Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Drop Cookies

IMG_1575

Here is an excellent recipe from cookieandkate. These cookies are all natural, with whole food ingredients.  They are best served cold, as they can get quite crumbly if they get too warm.

Except for a few minor changes I left kate’s recipe just as it is; visit her site and you will see more yummy recipes!

(Please note this is not a low-potassium recipe … basically, these cookies are potassium bombs :)!  Super healthy for the vast majority of folks out there.)

INGREDIENTS

⅔ cup natural peanut butter (I like chunky)
⅔ cup real maple syrup (or you can use sugar free maple syrup)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter or coconut oil, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor or blender
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
4 to 5 oz dark chocolate bar (at least 70% cocoa)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with two racks in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (if you don’t have parchment paper, lightly grease the baking sheets).

2. Measure out the peanut butter and maple syrup.

3. Pour the peanut butter and maple syrup into a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and whisk (or beat with a spoon … whisks get so messy!) until the mixture is well blended. Beat in the egg, scraping down the side of the bowl once it’s incorporated, then whisk/beat in the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in the ground oats, rolled oats.

Crush the candy bar in the blender/food processor until it is in small pieces. Combine with oat mixture until they are evenly combined. Drop the dough by the tablespoon onto your prepared baking sheets.

4. Bake the cookies, reversing the pans midway through (swap the cookies on the top rack with the cookies on the lower rack) until they’re barely set and just beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 12 minutes (8 on convection). Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely on the pans.

These are best when stored in the freezer and served cold; a great summer cookie!

Low Carb Frozen Watermelon Martini

IMG_1504

So I had all this Watermelon Sorbet, and all this vodka …. why not mix them together?

Hubby calls this drink the “velvet hammer” because it’s sweet and refreshing and then … wow.  You need a nap.  This is why the recipe below says “add sorbet to taste” which means not only to taste but to your tolerance for alcohol.

It is the best summer alcoholic drink I’ve ever had, and I am a big margarita fan!  Give it a try.  Once this sorbet is sitting in your freezer, this drink takes 2 seconds to make.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup watermelon sorbet

1/2 cup vodka

DIRECTIONS

Add ingredients to a blender and pulse until blended.  Add sorbet to taste.

OR

Add ingredients to a martini glass and stir until blended.  Add sorbet to taste.  (I’m lazy so this my method — no need to wash out the blender.)  :)

Low Carb Watermelon Sorbet

IMG_1516

Summertime and watermelon … mmmmm.  I keep buying these giant watermelons and with only two people in my household … I needed watermelon recipes!  So I went online …

I found an interesting recipe by Alton Brown on Food Network, and tweaked so it was low carb.  Omg!  You can have an icy cold low cal, low carb watermelon dessert anytime with this recipe, and you do NOT need an ice cream maker.  (I just cannot own an ice cream maker or I will eat ice cream 24/7.)

I usually provide nutrition data on all my recipes, but darned if I didn’t forget to measure the watermelon before I pureed it!  And I just cannot find nutrition data on straight watermelon juice.  Next time I make this, I will add the nutrition info to this recipe.

But … it is definitely LOW CARB and LOW POTASSIUM.  I just don’t know exactly HOW low carb and low potassium yet, but I will!  Promise.

Also, this recipe does more than satisfy your low carb sweet tooth; it also makes a fantastic low carb cocktail!  Please take a look at my Watermelon Martini.  To.  Die.  For.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups pureed watermelon (seedless or seeded)
1/8 to 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend (or Splenda baking blend)
3 tablespoons lemon juice or 3 tablespoons margarita mixer
2 tablespoons vodka

DIRECTIONS

Puree about 5 cups of watermelon in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (start with 3 cups and keep adding watermelon until you have 3 cups of pureed watermelon).

Add lemon juice or margarita mix, vodka, and 1/8 cup (1 oz) of Truvia baking blend. Blend all ingredients and then taste; add sugar blend to mixture to taste (you may not need any more sugar). Blend thoroughly in food processor/blender.

IMG_1477

Pour mixture into a 13×9″ glass pan and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

IMG_1502

Remove from freezer, cut into cubes, and blend in blender/food processor

IMG_1503

until mixture is a sorbet consistency (add a few drops of lemon juice or vodka if you need it).

IMG_1516

Refreeze in an airtight container for several hours before serving.

Store uneaten sorbet in freezer in airtight container.

Spaghetti Squash with Sardines

IMG_1401

The other day I ran across a version of this recipe on theclothesmakethegirl.com, and I thought, yum!  What a novel and great idea!  Then I googled the phrase “spaghetti squash and sardines.”  Wow.  Who knew this was a thing?  Must’ve been a gajillion online recipes for this.  I am obviously ill-informed.

Anyway, I immediately threw together this yummy and healthy dish.*   It is so easy to make, full of protein and super low carb.

I also perused the internet  and learned how to roast spaghetti squash whole, avoiding the giant cleaver/superhuman strength it takes to to cut them raw.  Vast improvement!  Even if you don’t like sardines with your spaghetti squash, try this method of cooking/cutting them.

(NOTE: for those who need to limit their potassium, substitute pasta for the squash and halve the sardines).

INGREDIENTS

1 small spaghetti squash

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 can (3 to 4 oz) sardines in oil, hot sauce, tomato sauce, or some combination of those; the thing is that there needs to be oil in the can (not just water or just tomato sauce).

red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

fresh basil

IMG_1396

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the whole spaghetti squash on a foil-lined pan and place in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until skin punctures easily with a fork.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Using a fork, shred the inside of the squash into spaghetti-like strands.

Heat a frying pan on medium high heat until hot.  Saute squash in pan for about 2 minutes, until heated through.

Move squash to the side of the pan and pour the oil from the from the sardine can into the pan (add according to your taste; I used all the oil from my 4 oz can of sardines in oil with hot sauce).

IMG_1399

Spoon the chopped garlic into the oil and cook 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and begins to soften. Toss squash into the oil and garlic.  Add sardines and parsley, tossing with a couple of wooden spoons and using the spoons to break up the sardines into small pieces.  Continue to toss until completely heated through.

IMG_1400

Remove from heat and add red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

Serves 2

Nutrition per serving*:

Calories: 137; Carbs: 5; Potassium: 363; Sodium: 363.  Assumes a 3.75 oz can of sardines in oil and two 1-cup servings of squash.

*All nutrition info is the result of my internet/product research and should be considered approximate. You can find my favorite nutritional “go-to” sites in my blogroll.

Yummy Low Carb Cheesecake

IMG_1357

Mmmmmm … cheesecake.  What’s not to like about low carb cheesecake?!

HEALTHY

With reduced fat cream cheese, fresh strawberries, Greek yogurt, almond flour/pecan crust, and less than a tablespoon of sugar in the ENTIRE cheesecake, this is as healthy as cheesecake gets!  Skip the Cheesecake Factory with all their calories, fat and carbs, and give this recipe a try.

EZ

No “water bath.”  If it cracks, it cracks; you’re going to cover it with strawberries anyway!  Also, I like to keep my recipes simple and not require the use of fancy and/or expensive kitchen doo-dads when possible.  So no springform pan, no zester, food processor optional; you’re good to go with a rolling pin, an electric mixer, and a grater.

YUMMY

Tastes sweet and creamy and FANTASTIC.  I must resort to cutting it up into serving slices and freezing them so we don’t just gobble the whole thing down in a few days :)

VERSATILE

You’ve probably seen a lot of low carb cheesecake recipes out there, and  many of them manage the carbs by eliminating the crust.  But for me the crust is the best part!   So to accommodate different dietary needs/preferences,  behold … three yummy options, descending from highest carbs/potassium content to lowest:

Cheesecake with crust

Cheesecake with a crumble sprinkle on top instead of crust

Naked cheesecake – no crust/crumble

So you have no excuse not to try this cheesecake!  Nutrition info for all three options is at the bottom of this page.  Bon appetit!

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
1 cup almond meal
2/3 cup crushed roasted, unsalted pecans
3 tblsp melted butter
1 tsp Truvia
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup

Crumble topping:
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup crushed roasted, unsalted pecans
2 tblsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp Truvia
1/8 cup sugar free syrup

Filling:

8 oz neufchtafel cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup Truvia sugar blend
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup 2% Fage Greek yogurt
2 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp lemon zest
2 large egg whites

Strawberry topping:

1 cup sliced strawberries

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 9″ pie plate with spray oil.

Crust:
Place pecans in a baggie and use a rolling pin to crush them down into small pieces (or use a food processor to crush them). Stir crust ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl until crumbly. Press crust evenly into pie plate.

IMG_1349

Spray crust lightly with spray oil and bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Filling:

In a medium sized bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla and Truvia sugar blend with a blender on medium just until smooth. Beat in yogurt, lemon juice and zest just until incorporated. Add egg whites and mix on high speed just until smooth; do not over mix.

Spoon filling into pie plate (either with or without a crust) and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until filling is firm (doesn’t move or wiggle when you jiggle the pie plate).

Crumble Topping:

Crush pecans by placing them in a baggie and use a rolling pin to crush them down into small pieces (or use a food processor). Stir crumble ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl until crumbly.

After baking the filling for about 15 minutes (about ten minutes before the filling is done), open the oven and slide the rack toward you (don’t take the cheesecake out!).  Using a tablespoon, carefully sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top of the cheesecake.

IMG_1385

Return to oven and continue baking until filling is firm and does not jiggle.

Turn off oven, open oven door a crack, and allow cheesecake to cool for an hour (this should prevent cracks, but not guaranteed). Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack until completely cool. Place in refrigerator to cool overnight (if you can stand to wait that long. Me, I gotta eat it after dinner that night!).

When ready to serve, top with sliced strawberries.

IMG_1363

If you plan to freeze the cheesecake, freeze without strawberries and add them once the cheesecake is defrosted.

Nutrition per serving*:

WITH CRUST
Calories, 337 Carbs, 10 Potassium, 268 Sodium, 185

WITH CRUMBLE
Calories, 194 Carbs, 7 Potassium, 166 Sodium, 142
NAKED
Calories, 124 Carbs, 5 Potassium, 124 Sodium, 116

*All nutrition info is the result of my internet/product research and should be considered approximate. You can find my favorite nutritional “go-to” sites in my blogroll.

Low Carb, Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

IMG_1213

If you read the post just prior to this one, you will see that this coffee cake does not fit with my usual recipe selections … in that it is not all that low in potassium :(  But as far as I can tell there isn’t anyone out there right now who is looking at my blog for low potassium recipe ideas.

So … here is a SUPER YUMMY low-carb, gluten-free coffee cake.  It is made with almond and coconut flours and it is dense, moist, just everything you’d ever want in a coffee cake WITHOUT the carbs and gluten (and can be dairy-free if you use a vegan butter substitute).  I developed this recipe by taking ideas from coffee cake recipes on simplyhealthyliving.org and glutenfreehomemaker.com.

INGREDIENTS

Topping
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, melted (or vegan spread)
6 Tbsp. sugar free maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Cake
1 cup almond flour
¾ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
½ cup Silk light vanilla almond milk
¼ cup melted butter (or vegan spread)
½ cup sugar free maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 inch cake pan with spray oil.

Combine the topping ingredients (except for the last 1/4 cup pecans), mix well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs and milk until well combined. Add the egg/milk mixture, melted butter, syrup, and vanilla to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer a few minutes, until ingredients are well combined.

IMG_1192

Spoon batter into the cake pan and spread out evenly. Spoon the topping evenly over the entire cake with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pecans evenly over the topping.

IMG_1200

Bake for about 35 minutes or until it is set in the middle and a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the pan about 5 to 10 minutes. If you would like to plate the cake, invert onto a plate, and invert again onto a serving plate.

IMG_1207

Servings:  12

Nutrition per serving*:

Calories 235, Carbs 8, Potassium 267, Sodium 104

*All nutrition info is the result of my internet/product research and should be considered approximate. You can find my favorite nutritional “go-to” sites in my blogroll.

Coconut Flour Rant! – OR – You just can’t trust Jillian Michaels

images

If you have issues processing potassium, and you are trying to eat healthy and address this issue through diet, you are probably GOING CRAZY RIGHT NOW.   > : 0

Because hardly ANYONE publishes potassium info.  I should start counting the hours I spend surfing the internet trying to find potassium information on various foods.  The dangers of trusting the internet become frighteningly clear while engaging in this treasure hunt.  For example:

Since hubby recently was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, I now try to cook both low potassium and low carb (if you’re looking for a 24/7 endlessly frustrating hobby, give this a try).  An ingredient that comes up frequently in low carb (and gluten free) baking is coconut flour.  Lots of cooks sing the praises of coconut flour as a complement to or substitute for almond flour/meal, as almond flour can taste grainy in baked goods.  So I began the quest to determine the amount of potassium in coconut flour.  One thing I already knew – fresh coconut and coconut milk is loaded with potassium.

But I had no luck finding any sites that would list coconut flour potassium content.  Then I looked at Jillian Michael’s site, fit.jillianmichaels.com.  Lo and behold, there was a page called “Nutrition Information for Coconut Flour,” and it stated that there is “no potassium in coconut flour.”  I was, like, “Awesome!”  I immediately found a coffee cake recipe that used coconut flour; made some recipe adjustments; and baked away.  And it was GOOOOD.  In fact, I will post my adapted recipe to this site shortly.

But then I began to have second thoughts … how could coconut flour have NO potassium?  So I did some further research and found some product websites selling coconut flour.  And they said … guess what … COCONUT FLOUR IS LOADED WITH POTASSIUM.  I mean, a total potassium bomb (as in 1160 mg in 1/2 cup of flour).  What the heck, Jillian Michaels?  Are you trying to kill us out here?

I immediately wrote to Jillian Michaels and company, asking where they got the information that there is NO potassium in coconut flour.  And they said: “Huh!  Let us get back to you on that!” (well, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s pretty much what they said.)  And I NEVER HEARD FROM JILLIAN MICHAELS AGAIN.

When you or your loved ones have a health issue, you need solid nutrition information!  You don’t need supposed health experts blithely dispensing ERRONEOUS AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS INFORMATION!  Even most doctors have no idea what foods are good for a low potassium diet and what foods are bad (except everyone knows bananas, thanks a lot, that is not even close to being the highest potassium food).   I am thankful for the USDA site http://ndb.nal.usda.gov , which is where I get almost all my potassium info.  But when they don’t have a particular food, I’m stuck! :(

So now I have a delicious coffee cake with crap loads of potassium in it.  And also … coconut flour is loaded with calories!  And it’s not all that low carb!  And it ain’t cheap, either!  Honestly, unless you are rich, skinny, and need to eat gluten free, there just is not a compelling reason to use coconut flour.

But I already have a good recipe that in fact does use coconut flour (and it’s a lot of work developing these recipes and documenting all the nutrition info, gosh darn it).  So for those out there who are looking for a healthier coffee cake,  I’m going to post my delicious low carb, gluten-free coffee cake (although I personally don’t care about gluten), and then back to the drawing board trying to find a yummy low carb, low potassium one.

So now I got that out of my system :)