NATIONAL BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE WITH ALMONDS DAY

tl-11-7-national-bittersweet-chocolate-with-almonds-day

Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla have been added.  It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate.  Recent studies have revealed health benefits from eating small quantities of bittersweet chocolate. Almonds have health benefits as well.
 So of course for this day I have a low-carb recipe for you! sacher-cake-1194524
LOW-CARB SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE HEAVEN CAKE
Ingredients:
10.5 oz. dark 70-75% chocolate
6 oz. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 Tbs. heavy cream
4 tsp. granulated Splenda
Instructions:
Melt chocolate & butter together over low heat in saucepan.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding vanilla extract.  In another bowl, beat eggs, cream and Splenda together for 3-4 minutes with a stick blender or hand whisk.  It will be frothy and remain runny.  Slowly add egg mix to chocolate mix in the saucepan, stirring constantly.  As you add more egg mix, the chocolate and butter will thicken to the consistency of custard.
Grease an 8″ round spring form pan with butter and line the loose bottom with parchment paper.  Push paper through the outer ring to seal and stop the cake batter from leaking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Garnish with slivered almonds, if desired.
The greater percentage of cocoa you use, the less sugar there is – but if you try to use anything higher than 75% it gets very bitter.  Most of the time I use 70% because it seems to be easier to find.  I get it at my local Walmart. 3b00db48ffe0a619
Feel free to put as much whipped topping on your cake as you want.  There are no carbs in Reddi Whip (my favorite).  Of course, I put it on my cake and immediately shoot a little in my mouth when nobody’s watching!  Just because I’m adult doesn’t mean I have to act like one.
I don’t know of any businesses with freebies today.  It’d sure be nice if our local nut shop would give some bittersweet chocolate and / or almonds away today.  Eating low-carb can get a little expensive.  That’s why I got so excited when I found 70% cacao bars at Walmart.  Score!!! 
Have a blessed day – and enjoy your cake!  🙂
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VEGAN BAKING DAY

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The awesome foods that do not raise blood glucose include:

☆ Eggs,
☆ avocado,
☆ Fatty nuts (walnuts pecans sunflower seeds almonds etc.),
☆ Dark green leafy veggies, i.e., “greens” ( mustard, kale, spinach, turnip greens), also lettuces
☆ Low carb crunchy veggies e.g., cucumber, celery, cabbage, bok choy, celery cabbage, green bell pepper,
☆ Any lean meat or
☆ fish,
☆ cheese (depending on the type this will give you protein & a smidge of fat or a whole bunch)
Greek yogurt, plain (be careful one cup will give you about 15 grams of carbohydrate and at least two to three servings in that 1 cup ),

and of course,
☆ herbs, spices etc… lots of flavor to our foods without adding tons and tons of carbohydrates or salts, provided you use straight season and not the seasoning salts {those are really just plain old table salt that’s been introduced do a minimum of herbs… you can make your own for far less money and far less salt}.

dessert-haiku

Just because you say VEGAN, it does not necessarily mean that you’re home free as far as baking goes.  Vegan can be low-carb, but it is not necessarily, so be careful.  This recipe does use a cup of all-purpose flour and a cup of non-dairy yogurt, but everything else looks “legal” for low-carbers.  Notice that is LOW CARB and not NO CARB.

Vegan Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Makes 1, 9×13″ sheet cake

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar-free cherry jam
1 ¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 cup Splenda
4 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

1) Grease your baking dish

Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil or cooking spray.

2) Prepare the cherry almond topping

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar-free cherry jam, almonds and set aside.

3) Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and set aside.

4) Build the batter

In a large bowl, cream the soft Vegan Butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the non-dairy yogurt, then beat in the Splenda, followed by beating in the arrowroot or tapioca flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread half of the batter into the baking dish then top with half of the cherry almond topping. Spread the other half of the batter into the baking dish, followed by the other half of the cherry almond topping.

5) Bake the vegan coffee cake to perfection

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Wait until cake is completely cooled if you’re going to remove it from the baking dish.

dieters-prayer

So…  maybe we can have our cake and eat it too.  🙂

A SALUTE TO ALL THINGS PUMPKIN

tl-9-23-a-salute-to-all-things-pumpkinIf I listed everything related to pumpkin, you’d be reading until next Tuesday!  This is my favorite time of year and most of the reason has to do with pumpkin everything!

  • PUMPKIN PATCHES

https://wichita.citymomsblog.com/fall/pumpkin-patches-in-wichita-2016/

  • PUMPKIN SONGS
  • PUMPKIN MUFFINS FROM STARBUCKS

Just keep in mind, these yummy cream cheese muffins are a whopping 53g carbs and 14g fat!  I do make a copycat recipe at home, however – it makes me feel less guilty.  Will I share it?  Well, of course!  My recipe will still have carbs because it uses all-purpose flour, which is what gives baked goods the bounce and great texture we love.  Does it have as many carbs?  No – I substitute Splenda for sugar and cream for milk.  Let’s make muffins!

COPYCAT PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

For the muffin:

1 cup Splenda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup pumpkin puree’

2 eggs

1/4 cup cream

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Splenda

1 tsp. vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put muffin liners in tins.  Stir pumpkin, oil and Splenda together in a large bowl.  DO THIS BY HAND.  Stir in eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda.  Stir in 1 cup flour, then stir in cream, then stir in remaining 1 cup flour.  Divide batter among muffin tins, filling 1/2 full.  Stir together cream cheese, Splenda and vanilla.  Drop 1 Tbs. onto the top of each muffin.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin part comes out clean.

Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.  Store in refrigerator.  You can freeze these for a quick snack later.

  • PUMPKIN HAIR MASK

Nope – I’m not joking!  Thanks to NaturallyCurly.com for this really great hair mask!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbs. honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put everything in a bowl and puree well.  If you don’t, you’ll end up with pumpkin chunks in your hair.  Separate hair in sections and smooth from root to tip all over.  Put on a shower cap and wait 20-30 minutes.  Shower and shampoo/condition as usual.

Fun Fact:  Pumpkin contains over 100 beneficial nutrients and is exceptionally high in beta carotene thus making it an ideal ingredient for hair products.

  • PUMPKIN SCENTED LOTIONS

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=4304786

Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin from Bath and Body Works – well, that really WORKS for me!  Have you tried it?  If they made that into a wax melt, I’d buy it!  Okay, I may not buy it if it’s super expensive, but I’d want to buy it.  😉

  • PUMPKIN WAX MELTS

Here’s how I roll on wax melts…  when I can get them for .89 a package from Bed, Bath & Beyond – I go for it!  There’s just one drawback to buying wax melts on the cheap…  I buy the fall and winter scents in the summer, and the spring and summer scents in the winter!  On a good day, I can buy up all they have and use my handy dandy coupon for more savings!

I’ll tell ya though – I don’t like paying upwards of $2 a package for them, so I buy the pumpkin scents in June, July and August because if I live long enough, autumn will show up eventually and it will be time to use them.

  • PUMPKIN POETRY

I have enjoyed sharing Lucinda’s poetry on my blog – and I know you’ve enjoyed reading it!  When I mentioned a salute to all things pumpkin, she got to work!  I thought I’d see one, maybe two poems at the most.  LOL – can you believe this…  she wrote a ton of pumpkin poems!!!  I couldn’t think of one to write – is this girl talented or what?

autumn-pumpkinsfall-on-the-farmpunkin-pieOh wait…  that one was mine – from like 3 years ago!  Thanks again to Matthew Deets for sharing a photo of his punkin’ pie!  I’m looking forward to some punkin’ pie pretty soon – with whipped cream on top!  Yum!  I did a non-scientific poll of my friends on facebook, asking what their favorite PUMPKIN thing is – and most said PIE – and I’m right there with ya – it’s pie for me too!  That’s my pumpkin thing, followed closely by the pumpkin spice coffee creamers – sugar free, of course.

Let’s enjoy some more pumpkin poetry from Lucinda:

autumn-times

pumpkins-and-patches

autumns-harvest

And a couple of poems I wrote to add – right at the last minute – whew!  Made it! 

the-orange-army

my-favorite-basketOf course, my favorite part of fall is decorating with my pumpkin baskets!

Nothing is more cute than seeing little people with little pumpkins – just so cute!!! 

pumpkins-just-their-size

We’ll be talking about this more on October 1st, but there’s some special pink pumpkins that are important to us.  Ladies, if you have not had your mammogram yet this year – get it done!  fall-awareness

There are so many ways to PUMPKIN-IZE your autumn!  Have some fun and make the most of the season.  Oh, and don’t forget to make the punkin’ pie!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)LC KEY LIME PIEThis has been such a fun journey with my friends!  Thanks to Deanna Stalnaker for sharing this recipe on facebook!  Even though we have shared great main dish and side dish recipes, what is life without a little dessert?  I was so tickled to see this because believe it or not, Key Lime Pie is my favorite – yeah, it really is!

Deanna said that even though the recipe calls for a 0.6 oz. package of sugar-free Jell-O, she uses the 0.3 oz. package.  So make a note of that.  😉

All people with healthy physical appetites have a sweet tooth somewhere in their heads.  – Macmillan’s Magazine, 1887

How about a low-carb strawberry cheesecake???  Yeah!  I’m on a roll.

I’m starting to like those pies with the ground pecan shells, aren’t you?

I’ve never before eaten a dessert, then tested and had my blood glucose be HAPPY!  I’m so excited about this…  I really am!

Pie…it fills the cracks of the heart. Go away, pain.  – Kevin James, Mall Cop

Did you see the movie, Mall Cop???  Kevin James cracks me up – and that’s a great movie!

So far I haven’t gone completely Atkins, but I think legal donuts sound really good!  I like “fair food” – and truth be told, that’s the real reason I go to our state fair every year.  :-/

So on those days when you don’t think you can live on low-carb and low-fat, know that you don’t have to.  There are alternatives to traditional high carbohydrate foods.  Aren’t we thankful for “the way of escape” recipes that keep blood glucose numbers happy?  I know I am!

Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.  – English proverb

What’s your favorite low-carb recipe?  Let me know in the comments below.  I believe we’re all here to help each other on this journey toward healthier blood glucose!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)There are times in life when you have to eat cake – one of those times is your birthday, right?  Does that mean your blood glucose has to get out of whack?  Not long ago I would have said, “Yes – yes it does.”  Now I’ve found a great recipe for chocolate cake that serves two people – and takes just three minutes to whip up!  Perfect for a couple like my husband and myself.sacher-cake-1194524_1920

THREE MINUTE CHOCOLATE CAKE

Makes 2 servings – 9 carbs – 4 net carbs

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C. almond flour

1 Tbs. cocoa

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. Splenda

2 Tbs. butter, melted

1 Tbs. water

1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and Splenda in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Stir in butter, water and egg.  Mix well.  Scrape batter down evenly with a rubber spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap and vent by cutting a small slit in the center.  Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute until set but still a little moist on top.  Cool slightly and serve warm with Reddi Whip.

If you are used to eating wedding cake with butter cream frosting, this will probably not taste wonderful to you, but if you’re like most of us and haven’t eaten wedding cake for years – and you avoid sweets as a general rule – you will notice that almond flour has a sort of “mealy” consistency, but if you can get past that, and appreciate that this cake will not cause your blood glucose to spike, you may find yourself yelling YEE-HAW because hey – this is the closest thing to chocolate cake you’ve eaten in a long time!

Almond flour is also much more expensive than all-purpose flour.  I rationalize spending the extra money by thinking of how much it cost to buy insulin every month.  My Levemir was costing about $400 a month.  A small sack of almond flour costs about $7.  I won’t eat too many things with it – but once in a while I want some pancakes or waffles – or some chocolate cake for a birthday celebration.

Isn’t it fantastic that we can eat a low carb diet that sometimes includes cocoa – and more to the point, know that our blood glucose will be happy?  I’m just so tickled with this discovery!

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHSometimes breakfast can be as simple as a bowl of steel-cut oats with a few blueberries on top.  Once in a while I just eat the blueberries by themselves.  I don’t always have to do much prep work to enjoy blueberries.BLUEBERRIES

I’d go to a lot of trouble to make a great coffee cake!  Fortunately, this recipe is not that difficult to follow, so I can have a piece of moist, melt in your mouth coffee cake in the afternoon with coffee.  At only 4g of carbohydrates per piece, there is absolutely no guilt associated with eating it.  That’s a wonderful feeling!

BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

Makes 16 servings, 3g carbohydrates each

INGREDIENTS:

Topping:

1 C. almond flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 C. Splenda

1/8 tsp. salt

4 Tbs. butter, chilled & cut into small pieces

Cream Cheese Layer:

6 oz. cream cheese

1 egg

1/4 C. Splenda

Cake Layer:

2 C. almond flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 C. Splenda

1/2 C. sour cream

2 Tbs. oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 C. blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9×9-inch pan with PAM.

Topping:
Mix 1 cup of the almond meal, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup sweetener, a pinch of salt and the 4 Tablespoons butter until crumbly. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Layer:
Mix cream cheese, 1 egg, and ¼ cup sweetener. Set aside.
Cake layer:
Mix 2 cups of almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup sweetener (if using a powder). Set dry ingredients aside. Blend the sour cream (or yogurt), oil, extracts, liquid sweetener (if using), and 2 eggs and mix well. Add the mixed dry ingredients and blend well.
Assembly:
Spread the cake layer in the pan, and spread the cream cheese on top (if it’s the larger amount of cream cheese, you won’t be able to spread it evenly, but that’s OK). Then sprinkle the blueberries on the cream cheese and the streusel on the top of that.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick not inserted into center comes out clean. Cool and slice.
It’s just as good as it sounds!  Enjoy!  🙂
UPDATE: I just this moment walked in the door from a doctor’s appointment.  My A1c has gone from 8.9 back in April to 6.2!!!  I told her that I’ve not been needing my Levemir and she told me I could discontinue it – PRAISE THE LORD!  But wait…  there’s more…  she also told me that I could take just ONE Metformin in the morning and ONE at night – I was taking TWO in the morning and TWO at night.
First, THANK YOU GOD for guiding me to the right pathway.  And thank you to my friends in the DOC and others on facebook for all the helpful hints, ideas, suggestions and kicks in the rear when I needed them!  And thank you to my doctor for being so patient with me…  for keeping that little voice in my head that said, add regular exercise and cut carbs.
Why do I post this here?  Because there are some who don’t believe that a little activity can make such a big difference in A1c numbers.  It can!  I take a 30 minute walk on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – and go to PLANET FITNESS to tone up and do more cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  It takes about an hour – and they have these amazing massage chairs – sitting in one of those is my reward for doing my workout.  That’s what I need – a NON-FOOD reward!
Life abundant is what God wants for all of us…  I challenge you to take the first step toward a healthy and ABUNDANT life.  ❤

 

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

Blueberries

Two blueberries lean together on a white napkin. They are the eyes of my grandmother, piercing me from the doorway in her small kitchen, gesturing that the ice cream is ready. Icy, freshly churned in the wooden bucket, we eat it together on the porch at dusk, and in the first, sloppy bite, is summer’s entirety. The long season sloshing around in my stomach, like a caged bird longing to be free.  – Diane Lockward

I like to have blueberry muffins in the morning once in a while with a cup of hot coffee.  Traditional recipes are about 30g of carbs per muffin.  I knew I had to find an alternative that was not so carb-rich.  This one seems to fit the bill.

Low Carb Blueberry Muffins
Regular size muffins are 7g carbohydrates each
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C. coconut flour
1/4 C. Splenda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. blueberries
INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix coconut flour, Splenda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, mix wet ingredients – eggs, butter and vanilla extract.  When well mixed, add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.  Add in blueberries.  You can use a regular 12 cup muffin pan or a 6 cup muffin pan for a larger muffin.  Scoop in batter until half filled.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
I’ve not used the 6 cup muffin pan because I’m happier with a smaller muffin.  Of course, trying to eat just one – well, let’s just say that’s a challenge.  😉