUDGEY PEANUT BUTTER COCONUT SQUARES (GF)



FUDGEY PEANUT BUTTER COCONUT SQUARES
These sweet fudge-like squares are very rich but quite low in carbs. They may be frozen or refrigerated. I prefer them frozen, but if using chocolate chips, they would be better refrigerated, as the chips would freeze too hard and one would not taste them so well.  This  recipe was well-tested and enjoyed on lowcarbfriends.com  It's a flexible recipe and you can play with it.  Here you can go over to the thread on lowcarbfriends.com and see what folks said about it and how they played with the recipe:  OVER HERE

1/2 cup granulated erythritol
1/4 cup whipping cream or evaporated milk
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup sugar, OR to taste (250 mL)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (sugar free, salted is fine)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened, medium dessicated coconut
1 cup vanilla whey protein powder (available at places like GNC)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips, OR 70% Lindt Bar, chopped (optional)

In double boiler or in heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine erythritol, cream, sweetener and butter. Over medium heat, stir mixture until very hot and erythritol has dissolved. Stir in peanut butter until incorporated. Then add coconut, vanilla whey protein powder and chopped nuts of choice. Stir well and turn out into an 8 x 8-inch square glass dish.  Allow to cool before pressing some chocolate chips over the top, if using (otherwise the chocolate will melt).  Freeze and later when set, refrigerate, if desired.

Nutritional Analysis: 25 squares, 1 square:
131.5 calories; 4.0 g protein; 11.7 g fat; 1.7 g carbs


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! 

Monday, September 21, 2009

CREME FRAICHE




CRÈME FRAICHE
Lovely sweetened whipped topping for serving with desserts or for garnishing desserts like cheesecakes and pies. It holds up much better than plain whipped cream, and tastes way better as well.  You can add cocoa and make a frosting for cakes.  It's a very versatile recipe.  It lasts long in the refrigerator as well.  You can use nonfat sour cream if calories are a problem for you.  Normally I don't suggest nonfat dairy, but in this recipe, it actually works very well.  This is a VERY useful recipe and I use to use it a ton when I lived in Canada.  Fresh whipping cream is very expensive here and doesn't last very long in the refrigerator for whatever reason...maybe it was the heat when we lived in the city.  I think it is better on the mountain.  But since I live so far from the city and grocery stores, I typically buy shelf-stable cream, but my experience is that it is not that great in this recipe, nor does it whip beautifully like fresh cream.

1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
Sweetener to equal 1/2 cup sugar (125 mL)
1/4 tsp Thickening Agent, OR (1 mL)
  xanthan gum(optional) - may need up to 1/2 tsp
2/3 cup regular sour cream, OR (150 mL)
  nonfat sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)

In food processor, on low speed, process whipping cream with sweetener. While processing, sprinkle in Thickening Agent, OR xanthan gum through feed tube. Process until stiff. Add sour cream and vanilla extract; process on medium high speed just until combined. It will keep at least one week or longer in refrigerator.

Nutritional Analysis: 2 1/8 cups, 2 tbsp (25 mL) per serving: 56.8 cal; 0.6 pro; 5.8 fat; 0.9 g carbs

Helpful Hints: Thickening Agent makes the Crème Fraiche firmer and easier to garnish desserts using a pastry bag {use up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL)}. This recipe may easily be doubled or halved. Half this recipe will suffice as a topping for a cheesecake. (1.1 g Carbs)


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! 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

*CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE* (GF)


CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE
Fabulous milk chocolate cheesecake studded with chocolate chips and garnished with my Creme Fraiche recipe.
Almond Crust:
1 cup ground almonds (250 mL)
1 SPLENDA® packet
1 egg white
Filling:
1 cup ricotta cheese (250 mL)
16 oz regular cream cheese, (500 g)
softened
1 1/2 cups SPLENDA® Granular (375 mL)
1/3 cup Dutch cocoa (75 mL)
1/4 cup sour cream (50 mL)
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)
3 eggs
1 cup sugarless chocolate chips, (250 mL)
(sweetened)

Almond Crust: In small bowl, combine ground almonds, SPLENDA® and egg white. Spread in bottom of 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press out evenly; remove wrap. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 5 more minutes.

Filling: In food processor with sharp blade or in blender, process ricotta cheese until smooth. Add cream cheese; process. Add SPLENDA® Granular, Dutch cocoa, sour cream, vanilla extract and salt. Add eggs one at a time while processing, just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spray sides of springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour cheesecake batter over baked crust.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 40 to 45 minutes, or until firmly set around edges and softly set in center.

Variation: Chocolate Raisin Cheesecake: Omit chocolate chips and substitute 1/2 cup (125 mL) plump, seedless California raisins, snipped in half.
Yield: 16 servings. 1 serving: (8.7 g Carbs)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Artificial Sweeteners - Another Study that is more positive

An article in a Diabetes newsletter made me sit up and take notice, as we've been hearing just the opposite sometimes - that artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain of all things! What to believe nowadays....?!! My experience tells me that sugar makes me fat and Splenda helps me stay away from sugar which makes me fat. However, too many desserts with Splenda will still put weight on me, though not as quickly as sugary, white flour products do - everything in moderation, especially when actually dieting to lose weight.

Starred Recipes

This evening I marked each recipe that is out of one of my low-carb cookbooks with a star. The rest of the recipes are new ones - just me fooling around in the kitchen as per usual. This should be a helpful addition to my blog. Enjoy!

Happy Low-Carbing!
Jennifer

*VITAL ULTIMATE BAKE MIXES*

This is one of my favorite bake mixes:

VITAL ULTIMATE BAKE MIX
Substitute cup-for-cup for all-purpose flour. Regular sugar and white flour recipes will have carbs reduced by about 60 %, if SPLENDA® is used as well.


My latest Discovery: By substituting half of any of my bake mixes (and especially the Vital Ultimate Bake Mixes) with Carbalose flour from www.netrition.com one gets superior results than simply using my bake mix. In fact, the results are so similar to baking with white flour that it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference. Experiment and let me know how it turns out for you. Any feedback would be helpful to others too. I will continue to explore this avenue as time goes by. The thing is many people were put off by Carbalose flour or Carbquik, in particular, because of a strange taste or smell that some people could detect too strongly. However, that problem is solved when doing the former bake mix combo. I have not worked with Carbquik and most likely will not in the future either, however, I love Carbalose flour used in this manner. The carb count in the recipes will not change. There is no carb savings.


NOTE: One cup of white flour is about 91.5 g carbs and 1 cup of Vital Ultimate Bake Mix (the highest carb option with spelt flour, say) is 33.6 g carb, for a savings of 57.9 g carbs. Now that is the worst case scenario. Most people would use oat or whole wheat pastry flour options and then the numbers look like this: 24.4 g carbs vs 91.5 g carbs per cup for a savings of 67.1 g carbs. Actually, in the grand scheme of things not huge differences - surprisingly! For those of you who cannot have any grains at this point in time, choose to use my really low-carb bake mix called Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix.

Vital Ultimate Bake Mix
1 1/2 cups almond flour, ground almonds, OR (375 mL)
ground hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts
1 cup spelt, OR all-purpose, (250 mL)
whole wheat pastry flour, OR
oat flour* (last two have fewer carbs)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (125 mL)

In medium bowl, combine ground almonds (hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts), spelt flour (all-purpose, whole wheat pastry or oat flour) and vital wheat gluten; stir well. Substitute cup-for-cup for all-purpose flour. With all bake mixes, add liquid in your own recipes very cautiously, withholding about 1/4 cup (50 mL) to 1/2 cup (125 mL) and adding it as necessary. Usually recipes require the former amount.

Nutritional Analysis: Yield: 3 cups (750 mL)
1/4 cup (50 mL)/serv. (spelt)
139.5 calories; 8.2 g protein, 8.0 g fat; 8.4 g carbs

Variations: *Vital Whole Wheat Ultimate Bake Mix: (using the same formulation in main recipe, only with whole wheat pastry flour):
131.4 calories, 7.8 g protein, 7.9 g fat, 6.9 g carbs.

*Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix: (using the same formulation in main recipe, only with oat flour): 136.5 calories, 8.1 g protein, 8.3 g fat, 6.1 g carbs.

Vital Ultimate Bake Mix (with all-purpose flour): I very rarely use this combination, but will choose to make the bake mix with spelt flour instead as in main recipe with nutritional analysis shown. It is useful for a very special occasion, delicate-textured cake or loaf or muffins, etc.
144.1 calories, 7.9 g protein, 7.9 g fat, 9.7 g carbs.

Helpful Hints: The ground almonds, all-purpose flour and vital wheat gluten combination in Vital Ultimate Bake Mix is very similar to regular baking and often better, producing lovely, moist, delicate-textured baked goods and is particularly useful for cakes that require a tender crumb texture. Spelt flour (a complex carbohydrate flour, not biologically related to wheat flour, but with about the same carbohydrate content) will be almost as good in such instances.

If you are using ground almonds instead of almond flour, please add an extra 1/2 cup (125 mL). This will give the correct yield, however, if you forget, it will not harm the recipe results. Even although I mentioned ground almonds in my recipe books, I actually used almond flour at the time. These days I cannot get almond flour where I live and because I use so much of it, I have to grind my own from sliced almonds that I buy. It is coarsely ground compared to almond flour. Almond flour, of course, is more superior in baking. Store.honeyvillegrain.com on the internet sells practically the best almond flour anywhere.

Vital Ultimate Bake Mix may replace Low-Carb Bake Mix, page 64 in recipes. Just use 2 tbsp (25 mL) less Vital Ultimate Bake Mix per cup of Low-Carb Bake Mix. It may also replace cup-for-cup any of the other Ultimate Bake Mixes in my other cookbooks. However, do not substitute the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix for the Vital Ultimate Bake Mix - for one, you'd need to use more of it (maybe 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup) and for two, I cannot guarantee the result.

*THIN 'N CRISPY PIZZA CRUSTS*



THIN ‘N CRISPY PIZZA CRUST
Thin, crispy crust pizza is a favorite. This recipe makes 2 crusts or 2 pizzas. My eldest son, Daniel, 20 years old, who is not fully into low-carbing said, “Mom, this tastes equivalent to high-carb pizza. In fact, I actually prefer yours to the ones with the thick, white flour crusts.”

1 1/3 cups water (325 mL)
4 cups Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix (as in using oat flour) (1 L)
OR use Whole wheat pastry flour in Bake Mix for about the same carbs
2 tbsp butter (25 mL)
2 tbsp skim, OR whole milk (25 mL)
powder
1 tbsp sugar (food for yeast) (15 mL)
1 tbsp dry yeast (15 mL)
1 tsp salt (5 mL)
3 tbsp olive oil, or more to taste (45 mL)

In bread pan, place water, Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix, page 66, butter, skim or whole milk powder, sugar (yeast completely consumes the sugar and forms carbon dioxide, which is what makes the bread rise), dry yeast and salt. Program bread machine to “dough” setting. Scrape sides of pan in the beginning, while it is mixing. Remove dough when ready and roll out on counter to fit a large pizza pan (larger than 12 inches (30 cm), preferably one with holes in it. Brush one side of dough with 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil and place that side down on pizza pan. If necessary, use small rolling pin or cylindrical object to further roll out dough. Bake in center of 425°F (200°C) oven 10 minutes. Remove and brush top of crust with remaining olive oil (use extra, if desired). Carefully loosen crust and flip using potholders. Bake another 5 minutes.

Cover with Pizza Sauce, page 58, add toppings, such as sliced wieners or ham and chopped bacon and Mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmesan Cheeses. Using Pizza Sauce, page 58, 4 wieners (sliced), 4 strips bacon (cooked and chopped) and 2 cups (500 mL) Mozzarella cheese on each pizza: (6.7 g Carbs). Reduce heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is crispy and brown underneath and cheese has melted. It may be necessary to cover or partially cover pizza lightly with foil if top crust is turning too brown.

Helpful Hints: It is easy to add interest to the above pizza topping suggestions, such as finely chopped red and green pepper, sliced mushrooms, chopped green onions, etc. Add your own meat fixings and toppings – be creative! It’s possible to roll out remaining pizza crust, place on pizza pan or roll to fit a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate and bake the next day (even crispier!).

Nutritional Analysis: Yield: 2 pizzas, 12 servings each.
1 serv: 117.3 calories, 5.7 g protein, 8.2 g fat, 4.4 g carbs

Friday, September 11, 2009

*PEANUT BUTTER OAT COOKIE*


This recipe is from Splendid Low-Carbing. It was one of those recipes that really - well, what can I say? - was not the greatest. There are not too many recipes that I'm not happy about (maybe a small handful out of the 5 low-carb cookbooks) - but there are a few - and, I wish in hindsight I had not included them. This recipe was unfortunate because it sounds so good and is extremely easy to make. The cookies were tasty but too dry. The problem was with the wheat bran and it needed another egg. Either reduce the wheat bran by half and replace the other half with almond flour or replace wheat bran entirely with almond flour and add one extra egg. I made these again the other day (using the latter suggestion) and also added some raisins, which is a nice addition (adds chewiness), but is more for maintenance levels of low-carbing. These cookies are best kept in the refrigerator. They add some good fiber to the diet and are a nice, healthy cookie. They freeze well and can even be eaten straight out of the freezer, if desired. The reason these made it into the book is a young lady aged 16 at the time loved these cookies so much that her rave review overrode my own good sense, plus I was tired and at the end of writing my book.

PEANUT BUTTER OAT COOKIES
These are great for kids!

1 cup butter, melted (250 mL)
1 cup creamy peanut butter (250 mL)
(no sugar or salt added)
1/4 cup whipping cream (50 mL)
1 extra-large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
11/2 cups SPLENDA® Granular (375 mL)
11/4 cups oat flour (300 mL)
1 cup wheat bran (250 mL)
3/4 cup minute oats (175 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)

In food processor or electric mixer, combine butter, peanut butter, whipping cream, egg and vanilla extract. Process. Add SPLENDA® Granular; process. In large bowl, combine oat flour, wheat bran, oats, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in butter mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown underneath. Cool on wire rack.

NOTE: For a really super Oatmeal Raisin Spice cookie, Look here!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy's 14th Birthday!!



Since I first posted about Happy's illness, we went through one horrible day where we seriously considered the inevitable and calling the vet, because Happy was so sick and vomiting and weak and suffering! I prayed for guidance and it became clear to me that even although Happy was suffering several hours a day, he still enjoyed his walks and food and has good days and bad days. Now finally his good days outweigh his bad days. Clearly Happy is ailing, but he is still with us and his hours of suffering (phlegm and wanting to vomit) have narrowed down to maybe one or two hours a day or not even - not bad compared to before when we thought for sure his death was imminent. His latest urine test says he is not diabetic and that there is still a little bit of a urinary tract infection. We have kept him on the medicine for that infection the whole time, though we switched from the antibiotic, Ciproflaxacin to Nitrofurantoin, which he seems to tolerate better. Happy has been struggling with eye and ear infections and skin fungal infections on his feet, which is common here, especially in older dogs. It is as if his immune system is not doing too well in combating infections. We are also deworming Happy just in case. Happy has a great deal of trouble drinking without doing the reverse wheezing afterwards, which is quite distressing to listen to at times. I raised his water bowl and that seems to have helped a great deal. He has a huge growth under his chin and maybe that has something to do with it. He has other benign growths that are big elsewhere too. It really is not fun getting older - not for dogs either. I have not been dealing with Happy's illness very well. I know it is inevitable that he will leave us, but I've been a bit of a wreck at times and I wonder maybe if it has something to do with menopause and hormonal issues. Everyone else in the family is doing better than I am. Anyway, we are very grateful for every day that Happy is still with us and seems to be coping well and not suffering unduly.

For the record, I know this ongoing story about my doggie is not about low-carbing as such, but Happy is eating quite low-carb and totally homemade cooked food, because he does not have the strong, healthy teeth to eat dry dog food anymore. I've been doing this for him for about 2 years.

The photo is of Happy enjoying himself on an outing on his 14th Birthday - 8th of September, 2009. He had a wonderful day and a wonderful night - exactly what I was hoping and praying for. (smile)