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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Old 51 and Young 51 - What Do These Women Do Differently?

She is a TV health guru advocating a holistic approach to nutrition and ill health, promoting exercise, a vegetarian diet high in organic fruits and vegetables. She recommends detox diets, colonic irrigation and supplements, also making statements that yeast is harmful, that the 
colour of food is nutritionally significant, and about the utility of lingual and faecal examination.

She is a TV cook, who eats nothing but meat, butter and desserts.

Should we now rest our case !?!!

This is the email I got from my sister-in-law who lives in NZ this morning and thought I would share it with you all.  I don't look too bad at 54 and I follow the 2nd woman's dietary plan, except my desserts do not contain white flour or sugar.  Maybe having extra estrogen helps too, you know?  I see this TV cook and I have something in common upstairs.  She is stunning though and I think she looks better than I do.

UPDATE:  You know my conscience convicted me re this post and one commenter mentioned the lady above's name.  I went digging to see who she is. Well, I realized that this pic was taken of her in the hot, steamy JUNGLE where she absolutely had no access to make-up or taking care of her looks and hair, etc. In contrast the beautiful damsel with the dark hair is perfectly made up and coiffed for TV.  It is a teeny bit unfair to compare the two women in this manner but it it still proves a point that fat is good for the skin and complexion.

So this email floating around is actually a little biased.  She usually looks quite a lot better, as can be seen in a better pic of her above but definitely not as good as the other 51 year old (FAT rules!).  She must have some real enemies out there who hate her.  She has, however, bought into the low-fat lie and frankly a goodly amount of fat is good for the skin. Dr. Atkins said that he was always shocked to see folks who had very little fat in their diet would usually have very deep lines from the nose to mouth, as clearly she does.

Further Evidence that Oats Can Lower Cholesterol

For the majority of us, oatmeal is out!  It is way too carby, but the bit of oat flour in my Splendid Gluten-free bake mix will be fine for many of us - especially for those who need to be gluten-free as well as low-carb.  This is a very tasty bake mix and perhaps something to look forward to for those low-carbers that will one day be in maintenance.  If it doesn't create cravings and blood sugar remains stable, then it should be fine.  I don't use gluten-free oat flour as my DH is mainly intolerant to gluten and having gone off, he is losing weight easily and also his blood pressure is normal.  If he starts back on gluten, his blood pressure immediately goes up again.  So strange but glad we figured it out.

I found this quote below this morning on Pegasuslegend's Blog as the preamble to a really tasty sounding breakfast coffeecake.  I love raisins, but did you know that a few can go a long way?  My favorite trick is to halve the amount of raisins in a recipe and then snip the raisins used for the recipe in half.  The sweetness is still there but the carbs are reduced by half.  The cake would be easy to make lower carb, gluten-free and sugarless but I'm not going to go there as it will still be too carby for most of us.

As you guys know my low-carb and gluten-free bake mix has some oat flour in it (not a huge amount considereing it is mostly ground almonds), so I'm always interested to find out how healthy it is.  It certainly is a lot better than white flour or soy flour or many of the others out there and it helps my baking to taste "normal".  For those of you in the strict dieting phase and not worried about gluten, the Splendid Low-Carb Bake mix will be more appealing and may be used instead.

I have to say though I can lose weight using my newest gluten-free bake mix and so can my husband.  It is no different for us than using the other.  However, if one has been very low-carb and one switches to this bake mix, I imagine some glycogen stores will refill and will be seen as a 1 or 2 lb gain on the scale, but that should resolve pretty quickly.  I have come up with gluten-free bread that is fantastic as toast.  It makes 30 slices!  I love it toasted and to be honest I like it more than regular bread, toasted.

Here is the quote from Pegasuslegend:

"Oatmeal is a good source of a variety of nutrients. The nutrients in oatmeal include: vitamin E, Zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium. Oatmeal also contains significant amounts of protein, soluble and insoluble fiber. Some reports indicate that oatmeal may reduce LDL cholesterol without reducing HDL cholesterol.Oatmeal actually did  work and help for me, my cholesterol went from 257 to 167 eating oatmeal everyday, oatmeal bread and then I added a teaspoon of cinnamon in it. That all happened as quickly as three months! My HDL was over 100 and the LDL 67. I was thrilled not to be put on medication.
Oatmeal is known to have cancer fighting properties and can reduce the risk of heart disease. Oatmeal is 100% natural. Excluding flavored oatmeals, the only ingredient you will find in an oatmeal box is oatmeal. Oatmeal is an easy and tasty meal, and did you know that currently approximately 80% of US household have some type of oatmeal in their cabinets." 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still Counting Calories?

 Here is an interesting study:  "The new research, by five nutrition and public health experts at Harvard University, is by far the most detailed long-term analysis of the factors that influence weight gain, involving 120,877 well-educated men and women who were healthy and not obese at the start of the study."

The beauty of the new study is its ability to show, based on real-life experience, how small changes in eating, exercise and other habits can result in large changes in body weight over the years.

"The foods that contributed to the greatest weight gain were not surprising. French fries led the list: Increased consumption of this food alone was linked to an average weight gain of 3.4 pounds in each four-year period. Other important contributors were potato chips (1.7 pounds), sugar-sweetened drinks (1 pound), red meats and processed meats (0.95 and 0.93 pound, respectively), other forms of potatoes (0.57 pound), sweets and desserts (0.41 pound), refined grains (0.39 pound), other fried foods (0.32 pound), 100-percent fruit juice (0.31 pound) and butter (0.3 pound)."

This made me pause:  hmmm red meat and butter?  Methinks they are strange in the head; maybe combined with refined carbohydrates, but for us low-carbers red meat and butter are just fine, thank you very much, unless one is a vegetarian in which case alternatives are sought.  French fries are usually loaded with trans fats and trans fats make us fat!

Here is a quote:

But contrary to what many people believe, an increased intake of dairy products, whether low-fat (milk) or full-fat (milk and cheese), had a neutral effect on weight.
And despite conventional advice to eat less fat, weight loss was greatest among people who ate more yogurt and nuts, including peanut butter, over each four-year period.
Nuts are high in vegetable fat, and previous small studies have shown that eating peanut butter can help people lose weight and keep it off, probably because it slows the return of hunger.
That yogurt, among all foods, was most strongly linked to weight loss was the study’s most surprising dietary finding, the researchers said. Participants who ate more yogurt lost an average of 0.82 pound every four years.
Yogurt contains healthful bacteria that in animal studies increase production of intestinal hormones that enhance satiety and decrease hunger, Dr. Hu said. The bacteria may also raise the body’s metabolic rate, making weight control easier.

But, consistent with the new study’s findings, metabolism takes a hit from refined carbohydrates — sugars and starches stripped of their fiber, like white flour. When Dr. David Ludwig of Children’s Hospital Boston compared the effects of refined carbohydrates with the effects of whole grains in both animals and people, he found that metabolism, which determines how many calories are used at rest, slowed with the consumption of refined grains but stayed the same after consumption of whole grains.

Other factors were you needed to get enough sleep (8 hours).  Do not watch television too much.  One glass of wine a day was fine but adding other alcohol was fattening.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yogurt Whipped Topping and Trifle (not gluten-free)


This is easy to whip up and tastes delicious!  Double  the recipe for trifle.

3/4 cup plain yogurt (175 mL)
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
1/4 cup whipping cream (50 mL)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)
2 tsp unflavored gelatin (10 mL)
2 tbsp water (25 mL)
2 blocks ice
In blender, combine yogurt, SPLENDA® Granular, whipping cream, and vanilla extract.  In cereal bowl, soften gelatin in water.  Microwave on high power 40 seconds.  Add to blender ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add ice and blend again on ice crusher setting.  Store in closed plastic container in refrigerator.  Just before serving, use wire whisk to whisk topping vigorously until smooth.

Yield:  11/2 cups (375 mL)
1/4 cup (50 mL) per serving
65.6 calories
2.2 g protein
4.5 g fat
2.8 g carbs

Helpful Hint:  Add cocoa to taste and blend for a great pudding-like chocolate fix.  To make a whipped topping which forms a softer set after being refrigerated, use 13/4 tsp (8 mL) unflavored gelatin.

These are fairly plain though lovely served with apricot fruit spread. It is useful to use in a trifle, page 24 or cake pudding, page 25.  Use this cake in making your trifle with whipped topping (double the batch) and strawberries.  Below is a Peaches and Crema Trifle from Splendid Low-Carb Desserts.  Trifles make great summer party desserts!

UPDATE:   To make these cakes gluten-free substitute Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix - use 1/4 cup more, i.e. 2 cups and 4 eggs.  Usually the same amount of wet ingredients will be required.

1/2 cup butter, softened (125 mL)
3 eggs
1 cup SPLENDA® Granular (250 mL)
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
13/4 cups Low-Carb Bake Mix, (425 mL)
  page 22
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/4 tsp baking soda (1 mL)
1/2 cup sour cream (125 mL)

In food processor or mixing bowl with an electric mixer, process butter until smooth.  While processing add eggs one at a time.  Add SPLENDA® Granular and vanilla extract; process. 

In medium bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, page 22, baking powder and baking soda.

Alternately add dry ingredients and sour cream to egg mixture, while processing.  Process each time only until combined.  Pour batter into 2 greased nonstick 53/4 x 31/4 x 21/4 inch (15 x 8 x 6 cm) mini loaf pans.  Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven 40 minutes, or until turning light brown on top and a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack 10 minutes and remove loaves.  

Yield:  24 mini slices
1 mini slice
91.l calories
4.1 g protein
7.4 g fat
2.0 g carbs
~~Low-Carb Dieting Tip~~
Everyone is different!  Read about all the different low-carb diets and find one that suits your tastes and lifestyle.

This is a particularly easy trifle to assemble, once the pound cakes are baked.  Very tasty and always an elegant comfort dessert!

1 Mini Sour Cream Pound Cake,
  page 44, sliced thinly
1/2 cup Da Vinci® Sugar (125 mL)
  Free Peach Syrup
1/4 cup water (50 mL)
21/2 cups sliced peaches, (625 mL)
  canned in juice, drained, OR fresh peaches
1 cup whipping cream (250 mL)
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (50 mL)
3/4 oz flaked almonds, toasted (25 g)
Mascarpone Cheese Substitute:
8 oz regular cream cheese, softened (250 g)
1/4 cup whipping cream (50 mL)
3 tbsp sour cream (45 mL)

In trifle bowl, layer pound cake.  Pour a mixture of Da Vinci® Sugar Free Peach Syrup and the water over cake slices.  Layer peach slices over cake. 

Mascarpone Cheese Substitute:  In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese until smooth.  Add whipping cream and sour cream; process.  Remove and set aside.  Clean bowl and dry.

In food processor, in clean, dry bowl, with whipping assembly, whip cream and  SPLENDA® Granular until stiff.  Add Mascarpone substitute and process briefly, to just mix.  Spread over peaches.  Sprinkle with flaked, toasted almonds. Refrigerate at least one hour and preferably a few hours to allow flavors to develop.

Helpful Hints:  To toast almonds:  In dry, nonstick skillet, toast almonds over medium heat until light golden brown.  I used a fabulous substitute for Mascarpone Cheese (although you may use the real thing too), because it is very expensive and not necessarily always available at your local grocery store.

Yield:  10 servings
1 serving
294.9 calories
8.3 g protein
25.6 g fat
8.2 g carbs

~~Low-Carb Dieting Tip~~
DHEA supplements can reduce insulin resistance and stave off diabetes.  It is probably wise to get one’s DHEA levels tested first and to take the smallest dose possible.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Virtues of My Splendid Gluten-Free and Low-Carb Bake Mix

Found an article at the George Mateljan Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests or advertising, is a new force for change to help make a healthier you and a healthier world.

I found the above site and will quote some stuff from their article that really jumped out at me.  My bake mix contains almond meal, oat flour, coconut flour and a small amount of xanthan gum.  It is a truly healthy bake mix in my opinion and any low-carber who is finally allowed some grains, should be able to tolerate this bake mix since it is still low-carb.  It is much better than going whole hog and having a whole wheat muffin, say, or whole grain bread; no, keep it low-carb and the fact that it is gluten-free won't hurt.  It can only benefit all of us to keep gluten in our diets to a dull roar.  I don't have to be gluten-free but I actually like the food I'm eating so no problem. I prefer my gluten-free bake mix to the really low-carb Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix. At home it's easy; but eating out or visiting the city is more of a challenge.  I need to plan ahead and take food with me.  The Splendid Guten-Free Bake mix can be substituted for the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix.  Just read the instructions for the bake mix.  However, if one must be very low-carb, the latter bake mix makes sense for the duration of that period of dieting.  Keep this bake mix for a bit later or for occasional indulgences.  Remember desserts are not dieting.  Eat regular food 99% of the time and keep desserts for planned treats once a week or once a month or twice a year (ha, that last one made me pause....have to hand it to the savory peeps able to do that!!).  In any case, I need my "breads" made with the gluten-free bake mix. 

First of all almonds are very heart healthy - a quick Google will point that out.  That's the number one ingredient in the bake mix.  The omega-6's in almonds are not the villains they are made out to be.

Second of all the oat flour - some people have a query as to why I would include it as it is a bit carby to be sure.  Here is the quick answer:  I like my baking to taste like the real thing.   I don't like flax meal and I don't like soy (both contain phytoestrogens which can affect thyroid function and my men don't want it) and I don't like anything with gluten in it these days (my DH needs to be off gluten and thus the new recipes I create will be gluten-free and low-carb, as well as sugar free) and most other flours are either high carb or taste yucky to me (quinoa flour and apparently millet flour and not sure about buckwheat flour).  Oat flour tastes good and is definitely quite a bit lower in carbs than white flour and that doesn't hurt - although I use so little in my bake mix that it gets diluted.  I avoid peanut flour as I already eat plenty of peanuts and peanut butter and don't want to overdo the aflotoxins (sp?).

Good things about oat flour which is a whole grain (remember I use the garden variety oat flour from Arrowhead Mills - my DH is merely intolerant, not Celiac, so very slight possible gluten contamination is not a problem for him.).  First some background.  My DH has had high blood pressure for about 10 years or so.  His blood pressure is incredibly normal since going gluten-free and guess what?  Oat flour also lowers blood pressure!  I use the bake mix all the time to make him neutral-tasting artisan buns (will share recipe soon) and other baked goodies as can be seen on my blog.  He used to have a runny nose after eating and that has gone.  He would put on weight like magic if he indulged in white flour goodies and now no longer eats things like that and his weight does not fluctuate so wildly.  He has actually lost a lot of weight since going gluten-free.  He is definitely intolerant of gluten.  I guess had I not used gluten in my baking, we would probably never have figured it out - but when I suddenly cut it out almost completely, things came right for him.  

"consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. This is highly significant since each 1% drop in serum cholesterol translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease.

Antioxidant compounds unique to oats, called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, suggests a study conducted at Tufts University and published in The Journal of Nutrition.

Eating a serving of oats, at least 6 times each week (still quoting that site) is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).  (See why my DH's blood pressure came down?  Besides the fact that the internet is full of folks claiming lower blood pressure or normal blood pressure on a gluten-free diet)
A 3-year prospective study of over 200 postmenopausal women with CVD, published in the American Heart Journal, shows that those eating at least 6 servings of  oats (oat flour!!) each week experienced both:
  • Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows, and
  • Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways.
The women's intake of fiber from fruits, vegetables and refined grains was not associated with a lessening in CVD progression.

Enhance Immune Response to Infection
In laboratory studies reported in Surgery, beta-glucan significantly enhanced the human immune system's response to bacterial infection. Beta-glucan not only helps neutrophils (the most abundant type of non-specific immune cell) navigate to the site of an infection more quickly, it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there.

Stabilize Blood Sugar
Studies also show that beta-glucan has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetes patients given foods high in this type of oat fiber or given oatmeal or oat bran rich foods experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were given white rice or bread.

Oats Substantially Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Oats are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion."

Fiber:  All the major ingredients in my bake mix contain some fiber.  Staying regular is also heart-protective.

"Oats, via their high fiber content, are already known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream."


All of that said, most of us with our metabolic issues cannot sit down to a bowl of oatmeal.  There would be too much of an insulin response and later there could even be a blood sugar crash with a hypoglycemic reaction.  Nope those days are gone, however, you will find that the Gluten-Free Bake Mix is very gentle on the system as very little oat flour is ingested per baking item.  The good protein and fat content of the ground almonds also moderates the effect on the blood sugar.  I have several friends with diabetes that love my Gluten-Free Bake Mix. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good News Re Splendid Gluten-Free Low-Carb Bake Mix

 An all-purpose gluten-free and low-carb flour blend

Update July 18, 2011:  Not only have I now realized that the xanthan gum can be reduced to 1/2 tsp in the bake mix, but also I've realized that the baking with the new improved Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix will keep its height and if there is any sinking at all, it is almost imperceptible.  This is amazing news!  I am so happy about that.  As I did more and more baking with the new improved bake mix, I began to see that the baking was keeping its height and not sinking.  To verify this today I went back to my test recipe - a muffin recipe - and lo and behold, lovely muffins with 1/2 tsp xanthan gum in the bake mix and the muffins kept their height - much better than ever before!

12/3 cups almond flour, (400 mL)
  (I use almond meal, i.e. ground sliced
    almonds versus almond flour)
2 tbsp sifted coconut flour, (30 mL)
  (Bob’s Red Mill,® OR Aloha Nu®)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (2 mL)

Yield:   21/2 cups (625 mL)
1/4 cup (60 mL) per serving
125.5 calories
4.5 g protein
8.9 g fat
5.8 g carbs (23.2 g per cup)

Pumpkin Muffins (not my test recipe - just showing some baking with the GF Bake Mix)

Saturday, July 16, 2011



I love these crepes!  Spread them with cream cheese, roll 'em up and cover them in a sweet strawberry sauce. Yummy treat for a dessert or for breakfast!

3 oz regular cream cheese (90 g)
5 eggs
2 tbsp coconut flour (30 mL)
1 tbsp gluten-free oat flour (15 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 4 tsp sugar (equivalent 2 packets sweetener of your choice) (20 mL)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
Strawberry Sauce:
3 cups frozen, unsweetened strawberries (750 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1/3  cup sugar, OR (75 mL)
  granular sweetener equivalent

2 tbsp powdered erythritol (30 mL)

Sweetened Spreadable Cream cheese (for inside crepes)

In food processor, process cream cheese.  Add eggs; process.  Add coconut flour, oat flour, liquid sweetener and vanilla extract and process until smooth, scraping down the sides at least once and processing again.

Use 3 tbsp (45 mL) batter for each crepe and a small, nonstick 6-inch (15 cm) crepe pan (inside diameter).  Tilt pan to coat with batter.  Cook over medium heat.  Flip crepe when it is easy to slide a spatula underneath it.  Cook a few seconds on the second side.  Set aside in covered casserole dish and in the oven at a low heat of 190°F (88°C).  Brush pan with a little olive oil between every other crepe or so.

Strawberry Sauce:  In saucepan, place frozen strawberries and allow to thaw at room temperature. Remove strawberries with slotted spoon and slice them thinly.  Return to saucepan.  Add liquid sweetener and powdered erythritol.  Bring to the boil and simmer until sauce has thickened sufficiently.  Refrigerate.  Serve strawberry sauce poured over individual crepes.

Assembly:  Spread crepes with sweetened spreadable cream cheese, roll up and serve with strawberry sauce.

Yield:  11 crepes
1 crepe
41.9 calories
3.1 g protein
2.5 g fat
1.0 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: (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011




Arrange this log on a pretty oblong serving plate, with several slices around it. I made this one Christmas.  It was really delicious.  You need to use the sweeteners that you are comfortable with...this is an older recipe of mine.  I still don't mind using sucralose after 20 years of no problems (imagine 20 years of high sucrose/sugar consumption), but I typically use EZ-Sweetz liquid concentrated sweetener nowadays.  You can use the stevia equivalent if it tastes good to you.

8 oz regular cream cheese, softened (250 g)
3 tbsp butter, softened (45 mL)
3/4 tsp peppermint extract (3 mL)
11/2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute (375 mL)  PLEASE NOTE - this is a link
green food coloring
Dipping Chocolate:
1 cup SPLENDA® Granular (250 mL)
1/4 cup skim milk powder (50 mL)
3 tbsp whipping cream (45 mL)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (25 mL)
1 tbsp water (15 mL)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2 mL)
1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (30 g)

In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process cream cheese, butter and peppermint extract until smooth.  Add Confectioner’s Sugar Substitute and green food coloring to achieve a light green, pleasing color; process.  In 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish, fashion 13-inch (33 cm) log.  Freeze while preparing Dipping Chocolate.

Dipping Chocolate:  In blender or food mill (food processor attachment), blend SPLENDA® Granular and skim milk powder until fine. In cereal bowl, combine blended mixture, whipping cream, butter, water and vanilla extract.  Stir with wire whisk until smooth.

In another cereal bowl, microwave chocolate 2 minutes or until almost completely melted (do not overheat or chocolate will seize).  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Use soft spatula to scrape all chocolate out of bowl and stir into creamy mixture with wire whisk. If chocolate cools, warm at 5 to 10 second intervals, being careful not to overheat as chocolate will seize and become bitter (skip this step for Chocolate After Dinner Mint Log). Frost entire log with chocolate.  Freeze half an hour, then refrigerate.  Cut into thin slices to serve.

Yield: 1 batch of chocolate.  (30 g Total Carbs)

Yield:  56 slices
1 slice
43.7 calories
2.5 g protein
2.9 g fat
2.0 g carbs
Variation:  Snowflake Log:  Use 1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, 1/4 cup (45 mL) cocoa in filling, omit peppermint extract, food coloring; sprinkle 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely desiccated, unsweetened coconut over chocolate frosting.  (2.1 g Carbs)

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries:  This chocolate is great for dipping strawberries.  Freeze dipped strawberries very briefly and refrigerate or serve.

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!  Volume 4 is FREE with a purchase! 

Banana Walnut Bread (GF)

Real, moist banana bread, dark in color – good carbs!  In the tropics, the animals and the birds all love bananas, even my adopted doggie, Smiley.   I used a few raisins instead of walnuts for this bread in the photo because I am usually in weight maintenance mode although I could stand to lose some weight again.  You might see some more strict dieting lower carb options on my blog for a while.    Sorry about the quality of the second photo.  It was in my kitchen late at night and the lighting was poor.  The loaf keeps its height and does not sink.  I'm beginning to notice that with the new and improved Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix that there is little to no sinking with the baking.  I need to verify this but it seems that way.

1/2  cup butter
2 bananas, mashed
3/tsp EZ-Sweetz to equal 3/cup sugar
1/cup granulated erythritol
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda                
1/tsp salt
1/2  cup sugar-free chocolate chips, OR walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. In food processor, process butter, mashed bananas, EZ-Sweetz, erythritol, eggs and vanilla extract.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-free Bake Mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to egg mixture and process until batter thickens up.  Stir in sugar-free chocolate chips, OR walnuts.

Line an 8 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (or aluminum foil, unless the pan is really new and nonstick).  Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan.  Bake approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, covering loaf lightly with sheet of foil during the last 25 minutes. Test loaf with a dinner knife and if it comes out clean, loaf is done.  Allow loaf to cool a few minutes and pick up the parchment paper and set it down on a cake rack. Gently remove paper from sides of the loaf.  If not using parchment paper or foil, allow the loaf to cool in pan about 10 minutes on cake rack and then remove. Allow loaf to cool completely before slicing with a sharp bread knife.  Refrigerate or freeze leftovers after a day.

Helpful Hints:  Low-carb baking often sticks to the baking pan.  Lining the pan with foil or wax paper and spraying with nonstick cooking spray will ensure the bread comes out easily.  Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing with a sharp bread knife.  Refrigerate or freeze leftovers after a day.  If you are in weight maintenance mode, raisins may be used instead of walnuts, or use half the amount of raisins and snip them in half with a kitchen scissors. Even sugar free chocolate chips may be used. It is easy to slice super-thin slices of low-carb loaves (fewer carbs and calories!) after they have been refrigerated and thoroughly chilled.  The bake mix used only 1/2 tsp xanthan gum - successful in this recipe to reduce it from 3/4 tsp.  No frosting is required - this is a very tasty loaf!  It tastes like the real thing.

Yield:  18 servings
1 serv: choc. chips/walnuts
143.5/143.2 calories
3.1/3.7 g protein
10.9/11.7 g fat
0.2/0.4 g fiber
5.7/5.7 g net carbs 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011



Chunky, soft scones.  Making them smaller will produce scone-like cookies.  These are not quite a muffin, not quite a cookie and much more like a tasty chocolate chip scone. I prefer these without nuts.  Ian likes the scones sliced in half with butter and I like them plain.  I think this is normal for Ian who tells everyone that his favorite food is butter!  By the way for the top two photos I used half raisins half chocolate chips (Lindt chocolate bar broken up) as I didn't have enough chocolate and besides too much chocolate often gives me a migraine, unfortunately.

33/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1, (925 mL) OR use Bake Mix 2 (just use 1 1/2 tsp unflav. gelatin)
1/4  cup oat flour (60 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
3/tsp salt (3 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1 cup butter, melted (250 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 11/4  cups sugar (300 mL)
1/2 cup granulated erythritol (125 mL)
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, OR pecans (optional) (125 mL)

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).  In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___, oat flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.

In food processor, process butter, liquid sweetener, erythritol, eggs and vanilla extract 2 minutes.  Add dry ingredients; process at least 1 minute.  The dough will be stiff.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts or pecans. 

Place in heaps of 2 tbsp (30 mL) of cookie dough on well-greased cookie sheet.  With clean fork, flatten cookies ever so slightly.  Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven 7 to 10 minutes, or until brown underneath. Immediately transfer, using an extra thin spatula, to a wire rack to cool. Repeat 2 more times with the rest of the cookie dough.  These cookies can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days.

Helpful Hints:  Double the ingredients for the Gluten-Free Bake Mix, page___ to make 5 cups (1.25 L).  These scones or cookies lose that lovely scone-like texture after being refrigerated, so keep them at room temperature for as long as possible.  They taste best in the first two days.  This recipe is great for the holidays when lots of people will help one out with eating the goodies.  

Yield:   40 scones/60 cookies (use 2 tbsp vs 1 tbsp cookie dough)
1 scone/cookie
2.9/1.9 g carbs

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced! 

Talking about Healthy Fats....

Just a reminder about my Healthy Butter recipe.  It tastes like butter and spreads like margarine straight from the refrigerator.  My family will not do without it.  I think it is my husband's favorite food group. lol  If there is nothing to put it on, he searches until he finds something.  He puts it on the Focaccia bread and the Cheese Hamburger Buns.  He has even been known to put it on pizza! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Smoke Point of Various Fats

Smoke Point of Various Fats:  This is a very interesting article.  I love light tasting olive oil and butter and also bacon fat (lard) for frying.

So often one wonders which oil is best to use.  This article should help out.  Enjoy.

Coconut Sultana Cookies (GF)

I made these cookies again recently.  I forgot to add the extra egg and I did bake them a bit longer, but they were still doughy and soft. I used 1/4 cup extra of the new gluten-free bake mix (I think - sorry, I'm really wondering now - since they were doughy, I probably forgot).  I left some of the cookies in balls and the rest I criss-crossed with a fork dipped in coconut.  FYI - the amount of coconut can be halved.  I had quite a bit leftover.  My husband did not care for them.  However, the next day and by the third day, I really liked them.  They reminded me a bit of Fig Newtons - yummy!  Needless to say I happily finished the whole batch by myself!!  I'll have to make them again one of these days to confirm my findings.
Fig newtonImage via Wikipedia
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

*Curried Walnuts* (GF)

I didn't have a whole lot left from our picnic to take a photo of, but here are the curried walnuts.  Unusual.  I remember making them in Burlington, Ontario once and an Indian friend (an opthamologist but a pastor today in Toronto) and his wife came over to visit us and he loved it.  He loves curry plus he used to make his own curry blend for his son's restaurant.


These are unusual, and people often want to know how they were made.

1 tsp curry powder (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
2 cups walnut halves (500 mL)
1 tbsp butter (15 mL)

 In small bowl, combine curry powder and salt.  Set aside. In medium saucepan in water, boil walnuts 3 minutes; drain.  Lightly grease baking sheet; spread walnuts out on it.  Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 15 minutes, or until just beginning to turn brown.  Remove from oven and immediately stir in 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter until walnuts are coated.  Sprinkle with curry mixture and stir.  Store in bowl uncovered.

Nutritional Analysis:  8 servings, 1/4 cup (50 mL) per serving
206.2 calories; 4.3 g protein; 20.0 g fat; 4.2 g carbs

Saturday, July 9, 2011

*Stuffed Eggs and Bobotie*

Stuffed Eggs

This is great cold for picnics too.

These recipes are ones that I often use, especially the Bobotie, since I am a South African by birth and spent 21 years growing up in the southernmost tip of Africa.  I grew up in a predominantly Afrikaans town and went to an Afrikaans school.  My tuition was in Afrikaans and my friends were mostly Afrikaans.  My husband who comes from an Afrikaans family went to an English boarding school in Bloemfontein - St. Andrews.  That prepared the two of us for a life together by blending our cultures nicely.  We still watch Afrikaans shows (recorded) almost nightly.  We like to keep our heritage alive even although we rarely visit South Africa, especially me. I was definitely more Afrikaans than my British (completely English) descended parents. Ian visits his parents so he goes more frequently to Cape Town.  Then later we spent almost 30 years in Canada. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

*Ham Roll-Ups* (GF)


These are excellent!  Siced chicken or turkey breast or any choice of meat may be used instead.

4 oz cream cheese, softened (125 g)
1 tbsp chopped chives, OR (15 mL)
  green onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1 mL)
5 thin slices ham (24 g each)
5 thin slices Swiss Cheese (24 g each)

In food processor with sharp blade or blender, process cream cheese, chives or green onion and garlic powder until smooth.

On large plate, assemble ham roll-ups.  Place ham slice down and pat dry with paper towel.  Place slice of Swiss cheese on top and spread 2 tsp (10 mL) cream cheese mixture over surface.  From long side, roll up, using extra cream cheese mixture, if necessary, as “glue.”  Slice into 6 pinwheels. Repeat.

Nutritional Analysis:  5 servings, 6 pinwheels each:
112.1 calories; 10.6 g protein; 7.2 g fat; 0.9 g carbs

Variation:  Mexican Roll-Ups:  Add 2 oz (60 g) canned chopped green chilies, drained.  Use toothpicks and serve with Salsa for dipping.  (1.0 g Carbs)

Make a mayo, sour cream and Dijon mustard mixture for spreading on the ham and roast beef after placing a slice of Swiss cheese on the meat.  Add an asparagus (from cans) and roll up!

*Mexican Tortilla Roll-Ups*

One of my favorite appetizers as well as my sons,Jonathan and Daniel's favorite!  If desired, use a few, chopped, canned jalapenos instead of green chilies.  I will have a gluten-free wrap recipe one of these days.  Just need to test it again soon and make sure it is blog-worthy.

8 oz light cream cheese, (250 g)
4.5 oz can chopped green chilies (127 mL)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese, (125 mL)
1/3 cup chopped green onions (75 mL)
1/2 tsp crushed garlic (2 mL)
8 Whey Tortillas, Splendid Low-Carbing,
  page 123, OR low-carb commercial ones

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

Nutritional Analysis:  8 servings, 1 serving (to clarify, this is the number of carbs for one tortilla plus filling - so, several pinwheels - probably about 8 or so.)
147.6 calories; 8.5 g protein; 9.8 g fat; 5.5 g carbs

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Family's Fourth of July Picnic Story in Pics

This will be a story in pictures again. But first, here are some of the things I made for our picnic:

1)  Mexican Roll-Ups
2)  Meat Roll-Ups
3)  Stuffed Eggs
4)  Curried Walnuts
5)  Bobotie
6)  Grapes
7)  Diet Splenda Coke and Miller light beers and ice cold water
8)  Sandwiches for the boys and cheese hamburger buns for us with cold meats, cheese and tomato.
9)  Chocolate chip scones

If anyone is interested in any of these recipes, let me know and I'll post it.

Okay here is the story.  Don't laugh at me too much, okay?!!

The boat trip and one of the inhabited islands on the way.  I got to walk in this village - very interesting.  Some youngsters barely 5 years of age were dragging palm fronds for repairing a bungalow roof.  Little kiddies said hello to me and stared curiously at us. These Indians have a simple way of life but quite peaceful and one cannot argue that the scenery they enjoy is spectacular.
 Buying low-carb food - big crabs!  They cook them for us on the island.
 Approaching the island where we will spend almost 6 hours.  The weather was perfect, the temperature even more perfect - just right!  The sun - waaay too strong and hot for my delicate, older skin. I was determined to avoid a sunburn. 
 My eldest son, Daniel, contemplating the fallen Palm tree.
 My youngest son bbm'ing a friend on his Blackberry.  A Brazilian beauty in the background taking photos.  She and her fiance were off to Spain to get married in a day or two.  They got to sleep on the island that night.
  Dan and Jon hanging out on a Palm tree over the water and a huge school of colorful fishes.  I'm holding an enormous shell that weighs about 5 lbs. 
 A view of the crystal clear sea and part of the beach. A bungalow off to the side with roof made out of palm fronds containing 3 beds for overnight visitors.  We could not stay overnight as Smiley was patiently waiting inside our home on the mountain for us to return.
 A better view of the bungalow and yet another small one on the point.  This side of the beach is lovely for bathing but the other side of the island is full of coral and has small waves; hard to believe looking at this tranquil scene.
 Jonathan monkeying around and looking buff.  He is the most avid low-carber in the family!

First of all, this is how I used to go the beach at the age of sweet sixteen . I was a brunette then but now I'm a blonde.  Gee, I wonder how that happened?  I get highlights to hide the gray but now I have so much gray that my hairdresser is threatening to color the gray brown. Go figure!  Next to me is Ian who also became my husband.  We celebrated 32 years of marriage this year.  It is a long story but due to problems with our papers and emigrating, I married this same man 3 times!  Yep, you read that right!  (wink)

Our two wonderful sons flanking mom sitting on her chair, feet dangling in the water.  Yep, this is how I go to the beach these days at age 54!  Daniel called me "Little Purple Riding Hood".  Jonathan called me "Little Bo Peep" and Ian called me "Jungle Jen."  Haha!  I am so afraid of getting too much sun as I burn red-red within minutes it seems and later turn into one big freckle in my mind!!  Everyone looked a bit like a tomato at the end of the day but I was absolutely fine except for a sun-kissed look on my face and chest.  Daniel got a serious burn on the part of his back that was sticking out of the water while snorkeling and viewing pretty underwater creatures, including tiny purple and white jelly fish and colorful sea urchins on the bottom of the ocean lurking between bits of coral.  I hope he wears his shirt next time.  I do feel bad about that.   At least he did manage to sleep.  I remember putting sunscreen on Jon's back because he asked me, but I completely forgot to ask Dan if he had done his back.  He is darker than Jonathan and I worry less but this sun is not to be underestimated! (Update:  Dan informed me that he covered his own back with SPF50, so it was swimming at midday that was the problem and perhaps some of it washed off.  Either way, it is shocking.  Days later, he is still red!)  I'm holding a huge coconut.  People drink the fluid in these enormous green coconuts.  The last time Daniel went to the beach he got an upset tummy from doing that.  It can be rough on the system if one is not used to it.  All in all this was a lovely and memorable day and the picnic was real tasty!