But it is definitely a vegetable and Keto All-Star!
Yesterday we talked about cauli-rice and today I want to talk about cauli-mashers. This is another go to side that is quick and versatile.
I started with frozen organic cauliflower, but you can absolutely use fresh!! I like to keep the frozen organic cauliflower and organic chopped spinach on hand. These are great for fast weeknight dinners.
After the cauliflower is soft move it to a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, heavy cream, and/or sour cream. Then mash and mix together just like like if you were making mashed potatoes. I use an immersion hand blender and this is done in a snap.
Salt and pepper to taste and feel free to add chives, garlic, and parsley. The amounts of vitamins packed into herbs are incredible plus they make it pretty! They can be served immediately or put into the oven to crust to top.
Tonight I added cheese to the top and popped everything back into the oven to melt and meld it all together.
Even the incredibly picky three year old enjoyed them!
This is one of our favorite tricks for sprucing up dishes with a little extra texture.
I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, but it really works, and the kids love it, while getting their veggies at the same time. Mine can’t tell the difference!
Start with a large head of cauliflower, a nice sharp knife, a food processor and a foil lined baking sheet.
Cut your cauliflower into small florets and rinse in a colander.
Let the cauliflower dry for a bit and then add to your food processor a little at a time. If you do too much at once you will get some clumps.
Then PULSE your food processor until the cauliflower resembles snow. Don’t over pulse or you will get a puree.
After each batch, scrape the pulsed cauliflower out onto your cookie sheet. If you have larger pieces, just throw them back in with the next batch.
When it is all “snow” you should have a nice full cookie sheet of “rice”!
Bake in the oven on 350 degrees until the top is just starting to turn golden. I take it out a few times and toss it around to make sure it is all getting cooked through. This will remove the rest of the moisture and you will have a great side dish in about 25 to 30 minutes.
We generally use the rice under Indian dishes like Tiki Marsala or Curry, but we also serve as a side topped with Kerrygold!
Grilled broccoli may sound a little strange but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Almost any vegetable can be grilled with fantastic results. Here are a couple ideas and tips to get you going:
Veggies to try: Broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, peppers (any color or type), zucchini, squash, onion, cabbage, Brussels, etc
Consistent size is important, make sure your veggies are all roughly the same size or you may end up with bites more done than others. They do not have to be bite sized-just similar.
Season well! Start with high QUALITY salt and pepper then get creative.
Butter or Ghee (Not Olive Oil! Olive oil is great for your cool salad but not great for high temperature cooking/grilling. You can learn more here:http://www.savorylotus.com/5-reasons-to-stop-cooking-with-olive-oil/ )
Foil lined grill basket. This will make clean up a snap and help avoid flare ups from the melting butter goodness. In a pinch you can make a foil tray by simply crunching up the edges on heavy duty foil but be very careful this will be flimsy and hot!
Ready to grill
This is our well loved circle basket with removable handle.
Clean up does not get easier!
Keep an eye on your veggies! You know how “done” you like your veggies. Plus, unlike meat and fish, its easier to tell by sight when veggies are done and you can taste test without worry!
So how do I cook these so they are Keto and the kids inhale them? It is super simple!
I always make these on a day that I cook a lot of bacon for breakfast!
2 lbs Brussel Sprouts
1/2 white onion chopped
4-6 cloves garlic
8-10 pieces of bacon with drippings
Salt and Pepper
Cook a foil lined cookie sheet of bacon on 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. I can usually cook 10 to 12 large pieces on a sheet. You can do more batches of bacon to get more drippings if you like. I did two batches for 2 pounds of Brussels. This way you have bacon for breakfast, and the rest left over for dinner!
Remove bacon to a paper towel after it is cooked, and leave all drippings on the cookie sheet.
Rinse and drain your Brussel Sprouts in a colander.
Cut off ends, and throw in the trash. Quarter the sprouts and place in a large mixing bowl. These Brussels were huge so I had to cut some of them into eighths.
Dice your onion and peel and mince your garlic. We like a lot of garlic, but you can adjust to your taste.
Add onion and garlic to your Brussel Sprouts and mix well.
Pour your mixture over your bacon drippings on your cookie sheet and toss to coat.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place in the oven at 400 degree for about 15 minutes.
Crumble cooked bacon and toss into the Brussel Sprouts. Cook an additional 5 minutes, and serve.
Please read this article that gives a synopsis about why our dietary guidelines are all wrong! Our bodies were meant to consume fat, and as a species, we have for 99.999999 percent of our existence on Earth. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that Ancel Keys came into the picture and changed everything about the US diet based on false science and a huge ego! We hope you find this educational and as interesting as we do!
Here are some good ways to begin your day with great fats to start you off with loads of ENERGY!!!!!
Drink your Bulletproof Coffee!
It is the best way to start your day!
Quality Coffee or Tea (Chai and English Breakfast are good) of Your Choice
Add in to your taste:
1 or 2 TBSP Grass-fed Butter
1 TBSP Coconut oil (or more – We use 2 to 3 TBSP)
Stevia drops (So many flavors – I like Vanilla)
Heavy Whipping Cream
Use a milk-frother to mix it VERY well!
If you still see oil on the top, mix it some more!
There are so many options!
Play with it a little at a time and you will get it just the way you like it!
It will give you an immediate burst of energy to send you out the door.
For those in your family that don’t drink tea or coffee, (i.e. your children) this is a great breakfast. We do a lot of scrambled eggs (Pasture Raised), poached eggs, fried eggs, boiled eggs, and egg casseroles made with breakfast sausage and cream. You can even do crustless quiches, omelets, and frittatas. The kids love the sustained energy it gives them until lunch. You can also mix up your breakfast meats with bacon, sausage, chorizo, ham, Canadian bacon, etc. And don’t forget the cheese and homemade salsa for some extra zing!
Did you know eggs are one of the most ideal and perfect foods we have been given?
Along with whole milk, eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.
The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. And brain development and memory may be enhanced by the choline content of eggs.
Proven Health Benefits of Eggs:
They are loaded with nutrients, some of which are rare in the modern diet.
The health benefits of eggs have been confirmed in human studies.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.
A whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a baby chicken.
A single large boiled egg contains:
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
Folate: 5% of the RDA.
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.
Eat your eggs! The AHA revised their guidelines for eggs back in 2000, so eat up!
I know our children love yogurt, especially those fun, brightly colored, cartoon character covered, sugary yogurt drinks! It is the first thing they go for in the dairy section! Why? They are loaded with sugar! Even the “all natural” or organic yogurt drinks, squeezes and smoothies have added sugar usually listed as the second ingredient. Yogurt and milk already have a lot of sugar naturally from the lactose, but then you add the fructose from the added fruit, and the sucrose from the added sugar, and you have a sugar trifecta!
Here is a better option…
Maple Hill offers GRASS-FED WHOLE MILK yogurt and yogurt drinks! I found these at Central Market. Milk from Grass-Fed cows is hard to come by, and yogurt from Grass-Fed cows is especially hard to come by! Whole milk yogurt? – This is the only one I have found without added sugar! Sooo…if you are looking for a better option for your kids this is it!
Maple Hill Creamery PLAIN Drinkable Yogurt
It is a whopping 12 oz serving which usually lasts at least a couple of days. Write their name with a Sharpie on the container and store in the fridge with the resealable cap.
Total Fat: 17g, Total Carb 17g, and Total Sugar (all from lactose – no added sugar) is 17g
When you compare this to the tubes and squeezes (the healthier ones listed below) it is half the sugar and triple the healthy fat needed for brain development!
Note, that they do have flavors but they are loaded with sugar too, so pick the Plain and add any multitude of flavors with Stevia drops. Just a few drops (5-6 drops is sufficient for my children) and shake. You can get these at Central Market, Whole Foods, Sprouts or any other nutrition store. My kids love the lemon and orange flavors in this yogurt!
There are two others that I used to buy:
1. Lifeway Organic PROBUGS because it is a Whole Milk Kefir, but sugar is the second ingredient. For a 4 oz serving, it contained 4g of fat, 10g of Carbs, and 10g of Sugar.
2. Siggis Tubes because it claims to have less added sugar. This one is worse because it uses low fat milk and still has sugar as the second ingredient. For a 2 oz serving, it contains 1g of fat, 7g of Carbs, and 6g of Sugar. This is a whole teaspoon of sugar in a measly 2 ounces, and it is one of the lower sugar options!
Between the two above, the PROBUGS would actually be the better option because of the whole milk, and ounce for ounce it actually has less sugar.
And…these were the BEST options I could find BEFORE Maple Hill! The others are FAR, FAR worse!
Why Whole Milk?
The closer to zero-fat milk you go, “the more you eliminate fatty acid benefits,”. You also eliminate naturally occurring Vitamins A and D, which are then added synthetically. And you add powdered milk, which contains artery-hardening oxidized cholesterol, for “mouth feel.”
This makes skim milk a highly processed, additive-laden, synthetic, vitamin-laced beverage that – oh, yeah – has protein. Skim milk increases weight because “once you take out the fat from milk, all you have left is sugar.” And…Your growing child needs fat for a healthy growing brain! Fat is a far superior fuel for the brain than glucose!
Grass-fed cow’s milk comes from cows who have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet for much of their life. Grass feeding improves the quality of cow’s milk, and makes the milk richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and CLA (a beneficial fatty acid named conjugated linoleic acid). All of this is better for the brain!
I always make my Sprouts run on Wednesdays because it is double ad day, meaning you get all of last week’s sales, plus the sale prices on the items for the following week! It is usually a really great deal for produce. Not everyone wants to make the trek over to 1-10 and Callaghan or 281 and 1604, but this week is worth it! All supplements are 25% off, and if you spend more than $100 you get an additional 10% off. This also includes items like Jay Robb Whey Protein and Stevia products! It is worth the trip this week!
I got some great products on sale today and stocked up on:
Bulk Cashews (only in moderation folks)
Grass Fed Whole Milk for the kids
Cilantro and tomatoes to make another batch of salsa
Summer squash and zucchini (on sale – I always stock up)
All colors of bell peppers (on sale – stock up)
Green onion to use in a stuffing I make for the yellow squash (to be posted at a later date)
Brussel Sprouts (The ultimate cancer fighting food)
The Spaghetti sauce we like is also on sale
All Supplements are on sale – yes ALL!!!
Let’s talk about supplements for a minute… There are a few we recommend to anyone starting on a Ketogenic diet. The main reason, is because you are switching to REAL food and eliminating ALL processed foods and grains from which you obtain a large amount of sodium.
We always advise that you see your primary doctor to order base line blood tests to see where you might be deficient in certain nutrients. Shoot for optimal or ideal levels on your blood work- not average levels! (Unfortunately, our average population is not all that healthy.) We take more than we are showing you based on our own individual deficiencies. The following are needed by the vast majority of individuals.
When you go through Keto Adaption you lose a massive amount of toxins and water. It is very easy to get dehydrated because you are losing essential minerals as well. These supplements will help you immensely…
Celtic or Himalayan Salt – (The darker the better) think of all the boxed and processed foods you are no longer eating – they are filled with salt. When you give them up, you need to make sure you are supplying your body with quality sodium filled with trace minerals.
Potassium (99mg) – I take one in the morning and one in the evening. If you have cramping when starting Keto, you can up the dosage and then bring it back down to two a day. It maintains fluid balance in the body and relaxes muscles – also eat avocado, parsley, cabbage, celery, watercress, coconut, and cauliflower.
Magnesium Glycinate (800mg at night) – Magnesium helps hold potassium in the cells. It promotes healthy muscles, strengthens bones and teeth, heart muscle, nervous system, helps digestion and energy production. Magnesium is also great for constipation, sleep and keeping a regular heart rhythm. Good sources: Nuts
Vitamin D3 – Is actually a steroid hormone that activates more than 930 genes in human physiology mostly in the brain – powerfully anti-inflamitory and a great antioxidant. Everyone differs on dosage – see your doctor, but D has over 900 uses in the human body. Depends on sunlight, body weight and other factors
Statins inhibit vitamin D production
Low Vit D Contributes to: Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis
Weak bones and teeth, Illnesses
Other sources are fish, eggs, cheese, and oysters.
Vitamin C – This is great for your immune system and overall good health. I usually take 1000mg in the morning and 1000mg in the evening. When you limit your fruit intake, it is good to supplement with a quality Vitamin C. Make sure you are also eating your bright veggies like the yummy peppers I bought today, broccoli, cauliflower, lemons, and limes.
This is a tough week to follow any kind of diet with all the available “party” foods calling to you! A few tips:
1. Drink a ton of water!
2. Drink alcohol in moderation and stay away from sugary drinks like (dare I say) Margaritas. You can, however, make your own with fresh lime juice, tequila and Stevia. It is super refreshing and does not have any sugar. Remember though, that your body will process the alcohol first and store your food to be processed last.
3. Try to get as much sleep as you can.
4. Eat before you go. This is a great lunch salad filled with lots of healthy fats to keep you full and fueled for the day. You could even eat it before your next party. I used Romaine lettuce, bacon, avocado, and blue cheese dressing.
5. If you eat at the party…stick with your proteins, veggies and fats, i.e…eat the fajita and taco meat with a fork and a side of guacamole and skip the tortilla. Eat that yummy queso with veggies instead of chips. Eat the tenderloin with horseradish sauce on the side without the roll. Fill yourself with water and veggies before you are tempted with the dessert table.
6. Dance….burn off what you eat!
We hope everyone has a great, safe fiesta filled with fun, friends, family, and delicious REAL foods!
While eating at home is definitely the best way to control what enters your body there are times (11 hour road trips) when its just not really an option.
While not the “perfect meal” this is definitely something that works when you are in a pinch.
Above is the “Unwich” from Jimmy Johns. At this particular chain you can have any of their sandwiches made with lettuce wraps instead of the bread.
More and more places are offering better low carb options, if nothing is on the menu don’t be afraid to ask! Plus, the more people ask, more businesses will learn how many of us really want these items. Think of all those “Gluten Free” items popping up all over the place.*
I compared the nutritional information located on the Jimmy Johns website the to review the JJ BLT. The standard French Bread had a Total Carbohydrate count of 55g with 4 of which being dietary fiber. The 7-Grain Wheat a whopping 65g only 5 of which being dietary fiber.
The “unwhich” JJ BLT had a Total Carbohydrate count of 2 and dietary fiber 0.
*Gluten Free rarely equals low carb! Additionally, the gluten typically has been replaced with other fillers such as refined starches and sugar to recreate that wheat-like texture and improve taste. Tapioca flour/starch, potato starch, corn starch, and additional added sugar are the most common items used to create those coveted gluten free foods. Read those labels!
I get requests quite often from the kiddos to have something other than eggs for breakfast. Enter Coconut Crusted Chocolate Donuts! YUMMY!!!!
GRAIN FREE/SUGAR FREE
I decided to experiment with a Paleo recipe this morning that needed some substitutions so that it could be sugar free, and the result was an overwhelming winner from everyone in the family! Lots of smiles in our kitchen today! These are so good you could top with some homemade whipping cream (using Swerve Confectioner as your sweetener) for dessert!
Yield One Dozen
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
1. Start with your ingredients:
1 1/2 cup Honeyville Almond Flour (Don’t even bother with a different brand…I’ve tried them all, and Honeyville is far superior with the best texture for baked items.) I get the big bag at Costco.
1/2 cup 100% Cocoa
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
6 eggs separated
6 TBSP Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Swerve Granular (Available at Sprouts, Whole Foods or Amazon)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP Swerve Confectioners (Available at Whole Foods or Amazon)
Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (I buy in bulk at Sprouts and keep in a sealed container.)
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and Swerve. Make sure it is mixed well without clumps.
3. In a separate bowl, combine egg YOLKS, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and slightly fluffy.
4. Add the above to your dry ingredients, and mix well until a thick batter is formed.
4. In a third bowl, with a hand mixer, beat your egg whites until nice and fluffy – not stiff.
5. Add your egg whites to your thick batter and mix until you have a nice creamy batter.
6. Spoon batter into a greased donut pan (use Coconut oil spray).
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.
8. While the donuts are cooling, mix all your glaze ingredients together. Once completely cool, dip each donut into the glaze. (This is my trick for a smooth surface anytime you are icing with a glaze. Dip – don’t spread.) Then top each donut with UNSWEETENED coconut. I did some with and some without the coconut. Both were devoured! My husband put his in the microwave for 15 seconds to warm it, and said it was fantastic.
9. As I mentioned above, you could heat these as a dessert and top with whipped cream sweetened with Swerve Confectioners and a splash of vanilla.