That’s right! I said Ice Cream! Chocolate Ice Cream!
I’ve been experimenting all summer, and not only do I have a great recipe for you, but it is an excellent activity to keep the kiddos entertained at the same time (if you choose to do this method.)
The best part, other than the amazing taste, is the simplicity! Just a few simple, pure, ingredients that you probably have on hand, a little waiting time, and dessert is prepared! A creamy, delicious dessert that no one would ever guess is SUGAR FREE!
Whisk together cream, sweetener, and cocoa in a saucepan until it barely starts to simmer. Add vanilla and remove from heat.
Let it cool on the stovetop until the pan is not scalding. Place in the refrigerator to bring down to at least room temperature. (You don’t want to add the mixture to the ice cream maker or plastic bags at a high heat.)
Here are your options:
Pour 1/2 cup of mixture in a quart size Ziplock bag. Seal well! Place that bag in a gallon size ziplock filled with several cups of ice and 1/4 cup ice cream salt. Seal the gallon size bag. Hand it to your child with a dish towel and have them shake it until exhaustion or until the ice cream is the consistency of soft serve. Enjoy!
No mess version:
Pour your saucepan of cream mixture into an ice cream maker, turn on, and walk away. It should be nice and creamy in about 30 to 45 minutes! Enjoy.
I hope your family enjoys this as much as ours! Happy summer!!!
We are still going along with the theme of Christmas gifting!
My mother always told me, “It is better to give than to receive,” and I truly believe that giving someone a gift from the heart is a tremendous blessing! It really is better to give!
My problem…What to give when you don’t give sugar or bake?
Since I was a small child, I baked with my mother, and then more recently on my own and with my own children. It is a Christmas tradition. I have given homemade cookies as gifts for as long as I can remember. This will be the first year that I do not hand out over 35 dozen iced sugar cookies for Christmas, and I am already hearing about it! I am known as the “Cookie Lady”, “the friend that gives us the green trees” and am often told, “My (fill in the blank) looks forward to your cookies all year long.” So, for those of you expecting cookies from me, I apologize in advance. I just felt it was hypocritical to deliver something that I know is harmful to your body. I am on track for a healthier gift this year.
Erin talked about things to give that are not necessarily edible. I want to talk about things that can be delivered in a mason jar. Why mason jars? First, they are practical, stay fresh, and reusable. Second, they can be dressed up with cute ribbons, bows, stickers, you name it – go for it on the creativity! That is, at least, half the fun. Lastly, the options are endless! We have posted many recipes that you can use in a mason jar that I will link you to below. Have fun trying out some new fun recipes that you can give to others to enjoy.
So go get your mason jars, and get ready to get creative!
I have loaded up on tomatoes, Serrano peppers, cilantro, garlic and onion for some red hot Texas salsa. This will be my main gift for teachers, helpers and neighborhood friends this year. You can find the salsa recipe here.
Of course you always have mixed nuts or some kind of nut medley. You can always season a roast your nuts as well. There are some fabulous recipes out there for roasted nuts.
You can also season up some cream cheese or pimento cheese and place it in the mason jar.
Last, but not least, is a touch of sweet! We can’t leave out the fat bombs!
These are so delicious, it is hard to just eat one. Best of all, you can tailor these to your needs based on what you or your friends like.
There really is no going wrong. Who ever receives your gift will certainly love it, and you will know it is healthy as well. Enjoy the holiday season filled with miracles, joy, love, and best of all, giving from the heart. Rejoice in this season of wonderment!
It’s starting to FEEL (and look) a lot like Christmas! My favorite season of the year!
We had such a hot fall in San Antonio, I was beginning to think it would never get cooler around here, but ‘lo and behold, we finally had a great cold front! Finally!
The first cold morning around here, the kids were begging for HOT CHOCOLATE!!!
Can hot chocolate be Keto?
Look at these smiling faces!
There is nothing better on a cold morning than curling up in your cozy chair with a steaming hot cup of cocoa! The kids were cozy, happy, and warm!
So how to?
Keto Hot Chocolate
Do you see that half-gallon of cream???? Oh, yes it is! Sam’s Club!
You can use more cream and less milk for more keto cocoa and thin with some more water, however, for the kiddos, I don’t mind them having whole milk.
1 cup water
1/2 cup 100% cocoa
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
3/4 cup Swerve granular
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
peppermint flavored Stevia to taste – I used 2 droppers full
The kids especially liked the peppermint flavor added, but you could use any flavor Stevia drops.
In a heavy large saucepan, combine all your ingredients and whisk well. Keep watch as you heat over medium heat. At the end, when everything is combined, it can boil up quickly and make a huge mess, so keep and eye on your sweet treat. When everything is combined and comes to a light boil, pour in mugs and top with sugar-free whipping cream! Yum yum delicious!
Wow! I don’t know about you, but it really snuck up on me this year.
The Thanksgiving menu is not too tough on Ketoers for the most part. We can have turkey, brussel sprouts, swap the potatoes for cauliflower mashed potatoes, and the list goes on. What to do about dessert though?
I have great news! I have perfected the Keto Pumpkin Pie! It is as simple as following the Libby’s recipe on the back of the pumpkin can. My grandmother (who was a wonderful cook) always said to go with the recipe on the back of the can. Why mess with a good thing that professionals have spent endless hours perfecting?
I stick with my basic almond flour and butter crust, and it is Keto perfection for a Thanksgiving treat! Make it even better with Keto whipped cream! Yum!!!!
Keto Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3 TBSP melted butter
3 TBSP Swerve Granular
1/4 tsp salt
Melt the butter in a glass pie pan in the microwave.
Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl and then add to the butter.
Mix with your hands directly in the pie dish forming a crust up the sides.
Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Now for a Modified Libby’s Pie Filling:
1 Cup Swerve granular
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl oz) Carnation Evaporated Milk
Mix your Swerve and spices in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat your eggs. Then add your pumpkin and mix well.
Finally add your dry ingredients while whisking and then add your evaporated milk.
Once all your ingredients are combined well, add to your pie shell.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 to 50 minutes.
Let cool for a few hours before serving or chilling.
Top with whipped cream, and serve warm or cold.
She gobbled this huge piece down in no time! It was delicious!
Our little angel (youngest child and only girl – say some prayers) just celebrated her fifth birthday. She was counting down the months until her birthday…”I’m four and 8/12, I/m four and 11/12). You get the picture.
When her week finally rolled around, I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday. You may remember, I was quite the baker before my Keto days, so birthday time is always fun! In actuality, Keto baking is just as fun as regular baking once you get the hang of it. For birthdays, I let the children choose what ever they like for their one special day of the year. Keto or not! Low and behold, she said she wanted Angel Cake, which to the rest of us is Angel Food Cake. I was ecstatic! This is one recipe for dessert where Keto style tastes just like the real thing. In fact, my parents had no idea that it was sugar and grain free! That is the ultimate test in my opinion. It is also a great dessert for warm weather because it is quite refreshing. Even though it is September, in South Texas, it feels like July!
Save this cake for a day when you have time, because just like any other Angel Food Cake, the whipping of the egg whites is time consuming. This is not a difficult cake, but it is a little different from typical baking and patience is a must.
Keto Angel Cake
Yes, this is correct! It is much different from traditional cake.
Start with 12 very cold egg whites or the equivalent of such (like I did) which is about 3 cups.
I Cup Jay Robb Protein Powder (Vanilla or Strawberry)
1 1/3 Cup Swerve Confectioners
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla (or lemon, strawberry or flavor of your choice)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift your Protein Powder and Swerve Confectioners together 2 times. Set aside.
3. In a large, very clean, cold bowl (Preferably a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl) whip your egg whites, cream of tarter and salt. Beat on medium-high to high speed until stiff. Once fairly stiff, add your lemon juice and flavoring. Continue mixing.
I didn’t time this, but it was at least 15 to 20 minutes of whipping. Just let it go. You should be able to turn the bowl over without the egg whites moving.
4. Remove the egg white mixture from the stand and slowly and carefully FOLD in your protein powder mixture. Gently fold until completely combined.
5. After all of your ingredients are mixed, pour into your angel food tube pan – DO NOT GREASE the pan!!! This is super important and you will see why! If you don’t have one, make sure you purchase one with a removable bottom. It should be a two piece pan. This was my grandmother’s pan, and all of the old ones are like this, but you have to look on the new ones.
6. Place in your oven and watch. I had to turn my heat down to 325 degrees because it was getting too brown. It needs to cook for a good 55 minutes so if it is getting too brown after 25 or 30 make sure you turn down your heat. I did another cake afterwards and turned the dial down to about 335 degrees after I placed it in the oven, and it was about right.
7. Now you will see the “why”. When the cake is super fluffy, high and browned, remove it from the oven, and immediately invert onto a bottle at room temperature. This will keep the cake from sinking.
8. This is why you don’t grease the cake!!!! Otherwise it would be on the counter. Let it cool completely like this.
9. After it is cooled, use a sharp knife to go around the edges, and then push the bottom out of the pan. Place on a cake stand, and it is ready to serve with whipping cream and berries.
I also made a prettier one that I iced with whipping cream and arranged berries on top. My kids like it this way frozen. You can do it either way.
You can see in the above picture; I removed the super brown top which basically popped right off.
This one above is actually frozen – berries and all!
That was one happy birthday girl and every bite devoured!
All the whipping in this recipe can be time consuming, but it is so rewarding! Don’t give up, and enjoy every bite!
The school year is off to a start, and Labor Day is here, which means the official end of summer. There are both cheers and boos, pros and cons.
One of the biggest cons is that, all to familiar, morning rush once again. The days of cereal boxes and skim milk are long gone for many of us. If you have heard us speak in a group, you are familiar with our “Trifecta of Sugar” lecture.
A typical morning breakfast cereal topped with fruit has the glucose from the cereal, lactose from the milk and fructose from your fruit. Bad, bad and more bad leading to a day of cravings and carb loading, no doubt. If you start your day with carbs and sugar, you will crave more carbs and sugar as you go through your day, leading to that downward spiral as the day moves on.
What else can you have for breakfast on those busy mornings when you don’t have time to scramble, fry or poach? Try faux “cereal”! We have tried it, the kids have tried it, and it is family approved. The best part – you can make it ahead and seal it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It is ready to go for a breakfast in a hurry! Top with some heavy cream, and you are set for half the day if you eat it along side your bulletproof coffee to tea.
It is super simple to make, and you can really make it your own just by adding your favorite low-carb ingredients. Try a little, and let us know what you think!
Your ingredients and portions can vary. Mix it to your liking.
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
2 Tbsp Kerrygold
1 Tbsp Swerve
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp Celtic salt
Toast your coconut flakes, watching carefully so not to brown to deeply.
Chop all your nuts finely and lightly toast.
Melt the Kerrygold in a cast iron skillet.
Toss your nuts in the melted butter, and sauté until fragrant. Add your toasted coconut, Swerve and seasonings. Toss all your ingredients in the butter until everything is mixed and coated.
Allow it to cool and then store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
This can be served as a dessert over whipping cream or for a breakfast cereal with cream.
Erin and I were able to take part in a fun party that a friend of mine hosted for about 20 friends. She hired us to come in and talk about the benefits of Keto, the difference it has made in our lives, and how we cook. After our talk, we prepared a complete Keto meal for the whole group. It was a lively discussion filled with great questions and some new foods for most. I always wait for the reaction after dessert. It amazes people that we can make such decadent desserts without sugar. One of the desserts we made was a rich chocolate tart that I have slightly modified from the brilliant Dr. William Davis’ book, Wheat Belly 30-Minute (Or Less) Cookbook. If you don’t already have it, we do recommend it, and it is available for purchase in our Amazon store.
I made two tarts, one primarily the way it is in the cookbook with a coconut crust. In my opinion, the natural taste and texture of the coconut helps cut the bitterness of the dark unsweetened chocolate for a perfectly balanced dessert that is very satisfying. The coconut also provides a nice sturdy crust for the dense chocolate. I do understand that there are some that really don’t like the texture of coconut. For those individuals, I made a regular almond flour crust. Just know that you can always change out your crust in any recipe.
Rich Coconut – Chocolate Tart
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie plate.
Gather your ingredients:
2 cups unsweetened coconut
3 Tbsp almond flour
3 Tbsp Swerve granular
3 Tbsp melted butter
Combine all of the above ingredients. I use my hands to combine and then press into your greased pie plate.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Let it cool while you prepare your filling.
14 ounces of canned full-fat organic coconut milk
8 ounces of 100% Cocoa (Unsweetened) Chocolate
1 tsp of vanilla extract OR 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup Swerve Confectioners
In a saucepan, over medium heat, heat the coconut milk just until bubble form.
Add the chocolate that you have chopped to the pan.
It will look like the above until it begins to melt, and then it will look beautiful. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the Swerve and Vanilla or other extracts.
Whisk all your ingredients together and then pour in your crust of choice.
Place your pie in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You can do it overnight which is great when preparing for a party or event.
This is your finished product! To add even more to the richness, add a dollop of whipped cream to the top and you are really set! Cut with a sharp knife and enjoy.
Last Sunday I sent my two oldest children off to camp in another state. They were super excited about their time at camp except for one thing…the food!
It is kind of funny that this was somewhat upsetting to them considering other children look forward to the pancakes at breakfast, chicken fried steak, and the candy store. Other children that go to this camp rave about the food, but mine, of course, were anxious. I have to admit, it makes me a little anxious too, but so proud of them at the same time for knowing that they understand the foods that fuel their bodies best. If you read my post recently about my children refusing the almond flour muffins it makes sense.
My oldest is definitely Keto-adapted. The other two have a way to go, but my middle child would be closer if not given outside choices. As parents, it is virtually impossible to keep our children healthy at all times. Erin and I have a 90/10 rule. If you are sugar-free and Keto-adapted 90% of the time, forgive yourself for the other 10%. Many times it can’t be helped if you are away from home also. If my children are 75%/25%, I am happy. I can’t control everything that happens at birthday parties, grandparent’s homes, and eating out with friends, nor do I try. Don’t get me wrong, I am a bit of a control freak, but I know a bad ending when I see it coming! The last thing we want to create is the forbidden fruit syndrome. They need to experience the difference in how food makes them feel to make them WANT to eat healthy. This takes time, just as it does for us. My goodness, it took me over 35 years to figure it out! Hopefully with our guidance it won’t take our children as long.
Once they figure out that carbs and sugar make them feel badly, it becomes much easier. That is, until camp time; or really anytime they are away from home for a prolonged period of time! I tried to counsel them about food choices before they left. I thought about requesting no sugar from the camp, but my husband talked me out of it saying this is their time to be kids. Again, the 75/25 for them, and he was right. My prayer is that they always make good choices, and just like most other bad choices, they will feel the consequences of them quickly if they decide to buy three candy bars and a gatorade at the camp store for snack. I have to admit, I am really curious to see how it goes. This is a lot of freedom for them.
The best advice I could give them was to remember the foods we eat at home and try to mimic them. If everything is fried or brown, go for the salad bar option and pile on the proteins and full-fat salad dressings to make sure you are energized. Instead of the cinnamon rolls and waffles at breakfast, remember how much better and energized you feel when you choose eggs and bacon for breakfast. They can skip the extra bread, have two patties instead of a bun, and go for extra veggies instead of the mashed potatoes. Pick the bag of nuts or sunflower seeds in the camp store instead of a candy bar or crackers. They know how food makes them feel now, so now is the time to put that into play. I think we all realize there will be days when there may not be a better choice, but that is okay too.
As many of us send our kids off for a few weeks, we pray for their safety, lasting friendships, spiritual growth, and growth as individuals. Encourage them to make good choices in all aspects of life including nutrition. Know, however, that if they can’t always make good healthy eating decisions, it is okay. The most important thing that you can do as a parent in teaching them, as in so many other aspects of life, is modeling. If you are making good eating choices in front of them, and cooking good healthy, low-sugar meals for them when they are sitting at YOUR table, you are making a world of difference in their futures. They will have those memories of dinnertime rituals at your table forever and carry those on to future generations. So set those examples at home, and with a little hope and a lot of prayer, let’s look forward to a future generation of very healthy eaters that can make great decisions on their own.
Happy Fourth of July!!! Wave that Red, White, and Blue! Show off your stars and stripes! Enjoy your day, and celebrate with friends and family! We love our Independence Day in the Lutz and Stavros households!
We have been over several recipe ideas to keep your day healthy and low carb! Here are a few ideas from the past and the ones we have posted the last few weeks to help you compile your menu into one concise spot…right here! All of these recipes can be found on this webpage on our blog:
Brisket (You can even pick up or buy a precooked one to bake to make it easy!)
Ribs – Yum!!!
With our sugar-free sauce…
Bunless Burgers (We love our ABC burger – Avocado, Bacon, and Cheddar)
Bunless Hot Dogs or Sausage Links
Cheesy Tater Tots
Appetizers and Snack Ideas:
Stars and Stripes Cheesecake with Berries:
Or, if you are a chocolate person, our chocolate pudding.
Refreshing Low-Carb Margarita on the Rocks
Enjoy a wonderful celebratory day filled with healthy food, healthy sun, friends and family.
We are posting this one today so you have time to prepare this beauty for the holiday weekend. This is a luscious lemony dessert that you would never guess to be sugar free, and even better, you can make it patriotic as all get out. The entire dessert was devoured and family approved. It also keeps well so you can make it ahead, and then dress it up the day of your event.
I am getting more accustomed and comfortable using Stevia in recipes, and so far so good. A little goes a long way, and it doesn’t seem to leave that sweet aftertaste like Swerve does with some people. Don’t get me wrong, I love Swerve, but Stevia is great too! I am definitely going to stick with the Trader Joe’s Pure Stevia. It is the real deal! If you are looking for it in the store, you can find it with the supplements.
This dessert is similar to the Key Lime Cheesecake I shared a few weeks ago. I changed up the crust a little to try to create a denser, less flakey crust for easier cutting into bars, and it seemed to serve easier with a spatula. I actually had better luck cutting into bars after it cooled, but before I chilled it in the refrigerator. This is a great tip for the future, but if you plan to decorate it like I did on this one, it is best to cut after everyone admires your handiwork.
Patriotic Lemon Berry Cheesecake
This recipe will yield a 9×13 and an 8×8 cheesecake. If you only want one, half the recipe.
Before you start, you will want to bring your cream cheese and eggs to room temperature (a few hours) and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.