10/30/19

From my Instagram Story Today: Low Carb & Sugar Free Zucchini Bread



Follow me on Instagram here (An American Housewife)


For those who saw these photos on my Instagram story today, I'm rushing to get these posted and the recipe typed out before a 3 year old and 1 year old wake up from naps.  Well, strike that.  The 1 year old just babbled a bit so I know he's up but he (SHOULD) hopefully go back to sleep because darnit, I have about 30 minutes left of naptime and I want EVERY. SECOND. OF. IT.  (please?).

If there is a recipe that I think any 6 or 7 year old child who is interested in baking could and should make, this might be it.  Things with zucchini in them tend to be really easy, quick and no-fail recipes.  The chocolate zucchini bread or zucchini muffins (just search for them in the search box to the right or at the top of the page) are good options and this is too.  Now, this one is wheat-free, low carb and sugar free.  But it's really just replacing regular all purpose flour with almond flour/coconut flour and whey protein powder.  And the white sugar with a natural sweetener alternative.

I've been making zucchini breads for about 30 years now, and I'd have to say about the only way they won't turn out is if they are under baked.  As with almost any quick-bread, it's better to slightly overbake it than to underbake and have it gooey and undone in the center.   Make sure the center is 'done', fairly firm, and doesn't jiggle and sink before you take it out of the oven.

This will make 2 loaves.  Use a regular 9X4" bread pan, lined with parchment and lightly greased.


Zucchini Bread

1 c scooped almond flour, not packed down
3/4 c good quality coconut flour
1/4 c unflavored or vanilla flavored whey protein powder
(You can skip the whey protein and use a full cup coconut flour if that's what you have)
2 T baking powder
1 c - 1 1/4 c sweeteners (I like to mix at least 2 granular natural sweeteners for best flavor)
4 eggs
2/3 c melted butter
2/3 c sour cream
2 t vanilla
3 t cinnamon
1/2 t sea salt
2 c shredded zucchini

Mix all the ingredients with a wood spoon or spatula until moistened and well mixed.  Separate into two prepared loaf pans and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for approximately 1 hour until done.  Remove and let cool about 20 minutes in the pan before removing and pulling away from the parchment paper too cool completely.  I like to wrap all my quick breads (pumpkin, zucchini, banana breads)  in plastic wrap as soon as they are mostly cool, then wrap in foil, and place in the freezer for 24 hours.  After that either they stay stored there until I need them, or I remove them and thaw to serve.  I keep mine in the refrigerator because I like cool breads personally and just don't like quick breads at room temperature.





 




























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Homemade Vanilla Pudding


Flashback Post!  This morning I had a fleeting thought; "I wonder what some of the first recipes I posted were?"  So I clicked back to some random 2006 posts and saw this one for homemade vanilla pudding.  The funny thing is, I actually remember the conversation that started this post.  One of my daughters was just 10 years old at the time and was craving vanilla pudding.  She was hoping to just make an 'instant' pudding with no work but since I rarely kept that on hand in the pantry, we didn't have any. (I don't like the chemical taste nor the texture of instant puddings.)  We did have a cook-n-serve version, which I taught her to make but since we had 5 members of the family eating dinner that night, I whipped up some homemade to add to it and taught her to make homemade.  I actually recall our conversation in the kitchen and teaching her how to make pudding that evening. 

That little 10 year old is now 23 and a newlywed.  Oh, the memories!  Another perk of having my recipe collection blog for so many years.  Lots of memories are tied up in An American Housewife since it's start in 2006.






VANILLA PUDDING

3/4 sugar
1/3 c flour
3 c milk
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 T real butter

In a saucepan combine the sugar and flour, stir with a whisk. Turn on the heat and stir in milk. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbling. Cook for 2 minutes at a slow boil. Drizzle 1 cup into the beaten egg yolks while whisking the whole time. When incorporated, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the pudding. Stir in the butter and vanilla, and cook over a low/medium heat at a simmer while stirring. Pour the pudding into a large bowl or smaller serving bowls. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding surface while it cools if you don't want a 'skin' on the top of the pudding. (Or just eat it right away like I do, while it's still warm!)

You can slice ripe bananas into this pudding for a heavenly banana cream pudding that can't be beat!





















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10/25/19

Bacon and Potato Chowder - Thick, rich, homemade and oh so good!



It's cold.
It's raining.
It's dark and gray outside.

It's day just calls for a hot, comforting, homemade soup.
And homemade bread.

And since we still have house guests this month and we have found it almost impossible to stick to low carb and certainly impossible to do keto... I'm giving in today and going all the way.  A thick, delicious, hearty homemade Potato and Bacon Chowder.  It's soup obviously, but so thick and rich and chunks of yummy bacon, potatoes and some onions and celery... oh it's a heavenly chowder.

Yep, it's a blurry photo.  Ha ha.  But as I always state here on An American Housewife - this is a food and recipe blog.  Not a photo blog.  It's about the food.  Good, real food.  Not how great the photos are.





Bacon and Potato Chowder

As usual, I don't measure and don't use precise amounts.  I'll give an approximate and basically, use a little more or less depending on what you like.  Do taste tests.

2 cups dehydrated hash browns, reconstituted OR about 2-3 potatoes, diced, OR about 8 small little potatoes, diced up
1 cup water to cook potato dices (don't have to use if you are using reconstituted hash browns or about 2-3 cups frozen hashbrowns)
2/3 c bacon crumbles (grab about 6-8 strips)
1 medium onion or about 3 or 4 green onions, diced
1 or 2 stalks celery, diced small
1 can cream of chicken soup  (You can make your own homemade version if you refuse to use a canned cream soup.  But you know, the homemade version isn't much different ingredient wise!)
1 c sour cream
1 1/4 cup of half and half, cream or whole milk (I opt for half and half or cream... always)
parsley
salt and pepper
optional - onion powder

You can dice your bacon up and then cook it or you can cook it first and then crumble it.  If you have 'real' Hormel bacon pieces on hand and no actual bacon... go for it.  But I wouldn't use bacon bits (imitation unless I had to.  You can, but it won't taste like real bacon).  Cook the bacon until done.  Add the diced potatoes if you are using them, and the onion and celery.  Add the cup of water to the pan (with the bacon and drippings) and cook about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. 

If you are using hash browns (I use both real, diced potatoes for chunks and hash browns for a nice thick, hearty soup) you can add them with their re-hydrating water once the potatoes/onions/celery are soft.

Now you add the rest of the ingredients and you continue to cook, and stir until heated through.  The amount of cream or half and half is going to be relative to your soup/chowder.  Figure about 1 1/4 cups and then as it cooks through, especially if you've used hash browns, you might need to add a cup or two more.  It's all according to you.  How thick do you want it?  Taste it too!  Salt and pepper to your tastes.  I'd say about a teaspoon of salt and 1/8 pepper.  Parsley is 1/4 cup dried... more or less.

Just heat through and serve.  It's one of those things you can't really get wrong.  It tastes good no matter what I think.

I serve with homemade bread - which you can find a ton of recipes for here on An American Housewife - just use the search box to the right or at the top of the page.




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10/23/19

My favorite sugar free, low carb and keto products from Netrition


I've had this idea for a post for quite some time now, but life tends to get in the way and I never get to researching and getting the code links, etc. for it.   Even today, when I thought I'd have the time to work up a nice 15 item list, I realize that I've had this browser window open for hours (and hours) and kept getting pulled away.

So my list is short but I'm going to publish it anyway as it does happen to have the products I order most often and I truly love, use and trust.

The first one is the sweeteners.  The only issue with liking certain brands of sweeteners, is that over the past 10 years I've seen SO MANY COME AND GO!  Especially in the past 4 years.  Companies jump on the bandwagon I guess, make their millions and move on to something else?  So there are natural sweeteners I have loved that you can't get anymore, and others that are similar or better that have taken their place.  Currently it's hard to find Just Like Sugar and a couple others, but there are other new ones out now that seem to be just as good or better.

So in the end, here is a link to the sweeteners on Netrition.  I like and have used Just Like Sugar, Lankanto, SoNourished and Ideal.  I'm not fan of the Stevia sweeteners for cooking or baking.  (But they seem to do great for drinks or liquids, yogurt, etc.).

Sweeteners



Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
G. Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce


 If I don't make my own sugar free BBQ Sauce, then this is the one I buy and use.  As a matter of fact, it's my favorite and I've bought this one to keep on hand in the pantry far more often than I've bothered making my own over the past 2 years.  I can find this at Walmart and Publix now too!  There are 3 (?) different versions/flavors.  All are good.







IsoPure NATURAL Powder
Nature's Best IsoPure NATURAL Powder



 I have talked about IsoPure whey protein powder for years!  LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff.  If you choose carefully you will find zero carbs and zero sugar.  They have tons of flavors but for baking I'd stick with the natural, unflavored or the vanilla. 






LC Foods
I think it would take too long to list all the LC Foods products I've tried.  I've liked most of them.  Some are not great but they work, or can be tweaked.  And when you are cooking and baking low carb, sugar free, you realize that you get used to the flavors and textures being just a bit different.  I've tried everything from a marshmallow fluff mix to thickeners to bagels, to pizza crust and cinnamon rolls.  My advice is to give them a try and see what you think.


Bagels
Great Low Carb Bread Company Bagels

This is the first company I found (years ago) that was making a decent low carb bagel option.  There have been more in the past couple years but these guys were doing it long ago and do it well.  The bagels do taste different than a traditional wheat flour based bagel... but again, when you are doing low carb full time, you adapt to the different tastes.  I always include 2 packages of "onion" bagels in my orders.  And the bagels are better than the fat-head dough bagels that I also make in a pinch.









Quest Bar
Quest Nutrition Quest Bar


Oh Quest bars...  we love you.  But why do you have to be so expensive?  My husband is the 'bar guy' in our family.  I might snack on them during long road trips or camping trips but he takes 1 or 2 bars every morning along with a cup of coffee to go as he heads out the door to work.  He has one during his commute in and another at lunch.  He isn't picky and will eat whatever brand I buy but it's no lie these win, hands down for taste.  I can pick up one or two flavors at Sam's Club sometimes but even on sale they are pricey.  However, Netrition has so many flavors to choose from!  And I love Netritions prices.



Alas, I'm out of room, but I'm happy to share a few of the low carb or sugar free products we like and use from Netrition.  They do offer free shipping for orders over $99 - it used to be $75 but I guess they got so popular they upped it a couple years ago.  They used to offer awesome cool free t-shirts with orders and oh how I miss those!  We've been customers for YEARS so we have most of the designs they offered but they also stopped those a few years ago.  Even with these little changes, I still love the Netrition company... great prices and a great selection.  Also, everything has always been packaged so well.  They are very careful and conscientious with the products and I've never had any issues with this company in any way.  Love them!



 
















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10/22/19

Homemade Breakfast Bars (like Nutrigrain Bars!)


Originally posted in January, 2007! It's about time again, don't ya think?

Fruit and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Easy!)

These remind me of the Nutri-Grain bars you buy at the store. Only for the price of ingredients, you'll get a whole pan of them for the price of one box of 6!



1 box yellow cake mix (dry)
2 1/2 c oatmeal - quick cooking
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 c (or a 12 oz. jar) of strawberry or cherry preserves, heated to melt
1 T water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9X13 " pan. Combine the dry cake mix with the oat meal in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly. Pour half the mixture into the pan and press firmly to cover the bottom. Combine the preserves and water. Sprinkle reminaing crumb mixture over perserves. Pat firmly enough to make the top even. Bake 18-23 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cool in pan before cutting into bars. Makes about 4 dozen depending on the size you cut.


*You can make these into a delicious dessert by serving them topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.




 And for those readers who are thinking "umm, yeah, I would rather just buy some breakfast bars... I don't blame you a bit!  Ha.  Life is busy!!!  Here are some options available through Amazon if you are an Amazon shopper (or want to be):

  Kellogg's Nutri-Grain, Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry, Made with Whole Grain, Value Pack, 3 Packages of 20.8 oz ( 16 Count)

  Kind, Breakfast Bars, Variety Packs (5)

  Quaker Baked Squares, Soft Baked Bars, Apple Cinnamon & Strawberry, 5 Bars (Pack of 4) ( Packaging May Vary )


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Homemade Copycat Entenmann's Coffee Cake Style Loaf - Cinnamon Coffee Cake Loaf and OH MY IT'S GOOD!

Originally posted in February, 2007!



Reposting in 2019 and adding the note that you can make this into cupcakes too!  I haven't made this in a really long time since we are doing more low carb and sugar free now, however, we've been off the bandwagon since some disruptions in life with the wedding, house guests, having houseguests staying with us this month, etc. so really, now would be the perfect time for me to make this again.  Not only is it an incredibly yummy recipe, but it's a nice 'Autumn' coffee cake, and since we are eating some flour baked good items right now anyway, it's an idea that is on my 'baking radar!'.




Entenmann's Style Coffee Cake Loaf

3 3/4 c flour
1 3/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt

Mix in a large mixing bowl and then remove 2 cups of the dry mix to reserve for later.

Now to the rest of the flour in the mixing bowl add;

1 stick butter (not margarine)
2 eggs
2/3 milk

The batter will be thick, spread this into a greased and floured pan (I use a little of the reserved flour topping mix to flour the pan). Now, you are wondering what size aren't you? Any size you want. If you use a 9X13 pan, you will have a thin cake, a 14 inch square would be nice, a 9X9" square will be a thick cake. I personally like to use a bread loaf pan. I like mine as a 'pound cake'. Spread the batter into your pan.

Now, to the reserved flour mixture add;

1 stick butter
1/4 c brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
dash of salt

Mix this together with your finger tips until it forms pea sized crumbles. Cover the entire cake with this topping. If you chose to use a loaf pan you will only use half the topping. Freeze the rest in a baggy to use on muffins at a later date!

Bake at 350 degrees - a 9X13" pan approximately 30 minutes or a loaf pan it will have to bake at least 60 minutes. I bake mine about 1 hour and 15 minutes until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.





You might be interested in these loaf pans available through Amazon;

 Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Loaf Pan, 1.5 Pound
Farberware Bakeware 9 x 5-Inch Nonstick Loaf Pan, Gray
Wilton Recipe Right Medium Loaf Pan
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10/20/19

Sitting in a DRAFT FILE SINCE....... 2007!? A baked Southern Peanut Butter Pie




This afternoon I decided on a whim to look back in my files to see what I was cooking on this day but years ago.  At random I started clicking through 2008 and 2007 and oh my goodness!  I came across a ton of recipes I saved to my personal files in 2007 and they've never been tried or published...  just sitting there silently waiting for me to remember they existed!

I apparently saved this one to my files in November of 2007 and I smiled a tiny little smile because at the time, I would have lived waaaaaay up North in the frozen tundra (only dreaming of the South) and today, I DO live in the South and this is a "SOUTHERN Peanut Butter Pie" y'all!  Ha ha.  (I don't know that it's actually Southern... but it's called that.)  And the interesting thing about this recipe is that it calls for it to be baked.  The only peanut butter pies I've ever had or made are all 'ice box' style that don't use eggs or call to be cooked.  It looks similar to a pecan pie to me except it uses peanut butter and no pecans.

So just to give light to some of these poor, neglected recipes from 2007 I'm hitting the publish button... that way I can find them quick and easy in the future with my 'search' feature!



SOUTHERN PEANUT BUTTER PIE

1 c corn syrup
1 c sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
½ t vanilla
1/3 c peanut butter
1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell
1 c whipping cream

Combine first five ingredients, mixing until thoroughly blended. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Bake in hot oven 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate 350° and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer. Filling should appear slightly less set to center. Chill. Top with whipped cream.



 ____________________

I thought I'd pop over to Amazon to see what pie plates I wanted to link to
related to this post.  I'm a Pyrex kind of girl myself but
I know others like pretty pie plates, funny pie plates, colorful pie plates...




 This one DID actually bring a little smirk to my face!

And this one is really pretty... I love this color!

But these are the ones I actually own!


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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