August 29, 2019

Homemade Cheese Crisp Crackers - Swiss, Cheddar, etc. Low Carb, Sugar Free and Keto

Updated Cheddar Photos April 2021 - here.

If you've bought some of the store bought versions of cheese crisps then you'll know they are... expensive.  There is a brand of little cheese crisp crackers at Sam's Club that we've bought twice in the past year, but at almost $10 a bag, I just can't spare it in the budget so we've not bought them in about 8 or 9 months. 

I've made cheese crackers of various styles and all have their pros and cons depending on what you want to use them with, eat them with or what you are hungry for.  This particular crisp is good for snacking, and it's my go-to to use with spinach artichoke dip. 

Whether you want to flavor them with herbs or spices is up to you.  



Homemade Cheese Crisp Crackers

Sliced 'hard' cheese of your choice - but 'real' cheese only.  Not 'American' or other soft cheese.

Spices, herbs - optional

If I use a block cheese, I slice it in my food processor using the slicing blade.  However I prefer to buy the sliced cheddar and sliced Swiss from  Sam's Club (in the black tub packaging) as it's the perfect thickness but it's also good quality so it makes a good quality crisp cracker with less prep work on my part.

Lay out as many slices as you wish on a sheet of parchment paper.  Use a knife to cut the slices into 1" squares, or use whatever little shape mini cutters you wish.  If you use a shape cutter, save the cuttings and place them into a Ziploc baggy and toss them into the freezer to use for another dish, just as you would grated cheese.

Now, lay out all your little cheese shapes on the parchment paper on the counter for about 2 days so they start to get dried out.  I laid them out on my dehydrator trays!  I loved this as it was a compact place to keep them, I could rearrange the trays for optimal air circulation and I could easily flip them over and pat them dry with a paper towel. 

As they sit out, the excess oil them can be patted with a paper towel.  After about a day or two (depending on where you live and your humidity level) they will be rather empty or hallow sounding when you tap them on the counter, and will start to be dried out.  When they can be tapped on the counter top and sound 'empty' but are firm enough to tap, pop them onto a parchment sheet on a baking pan, add any sprinkles of salt or flavoring IF YOU WISH, and put them into a hot, 400 degree oven.  Bake them for about 5-6 minutes.  The oils left in them will cause them to 'pop' and crisp and sometimes even jump around the pan. 

Pull them out, let them cool... they should be nice and crisp!  Eat them as you wish.   If we don't finish all of them, I put them in a baggy or Mason jar.  The next day if they've gone a bit soft due to the humidity, I re-crisp them by popping them into the oven for about 3 minutes.  Viola! Crisp again.

I've never kept them more than 2 days.  They are long gone by then. 

These are Swiss cheese

I simply lay them on my dehydrator trays to dry out.  I don't use the dehydrator turned on because it will only melt the cheese.  You don't want to melt it, just air dry it.

You can try different spices or herbs.  I wanted to make a chicken in a biscuit type on one batch so I used chicken flavoring and onion powder along with a bit of rosemary and garlic...  yum!  I also made some chipolate and paperika crackers but I like the rosemary/onion version better, and plain with no seasonings best of all.

After baking, let them cool (you can let them cool on paper towels to soak up any remaining oils).

I like to use block cheese sliced in my food processor so all the slices are uniform, for even baking.

You can let them lay out on the counter.  I like to use the trays from my dehydrator as it keeps them in a more compact area and takes up less space.

These are my current 'go to' for use with spinach artichoke dip and yellow pepper cream cheese dips. YUM!

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Low Carb, Keto and Sugarfree... Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Dogs

These corn dogs were made with jalapeno cheddar brats... if you were wondering my corn dogs had little flecks of green peppers or 'something' in them.  Jalapenos! 

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Dogs - Keto and Low Carb

4 eggs
1 c pork rinds that have been pulsed in a food processor to make powder
2 T unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
1 T melted real butter
1/2 t baking powder
dash of sea salt
4 Jalapeno Brats - cheddar style or whatever kind you like, or just hotdogs

Grease a 24 count mini muffin/cupcake pan well.  Mine still like to stick if I use a spray, but they come out a little better if I use butter or shortening.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, pork rind powder, almond milk, butter, baking powder and salt.  Divide the batter evenly between 24 mini cupcake/muffin tin wells.  Cut up the brats into 6 pieces and place one in every muffin well of batter.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven about 15-17 minutes until done.  Let them sit for a couple minutes before removing from the muffin tin.  Serve with sugar free ketchup.

Snapped this photo literally, right before I ate them for lunch!

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August 25, 2019

Homemade Mocha Chocolate Granola

Originally posted in October of 2015

This is a 'recipe' you can throw together with a few different ingredients on hand - don't make yourself use only what I did.  If you want to throw in some sliced almonds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, even a little wheat germ or hazelnut meal - feel free!

If it's a little too dry from adding a bit 'much' of the dry ingredients, just add a tad bit more butter, a little coconut oil, some honey or even a touch more coffee.  Taste test before baking and see if you want to add a little more sweetener, cocoa or cinnamon.  When you break it apart, you can leave it larger for snacking or smaller pieces for cereal with milk, almond milk or as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Homemade Mocha Chocolate Granola

1/2 c golden flax seed meal
1/4 almond flour
1 c oatmeal
1 T cocoa
3 pks. Stevia in the Raw or other favorite sweetener*
2 t cinnamon
1/2 c cold, strong coffee
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 300.  Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse briefly to mix.  Add butter and coffee.  Pulse again for less than 30 seconds.  Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Press it with your fingers to thin out.  Bake 15 minutes, drop the temperature to 250 degrees and bake another 15 minutes.  Crumble or cut.  Put it back into the warm, turned off oven and let it set for a few hours or even overnight until the granola is crisp.   Store in an airtight package or you can seal it in your food sealer.

*On the Stevia in the Raw website it said 1 packet equals 2 teaspoons 'sugar' so for whatever sweetener (or sugar) you want to use, judge accordingly.

I like to break ours apart in large pieces for snacking, they can be broke smaller for cereal

LOVE my food sealer - this is a really affordable, small one, but works great and I love it.
However, there are tons of options out there if you are looking for one.


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August 24, 2019

Sugar Free, Low Carb, Keto Friendly Birthday Cake!

Although I've made a number of cakes that are sugar free and low carb, I really really love the taste and texture of the Cinnamon Coffee Cake I've posted on An American Housewife previously.  It's one that always turns out and everyone loves it - even those who have no idea it's sugar free, gluten free and low carb. 

Last night I opened a new bottle of 'cake batter flavoring'  (McCormick Imitation Cake Batter Flavor, 2 fl oz (Pack - 1) and smelled it.  Oh my.  Yum!  It was then, I started craving cake; birthday cake, wedding cake... any kind of white or yellow cake (not chocolate).  And I started to think about a basic birthday cake with white frosting and sprinkles.  Rather than dig out one of my previous recipes, I grabbed the Cinnamon Coffee Cake recipe and decided to adapt it to make it a birthday cake.

It was then bed time, so I wrapped in plastic wrap, popped it into the freezer and this morning whipped up a simple buttercream frosting to go over it.  I did break my 'completely sugar free' rule by using some tiny multicolored sprinkles. The sugar is so minimal it isn't even countable per slice and it was perfect for what I craving!

Trimming the edges of the cake

Whipped up a simple sugar free buttercream frosting using Swerve and Lakanto Sweeteners

It smelled soooo 'birthday' cake-ish, I couldn't wait to dig in

It had to have sprinkles... it just had to!

Sugar Free, Low Carb Birthday Cake

3 c good quality, blanched, fine grained almond flour
1/3 c whey protein powder - vanilla or unflavored (I only use IsoPure - not any other brand)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/3 sticks real butter
3/4 c mixture of granulated natural sweeteners of your choice (Lakanto, Xylitol, SoNourished, etc)
1/2 t liquid sweetener drops like Sucrarose, etc. (optional but it helps to use 2-3 sweeteners)
3 eggs
1 T cake batter flavoring
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk

Grease or line a 9" pan with parchment.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl; almond flour, whey protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt.

Mix butter and sweeteners until fluffy, add eggs.  Beat in cake batter flavoring and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients alternating with the almond milk.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.  At this point your cake might be done, but I find almond flour baked goods need a little longer and the cake may start to be too brown on top.  If your cake is still a bit too wet in the center or jiggles, yet the top is getting browned, cover with foil and bake about 5 minutes more; turn off the oven and let it for about 5-10 minutes more, checking to see if the center of your cake is set and done.  My oven bakes this cake in a good quality (Rachael Ray) 9" pan for 35 minutes at 350, cover with foil, turn off the oven and leave for another 10-12 minutes and it's perfectly done.  Cool completely or freeze before frosting.

Frosting:  Do a taste test on this one....

Approximately:   1 stick butter
2 c Swerve Confectioner's Style sweetener (Swerve Confection Style)
about 1 teaspoon liquid sweetener drops
1/4 - 1/2 c Lakanto or other sweetener to bring out the best 'sugar like' flavor.  (If you use something like SoNourished Sweetener, I find I only need about 1 cup!  So TASTE TEST because the sweeteners you use make a huge difference in the amount needed to flavor your frosting). 
1/4 t xanthan gum (optional, but it makes a nice thickener/texture)
1/2 - 3/4 c heavy whipping cream
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 t LorAnn liquid emulsion "princess" cake flavoring.

In an electric mixing bowl, beat the butter, then add the rest.  Add more cream to make it a bit thinner, or more sweetener to make it thicker.  Taste test to get the right amount of sweetness and flavorings that you like.

I was going to post a photo of my slice of cake, but it wasn't until just now I realized I ate it before I remembered to take a photo!  My dirty fork and plate are in the sink and sorry...  no photo.  Ha ha.

   Blue Diamond Almond Flour, Gluten Free, Blanched, Finely Sifted 3 lb bag

   Isopure Zero Carb, Keto Friendly Protein Powder, 100% Whey Protein Isolate, Unflavored, 3 Pounds

   Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener, 1:1 Sugar Substitute, Keto, Non-GMO (Classic White - 3 lbs)

  Bakery Emulsions Natural & Artificial Flavor 4oz, Princess Cake & Cookie

  McCormick Imitation Cake Batter Flavor, 2 fl oz (Pack - 1)

  Swerve Sweetener, Confectioners (Pack of 2)

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August 20, 2019

Spice Cake (regular and low carb version)

When you can't wait for the cake to cool to frost it, you just dig in with a spoon and smear a little frosting on each bite!  Because it's THAT good!

Spice Cake (regular and low carb version)

3/4 c butter (for the low carb version I cut this down to about 1/2 cup)
1 c brown sugar (brown sweetener - like Swerve)
1 egg
1/2 c raisins (leave out for low carb/sugar free)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/2 t cinnamon
2 c flour (2 c almond flour and 1/4 c whey protein powder & optional 1 T coconut flour for texture)
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 c sour milk

Mix the butter and sugar or sweetener.  Add the egg.  Add raisins if you are using them.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add alternately with the sour milk.   Divide into 2, greased round pounds or a 7X12 baking dish.  Bake 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until done.  Cool completely and frost if you wish - cream cheese frosting is wonderful on this cake!

In the top photo, you can see I'm scooping up the cake with a spoon and smearing a bit of frosting on it... that's because the cake was still too warm to frost but it smelled SO good I just had to dig in!!!  I did end up frosting the whole cake later though, I promise!  Ha ha.   (For the frosting I used a package of cream cheese, some So Nourished powdered sweetener, and vanilla).

You might also be interested in some of the products I used in the recipe above - these are from Amazon.  The Blue Diamond Almond Flour I usually pick up at Sam's Club but this morning I found that it's now offered on Amazon in the 3 pound 'club' size!!!  Yay!

   Swerve Sweetener, Brown Bundle, 12 oz pack of 2

   Blue Diamond Almond Flour, Gluten Free, Blanched, Finely Sifted 3 lb bag

   Isopure Zero Carb, Keto Friendly Protein Powder, 100% Whey Protein Isolate, Unflavored, 3 Pounds

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