Low Carb Flat Bread + Tortillas

This week I experimented with low carb egg roll wrappers and tortillas. The dough was really good and last night I had the idea to adapt it for flat bread. Today I decreased the xanthan gum, added baking powder, and pressed them a little thicker with my tortilla press before frying them in a little avocado oil. They turned out beautifully, though are too fragile to fold into wraps or tacos due to the decrease in xanthan gum. They’ll be great replacements for pizza crust, pita, and naan, though. I’ve included the minor changes required for low carb tortillas and egg roll/won ton wrappers at the end.

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2 cups super fine blanched almond flour
1 whole egg
1 egg white
2 Tbs water
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

In a medium mixing bowl, add almond flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Whisk until well-combined. Add wet ingredients and stir until it comes together into a dough. Knead dough with hands until smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide dough in half and roll into balls. Wrap dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 3 days. Pre-heat griddle or heavy bottomed frying pan with 2 Tbs avocado, coconut, or olive oil. Divide each dough ball into 4. Roll each quarter into balls and press between two sheets of parchment paper with either a tortilla press or a rolling pin until approximately 1/4 inch thick. Gently separate the flat bread from the parchment paper and add to hot pan. Fry on each side until the edges are golden brown and bubbles form, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels before serving. Makes approximately 8 small flat breads. Leftover flat bread can be sealed in an airtight container for up to a week or frozen.

Tortilla option: increase xanthan gum to 1 tsp and omit baking powder. Press dough to at least 1/8 inch thick before frying. For egg roll or won ton wrappers: cut tortilla dough into rectangles or squares instead of circles, add desired filling, fold the dough carefully around the filling, and fry until golden brown and crispy.

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Low Carb Carrot Cake

I finally adapted my infamous carrot cake recipe to grain free and sugar free to suit my current eating pattern. I decreased the oil, increased the eggs, added a touch of vinegar, substituted almond flour for wheat flour, and substituted my favorite stevia-erythritol blend for half the amount sugar. It turned out even better than I expected.

I added freeze dried blueberries to my test recipe since I had them on hand and they have less sugar than the traditional raisins or, my previous favorite, dried cranberries. The blueberries added a nice textural element missing from the soft cake as well as pops of flavor.

I frosted the cake with a double batch of my fluffy cream cheese frosting sweetened with the new Pyure brand organic confectioners stevia blend, though I had to add a little extra to get the same sweetness from granulated stevia-erythritol blend I powdered myself.

Usually I bake this cake as a sheet cake but this time divided the batter into two 8″×8″ square glass bake pans and made a square layer cake. It turned out just as well as a sheet cake. I assume it will be just as successful in two round cake pans or as cupcakes.

3 cups shredded carrots, about 3 medium carrots
2 cups super fine blanched almond flour
2 cups dried berries (optional)
1/2 cup avocado oil or light olive oil
1/2 cup granulated stevia-erythritol blend
5 eggs
3 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare either a 9″x13″ baking pan or two 8″ cake pans with parchment paper and cooking spray (I prefer coconut oil spray). In a large mixing bowl, add shredded carrots, oil, stevia-erythritol blend, eggs, and vinegar. Stir until well-combined. In a medium bowl, add almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Whisk until well-combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until well-combined. Add dried berries, if desired. Pour batter into prepared baking pan(s) and tap lightly on counter to level the cake(s). Bake for 30-35 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

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Low Carb Brownies

I wanted an easy chocolate dessert to make for Valentine’s day and finding three varieties of Bake Believe brand stevia and erythritol sweetened sugar free chocolate chips at a local store moved brownies to the top of my list. I made a triple chocolate version of this recipe by using half semi-sweet chocolate chips and half white chocolate chips along with the cocoa powder. Next time I plan to try a dairy free version by skipping the chocolate chips and pouring a layer of my dairy free chocolate truffles on top instead.

I recommend pressing the batter firmly into the pan as they turned out a little crumbly without that step, but it didn’t effect the flavor. These are still the best tasting brownies I’ve ever made.

Update: I added one extra egg to the batter to improve the texture. I also made a vegan version with flaxseed “eggs” and topped with my truffle recipe. They turned out beautifully fudge-like.

1 cup super fine almond flour
1 cup sugar free chocolate chips (optional)
6 Tbs cocoa powder
1/3 cup stevia-erythritol blend
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8″×8″ bake pan with parchment paper and butter or coconut oil. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, cocoa powder, stevia-erythritol blend, baking powder, and salt. Stir or whisk until well-combined. Add eggs, butter or coconut oil, heavy cream or coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir until well-combined. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Spoon into prepared baking dish and spread evenly across the pan. Press batter into the pan with the back of the spoon or an extra piece of parchment paper for denser, more fudge-like brownies. Bake for 20-25 minutes until batter no longer jiggles when gently moved back and forth. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving. Makes 16 brownies.

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Low Carb Coconut Blondies

I’m made these low carb coconut blondies twice already and all my taste testers have loved them. The first time I made them with coconut oil and the second time with butter; both were delicious, just don’t refrigerate the coconut oil version unless you want very solid blocks of coconut blondies. Next time I plan to use half butter and half cocoa butter to increase the chocolate undertones. I added molasses for that warm, caramel flavor found in brown sugar.

2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup packed super fine almond flour
1/2 cup stevia-erythritol blend
1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips (I prefer mini chips)
6 Tbs melted butter or coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp molasses (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8″x 8″ baking pan with coconut or avocado oil cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine melted butter or coconut oil, stevia-erythritol blend, eggs, molasses, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir together until smooth. Stir in almond flour until well combined. Add chocolate chips and 2 cups shredded coconut, reserving the rest of the coconut for garnish. Stir until evenly distributed. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and pat down with the back of a spoon or spatula until the top is level. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle the rest of the shredded coconut on top. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

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Keto Marshmallows

A few weeks ago I inadvertently made sugar free marshmallows when attempting to make sugar free marshmallow fluff so I decided to post the recipe for those who are interested. I ended up eating most of them on their own, though a couple of them I added to my stevia sweetened hot cocoa where they melted beautifully. Note: since these marshmallows do not contain sugar they can not be toasted.

1 cup water
1/4 cup Swerve brand powdered/confectioners sweetener
1 egg white
2 Tbs gelatin powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

In a heat safe mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup water and sprinkle gelatin evenly on top of it. Set aside. Add the remaining 3/4 cup water, Swerve, and salt to a small saucepot on medium high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking periodically. Boil until the sweetener and salt are completely dissolved. Gently pour the boiling liquid over the bloomed gelatin and whisk with an electric or stand mixer on low, slowly increasing the speed as the liquid starts to cool down and get frothy. Once the liquid is no longer steaming, add the egg white and vanilla. Whisk until soft peaks form. Pour into silicone molds or a glass 8×8 baking dish. Chill until set, at least 4 hours. Unmold or cut into squares and enjoy. Store in an airtight contain in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Low Sugar Fruitcake

I love fruitcake, but the candied fruits used in most of them are filled with added sugar. This year I made plans in advance and candied my own fruits. This required quite a bit of preparation prior to baking day since I also made my own low sugar maraschino cherries weeks in advance by adapting this recipe and using sour cherries from my parents’ orchard then turned them into glacé cherries by substituting Lankanto monkfruit sweetener for sugar in this recipe. I candied my own citrus rind, again by exchanging monkfruit sweetener for sugar in a standard recipe. I diced my citrus peels prior to candying them to make it more convenient for baking. I used mandarin orange peel along with some salt preserved Buddha hand citron and Meyer lemon I had in my fridge. I rinsed the salt preserved peel well and cooked them in the monkfruit syrup a little longer to remove the saltiness. I planned to candy cranberries, too, but found some commercially made dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice and used them instead. You can use whatever fruits you prefer and have easy access to. I used half water and half homemade maraschino cherry juice for the liquid in the recipe, but realized the reserved pineapple juice would impart better flavor. Use whatever liquid you prefer; traditionally some type of spirit or fortified wine is used. You can bake this in cake pans instead of a loaf pan, just be aware the baking time will be lower.

2 1/4 cups super fine blanched almond flour
1 1/2 cups canned pineapple tidbits, drained
1 1/2 cups low sugar glacé cherries
3/4 cups dried or candied cranberries
3/4 cups mixed low sugar candied citrus peel (orange, lemon, citron)
3/4 cups salted butter, melted
6 Tbs coconut flour
1/4 cup pineapple juice or other flavorful liquid
1/4 cup stevia/erythritol blend
6 eggs
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp rum flavoring (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp orange extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a large 1.5 qt loaf pan with coconut or avocado cooking spray and parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, stevia-erythritol blend, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined. Add the eggs, melted butter, pineapple juice or other liquid, and extracts. Mix by hand with a large spoon or with an electric mixer until batter is well combined. Add candied and dried fruits and stir until they’re evenly distributed. Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan, level the batter with the back of a spoon, and bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is golden brown and slightly cracked and a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry. Let cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove the cake from the pan. Allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight before slicing.

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Low Carb Peppermint Cream Cheese Cookies

One of my favorite winter flavors is peppermint and this year I decided to try my hand at making low carb peppermint cookies. I’m pretty happy with the results. I used sugar free peppermint discs, crushing them with a hammer after unwrapping them and placing them in a resealable bag. A meat mallet or the butt of a heavy kitchen knife should work as well. I suspect that you can also replace the 1/4 cup of protein powder with a 1/2 cup of cocoa powder for chocolate peppermint cookies without changing the texture of the cookies too much.

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2 cups super fine almond flour
8 oz cream cheese, softened
30 sugar free peppermint discs, crushed
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup egg white or whey protein powder
1 egg
3 Tbs stevia-erythritol blend
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter, and stevia-erythritol blend until fluffy. Add egg, baking powder, and peppermint extract, beat until smooth. Add almond flour, coconut flour, and protein powder. Mix until well combined. Stir in peppermint pieces until evenly distributed. Roll dough into balls containing approximately one tablespoon of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet about an inch apart and gently flatten. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly brown. Makes about 36 cookies.

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Low Carb Pie Crust

I’ve used this pie crust recipe for years and just realized I never posted it on its own. Usually I half the recipe since I make single crust and/or mini pies and it works just as well. When transferring into a pie pan, the crust may crack or break. Pat it back together with your fingers; it may not look pretty, but that doesn’t effect flavor.

2 1/4 cups super fine, blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
5 Tbs butter or coconut oil, melted & cooled
2 Tbs cold water
1 tsp stevia-erythritol blend (optional)
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, and salt. Mix ingredients well. Add coconut oil or butter and stir until a crumbly dough forms. Add water, a little at a time until dough holds together. You may not need all of it. Split the dough in two and roll into balls. Sandwich each of the dough balls between sheets of parchment paper and flatten out with the palm of your hand until a half inch think. Chill the crusts along with parchment paper in the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes. Once chilled, roll crusts to about an 1/8″ thick. Place bottom crust in pie pan and pat into place with fingers to remove any cracks in the crust. Add desired filling. Cover with top crust and crimp the edges with your fingers. Cut a few air vents in the top crust and bake until golden brown and filling is cooked through.

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Low Carb Yeast Bread

After five test loaves, three of them in the past week, I finally perfected a low carb yeast bread that is close to the look and texture of white wheat bread. I used whey protein isolate along with lupin flour in place of coconut flour and golden flaxseed meal to avoid the cake-like texture common to many low carb breads. Lupin flour is the latest trend in low carb baking, with a 1/4 cup containing only 1 gram net carbs (12 grams total carbs and 11 grams fiber). I’ve found that a little goes a long way when added to a recipe, likely due to the high fiber content. If you don’t have access to lupin flour, you can substitute an additional 2 Tbs whey protein isolate and 2 Tbs golden flaxseed meal. My first two test loaves used this option.

Instead of depending on eggs for structure, I used whipped egg whites combined with gelatin and vinegar. The gelatin acts as a gluten replacement. While there is a small amount of honey/sugar in this recipe, it is there to feed the yeast. Without it, the bread won’t rise like a yeast dough. I didn’t test the recipe without proofing the bread first even though I used multiple leavening products. It may work without proofing if anyone wants to try it.

There are a lot of steps to this recipe and it may seem daunting at first. Good organization and setting up your mise en place helps. Separate the eggs, melt the butter, and start water boiling before beginning so it’s all ready when needed. Have all the ingredients and measuring cups and spoons set out before hand.

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2 1/2 cups packed super fine blanched almond flour
1/2 cup whey protein isolate
1/4 cup lupin flour
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup warm water, divided
4 egg whites
6 Tbs butter, melted and cooled
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs powdered gelatin
2 tsp honey or raw sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

Prepare a small loaf pan (1.2 qt/1.1 L) with parchment paper and cooking spray; I prefer coconut oil spray. In a small mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons warm water. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over the top of the water and let sit for at least 5 minutes before adding boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is melted. In a small bowl, combine the other 2 tablespoons of warm water, honey or sugar, and yeast. Stir and set aside for at least 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, whey protein isolate, lupin flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined. Add egg whites and apple cider vinegar to the melted gelatin and whisk with an electric mixer or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the yeast mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold the egg white mixture, which sets into a marshmallow fluff-like consistency, into the dough until well combined. The resulting dough will be more like a thick cake batter than a traditional bread dough. Spoon the dough into the prepared loaf pan and smooth down the top with an oiled spoon or spatula. Set in a warm, damp place to proof for 60-90 minutes. Tip: I proof my yeast breads in my oven with the light on and an oven safe bowl of hot water on the bottom shelf. Once the bread has proofed, pre-heat the oven to 325°F. If you had a bowl of water in the oven during proofing, leave it there. Bake the bread for 28-35 minutes, until it’s brown on all sides and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan.

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Low Carb Goat Cheese Thyme Crackers

I have a hard time passing up good deals on cheese so, when I found a one kilogram log of outdated goat cheese for $3 at a local outlet grocery store, I knew I had to find a good way to use it. Part of it went into this easy and delicious cracker recipe.

I made the crackers with half almond flour and half almond meal since that’s what I had on hand. The texture came out great. The crackers are tender and crispy with a nice goat flavor. I only used one tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves from my herb garden and the thyme flavor was very subtle. I gave the option of increasing the amount of thyme in the recipe.

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7 oz crumbled chèvre goat cheese
2 cups super fine almond flour or a combination of almond flour and almond meal
2 Tbs water
1-2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
couple pinches of salt for sprinkling on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine crumbled goat cheese, almond flour, thyme, and salt in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add one tablespoon of water at a time and pulse until a dough forms. Pour dough on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper cut to fit a half sheet pan (18 x 13 inch). Knead dough for a couple of minutes and form into a log in the center of the mat or paper. Roll dough out with a rolling pin in a even layer to fit the mat or paper. Use an extra piece of parchment paper on top to make rolling easier. Cut the dough into square or rectangle cracker shapes. Sprinkle top of crackers lightly with extra salt, if desired. Transfer the mat or paper to a half sheet pan and bake for 28-30 minutes, until crackers are a light, golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break crackers apart at the cut lines and store in an air tight container for up to a week.

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