Low Carb Donuts

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I have not tried these yet, but the look delicious, and I need to try them sometime …

Mix
1/4 cup baking cocoa (sugar free)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda. (I was out so I used baking powder. Ha! You do what you can.)
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 Tbs sugar-free maple syrup

Bake 15-18 min at 350 degrees

Glaze:

A handful of Lily’s chocolate chips and some coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and nuked them together for about 30 seconds. Then I stirred in about 5-6 drops of stevia.

Voila! Low carb chocolate donuts WHILE maintaining healthy blood sugars.

Thanks to the “Let Me Be 83: My Dude with Diabetes” Facebook group for this one, I can’t wait to try them out …

Here is a direct link to the recipe.

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Alternative for Mixed Spice

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I was making a low carb carrot cake for my son’s birthday and the recipe called for mixed spice. It’s the first time I’ve made a recipe that called for mixed slice, and add such I didn’t have any in the kitchen.

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The alternative that I came up with using is to use cinnamon and nutmeg in a 2:1 ratio, so 2 parts cinnamon to 1 part nutmeg in place of mixed spice.

Using this alternate for mixed spice turned out pretty good, and the gluten free, lactose free, low carb carrot cake was a winner for our son’s 14th birthday…

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All About Lactose Intolerance

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Milk or Cream in Cooking

Best alternative for milk or cream for cooking is coconut milk or coconut cream, just need to watch out for additives in the milk or cream. For use in soups, almond milk could be a good substitute.

Lactose Free Cheese

Finding lactose free cheese is important, and something that I thought we would have a lot of problem finding. I’ve been learning a lot of cheese, especially aged cheeses, is naturally lactose free.

So aged cheeses, like Cheddars, Colby, Jack, Swiss, and Parmesan contain zero grams of lactose. (source)

A good way to check the lactose content, if it is not listed separately, is to look at the sugar content of the cheese. Generally speaking, a lower sugar content means lower lactose. Lactose will be listed in the cheese in the sugars line.

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Some cheese and milk, like Liddells lactose free cheese, actually have added lactase enzyme to break down the lactose to make it more digestible. Lactase is an enzyme that is naturally produced in our small intestine, but for people with lactose intolerance, there is either not enough, or none being produced. Artificial lactase is most often extracted from yeast and from molds (source). The effectiveness of added lactase tends to vary from person to person in alleviating their lactose intolerance symptoms.

Other food ingredients that may contain lactose:

  • Milk Powder
  • Milk Protein
  • Milk Solids
  • Nonfat dry milk
  • Whey
  • Whey solids or protein

Sources:

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What is the Ingredient “Flavour”?

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What is Flavour Ingredient

Recently we were looking more closely at the food labels in our pantry, and at what ingredients are there. For health reasons we have been attempting to eat more naturally, and have a better idea of what is in our foods. While looking at many of our canned goods and sauces we came across the rather bland ingredient of “flavour”.

That was rather non-descript, so I decided to contact the company that makes one of the canned items in question, and this is the response that I got:

The flavour used is of synthetic origin.  The actual profile of the flavour cannot be disclosed as it is proprietary information.

I was shocked to be honest!

It was always my understanding that we were supposed to be told about what was in our foods, I did not know that companies were allowed to put “secret” natural or artificial ingredients in food that we eat!

Amazingly it seems that the rights of companies to maintain their “proprietary information” is greater than our rights as consumers to know what we are putting into our bodies. We aren’t even allowed to know if the “flavour” or “flavouring” is natural or artificial in origin. Apparently there are over 2000 secret man-made flavour additives that don’t need to be identified by name or number. So while I have been trying to avoid numbered ingredients, the innocuous label of “flavour” has slipped by me.

The Food Intolerance Network has a great article about Flavours and Flavour Enhancers that goes into a lot more detail.

In the future our family will be avoiding the ingredient “flavour” or “flavouring”.

Photo credit: Margarine via photopin (license)

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Using Psyllium Husks in Gluten Free Baking

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Xanthan and Guar Gum is a common addition to Gluten Free baking to make up for the lack of binding that comes from the lack of gluten. Both Guar and Xanthan Gum can be difficult for some people to digest, and can lead to bloating and digestive problems.

A natural replacement for Xanthan and Guar Gum can be Psullium Husks. Finding the correct ratio for the replacement of the Gums for Psyllium Husks has always eluded me, until I read The How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook Volume 2.

Here are the ratios that the book recommends:

  • Baked Goods (except drop biscuits) – 2 tsp Psyllium Husk to replace 1 tsp Xanthan or Guar Gum
  • Drop Biscuits / Cookies – 5 tsp Psyllium Husks to replace 1 tsp Xanthan or Guar Gum

Woolworths Macro Psyllium Husk

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One Pot Spaghetti Bolognese

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Ingredients:
  • 2 x tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 x jar pasta sauce
  • 250g spaghetti noodles
  • 1 x medium diced onion
  • 500g ground beef, veal, turkey, or chicken
  • 1 x clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Directions:
  1. Heat up olive oil in deep saucepan over medium heat
  2. Brown beef and onion for about 10-minutes unless onion is transparent
  3. Add minced garlic and cook for one more minute
  4. Add beef broth and pasta sauce, stir through and bring to a boil
  5. Add the pasta noodles
  6. Cook until noodles are cooked
  7. Add parmesan cheese and stir through
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Slow Cooker Beef or Lamb Curry

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Ingredients:
  • Cooking Spray
  • 3 x diced sweet potatoes
  • 500g diced lamb or beef
  • 2 x diced medium onions
  • 1 x 400g can of tomatoes w/ juice
  • 2 x cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 x beef stock cube
  • 2 tbsp Keen’s Curry Powder
  • 150 g spinach
  • 2/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • 250g peas
Directions:
  1. Spray slow cooker bowl with cooking spray
  2. Add sweet potatoes, meat, onions, tomatoes and juice, garlic, water, beef stock cube, and curry powder to the bowl and stir it all together
  3. Cook on low temperature for 7-hours
  4. Add the spinach and yoghurt to the slow cooker bowl and stir through
  5. Cook for another 25-minutes
  6. Add the peas to the bowl and stir through
  7. Cook for a further 5-minutes

Serve curry over steamed rice.

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Creamy Chicken and Tomato Pasta

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Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g chicken breast cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 250g spiral pasta
Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Heat oil and sauté onion until tender, salt and pepper chicken pieces and add to the pan along with the garlic, cook until cooked through.
  3. Add can of diced tomatoes, including juice, to the onion and chicken an heat until bubbling. Add butter, milk, and cheese to the pan. After it has simmered for a while to reduce the sauce, add  the basil and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the chicken pan and stir to combine.
  5. Salt the dish just enough to bring out the flavour of the basil.
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Crispy Ginger Beef

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb flank steak or sirloin steak, sliced into narrow strips
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Preparation:

  1. Place cornstarch in a large bowl.
  2. Add water gradually while whisking.
  3. Beat eggs into cornstarch mixture.
  4. Toss in beef and stir to coat.
  5. Pour 1 inch of oil into pan (I used a pot, it helps cut down on splashes), heat until boiling hot, but not smoking.
  6. Add a quarter of the beef to the oil.
  7. Separate with a fork and cook, stirring frequently, until crispy, Remove, drain on paper towel and set aside.
  8. Repeat until all the beef is cooked.
  9. Drain off all oil except for about 1 tablespoons and add carrots, onion, ginger, and garlic in that order.
  10. Stir fry briefly over high heat.
  11. Combine last 5 ingredients and add to vegetable mixture.
  12. Bring to a boil and then add beef.
  13. Heat through and serve immediately.

Source: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/CRISPY-GINGER-BEEF-50004915

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Pan Fried Elk Recipe

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We were blessed with a bunch of cuts of elk from a friend at church. As I haven’t cooked much game meat before I have been a bit apprehensive to cook it, even though every time I have tried it has turned out pretty well.

Tonight I decided to have a go at making Country-Fried Elk steak for dinner. I followed this recipe and it came out fantastic!

I also did some roast mini-potato, steamed vegetable and some gravy that I made from the drippings. The recipe I linked to called for “milk gravy”, but I just made my usual meet gravy and it came out a treat.

Next time I get some elk stakes I am definitely doing this one again …

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