“Can’t believe it’s Low Carb” Bread – Gluten Free, Low Carb, Sugar Free

Hey guys, I’m back!Low Carb Bread

I’ve been quiet for a long time now, working offshore with limited internet access and no kitchen of my own. I just wanted to thank all my readers who have made such nice and inspiring comments on my blog. It’s such a treat to get feedback!

I’m back in action for a while at least and thought I would kickstart with an all time favourite… Bread

The dreaded word for low carbers. Staring at us from the bakery isle, steaming wafts of gluteny goodness. Well, no more, my friends! For I have found a rare treasure on my travels (okay I’m over exaggerating). For all the Northern Suburb Capetonians, or online shoppers, check this out: Creeds Low Carb Bread Mix (6g carbs per loaf)

Also sold at the health store in Willowbridge, Bellville, next to the Pick n Pay for R70. Tip: While you’re there, get xylitol at the winner price of R100/kg.

I was actually looking for almond flour to make my own low carb bread, using a recipe I got from my trusty Wheat Belly Recipe Book. Instead I found this mix, and boy I’m glad I did. Add some eggs, salt, butter, honey (or xylitol) and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Voila! It’s really good, guys. I’m very impressed.

But for those who can’t access this mix, make your own (all flours can be found at any Dischem, or grind them yourself using a coffee grinder)

1 cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1/4 cup Flaxseed Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbs Xylitol

5 Eggs
1/4 cup Coconut oil / Melted butter
1 tbs Buttermilk / Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a food processor and pulse.
Pour into a oiled bread pan.
Bake at 180 C for 30 minutes.

If you cut 24 slices: carbs per slice = 3 g carbs.
64 g carbs
per loaf. Calculated via myfitnesspal.com

Or like me, you can just make the dry ingredients mix, and make tiny little loaves (with your tiny loaf pan) as you want to eat them. Because, let’s face it, there’s no bread like steaming fresh bread. Especially with butter melting on top!Image

Heaven!

Aaaaand.. I’ll probably just eat the whole loaf in one go, so tiny ones are better.

Low Carb Product of the Day – All Gold Light Tomato Sauce

Low Carb All Gold Tomato SauceWhat’s a boerewors without All Gold?

For those who are not aware, tomato sauce is packed with sugar. Boooo! Luckily All Gold has decided to rescue the naked low carb boerewors (as delicious as it is) with its sugar free Light Tomato Sauce. I’ve tried it and it was tomatoey enough for me, guilt free! There is some sugar from the tomatoes, but it totals to about 1g carb / 16 g serving. So try not to guzzle it straight from the bottle, as tempting as it may sound.

Now, summer braai with free abandon!

 

Sugar Free Ice Tea – 1 Minute Prep Low Carb

Low Carb, Sugar Free Ice TeaIt’s summer and it’s ice tea time!
There are so many delicious ice teas on the market, but so few of them are low carb. Lipton has a sugar free peach or lemon ice tea and Elgin also has punch, peach and lemon flavours (which are nice and tangy, but a bit too sweet). But I want more!!

Here is a quick and easy, low carb version:

1 500 ml Bottle (Empty Coke bottel, etc.)
1 Teabag (Flavoured tea is nice)
500 ml Water
1 Sachet Sweetener
1 Lemon Quarter
Mint leaves or Cucumber slices are optional

Basically just mix everything together and store in the fridge for a few hours. Or you can leave it outside for 30 minutes and chuck some ice blocks in it and drink!

Some flavoured teas for thought:

I used Bois Cheri Mauritian Coconut Flavour Tea (they sell it at Vredehoek Spar)
Woolworths has a great selection, like the Peach flavour.

 

Feasting on Pizza Toppings the Low Carb Way

pizzaThe hardest part of any diet is incorporating it into your social life. Especially when it involves an outing to the pizzeria. Last night I inspected the menu with my well-trained low carb eye and decided on a steak with salad. But then… the smell of delicious, mouth watering grilled mozzarella filled my nostrils. I couldn’t face watching my friends feast on on melted cheesy goodness right next to me! But cheese is low carb, right? And so are most of the other pizza toppings!

Yes, my fellow low carbers, I ordered a pizza, picked up my fork and proceeded to scoop off the toppings… and it was delicious. I left the sad-looking, gluten and carb-filled base right there and left the restaurant feeling satiated and satisfied. Yes, people looked at me funny and I might have tried to shamefully hide my naked pizza base by cutting it up and stacking it into a tower (which didn’t work, big surprise). But I’m a low carber and I’ll own it! Don’t fall under the mocking looks of your friends, you’re eating the best part of the pizza AND losing weight. Winning at life :)

Low Carb Product of the Day – Canderel Green

Canderel Green SteviaI’m always looking for new sweeteners to fool my sweet tooth and I’m excited to see a new Canderel on the market! This is marketed as a Stevia product, which is a non-nutritive sweetener often used for baking. Interestingly enough, the bulk of the product actually consists of erythritol, a sugar-alcohol similar to xylitol but BETTER.

From Wikipedia: “In the body, most of the erythritol is absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine, and then for the most part excreted unchanged in the urine. About 10% enters the colon.[5] Because 90% of erythritol is absorbed before it enters the large intestine, it does not normally cause laxative effects, as are often experienced after consumption of other sugar alcohols (such as xylitol and maltitol),[6] although extremely large doses can cause nausea and borborygmi.[7]

The reason I’m excited about this is because I’ve been trying to find erythritol in SA, but could only find Xylitol in the local shops. Also, I’ve heard that erythritol can “caramelize”, something I really need to experiment on. My first project will be this: Salted Peanut Caramel Clusters (low carb and gluten free). It sounds to good to be true!

Canderel Green Nutritional Info

How is there 2g of Carbs in a 1.5 g stick, I don’t know…
You might freak out when you see the 98% carbs like I did initially, but we need to remember that sugar alcohols are counted as carbs. These carbs are undigestible and will pass through your body with no impact on your blood sugar. Isn’t that just heavenly?

 

Let me know what you’re experience is with Canderel Green :)

Crispy Salmon on Cauliflower Mash – Low Carb for Kings

I started off my induction with a bang!Crispy Salmon Low Carb

Look at this picture. Just look at it. Does that look like diet food? It sure didn’t taste like it :)
Soft, juicy salmon fillet with a black pepper encrusted skin on a bed of creamy parmesan cauliflower mash. Life doesn’t get better than this, my friends.

Cauliflower Mash:

Head of Cauliflower
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan

Boil the cauliflower in water until soft.
Mash it up in a food processor.
Add butter and parmesan and mix.

Thanks to Gordon Ramsay for this fantastic recipe:

Crispy Salmon:

Salmon Fillet
Olive Oil
Salt
Black Pepper

Turn the fillet skin side up.
Score the skin with diagonal cuts (about 5mm deep).
Rub salt and pepper inside the cuts.
Heat oil in a pan until hot and add fillet skin side down.
Wait until fillet has cooked 2/3rds.
Flip fillet and cook for another minute.
Serve on a comfy bed of mash and devour :)

Sugar Free for Summer! – Low Carb, Sugar Free Drinks

I’m back!coke zero, low carb, sugar free

I’ve returned from a bout of carb bingeing  followed by severe calorie restriction. Yes, my low carb friends, I fell of the wagon… It happens to all of us, but luckily we return with renewed vigour! Especially after the horrors of calorie restriction. So much lentil soup… bleurgh.

To get me back on track, I’ve started the Atkins induction. For those of you who are not aware of what this is, it’s a two week phase of only 20g carb intake per day (15 g of which must come from veggies). This allows your body to effectively switch over into fat burning mode. Which is the mode I would very much like to be in for bikini season :)

Of course I must start my new low carb phase by stocking up on low carb goodies. This got me thinking that some of you might like to hear about all the sugar free drinks we have available in SA. Coke Light is awesome and everything, but it is not the end-all and be-all of sugar free drinks. We all know the first step of low carbing is Ditch. Sugary. Drinks. Taking in 16g of sugar just to quench your thirst? Not worth it.

A world of sugar free goodness awaits you!

Soda:fanta zero, low carb, sugar free

Coke Light and Coke Zero
Stoney’s Ginger Beer Zero 2L
Sprite Zero
Fanta Orange Zero 2L – This tastes like real Fanta!!

Ice Tea:

Lipton Peach Ice Tea Light
Elgin Dew Peach, Lemon or Punch Lite

Concentrates:

Sodastream Cola Sugar Free – Splendasodastream sugar free, low carb
Sodastream Cranberry and Raspberry Sugar Free – Splenda
Sodastream Lemonade Sugar Free – Splenda
Brookes Low Cal Lemon-Lime, Oros, Passion Fruit
Slimsy Squash

(Please check the carb count and sweeteners for these when you’re browsing the aisles, the info on the web is scarce!)

Woolworths:

Woolworths Sugar Free Ginger Beerwoolworths sugar free ruby grapefruit, low carb
Woolworths Sugar Free Lemonade
Woolworths Sugar Free Orangeade
Woolworths Sugar Free Ruby Grapefruit
Woolworths Bitter Orange Sugar Free
Woolworths Ginger Ale Sugar Free
Woolworths Dry Lemon Sugar Free
Woolworths Tonic Water Sugar Free

(Yay for Woolworth’s interesting and yummy variation in Sugar Free drinks!)

Energy Drinks:red bull sugar free, low carb

Red Bull Sugar Free

With a list like this, who needs sugar?
I would love to hear back from you guys on your personal experience with sugar free drinks and any products I can add to my list :)

Chickpea Shortbread/Fudge – Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Low GI

chickpea shortbread fudge, low gi, gluten free, sugar freeButtery, caramelized goodness.
I wouldn’t call this low carb, but it can definitely form part of a low carb diet if you don’t overdo it. Treat it as a treat (sorry, I couldn’t think of another way to say it). It’s not going to spike your blood sugar or give you gluten belly and wow it tastes yum! Getting that chickpea flour nice and browned is the trick to awesome tasting biscuits.
This is actually a chickpea fudge recipe, but that involved stirring the mixture on the stove constantly for 50 minutes. Hell no!
I’ll give you my lazy friendly version for fudgy shortbread stuff:

2 Cups Chickpea Flour
200g Butter (this is what makes it either shortbread or fudge, less butter more crumbly shortbread, more butter more creamy fudge)
4 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 Cup Xylitol or sweetener to taste

Rub the milk into the chickpea flour until you have a crumbly mixture.
Add sweetener.
Melt the butter and mix it with the flour mixture. Mix properly.
Spread it out in an ovenproof dish.
Place it under the grill.
Wait for an amazing aroma to come out of the oven (a few minutes). Check if its golden brown and bubbly. Yes?
Okay, remove from oven and stir it all up and get it properly mixed. Spread out the mixture in the pan and return to the oven under the grill.chickpea shortbread, low gi, gluten free, sugar free
Repeat process about 4 or 5 times. This is my lazy version to stirring the mixture on the stove for 50 minutes (which you are welcome to do). What we want is to have the chickpea flour browned by toasting the top layer and then mixing it back in.
Be careful that it doesn’t burn, the process tends to speed up after a while.
When you feel that your mix has been properly browned, remove from oven, mix it up and press it down in the pan nice and firm. Don’t use your hands, use the back of a spoon. It’s hot!
Leave it to set outside or in the fridge.

DEVOUR
I also think this is the perfect pie base for any low carb desert.

 

 

Mini Aubergine Pizza – Low Carb, Gluten Free

Let’s satisfy that pizza craving quick ‘n easy :)aubergine mini pizza, low carb, gluten free
I’ve made this before, but struggled to get the aubergine nice and firm. I adapted this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen (check it out for a more detailed and tasty recipe) by Julia Child. Not only low carb, but delicious and a great way to get in your daily veggies :)

This recipe is a bit more simple (because I am inherently lazy):

1 Fat Aubergine
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
Tomato Pasta Sauce
1 Teaspoon Crushed Garlic (optional)
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan or your favourite strong cheese
1/3 Cup Grated Mozarella
Slices of your favourite meats: bacon, ham or salami

Slice aubergine into 2 cm thick slices.
Sprinkle on salt and let it sit for 30 min to draw out the water (this is the trick to prevent mushy, soft aubergine bases).
Heat the oven to 190 C.
Dab the aubergine with a paper towel to get rid of excess water and salt.
Brush with oil and sprinkle seasoning on slices.
Place on oiled tray into oven for 25 min – don’t let them get mushy!
Remove the aubergine and set the oven to grill.
Smear a teaspoon or more tomato pasta sauce onto the slices. Rub in some garlic too if you like.
Add your cheese and meat (the more the merrier!)
Grill until the cheese has browned – this will take about 5 min, don’t let it burn.

Hmmm.. have some tasty pizza yums.

Milk Tart Cupcakes – Low Carb, Gluten Free, Sugar Free

Milk tart cupcakes, low carb, gluten free, sugar freeA South African delicacy and one I’ve refused to live without:
Creamy Milk Tart with hints of cinnamon. Hmmmm…

Those of you who have made milk tart before will know it has a milk and flour base. Not anymore! I changed the based to a creamy egg custard with cinnamon. Tastes the same, if not MORE awesome. Egg custards need patience (something I don’t really have), but it pays off: Creamy, smooth yumminess. If you’re impatient it will end up as sweet scrambled eggs. Yeah, this has happened to me and I’m ashamed to admit that I still ate it.

If you want an actual milk tart and not cupcakes, this recipe can easily be converted by using an almond flour pie crust:

Almond Flour Shortcake Crust

1 Cup Almond Flour
60 g Melted Butter
3 Tablespoons Xylitol
Pinch of Salt

Heat oven to 180 C.
Mix ingredients and press into bottom of pan.
Bake until golden – about 10 to 20 minutes.

Cupcakes

2 Cups Almond Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
100 g Xylitol or Sweetener to taste
Pinch of salt
4 Eggs
30 g Melted Butter
1 Tablespoon Milk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Essence

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Mix ingredients properly.
Spoon into cupcake holders or if you’re awesome like me, spoon into your very own CUPCAKE MAKER.
Bake until firm and golden brown for about 2o minutes. If you have a cupcake maker, it will only take 5 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool and then remove the core for filling later (and eat it).

Milk Tart Egg Custard Filling

1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Cream
60 g Xylitol, or sweetener to taste
6 Large Egg Yolks
1 Cinnamon Stick or 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Mix the milk, cinnamon and cream and heat it in a saucepan until it starts to simmer.
Whisk the sweetener and egg yolks until it becomes a light yellow.
Add the hot cream to the egg mixture while constantly stirring.
Okay, this is where the patience comes in…
Return the mixture to the saucepan and stir over medium to low heat (rather too low than too high). You do not want this mixture to reach boiling point.
Constantly stir and anxiously watch your beautiful egg custard thicken into creamy deliciousness.
If it starts to form clumps… I’m sorry, there’s no turning back. You can either make peace with it and eat it still, or start over.
Now your custard has reached it optimal thickness. I usually see it when the spoon leaves a slight indented trail for a a second while stirring.
Remove the custard from the heat, let it cool slightly and add the vanilla.

Spoon the mixture into your empty cupcakes or pour it into you pie crust. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Let it cool in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually made the pie version of this, so I’m unsure as to whether the custard will set properly. You can play around with it and maybe add two extra egg yolks. Either ways it will still be delicious!