2/17/20

Low Carb and Sugar Free Corn Bread - Almond Flour 'Corn' Bread - So Good I Said the Blessing Twice!



There are so many recipes I've wanted to make over the past 15-20 years that I haven't been able to be cause they are 'best' made in a cast iron skillet.  And I've never owned one.  Oh, I've wanted one for years!  But when you are a single-income family with a handful of kids and bills and living expenses that take priority over 'wants' instead of 'needs'... you don't get one.   

My husband happily surprised me this past Christmas with a gift of a cast iron skillet!  TWO actually.  I have the 10 inch and the 8 inch - along with the red silicone handle covers to keep me from burning my fingers.  I was so happy with this gift - it was perfect!  And I've been enjoying catching up on the many recipes that are just 'better' made in a cast iron skillet.

One of those is corn bread.  Now I love cornbread, but when we are adhering to low-carb and keto, it's off the menu unless it's made with almond flour.  But, this one is made with almond flour, so it's all good.  And because I've been craving (SERIOUSLY CRAVING) cornbread for about 2-3 months now, when I finally found time to make it, I was so thankful, I blessed it twice!  




All the recipes for low carb corn bread are basically about the same but you'll find some people have opted to add a flavoring called "sweet corn extract" and others don't.  I don't simply because I don't have it... and at $20-25 per bottle, I'm not likely to invest it any time soon.  However, since my husband and I can actually eat whatever we want and only choose to do low carb, we CAN have grains, carbs, etc. if we wish (we have no actual dietary restrictions) I just go ahead and add a tablespoon of real corn meal to mine.  This gives it just a little tiny bit of 'realism' to it.  
Some people actually add a couple tablespoons of pureed sweet corn to theirs.  We never have corn on hand as I don't buy it, but we do have a small amount of cornmeal always on hand.  MAYBE I'll get around to buying the extract some day.....  maybe.

The last thing to mention is that I've loved cornbread my entire life - literally since I can remember.  But it's made different ways across the USA and I've lived in so many different states, that I've seen it and had it made all different ways.  My favorite way is how they make it 'up North' which is a basic cornbread (no jalapenos or bacon or cheddar added) and it's just a tiny bit sweetened.  Absolutely amazing with just a smear of real butter, or butter with some yummy sugar free maple syrup!

Almond Flour Corn Bread

1/2 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 cream
2 c almond flour
2 T ground flaxseed
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2-3 t granular sweetener of your choice
1/2 t vanilla
1-2 T cornmeal (optional)
or 1/2 t sweet corn extract flavoring (optional)

Melt your butter in a bowl in a microwave.  Pour about 2 T of it into your skillet, swirl it around and place it in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the pan in it.  Meanwhile, add the eggs, cream, vanilla and the extract (if you are using it) to the rest of the butter in the bowl and whisk to blend.  

In a 'dry' bowl, place your almond flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, sweetener and the cornmeal if you are using it.  Blend it and then stir into the egg mixture.  If it seems too thick, just add about 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin a little bit so it's a nice thick batter, not a dough.  

Pour into the hot skillet and return it to the oven to bake about 25 minutes until golden brown and a crust forms on the top.  Serve hot or cold with butter, syrup, whatever you wish!






The batter spread in the hot skillet

Into the oven with you!

I blessed it twice... and had third helpings!







You might also be interested in the products related to this post - available from Amazon.

 

  Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 2-Piece Set (10-Inch and 12-Inch) Oven Safe Cookware - 2 Heat-Resistant Holders - Indoor and Outdoor Use - Grill, Stovetop, Induction Safe


 

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 3 Skillet Bundle. 12 inches and 10.25 inches with 8 inch Set of 3 Cast Iron Frying Pans


 

  Amoretti Sweet Corn Extract, 2 Ounce








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2/15/20

Yesterday I had toast!!!! YAY! Great Low Carb Bread Company Bread, Pasta, Buns....

No, this isn't sponsored, it's just me talking about how amazingly good my peanut butter toast was yesterday...

In 2002 I first started to research the effect of sugar on our bodies, which led to me learning about carbs, sugar, grains and ultimately, I started the Atkins induction and we've never really gone back to the 'normal' diet habits of eating sugar and flour since then.

But oh, how I miss bread.  And pasta.  And bagels.  

Over the past 18 years I've tried a kazillion different recipes and although some were 'fine' others were a disaster.  Bread and pasta without grains is a difficult feat to pull off and until just recently, there were almost no options available to purchase so for the past 18 years it's pretty much been homemade or nothing.

The fathead dough buns, bagels and pizza crust are good - but they are made mostly of cheese and when you are a long term low carber it's a blessing to have options like that but it isn't 'bread'.  It's still not the same as buns, bagels and pizza crust made with grains.  A few years ago I started to order bagels from Great Low Carb Bread Company through my favorite online low carb, sugar free and keto retailer; Netrition.  I've ordered them regularly since then - my favorites are onion and everything - but recently they came out with pasta and I decided to up my game.

I recently ordered 13 items from Great Low Carb Bread Company.  Some were my 'regulars' but I stepped out of my comfort zone and ordered bread, buns and yes, pasta.

In the past week I've used some of the items for meals and we've been thrilled with them all but the reason I decided to do a rambling, chit-chatty post this morning is because yesterday at lunch I was craving toast.  Just toast.

So I dove into the bread and made 2 slices, topped them with real butter and a smidgen of peanut butter and.... swoon!  I'm pretty sure my eyes literally closed and a smile came to my face.

I enjoyed those two slices of toast so much that I threw caution to the wind and went and made 2 more.  And I enjoyed EVERY. LAST. BITE.

I kept thinking to myself;  "It feels so amazing to just eat... toast!  I feel so normal!"

And those of you who are long term low-carbers KNOW WHAT I MEAN!  And the full feeling you get from a meal like that compared to the full feeling you get from meat, eggs and cheese, is just... different.

I made sure to read the ingredients and most were the exact ingredients I've personally used in some of my attempts at low carb bread over the years; but they've managed to perfect the amounts in ways I couldn't and used just a couple items that weren't available to me (or that I've just never heard of or tried).  It works. Kudos to them because I am so happy to have toast... that I wrote this entire post about it!

Ingredients: Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Oat Fiber, Almond Flour, Flax Seed Meal, Wheat Fiber, Wheat Protein Isolate, Modified Wheat Starch, Virgin Olive Oil, Yeast, Calcium Propionate, Enzyme, Vinegar, Salt, Stevia.

Great Low Carb Bread Company
Bread, Plain
16 oz.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 slice 1 oz. (28g)
Servings Per Container: 16
SmartPoints®: 1

Amount Per Serving

60
25
3
0
0
0
140
8
7
0
Net Carbs Minus Fiber

1
7



This week I've had my aforementioned peanut butter toast but it was incredible to also have toast with my eggs and bacon again.  I have used their bagels for a few years now - my favorite way to eat them is with cream cheese and slices of bacon!

The hamburger buns (linked below) were awesome with homemade low carb, sugar free sloppy joe's!  And using them as a garlic bread with low-carb chili was yummy!  We also used buns for my homemade chicken, feta, spinach patties which were grilled and always a hit with our family.

The other 'new to me' item used this past week was the pasta!  And I was a bit nervous about that one because I really didn't know if it was going to be 'pasta like' and good or another disappointment.  OH WOW.  YES!  PASTA!

I made a side-salad out of it.  Low carb rotini pasta with some homemade Italian dressing, basil, peppers, a bit of green onions, feta and a bit of mozzarella, some diced tomatoes....

All this bread and pasta and the scale did not go 'up'.




Here are the items I've personally tried... and love:





Bread
Great Low Carb Bread Company Bread











Low Carb Pasta
Great Low Carb Bread Company Low Carb Pasta













Hamburger Buns
Great Low Carb Bread Company Hamburger Buns












Bagels
Great Low Carb Bread Company Bagels













Bread
Great Low Carb Bread Company Bread











I have not bought some of their other items yet; like their pizza crust, bread crumbs, etc. because I make my own and I'm happy with them.  But for those of you interested... yes they offer them!



Pizza Crust
Great Low Carb Bread Company Pizza Crust













Sub Rolls
Great Low Carb Bread Company Sub Rolls










Macaroons!

Paleo Macaroons
Great Low Carb Bread Company Paleo Macaroons












... and this post is WAY longer than I anticipated so it's time to wrap it up!

All because I was so happy to eat peanut butter toast yesterday... and the bread was only ONE (1) NET CARB PER SLICE.  Happy Me.








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2/13/20

Zucchini Stir-fry - chicken, feta, peppers.... low carb and sugar free


 

Although I've not been posting very often, I certainly have been cooking!  Every day, every meal.  This one isn't even a real recipe, it's just something I throw together every once in awhile, and it's a huge hit every time.  

I use leftover chicken, zucchini and feta cheese as the 'must have' list and other things if we have them or I feel like it.  I use all sorts of leftover chicken, depending on what we have.  I think some leftover grilled chicken is the best, but any leftovers will do.  Seasoned or not.  If you don't have leftovers, just quickly cook a chicken breast or two, whichever way you like.  Microwave, grill, instant pot, even boil.  Adding a little seasoning will be best - even if it's just salt and pepper but anything you like is fine.

Zucchini Stir-Fry

2-3 zucchini, sliced, diced or chopped
Green onion or onion, chopped, sliced
mushrooms, sliced
yellow or orange peppers, sliced or chopped
oil of choice
fresh minced garlic
leftover cooked chicken pieces, chop, slice or dice
feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper

In a pan on the stove, heat a dash of oil and add the zucchini and green onions, peppers and mushrooms if you are using them.  Cook over medium high heat until they start to soften a bit, add a little fresh garlic to your own taste preference.  Add the cooked chicken, heat through and season with salt and pepper.  If you wish to add some dried red pepper flakes to this dish, you can - add them with the oil and vegetables at the beginning.  We've found we like simple olive oil, salt and pepper for the only flavorings. Top with crumbled feta, stir in a bit, and then serve!
 
Keep in mind your personal carb counts to determine how much garlic, onions, mushrooms and pepper you wish to use. 








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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2/4/20

Chocolate Trail Mix - Sugar Free and Low Carb

https://amzn.to/31qvULB

When I was a toddler, I recall my Mom melting chocolate chips, sugar, butter and peanut butter together and dropping them by teaspoon fulls on foil to make chocolate drops for a special dessert treat.  At other times, especially Christmas, we'd use this melted mixture to pour over dry roasted peanuts to make homemade chocolate covered peanuts and other chocolate covered candies (and leave out the peanut butter to make homemade turtles with pecans and caramel or peanut butter balls.)

After I was married and had my own family I continued to make those as well as use this simple mixture to pour over ChexMix to make People Puppy Chow - which is my son's favorite but I admit I didn't make it nearly as often as he would have liked!  In 2003 we became sugar free and low carb and back then it was not easy to find food products and ingredients to cook and bake with!  Atkins wasn't understood by the general population and all the copy-cat off-shoot versions that we have today didn't exist yet. I struggled for about 10 years to find ways to make some of our regular foods and today, it's SO easy.

Now?  I can find sugar free chocolate and chocolate chips as well as natural sweeteners right in my local Walmart and Publix grocery stores!  But if you can't, I've included some Amazon links below this post.  I buy my mixed nuts at Sam's Club because they are the best price but everything else I can find online or at Walmart and publix.


Sorry to say this isn't a specific recipe for those of you who like to be told exactly, precisely how much to use, down to the half teaspoon.  The amounts are guesstimates and you can change them up a little to what you like.  It's not rocket science.  Play with the recipe and use what you like and how much of some of the ingredients that you like. Also note the brands of ingredients you use will effect your carb and sugar gram count.  Look for zero sugar on your labels.

My husband LOVES this chocolate trail mix to snack on at work and on his hour plus long commute to work and home again every day. 


Chocolate Trail Mix

3 cups salted mixed nuts
2 cups whole cashews
1/2 - 1 cup sugar free, all bran cereal (the sticks kind, to add some crunch to the mix)
1/2 c sugar free coconut flakes
*whatever kinds of nuts or other items you wish to add - keep carbs & sugar free in mind
10-12 ounces sugar free chocolate chips (I used a mixture of Lily's Milk Chocolate and Hershey's Sugar Free)
2 T butter
1/2 - 3/4 c natural sweetener - confectioner's or whirl granulated in your food processor first
3/4 c peanut butter - lowest sugar content brand that you love
1-2 t vanilla extract

  • Lay a piece of foil out on your countertop.
  • In a large bowl place all your dry ingredients; the nuts, coconut, cereal and anything else sugar free and low carb you like in your mixtures.
  • In a microwaveable bowl place the butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips.  Microwave about a minute, stir.  If the chips are still quite hard, microwave another 30 seconds and stir again.  The heat from the butter and peanut butter will start to melt them.  Stir until melted, microwave another 20 seconds at a time if you need to but don't overcook the mixture.
  • Add the sugar substitute sweetener and vanilla.  Stir smooth.Taste and see if you want more sweetener, vanilla, etc.  If you want less peanut butter flavor, melt more chocolate chips with a little butter and add it to the mixture.  Stir and taste again.
  • Pour this over your mixed nuts/coconut/cereal in the bowl and stir until it's evenly distributed.
  • Dump out on the foil and spread it around.
  • Depending on how much chocolate mixture used compared to how much dry mixture you had, you might have a heavily covered mixture or a lightly covered mixture.  (Mine is light - you can still see the nuts through some of the chocolate).

If you want small pieces you grab by the handful, spread it apart.
If you want to have bite-sized chunks of the mixture, either press it with your hand or with a second piece of foil on top so the mixture is pressed together (like mine).

You can let it harden on the counter, or place the foil in the refrigerator or freezer to speed it up.  I grabbed small walnut sized portions, gently pressed them together a bit and dropped them into the empty mixed nuts container.  When it was filled, I placed the top back on and placed the whole thing in the refrigerator.  This way it's in both chunks and pieces, the way my husband likes and he can take the whole container to his office with him and keep it stored easily.

You can keep this on the counter or in the refrigerator.  If it's summer time or your house is kept really warm, you'll want to store this in the fridge.  If you've used a high ratio of peanut butter or butter compared to the chocolate, it won't harden as much as if your chocolate chip ratio is higher.  So a higher peanut butter/butter ratio would be best kept in the refrigerator so it stays hard.   














Member's Mark Deluxe Roasted Mixed Nuts With Sea Salt (34 Oz.)

  Milk Chocolate Baking Chips By Lily's Sweets | Stevia Sweetened, No Added Sugar, Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly | Fair Trade, Gluten-Free & Non-Gmo | 9 Oz, 3 Pack

Hershey's Sugar Free Semi-Sweet Baking Chips - 8 oz - 2 pk

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

Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener with Erythritol Confectioners (1 lb / 16 oz)






















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1/30/20

Lemon Muffins - Low Carb and Sugar Free 2020 version




About two weeks ago I bought a container of ricotta cheese intending to make a keto lemon cake, but... life.

So last weekend I used half the container to make a keto lasagna and hoped I'd have time to get around to the cake this week.  Which, I didn't.  But yesterday I realized had about 30 minutes free to whip up 'something' yummy to snack on for the next couple days and using up the ricotta cheese was my goal.

Although I wasn't in the mood for a cake and my husband isn't a 'cake' eater at all.  He loves cake, but it never occurs to him to eat it.  Ever.  If it's out of sight, it's out of mind and also, as sad as it sounds, he thinks "cutting a piece of cake" is just too much work.  But he will eat cupcakes (and muffins), if they are front and center, on the counter, where he can't miss them and can grab one or two 'on the go'.

A couple weeks ago I had bought the book; The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking - but I hadn't had time to look through it yet.  It's just been living on my kitchen counter.  I knew the lemon CAKE recipe I wanted, using ricotta was... somewhere... in a pile of binders, books and handwritten recipes but since I do a ton of baking, I figured I would open the 'baking' book - find ANY random muffin or cupcake recipe and just adapt it as I wanted to.

It just so happens I lucked out!  The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking has a lemon muffin recipe that uses ricotta!  I barely had to adapt it at all.  I did make a larger batch (making approximately 1 1/2 times what the recipe called for), used dried lemon zest, and didn't use the 2 tablespoons water, nor did I opt to use a glaze on the top.  I wanted to make sure I get the recipe and photo uploaded to my site collections so I can find it quick and easy in the future, as well as when I'm traveling or staying with friends or family and needing some of my recipes to make at their homes.

Lemon Muffins
Great to use up leftover ricotta

2/3 c ricotta (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 c granulated sweetener (I used 1 c So Nourished brand erythritol w/ Monk Fruit)
3 eggs (I used 4)
1 t grated lemon zest (I use 2 t dried lemon zest)
3/4 t lemon extract (I used about 2 heaping capfuls)
1/2 t vanilla extract (I used about teaspoon, didn't measure)
2 c almond flour (I used 3 cups)
1/4 c coconut flour (I used about 1/3 cup)
1 T baking powder (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/4 t salt (I used about a teaspoon)
2-4 T water (I didn't use at all)

Preheat oven to 325.  Line your muffin tins with paper liners.  The original recipe made about 12.  My version made 18.

In a food processor bowl, place the ricotta cheese, sweetener, eggs, lemon zest, extracts and blend.  Add the dry ingredients and process again just until smooth.  Wait about 30 seconds to see how thick your batter is as the coconut flour thickens the batter as it absorbs moisture.  If you need to add a little water you can do it now and blend again.

Fill your muffin tins. Bake 25-30 minutes until the tops are firm when you gently touch them.  Cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes and then you can remove to cool on a wire cooling rack (to keep the bottoms from getting soggy).  

You can top with a simple glaze if you wish - mix about 1/2 cup powdered natural sweetener with about 2 T lemon juice and drizzle.   Mine in the photo are plain. 






You might be interested in the book this recipe came from;


The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking





























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