3/15/19

Rosemary Garlic Almond Crackers - or ANY seasoning you like! Low Carb & Sugar Free

 


Almond crackers, almond thins, etc. have been featured on An American Housewife many, many times in the past since I've been making them pretty much 'all the time' since the early 2000's.  2002?  I don't even recall.  But they are a staple in our house since cheese and crackers in almost any form has always been a favorite of mine.

I always play with this recipe though!  Starting with the basic almond cracker I've been making for over 15 years and adding whatever I feel like to it, based on what sounds good or what I have on hand, or what I want the finished cracker to be.

The original Almond Thin Cracker I've posted a LOT is more like a 'wheat thin' style.  The other versions are more like a little bit thicker cracker.  This one is a thin, very crisp cracker but is a little bit thicker than the wheat-thin style due to the baking powder.  I used garlic salt, onion powder, poppy seeds and a store store Rosemary Garlic blend today.

My favorite way to eat any of my almond crackers is with cream cheese and banana peppers!



Rosemary Garlic Almond Crackers (Or ANY seasoning you like)

2 c almond flour or fine ground almonds
1 t sweetener of choice
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt (I use sea salt)
2 egg whites

*options - add what you want, and as little or lot as you like. This is just a starting point. Taste your dough and adjust to how you like it.  You can also use things like ranch dressing, sea salt, pepper, tomato powder, basil... whatever kind of crackers you wish.

1/4 t garlic salt
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1 1/2 t poppy seeds
1 t Rosemary and Garlic spice blend 

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor or a small bowl. Make sure it's mixed well so all the almond is moist and the dough starts to hold together and form a ball.  You can either mix in the seasonings OR sprinkle them separately on top.  If you sprinkle on top, press them in lightly.

Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper or well greased foil.  It is very sticky so you need 2 sheets of parchment or foil or it will stick to your rolling pin.

Roll the dough out with a rolling pin as thin as you can - 1/8 of an inch is what to aim for.  Aim for a rectangle shape to make it easier to score squares.  Peel off the top layer and score with a pizza cutter to make squares either 1" or 2" - your choice in size.  Leave them on the bottom parchment to bake and place it on a baking sheet.

Bake at 325 degree's for 10-15 minutes then check and use a metal spatula, fork or your fingers to gently pry the crackers apart, flipping the ones on the outside to the inside and mixing them up a bit. When all are golden, remove, break apart and let cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

These are incredible by themselves, with cheese or as a cracker dip for any number of spreads. I love them dipped in plain cream cheese with yellow banana peppers as a snack.


















You might also be interested in these related products, available through Amazon;


Kirkland Signature Almond Flour Blanched California Superfine, 3 Pounds
Nature's Eats Blanched Almond Flour, 32 Ounce
Almond Flour Blanched (2lb) by Anthony's, Batch Tested Gluten-Free

 




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3/13/19

Making hard boiled eggs in my electric pressure cooker... (Instant Pot, Cosori, Bella, etc)









Making hard boiled eggs in my electric pressure cooker... one jumped out of his shell.

Just put about 1 1/2 cups of water in your instant pot or electric pressure cooker, add your eggs and set your cooker for a manual 5 minute setting - seal and cook.  When done, do a quick release vent, remove your eggs and run them under cold water.


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You might also be interested in these related pressure cookers available through Amazon:


      


























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Spanakopia - made with leftover phyllo dough that was dried out and starting to crumble, but I didn't want to throw it out





I made this quite awhile ago, as we've not had any pastry or high carb foods since the first of the year, but I'm just so busy in day-to-day life that I have hundreds of photos and posts just waiting on me to update An American Housewife - and since this site is my 'personal' site for my family to store and collect recipes, I guess I'm only answerable to myself for how often I get around to posting some of these!  Especially when I won't be making them again for awhile, until we add back more carbs or pastries into our daily routine.

But, every time I see my photos of this yummy dish in my file folder, I feel a pang of guilt for not 'getting around to posting' because I think this is a recipe my oldest daughter would love - so I am quickly going to post it!

The reason I love this one is obviously because it's good, but because it's a GREAT IDEA TO USE UP PHYLLO DOUGH that is a bit older or dried out.  Instead of the hassle of buttering each layer and keeping the pile covered with a damp cloth, etc.  I had a box of phyllo that I had used 'some' of and popped the leftovers back in the freezer, which in turn then dried out a little and became brittle. I never throw out food though - how wasteful!  So I always try to find a way to use up everything.  This worked out just fine!

I had 1 1/2 packages of phyllo dough to use up (the one was kind of dried out from being opened, and we were getting ready to get serious about low carb so I wanted to use it up and get it out of the house - so here is the smaller version and if you want 1 1/2 - 2 packages, then double all the ingredients and use a large lasagna pan, a 9X13" pan or make 2 pans and freeze one for future use.)

You'll see in the photos, I made one pan and then I also made one rolled into a bundle or loaf as well.  Both worked great.


Spanakopia

3 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 10 oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed or use 1 1/2 pounds fresh, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c ricotta cheese
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1 package of 8 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 - 1/2 c real butter - soft for brushing sheets of dough or melted for drizzling


Heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned - don't over cook or the garlic gets bitter. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to cook about 2-3 minutes to heat the spinach and make the fresh limp if you've used fresh. Remove from heat.

Mix together eggs, ricotta, and feta. Stir in onion/spinach mixture.

In a greased pan, lay either a layer of pastry or if yours is all dried out, use the pieces to make a thin layer.  Spread about 1/3 of the mixture.  Add another layer of pastry, filling, pastry, filling.  If you are using full sheets you'll have to use a brush to brush each layer with real butter or olive oil.  Use 2 sheets to every one layer filling.  For the broken sheets, again, just make a thin layer.

For the top, end with your pastry and if it's a full sheet, brush the top with butter, but if it's the broken pieces like I had to use up, just drizzle melted butter over the top.   Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Let it set for a few minutes after removing it from the oven to let it 'set up' a bit to make it easier to cut.  Cut into squares and serve while hot.



Here is my older, dried out sheets of phyllo dough that I wanted to use up - with butter drizzled over the top and ready to go into the oven



Fresh from the oven - golden brown and crisp!


I had 1 1/2 packages to use up and used some of the full sheets that weren't dried and crumbly, to roll up the spinach filling and baked it as a wrap style.










If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon - An American Housewife at Amazon









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3/5/19

Coffee Cake Muffins - Sugar Free and Low Carb



Although I've posted this recipe previously, I thought I'd revisit it since I always tweak recipes depending on what I 'feel' like that day or what I have on hand, etc.  So the version I posted previously is so very, very similar to this one but right now we have some pretty good 'brown sugar' style sugar free sweeteners on the market to use in place of the molasses added, and I don't care for coconut flour so it's reduced to just a heaping tablespoon in this version and replaced with my favorite whey protein powder (zero carb and zero sugar too).  Lastly, I love the use of Oat Fiber in the topping instead of that dreaded coconut flour again, so although these are are simple changes that I normally wouldn't bother 'writing down' I thought I would today.

The photos with this recipe are the muffin I was going to eat... quickly snapped two photos on my iphone and within about 2 minutes of the photo above being taken, that muffin was long gone and reduced to mere crumbs on my plate!  Hot and fresh from the oven... I couldn't even wait for it to cool.  I love these too much!



 Low Carb and Sugar Free Coffee Cake Muffins

2 T real butter
2 oz. cream cheese
3 eggs
1/2 c sweetener of choice (I use a mixture of granulated sweeteners for the best flavor. Use 2 or 3 mixed.)
2 t vanilla
1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 c almond flour
1/3 c unflavored or vanilla flavored whey protein powder (I use Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder exclusively)
1 1/2 tablespoons quality coconut flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Topping:
1 c almond flour
1/4 c oat fiber
1/3 c sweetener of choice (granulated brown 'sugar' style)
3 T butter
1 t cinnamon

(If you can't find a good 'brown sugar' version of a natural sweetener, you can use a white granulated sweetener and 1/2 teaspoon molasses.  The Splenda and Truvia versions you see in the stores right now have real sugar in them so they are NOT sugar free if that's really important to you).  I've linked to the current 'brown' varieties available as of this posting, at the bottom of the recipe.

Mix your muffin batter ingredients all together either in an electric mixing bowl, blender or your food processor until blended smooth.  Divide into your muffin cups.  Now mix the topping ingredients in your blender, by hand or with a fork until it resembles pea like crumbs or just put it into your food processor and pulse it a couple times.

Cover your muffins with the crumb topping.  Bake at 350 about 20-25 minutes for regular sized muffins (12). After about 22 minutes, lightly press on the top of one of the middle muffins to see if they are set up and firm - not jiggly anymore.  You might want to add 2-3 minutes at a time until it's done.  Then let them cool completely out on a cookie rack. 


  Right before I gobbled it up...... hot and fresh from the oven.







Products related to this post available through Amazon;

For a 'brown sugar' style sweetener it's hit or miss whether anything is available on the market at the time.  There are products I loved in the past that the company stopped producing.  Then Splenda came out with a brown sugar blend to fill the gap; but note it's a BLEND.  It has real brown sugar in it too.  So if you are completely sugar free it's not a good option.  However if you are simply trying to reduce or cut out sugar but have no issues with a tiny amount in your recipes, then it's fine.  Swerve just recently released a brown style product so I'm excited about that as there have been few options on the market for quite a few years.  I'm excited to see some coming back.


    

Just Like Sugar 1 Lb Brown
Swerve Sweetener, Brown, 12 ounces
Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, 16 Ounce Bag (Pack of 4)


Coconut Flour - ah... it's a love hate relationship for me.  I love how adding just a bit to almond flour helps make a good substitute for wheat flour in many baked goods, but I really don't like the taste of coconut flour and yes... I'm one of those people that can taste it even in small amounts.  However I've found by trial and error the brand and quality makes a world of difference!  Unfortunately for me, the brand of coconut flour I found that I love... is no loner being made.  Drat.  Luckily, I did buy it in bulk before I knew they were going to stop making it, so I have more than enough for personal use for quite some time considering I don't use a lot of it.  Instead, I like to add whey protein powder to my almond flour and just a tablespoon or so of coconut flour.  But if you DO love coconut flour in your low carb baked goods, here are some highly recommended options based on all the reviews that do love coconut flour.  Unlike me.

Nutiva USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO, Unrefined Granulated Coconut Sugar, 1-pound (Pack of 3)

Bob's Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour, 16 oz

  Organic Coconut Flour (4lb) by Anthony's, Verified Gluten-Free & Non-GMO



And finally... the almond flour!  Years ago I used to buy another brand but that company got quite popular for a bit (as not too many companies offered great quality almond flour) and boy did they jack their prices up!  At that time I started to use other brands and found that Bob's Red Mill seems to work just fine for pretty much everything I make.  I used to be able to find it at my local membership club - which was AWESOME but unfortunately they stopped carrying this brand and switched to a different one.  I know there was quite an outpouring of frustration online by people not happy with that decision so we'll see what happens on that topic, with time.  For now, you can of course find it in most of your local grocery stores as well as online.
Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Gluten Free Almond Flour, 3 Pound




As for the Isopure Whey Protein powder I linked to at Amazon above in the recipe, it's also available through Netrition:  Nature's Best IsoPure Protein Powder - which is where I buy mine from.  This along with the Oat fiber and a ton of other sugar free and low carb foods.  I've ordered through Netrition for years and absolutely love their company for quality, speedy delivery, price and packaging.


Oat Fiber 500
LifeSource Foods Oat Fiber 500



IsoPure Protein Powder
Nature's Best IsoPure Protein Powder







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