Thursday, December 31, 2015

Orange and Cranberry Nut Waffles

Creative Grain Free, Low Carb Waffles

I am so happy to announce that my first cookbook is now available as an e-book! I've been working on this project for many months, struggling to master the technology and learning so much along the way.  The book is entitled CREATIVE GRAIN-FREE, LOW CARB WAFFLES: Healthy Culinary Magic With Your Waffle Iron and is filled with many excellent recipes for low-carb living and includes a color photo of each recipe.  Each recipe is less than 10 carbs per serving, including desserts like pie and cake!  Many people think that waffles are only good for breakfast, but waffles are delicious at anytime of the day.  I use these grain-free waffles as a substitute for bread in sandwiches and have even made amazing low-carb desserts with them!  I hope that you'll hop over to the iBooks store or the Amazon website to check out the new book. Thank you! I appreciate your support and please tell your friends!

To celebrate the release of the book, I'm sharing a new waffle recipe below.  This Cranberry Nut Waffle was created after the completion of the book, so think of it as a bonus!  It's just as delicious as my other waffles and has been a favorite lately since fresh cranberries are abundant right now.  When you want to keep a breakfast of waffles low carb, it's important to find an alternative to maple syrup, which is over 50 grams of carb per 1/4 cup!  For this waffle, I created a creamy cranberry spread to use as a topping.  It's a great way to start your morning...and the new year.  Have a happy and healthy 2016!

Orange Cranberry Waffles

Grain-Free, Low Carb Orange and Cranberry Nut Waffle (or Pancakes)
Makes 2 waffles (6.5-inch round) or 8 small pancakes
Serving size: 1/2 waffle or two small pancakes

1/4 cup nut butter of choice (almond, cashew, but not peanut butter)
3 tablespoons of finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup fresh cranberries (measure first, then chopped fine)
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
5 drops liquid stevia drops (Valencia Orange or regular), or to taste
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon melted butter or ghee (use coconut oil for dairy-free)
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk or fresh squeezed orange juice
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Cook on your preheated waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instruction for your waffle iron or cook on a hot griddle for pancakes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  To reheat, toast the waffles on the lightest setting of your toaster and watch carefully to prevent burning.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 waffle or 2 small pancakes (no topping): 188 calories, 4.9 g carbohydrate (1.7 g dietary fiber, 0.6 sugars), 17.6 g total fat (4.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 54 mg cholesterol, 92 mg sodium, 30.6 mg calcium, 99 mg potassium, 4.9 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 3.2 grams

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons

1/2 cup cream cheese (choose non-dairy, if needed)
1/4 cup fresh cranberries (measure first, then chopped fine)
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Chill until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information per serving (2 TB): 73 calories, 2.6 g carbohydrate (0.2 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 8 g total fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 20.4 mg calcium, 5 mg potassium, 2 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.4 grams

Recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream or Pops

This creamy low carb dessert is such a treat and another great way to incorporate more natural, probiotic-rich food into your diet. It's made with frozen organic raspberries (or fresh) that are both low on the glycemic scale and high in antioxidants. To make it extra creamy, I drained the whey out of my homemade kefir, or you can use store bought, to create kefir cheese. (Recipe for making kefir at home can be found here.) To make kefir or yogurt cheese, simply line a strainer with two unbleached coffee filters, set it over a bowl, fill the strainer with plain kefir (or plain unsweetened yogurt, but not Greek) and allow to drain in the refrigerator overnight.  When the thickened, cream cheese-like kefir cheese is added to the kefir with the full-fat coconut milk, the result is a super luscious and decadent frozen treat.  If you want to have a festive ice cream for the holidays, simply add some peppermint extract or a few drops of dietary-grade peppermint essential oil to the mix.  I've had it both ways and it is delightful!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream
Makes 6 servings (1/2 cup each)

3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup kefir cheese (or yogurt cheese)
1/2 cup plain unsweetened kefir
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (or erythritol sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweetleaf brand) or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate (85% cacao or higher)
For optional peppermint flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract or 2-3 drops dietary grade peppermint essential oil, or to taste

1. In a blender, blend together the raspberries, kefir cheese, kefir, coconut milk, vanilla, sweeteners and peppermint extract or oil, if using, until smooth.  Taste mixture and add more sweetener, if desired. If you used fresh raspberries, refrigerate mixture for at least one hour before proceeding. Chop the dark chocolate and set aside.

2. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker, adding the chopped chocolate at the appropriate time.  Serve immediately or freeze for a few minutes until it reaches a soft-serve consistency. Put any leftovers into ice pop molds and freeze to serve later. (This is best served as soft-serve ice cream.  If allowed to freeze completely, it will be too firm to scoop, so making ice pops is the best way to use leftover ice cream.)

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 193 calories, 7.6 g carbohydrate (1.3 g dietary fiber, 4.8 g sugars, 2 g sugar alcohols), 18.1 g total fat (11.6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 36 mg sodium, 71.1 mg calcium, 24 mg potassium, 2.3 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 6.3 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Berry Blue Kefir Smoothie

More and more research is coming out that having dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut) is associated with obesity and most chronic illness, such as diabetes, neurological disorders, depression, anxiety, IBS, Crohn's disease and even cancer. It is important to include probiotic rich, cultured and fermented foods (such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and fermented vegetables) in the diet and I have personally experienced fewer food sensitivities, more stable blood glucose levels and lower blood pressure since consuming these foods daily.  Making kefir at home is easy! (see my previous post here)  I include it as an ingredient in every morning smoothie I make.  It's creamy and delicious.  Another ingredient in this smoothie is Camu powder, made from a tropical berry.  Because it has one of the highest vitamin C content of any fruit, much more than an orange, I like to add it my smoothies especially at this time of year when colds and the flu are going around.  This smoothie is bright and refreshing and will give you a power boost of energy in the morning.  I like to add 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil to this smoothie for added brain boosting and gut healing benefit.  When I have this kefir smoothie for breakfast, I'm not hungry again for many hours!

Berry Blue Kefir Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup plain, unsweetened coconut milk kefir (or dairy kefir, if you can tolerate dairy)
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used flax milk, but almond would work well)
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon camu powder
1/8 teaspoon stevia powder or to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract or 2 drops dietary-grade lemon essential oil (optional)
3 ice cubes
1/4 cup water

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Pour into a tall glass and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving (made with coconut milk kefir): 311 calories, 11.4 g carbohydrate (0.9 g dietary fiber, 6.7 g sugar), 28.1 g total fat (18 g saturated fat from the coconut, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 103 mg sodium, 302.2 mg calcium, 50 mg potassium, 1.8 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 10.6 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2015