Sunday, January 26, 2020

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower
Since I cook almost every meal from scratch, I’m always looking for dishes that are convenient and simple to make. This quick mashed cauliflower recipe takes only about 10 minutes from start to finish and is the best low carb substitute for mashed potatoes that I know. I’ve posted a Perfect Mashed Faux-tato recipe in the past, but that one requires cutting up and steaming a fresh head of cauliflower. This easier recipe calls for a bag of frozen riced cauliflower instead, so most of the work is already done! The best part is that both recipes taste exactly the same. From now on, when I only need a few servings of this favorite low carb side dish to go with turkey, a pot roast or to make “potato” pancakes, this will be the one!

Quick and Easy Mashed Cauliflower
Makes 4 servings (1/2 cup each)

One (10 ounce) bag of frozen riced cauliflower (I used Green Giant)*
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Pour the frozen riced cauliflower into a skillet, cover and heat over low to medium heat until the cauliflower is thawed completely. Remove lid and continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until all visible liquid has evaporated. 

2. Transfer the heated cauliflower to a food processor. Add the cubed butter and cheese and process on low until the butter and cheese has melted and is incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste and process on high until the mashed cauliflower has reached the consistency you desire.

3. This can be rewarmed and served right away or can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several days.

*Note: You may ask why I don’t just buy the premade mashed cauliflower available in the frozen section of the grocery store. The reason is because the company adds milk, skim milk and modified rice starch, all of which adds carbs and sugars to the finished product. For comparison, one 1/2 cup serving of the premade frozen mashed cauliflower is 7 total carbs per serving (or 5 net carbs) with 3 g of sugar!! My recipe is only 3.4 total carbs or 1.7 net carbs per serving. This recipe is truly low carb/keto, while the premade product is not.

Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 135 calories, 3.4 g carbohydrate (1.7 g dietary fiber, 1.7 g sugars), 12 g total fat (2.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 437 mg sodium, 94.9 mg calcium, 4 mg potassium, 114 mg Vit A, 35 mg Vit C, 4.4 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 1.7 grams

Photo and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding
When my daughter was little, she was known as “The Peanut Butter Girl.” One of her favorite desserts was homemade peanut butter pudding. She is celebrating her 31st birthday today and, instead of a cake, she requested peanut butter pudding for her special treat. So, I went to work and created this low carb, sugar free recipe that exactly matches the taste and texture she remembers. It would also be an excellent filling for a Peanut Butter Cream Pie. If you’re a peanut butter lover too, you can enjoy this creamy, delicious pudding without guilt while sticking to your low carb/keto diet!

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding
Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup powdered erythritol sweetener 
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter, no sugar added
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3-4 drops monkfruit extract or liquid stevia, if additional sweetness is needed
4-6 drops peanut butter flavoring (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine whipping cream and almond milk. Bring just to a simmer (you’ll see bubbles around the edges). In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the egg yolks, sweetener and salt until well combined.

2. Using a ladle or gently pour about 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Then slowly pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan while whisking. Cook, while stirring, for 4-5 minutes until thickened and the pudding coats the back of a spoon.

3. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract; whisk until the peanut butter melts and the mixture is smooth. While whisking vigorously, sprinkle the pudding with the xanthan gum until well distributed. Taste and, if additional sweetness is desired, add the monkfruit or stevia and stir to incorporate. Let the pudding sit in the pan to cool for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming on the top.

4. Divide the pudding among six dessert dishes or put into a glass container. If you don’t want a skin to form, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding while cooling. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pudding served in a shot glass keto cookie
Nutritional Information per 1/2 cup serving: 240 calories, 5.3 g carbohydrate (1.4 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugars), 21.9 g total fat (7.1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 131 mg cholesterol, 93 mg sodium, 86 mg calcium, 11 mg potassium, 116 mg Vit A, 6.2 g protein. Net carb per serving: 3.9 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Vanilla Creme Mini Donuts with Strawberry Vanilla Glaze

Vanilla Creme Mini Donuts with Strawberry Vanilla Glaze
I found adorable mini donut pans on sale at such a great price, I just had to buy two for my collection. Each cavity needs one tablespoon of batter, so a single recipe makes a lot of donuts. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I thought tiny pink donuts would be festive and fun! The best part is that each mini donut is only 1 carb, so they make a great low carb treat anytime of day. (If you don’t have a mini donut pan, these work just as well in a regular size donut pan but extend the baking time to about 15 minutes.) To color and flavor the icing, I crushed no sugar added, freeze-dried strawberries into a powder. If additional coloring is needed, you’ll only need a drop or two of red food coloring (see the photo below for a brand of natural, vegetable-based food dye I use). The colorful sugar free sprinkles puts these little party poppers over the top!

Vanilla Creme Mini Donuts with Strawberry Vanilla Glaze
Makes 30 mini donuts or 8 regular-size donuts

Donut Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup granulated erythritol sweetener
2 tablespoons unflavored whey protein powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (or seeds scraped from one vanilla bean)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa butter (24 discs)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 ounce cream cheese (1 tablespoon)
A pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered erythritol
1 tablespoon no sugar added, freeze-dried strawberries, crushed into a fine powder
1-2 drops red food coloring, if needed to reach desired pink color

Sugar free sprinkles (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray each cavity of the donut baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray or grease with butter; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the almond flour, erythritol, protein powder, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, heavy cream, almond or coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine.

3. Fill each donut cavity about 2/3 full. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the tops are just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the glaze, place the heavy cream, cocoa butter, cream cheese and salt into a small saucepan and heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and allow the cocoa butter to melt and cream cheese to soften. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture in a microwave-safe bowl in 15 second increments until cocoa butter is just melted.) Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla extract, powdered erythritol and strawberry powder and stir to combine. If desired, you can add 1-2 drops of red food coloring until you’re satisfied with the pink color. (The glaze will be thin, but will thicken up as it cools. To hasten the process, place glaze in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes and whisk.)

5. Dip the tops of the cooled donuts into the glaze. Place the glazed donuts on a wire rack over a cookie sheet to catch any drips. While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with sugar free sprinkles, if desired. Cool until the glaze is set.

Some Unusual Ingredients for Donuts
Nutritional information per mini donut with glaze (based on the recipe making 30 mini donuts): 62 calories, 1 g carbohydrate (0.4 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars), 5.9 g total fat (2.7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, 37.2 mg calcium, 5 mg potassium, 26 mg Vit A, 1.5 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 0.6 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.