Monday, August 31, 2020

Low Carb Banana Pudding Donuts with Whipped Cream Topping

Low Carb Banana Pudding Donuts with Whipped Cream Topping
The versatility of a donut baking pan is that it can be used to make more than donuts. In this case, these donuts are really more like cupcakes. (As a matter of fact, you can make these in a cupcake or muffin tin instead.) The reason I like using a donut pan is that when I deliberately overfill each cavity, so that the cake rises and fills in the center hole, it leaves the ideal space to spoon the filling! The result are dainty little cakes perfectly proportioned into individual servings. If you like banana pudding, you’ll love these pudding-filled cakes!

Note: If you don’t want to make homemade pudding, you could certainly use a sugar free boxed mix. The most popular brand has some questionable ingredients, namely modified cornstarch and maltodextrin, both of which will raise blood sugar as high or higher than regular sugar! That’s why I prefer to make my own. You can make the pudding several days ahead and store it in the refrigerator.  That way it’s set and ready to go when it’s time to fill the cakes. The best part is that the pudding part of this recipe will make much more than you’ll you’ll have plenty leftover for snacking!

Low Carb Banana Donuts with Whipped Cream Topping
Makes 10 servings (depending on the size of your donut pan)

Pudding Ingredients:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons powdered erythritol sweetener
A pinch of salt
1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons banana extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 drops monkfruit extract or stevia, to taste
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (as needed for thickening)

Donut Ingredients:
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
6 tablespoons granulated erythritol sweetener 
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (Optional, but adds nice vanilla flecks to the batter. If not using, increase vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1-1/4 teaspoons banana extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping Ingredients:
2 tablespoons cold water 
1 teaspoon dry unflavored gelatin powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered erythritol sweetener (or 6-8 drops monkfruit extract or stevia)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Pudding Directions (can be made several days ahead): In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream and almond or coconut milk. Heat until hot and bubbles can be seen around the edges. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetener and salt in a heat-proof bowl or glass measuring cup until light and thoroughly combined. 

2. Slowly ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, whisking continuously, to temper them. Then slowly whisk the tempered egg/milk mixture back onto the saucepan, whisking continuously. Continue to stir and heat until the pudding thickens and will coat the back of a spoon. If the mixture starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and continue whisking (you don’t want scrambled eggs!). Once it has thickened, remove from heat and add the butter, extracts and monkfruit or stevia. Stir until the butter has melted. Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the surface of the pudding while whisking vigorously until it has incorporated and there are no lumps. Pour into a glass bowl or storage container and place in the refrigerator to set up and cool completely.

3. To make the Donuts: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease your donut baking pan well; set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, sweetener, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt until no lumps remain (you may sift this mixture, if desired). In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, almond or coconut milk and extracts. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk vigorously until well incorporated, no lumps are visible and the batter is smooth.

5. Fill each donut cavity until nearly full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until firm to the touch and the edges are golden brown. (You want the center of the donut to puff up and cover the center hole once the donuts are baked to create a well for the pudding filling, see photo below.) Remove from oven and allow the donuts to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

Baked donuts showing well for filling
6. To make the stabilized whipped cream topping: Pour the cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle the dry gelatin powder over the top and allow to sit for a few minutes to “bloom.” Heat in the microwave for about 5 seconds on high, then stir until the gelatin is dissolved; set aside to cool for 5 minutes while you whip the cream.

7. Place the heavy whipping cream, sweetener and vanilla extract into a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on high until the cream forms soft peaks. Slowly add the gelatin/water mixture and continue whipping until moderate to firm peaks are achieved. 

Photo showing filled donuts and finished donuts
8. To assemble: Spoon a tablespoon or so of the banana pudding into the center well of each donut, mounding it slightly. Spoon or pipe the whipped cream over the top, making sure to cover the pudding completely. Because the whipped cream has been stabilized by the gelatin, these donuts will store well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When it’s time to serve, allow the donuts to sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Banana Pudding Donut showing filled center
Nutritional Information per donut with pudding and topping: 228 calories, 4.8 g carbohydrates (2.5 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugars), 21.6 g total fat (12.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 172 mg cholesterol, 188 mg sodium, 91.5 mg calcium, 95 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 220 IU Vit A, 4.7 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.3 grams

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Hot White Chocolate

Hot White Chocolate
It may be a bit early to be thinking about hot chocolate but, because of recurring kidney stones, my doctor tells me that I need to cut back on oxalates in my diet. Sadly, dark chocolate and cocoa powder are very high in oxalates and can encourage the development of kidney stones. The good news is that white chocolate is very low in oxalates! I live in Maine and need some type of hot chocolate beverage to get through the long, cold winters. I developed this recipe that is creamy, rich and just as satisfying. Low carb AND low oxalate, this recipe will be one of my favorite treats as the weather gets cooler!

Hot White Chocolate
Makes 1 serving

1-1/4 cups non-dairy nut milk of choice (coconut milk is lowest in oxalate)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
6 drops monkfruit extract (or stevia)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon chocolate extract
A tiny pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar free white chocolate chips (see note below)

1. Heat the milk, cream, monkfruit extract or stevia, extracts and salt in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the white chocolate chips, stirring until they are completely melted and incorporated into the hot milk. 

2. If you have a frothing wand, give it a whisk to create foam and to make sure the chips are well incorporated. If you don’t have a powered frothing tool, you can use a hand whisk. Serve immediately. 

Sugar Free Chocolate Chips
Note: There are several brands of sugar free white chocolate chips available. I used Lily’s, which I bought at Whole Foods, but WalMart carries Bake Believe brand which can be found in the baking aisle. Another company that sells sugar free white chocolate chips is Choc Zero, which you can buy online. 

Nutritional Information per serving: 223 calories, 3.9 g carbohydrates (1.9 g dietary fiber, 0.8 g sugars), 24.4 g total fat (13.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 66 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium, 12.3 mg calcium, 29 mg potassium, 195 IU Vit A, 0.3 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2 grams

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

40 Second Keto Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

40 second Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Here’s another quick and easy cupcake recipe that you “bake” in the microwave for 40 seconds! This recipe is a favorite of my chocolate-loving husband. He freely admits that these cupcakes are as rich, decadent and fudgy as a traditional cupcake. He doesn’t miss the sugar at all and neither will you! This recipe yields three cupcakes, so it’s perfect when you want to satisfy a chocolate craving, but don’t want too many extras hanging around to tempt you.

40 Second Keto Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 3 cupcakes

2 tablespoons almond or pecan flour
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder 
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional, but enhances chocolate flavor)
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated erythritol sweetener 
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 large egg
5 drops dark chocolate stevia or monkfruit extract, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened almond or coconut milk (or strong brewed coffee for a mocha flavor)

Dark Chocolate Frosting:
1 oz. unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped
3/4 teaspoon refined coconut oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature 
2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature 
4 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature 
1/3 cup powdered erythritol sweetener 
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (or as needed to reach the desired consistency)

1. In a small bowl, combine the almond or pecan flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, granulated sweetener, salt and baking powder. Whisk to combine and remove any lumps.

2. Add the melted butter, egg, stevia or monkfruit drops, vanilla extract and milk or coffee; whisk until well combined.

3. Evenly divide the batter between three silicone muffin cups and microwave on high for 40 seconds or until the cakes have risen, look dry and spring back when touched near the center. (The time needed for cooking may vary, depending on the wattage of your microwave.) Alternatively, you can bake them in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15-18 minutes. Move to a wire rack and cool completely.

4. To make the frosting, in a medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped baker’s chocolate and coconut oil. Microwave on high in 15 second intervals to melt the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute or two and then stir until smooth. (If you would prefer, you can melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a heat proof bowl over barely simmering water.) Set melted chocolate aside to cool to lukewarm. 

5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the butter, cream cheese and mascarpone cheese together until smooth. Beat in the powdered sweetener and cocoa powder, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

6. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until a spreadable consistency is achieved. (Note: This icing recipe makes enough to frost 6 cupcakes, so more than you will need. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

Microwave Keto Dark Chocolate Cupcake
Nutritional Information per one cupcake with 3 Tbsp frosting: 234 calories, 6.5 g carbohydrate (2.2 g dietary fiber, 0.7 g sugars, 2.1 g sugar alcohols), 21.5 g total fat (12.1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 102 mg cholesterol, 127 mg sodium, 93.8 mg calcium, 95 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 106 ug Vit A, 5.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 4.3 grams

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

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Taco Salad with Quest Protein Chips

Taco Salad with Quest Protein Chips
Here’s an easy dinner that is entirely satisfying and tastes just like a higher carb version. The secret is to use Quest Protein Tortilla-Style Chips in place of corn tortilla chips (I chose Nacho Cheese flavor, but you can substitute your favorite). This delicious salad has become a hands-down favorite on my keto diet, especially when I don’t feel like cooking!

Taco Salad with Quest Protein Chips
Makes 1 serving

3 oz. ground beef
1-2 teaspoons taco seasoning, to taste
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 bag Quest Protein Tortilla-style Chips, Nacho Cheese (see image below)
1 cup lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream

1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Add the taco seasoning to taste. Add the water and chopped onion; stir to combine.

2. Pour the entire bag of Quest Protein chips into a large serving bowl. Top with the seasoned beef, lettuce, chopped tomato and shredded cheese. Dollop with sour cream and serve.

Quest Protein Chips
Nutritional Information: 445 calories, 9.6 g carbohydrates (2.2 g dietary fiber, 2.9 g sugars), 28.5 g total fat (12.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 93 mg cholesterol, 498 mg sodium, 335 mg calcium, 505 mg potassium, 2 mg iron, 614 ug Vit A, 12 mg Vit C, 38.8 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 7.4 grams

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