Saturday, September 17, 2022

Keto Spiced Dutch Apple Jam

Keto Spiced Dutch Apple Jam
The weather is turning cooler and it’s apple picking season in Maine! Recently, I took a class at my Cooperative Extension Office where we learned to make Spiced Dutch Apple Jam. I had a wonderful time and learned a lot more about safe canning practices. But the recipe they used called for 7 cups of sugar! I came home and figured out that the amount of carbs per tablespoon was 16 grams! (That is equivalent to 4 teaspoons of sugar per tablespoon!!) With their recipe in hand, I went about making the necessary adjustments to make a batch that was sugar free. The final result is every bit as good as their recipe, but my recipe only has 2 grams of carb per tablespoon. This incredible jam tastes just like apple pie and is excellent on your low carb toast or spooned over low carb yogurt or ice cream. Also, share some with your keto friends! This makes an excellent gift for the holidays.

Keto Spiced Dutch Apple Jam
Makes four (8 oz) jars, 64 servings

4 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced small (about 5 medium apples)
1-1/4 cups allulose (or to taste)
2-1/2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin (made especially for low sugar jams)
2 cups water
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
3 teaspoons calcium water (see directions in Pomona’s Universal Pectin box)
1 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Apple Picking in Maine
1. Prepare the boiling water canner. Put the canning rack on the bottom of a large pot, then heat the jars in simmering water until ready to use, or for at least 10 minutes to sterilize the jars. Wash the lids in warm soapy water and set aside with the bands until you are ready to use them. (If you don’t want to process your jars in a water bath, your jam can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.)

2. In a bowl, combine the allulose and pectin; set aside. Place 1-2 small plates into your freezer to get cold. (These will be used for the “cold plate” test later.)

3. Place the diced apples into a large stainless steel saucepan or non-reactive cooking pot (not aluminum). Add the lemon juice, water and calcium water to the pot with the apples. Add the allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Bring to a rolling boil over medium to high heat stirring often. (A rolling boil is a vigorous boil that cannot be stirred down, but continues to boil even as you stir.)

4. Once the apple mixture has reached a rolling boil, gradually stir in the allulose/pectin mixture and continue to stir until the sweetener and pectin dissolves.

5. Bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Set a timer and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and check the jam using a cold plate from your freezer to be sure it will gel properly when set. Spoon a small amount onto a cold plate and allow to sit for a few minutes. Run your finger through the mixture and if a skin has formed and the jam is starting to set up, you have reached the proper temperature.

6. Using a jar lifter, lift one jar out of the simmering water and place it on a towel or wooden cutting board. Ladle the hot jam into a hot jar using a canning funnel. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace at the top. Remove any air bubbles and wipe the top of the jar rim clean. Center a lid on the jar and apply the band, adjusting to fingertip tight. Place the filled jar into the boiling water canner, then repeat the process until all of the jars are filled.

7. Process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude (search online for an altitude adjustment chart). Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the canner, uncovered, for five minutes.

8. Very carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter, lifting them straight up (do not tilt jar!) and place them on a clean towel. Don’t worry about any water on the lid, that will evaporate quickly. Let the jam cool for 12 to 24 hours. Check the lids for a seal, they should not flex when the center is pressed.

9. A properly processed and sealed jar of jam is shelf stable for 12 to 18 months. Refrigerate after opening.

Recipe makes four jars
Nutritional Information per tablespoon: 6 calories, 2.3 g carbohydrate (0.2 g dietary fiber, 1.1 g sugars), 0.1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 2 mg calcium, 11 mg potassium, 1 mg Vit C, 1 IU Vit A, 0 g protein. Net carbs per tablespoon: 2.1 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2022
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Keto Peach Melba Loaf Cake

Keto Peach Melba Loaf Cake
With my birthday coming up, I wanted to create a cake that highlighted my favorite seasonal fruits: peaches and raspberries! This cake is so easy to make and decorate. No need to fuss with layers. It is baked in a loaf pan, topped with a delicious peach buttercream frosting and then decorated with fresh fruit. What a beautiful and delicious way to end the summer!

Keto Peach Melba Loaf Cake
Makes 12 servings

Cake Ingredients:
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour (96 grams)
3/4 cup erythritol-based sweetener (I used LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
1/3 cup unflavored whey protein powder 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature 
4 large egg whites, room temperature 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or low carb milk of choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup fresh peaches, skins removed and diced
1/3 cup fresh raspberries, cut into small pieces

Peach Buttercream Frosting:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 
1/2 cup erythritol-based confectioners sugar (either LaKanto Powdered or Swerve Confectioners)
4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar free peach preserves (or apricot, if you can’t find peach)
1-2 drops yellow or orange food coloring (optional)

Garnish:
Raspberries and peach slices to decorate

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a large loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the corners or any place not lined with the parchment paper sling.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together the coconut flour, sweetener, whey protein powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg whites and extracts until light and fluffy. Add the melted butter, coconut milk and beat on medium-low until just incorporated. All at once, add the dry ingredients and beat until well blended. Fold in the chopped peaches and raspberries. The batter will thicken up as the coconut flour absorbs much of the liquid, which is normal.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread to the edges and level the top with the back of a spoon or small offset spatula. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes in the preheated oven until top is golden brown and firm to the touch. It’s always a good idea to test the internal temperature of keto cakes and breads to better determine doneness. It should read between 206 to 210°F.

Loaf Cake in pan with parchment paper sling
5. Remove from the oven and let cool for 25 minutes in the pan. If needed, run a sharp knife around the insides of the pan and lift the loaf out using the parchment paper sling. Remove and discard parchment paper. Cool cake completely before frosting.

6. For the icing, put the softened butter in a bowl with the confectioners sugar and beat with an electric mixer until very soft and smooth. Add the softened cream cheese and beat again until thick and pale. Add the peach or apricot preserves for a fruity flavor, if you like, and add a drop or two of yellow or orange food coloring if you want to turn it a pretty peachy color. This frosting can be kept at room temperature for about an hour, or you may chill the icing until it has firmed up a bit or for longer storage. Return to room temperature and stir before spreading over the top of the cake. Decorate the cake with extra fresh raspberries and peach slices. (It’s best to do this just before serving because the peach slices can discolor if added too far in advance.)

Decorate top with fresh fruit
Tips: Ripe peaches work best in this recipe. If your fruit is under ripe, try keeping it in a brown paper bag with a banana to speed up the ripening process. The unfrosted cake keeps for a couple of days in an airtight container. Use a serrated bread knife to slice.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/12 of cake), with frosting, but not counting fruit garnish: 200 calories, 10g carbohydrates (3.9 g dietary fiber, 3.9 g sugars, 3 g sugar alcohols), 17.3 g total fat (10.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 104 mg cholesterol, 231 mg sodium, 123 mg calcium, 73 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 178 IU Vit A, 1 mg Vit C, 7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3.1 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2022
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Creamed Kale and Eggs with Pesto

Creamed Kale and Eggs with Pesto
In the summertime, I have a small, backyard garden and kale is one of the most robust and easiest vegetables to grow! This baked egg dish is one of my very favorites and shows up on my breakfast table often while my kale is in season. As the kale bakes, it becomes crispy around the edges, similar to kale chips! The combination of flavors and textures makes this a deeply satisfying way to start the day.

Creamed Kale and Eggs with Pesto
Makes 1 serving

2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil
A large handful of fresh kale, washed and torn into pieces (you can substitute spinach or any leafy green)
2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream (or full fat coconut milk for dairy free)
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
2 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store bought)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In an 8 inch, oven proof skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the kale. As the kale wilts, toss it in the oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add heavy cream and stir to coat the kale. Create two wells and crack one egg into each well. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pesto onto the top of the eggs and kale mixture.

4. Remove the skillet from the heat and bake in a 350° oven for seven minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.

Nutritional Information per serving: 503 calories, 5.8 g carbohydrate (1.4 g dietary fiber, 0.6 g sugars), 48 g total fat (14.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 414 mg cholesterol, 595 mg sodium, 156.5 mg calcium, 347 mg potassium, 3 mg iron, 42 mg Vit C, 1928 IU Vit A, 15.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.4 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2022
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

No Sugar Added Keto Fruit Jam (Peach, Cherry or Strawberry)

Keto Cherry Jam
I don’t eat a lot of fruit because of the high carb count. But one thing I really enjoy is a teaspoon or two of sticky, gooey jam on my low carb, keto bread. And there are times when I just want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! In a previous post, I mentioned the excellent keto bread recipe that I found that has made my life normal again. (Click here for the keto bread recipe.) With the bread problem solved, it was now time for me to turn to finding the best keto jam. There are a couple of store brands that are acceptable, but they are watery, taste a little off and, frankly, are nothing like the real thing. Jam making is not really difficult, but it can have special challenges when not using real sugar. I have discovered that allulose is the very best sugar alternative when making fruit jam, with absolutely no aftertaste! My amazing keto jam recipe is easily adaptable to most fruits, with minor adjustments. I provide recipes for cherry, strawberry or peach, but you can change it up to create your favorite flavor!

Tips and Tricks for Sugar Free Jam:

* You must use a pectin made especially for low or no sugar jam. Look for Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which is easy to find in most grocery stores or online. Follow the directions in the package to make the calcium water, which is the secret ingredient to properly thicken sugar free jams and jellies.

Pomona’s Universal Pectin
* Regular jam made with sugar typically reaches a temperature of 220°F when it is ready to be ladled into the jars. With sugar-free jams, the mixture will not rise to this temperature (usually no more than between 212 to 215°F), so you will have to use the “cold plate test” to determine when it is cooked enough to gel properly. Before you begin cooking the fruit mixture, place one or more small plates into the freezer to get cold. When you think your mixture is ready, spoon a small amount onto the cold plate and let it sit for a few minutes. If it forms a skin and begins to thicken and gel, then the jam mixture is ready for canning.

* You can use fresh or frozen fruit to make jam. If using frozen, increase the amount to 6 cups of fruit and proceed with the recipe as directed.

* You do not have to process the finished jam in a boiling water bath, if you want to dig right in! Use sterilized jars, but place the finished jam in the refrigerator to set up and consume within 1-2 weeks. If you want to make your jam shelf-stable at room temperature for up to a year, you must follow the canning directions, always use new lids and submerge the filled jars in boiling water for 10 minutes and test to make sure it sealed properly. After it has cooled completely, check the lids for a seal. They should not flex when the center of the lid is pressed. A properly processed and sealed jar of jam is shelf-stable for 12-18 months. Refrigerate after opening and consume within 1-2 weeks.

The Recipes:
Each recipe yields about 3-1/2 cups

Cherry Jam:
5 cups of cherries, pitted (or 6 cups frozen)
1/2 cup bottled lemon juice
3 teaspoons calcium water (see Tips and Tricks section above)
1 cup allulose
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder
1 teaspoon cherry extract (optional), or to taste

Peach Jam:
5 cups peeled and chopped fresh peaches (or 6 cups frozen)
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup allulose
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder

Strawberry Jam:
5 cups fresh, chopped strawberries (or 6 cups frozen)
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
1-1/3 cups allulose
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon strawberry extract (optional), or to taste

No Sugar Added Keto Strawberry Jam
Directions:

1. Prepare the boiling water canner. Put the canning rack on the bottom of a large pot, then heat the jars in simmering water until ready to use, for about 10 minutes. Wash the lids in soapy, hot water and set aside with the bands until you are ready to use them. (Do not boil the lids, but you can leave them in very hot water until you’re ready to use them.)

2. In a bowl, combine the allulose and pectin powder; set aside.

3. Prepare the fruit by peeling, pitting and chopping into chunks, whatever is required, and measure out the required amount (either 5 cups fresh fruit or 6 cups frozen). Put the fruit in a large pot over medium heat. Add the lemon juice and calcium water and stir. Bring to a boil, then use a potato masher to crush up the fruit to the desired consistency. If you like your jam chunky, then leave larger pieces of fruit. Bring to a rolling boil and, if needed, skim the foam and discard.
 
4. Gradually stir in the allulose/pectin mixture and continue to stir until the sweetener and pectin dissolves.

5. Bring the fruit mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for at least one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and skim any additional foam off the top if necessary. To test for the proper consistency, use the “cold plate test” as described in the Tips and Tricks section above.

6. Using a jar lifter, lift one jar out of the hot water and place it on a towel or wooden cutting board. Ladle the hot jam into the hot jar using a canning funnel. Leave 1/4 inch of head space at the top. Remove any air bubbles and wipe the jar rim with a paper towel or a clean cloth. Center a lid on the jar and apply the band, screwing it down until it is just fingertip tight. Repeat the process with the other jars until all of the jars are filled.

7. Process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the canner, uncovered, until the water stops boiling or for several minutes. Very carefully remove the jars with the jar lifter, lifting them straight up (do not tilt jars as you lift them) and place them on a clean towel. You can gently blot any excess water from the top of each jar with a kitchen towel, but do not press down on the lid.

No Sugar Added Peach Jam
8. Let the jars cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. You will hear a popping sound as the jars cool and create a vacuum seal. This is normal. After 12-24 hours, check the lids for a proper seal, they should not flex when the center is pressed. If any jars did not seal properly, you may put them in the refrigerator and use the jam immediately or you can reprocess them with a new lid.

Peach Jam Label
Nutritional Information for Cherry Jam (2 teaspoons): Calories: 8 / 2 g carbohydrate / 0 g dietary fiber / 0 g fat / 0 g protein

Nutritional Information for Peach Jam (2 teaspoons): Calories: 6 / 2 g carbohydrate / 0 g dietary fiber / 0 g fat / 0 g protein 

Nutritional Information for Strawberry Jam (2 teaspoons): Calories: 4 / 1 g carbohydrate / 0 g dietary fiber / 0 g fat / 0 g protein

Photos and recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2022
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Keto Lemon Curd and Goat Cheese Spread

Keto Lemon Curd and Goat Cheese Spread
The other day I went to a party and the hostess served a delicious spread that was lemon curd topped with goat cheese that she had picked up at the Farmer’s Market. It was really good! Traditional lemon curd is mostly sugar, so I couldn’t do more than sample it at the party. I came home and, the very next day, made myself some sugar-free lemon curd using my easy, microwave method and topped it with plain, soft goat cheese. If you are not a fan of goat cheese, like my husband, you can blend together a combination of cream cheese and ricotta to replace the goat cheese. The taste is very similar, but it is even creamier and more spreadable. This makes a wonderful appetizer served with low carb crackers or spread it on your keto toast or pancakes for breakfast.

Keto Lemon Curd and Goat Cheese Spread
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup (or more) sugar free Microwave Keto Lemon Curd (click here for the recipe)

Topping:
8 oz. plain, soft goat cheese

OR

Process in a food processor until smooth:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
A pinch of salt
2 drops monkfruit extract or stevia (optional)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

1. Allow the lemon curd to set up and cool completely in the refrigerator. To prevent a skin forming on the top, place plastic wrap directly on the lemon curd as it cools.

2. In a small glass serving bowl, spread the cooled lemon curd on the bottom of the bowl. Depending on the size of your bowl, you will use 1/2 cup or more. You want the lemon curd to come up the side of the bowl about 1/4th of the way. (I put mine into three 4 oz. Mason jars because I didn’t plan to serve it all at once, see photo below.)

Place lemon curd on the bottom and top with the goat cheese
3. Carefully, spoon in the goat cheese or the cream cheese/ricotta mixture and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Lemon Curd Spread on keto toast
Nutritional Information per 2 tablespoons: 102 calories, 1.9 g carbohydrate (0 g dietary fiber, 0.4 g sugars, 0.4 g sugar alcohols), 9.7 g total fat (6.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 31.6 mg calcium, 25 mg potassium, 96 IU Vit A, 2.3 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 1.5 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2022
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Keto Strawberry Milk

Keto Strawberry Milk
I have a confession to make: When I was young, I loved Nestle’s Strawberry Milk powder to make strawberry milk. I still enjoy the flavor, but don’t want all the sugar and carbs. I created this recipe to satisfy my craving for something sweet, nostalgic and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor!

Keto Strawberry Milk
Makes 1 serving

3 ripe medium strawberries
8 oz. Rebel Plain Cream Milk (or unsweetened almond or coconut milk)
8 drops monkfruit extract or liquid Stevia, to taste
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1. Place the strawberries, low carb milk of choice, monkfruit sweetener and extracts into a blender and blend on high until the strawberries are completely incorporated into the milk mixture.*

2. Add heavy cream and blend on low until incorporated. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

*Alternative Suggestion: If you’d like to turn this into a breakfast or meal replacement smoothie, add a scoop of protein powder to the blender in step 1.

Ingredients for Keto Strawberry Milk
Nutritional Information per serving (entire recipe): 251 calories, 3.7 g carbohydrate (0.7 g dietary fiber, 2.8 g sugars), 24.1 g total fat (15 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 146 mg sodium, 141.9 mg calcium, 84 mg potassium, 121 IU Vit A, 6.2 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 3 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2022
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Keto Strawberry Ice Cream

Keto Strawberry Ice Cream
It’s strawberry season in Maine! I normally do not eat a lot of fruit, but I make an exception for a few weeks when our local strawberries are in season. When they are freshly picked and ripe, you can taste the sunshine in every bite! However, to keep the carb count low enough to fit into a keto diet, the use of a little strawberry extract is necessary to give this ice cream more strawberry flavor. Creamy and SO DELICIOUS, this dessert is the perfect ending to a warm summer day! 

Keto Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes 8 servings

2/3 cup puréed ripe strawberries (or mashed with a potato masher into small chunks)
1/2 cup whole milk* (see notes)
3 tablespoons powdered monkfruit sweetener (I like LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener)
6 tablespoons allulose
A pinch of salt 
2 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 teaspoons strawberry extract (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vodka (optional, but reduces iciness from the strawberries)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the puréed strawberries, milk, sweeteners and salt until the sweeteners are dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream, extracts and vodka (if using). Cover and refrigerate a minimum of two hours. Whisk mixture together again before continuing.

2. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your ice cream maker. Churn until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer for 5 to 6 hours.

*Notes: I suggest the brand Fairlife Whole Milk, which has less sugar and is half the carbs of regular whole milk. If using regular whole milk, add 1-1/2 carbs per serving. For the whole milk, you can substitute unsweetened nut milk of your choice. To obtain the creamiest result, I suggest full fat, canned coconut milk.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup: 215 calories, 2.5 g carbohydrate (0.3 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugars, 0.5 g sugar alcohols), 24.5 g total fat (14.3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 11.4 mg calcium, 30 mg potassium, 237 IU Vit A, 0.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.2 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2022
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.