May 30, 2016

Sugar Free Carrot Cake - Wheat free, sugar free - no guilt and so good

A couple weeks ago I bought a large bag of baby cut carrots at the warehouse grocery store.  We don't eat many carrots due to the high carb count and high(er) sugar count when I can get all the vitamin A I need from other sources that I love and have less or no sugar.  But who doesn't love baby carrots dipped in Ranch once in a while right?  Or my favorite - Buttered Baby Carrots with Salt and Pepper - or when I cook them with sugar free brown sugar or pumpkin pie Torani syrups?

However;  the bag of carrots needed to be used up and I knew my family would appreciate doing so in this way.  Sugar free, wheat free and low carb although your counts will be based on the products and brands you use.  I use a zero carb, zero sugar whey protein powder for example;  that alone changes the count in leaps and bounds.  I'll link to some related products at the end of this post if you are interested in where I get mine (I order it and most of my 'healthy' items online).

Carrot Cake (or Carrot Bars)

4 eggs
1 c coconut oil
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c almond flour (I used natural, unblanched)
1/3 c whey protein powder (I use unflavored, zero carb, zero sugar)
1/4 c coconut flour
1/8 t xanthan gum
1/3 c Ideal sweetener
1 T Truvia
1/2 t liquid sweetener
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
3 c carrots - finely shredded

Oven preheat:  350
Pan:  Your choice. Larger means thinner, smaller means thicker.  Use a 9X14 or larger for 'bars' and a smaller one, down to 2 - 9X9" for cake with filling options.  Grease or spray the pan(s) of your choice.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with coconut oil and vanilla.  If it's a cold day, you can partially melt your coconut oil, if it's a hot, humid day, it might already be partially melted.  I haven't found it matters when I make these.
Beat in the dry ingredients; almond flour, whey protein powder and coconut flour along with the sweeteners (using 2 or 3 gives the best flavor but just use your favorites if you wish), the xanthan gum, leavening agents, salt and cinnamon.  If you don't have or don't want to use coconut flour, I've added about 1/3 cup total of a mixture of oat or wheat bran before or just added a little more almond flour and whey protein powder to make up the difference.  The coconut flour tends to make it 'less over wet and moist' as is the texture with most almond flour breads and cakes.  Stir in the carrots last.  Pour and spread into a prepared pan.

If you've used coconut flour, let your batter sit for about 3-4 minutes and see how thick it gets.  Coconut flour tends to absorb a lot of liquid.  This should make a nice, really thick batter like a quick bread would be (not a typical flour/sugar cake batter).  Still, if you think it's so thick that it will be hard to spread, you can add a tablespoon or two of coconut milk, stir well. Bake times will depend on the pan you use.  I baked an 9X15" pan about 40 minutes until it was golden brown, just started to pull away from the edges and when I jiggled it, the center did not move any longer.  Let cool completely in the pans before frosting with your favorite frosting.

The frosting I used on the bars above didn't come from a recipe but here is what I used;

1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 stick real butter
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut milk
Just like Sugar Baking Blend (because it's powdered form) - about 1/2 cup
Few drops of liquid sweener
Added Ideal Sweetener by tablespoons and tasted until I got the sweetness I wanted

Mix on medium high til smooth.  Spread.


Great Sources of Vitamin A

Food mcg                                                                                                     RAE per serving        IU per serving     Percent DV*
Sweet potato, baked in skin, 1 whole 1,403 28,058 561
Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces 6,582 22,175 444
Spinach, frozen, boiled, ½ cup 573 11,458 229
Carrots, raw, ½ cup 459 9,189 184
Pumpkin pie, commercially prepared, 1 piece 488 3,743 249
Cantaloupe, raw, ½ cup 135 2,706 54
Peppers, sweet, red, raw, ½ cup 117 2,332 47
Mangos, raw, 1 whole 112 2,240 45
Black-eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled, 1 cup 66 1,305 26
Apricots, dried, sulfured, 10 halves 63 1,261 25
Broccoli, boiled, ½ cup 60 1,208 24
Ice cream, French vanilla, soft serve, 1 cup 278 1,014 20
Cheese, ricotta, part skim, 1 cup 263 945 19
Tomato juice, canned, ¾ cup 42 821 16
Herring, Atlantic, pickled, 3 ounces 219 731 15
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin A, ¾–1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV) 127–149 500 10
Milk, fat-free or skim, with added vitamin A and vitamin D, 1 cup 149 500 10
Baked beans, canned, plain or vegetarian, 1 cup 13 274 5
Egg, hard boiled, 1 large 75 260 5
Summer squash, all varieties, boiled, ½ cup 10 191 4
Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces 59 176 4
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 1 cup 32 116 2
Pistachio nuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce 4 73 1
Tuna, light, canned in oil, drained solids, 3 ounces 20 65 1
Chicken, breast meat and skin, roasted, ½ breast 5 18 0
*DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for vitamin A is 5,000 IU for adults and children age 4 and older. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Nutrient Databaseexternal link disclaimer Web site [8] lists the nutrient content of many foods and provides a comprehensive list of foods containing vitamin A in IUs arranged by nutrient content and by food name, and foods containing beta-carotene in mcg arranged by nutrient content and by food name.
Dietary supplements
Vitamin A is available in multivitamins and as a stand-alone supplement, often in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate [2]. A portion of the vitamin A in some supplements is in the form of beta-carotene and the remainder is preformed vitamin A; others contain only preformed vitamin A or only beta-carotene. Supplement labels usually indicate the percentage of each form of the vitamin. The amounts of vitamin A in stand-alone supplements range widely [2]. Multivitamin supplements typically contain 2,500–10,000 IU vitamin A, often in the form of both retinol and beta-carotene.
About 28%–37% of the general population uses supplements containing vitamin A [9]. Adults aged 71 years or older and children younger than 9 are more likely than members of other age groups to take supplements containing vitamin A.

Products related to this post:
Almond Meal / Flour, Natural Unblanched
Ideal Sweetener No Calorie 10.6 Oz 6 Packs
Just Like Sugar Baking Sweetener -- 16 oz
Bob's Red Mill - Organic Coconut Flour, 16 Ounces

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May 28, 2016

Almond Flour Breaded Pork Chops

Almond Flour breaded Pork Chops

Boneless Pork Chops
Almond Flour (blanched or natural)
Salt and Pepper;  and/or any seasonings you like (brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chipotle or use a store bought pork seasoning mix.  Add about 1 teaspoon per cup)

Dredge your pork chops in almond flour, seasoned as you wish.  Unseasoned you can add salt and pepper later, or you can add seasonings to almond flour.  Bake at 350 on a greased baking sheet or pan for approximately 40 minutes or until browned and done in center.

Weber Steak N' Chop Seasoning 8.5 oz
Bob's Red Mill - Natural Almond Meal/Flour

Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour Super Fine Grind Gluten Free Cholesterol Free 3lbs 


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May 25, 2016

Repost from 2012 - The Beer Cooler Cake for Father's Day, Birthday or Bachelor Party!

I think I originally posted this back in 2012 (?).  With Father's Day right around the corner I thought I'd post again because this cake is just SO COOL.
This Beer Cooler Cake and MANY other idea's are available!

Father's Day is coming up - would you love to make an incredibly cute 'beer cooler cake' for him?  I found this online at the Global Sugar Art site and love it!  The instructions on their site include photos and links to the products they sell to make it. They have a huge assortment of baking and decorating products and I've ordered from them a few times over the years. 

Step 1

Cover a 13x18 inch cake drum with Satin Ice white fondant. While the fondant is still fresh, use a ruler to evenly mark the spacing for your boards. Do this on both of the longest sides of the cake drum. Connect the marks from one side of the board to the other with a veining tool. Cover your workspace with newspaper and lay the fondant covered board on the newspaper.. Make a mixture of 1/2 brown airbrush color and 1/2 alcohol. Use a pastry brush and make long strokes from one end of the board to the other. Once the alcohol evaporates the board will start to look like wood. Let the board dry.

Step 2

Bake two 7x11x2 inch cakes using the Fat Daddio's Sheet Cake Pan (7 Inch x 11 Inch x 2 Inch). Once cooled,  fill and stack to create a 7x11x4 inch cake. Measure 1 inch from the edges of the cake and 1-inch deep, to make a rim on the cooler. Carve out the center of the cake to hold the ice and beer cans.  Crumb coat with butter cream. Then cover the cake with Satin Ice blue fondant. Use a veining tool to make horizontal indentations in the cooler.  Roll out a thin piece of white fondant. Use the FMM ribbon cutter to cut an even strip for the rim of the cooler. Attach with a water brush. Use an x-acto knife to trim around the top.

Step 3

To make the cooler handles, cut two pieces of GSA White Poly Dowels 2-½ inches long. Roll out a piece of white gumpaste into a rope shape. Place one end of the gumpaste into each end of the dowel rod. Roll another small piece of gumpaste to cover the ends of the dowel rods. This also helps the ends stay in the tubes. Place on a CelPad2 by CelCakes to dry before attaching to cooler. When ready to attach to the cooler use a thin piece of gumpaste, dampened with water and attach to the side of the cake. Cut another thin piece of gumpaste to place over the top part of the handle. This makes the handle look more complete.

Step 4

For the Bud Light emblem on the front of the cooler you will need to use the FMM Sugarcraft Arch cutter set. With the largest arch, cut 3 arches using red, blue and gray fondant. Use the next largest arch cutter cut out the centers so you are left with what looks like a letter “C”. Attach one on top of the other, starting with the red, then blue and ending with the gray on top, overlapping slightly. Use a waterbrush to adhere together. Use an x-acto knife and cut into the curved part of the “C” to create a tail. Attach to front of cake with small pieces of wet gumpaste.

Step 5

Using the block letter Block Upper Case Letter Clikstix Cutter Set by Windsorcut out the words “BUD LIGHT” using blue, white and red fondant. Again overlapping slightly, attach one of each color together with a waterbrush. Starting with red on the bottom, white in the middle and ending with blue on top. Attach to cake with waterbrush.

Step 6

If you do not wish to make your own sugar bottles you can just use four real cans. To create the ice cubes, melt clear isomalt sticks in the microwave, and then poured the hot syrup mixture into a Tiered Square Silicon Chocolate Mold by Fat Daddio. When set , pushed them out of the mold. Arrange the ice around the bottles or cans. If you have any little pieces place them on top of the cans for a real cool look. To finish off the cake use a whole (emptied) beer can and attached it to the cake board with a ball of moistened fondant. Melted some more isomalt sticks and added a little gold Americolor. Use a spoon and drizzle over the lip of the can so it looks like the beer is overflowing out of the can.

Or, how about this Golf Cake for Dad?  

Tutorials for the Beer Can Cooler Cake and the Golf Cake as well as many, many more ideas and instruction pdf's are available on their site as well!

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