Friday, July 29, 2016

Blueberry Mug Muffin with Easy Cultured Butter

I was lying in bed this morning, thinking about what I might want for breakfast, when an idea flashed into my mind: Blueberry Muffin. This is a twist on my favorite Mug Cake recipes but, instead, it's a Mug Muffin! And to make it even extra healthy, I mixed together kefir cheese and butter to create a simple and quick cultured butter as a spread. delicious! I highly recommend using the smaller wild Maine blueberries for this recipe so they won't sink to the bottom (like mine did in this picture) but, even if the bigger variety of berry is all you have, it will still taste amazing, especially topped with creamy butter. (It would also be great made with raspberries.) This delightful breakfast was a great way to start a beautiful summer day in Maine!

Blueberry Mug Muffin
Makes 2 servings

2 tablespoons almond flour/meal
2 teaspoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener (or other erythritol sweetener)
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract or 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or 2 drops dietary-grade lemon essential oil)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 drops Lemon Drop stevia (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted (use ghee for dairy-free)
1 tablespoon small wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1. Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a mug by microwaving on high for about 15 seconds; set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, sweeteners, salt and baking powder. Stir with a fork until well combined and no lumps are visible.

3.  Add the melted butter, extracts, lemon stevia drops, and egg. Whisk with a fork until a smooth batter forms. Take a paper towel and coat the bottom and sides of the mug with any butter remaining in the mug. Add 1/2 of the blueberries to the batter and gently fold to incorporate and pour into the prepared mug. Top batter with remaining berries.

4. Microwave on high for about 45 seconds.* Remove and test by touching the muffin near the center. It is done when the batter on top of the muffin looks set and springs back when touched lightly. If additional cooking time is needed, microwave at 10 second intervals and retest. Do not overcook. Allow the muffin to cool in the mug for 1 minute.

5. Invert the muffin onto a serving plate and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately with butter or store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day. This recipe makes 2 servings.

*To bake in the oven, divide batter into two greased muffin tins or ramekins and bake at 325-degree Fahrenheit for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when tested or muffins spring back when touched near the center. 

These muffins can be microwaved or baked in the oven. Both methods are equally delicious!
Nutritional Information per 1/2 recipe: 143 calories, 6 g carbohydrate (1.7 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars, 4 g sugar alcohols), 11.7 g total fat (4.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 113 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 114.5 mg calcium, 88 mg potassium, 5 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 4.3 grams

Easy and Quick Cultured Butter: Mix together 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 tablespoon kefir cheese (to make kefir cheese, click here) and 1/4 teaspoon honey.  This probiotic-rich buttery spread is excellent on muffins, pancakes and waffles.

Recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate without author's permission.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Coco-Mocha Mug Cake

I just returned from vacation and I'm not quite ready to stop being on vacation! This afternoon, to extend the fun experience, I made this marvelous Keto Mug Cake and ate the whole thing for my lunch. It's grain-free, sugar free and easily can be made dairy free (by substituting ghee for the butter), but it's far from flavor free! The combination of coconut, coffee and chocolate is so delicious. Since Mug Cakes are "baked" in the microwave and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, I can be spontaneous and carefree about having one. This tender cake is similar to a sweet indulgence I was tempted to have while on vacation, but without all the gluten, sugar, carbs or guilt! Mmmm...this was a great way reward myself for having made healthy choices on my trip and to welcome myself back home.

Coco-Mocha Mug Cake
Makes 2 servings

1-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted (or ghee for dairy free)
2 tablespoons almond flour/meal
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee (or substitute 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee and omit the coconut milk)
2 teaspoons LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener (or other erythritol sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
5 drops dark chocolate stevia or regular (I used NOW Better Stevia brand)
1 tablespoon coconut milk

Optional toppings (pictured): shaved or chopped dark chocolate (70% or higher), toasted unsweetened shredded coconut or flakes. (Optional toppings are not included in nutritional information.)

1. Prepare your mug by melting the butter or ghee in it (microwave for 15 seconds or so); set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the batter.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee (if using), sweeteners, salt, shredded coconut, and baking powder until well mixed.  Add the melted butter, egg, stevia drops and coconut milk.  With a fork or whisk, stir until well combined.

3. With a paper towel, coat the inside of your mug with any melted butter still remaining in the mug. Pour in batter and microwave for about 45 seconds until cake is done and springs back when touched near the center. (The time needed for cooking may vary, depending on the mug you use and the wattage of your microwave. It's best to begin with 45 seconds and, if more cooking is needed, microwave in 10 second intervals until done.)

4. Allow to cool in the mug for at least 1 minute, then invert cake onto a serving dish and cool for an additional few minutes until warm, but not too hot.  Sprinkle with optional toppings, if desired. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature and eat within 1 day. This recipe makes 2 servings.

Nutritional Information per serving (1/2 recipe without optional toppings): 191 calories, 7.4 g carbohydrate (2.6 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugars, 4 g sugar alcohol), 17.5 g total fat (8.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 116 mg cholesterol, 172 mg sodium, 120 mg calcium, 137 mg potassium, 5.8 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.8 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016.
All rights reserved. Do not reprint without author's permission.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cherry Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream with Macadamia

Summer just isn't summer without ice cream! For a long time, I only would allow myself a single dip of ice cream once a year as a treat. (How sad and un-American is that?) I felt deprived and certainly left out of the whole social experience of eating ice cream with family and friends. I wanted more freedom to enjoy the short, warm season in Maine like everyone else...and that means having plenty of ice cream. The only difference now is that I make it myself. For my birthday last year, I received an ice cream maker and have been having a grand time creating healthy, sugar free ice cream in every season. My imagination has been the only limit to the variety of flavors I've enjoyed! The one ingredient I add to all my recipes is plain milk kefir because it's a delicious way to consume more probiotics. My ice cream is similar to frozen yogurt, but it contains many more beneficial microorganisms to boost digestive health, which is very important for a person with diabetes. This recipe highlights fresh cherries that are in season and at the lowest price right now. Combined with chocolate chips, cacao nibs and chopped macadamia nuts, it is bursting with real summertime flavor! If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can make this mixture into ice pops instead, but I highly recommend you consider getting one for all the ice cream you'll want to make in the future after you taste this!  To browse my other low carb, delicious and healthy ice cream recipes, click here.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream with Macadamia
Makes eight (1/2 cup) servings

Ice cream base:

1 cup plain milk kefir (to learn how to make your own, click here) or use plain yogurt
2 cups full-fat coconut milk (I used A-Roy D brand)
1 tablespoon Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener (or other erythirtol sweetener)
3/4 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (I use Sweet Leaf brand)
1 heaping tablespoon raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
5-8 drops of Cherry flavored liquid stevia (or regular)
1 tablespoon macadamia nut butter (or cashew butter)
12 fresh red sweet cherries, pitted (divided)


2 tablespoons 70% or higher dark chocolate, chopped (I used 5 squares of Green and Black's 85% Organic Chocolate bar)
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1. In a blender, blend together the kefir, coconut milk, sweeteners, cacao powder, macadamia nut butter and 8 of the pitted cherries. Blend until well combined and smooth. Taste and adjust sweetening, if desired. Lastly, add the remaining 4 cherries and pulse blender only until cherries are roughly chopped (you want some chopped cherry pieces visible in the mixture). Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, prepare stir-in ingredients and put them in a small bowl; set aside. (I like using cacao nibs with the chopped dark chocolate because it adds a nice crunchy texture to the finished ice cream but, if you don't have them, you can leave them out and add another 1 tablespoon of chopped chocolate instead.)

3. According to the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker, churn the ice cream base until beginning to solidify.  Add the stir-ins and continue churning until a soft serve consistency is reached. At this point, you can serve immediately or, if you wish to scoop the ice cream, pour into a container and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, but do not allow it to freeze completely (see note below). 

NOTE: This ice cream is best served right away because, if it is completely frozen, it will be too hard to scoop. Fill ice pop molds with any leftover ice cream and freeze to be eaten as popsicles later.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup: 202 calories, 6.8 g carbohydrate (1.3 g dietary fiber, 3.7 g sugars, 1.5 g sugar alcohol), 19 g total fat (10.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat) 0 mg cholesterol, 13 mg sodium, 21.7 mg calcium, 51 mg potassium, 1.8 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 5.5 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016