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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teasers - New Recipes Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

BANANA CREAM PIE

WARM, SPICY "APPLES" (CHAYOTES) AND ICE CREAM CUSTARD (SCOOPABLE FROM FREEZER WITHOUT FANCY/FUNNY INGREDIENTS)


CARROT CAKE LOAF (1/2 CUP GRATED ZUCCHINI AND 1/2 CUP GRATED CARROT)

Delicious Island Pork Curry (GF)


ISLAND PORK CURRY
This is a favorite of my eldest son, Daniel.

Variation:   Island Chicken Curry:  Use chicken instead of pork. (6.1 g carbs)

*Helpful Hints:  It is a snap to make chutney by using a jar of low-sugar or no-sugar peach or apricot jam.  Stir in a little white vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to taste and you have yourself some instant homemade chutney. One way to make cauli-rice a little more substantial is to stir in some cooked quinoa.  I cook quinoa the same way I make rice. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large pot, bring 4 cups (1 L) water to boil.  Add 2 cups (500 mL) quinoa (or you can halve this recipe), 2 tbsp (25 mL) chicken bouillon and a little turmeric; stir and bring to the boil again.  Place lid on pot and cook quinoa in oven about 25 minutes.  Fluff with fork and stir some quinoa into your cauli-rice.  Quinoa is kinder on the blood sugar than rice and many low-carbers who are in maintenance or pre-maintenance have embraced it. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Remember my Mmmmm Muffins? Recipe using the New Bake Mix

Here is the recipe using the Splendid Gluten-Free Low-Carb Bake Mix  - I added an extra egg.  I think that was the only change.  This is a delicious muffin - the spices and flavoring are perfect!


CINNAMON CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
Lovely muffins!  I’ve used a combination of raisins snipped in half and chopped walnuts in these muffins too, but that pushes the carbs up.

Text Box: Yield:   12 servings
1 serving
208.0 calories
6.2 g protein
15.3 g fat
5.0 g carbs21/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (550 mL)
  page___
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
1/4 cup granulated erythritol (50 mL)
21/2 tsp baking powder (12 mL)
2 tsp cinnamon (10 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1 cup Hood Calorie Countdown Milk, OR (250 mL)
  Carolyn’s Low-Carb Milk, page___
1/4 cup olive oil (50 mL)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (10 mL)
2/3 cup sugarless chocolate chips (150 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In food processor, combine Gluten-free Bake Mix, page___, liquid sucralose, erythritol, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, Hood Calorie Countdown Milk, OR Carolyn’s Low-Carb Milk, page___, olive oil, eggs and vanilla extract.  Process the batter about 1 minute, scraping the sides once.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Fill 12 greased muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before removing muffins.  Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two days, then refrigerate or freeze.

Variation:  Cinnamon Nut Muffins:  Use chopped walnuts instead of chocolate chips for a lovely breakfast muffin. (5.1 g carbs)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Best Moment of My Day - Destressor Tip



Stress makes one fatter! Cortisol has been termed the "stress hormone" because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress, and the normal pattern of cortisol secretion (with levels highest in the early morning and lowest at night) can be altered. This disruption of cortisol secretion may not only promote weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight. Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips.

One of the tips I have is to each day have a moment in time when you say, "This is the best moment of my day!" Take time to reflect on what made you smile or made you feel transported in time for that moment - even if only for a few wonderful, stolen moments out of a busy life".   Even if it is a moment taken to look up into the sky and reflect on its beauty!  Take tips from my little doggie, Happy, who has since passed away but lived to the ripe old age of 14.  He knew how to relax. That photo was taken on the deck of our last Canadian home, Chalet Rose, about 7 years ago.

There are many other ways to relax and I'm sure most of you have figured out what works for you.  This is something I love to do - figure out the best moment of each day and revel in it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hmmm - Made My Foccacia Bread Again

FOCCACIA - Click on the photo to see a delicious-looking, big image!

Here is the RECIPE!

Hmm, so good!  This time I withheld the cheese and spread the batter on the greased foil, sprinkled the cheese over it and lightly folded it in, but not completely and lightly sprinkled with a bit more cheese.  Oh yum!!  My husband loves this.  For now this makes a great gluten-free low-carb bread substitute. One can even slice each slice in half (horizontally) and then there is more surface for spreading butter.  I will be working on something else as well that will suffice as a good gluten-free bread substitute.  Hope I am successful.  I was sent something on making a sourdough starter.  Oh my, how complicated it seems and I don't do complicated, so I'll be looking at something a lot simpler.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Almond Vanilla Layer Cake with Caramel Frosting (GF)

With Almond Meal
With Almond Flour

ALMOND VANILLA LAYER CAKE
Tasty cake with recommended technique for cakes with my bake mix, plus the baking soda and buttermilk. Using the Gluten-Free Bake Mix, cakes will be denser, but this method really helps to get a better rise and a lighter cake.  For an even lighter, fluffier cake slice, microwave briefly. Each slice has a quarter cherry which is 0.5 g carbs.  Give it to somebody who likes cherries, if you prefer.  Click on the photo to view a bigger image.  This recipe is in Volume One of Low-Carbing Among Friends, page 84.  Read the comments below of people who have tried this cake. 

21/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 (300 mL)
1 tbsp baking powder (15 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/4 cup butter, melted (50 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 3/4 cup sugar (175 mL)
1/2 cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
1 cup buttermilk* (250 mL)
1 tbsp vanilla extract (15 mL)
4 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (2 mL)
Caramel Frosting, page___  (See below)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  Grease the bottoms only of 2, 8-inch nonstick cake pans really well and dust with a small sprinkling of bake mix.  Set aside.  In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In food processor, process butter and egg yolks.  Add Liquid Sucralose, OR SPLENDA® Granular and erythritol.  Add buttermilk and vanilla extract; process well. 

In food processor with whipping assembly or in small, chilled bowl using electric mixer, process egg whites until frothy.  Add cream of tartar and continue whipping until egg whites are stiff.

Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture, processing well until thickened, scraping sides occasionally.  Place in a large bowl with a small scoop of egg whites.  Fold the scoop of egg whites in with a spatula to loosen up the batter.  Add half of the remaining egg whites and fold in more gently bringing the batter from underneath up and over the egg whites.  Repeat with remaining egg whites until batter is streaked.  Be careful not to overwork the egg whites as you don’t want to break them down too much.  Pour into cake pans, smoothing tops gently and evenly.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until turning brown on top, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Loosen sides with knife and using spatula loosen underneath cake, support with hand; invert on cake rack.

Helpful Hints:  *If desired use Hood Calorie Countdown milk or Carolyn’s low-carb milk.  To make homemade buttermilk, add 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice in measuring cup and then fill with milk; set aside 5 minutes.  

CARAMEL FROSTING
My husband said this frosting tastes like caramel!

Liquid sweetener to equal 1 cup sugar (500 mL)
6 tbsp powdered erythritol (90 mL)
1/3 cup cream and water mixture, OR (75 mL)
  Half-and-half
6 tbsp vanilla whey protein (90 mL)
1/4 cup whole, OR skim milk powder (50 mL)
2 tbsp chocolate whey protein (25 mL)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (25 mL)
1 egg yolk

In blender, combine liquid sweetener, powdered erythritol, cream and water mixture (or half-and-half), vanilla whey protein, whole or skim milk powder, chocolate whey protein and butter.  Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape sides frequently.  Add egg yolk and blend again.  If the frosting is too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time.  If the frosting is too liquidy, add more vanilla whey protein, one tablespoon at a time.

Helpful Hint:  This frosting is enough to frost a double layered cake completely or a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) cake.


Yield:   12 serv. with frost.

1 serving

214.0 calories

9.0 g protein

16.4 g fat

6.3 g net 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!

White Chocolate Blondies (GF)


 WHITE CHOCOLATE BLONDIES
Blondies are a type of brownie dessert without the chocolate.  These blondies are a great treat primarily because of the white chocolate frosting.  It’s often true of brownies as well – the frosting is what makes it special.  If you don’t have cocoa butter, then make one of my other frostings – even a chocolate frosting would be fine, but it needs to taste like a regular, sugary-sweet frosting.  This dessert is a moderate carb dessert, so not something one can go hog wild on.  One or two servings a day and that’s about it for dessert!  My DH liked these.

1/2 cup butter, melted (125 mL)
Liquid Sucralose to equal 2/3 cup (150 mL)
 SPLENDA® Granular
1/3 cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1/2 tsp molasses (2 mL)
11/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (300 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/8 tsp baking soda (0.5 mL)
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)
White Chocolate Frosting:
Liquid Sucralose to equal 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
1/4 cup whole, OR skim milk powder (50 mL)
3 tbsp whipping cream (45 mL)
3 tbsp powdered erythritol (45 mL)
2 tbsp vanilla whey protein (25 mL)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (25 mL)
1 oz cocoa butter, melted (30 g) (Microwave about 2 minutes – be careful – very hot!)

In food processor, process butter, Liquid Sucralose or SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, eggs, vanilla extract and molasses well.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to butter mixture and process one minute.  Pour into greased 8-inch square baking pan.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 20 minutes.  Allow to cool and frost with White Chocolate Frosting.  Keep refrigerated.

White Chocolate Frosting:  In blender, combine Liquid Sucralose or SPLENDA® Granular, whole or skim milk powder, whipping cream, powdered erythritol, vanilla whey protein and butter.  Blend until smooth, scraping sides occasionally and stirring.  Add cocoa butter and blend again.

Yield: 16 servings
Sucralose/Splenda
154.3/158.8 calories
3.4/3.4 g protein
13.9/13.9 g fat

3.7/4.8 g carbs

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is Sugar Toxic? - Gary Taubes - New York Times Article


Is Sugar Toxic?  This is a good read for those who are still unconvinced that sugar can cause diabetes or that sugar is really bad for us - most especially in excess.  Americans are having over 90 lbs of sugar a year - definitely an excess of sugar consumption.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New York-style Crumb Cake

Looks very yummy, but read on!

I was scouring the internet looking at recipes.  I do that for fun!  I read cookbooks like novels.  I think many women do.  I wonder if men know this little detail about some of us women chefs?

I saw this recipe and it sounded delicious until I read the topping ingredients.  For a 9 x 13-inch dish (okay, substantial), 5 cups of flour is required.  Then out of curiosity, I checked the carbohydrates per serving: 90 grams!!  Yep, you read that right.  That's unreal.  Granted at 12 servings, those are big servings, but still.  That's about 4 times more carbohydrates in one serving of cake than many low-carbers consume in one day.  No wonder people are struggling with their weight so much these days.  It's excess - too much excess - especially when it comes to refined carbohydrates.  That's not even classified as food since white flour is regarded as an anti-nutrient - it requires nutrients from the body to digest it.

I just made a double-layered Almond Vanilla cake with Caramel Frosting yesterday and although I haven't checked the carbs yet, I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near that.  We are eating healthier, folks!  Stay tuned for my cake. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Teasers - Recipes made with Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix

 Shortbread

 
 Biscotti


 Apple Pie


White Chocolate Blondies

Banana Bread

These scrumptious desserts are all made with my new Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix.  I might share some of these recipes later on.  Just thought I'd provide some eye candy for fun! (wink) 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Almond Flour vs Almond Meal


You can notice in some of my baking, that the baked products are a little darker.  That is because I grind my own almonds using my Cuisinart coffee grinder and I happen to use sliced almonds that still have a bit of skin on them around the perimeter. The resulting ground almonds is a product called almond meal.   Blanched almond flour, commercially available, will be superior and will impart a lighter color to baked goods.  It also has some of the fat removed and will have a finer texture (someone commented and asked about the texture).

None of my cookbooks are gluten-free (I should hasten to say, many of the recipes in my cookbooks are gluten-free anyway), however, with the gluten-free bake mixes, it is possible to convert many, many of my baking and dessert recipes to gluten-free without too much trouble.  At the same time, although I'm doing gluten-free and low-carb (always low-carb!) recipes for now, my famous Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix may be used instead of the gluten-free bake mix.  It is still a lovely bake mix and most low-carbers prefer it as it is grain free and only 9.9 grams of carbohydrate per cup.  About the grain issue:  The late Dr. Atkins said we could use soy flour and it is horrible for us (powerful goitrogen against the thyroid which can make our metabolisms tank and work against our weight loss efforts).  In contrast to that sad state of affairs, oat flour is almost as low in carbs as soy flour (please check Kent's comment below and my reply) and oats are generally good for most of us (think cholesterol lowering benefits)....so, hence my preference for the small amount of oat flour in my bake mixes.  Besides it tastes so much better than soy flour.  So, which would you rather use - soy or oat flour?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Foccacia Bread (GF)


FOCCACIA BREAD
This delicious, savory bread pairs well with practically any meal. This recipe was originally the brainchild of Sherrielee, a member of Lowcarbfriends.  This is my revised gluten-free version which can be enjoyed by practically everyone.  My husband likes it as a medium for butter!!  Click on the image to view a larger pic.  Also, check this LINK - I was playing with the recipe.

8 oz regular cream cheese, softened (250 g)
4 large eggs
1 cup Gluten-free Bake Mix (250 mL)
1/2 cup almond flour (125 mL)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (25 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/4 tsp No Salt, OR salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp white pepper (1 mL)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (250 mL)
3/4 tsp Italian herb seasoning (3 mL)
2 tbsp light-tasting olive oil (25 mL)

In food processor, combine cream cheese and eggs; process. Add Gluten-free Bake Mix, almond flour, Parmesan cheese, crushed garlic, baking powder, baking soda, No Salt or salt and white pepper; process.  Stir in Monterey Jack cheese. (Sometimes I process it in; not sure which is the best way yet.)

Line a jelly roll pan with foil or parchment paper.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Carefully spread batter over the pan, leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border free  of batter around the perimeter.  Sprinkle with Italian herb seasoning.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until turning brown.  Use a pastry brush (or clean paint brush used for kitchen purposes only) to spread the oil evenly on the baked bread.  Slice into 4 sections vertically and into 3 sections horizontally.  Serve while warm, if possible.

Helpful Hints:  This bread is rich and filling.  I can only have 2 slices tops.  It is definitely self-limiting. 


Yield:   12 servings
1 serving
215.0 calories
9.2 g protein
18.1 g fat

3.3 g net 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!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gluten-Free Crispy Pizza Crust (New)



GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA CRUST
This is a thin, crispy crust – very good and a carb bargain!  I made this recipe before with another bake mix plus it also had some butter in the recipe, but this recipe is way nicer (crispier crust!) and the calories are lower too.  Bonus!  Enjoy pizza again without any guilt.



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!



2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (500 mL)
  cheese
2/3  cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1, OR Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (no xanthan gum or gelatin required) (150 mL)
1 egg white, fork beaten (from large egg)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In medium bowl, combine Monterey Jack cheese, Gluten-free Bake Mix 1, OR 2 and egg white.  Grease a smallish, nonstick pizza pan (the kind you would use for a dessert fruit pizza - about 12 inches).  Cover dough with plastic wrap and using a small rolling pin (I have one especially for rolling crusts in a pie dish) or small food can, roll dough out evenly.  Bake in oven 10 minutes.

Cover crust with pizza sauce (recipe below) and toppings of choice such as cooked, savory ground beef, green onions, red, orange or yellow peppers, cooked, chopped bacon and another cup (250 mL) shredded cheese.  Bake 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C).  When the edges are browned and crispy, pizza crust is ready.

Helpful Hints: Don't try placing this crust on greased tin foil - it sticks!  Two or three slices of this pizza and a nice salad is a very filling meal.  I’m sure other cheeses such as Mozzarella and Cheddar would work as well.  For a crispier crust, use a pizza pan with holes and spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray on both sides.  Roll crust onto parchment paper.  This makes for a nice, crispy crust!

Yield: 12 servings
1 serving (crust only)
103.7 calories
6.2 g protein
8.0 g fat
1.5 g carbs


 PIZZA SAUCE
This easy pizza sauce gives your pizza an authentic taste.  This pizza sauce is thicker and not too watery – to help keep your pizza crust nice and crispy!

2, 5.5 oz cans tomato paste (156 mL)
2/3 cup water (150 mL)
Sweetener to equal 1 tbsp sugar (15 mL)
1 tsp oregano (5 mL)
1/2 tsp basil (2 mL)
1/4 tsp onion salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1 mL)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (0.5 mL)
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)

In medium bowl, whisk together tomato paste, water, sweetener, oregano, basil, onion salt, black pepper, garlic powder and salt.

Use 1/4  cup (50 mL) per pizza crust.

Helpful Hints:  Freeze leftover sauce or only make half this recipe.  This delicious pizza sauce will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 


Yield: 13/4 cups (425 mL)

1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving

8.6 calories

0.4 g protein

0.1 g fat

1.5 g carbs


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Splendid GF LC Bake Mix - Same as using White flour?



 
Actually - No! Sadly. The Splendid Gluten-Free Bake is a completely different product to all-purpose flour.  It can, however, be used as a lovely substitute for all-purpose flour.  There are going to be some nuances and gotchas, so I'm busy working on trying a few more recipes.

First of all, I'm still very, very excited about this Splendid Gluten-free Bake Mix.  Don't get me wrong as you read further.  It's just that it is all so new for me as well - baking with this new blend of low-carb and gluten-free "flours". 

Donna tried her favorite Betty Crocker streusel coffeecake and discovered it had a nice, neutral taste and a good texture ("Delightful texture", she said.) with this bake mix, kept a good height (although sank a bit as expected), but her cake was much too greasy and did not cook through in the middle even although she said it tested done.  She had some real kind words for me (she is like that but brutally honest as well), but I felt a little deflated all the same.  Waah!  :(  Thing is I have to accept that there will be some gotchas. This bake mix is not all-purpose flour and I'm absolutely new to using it as well.  I have only just begun! (Is there a song like that? lol)  Please keep that in mind.  More and more recipes will show up on this blog to show you how to use this bake mix instead of all-purpose flour quite comfortably.

This morning I made an apple coffeecake that has similar ingredients to Donna's coffeecake.  Her coffeecake recipe looks like this:

2 C. flour (Donna correctly used 2 1/4 cups GF Bake Mix)
1 C. sugar  (not sure what sugar sub Donna uses - the rest of the recipe she used the same exactly as written)
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C. butter, softened
1 C. milk
1 egg
Streusel topping


I am of the opinion that at least 2 eggs are required in muffins and coffeecakes - almost always - except for cookie recipes (on account of the coconut flour).  Actually don't quote me on the cookie recipes yet either.  I need to test a few more cookie recipes.  Fact is my chocolate chip cookie recipe could have comfortably used only 3/4 cup butter compared to the 1 cup the recipe originally called for.  So, stay tuned on the cookie recipe front; more testing to come!

Because the Gluten-free bake mix is high in almond flour and naturally high in fat as a result, adding 1/3 cup of butter is over the top!  I would suggest when one sees a muffin or coffeecake recipe with only one egg, increase to 2 eggs and if there is butter (in particular) or oil (most times I've used the same amount of oil as called for without a greasy outcome), reduce substantially (usually by half) - for instance, if it's 1/4 cup butter, use 2 tbsp; if it's 1/3 cup, use 2 1/2 tbsp.  Now since the rule is to start with 1/4 cup less wet/liquid ingredients, start with 3/4 cup LC milk in both Donna's recipe (she needed the full cup which makes sense as she had a greater percentage of bake mix in her recipe, but she only used one egg and in my opinion, the recipes needs 2 eggs) and mine below (See Carolyn's low-carb milk recipe on this blog or use Hood Calorie Countdown Milk, if available in your area).  Process the batter at least one minute; it will thicken up and then decide if you need more milk, but remember you have added an extra egg which is the equivalent of about 1/4 cup milk.  Hope this helps.  It might seem a bit confusing at first, but I will try and iron out the nuances to the point where it is a no brainer for us all.  :)

UPDATE:  Susie from Fluffy Chix Cook blog mentioned something to me in a comment that made me realize that the fat content in ground nut meals versus the blanched almond flour one buys is probably quite a bit higher.  Therefore, if one is using blanched almond flour, one may need a tablespoon or so extra of the butter or oil in a recipe - i.e. you may not need to reduce the fat quite by a half .  Sorry that it sounds so complicated.  It is not really once one gets used to baking with a bake mix that has a few nuances.  It will become second nature in time.

My Apple Coffeecake Recipe:

Cake Batter:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour ( I added 1/4 cup extra GF Bake Mix as per the instructions with the bake mix)
3/4 cup sugar (I used !/4 cup granulated erythritol and 1/2 cup Splenda Granular)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (I used 1/8 tsp)
1 egg (I used 2 eggs)
3/4 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup - did not need more)
1/4 cup butter (I used 1 tbsp, but could definitely have used 2 tbsp, no problem)
1 tsp vanilla

2 cooking apples, peeled and sliced  (I used 1 1/2 small apples or 1 medium to large equiv.)

Topping:
1/3 cup sugar (I used 2 tbsp Splenda Granular)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used 1/4 tsp)

Cake Batter: In medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In food processor, process eggs, erythritol, Splenda Granular, milk, butter and vanilla. (note:  I process the sweeteners with the eggs and milk to help dissolve the granular erythritol).

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and process at least one minute until thickened.  Turn out into greased 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish.  Push apples well into batter and fairly close together.

Topping:  In small bowl, combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over top of cake.  Bake in 350 deg. F. oven 30 minutes (original recipes said 50 to 60 minutes - my gas oven runs hot, I suspect, plus this low-carb bake mix bakes a lot faster sometimes).

Nutritional Analysis:  9 servings (good size)
Maintenance-level carbs due to the apples:
156.5 calories; 5.3 g protein; 10.4 g fat; 8.3 g carbs  (7.0 g carbs if one replaces Splenda Granular in the cake batter with liquid sucralose (liquid Splenda) which has no carbs)

I thought I hid the remainder of the coffeecake from my DH.  When I went back to sneak a piece, I found an empty container and a note with a mouse drawing winking at me!  (True story)  Ian says, "It's got cinnamon, it's sweet, it's got apples, it's low-carb and it's gluten-free - it's delicious, what do you expect?!"


The note said: "Sorry it was too dawn nice!!"

Signed
A -Goody-Burglar
Code Name (A-Nony-Mouse!)




Sunday, April 3, 2011

COOL LOOKS for my blog - how to access them

 Finally figured it out - See the URL address at the top?  Type in the word 'view' next to the slash sign and hit enter.  You should be able to access all the different views as seen here:  COOL LOOKS

Basically this is how the URL will look: http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/view

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF)



FREEZER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
These are lovely straight out of the freezer; however, they may be kept in the refrigerator if you find the chocolate chips freeze too hard.   There is huge traffic to my blog and no one has said anything about the breakthrough bake mix. Waah!  Poor me is how I felt this morning.  Maybe it was just a big old anti-climax after all the false starts? Maybe everyone expected something more fancy or more special-sounding.  Believe me, the bake is lovely and it works!  It is low in carbs, low in fiber and gluten-free.

UPDATE:  This recipe needs to be finalized - there are other fully-tested chocolate chip cookies on this blog.  Sorry about that.  I don't have the time for quite a while to get back into the kitchen to develop recipes or test them. This one will have to wait for a more opportune time.  However, for the brave of heart, I think this recipe should work as written.

Liquid sucralose to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  SPLENDA® Granular
3/4 cup butter, melted (175 mL)
1/2  cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
1 egg
2 3/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (675 mL)
  page___
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/4  tsp salt (1 mL)
13/4  cups sugar free chocolate chips (425 mL)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (60 mL)
  
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, combine SPLENDA® Granular, butter, erythritol and egg; process.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-free Bake Mix, page___, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; process.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

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

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.  Allow to cool completely on cookie sheet before sliding a thin spatula under the cookies to transfer to a sealed container for the freezer or refrigerator.

Yield:  32 cookies
1 cookie per serving
140.4 calories
2.2 g protein
11.5 g fat
2.4 g carbs

Variation:  Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies:  Use 2 eggs, 3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, 2 cups (500 mL) sugar free chocolate chips and 1 cup (250 mL) chopped walnuts.  Keep in the refrigerator.  This recipe makes a substantial, thick, chunky cookie; very good.   Yield: 34 cookies (2.4 g carbs).

Chocolate Chip Jumble Cookies:  For a lovely Christmas cookie, add some dried cranberries and shredded coconut to taste and reduce the chocolate chips or walnuts.






Friday, April 1, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints (GF)

  
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY THUMBPRINTS
These delicious, pretty cookies can be a great addition to Christmas baking.  Use low sugar red and green preserves.  It is possible to use green food coloring in a lighter colored jam.  These are so tasty.  I kept mine in the refrigerator.  Wish I had some right now with my tea.

Text Box: Yield:   38 servings
1 serving
69.5 calories
1.8 g protein
6.0 g fat
2.0 g carbs2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (500 mL)
  page___
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/4 tsp baking soda (1 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/2 cup butter (125 mL)
1/2 cup peanut butter (125 mL)
2/3 cup SPLENDA® Granular (150 mL)
2 tbsp Orange or Vanilla Da Vinci® Sugar Free Syrup (25 mL)
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
Sugarless jam

In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

In food processor, process butter and peanut butter.  Add SPLENDA® Granular, Orange Da Vinci® Sugar Free Syrup and water; process.  Add dry ingredients and process again.  Shape dough into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets.  Press down the center of each ball with your thumb. 

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on cookie sheets before removing.  Spoon about 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sugarless jam into center of each cookie.  (This will add negligible carbs – probably around 0.3 grams).

Variation:  Da Vinci® Alternative:  Use water and 1 SPLENDA® packet. (2.0 g carbs)

Pumpkin Chip Muffins with Variations (GF)

 PUMPKIN CHIP MUFFINS
As good as any high-carb muffin.  For another great pumpkin muffin - see here!  This is an example of a recipe where I was copying the aforementioned pumpkin muffin and the batter was still too thick after adding an extra egg.  I ended up adding yet another and then the batter consistency was perfect!  See bake mix instructions for this exact scenario.  I used the Raisin Nut option for the photo because I am violently allergic to chocolate these days.  I get an instant migraine practically.  It really is so very sad.  I love chocolate probably more than any other food when it comes to desserts.  Maybe when this whole menopause thing is finally upon me, I'll be able to have my beloved chocolate again.  I hope so, meantime I am a seriously handicapped baker.

Text Box: Yield:  16 servings
1 serving
189.0 calories
4.9 g protein
13.5 g fat
5.8 g carbs4 eggs
3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (175 mL)
1/2 cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
1/3 cup olive oil (75 mL)
1 cup canned pumpkin (250 mL)
21/4 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (550 mL)
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1 tbsp cinnamon (15 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (2 mL)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (2 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1 cup sugar free chocolate chips (250 mL)
Cream Cheese Frosting (optional):
4 oz light cream cheese (125 g)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol (25 mL)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (25 mL)
1 tbsp whipping cream, (15 mL)
  OR Da Vinci® Sugar Free Gingerbread Syrup

In food processor, combine eggs, SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, olive oil and pumpkin.  Process really well to help dissolve erythritol (it won’t dissolve completely).  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  Add to pumpkin mixture; process about one minute.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon the batter into greased muffin pans.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean and muffins are turning brown.

Variations:  Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins: 1 cup frozen, unsweetened cranberries (250 mL) chopped finely in food processor. Omit chocolate chips. (5.9 g carbs)  Using liquid sucralose instead of SPLENDA® Granular in all variations will bring the carbs down by 1.0 gram per muffin.

Apple Pumpkin Muffins:  Use one small apple, peeled and chopped finely.
(6.1 g carbs)

Raisin Nut Pumpkin Muffins:  I’ve also made these with raisins, snipped in half and finely chopped walnuts. Use 1/3 cup (75 mL) in both cases. First soak raisins in boiling water, drain and cut in half.  Carbs are higher but it is a good maintenance-level option. (8.0 g carbs)

Gluten-Free Low-Carb Waffles

 
GLUTEN-FREE LOW-CARB WAFFLES
Easy and tasty! Toast them in the toaster when required to crisp them again. I'm so sorry, I discovered a mistake!  The quantity of GF Bake mix should be 3/4 cup - I copied my old recipe and forgot to make the change. I hope and pray no one discovered this mistake.


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

Here is an easy Strawberry Sauce Recipe (I usually double the recipe):


Strawberry Sauce:
11/2 cups frozen, unsweetened strawberries (375 mL)
Liquid sucralose to equal 1/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (50 mL)
3 tbsp water (45 mL)


In saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberries, liquid sucralose and water.  Bring to boiling.  Using a potato masher, mash strawberries.  Cook, stirring until sauce thickens a bit. 

I'm Very Excited to Unveil My Splendid Gluten-Free and Low-Carb Bake Mix At Last!




SPLENDID GLUTEN-FREE BAKE MIX
Almond flour versus almond meal may produce some differences.  The texture of muffins and loaves is moist with a soft crumb and compares very favorably to baking with all-purpose flour – often even tastier, in my opinion.

Instructions Updated:  28th September 2011

12/3 cups almond flour, (400 mL)
  (I use almond meal, i.e. ground sliced
    almonds versus almond flour)
2 tbsp coconut flour, (30 mL)
  (Bob’s Red Mill,® OR Aloha Nu®)
3/4 tsp xanthan gum (3 mL)


In large bowl, combine almond flour, oat flour (if you are intolerant to gluten-free oat flour then substitute another gluten-free flour), coconut flour and xanthan gum.  In container with airtight lid, place bake mix and shake the container well to combine.  When measuring oat flour (not necessary with the other ingredients) into measuring cup, make sure to tap the cup on the counter top and fill to the top to get the correct yield for the bake mix.  Keep bake mix at room temperature for up to one month or freeze for much longer storage.


Instructions:  Substitute 1/4 cup (60 mL) additional bake mix when substituting for 1 cup (250 mL) or more than 1 cup (250 mL) flour in recipes and use 2 tbsp (30 mL) more if substituting for less than 1 cup (250 mL).  Always begin by adding an extra egg in muffins, cakes, coffeecakes and loaves (except for cookies most times as it can change the texture) and withholding about half the liquid/wet/fat ingredients and adding in as necessary.  If the batter after processing at least a minute is still very thick, add more of the liquid ingredients and if accidentally the batter ends up too sloppy, then add a little more bake mix. If all the liquid has been used and the batter is still stiff, add another egg and another if necessary. Baking experience is helpful.  Coconut flour needs eggs.

This bake mix is great in muffins, loaves, cookies, donuts, coffeecakes, many cakes, pie crusts and a few other specialized applications, but will not be suitable for all applications, nor for most yeast applications.  Xanthan gum has gluten-like properties and it binds ingredients together preventing crumbly outcomes.  Cookies:  bake a couple and see how they turn out before adding another egg.

My Alternate Bake Mixes (not gluten-free): When substituting the Splendid Gluten-Free bake mix for some of my other bake mixes, 2 tbsp (30 mL) to 1/4 cup (60 mL) more bake mix may be required depending on if one is replacing less than 1 cup (250 mL) or 1 cup (250 mL) or more.  Follow the same rules above.  It is convenient to double or triple this bake mix; just shake container really well to combine. Alternatively, the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix may be used instead - just use less of it - 2 tbsp (30 mL) less if less than 1 cup (250 mL) and 1/4 cup (60 mL) less if replacing 1 cup or more of the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake mix.

Yield:   21/2 cups (625 mL)
1/4 cup (60 mL) per serving
125.7 calories
4.5 g protein
8.9 g fat
5.7 g carbs (22.8 g per cup)


Update June 3, 2011:  New and Improved Version of the Splendid Gluten-Free Low-Carb Bake Mix:   I stepped back from my baking for a while and then went through my notes again and this newer version (see recipe above) popped into my mind.  The carbs are very close, but the texture is a little better, the taste a little better and the bake mix a little more robust, therefore, it keeps a slightly better height in baking as well.  Now to add yet another option, check out another version below this recipe.  Recipe above.

Health Benefits of Oat Flour:  http://low-carb-news.blogspot.com/2011/07/further-evidence-that-oats-can-lower.html

Almond and Coconut Flours: Update - I tried almond flour and Bob's Red Mill Coconut Flour in my bake mix and baking. There was some discussion recently on lowcarbfriends.com about almond flour vs almond meal.  As you know, I use almond meal {i.e. sliced almonds (tiny bit of skin on the perimeters)} in this bake mix.  Now Honeyville almond flour is greatly preferred by many low-carbers because one can buy it in bulk at a fairly good price and it is high quality almond flour.  It is partially defatted and finer than any almond meal one makes at home.  Therefore, if you're using almond flour vs almond meal (which I use), there may be slight differences in the baking.  I'm guessing the baking will have a finer texture and be a bit drier (hopefully not too much drier).  Also, I have read on other blogs that differences occur in coconut flour.  I happen to have Aloha Nu here at home.  I ordered it from Netrition, however, they are now out of stock and wondering when they'll be getting it in again.  I'm not quite as worried about this as the coconut flour by Bob's Red Mill is the one that is preferred and is more readily available in America and I happen to know that my friend, Donna, was using it and the baking was working out for her.  Nevertheless, I am going to go the extra mile and order Honeyville Almond flour and Bob's Red Mill coconut flour so that I can test one or two recipes with those brands.  When I do that, I'll be sure to report back here about my findings.  The oat flour should not be a problem, although I use the garden variety oat flour that I can pick up locally in the store (it is not certified gluten-free).  I use Arrowhead Mills oat flour because my hubby is only intolerant of gluten and does not have Celiac disease.

My findings with Honeyville Almond Flour and Bob's Red Mill coconut flour.  For cakes and cupcakes this almond flour is superior - the baking is prettier too.  The coconut flour is perfect in this bake mix!  Actually didn't find the baking drier...there is a difference in texture, for sure, but for most things I like my almond meal and it's a much cheaper option (i.e. I buy big bags of sliced almonds at the equivalent of Costco and grind the almonds in a large cup coffee bean grinder).  My almond meal is quite coarse, as it has tiny bits of sliced almonds in it that are not finely ground, but it seems to be fine in baking and not perceptible.

Another Option:  You may use 1/4 cup coconut flour and the rest of the ingredients the same as the recipe above. (1/4 cup = 5.6 g carbs).  This is a very robust bake mix and will keep a very good height in baking, although a little bit of sinking will still occur.  The texture is pretty nice, but I'm quite happy with the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix because it has slightly less fiber and I can do with that.  However, this is an option for those folks who like lots of fiber in their diet.  I find the xanthan gum is particularly tricky on my tummy in excess so I don't need too much extra fiber on top of that.  The xanthan gum (it is dieting though - helps with weight loss) is necessary for the gluten-like properties it imparts to the bake mix and it prevents crumbly outcomes.  Some people find that guar gum is a little better (it is less expensive) and others find it is worse.  There is another option besides the gums - I forget now what it is but I've never tried it and it seems difficult to source.

The older version of the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix and the story behind it:

It was no small feat to come up with this recipe. I wish I could say I entered my kitchen looking quite pretty and fifties-like with my apron on and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head and wallah there was the recipe! Instead, some of you have followed the agonizing, not-so-glamorous journey (and my sore tummy journey too) on my blog to falling flat on my face with a big flop and then finally getting it right! (insert smiley face here). First of all - thank you, God.  In addition, I do credit Donna Hodach-Price with re-inspiring me to do my best to come up with a bake mix that is gluten-free and low-carb that we can use instead of all-purpose flour.  She decided to help do some testing for me and boy did she do a lot of testing!  She was very methodical too.  We both decided on a bake mix that used some golden flax meal.  It was really good actually but both of us for various reasons decided we can no longer personally use flax meal.  So this left me in a pickle and I didn't feel like I could expect Donna to keep trying all the different variations I could come up with. She had a vegetable garden to plant after all and a life to lead other than spending all her time in the kitchen, plus she delicately moaned about the fact that it is fattening!  Yep, recipe testing can be fattening if one is not careful.  I'm happy to say I didn't gain any weight, but I did over Christmas when I went off plan.  I remember finishing one of my cookbooks and doing low-carb beautifully the whole time and I was thinner than I am now!  Low-carbing simply works and if one wants to keep one's lowest weight (for most of us this is true), that is the way to go.

Coconut flour in excess causes problems for my tummy, xanthan gum in excess - same thing - just really crimping (or cramping! 'scuse the pun!) my style and not giving me many options.  I tried so many configurations and computations and fed my poor eldest son (youngest had escaped to the city - the first to leave the nest by a couple of weeks before his brother) so many muffins (all the same test recipe - poor Daniel!!).  This was truly blazing a new trail - coming up with a bake mix with fairly ordinary ingredients that we can make at home that is both gluten-free and low-carb.  Tall order in case anyone is wondering.  The gluten-free bake mixes on the market are woefully high-carb.  For instance, the gluten-free low-carb cake bake mix by Bob's Red Mill, is still woefully higher in carbs than most of us would like:  29 grams of carbohydrate for about 1/3 cup, which is almost as high as all-purpose flour, give or take 5 grams of carbohydrate.  Same kind of thing with Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Bake Mix.

Unfortunately in most cases the certified gluten-free oat flour (Bob's Red Mill recommended - not Legacy Valley according to Donna) and coconut flour will need to be ordered online. Xanthan gum is usually available in health food stores as is blanched almond flour.  I grind my own almond flour from sliced almonds (they have a tiny bit of skin on the perimeter) in a Coffee Grinder by Cuisinart.  Cuisinart actually has appliances specifically for grinding nuts and spices.  I didn't know that until recently.  The coffee grinder works quite well.  I have to pick out the occasional sliced almond that doesn't grind up, but other than that, it works quite satisfactorily, and I would have to say at the moment, it is one of my most used kitchen appliances.

OAT FLOUR:  For those who are merely gluten-intolerant, using store-bought regular oat flour such as Arrowhead Mills might not be a problem as any gluten-contamination from a facility that also makes products with gluten in them is bound to be small. My DH who is gluten-intolerant (he thinks so lately) tolerates regular oat flour just fine.  For those who cannot even use certified gluten-free oat flour (remember oat flour has no gluten), then Donna mentioned quinoa flour might be an option.  She mentioned it is about 17 net grams carbs per 1/4 cup and oat flour is about  14 net grams.  Rice flours can impart a gummy texture to baking if not offset with starchy components which is, of course, not an option for us low-carbers.  


Update 27/May/2011:  I tried the quinoa flour and here are my results and thoughts about it.