Thursday, December 29, 2016

Black Forest Cherry Cobbler

You're going to thank me for this recipe. It was the featured dessert at my Christmas Eve family gathering this year and it was spectacular! Plump, dark sweet cherries, fudgy cake and topped with vanilla-laced whipped cream...what's not to love? Even the members of my family that are not gluten free or low carb enjoyed it immensely. (I gave them the option of real vanilla ice cream as a topping, which was a good compromise and worked out perfectly for everyone.) If you're partial to Black Forest Cake, like I am, this cobbler has all those delicious flavors without the carbs or guilt. Happy New Year!

Black Forest Cherry Cobbler
Makes 9 servings

3 cups fresh, organic dark cherries, pitted (or frozen, thawed for 30 minutes)
3/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
5 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener (or other erythritol sweetener)
1 teaspoon stevia powder (I used Organic Sweet Leaf brand)
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8x8 inch glass baking dish with coconut oil, butter or ghee. Pour the cherries into the dish and distribute evenly, reserving a few cherries for the top, if desired. Set aside.

2. Whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, salt, LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener, stevia powder and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl until no lumps remain. Add the cold butter cubes and, using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal (the butter should be smaller than pea size).

3. Separately, in a small bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla and cream. Whisk wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Drop by spoonfuls over the cherries and spread to the edges. Top with reserved cherries, if desired.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until batter is set on top. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with vanilla whipped cream sweetened with stevia (optional).

Nutritional Information per serving (1/9 or recipe, no whipped cream): 169 calories, 13.7 g carbohydrate (3.4 g dietary fiber, 7.2 g sugars, 5.2 g sugar alcohols), 12 g total fat (4.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 96 mg sodium, 42.5 mg calcium, 121 mg potassium, 3.3 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 10.3 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Kefir Orange Julius Smoothie

I've always enjoyed the flavor combination of orange and vanilla. When I was a kid, I would always choose a creamcicle push-up when the ice cream truck came through our neighborhood. And when I was a teenager spending my own money at the mall, an Orange Julius was worth the expense, even on my limited budget! Right now, there's a very juicy and sweet seedless tangerine available at my local Whole Foods called Satsuma Mandarins (see photo below). They're only around for a short time and, although I normally don't eat a lot of fruit, this is one fruit I look forward to every year and enjoy in moderation only during this season. This kefir smoothie has the taste of an authentic Orange Julius! It's frothy and sweet with the perfect blend of orange and vanilla, just as I remember. The orange oil or extract is important to give this recipe the orange punch of the original drink. I used a few drops of culinary orange oil, which is available through specialty cooking stores or on the internet, but regular orange extract that you can find at any grocery store will work too, just make sure it's pure orange extract, not imitation flavoring. This recipe makes about 3 servings, so you can share it or save some for later. It makes a delicious breakfast smoothie, afternoon snack or healthy dessert.

Kefir Orange Julius Smoothie
Makes 3 servings (about 1 cup each)

1-3/4 cup plain milk kefir, unsweetened
1 peeled seedless mandarin orange (or small navel orange)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons heavy cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
6 drops of Valencia Orange stevia
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 drops of orange oil (or 1/8 teaspoon orange extract), to taste
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder, or to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
4-5 ice cubes
1 tablespoon coconut or flax oil (optional)
1 scoop prebiotic powder (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavorings and sweetness, if desired. Serve immediately or store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutritional Information per 1 cup serving (no optional ingredients): 146 calories, 6.8 g carbohydrate (0.5 g dietary fiber, 6.8 g sugars), 8.5 g total fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 56 mg sodium, 140.1 mg calcium, 213 mg potassium, 346 mg Vit A, 8 mg Vit C, 5.7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 6.3 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without author's permission.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Old Fashioned Gluten Free, Low Carb Cornbread

Before I found out I had celiac disease (an intolerance to gluten), I often would bake lower carb goodies by substituting almond flour for most of the wheat flour in a recipe and that worked out well. For the most part, I now avoid all grains (GF or not) to keep my blood glucose steady. Tonight though, I wanted to serve cornbread with a Navy Bean and Bacon Soup because the flavor combination is so perfect together. This amazing, low carb recipe is the result of my kitchen experimentation and it turned out great!  I couldn't be more pleased; it tastes like the real thing to me! Traditionally prepared cornbread is about 29 grams of carbohydrate per serving, which is far beyond my limit.  My recipe clocks in at a low 7.3 net carbs per slice and has all the flavor and texture of the original. I know you'll be as pleased as I am when you taste my delicious bread.  Try it with this creamy Navy Bean Soup and stay happy and warm this winter, no matter the weather outside:

Old Fashioned Gluten Free, Low Carb Cornbread
Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup coarsely ground certified gluten free cornmeal (non-GMO or organic is best)
1/2 cup blanched almond flour, finely ground
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon LaKanto Golden Monkfruit sweetener (or other erythritol sweetener)
1 egg at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup plain milk kefir, at room temperature (can substitute sour cream, plain yogurt or buttermilk)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch cast iron skillet (preferred) or an 8-inch round pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, place the cornmeal, almond flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and LaKanto Monkfruit sweetener and whisk to combine and break up any lumps. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, mix the egg, melted butter and kefir (or sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk) and whisk vigorously to combine.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. With a whisk or fork, combine ingredients until just combined. Pour batter into the greased pan.  Bake for 20-30 minutes (about 20-25 minutes if using a cast iron skillet) or until lightly browned, the edges are brown and crispy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

3. This bread is best when sliced and served warm.  (If allowed to cool, I suggest reheating in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up the top.)

Nutritional Information per serving (1/8 of recipe): 120 calories, 8.7 g carbohydrate (1.4 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars, 1.5 g sugar alcohols), 7.7 g total fat (2.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 211 mg sodium, 59.8 mg calcium, 98 mg potassium, 3.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 7.3 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2016
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without permission from the author.