Saturday, July 20, 2019

Low Carb Strawberry Mousse Shortcake Cups

Low Carb Strawberry Mousse Shortcake Cups
The strawberry harvest is coming to an end in Maine. I created these very special dessert cups, with the sweet and creamy flavors of strawberry shortcake, as a last hurrah! They store well and will last for many days covered in the refrigerator, so I can extend the enjoyment of one of my favorite fruits for a bit longer. Since I only eat fruit when it is local and in season (I don’t eat fruit during the winter), I’m savoring the last strawberries of the season and these individual dessert cups are a great way to do it!

Low Carb Strawberry Mousse Shortcake Cups
Makes 8 servings

Crust Ingredients:
3/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
2 tablespoons granulated or powdered erythritol 
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Strawberry Mousse Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
15 small to medium strawberries, sliced
3 tablespoons powdered erythritol 
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
10 drops of monkfruit extract or liquid stevia if needed for additional sweetness (optional)
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional and only if needed)

Whipped Cream Topping:
1/2 teaspoon dry gelatin powder
2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-10 drops of monkfruit extract or stevia to taste

1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray the bottom of eight 4 ounce glass jelly jars or oven-proof dessert cups with non-stick coconut oil spray and place on a baking sheet: set aside.

2. Combine the almond flour, chilled butter cubes, 2 tablespoons erythritol, xanthan gum, salt and lemon extract in a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Divide the mixture evenly between the eight jars and gently tamp down to create an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

3. After the crust has cooled, prepare the strawberry mousse by first mashing the strawberries with a potato masher or the tines of a fork until you have small pieces and the strawberries and their liquid measures about 2/3 cup (do not use more than 2/3 cup). Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons powdered erythritol with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the strawberries and their liquid and 1/2 cup heavy cream and beat vigorously until the mixture increases in volume and is thick with the consistency of whipped frosting. Taste and add additional sweetening if needed (this is optional and will depend on the natural sweetness of the strawberries).

5. Optional and only if additional thickening is needed, sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum over the mousse and beat vigorously to incorporate. You will notice an immediate slight thickening of the mixture, but do not add more because once refrigerated the mousse with thicken further. Divide the mousse equally between the eight jars and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

6. To make the cream topping, first sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon dry gelatin powder over 2 teaspoons of cool or room temperature water and then heating in the microwave for about 5 seconds, stir until dissolved: set aside.

7. Pour 1/2 cup heavy cream into a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract and monkfruit or stevia drops. Beat until soft peaks form. While mixing on low, slowly drizzle in the dissolved gelatin and increase the speed of the mixer and beat on high until thick peaks have formed. Spoon or pipe the whipped cream over the mousse and refrigerate the dessert cups until ready to serve.

8. These desserts can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up for 4 days. If desired, top each dessert with a small strawberry as garnish before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: 223 calories, 4.4 g carbohydrate (1.4 g dietary fiber, 1.3 g sugars), 22.5 g total fat (10.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 59 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 35 mg calcium, 98 mg potassium, 574 mg Vit A, 3.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3 grams.

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Low Carb Lemon Sour Cream Drop Scones

Low Carn Lemon Sour Cream Scones
These scones are perfect for breakfast or as the base for strawberry shortcake! Topped with fresh berries and drizzled with cream, these sweet biscuits are a heavenly summertime treat the whole family will enjoy.

Low Carb Lemon Sour Cream Drop Scones
Makes 10 scones

1/4 cup coconut flour
1-3/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup granulated erythritol 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, almond flour, erythritol, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt until no lumps remain. Add the sour cream, beaten eggs, melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and extract and stir vigorously until well combined and a thick batter forms.

3. Using a large cookie scoop (or ice cream scoop), drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. With wet fingers, level out the tops slightly so the biscuits are not rounded, but do not press down or flatten. Bake for 25 minutes or until the scones are firm to the touch and lightly browned.

4. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve from frozen, thaw first and reheat in a 300 degree oven for 5-8 minutes.

5. Serving suggestion: Serve with Devonshire Clotted Cream or room temperature butter. Or cool the scones completely, split in half lengthwise and top with fresh berries and cream.

Nutritional Information per scone (no topping): 175 calories, 6.7 g carbohydrate (3.3 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars), 14.9 g total fat (3.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 136 mg sodium, 125 mg calcium, 171 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 170 mg Vit A, 2 mg Vit C, 6.1 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.4 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Chocolate Chip Mousse Pie in a Jar

Chocolate Chip Mousse Pie in a Jar
I love desserts that are already portioned out. They’re easy to grab out of the fridge and enjoy without worrying about overindulging. These little desserts are so satisfying and delicious. The creamy mousse and the dark chocolate cookie crust...you get it all, and without the hassle of baking!

Chocolate Chip Mousse Pie in a Jar
Makes 6 servings

Chocolate Cookie Crust:
3/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened special dark cocoa powder
1 tablespoon powdered erythritol 
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil, melted

Chocolate Chip Mousse:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added), or other nut butter of choice
1 tablespoon powdered erythritol 
12 drops monkfruit extract or stevia to taste (or add another tablespoon of erythritol)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream (or canned full-fat coconut milk)
3 tablespoons sugar free chocolate chips, chopped (such as Lily’s)

Optional Garnishes:
3 teaspoons sugar free chocolate chips
3 teaspoons chopped peanuts or other nut of choice

1. To make the Chocolate Cookie Crust: With a fork, mix together the almond flour, cocoa powder, erythritol and salt in a medium bowl until no lumps remain (you may pulse this mixture in a food processor, if desired). Add the vanilla extract and melted coconut oil and stir until the mixture is coated and resembles coarse crumbs. Divide equally between six small jelly jars or serving dishes (about 2 TB in each jar). Gently press down to create an even layer; set aside.

2. To make the Chocolate Chip Mousse: Add the room temperature cream cheese, butter and peanut butter to a mixing bowl. With a hand-held or standing mixer, whip on high until the mixture is well combined. Add the erythritol, monkfruit drops, vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat until the mousse is quite fluffy and smooth. Taste and adjust sweetening, if needed. Fold in the sugar free chocolate chips. 

3. Divide the mousse equally between the six jars or serving dishes. If desired, top each dessert with a few sugar free chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon of chopped nuts. Place lids on jars and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mousse Pie in a Jar
Nutritional Information per serving: 351 calories, 8.5 g carbohydrate (3.8 g dietary fiber, 1.4 g sugars), 33.2 g total fat (14.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 168 mg sodium, 51.5 mg calcium, 106 mg potassium, 584 mg Vit A, 1 mg iron, 7.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.7 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Low Carb Cranberry Pecan Drop Scones

Low Carb Cranberry Pecan Drop Scones
These delicious low carb scones make a lovely addition to breakfast or brunch. The fact that they’re a batter drop scone makes them even easier to prepare than regular scones that require that you roll out the dough. I used a large cookie scoop (or you can use an ice cream scoop) to create the perfectly round shape. They call for unsweetened dried cranberries, which can be hard to find. I make my own every fall when fresh cranberries are available and they keep well stored in the refrigerator for the remainder of the year. (Click here for the recipe I recommend.) These scones freeze well, making them easy to thaw and reheat in the oven whenever you have the desire to serve high tea in the afternoon!

Low Carb Cranberry Pecan Drop Scones
Makes 12 servings

1/4 cup coconut flour
1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/3 cup granulated erythritol (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted (or avocado oil)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, almond flour, sweetener, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt until no lumps remain. Stir in the chopped unsweetened cranberries and pecans. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined and a thick batter forms.

3. Using a large cookie scoop (about 1/4 cup), drop batter onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1-inch between scones. Flatten slightly with wet fingers so the tops are not rounded. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-27 minutes until firm to the touch and the scones are lightly browned.

4. Remove from oven and allow the scones to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with Devonshire clotted cream or room temperature butter. 

Low Carb Cranberry Pecan Drop Scones with Clotted Cream
5. The cooled scones can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or wrapped well with plastic wrap and frozen for 2 months. Thaw to room temperature before reheating at 350 degrees for about 6 minutes or until warmed through.

Nutritional Information per scone: 177 calories, 7 g carbohydrate (3.4 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars), 15.4 g total fat (4.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 147 mg sodium, 111.5 mg calcium, 160 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 5.9 g protein. Net carbs per scone: 3.6 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Low Carb Spring Vegetable Frittata with Bacon for One

Spring Vegetable Frittata with Bacon for One
Frittatas are basically just baked omelets. They’re so easy to prepare, they make an excellent quick breakfast or main dish anytime. Often frittatas are made in a large skillet to feed many people, but in this version I prepared it in an 8-inch oven proof omelet pan (or you can use any 8 inch skillet) to create one generous serving. I’ve chosen to highlight the early spring vegetables in this bright and colorful frittata, but feel free to substitute your favorites at any time of year.

Low Carb Spring Vegetable Frittata with Bacon for One
Make 1 serving

2 eggs
1 tablespoon almond milk (or heavy cream)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon avocado or coconut oil
4 spears asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 green onion, chopped (green and white parts)
2 medium radishes, cut into matchsticks
2 slices of precooked bacon, chopped (leave out for vegetarian)
1 ounce fontina or cheddar cheese, cubed
1 teaspoon chives, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat the eggs, almond milk, salt and pepper together in a small bowl; set aside.

2. In an 8-inch, oven proof skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and bacon and sauté for about 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly. Remove from heat and pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and shake the pan to evenly distribute the vegetables. Drop the cubes of cheese on the top of the egg and bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until set.




3. Remove from oven and transfer frittata to a serving plate. Top with the chopped chives and enjoy.

Nutritional Information per serving (entire recipe): 370 calories, 5.5 g carbohydrate (1.9 g dietary fiber, 2.5 sugars), 26.2 g total fat (11.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 425 mg cholesterol, 439 mg sodium, 241.5 mg calcium, 442 mg potassium, 27.8 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.6 grams

Photos and Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Low Carb Egg in a Zoodle Nest

Low Carb Egg in a Zoodle Nest
Before my diagnosis of celiac disease and switching to a gluten free diet, one of my favorite breakfasts was Egg in a Nest. Here is a very satisfying alternative recipe that highlights low carb vegetables and thinly sliced ham “noodles” to form the nest. This is a quick and very easy meal that is perfect for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. It’s made convenient if you use pre-spiralized vegetable noodles that are becoming more commonplace in the produce or frozen section of many grocery stores. I spiralized zucchini and red radishes to create these colorful noodles that are perfect for springtime, but feel free to substitute your favorite veggie noodles instead. Although this recipe makes one serving, simply increase the amounts listed to make as many nests as you desire. This flavorful egg dish is as fun to make as it is to eat!

Low Carb Egg in a Zoodle Nest
Makes 1 serving

1/2 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles (about 1 cup)
2-3 red radishes, spiralized into noodles (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 ounce deli ham, cut into long, thin strips
1 tablespoon butter or avocado oil
1 large egg
1/2 ounces cheddar or your favorite cheese, shredded (1/4 cup)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Toss the vegetable noodles and ham strips together. Melt the butter or avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the zoodle and ham mixture to the pan and sauté until the vegetables are beginning to soften and the ham is fragrant and starting to brown lightly.

Vegetable and Ham Noodles
2. Form the zoodle mixture into a nest, creating a small depression in the center. Crack an egg into the center of the nest and season with salt and pepper. Put a lid on the skillet and allow the steam from the vegetables to cook the egg to your liking.

3. Gently remove the nest from the skillet to a serving plate and sprinkle the shredded cheese around the yolk of the egg. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving: 165 calories, 4.8 g carbohydrate (1.3 g dietary fiber, 3.3 g sugars), 10.3 g total fat (4.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 206 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 149 mg calcium, 368 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 20 mg Vit C, 13.6 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.5 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy (Fat Bombs)

Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
I always keep “fat bombs” in my refrigerator for quick snacking or dessert. These candies are one of my favorites! They taste just like the store-bought peanut butter cups, but these are sugar free and contain coconut oil that’s like rocket fuel for the brain and will give you an energy boost similar to caffeine, but without the caffeine! Be sure to use unflavored refined coconut oil that is solid at room temperature or when cooled (you can use “virgin” or unrefined, but the taste of coconut may interfere with the peanut butter flavor). I use a candy mold to form my candies, but you can use mini silicone cupcake liners instead. Once the peanut butter filling is frozen and solid, just pop them out of the molds and then dip in melted chocolate for the best low carb candy ever!

Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
Makes about 14 candies

Peanut Butter Filling:
3 tablespoons of refined coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup creamy, no sugar added peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops of monkfruit extract or stevia to taste (I used LaKanto Monkfruit Extract drops)

Chocolate Coating:
3 ounces sugar free chocolate chips (I used Lily’s)
1 teaspoon coconut oil

In a glass measuring cup, combine the peanut butter filling ingredients, microwave for about 15 seconds to melt the peanut butter and whisk until smooth. Divide the mixture equally between your candy mold or mini muffin cups. Place in the freezer for at least 1 hour until frozen solid. Once the candies are frozen, pop them out of their molds, place them on a parchment-lined pan or plate and return to the freezer while you prepare the chocolate coating.

To make the chocolate coating, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small bowl and microwave at 15 second intervals until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. (You may also put the chocolate chips and oil into a double boiler and place over gently simmering water until melted.) Take one frozen peanut butter candy and, using a fork, dip into the melted chocolate, coating all sides. Do this quickly so the peanut butter filling doesn’t melt! Tap on the side of the bowl to release the excess chocolate. Return the candy to the parchment-lined pan. Repeat with the remaining candies. Return the pan to the freezer for about 10 minutes. If desired, you can do a second dipping or drizzle lines of melted chocolate over the candies for a nice decoration. Return to the freezer for a few minutes until chocolate has solidified. Store candies in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Information per candy: 63 calories, 2.2 g carbohydrates (0.9 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars, 0.4 g sugar alcohols), 6 g total fat (2.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 1.1 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 1.3 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2019
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.