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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 21 and 22 is here!

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 21 and 22 is here! Sorry for the delay - life iDisney - Snow White And Seven Dwarfs MuralImage by Express Monorail via Flickrs hectic!!
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Top 20 Low-Carb Heroes!

Thought I'd share: Top 20 Low-Carb Heroes

Dar of Dar Dreams put together a list of her Top 20 Low-Carb Heroes. I'm thrilled and feel honored to be one of them. I'm in very good company in that list and I'm very grateful to be included. Thanks, Dar! Dar tirelessly keeps inspiring people with diabetes to stay the course on a very low-carb diet to control blood sugar. She is one of the most disciplined people I know. She has also had her fair share of other challenges in life and she is also another Snow White who can relate to my life script.

I just found Dar's e-how articles and step by step instructions for making recipes. Really impressive! Dar Dream's E-How Articles She has tons of other links with lovely looking recipes - check it out on that same link to the Top 20 Low-Carb Heroes! Well done, Dar! You've been really busy!

Dar wrote in comments, but in case someone misses it, here is an excerpt that is important:

"For those who don't know who I am and/or have never visited any of my websites, "Who or What is DARdreams?" is a good place to start: http://www.squidoo.com/DARdreams."

GANACHE CHEESECAKE (GF)


GANACHE CHEESECAKE

An easy, beautiful and delicious cheesecake.

Text Box: Yield:  12/16 servings1 serving378.0/283.5 calories8.5/6.4 g protein32.4/24.3 g fat5.9/4.5 g carbsCrust:
1/2 cup ground almonds (125 mL)
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular (25 mL)
1 tbsp oat flour (15 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (25 mL)
1 egg yolk
Filling:
16 oz light cream cheese, softened (500 g)
8 oz regular cream cheese, softened (250 g)
3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (175 mL)
1/2 cup powdered erythritol (125 mL)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (75 mL)Semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract (25 mL)
Ganache:
1 cup (6 oz) sugarless chocolate chips (250 mL)
1 can Thick Cream, Carnation (25% M.F.) (170 mL)
Crust: In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, SPLENDA® Granular and oat flour. Stir in butter and egg yolk. Sprinkle in 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish or springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press crust out evenly; remove plastic wrap. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes or until turning brown at edges.

Filling: In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheeses until smooth. Add SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, butter, eggs and vanilla extract; process until smooth. Pour over crust. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 35 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Spread with Ganache.

Ganache: In cereal bowl, pour boiling water over chocolate chips. When they test soft and molten to the tip of a pointy knife, pour the water off. Stir in the cream.

ALTERNATE CHEESECAKE FILLING

This makes for a very substantial cheesecake filling. I’ve used either of these fillings for the Ganache Cheesecake and both are nice.

24 oz regular cream cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1 cup SPLENDA® Granular

1/2 cup erythritol

6 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

In food processor, process cream cheese. Add sour cream, SPLENDA® Granular and erythritol; process. Add eggs one at a time while processing and add vanilla extract while processing.

Bake in water bath at 325°F for 1 hour or until set.




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Thursday, September 23, 2010

*Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Pie* (GF)




CHOCOLATE MINT ICE CREAM PIE
The texture reminds one of a fudgsicle. Jonathan loved this! If desired, double the crust ingredients.

Text Box: Yield:  10 servings1 serving239.0 calories8.8 g protein19.7 g fat7.0 g carbsCrust:
1/2 cup Low-Carb Bake Mix or Gluten-Free Bake Mix (125 mL)
1/2 cup ground almonds (125 mL)
1/4 cup butter, melted (50 mL)
1 SPLENDA® packet
Filling:

Crust: In small bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, ground almonds, butter and SPLENDA®. Spread in 9-inch (23 cm) glass baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Press crust out evenly on bottom of dish; remove wrap. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes.

Filling: Spread ice cream carefully over cooled crust. Freeze. To serve, thaw 20 minutes to half an hour or thaw briefly in microwave oven.

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 20 is here!

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 20

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

*ICE CREAMS* (GF)



VANILLA ICE CREAM
Really lovely ice cream without eggs and made using Low-Carb Condensed Milk .

Low-Carb Condensed Milk (use melted butter)
2 cups half-and-half cream (500 mL)
1 tbsp vanilla extract (15 mL)

Prepare Low-Carb Condensed Milk (make sure to use melted butter to prevent small lumps of butter forming in your ice cream); pour into large bowl. Stir in cream and vanilla extract; whisk until well combined. Refrigerate until chilled. Freeze in ice cream maker as manufacturer directs.

Yield: 4 cups (1 L)
1/2 cup (125 mL) per serving
223.2 calories
6.3 g protein
18.6 g fat
7.4 g carbs


Variations: Chocolate Ice Cream: Add 1/4 cup (50 mL) Dutch cocoa to blender along with half-and-half cream. Omit vanilla extract, OR add only 1 tsp (5 mL).
(7.5 g Carbs)Chocolate ice cream

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream: As for Chocolate Ice Cream, however, omit vanilla extract and use 1/2 tsp (2 mL) mint and peppermint extract. (7.5 g Carbs)

Cappuccino Ice Cream: Dissolve 2 tsp (10 mL) instant coffee crystals in blender along with condensed milk and cream. Omit vanilla extract.
(7.3 g Carbs)

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream: Use Low-Carb Condensed milk and one 13.5 fl. oz (398 mL) can coconut milk, 1/4 cup (50 mL) half-and-half cream and 1/4 cup (50 mL) toasted coconut, 3 tbsp (45 mL) Da Vinci® Sugar Free Coconut Syrup and 2 SPLENDA® packets. (Toast coconut in dry, nonstick skillet.)
(7.1 g Carbs)

Fruity Ice Creams: Use 1 cup (250 mL) fruit of choice, chopped or mashed.

Helpful Hints: Using whipping cream, one can shave off 1 gram carbohydrate, which doesn’t seem worth it to me, in light of the fact that the calories go up by 100. However, for about the same calories, use 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream and 1 cup (250 mL) water to shave off almost 2 g carbohydrate at 5.6 g Carbs. I like the recipe above, however, this would be a good alternative for those of you who must remain under 20 or 30 grams of carbohydrate per day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

*PEACH YOGURT SHAKE* (GF)



PEACH YOGURT SHAKE
Very peachy!

2 cups plain yogurt (500 mL)
3/4 cup canned sliced peaches (175 mL)
in juice, drained
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
1/4 cup Da Vinci® Sugar Free (50 mL)
Peach or Vanilla Syrup

In blender, combine yogurt, peaches, SPLENDA® Granular and Da Vinci® Sugar Free Peach or Vanilla Syrup. Blend until smooth.

Variations: Spiced Pear Yogurt Shake: Use canned pear halves, in juice and drained. Use Da Vinci® Sugar Free Ginger or Cinnamon Syrup. (5.1 g Carbs)

Text Box: Yield:  3 cups (750 mL)1/2 cup (125 mL) per serving72.6 calories3.6 g protein2.7 g fat4.9 g carbs

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 19 is here!

Africa's Snow White - flowerChapter 19

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Commercial Gluten-Free Bake Mixes are High Carb




Ingredients: organic wholegrain brown rice flour, organic potato starch, tapioca starch, tapioca starch, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbobate, corn stach), fava bean flour, sea salt

The results using this bake mix tend to create baked products that are more dense and crumbly.

A quarter cup = 30 g of carbohydrate and 1 g of fiber = 29 g net carbs. Compare that to my gluten-free bake mix, a quarter cup = 7 g net carbs

There is not a whole lot out there for low-carbers who must also be gluten-free. My DH will not support me in writing a low-carb and gluten-free cookbook. The target market is too small, however, there are still plenty of people who fall into that category. I want to pursue many dessert recipes that are low-carb and gluten-free in order to help people.

It's not easy to make desserts like we are used to when one has to cut out sugar and white flour and now add to that gluten, and oh by the way, make it low-carb as well. I do like a challenge though and food chemistry has been my thing for many years. I'm not a great marketer (TV and radio which I have done plenty of is not my thing), popular sort of witty person, great researcher, study analyzer, etc., but food chemistry and playing in the kitchen is what I enjoy. I enjoy being able to provide alternatives for some of our favorite comfort foods of yesteryear. I cannot stand deprivation or to see others feel deprived. Problem is no matter what I and others come up with, it does require a bit of work - i.e. to make those alternatives. The ready-to-grab foods are few and far between. Chleochatra, Dar from Dar Dreams, Ginny, Lisa (24-7 LC Diner) and Maria from my favorite blog links, as well as Lauren, of course, from Healthy Indulgenges are also working in this area. Do be sure to check out their amazing blogs in my favorite blogs and websites.

My Gluten-Free Bake Mix - Woe is me!

Lately, I've discovered that I can't digest the fiber in my gluten-free bake mix very well. Let me say that my DH who does not have IBS tolerates it just fine. However, this means I won't be using it very much. This also means that I'll be in search of an alternative gluten-free and low-carb bake mix for other fiber-sensitive peeps like me. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Does anyone recall the word "Sugar Diabetes"




Many years ago when I was growing up, people referred to diabetes as sugar diabetes, assuming that we get diabetes from eating too much sugar. All those years growing up in a little town called Wellington in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, I only knew of one person who became diabetic. She was a Jewish lady, the mother of two good friends of mine. She loved to eat boxed chocolates - in fact, she loved to read comics and eat chocolates. She certainly had plenty of sugar before she became diabetic. Both sugar and chocolate are quite addictive.

Here is an article that suggests that both fructose and sugar are equally bad for one and over-consumption can lead to insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes. The body craves these easy carbs because it increases dopamine levels, a feel good hormone. Maria explains things better than I can.

"This is how weight gain happens...
First, insulin tells your body to eat, particularly sugar or carbohydrates. If you follow cravings, insulin rewards you with extreme gratification (dopamine). Second, insulin escorts the energy from these foods, which is now blood sugar, to wherever it is needed in the body. It tells the liver to turn any extra carbohydrate into triglycerides, to be stored in the fat cells. And third, it orders the body to keep the food energy locked inside the fat cells, not burning it for energy, but storing it…increasing triglyceride levels!"

So there you have it - sugar and fructose are bad for us and can cause "sugar diabetes." How come diabetic organizations and health care people often say that people with diabetes can eat sugar. They suggest all they need to do is take medications or inject with insulin to account for it. Excuse me, I'm not overly bright, but isn't sugar the poison that made people with diabetes sick in the first place? - so why can they and should they still eat what proved to be poison to their bodies?

Here is another excerpt from that article that I found very interesting:

For those people who think that they can eat their sugar as long as they keep the calories low:

"Even on a calorie-restricted diet, he said, animals that eat too much sugar develop insulin resistance, an early sign of diabetes."

Confession: I enjoy a little honey each day in my yogurt. Here is an interesting site that compares honey to white sugar and extols the benefits of honey. I remember the Queen Mother said, " We are so fortunate to have honey." She lived to 101.

5 Best Blogs for Low-Carb Recipes

Okay, I know there are many more blogs out there that are great for low-carb recipes, but thought you, my dear faithful readers, may find this article interesting. 

Africa's Snow white - Chapter 18 is here!

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 18

Monday, September 13, 2010

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (GF)




GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
These cookies will totally surprise your friends who are not into low-carbing! These cookies have the same number of carbs as those made with Splendid Low-Carb bake mix in Favorite Chocolate Chip cookies.

1 cup SPLENDA® Granular (250 mL)
1/2 cup erythritol (125 mL)
1 cup butter, softened (250 mL)
2 eggs
1 tsp molasses (5 mL)
1 cup Gluten-free Bake Mix (older bake mix with 1 1/2 cups oat flour in it) (250 mL)
1 1/2 cups almond flour* (375 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/4 tsp salt or less (1 mL)
2 cups sugarless chocolate chips (500 mL)
1 cup chopped walnuts, OR pecans(250 mL)


In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, combine SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, butter, eggs and molasses; process. In medium bowl, combine Gluten-free Bake Mix, almond flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by 2 rounded teaspoonfuls (20 mL) onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes in 375°F (190°C) oven or until light brown. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Place cookies on wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate.

*I used sliced almonds, ground as finely as possible first in food processor with sharp blade and then in blender. Blend small quantities in blender for best results. If you have access to almond flour then use that rather.

Nutritional Analysis: 52 cookies, 1 cookie:
104.1 calories; 2.0 g protein; 8.5 g fat; 1.9 g carbs

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Info about my Gluten-Free Bake Mix

A ball of chocolate chip cookie dough ready fo...
Tonight I made my favorite chocolate chip cookies (pic of cookie dough next to the text), only this time I made them gluten-free. The gluten-free low-carb bake mix if subbed cup-for-cup for flour in a recipe will require lots of eggs and moisture to get the right consistency due to the coconut flour in it. I'm only just beginning to experiment with this bake mix, so I apologize for any mishaps someone may have had in the kitchen with it. The coconut flour definitely cuts the sweetness and Splenda does not quite do the job as effectively as it should (therefore, I reduced the salt to 1/4 tsp but could probably have used 1/8 tsp). Some erythritol or xylitol (careful it is very toxic to dogs!) with the Splenda or maybe Truvia would help or even the Splenda packets versus the granular sweetener may give more sweetening power.

First of all, let me say the gluten-free bake mix is not very low-carb, in fact, it falls under the moderate carb category when used cup-for-cup for flour in recipes. My chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix. I used 1 cup of gluten-free bake mix and the rest almond flour (or almonds, ground finely) - so 1 1/2 cups of almond flour. The cookies needed to bake longer - between 12 and 15 minutes as opposed to between 8 and 10 minutes. The were a bit fragile when hot, so I left them on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring, using a spatula, to a cake rack to cool further. Then they get refrigerated. They are much more robust kept in the fridge - perfect!

I needed to add 1 more egg to get a cookie dough consistency (thanks to the coconut flour which absorbs moisture like crazy).

Here is the best part: The cookies were about the same number of carbs, if one subbed 1/2 cup erythritol for part of the Splenda Granular, plus they tasted great - take no back seat to the original recipe with gluten in it.

This mixing of the gluten-free bake mix and almond flour leads me to think I either have to come up with a more "watered down" gluten-free bake mix (i.e. less oat flour and possibly less coconut flour and more ground almonds, or we could just use the bake mix as is and sub a little extra almond flour or mix almond flour and a bit of whey protein for half the flour ingredients in a recipe. Hmmm, I will have to experiment some more and see what makes the most sense, and more importantly, what works nicely.

Stay tuned.... I will also post the gluten-free chocolate chip cookies shortly. They were my very first gluten-free choc chip cookie experiment and they are really tasty. I'm keen on providing gluten-free low-carb options for folks because I realize it is a niche that has not been properly filled. I doubt I will write a cookbook, but I'll post my recipes on my blog as a way of paying it forward. I'm so thankful for the support that people have shown through the years - buying my cookbooks, frequenting my blog and just being real nice and supportive on forums, etc. I do appreciate you all! Thanks!
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Africa's Snow White - Chapter 16 is here!

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 16

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So should you take Iodine for your Thyroid Health? Surprising Answer.


I remember reading a year or more ago that Dr. Mary Dan Eades takes iodine for thyroid health. I thought to myself: "I should do that too." Thing is I've always had a more or less low sodium diet. I'm very sensitive to super salty tasting food - I don't like it! Anyway, so I was thinking brother I probably did myself in through the years by not getting enough iodine. Let's face it though this is ridiculous thinking as Hashimoto's thyroiditis is not caused by a lack of iodine, but anyway....probably more likely by the tremendous stress and grief I went through for years when my mother disowned me and when I finally realized that she was the worst enemy that I could have dreamed up in my worst nightmares and that is the absolute honest truth! She literally broke my heart. See I loved my mother (at one point more than God - stupid me!) and my dad (incredibly) and my younger sister and would have liked nothing more than to have had the happily ever after story but it was not meant to be. I was robbed! Some justice though in my sweet, young son, Jonathan, writing our story; this is the very same grandson my mother rejected as well. It is not being written in a vengeful way but is a series of novels based on the true story - so some of it will be fiction - hopefully, it will help other people with similar life scripts. Believe me, I'm not the only one in the world to go through something like this.

Anyway, how on earth did I get so sidetracked? LOL

Turns out IODINE can be a problem if taken in excess. It can cause hyperthyroidism. In 1995 the Chinese government decided to add iodine to table salt and now years later thyroid problems are on the increase in China. Now they say hypothroidism occurs in 1 in 15 people in China; surely that can't be linked to the increased iodine intake? Anyway maybe they are eating the soy processed in America? Now soy is known to cause hypothyroidism. I avoid it like the plague.

Here is an article about this.

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 15 is here!

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 15 I'm sorry I forgot to stick the chapters under the correct post the last couple of times. It is corrected now. Remember this book gets very exciting towards the end and remember it is based on a real story and follows the story quite accurately, except Jon takes liberties with conversations obviously.

Monday, September 6, 2010

*EGGPLANT LASAGNA* (GF)




This is a fabulous eggplant lasagna.  It can also be served as a vegetarian main dish.  I love this lasagna – my favorite!

Text Box: Yield:  12 servings
1 serving
155.6 calories
10.3 g protein
8.7 g fat
9.5 g carbs2 large eggplants
2 tbsp olive oil (25 mL)
salt and pepper sprinkle
      1.1 lb Ricotta cheese (500 g)
3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, cubed (175 mL)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (75 mL)
2 eggs
2 cups tomato sauce (500 mL)
1 tsp dried basil (5 mL)
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese (15 mL)

Cut eggplant in 1/4 –inch (0.6 cm) slices.  Place slices on greased cookie sheets.   Brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in 400°F (200°C) oven 20 minutes, or until eggplant slices are soft. 

In medium bowl, combine Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup (75 mL) Parmesan cheese and eggs.  In small bowl combine tomato sauce and basil.

Layer some tomato sauce in bottom of 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish.  Layer eggplant slices and cheese mixture, beginning and ending with tomato sauce.  Sprinkle top with 1 tbsp (15 mL) Parmesan cheese.

Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbling.

Helpful Hints:  This casserole can be assembled in the morning, refrigerated and cooked many hours later.  Peel eggplants, if desired. 

*SIRLOIN STEAK IN BUTTER SAUCE* (GF)



Ooooh, so good!!! Peppery steak, chock full of flavor.

Thank you for your interest in my recipes.  Find this recipe in our gluten-free cookbook, Low-Carbing Among Friends.

*ROAST BEEF ROLL-UPS* (GF)




This is one of my favorite meals for breakfast.  It keeps me going for hours. You can use any cold cuts instead of roast beef for this recipe, such as pastrami or ham.

Text Box: Yield:  1 serving
<br />1 serving
<br />341.3 calories
<br />24.0 g protein
<br />26.0 g fat
<br />1.8 g carbs1.5 oz roast beef, sliced thinly, (45 g)
  Deli-style (about 5 slices)
21/2 tsp Horseradish Cream (12 mL)
  Sauce, page 55
5 canned asparagus spears
1/3 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (75 mL)
 
Spread roast beef with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) Horseradish Cream Sauce, page 55.  Place one asparagus spear in center. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp (15 mL) cheese. Roll up. Microwave 10 seconds and enjoy!  Or, simply roll up and eat cold.

*MEXICAN TORTILLA ROLL-UPS*



One of my favorite appetizers as well as my son, Jonathan’s favorite! If desired, use a few, chopped, canned jalapenos instead of green chilies.

Text Box: Yield:  8 servings 1 serving 147.6 calories 8.5 g protein 9.8 g fat 5.5 g carbs8 oz light cream cheese, (250 g)
softened
4.5 oz can chopped green chilies (127 mL)
drained
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese, (125 mL)
(optional)
1/3 cup chopped green onions (75 mL)
1/2 tsp crushed garlic (2 mL)
8 Whey Tortillas, Splendid Low-Carbing,
page 123, OR low-carb commercial ones

In medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, green chilies, grated Cheddar cheese (if using), finely chopped green onions and garlic. Cover each tortilla with cream cheese spread. Roll up each tortilla. Place tortillas on dinner plate and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or more. Slice into narrow pieces and serve with Salsa for dipping.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Metformin Can Reduce Risk of Various Cancers



The Diabetes drug, Metformin, which acts by making the cells more sensitive to the action of insulin, has been found to reduce cancer in a recent study on mice. Find the report here.


Metformin also makes sure that there is less insulin at any given time and that is what helps some people lose weight when they take it. I once went on it for a few weeks a few years ago. It was a dumb idea, but I did lose weight and then unfortunately a nasty side effect occurred. I developed paresthesia - numbness in my toes in the morning and then one morning my face was partially numb as if I had been to the dentist. I suspected the Metformin and quit taking it. I looked up side effects of Metformin and in one obscure site I found the side effect of paresthesia symptoms. So for me it's not an option and I'm sad about that. It was nice and easy to lose weight on Metformin and now it can help prevent cancer too. Wow, that's pretty cool and people who have diabetes and need to take Metformin can now celebrate that fact!

My observation: Metformin reduces the amount of blood sugar - right? So what feeds cancer cells? Sugar! Therefore, it stands to reason that less sugar would starve any new cancer cells right off the bat. What do you guys think? Just a thought.

Here is a major league interesting site about Metformin Seems there may be a way around the paresthesia issue by taking B vitamins. Anyway I'm not going to be doing any of that any time soon. It's better to lose the old fashioned way - fewer side effects! I'm usually 5 to 10 lbs over my ideal weight and I often think I should just get serious about it for once. I think it's because I hate dieting and love cooking and baking and eating rather.

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 14 is here!

Africa's Snow White - Chapter 14.  Enjoy!  My young son is quite talented and I pray he goes far with his writing.  Now there are two authors (of a different kind) in the family.