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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Ring in the New Year 2011.  This is the year that you will be successful with your weight loss!  Happy Low-Carbing! :)

Simple Ways with Hard Boiled Eggs

HARD-BOILED EGGS

This is my son, Daniel’s no-fail method for preparing hard-boiled eggs. It is so hassle-free that once you try this method, you will be sold on it.

Text Box: Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
74.5 calories
6.2 g protein
5.0 g fat
0.6 g carbs6 large eggs
hot water







In medium saucepan, place eggs and cover with hot water.  Almost cover saucepan completely with lid and cook over medium-high heat 20 minutes (set timer).  Remove from heat.  Pour water off.  Pour running cold water over eggs in saucepan.  Remove shells, dipping eggs in cold water, whenever too hot to handle.  Refrigerate in covered container.

Variation:  Stuffed Eggs:  Cut hard-boiled eggs in half and remove yolks. In medium bowl, mash together with 1/4 cup (50 mL) mayonnaise, 1 tsp (5 mL) prepared mustard, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper sauce and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt.  Fill whites with mixture.  Cover eggs and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Yield:  12 servings.  (0.4 g Carbs).

Vary the filling for Stuffed eggs above by adding 3 tbsp (45 mL) crumbled, crisp-fried bacon or 3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped ham or 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped green onion or chives.

Helpful Hints:  Eggs are a low-carb dieter’s best friend, as they are low in carbohydrates, and they tend to digest slowly, warding off hunger for hours.  To help you stay on track, keep some in the refrigerator for weak moments, when the snacking urge strikes.

A Heartwarming Note

I received this heartwarming note in a private message on lowcarbfriends.com  When I asked her Norma said I could share her note.  I decided to leave out her last name, but everything else is the same.  Through the years there have been people that have written to thank me for my work, and you cannot even imagine how warm and fuzzy it feels, to know my recipes have been a small part in making another person's life more enjoyable.  As I told Norma, those sweet praises were often what kept me going, and now I'm wondering if I have any more cookbooks in me after a 7-year hiatus, however, it is people like Norma who will be the catalyst. 

Here is the message Norma wrote that touched my heart.  What a sweet lady and how she deserves to remain successful and to touch many other lives as a result.  Thank you, Norma!  God bless you.
Dear Jennifer, I found your web site Splendid Low carbing and starting following your recipes then I found Low carb friends and started reading ... I just want to say Thank you for I started March 30/2010 and today December 27/2010 I am down 82 pounds.
I have gotten a new start in life... I am 67 years old.

I now only use your recipes as they are simple and easy for me to follow and they always are so good... I must say Thank you again for sharing...


Jennifer you are a special person..


Norma, Toronto Canada

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

*Quiche Lorraine* (GF)

QUICHE LORRAINE

  My favorite is Swiss Cheese and Onion Quiche below.  You can mix and match ingredients, as in add mushrooms as well as bacon, for instance.

Text Box: Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
278.7 calories
14.2 g protein
23.2 g fat
3.7 g carbsCrust:
1/2 cup ground almonds (125 mL)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (75 mL)
2 tbsp gluten-free oat flour (25 mL)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (45 mL)
1 egg yolk
Filling:
6 bacon slices
3 eggs
11/2 cups table cream, 18 % BF (375 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/8 tsp white pepper (0.5 mL)
1 cup grated Swiss, OR Cheddar Cheese (250 mL)

Crust:  In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, grated Parmesan cheese, oat flour, melted butter and egg yolk.  Press into 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish.  Bake at 350°F (180°C) 10 minutes. 

Filling:  Place bacon slices on microwave bacon rack or on plate with two paper towels; cover with paper towel.  Microwave on high 6 or 7 minutes until cooked, but not completely crisp.  When cool, chop bacon into small pieces.  Spread over prepared piecrust.  With wire whisk, beat eggs, table cream, salt and white pepper.  Stir in cheese.  Pour egg mixture over bacon.  Bake 15 minutes at 400°F
(200°C).  Reduce heat to 325°F (160°C); bake 25 minutes more.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Variations:  Swiss Cheese and Onion Quiche:  Omit bacon. Stir-fry one cup (250 mL) chopped onion in 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, until soft.  (5.2 g Carbs)

Mushroom Quiche:  Saute 1/2 lb (227 g) raw mushrooms, sliced, 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped chives or green onions.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt.  (4.7 g Carbs)

Deluxe Quiche Lorraine:  Use 2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream and 4 eggs  (3.7 g Carbs).  OR, if desired, omit crust. (2.3 g Carbs)

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Low-Carb Coffee Caters to Dieters

Oops, whata mistaka to make - this is an old offer from 2004!  Where have the good old days gone?  Anyone know if they still offer low-carb options?  Sorry about this - I must have been in serious need of a coffee or tea!

Caribou Coffee Company in Illinois - this company is all over the United States and also in some places in Canada. A quick Google will find the company and the locations of these coffee shops. I'm not sure if Illinois folks are the only ones acquiring this new offer at their particular coffee shop in Mount Prospect.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Time to Get Serious about Weight Loss

Time to get serious soon about losing holiday pounds and perhaps reaching that elusive weight goal in the New Year sometime.  Have you had time to think about how you will go about it?  Low-carbing is one way, of course.  Another way is to combine low-carbing and another plan, such as Intermittent Fasting a few days a week.  I like to call it Intermittent Feeding because fasting often has a negative connotation associated with it and people immediately think of hunger pain.  Being a little hungry before going to bed some days means that you're losing weight, so look on the bright side.  Absolutely no pain and no gain, or should I say no loss.  Doing a search on my blog will bring up many posts on Intermittent Fasting/Feeding.

This morning for a late morning brunch (around 11 am), I made Ginny's English muffin for my DH and I, scrambled eggs, bacon (almost always do this the lazy way in the microwave oven on a plate between paper towels), fried tomato and Japanese eggplant which I dipped in egg wash and then in some seasoned leftover lumped-together bake mixes, which I always have handy in the freezer for breading or fillings for hamburgers or tuna patties or meatloaves.  That was all I needed for the day until this evening when I had something really small and high fat with a cup of tea.  I will often do that instead of the complete no eating rule to the next day.  This basically stills my appetite, slows the weight loss some , but keeps me happy and in no hunger "pain". 

The only change I made to Ginny's English muffin was instead of the 1 1/2 tablespoons ground almonds, I used leftover bake mix (I wasn't sure which one it was), and it tasted great and had those lovely little holes for the butter!!  I liked the one half with butter and peanut butter.  I toasted the halves in a nonstick pan first.  Oh wait a minute, I also substituted 1 tsp light-tasting olive oil for the coconut oil.  I think mine has gone rancid, as I can't stand the flavor.

Height Waist Index - Better than BMI measurements

Dr. Robert Su - Height Waist Index    I think this could be better than the BMI measurements which are not very accurate, especially if a person has a lot of muscle and a big build - these kinds of people could look obese by the BMI model, but in reality are far from it.

Full-Fat Dairy Products May Protect against Diabetes



Apparently full-fat dairy products have benefits we never could have imagined.  Also people consuming these products tend to have less belly fat.  It's a new fatty acid that has been discovered to be beneficial.  We already know that Omega-3's are helpful.  A long running Cardiovascular health study of almost 4,000 individuals brought this new evidence to light.  Here is the full article.

Excerpt:  "Although trans-palmitoleic acid represented only 1% of the fatty acids circulating in subjects' blood, the authors of the study found that those with the greatest volume of it in their bloodstreams tended to report the highest consumption of full-fat dairy foods, that they tended to have less fat around their midsection, that they were unlikely to have developed insulin resistance, and that they were least likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in the course of the study."

Australian researchers in a 16-year study found those who had the highest intake of full-fat dairy had a 70% lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke. It makes sense that if they don't develop insulin resistance then heart disease and stroke will also feature less. Find this article here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dietary fat used to be public enemy No. 1 but No More!


This is a great article in the Los Angeles Times.  Finally the real enemy - Bad Carbs - is getting the bad rap!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Want an Elegant, Easy Dessert that Everyone will Like?



BLUE RIBBON CHEESECAKE
This firm, extra-special cheesecake only gets better as it ages.  This is a crowd pleaser and so easy to make.  It's often my go-to recipe in a hurry.  This recipe is in Splendid Low-Carbing, page 149.

Click here to view my other cheesecakes and cakes:


Crust:
1/2 cup ground almonds (125 mL)
2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular (25 mL)
1 tbsp oat OR spelt flour (15 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (25 mL)
1 egg yolk
Alternate Crust:
1 cup Gluten-free Low-Carb Bake Mix
1/3 cup Splenda Granular
1/3 cup butter, melted
Filling:
16 oz light cream cheese, softened (500 g)
8 oz regular cream cheese, softened (250 g)
11/4 cups SPLENDA® Granular (300 mL)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (75 mL)
3 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract (25 mL)
Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce:
11/2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, OR (375 mL)
strawberries
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (50 mL)
3 tbsp water (45 mL)
1/2 tsp Thickening Agent, page 109 OR Xanthan gum (2 mL)

Crust: In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, SPLENDA® Granular and oat or spelt 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, 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. Cover cheesecake in center with slightly cooled Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce. Refrigerate. Later garnish perimeter with piped Crème Fraiche, page 172, if desired.

Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce: In medium saucepan, combine raspberries or strawberries, SPLENDA® Granular and water. In blender, blend thickening agent or Xanthan gum in some of the sauce and return to saucepan. Cook over medium heat until boiling and thickened.

Nutritional Analysis: 12 servings, 1 serving:
286.8 calories; 7.7 g protein; 24.7 g fat; 7.4 g carbs

Variation: Blue Ribbon Maple Walnut Cheesecake: Use ground walnuts and maple extract. Omit Strawberry Sauce. Garnish with Crème Fraiche, page 172, Splendid Low-Carbing. (5.6 g Carbs)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quick, Easy Square that Everyone Who likes Chocolate Loves!


WALNUT OR ALMOND ROCO SQUARES
Very yummy! Your family and friends will love these.  So easy to make and so addictive.  It helps if others will help you eat these - believe me, they can be addictive!

Snack Crackers (1 g carb ea.),
OR my Crisp Nutty Crackers - a Spin-off of the beloved Almond Thins (0.4 g carb ea.)
(see recipes to the right)
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts or slivered almonds (300 mL)
1/2 cup butter, melted (unsalted if crackers are salted) (125 mL)
1 tbsp whipping cream (15 mL)
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular, (125 mL) OR
Half and half Splenda packet equiv. (I add a couple extra) and powdered erythritol (nice!)
1 cup sugarless chocolate chips, (250 mL)
OR from 70% Lindt chocolate bar

Line a greased cookie sheet with crackers. Sprinkle walnuts or almonds over crackers.

In blender, combine cooled, melted butter, whipping cream, SPLENDA® Granular and erythritol, in that order; blend. Pour over crackers.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 8 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place in oven another 2 minutes. Gently, draw tines of fork through molten chocolate in order to spread it (this is the “glue” for the walnuts on the crackers, so do it carefully, letting a bit of molten chocolate touch each walnut or almond).

It’s difficult to figure out the exact number of carbs due to all the variables, however, they will be between 2 and 3 g carbs each.

Cookies and Squares for the Holidays!

Go to this Cookie and Square Recipe link for 19 more decadent ideas.

CHUNKY CHOCOLATE PECAN SQUARES
A decadent treat that makes a good addition to a party plate of squares. I used sliced almonds here (not really recommended). Either use chopped pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts or an extra 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Graham Cracker-like Crust:
2/3 cup Low-Carb Bake Mix, OR Gluten-Free Bake Mix
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 SPLENDA® packets
Filling:
3 eggs
1/2 cup any Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, OR
Maple Syrup, page 172, Splendid Low-Carbing
1/3 cup SPLENDA® Granular
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar free chocolate chips
(sweetened)
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Graham Cracker-like Crust: In medium bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, page 64, ground almonds, butter and SPLENDA®. Press into an 8-inch (20 cm) square glass dish. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 10 minutes.

Filling: In medium bowl, beat eggs with fork. Stir in Ketogenics® Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, SPLENDA® Granular, butter and vanilla extract. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour over prepared crust.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 25 minutes, or until filling has set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares and refrigerate.

Helpful Hints: These squares can be frozen. 1 cup (250 mL) Chocolate chips = 6 oz (180 g).

Nutritional Analysis (with pecans): 25 squares, 1 square per serving:
100.4 calories, 3.0 g protein, 7.7 g fat, 1.6 g carbs

~~Bits & Bites~~
Cookies are usually stored at room temperature in an airtight container. They usually freeze well in airtight containers or freezer bags up to 4 months.




CHEWY HOLIDAY BARS (GF)


 
CHEWY HOLIDAY BARS
These tasty, chewy squares are very satisfying. If you like, you could also add a couple of tablespoons of snipped raisins or dried apricots.
Crust:
1 cup GF Bake Mix, below (250 mL)
1/2 cup ground almonds (125 mL)
7 tbsp butter, melted (105 mL)
Topping:
8 oz cream cheese (250 g)
1/4 cup sour cream (50 mL)
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (1 mL)
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (175 mL)
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (50 mL)
6 oz sugar free chocolate chips (180 g)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, OR other nuts (125 mL)

Crust:    In medium bowl, combine GF Bake Mix, ground almonds and melted butter.  Press onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.  Bake at 350°F (180°C) 10 minutes.

Topping:  In food processor, process cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.  Add SPLENDA® Granular, egg and vanilla extract; process until smooth.  Spread evenly over crust.  In small bowl, combine coconut and SPLENDA® Granular.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Sprinkle cream cheese layer with the mixture of sweetened coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts. Press into cream cheese layer slightly. Bake 17 minutes at 350°F (180°C).  Refrigerate when cool.

Yield: 36 servings
1 serving
111.2 calories
2.2 g protein
9.1 g fat
2.3 g carbs

Helpful Hints:  If you were to use my low-carb bake mix and no carb sweeteners, the carbs drop to:
1.1 grams


Lower-Fiber, Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal and whey protein)
Great results - tastes good!  Keep the flax meal - it keeps the baking moist and not dry.

1 3/4 cups almond flour
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup vanilla or plain whey protein
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  3 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
128.7 calories; 7.1 g protein; 8.0 g fat; 5.3 g carbs

Just a Comical Aside about Smiley! :)

Can anyone pleeeeeeease tell me why my doggie, Smiley, is such a star on my blog?!!  Every time I go and look at the most popular posts - by hitting the End key - Smiley is front and center!  Okay, what's up with that?  I think there must be a lot of doggie lovers out there or maybe a doggie adoption agency is permanently linked into that article!!  I really don't mind sharing the spotlight with my sweet, adopted dog and I'm highly amused, but I'm just mighty curious as to why this post is so popular on a low-carb blog?  Too funny!

In addition, if anyone has any clue as to what kind of dog or mixed breed Smiley is, we would really like to know.  I was in our apartment building where we rent out an apartment and a lady in the elevator spotted Smiley.  She said someone she knows has that breed of dog and it is actually an expensive breed.  Excitedly, I asked her what kind of breed?  She could not remember!  Sigh.  I also wish I knew how old Smiley is.  Sometimes he looks a little older.  I think he is 7 plus years.  We have had him for almost a year now.  His birthday (when we got him) is 111 (actually January 11th - 1st month, 11th day).  He is still so full of energy and loves his walks in nature here on the mountain more than anything besides food, of course.  Sometimes he gets wind of a gato solo (cayote mundi (sp?)) and freaks out and stays that way the rest of the day until its smell has dissipated.  So strange.  I think when he was on the lamb, one of those animals chased him and frightened him badly.  They can be very aggressive.

These days people are more likely to think Smiley is a Corgi - want to know why?  He spends all his waking hours running after us to the kitchen and to the table for scraps.  Most of us are suckers and he usually gets something and that's why he tries so hard.  I feed him tiny meals 3x a day because he expects it.  Wish I could do only two.  I make him ground beef and stick in some powdered vitamins each day and also he has his dog food (without soy).  He loves his rope bones which clean his teeth and keep his breath smelling good - well, good for a dog, right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix Options

Latest update Jan 25/2011: Many thanks to my friend, Donna Hodach-Price, for her painstaking testing of several gluten-free bake mixes, including a couple of her own.   Option #4 was the winner hands down for several reasons: simple, readily-available ingredients, taste, texture, rise and most importantly carb count.  Option #1 is a fabulous bake mix but a bit higher in carbs and more for folks in maintenance.  It is practically a cup-for-cup replacement for white flour.  It produced the best rise and a good texture.  Therefore, lots to work with and much to look forward to in the future with low-carb and gluten-free baking!

Donna said, "I know the focus here has been to create a LC-GF mix, but for those who cannot tolerate oat flour, it would seem to me that any GF flour could be substituted for the oat with similar results. The good news in that instance, is that by combining the (usually) high-carb, GF flour with the almond flour, flax meal, and xanthan, this will significantly reduce the number of carbs while producing a healthier 'flour' for baking. And that is the BEST news for GF bakers."
And I say, if this is the case and you would like to know the nutritional analysis with your chosen GF flour, please contact me and I'll figure it out for you with the greatest of pleasure.  I'm sure there are some nice options such as rice flour, brown rice flour and buckwheat flour (lower carb than the former examples, I think) to name a few.

Conclusion:


The best gluten-free low-carb bake mix to date, besides my original with coconut flour in it is option #4 with the flax meal reduced to 1/4 cup.  Keep in mind that wet/liquid ingredients may have to be decreased by 1/4 to 1/2 cup.  If desired, when replacing flour cup-for-cup in regular recipes with this gluten-free low-carb bake mix, add 1/4 cup extra.  I usually do that.  However, when substituting the Gluten-free bake mix for my Splendid low-carb bake mix or other low-carb bake mixes, use 2 tbsp less. (updated 2/14/2011) 

For convenience, double the batch and keep at room temperature in a sealed container for no longer than 3 weeks to one month, otherwise refrigerate or freeze.

Gluten-free Bake Mix (this is option #4, but will be changing the name to option #1 soon)

1 1/2 cups ground almonds OR almond flour*
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
1/4 cup golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
131.7 calories; 5.1 g protein; 8.7 g fat; 5.9 g carbs  (well-balanced between protein and carbs)

That is 23.6 g carbs per 1 cup.

*with almond flour:  2 3/4 cup yield, 1/4 cup per serving:
119.7 calories; 4.7 g protein; 7.9 g fat; 5.4 g carbs

That is 21.6 g carbs per 1 cup.  (Remember white flour is about 90 g carbs)

Some additional notes:  Since this is a higher carb bake mix than my Splendid Low-Carb Bake mix (3.3 g carbs per 1/3 cup), it is advisable to use erythritol and a carb-free sweetener such as liquid Splenda (sucralose) or Stevia powder or drops.  The synergy of two sweeteners helps to reduce the cooling effect of the erythritol.  Erythritol has no effect on blood sugar and is benign for most people re intestinal issues.  I'm very sensitive and I handle Erythritol very well - no problems at all. 


Gluten-free Bake Mix (this is option #1, but will be changing name to option #2)

1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup ground almonds OR almond flour*
1/3 cup golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanathan gum


Yield:  2 3/4 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
114.8 calories; 4.6 g protein; 6.3 g fat; 7.3 g carbs

29.2 g carbs per 1 cup


*or with almond flour, yield = 3 cups, 1/4 cup per serving:
105.2 calories; 4.2 g protein; 5.8 g fat; 6.7 g carbs

26.8 g carbs per 1 cup 

Thus ends the conclusion over here.  The following material is the ground work before the conclusions were reached.  Thank you for your patience.



Latest update Jan 09/2011:  My friend, Donna, and I are working on an optimal gluten-free bake mix that is also low-carb.  Option # 1 and 3 have been eliminated on grounds of being higher carb, however, of the two, Option #1 is a very good bake mix for those who are not quite as carb-sensitive.

My friend likes the idea of adding the whey protein, as in option #2, as she feels it is more balanced between carbs and protein and helps her blood sugars to stay more stable.   Right now we are working on a combination of #2 and #4.  Stay tuned.  :)


Something important to remember:  The amount of liquid or wet ingredients in your regular recipe might have to be reduced by as much as a half.


Granted, I have not tested all these bake mix options (actually only the one, option #3, but it should be fine), but if you are brave, you can try one or more in my favorite chocolate chip cookie test recipe.  I am fiber-sensitive and had to veer away from the bake mix with coconut flour in it.  My digestive system can handle the golden flax meal better than the coconut flour.  The Xanthan gum is essential to prevent crumbly baked goods and it also imparts a little of the properties of gluten to the bake mix.   I would be thrilled if some of you could test one or two of these bake mixes for me and give me some feedback as to how it turned out and what you liked or didn't like about it.  Thanks!  Remember we're blazing a trail here.  I don't see too many low-carb and gluten-free bake mix options out there?  I think even folks who can have gluten might be interested in cutting down on their gluten intake for whatever reason.  Until now those folks have not been doing it because nothing was available that was also low-carb.

Okay, no obligations, just have fun with these.  Oh sad news!  I assumed the amount of bake mix would be 3 cups (nope - 2 1/2 cups - a little more if almond flour is used vs ground almonds or almond meal), but turns out the flax meal affords almost no volume to the bake mix, which means the carbs are higher than I initially calculated  (to clarify - all the calculations below are corrected now).  Still, not too awful.  The good news?  Option #2  is the correct calculation (makes 3 cups) and is nice and low-carb considering it's gluten-free.

The other good news?  Since the flax meal offers no volume practically to the bake mix, you can reduce it by however much you would like.  I would not suggest increasing it as one would really detect it in baked goods then.  In conclusion, these are low-carb gluten-free bake mix options of 32 grams carbs per cup (option #1), 28 grams carbs per cup (option #3), 23.6 grams carbs per cup (option #4) and 21.2 g carbs per cup (option #2, similar carbs to using only defatted soy flour).  Considering white wheat flour is 92 grams carbohydrate per cup, these are good alternatives for our baking.  I think my vote goes to option #1 and option #2, but I haven't tried option #3.


Important Update (please read):  My husband could not tolerate 1/2 cup golden flax meal in the bake mixes or in the cookies.  He was at one point socially um, a bit you know what - uncomfortable?!  We're very fiber-sensitive in this family.  Anyway, the good news is that in all the bake mixes the golden flax meal can be reduced to 2 tbsp or 1/4 cup, depending on what works for you, without affecting the carb count, just reducing the calories a bit.  Flax is pretty calorific actually.  Surprising!  Anyway wanted to add this for other fiber-sensitive peeps - to warn them!  I can handle the flax a bit better than the coconut flour, but when I drop the amount in the bake mix to 2 tbsp, it doesn't affect any of us adversely - and we're very sensitive to too much fiber.

Sweetener Options:  Please remember you are free to use whatever you prefer.  Splenda Granular offers very little volume, if any, to my recipes.  I sometimes combine Splenda and erythritol these days for the synergy they provide.  I did try a Stevia-erythritol blend, but my whole family suffered digestive distress.  I know this is not across the board, but people are so different.  Sweeteners that we choose are a very personal thing and we choose them based on safety reasons, tummy issues, taste and you name it.
 Flour is being beaten into a cake mixture by e...Image via Wikipedia


Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal) - option #1 (tested) 
Fabulous results and tastes really great! 


1 1/2 cups certified gluten-free oat flour
1 cup almond flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
126.3 calories; 5.1 g protein; 6.9 g fat; 8.0 g carbs


Lower-Fiber Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal and whey protein) - option #2 (tested)
Great results - tastes good!  The flax meal is to mitigate any dryness in the baking caused by the whey protein, so don't leave it out.  It does the trick!

1 3/4 cups almond flour
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup vanilla or plain whey protein
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  3 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
128.7 calories; 7.1 g protein; 8.0 g fat; 5.3 g carbs

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal) - option #3 (not tested, but I'm almost positive it will be fine) (This one has the same number of carbs as the coconut flour option - the original gluten-free bake mix)
1 1/4 cups certified gluten-free oat flour
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup golden flax meal (reduce to 1/4 cup)
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
139.1 calories; 5.6 g protein; 8.6 g fat; 7.0 g carbs


Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal) - option #4 (tested)
I halved the chocolate chip cookie recipe and used what I thought was a smaller large egg.  Turned out it was a twin yolk egg!  Ever seen that?  Sometimes I get several of them in a row.  I figure I could have won the lottery on such days!  Anyway, this batter was more moist than it should have been - maybe it was too much egg since the original called for one large egg and I still basically used a large egg and should have used half an egg (I was being lazy!).  The cookie batter spread (made a wider, rounder, less chunky looking cookie than previous experiments) whereas with option #1 they did not.  They still taste fantastic and once cooled, can be picked up easily.  You can reduce the flax in the bake mix without affecting the carbs, but bringing the calories down by about 12 calories per 1/4 cup bake mix if a 1/4 cup flax is removed.  Personally, that's what I would recommend in this recipe because I detected the flax left a tiny granule or two sticking to the roof of my mouth.  Reducing the flax should fix the problem

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup golden flax meal (reduce to 1/4 cup as mentioned in the blurb immediately above)
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
143.7 calories; 5.7 g protein; 7.5 g fat; 5.9 g carbs
with only 1/4 cup golden flax meal:
131.7 calories; 5.1 g protein; 8.7 g fat; 5.9 g carbs  (well balanced between protein and carbs)


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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Coconut/Flax Gluten-Free Bake Mix #2



My go-to recipe to test out new bake mixes is often Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, besides a couple of others.  I recently suggested some substitutions that are possible in my Gluten-Free Bake Mix that I've had on this blog for a while now.

COCONUT/FLAX GLUTEN-FREE LOW-CARB BAKE MIX #2

1 1/2 cups oat flour (certified gluten-free), OR defatted soy flour (slightly lower carb), OR millet flour
1 cup ground almonds, OR almond flour, OR Hazelnut flour
1/2 cup sifted coconut flour (available from Netrition) OR golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum (available from Netrition)
Yield: 3 cups, 12 servings of 1/4 cup each
100.7 calories; 4.2 g protein; 5.3 g fat; 7.0 g net carbs

Disclaimer:  I have not tried this bake mix with millet flour (My friend, Donna, said it has a grassy taste, so in that case, one could only use a little of it in order to mask the taste with the other ingredients) or defatted soy flour, but have reasonable confidence that these options will work.   I think soy flour, unless it is defatted and even then might not be the greatest tasting, but I could be wrong.  I can't use soy because of my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  Soy is a powerful goitrogen.

Someone recently alerted me to millet flour (Arrowhead Mills) which is 23 g net carbs per 1/3 cup (oat flour, 1/3 cup, 18 g net carbs, Arrowhead Mills.  Soy flour is 5 g carbs (net) per 1/4 cup.

Note:  I have not tested this bake mix much at all - I think I tested it in chocolate chip cookies (probably on this blog) and my golden fruit cake recipe and something else before I discovered we were in trouble with that much fiber.  It is a very dense bake mix with 1/2 cup coconut flour, so I'm thinking is probably possible to dilute this bake mix (and thus the carbs) when substituting for white flour - go with half bake mix and half almond flour or mostly bake mix and some almond flour.  I'm almost certain this will work as I do remember doing that in my chocolate chip cookies and it worked very well.

Now this is the newer low-carb gluten free bake mix version that I tried:

Important Update (please read):  My husband could not tolerate 1/2 cup golden flax meal in the bake mixes or in the cookies.  He was at one point socially um, a bit you know what - uncomfortable?!  We're very fiber-sensitive in this family.    Anyway wanted to add this for other fiber-sensitive peeps - to warn them!  I can handle the flax a bit better than the coconut flour, but when I drop the amount in the bake mix to 1/4 cup, it doesn't affect any of us adversely - and we're very sensitive to too much fiber.  The carbs do go up as flax meal does not add much volume, unlike coconut flour; therefore, the yield is much less (2 1/2 cups vs 3 cups) and that affects the carbs.

Gluten-Free Low-Carb Bake Mix (with golden flax meal) - lovely bake mix for those that are not too carb-sensitive.  1/2 cup golden flax meal produced baking that was too dense.  Reduce to 1/4 cup golden flax meal for a better texture.

1 1/2 cups certified gluten-free oat flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup golden flax meal (reduce to 1/4 cup)
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
134.4 calories; 5.5 g protein; 7.5 g fat; 8.0 g carbs

Helpful Hints:  Flax meal cuts sweetness as does the Xanthan gum. To work around this, reduce salt in the recipe and use some erythritol (powdered is good and many times granulated will work fine as well) along with your sweetener of choice, be it Splenda or SteviaWhat I like about this recipe versus the one with coconut flour (by the way this product cuts sweetness as well) is that I can substitute it cup-for-cup for the Splendid Low-Carb Mix and probably for the Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix as well.  In addition, I don't need to adjust the recipe much at all and I definitely don't need extra eggs as is often needed with coconut flour which absorbs moisture substantially.

Now, the interesting part is I subbed the bake mix in this recipe below, my favorite test recipe:

FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
The golden flax meal cuts sweetness slightly (Splenda sometimes does not sweeten optimally), so I reduced the salt to 1/4 tsp, reduced the Splenda by 1/4 cup and added 1/4 cup erythritol and another tsp of molasses (optional).  These changes did the trick.  I also reduced the nuts (used walnuts), but that is neither here nor there. These cookies were fabulous with the flax gluten-free bake mix - really yummy!  I think there is good merit in this new version.  Have fun with it and if you have any feedback for me, I'd like that.  

1 and 1/4 cups SPLENDA® Granular (300 mL)
1/4 cup granulated erythritol (50 mL)
1 cup butter, softened (250 mL)
1 egg
1 tsp molasses (5 mL)
2 and 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal) (625 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
2 cups sugar free chocolate chips (500 mL)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, OR (250 mL)
Walnuts, Or mixed nuts

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, combine SPLENDA® Granular, butter, egg and molasses; process. In medium bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, baking soda and salt. Stir into wet ingredients (dough will be fairly stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

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

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in 375°F (190°C) oven or until light brown. Cool slightly. Place cookies on wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Analysis: 52 cookies, 1 cookie per serving
93.8 calories, 1.6 g protein, 7.1 g fat, 2.3 g carbs

Helpful Hints: These days I like to replace a little of the Splenda with powdered erythritol which I purchase from Netrition.

Cheesy Onion Bacon Dip

Oh my this appetizer/dip sounds incredible - it's kinda like my favorite Bacon Cheese Spread appetizer on steroids, I think.  lol

Check it out here, Cheesy Onion Bacon Dip - Yum! 

A Low-Carb WOE Has Similar Effects to taking Aspirin



Check out this nutritional expert's (Dr. James Carlson) article.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some Low-Carb Appetizer Ideas with Photos



Go to this appetizer link - yummy!!   I try to keep appetizers not too filling, especially when the dinner is big. However, appetizers are great for getting people in a festive mood and ready to enjoy the dinner.  Hope your festive season is very special.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some breakfast ideas for Christmas and the Holidays

I love this time of year.  Now that I live in the tropics I do miss the snow and a white Christmas, however, Christmas is Christmas for me and I have always loved it. As a child Christmas holidays meant time spent in a caravan (holiday trailer pulled by a car) at a caravan park called Siesta in the Wildnerness of South Africa.  It's where I met my darling husband.  We have spent every Christmas of the 39 together since then, except for one when Ian was in the South African air force and it was war time. It's a time of holidays, family, fun and food and for Christians, the meaning of Christmas is even more poignant than that.  I became a Christian when I was 30 (prior to that in my childhood I was a regular church attendee, but didn't get it - didn't understand what "born again" of the spirit meant - in fact, when I first heard those words describing a girl at school, I thought it was something weird with mystery surrounding it, and unattainable, and perhaps something to be fearful of and thus to avoid - that born again girl was so happy and bubbling over with her story though that other students were curiously hanging around her.  I steered clear.).  I was pregnant with my 2nd son when I received Jesus into my heart and life, but I only really began to grow closer to God when I was 35, ironically at the time my first cookbook was published and my life was falling apart around my ears.  It always seemed that whenever I was on a train of success or accomplishment (I counted this in my world as having finished a book), there was a parallel train of my life filled with grief, sorrow and depression running next to that train of success.  Nowadays life is much more serene - no pinnacles of success/accomplishment and no overt sorrow, just the normal worries of everyday life of being a parent and wife and simply being alive in a now decidedly middle-aged body (sometimes feeling like a teenager again with similar challenges of the changes in life).  I'm still very busy and sometimes overwhelmed by it all, but mostly I try to take things in my stride.  I try to eat right (don't always) and try to take time out to relax and smell the flowers and enjoy my now grown-up family.

Back on topic - breakfast during the holidays - make it a treat! 

Crepes with Strawberry Sauce:

 Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs:

Roast Beef or Pastrami Roll-ups:

Drop Scones:

Coconut Cheese Scones:

Wholegrain Rye Bread:

Real Banana Loaf:


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Sequel to Africa's Snow White, Prince Charming, is Here!!

 

A tale of love and tragedy
Where fiction meets reality

A body has been found, but was it suicide or murder? The police investigator isn't sure. As the details begin to emerge, he realizes that not every crime is so easily classified. Elizabeth's romance with Charles serves as a welcome distraction, but when a letter arrives from her old boyfriend that reveals her mother’s manipulative nature, Elizabeth's slow journey toward awareness begins.
Nicholas doesn't understand why Elizabeth hasn't replied to any of his letters, but he's determined to find out. Siesta is small enough, and he plans to find and confront her there.
As the book rockets toward its conclusion, Elizabeth finds an old, unopened letter, which has the potential to reach out from the grave to haunt the living and point the finger of blame.
Meanwhile one of Elizabeth's boyfriends decides to visit her in Wellington. Charles has agreed to stay out of the way, but a few words is all it takes to fire Charles with righteous fury to protect the virtue of his girlfriend—or so he thinks.
AVAILABLE NOW!
 
The consensus is that Jonathan's first book was good, but the second book is excellent.  It starts off incredibly exciting, continues at a fast pace and ends even more exciting.  I am so proud of Jonathan.   He deserves to do well.

Purchase from:

Eureka Publishing   OR   Amazon


What people are saying about Jon's 2nd novel (based on a true story), Prince Charming.

What others are saying about the book . . .
“I'm pleased to see my prediction, of a sequel to Jonathan's first novel, come true. I'm delighted to see the characters from his first book mature in his new novel and go on to experience all the ups and downs and challenges of making one's way in the South Africa of that time, of trying to come to terms with living in a country as divided as it then was. I look forward to seeing how Jonathan deals with the challenges faced by so many individuals and families in South Africa in his upcoming novels. Once again, the references to St. Andrew's School evoke many memories for me from my own years as a student in Bloemfontein. Although I was not at St. Andrews, my father was head of the old boys' association, and therefore, by osmosis, I got to know something of the school and knew many of the pupils and teachers of the 1960's. St. Andrews, which was founded in 1863 in the old zuid-afrikaanse republiek, has seen many changes taking place around it over the years. I hope that Jonathan's books attract many students from abroad to this wonderful school. Jonathan, we are proud of you, keep up the good work and I look forward to the next in the series.”
    —Ambassador Leslie Manley,
Ambassador from South Africa to Panamá, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Perú
“An alluring tale of love and deception. Jonathan displays exceptional skills painting vivid scenes for the reader. A great escape that will have you glued to your seat.”
   
Dr. Sylvie Raymond, English Lecturer, United Arab Emirates University 
“Eloff's second novel is an excellent sequel that will leave you wanting to know more about this intriguing story. You're guaranteed to lose sleep as you keep turning the pages late into the night.”
    
Jody Hussey,
ESL Teacher
“Fear and hope, sadness, love, and conspiracy, all centered around one family, set in the romantic scenery of South Africa. When you remember his first wonderful novel, Summer Love - Jealous Winter, immediately you recognize and appreciate Jonathan Eloff's unique style of writing. Every word comes out of his heart, but he leaves one question open for his readers: What's in this princess's future?”
     –Karin Forster,
German Journalist and Talk Show Moderator
“In my capacity as editor in chief of a large German news organization, I often interviewed world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev. My wife and I have met this talented young author and shared some wine with him, and again I find that some of the most interesting stories are found when interviewing the people affected by the decisions of these world leaders.” 
     –Kurt Forster,
Editor In Chief
“In his new book, Prince Charming, Jonathan Eloff offers vivid, masterful description and colorful insights into the continuing the saga of the two generations introduced in his first book. The innocence of young love contrasts sharply with scenes of vindictive treachery, as this amazing story unfolds. I am intrigued by the young folk as they strive to work out the usual pangs of  romance, dismally thwarted by Constance, who contrives to manipulate her world and everyone in it. The plot cleverly navigates some incredible twists and turns as the characters attempt to build their own lives with only a limited awareness of Constance’s determination to control every possible outcome. Ultimately, as Constance manages to conquer her own demons, her daughter, Elizabeth, comes to realize a critical truth of her own.  Once again, Eloff has cleverly created a page turner with some unexpected and often surprising results.”
   
Margaret Wolf, High School English Teacher, Alberta, Canada

A Meal Plan For People with Diabetes

Diabetes Warrior is a great resource for those people with diabetes.  I have added this site to my favorites.  Check out his meal plan based on Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint.  Steve Cooksey lost 70 plus pounds.

Steve also says using very strong words in a recent post:

Do not follow the ADA WAY!  ADA = American Diabetes Association
DO NOT LISTEN TO ADA MINION!   

Do NOT follow the ADA diabetes diet! Their high carb meal plan is good for only a couple of things...they are:
1) Selling Drugs - eating the ADA Way will cause you to take an ever increasing amount of drugs and insulin.
2) Selling Diabetes "Services" - Eating the ADA Way will require you to see a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)... for the rest of YOUR LIFE!
3) Selling Grains and Cereals for Monsanto, General Mills and Kellogg's

What about ME you ask?

I do NOT take drugs! Cover of Cover via Amazon
I do NOT use a CDE
I do NOT EAT GRAINS NOR CEREALS! 

Oops, should clarify, below are my words:

Don't mourn if you do have to take Metformin.  It's somewhat natural - i.e. made from the lilac plant, I believe, and studies have shown that it protects against both heart disease and cancer.  It is also great for folks with PCOS and it helps stabilize hormones.  It seems to prevent lung cancer in smokers.  It may help people who have difficulty losing weight or have a problem in that their weight goes up from time to time; Metformin reduces this tendency.
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Low Carb Diet Trumps Low Fat Diet



The Huffington Post has this article that caught my eye.

NEW YORK — Over the long term, a low-carb diet works just as well as a low-fat diet at taking off the pounds – and it might be better for your heart, new research suggests.
Both diets improved cholesterol in a two-year study that included intensive group counseling. But those on the low-carbohydrate diet got a bigger boost in their so-called good cholesterol, nearly twice as much as those on low-fat.
In previous studies, low-carb diets have done better at weight loss at six months, but longer-term results have been mixed. And there's been a suggestion of better cholesterol from low-carb eating.
The latest test is one of the longest to compare the approaches. At the end of two years, average weight loss was the same for both – about 15 pounds or 7 percent.
The key difference was in HDL, or good cholesterol: a 23 percent increase from low-carb dieting compared to a 12 percent improvement from low-fat, said Gary Foster, director of Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education, who led the federally funded study.
He said the low-carb boost is the kind one might get from medicines that improve HDL.
"For a diet, that's pretty impressive," Foster said.
The findings, published in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine, are based on a study of 307 adults, two-thirds of them women. Participants were obese but didn't have cholesterol problems or diabetes.
Half followed a low-carb diet modeled after the Atkins' plan and half went on a low-calorie, low-fat diet. All attended group sessions to help them change bad eating habits, get more active and stick to their diets.

The volunteers had periodic checks of their weight, blood, bone density and body composition. After two years, there was no major differences between diet groups, except in good cholesterol. Why the low-carb diet had a bigger effect on good cholesterol isn't known, the researchers said.
As low-carb plans became popular, experts feared the diet would drive up the risk of heart disease because it allows more fat. The latest results suggest those concerns are unfounded, Foster said. In the low-carb group, there was an early rise in "bad" cholesterol, the kind that builds up in arteries. But after two years, both groups ended up with similar improvements to bad cholesterol.
The study's strengths include its size, length and its multiple locations – Denver, Philadelphia and St. Louis, said Dr. William Yancy, of the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina.
"These are results we should have a lot of confidence in," said Yancy, who has done similar diet research but was not involved in the study.
Foster, the study leader, said dieters should be less concerned about which diet to use, and focus on finding the support or technique – like writing down what they eat – that keeps them on track.
"It doesn't make a difference for weight loss how you get there," he said.
With the current obesity epidemic, more than one way is needed to attack the problem, Yancy said.
"Both of these are options. These diets work," he said.