Gluten-Free (Grain-Free) Low Carb Hot Pockets

October 17, 2013

Ham & Cheese Hot Pocket

Editing this entry to correct carb counts.
I’m excited about sharing this recipe here. I don’t get many original ideas and I think these are definitely blog worthy. I haven’t posted much lately due to our diet change, now that the grandchildren aren’t staying with us. We are doing a ketogenic diet (low carb, moderate protein, high fat) and I have to say, I love it! At first, I stuck to some very basic recipes to help us get over the hump of starting a stricter diet. Now that we are well into it, I’ve started cooking a variety of foods. While this is a recipe I wouldn’t make frequently (on the higher carb end), I am glad to have it for those times we just want a little something different. It would also be good to take along on day trips, when I won’t be home to cook. I based this recipe on the one for the Holy Grail Pizza Crust, which I love and think is the perfect pizza crust! These are great to make and freeze (bake the crust, add toppings, freeze, thaw, reheat @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes). I took three of them to Austin with us on our vacation and they held up extremely well, even days after they’d thawed out. (They were refrigerated) It was on the drive home from Texas that the idea for hot pockets came to me. While I still want to work on the visual aspect, I didn’t want to wait to share the recipe.

    GF LC HOT POCKETS

Makes 4

CRUST

1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 cup almond flour
2 Tbs coconut flour
1 extra large egg
2 Tbs cream cheese, room temp
2 Tbs grated parmesan cheese (fresh)
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp sea salt

FILLING

1 cup sliced or diced ham
1 cup shredded cheese of choice
2 Tbs cream cheese, room temp

Turn oven on to Broil. Place grated Mozzarella in an oven safe bowl or small pie plate, spreading out evenly. Place on lowest rack of oven for about 3 minutes. Watch closely; you don’t want it to turn brown at all, just melt it.
Melted cheese

Remove from oven and while it cools slightly add remaining crust ingredients in a separate bowl.
Dry ingredients

Mix ingredients well, then add melted cheese. Squeeze cheese thoroughly to incorporate into other ingredients. Shape into ball as well as you can. The dough is sticky at this point.
Incorporate cheese

Let stand for 5 minutes. While you wait, prepare filling by mixing all ingredients well.
Filling ingredients

This is the kind of ham I used; 5 thin slices made 1 cup.
Ham

Take crust dough and shape into a log.
Log

Divide log into eight equal pieces.
Divide log

Shape each piece into a ball.
Shape into balls

Pat each ball out into patty form with hands. Then place on parchment covered baking sheet and continue to shape into larger circles.
Pat out circles

You can place these close together, as they don’t spread.
Circles

On middle rack of oven, place baking sheet for 3 minutes. Watch closely; you want them to just begin to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for one minute.
Brown slightly

Place equal amounts of filling in the center of four of the circles.
Place filling equally

Place other circles on top, browned side down, then pinch the edges together as best you can. (Don’t worry if they don’t seem to seal) Then take a fork and press down all around the edges of each hot pocket, to help seal the edges. (Again, don’t worry if they don’t seem to fully seal; it will come together in the oven) I found that pressing down with the tip of the fork first, then pressing down fully, then sliding the fork away works best. Next time I make these, I am going to use a biscuit or tart cutter to give them a better finished look.
Seal edges

Return to oven under broiler for 3 minutes, watching closely. Once the top is nicely browned, remove from oven. Wait one minute, then carefully flip them. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes to finish browning. Remove and serve. Approximately 14 total carbs (8 net) per pocket. I hadn’t realized how much the coconut flour upped the carbs, so I’ll be working on this recipe to see if I can decrease the carb count.

Hot pockets served with fermented dilly beans

As they cool, they can be eaten like a hot pocket (without a fork).
Hand held hot pockets

My first attempt at these I made pizza pockets. I used all the ingredients for pizza topping inside and used Italian seasoning in the crust.
Pizza pockets

These could even be sweetened (replace garlic salt in crust with sweetener) and filled with fruit or some other sweet filling. Here’s my version of a cran-apple turnover doing this:
Cran-apple popover

Please share your ideas in the comments!

This post is part of the Tasty Traditions and Fight Back Fridays real food blog carnivals. Check them out for more great stuff!

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Sourdough Pizza Crust (and Tortillas)

March 16, 2013

A sourdough pizza

We aren’t eating grain, but I still make things for my grandchildren, so I thought I’d share this recipe that I use to make sourdough pizza and tortillas. It’s a great way to use up starter and you can’t complain about a recipe that doubles for something else, right? I make it the exact same way for either. If I’m making tortillas for breakfast, I’ll make the dough at night and leave it out on the counter overnight. If I’m making pizza, I’ll make the dough in the morning and and let it sit out until dinner time. The one thing I haven’t done is let it do a second rise after rolling it out and putting it on the pizza pan. I should do that some time. Anyway, to make tortillas, just roll them out individually and cook on a hot skillet or tortilla pan. The sourdough taste doesn’t come through and I pass these off as regular tortillas all the time. It makes 6-8 tortillas, depending on size. For a neat trick on making evenly shaped tortillas, check out this post. I’ve only done this once, but it works very well.
Here are the instructions for making the pizza.

Sourdough Pizza Crust
makes 1 large pizza crust

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3 Tbs olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
1/2 cup starter
1/4 cup sour raw milk (or water)
Extra oil for greasing pizza pan

Preheat oven to 425o. Grease pan and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
dry ingredients

You can also do this in a food processor, but I prefer doing it by hand.
Add oil and mix well.
Add oil

Add sourdough starter and mix well.
starter
mixed starter

Add milk or water and mix until it comes together to form dough. This shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry. If it is too dry, add more liquid 1 tsp at a time. If it’s too wet…well, I don’t know a remedy for that, so you may want to go slow when adding the liquid.
Once it forms a dough, put it in a glass bowl. I didn’t do it here, but it’s best to grease it with a little oil.
In glass bowl

I put a piece of cheesecloth over the bowl and set it in my microwave. Any place relatively warm will do.
Covered dish

I got a late start, so it didn’t rise as much as usual, but this is what it looks like after sitting about 3 hours.
risen dough
You can see the starter has done its magic.

I roll the dough out on my counter to the approximate size of my large pizza pan. Sometimes, I use my hands to stretch it, just because it makes me feel like a real chef.
rolled crust

I usually put a light coating of olive oil and sprinkle some garlic salt on top. Bake at 425o for 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it; you only want it to just start turning brown around the edges.
crust

Remove from oven and continue preparing to your liking. Bake another 4-5 minutes once the sauce and all the toppings have been added. Remove from oven and enjoy! Super easy!

I keep mine pretty simple. I usually use a mix of 1/2 spaghetti sauce and 1/2 tomato paste. This gives the Italian flavor with the paste giving the sauce the thickness it needs. I usually add a little Italian seasoning and a little more garlic salt on top of the sauce. Then I top with grated cheese and pepperoni, the only two toppings my grandchildren agree on! (And, yes, they prefer some type of Jack cheese!)
toppings

Ready to bake:
Ready to bake

Ready to eat!
Ready to eat

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This post is part of the Fight Back Friday blog carnival hosted by Food Renegade.


Almond Flour Buns

February 9, 2012

Hemp-topped buns

*I’m editing this post to include some changes I’ve made to the recipe.

This recipe is based on one from Elana (of Elana’s Pantry) that she calls Paleo Bread. I’ve only made a couple of changes and have made it into a bun instead of a loaf. (Her recipe calls for a special loaf pan and doesn’t produce good results in a regular loaf pan) It’s been a life saver for our grain-free diet, so I wanted to share it with you. The pan I use is a muffin top pan. You can use a regular muffin pan, but the buns may need to cook a few minutes longer. (I was making a double-batch, so some of the measurements in the pictures may be different than the recipe lists)

Ingredients
In this picture I was using coconut sugar instead of honey.

Almond Flour Buns
makes 6 buns

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup Salba, ground (can use regular chia seed)
2 Tbs coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil + enough to oil pan
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs honey
5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350o. Grease muffin top pan and set aside.

Muffin top pan greased

It takes 2 Tbs of Salba (or chia) seed to make 1/4 cup ground. (This is 1/4 cup, because I was doubling the recipe)

Salba
(Okay, maybe I was a little short there)

Put the seed in a coffee grinder if you are using seeds.

Seed in grinder

Pulse till they are well ground.

Ground Salba

Put almond flour, coconut flour, ground Salba, baking powder, salt, and coconut crystals if using, all in a large mixing bowl. (This can be done easier in a food processor, I just prefer to do it by hand)

Dry ingredients

Mix well, breaking up any clumps in the flours, then add coconut oil.

Add coconut oil

Mix until coconut oil is well combined. Add eggs and vinegar (and honey, if using in place of coconut crystals). There are 10 eggs, because this was the double-batch.

Add eggs and vinegar
(The white stuff is where the vinegar reacted to the baking soda when I used the same tablespoon to measure it)

Stir until well combined.

All mixed up

Spoon into muffin top pan, so that it is even with the top of the pan.

Batter in pan

Bake at 350o for 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Baked buns

Let cool approximately 5 minutes, then transfer to baking rack to cool.

Buns cooling

Regrease pan and put remaining batter in pan, filling to top of pan as before. (See above)

Use as you would any sandwich bun.

* Here are the changes I’ve recently made:

Instead of using just Salba, I use 1 Tbs Salba seeds and 1 Tbs chia seeds, ground. I add 1 tsp ground hemp to the batter, then I sprinkle hemp seeds on top of the buns before baking. Very nice flavor!

These have so many uses! Here I used them for sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches.

Sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit

I found a use for my biscuit cutters!

Biscuit cutter

This post is part of the Fight Back Friday blog carnival, hosted by Food Renegade.

You can follow me on Facebook by clicking on the link in the above, right-hand corner.


Health Beyond Food

January 22, 2012

My Bathroom

Welcome to my bathroom!

I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a while. I wanted to cover some other ways we can achieve better health and really feel this is the best way to do so. For me, personally, it was a while before I really began to connect the dots with products I was using and my health. I want to say upfront, I have not arrived in any fashion. Like everyone else out there, I’m a work in progress. But if we wait until I’m perfect, you’ll still be waiting long after I’m gone. So I’d like to share with you the things I DO know.

This is my shower:

My Shower

If you pull back the shower curtain, you’ll see this:

Chlorine filter

See that white thing attached to the shower head? That’s a filter. A chlorine filter, to be exact. Did you know that when you shower with chlorinated water for 15 minutes, it’s like the equivalent of drinking eight cups of chlorinated water?! Imagine the heat opening up your pores and all that chlorine being absorbed into your body. Not to mention the dangers of inhaling it! Vaporized chlorine is 100 times greater through inhalation in bathing than compared to drinking it! I got this information from Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness. Here’s his blog post with a video about this subject: How to Filter Your Shower Water. Sean has tons of good information. He recently wrote the eBook, Dark Side of Fat Loss. (You know, the one with my recipe in it)
😉
You should link up to his blog and Facebook page to stay abreast of some really important subjects. Just be prepared, every video begins with a loud, “Yo! What’s up y’all?!”

Okay, back to the filter. Sean recommends picking one up at Whole Foods. That’s probably because a lot of people shop there. I don’t happen to be one. A) Because I moved to Fargo, and there isn’t one here and, B) I prefer to give small businesses, farms, farmers markets, etc, my money. The problem is, none of those places sell shower filters. So I did what I do when I need a non-local item. I got on Amazon. There I was able to find the same filter sold at WF ($50) for $30. I don’t know how much difference there is in the various brands, but I’m happy with the one I have. I can tell a big difference. Before the filter, I would feel like I was suffocating in the shower and my eyes would really burn. And it’s not like I feel it just because I’m aware of it. This used to happen all the time in our old house, long before I was wise to it. (I’m sensitive, what can I say?) Now, nothing like that happens. For this reason, I will share the name of the brand: New Wave Enviro. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t try another brand; I’m just sharing my experience with this one. Which brings me to the next subject: coconut oil.

I gave up lotion quite a while back and started using coconut oil. I use it all over my body and even use it for deodorant. Even though it seems like it would be greasy (and I don’t like greasy things), it is quickly absorbed and doesn’t leave a greasy feel. I mean, with what other product can you moisturize your hands while cooking? I was having a little trouble with some dryness later in the day, until I heard about the way someone else applied it. She turns the water off and while still in the shower and still wet, puts the coconut oil on. So I decided to try it that way. I love it! I just take a quick swipe at the water, so I’m not quite as drippy, and then start putting the oil on from top to bottom. It’s like it helps trap moisture with it. In fact, it was this very reason I stepped up the purchase of a shower filter. I hated the idea that I was trapping even more chlorinated water in my body. And I love the smell of coconut oil on my skin (even though it quickly fades). It reminds me of that expensive tanning oil I never could afford. I have a little container that is for brewing tea that I keep it in. When I am about to shower, I take the lid off and set it on the side of the tub. The heat from the shower helps to soften it.

Coconut Container

Let’s pan up a little. The way we opted to mount the shower filter caused me to have to find a new home for the shampoo/soap holder. I decided it would work just as well at the back of the tub. Actually, it works better there, because I can reach the top shelf better.

Shampoo/Soap Holder

So what kind of shampoo do I use? Well, one that’s probably better than the popular brands, but I’m pretty sure I could upgrade. It has ingredients I can’t pronounce. I don’t like that. At some point, when I become truly “crunchy” I will dispense with shampoo, or “poo” as the crunchy crowd calls it, and make my own out of baking soda. Anyway, I have two types of Giovanni shampoo there; one called 50:50 Balance and one called Smooth as Silk. Here’s a link to the 50:50. I also have a tiny bit left in another bottle. The name of that one is Tints of Nature. As I said, I haven’t arrived.

Also up there with the shampoo is my soap. Now my soap I will brag about! I love this soap! And I love that I know the person that makes it. And she has the cutest names for them. Like this one:

Country Bubbles Soap

Seriously, how cute is that?! I’d recommend you go join her Facebook page. Sometimes you can get a really good deal. And in case you are wondering, my husband uses the Giovanni shampoo and Country Bubbles soap also.

Panning to the left of the shower, not that it has anything of value to offer this post, but just for people (like me) who have curious minds, we find the towel hook, the towel rack, and my nemesis (aka The Scale). It’s that very slim thing leaned up against the cabinet. It must be broken, because it’s been stuck on the same number for quite a while. One of these days, I’ll throw it out. And buy something cute to put in that spot.

Empty Looking Area

Yes, moving right along we come to the cabinets behind the bathroom door. I love these cabinets. You can stash a lot of stuff in there. Which is both a pro and a con. Because there is a lot of stuff in there that should be in the trash. It’s what happens when you unpack in a hurry. I’m only baring the contents so you’ll know I’m a real person with real faults.

This is the bottom section. I could have straightened it up before taking a picture, but I don’t want to perpetuate any myths that my cabinets are perfectly organized.

Lower Cabinet

See that deodorant? Well, that’s for emergency or extreme situations. Like, when I’m pretty certain the coconut oil will fail me. It doesn’t happen very often and I ALWAYS make sure I have coconut oil on first. That way I can reason that it’s not quite as bad for me. One day I’ll experiment with adding things to the coconut oil (again, baking soda) to see if it helps. Or use cut citrus on my pits first. Something.
See the little bag next to the vitamins? It’s my make up bag. Why it’s in there I have no clue. I have two different beauty routines. If I’m going somewhere that people know me, I apply a touch of powder to my nose (some organic type of mineral powder that I forgot to take a picture of, but will update soon), along with a quick brush of some name brand long-lasting lipstick and a little gloss on top, then a tiny bit of black eyebrow pencil over the worst of the gray eyebrow hair. That’s mostly on the innermost corner of one eyebrow, sort of like Ron Paul’s.
😀
If I’m just going to the store where no one knows me, I skip the powder. My longest beauty routine is about 38.5 seconds long.

The top cabinet is mostly my husbands stuff and stuff we hardly ever use (and should probably get rid of). He takes several prescription drugs, but we are working hard on correcting those problems and believe he will get off of them. Sooner than later. I hope. And most of our vitamins and supplements. Which he mostly takes.

Top Cabinet

I will definitely keep those two water bottles (top shelf) here in North Dakota. Once in a great while, when I’m cold and can’t warm up, my sweet husband will go fill them and bring them to me. He’s very nice like that. 🙂

Continuing the tour, we come to the sink area.

Sink Area

I just HAVE to stop at this point and say something about the decor. My ego forces me to say it. We rent. I’m using stuff I brought from our old house. I’m going to change it, one of these days. But it may not be until we move into a more permanent situation. Like a cute little farm, with a place to garden and room for a cow and a pig and…oh, pardon my daydream!

I love this flashlight/nightlight my husband bought. It gives off a nice light at night while charging.

Toothpaste and nightlight

And, of course, there are our toothbrushes and toothpaste. Fluoride free, always!! I’ve been using Jason brand. My husband is happy with it, so that’s a plus.

Here’s a close up of my coconut oil container and my oregano oil:

Coconut oil

And my hairspray full of icky stuff. I will research that next. Mostly for my husband, because I rarely use the stuff. In fact, the only reason I’m using this one is because I bought it for him and he didn’t like it and I hate waste. How dumb of a reason is that to put toxins on my body?

Here’s the shelf above the toilet with my husband’s hairspray that I will hopefully replace soon, along with some icky candle that can’t be good but has never been burned, I just like the color:

Bathroom Shelf

And now, for the piece de resistance: the throne.

The Throne

In case you haven’t heard and don’t know, how we “go” can have a very large impact on our health. See that cute little stool? I’m going to get very personal now. It’s called…

the Squatty Potty. See how it fits neatly underneath there? If you aren’t using it (because it’s only used for one thing), you hardly know it’s there. Very handy. To use, simply pull it out away from the toilet:

Squatty Potty

It’s very stable and those little gray circles are grippers. I’m forced to say this: gripping, you know, for keeping your feet from slipping. Since this is such a delicate subject, I am going to direct you to the website where you can read all about this little stool and why no bathroom should be without one. That way I can end this post with some dignity left.

Squatty Potty

Sorry the website is feet up butt down. I can’t do anything about that. I wouldn’t recommend it, though, if I didn’t think it wasn’t important. (Did I say that correctly?)

For more information, you can always see this post by Sean Croxton (where I first heard of the SP). He has overcome his, um, shyness in regards to this issue and, as always, has tons of important information.

This is the brochure that came with the product, which helpfully explains why the product is important:

Inside Brochure

Back cover:

Back Cover Brochure

Gee…I wonder if that’s a copyright issue. Hmm…

Well, on that note I conclude this tour of my bathroom. I hope that you have found something of value here. They say knowledge is power; let’s use that power to better our health.

This post is part of the following blog carnivals:

Healthy 2day Wednesdays hosted by day2day joys.
Fight Back Fridays hosted by Food Renegade.

You can follow me on Facebook by clicking on the link in the above, right hand corner. Thanks for reading!


GF Low Carb Cheesecake

January 6, 2012

cheesecake slice

Warning: this is a photo intensive post.

I’ve made two cheesecakes in the past two weeks. The first one was for Christmas and was a cranberry cheesecake. While the taste was amazing (minus the sour cranberries I put in the center on top), the carb/sugar count was higher than I wanted. Also, because it was for our Christmas meal (which was a day late) and I was rushing, I failed to follow directions. Since I’d only made one other cheesecake in my life and since it had been awhile AND since I failed to follow directions, not only did I not cook it long enough, I failed to leave the side ring on the springform pan in place. As if all that didn’t already spell disaster, I cut into it while it was warm. Result? Not good. A yummy, liquid-y, cheesecake tasting mess that required a spoon to eat. I decided right then and there that I would go back to the drawing board. With its almond crust and healthy ingredients, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to make another one so soon. Besides, someone asked me for the recipe and I couldn’t very well give them one I didn’t have confidence in. (You see the sacrifices I go through for my blog?)
🙂

cranberry cheesecake
Homemade cranberry sauce swirled into the top of the cheesecake. (I did this prior to baking) I used my basic cranberry sauce recipe, but adjusted the cup of turbinado for 1/2 cup of turbinado and liquid stevia to taste.

So I went back to the drawing board, determined to lower the carb count and bake a cheesecake that would hold its form on a plate. Before I post the recipe, I want to say that we all make a choice of what sweetener we use. Let me also say, this recipe can easily be adapted to your sweetener of choice. Just make sure that whatever sweetener you use, it needs to be added in a measurement that is equal to sugar. For instance, if you use xylitol, where it says 1 Tbs sweetener, the xylitol would be 1 Tbs, because it measures 1:1 (spoon for spoon) with sugar. Hope that makes sense! If not, you can always taste as you go (especially if you’re using quality eggs; if not, adjust sweetness before adding eggs). I tried to make it all of stevia, but the stevia taste was becoming too strong long before the desired sweetness was achieved. I will include some alternate sweeteners at the end of the post (see footnote 1). Lastly, I used blueberries in this cheesecake and opted to put them on the bottom, rather than the top. You can use whatever fruit you like or none at all. You can bake the fruit (fruit puree, fruit jam, etc) into the cheesecake or use it on top of the baked cheesecake. Here’s a cool trick if you want to get really fancy.

GF Low Carb Cheesecake
serves 16 thin slices or 8 better slices

Almond Crust

1 1/2 cups almond flour
3 Tbls softened butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs sweetener (anything that equals 1 Tbs sugar)
Pinch of stevia powder (to taste)

Note: this crust is not very sweet, so make adjustments that suit your personal taste.

Preheat oven to 350o. Butter a 9″ springform pan. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, then add butter till combined. Place almond mixture in pan and spread across the bottom and up the sides as well as you can. Like so:

unbaked crust

Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching carefully that you remove just as it begins to brown. Remove and set aside. Lower oven temp to 325o.

baked crust

Cheesecake Filling

3 (8 0z) packages of cream cheese or neufchatel (softened)
2 cups plain, mild yogurt (I used Greek)
3 large eggs + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup xylitol1 or sweetener of choice (I use LC-Sweet)
Stevia to taste
2 drops English Toffee flavored liquid stevia (optional)
1 cup blueberries (optional -I used frozen/drained)

Note: this filling may not be sweet enough for some. Adjust as necessary.

Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy, but keep your mixer speed relatively low. Slowly add sweetener of choice and stevia (if using) and continue beating till creamy.

blending cream cheese

Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla and yogurt and mix just till well blended. (Don’t overmix) Adjust sweetness as necessary.

cream cheese filling

This next part deals with the bain marie (water bath). I should have done this first but didn’t and since the pictures show the filling poured into the pan already, that’s how I have to post it. (Sorry, not ready to bake another cheesecake just yet!) You can prepare the pan and then pour the filling into it.

Take 2 sheets of foil paper a little longer than the edges of the pan, like this:

take 2 sheets

Line them up with the top sheet about halfway over the bottom sheet, like this:

place one on other

Fold edges a couple of times to seal ends, like this:

folded edges

Here’s a panned out view:

panned out view

Unless you are working with the extra wide, heavy-duty foil, repeat the process with 2 more pieces of foil (making them into one). Lay the second set on top of the first.

Begin to wrap the outside of the pan in a way that would best keep out water. Sort of like this:

wrapping pan

Continue wrapping with remaining foil, making sure foil isn’t above edge of pan.

first layer finished

Continue with second layer, so that it looks like this:

second layer

If you are using fruit, take approximately 1 cup of the filling and put it in a bowl with the fruit. Mix well and pour onto crust.

blueberry mix

Now carefully pour the remaining filling over fruit mix. (If you are not using fruit, simply pour all of the filling over the crust)

cover fruit mix

Place pan with filling in a larger baking pan. I found that the bottom of my broiler pan worked perfectly. There’s even an indentation in the pan that the springform fit in exactly!

place in larger pan

Set the whole thing on the oven rack. Using hot water, carefully fill outer pan with water until it is 1/3 of the way up the side of the springform pan.

ready to bake

Bake for one hour, then turn off oven and leave in for one more hour. Remove foil. Run a knife all the way around the edge of the cheesecake. (I’ve read this helps with cracking) It should look like this:

baked cheesecake

Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Remove outer part of springform pan, slice and serve.

slice of cheesecake
Yes, that is a 1/8th serving.
😀

We really enjoyed this cheesecake. The addition of cinnamon really gives the crust a graham cracker crust taste and the blueberries were just the right touch. I also like that the ingredient list is short. Short and sweet; my favorite kind of recipe!

1 The xylitol and stevia can be replaced with any sweetener that equals 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. I’m guessing 3/4 – 1 cup of honey would work, but can’t guarantee what it would do to the texture. (Found a similar recipe here that is made with honey) Hope any of that info helps!

This post is part of the following blog carnivals:

Fight Back Friday
hosted by Food Renegade.
Fresh Bites Friday hosted by Real Food Whole Health.

You can follow me on Facebook by clicking on the link in the above, right-hand corner.


Coconut Butter PB Fudge

December 16, 2011

PB Fudge

This method for making a quick, low-sugar or sugar-free fudge has been around for a while and made the rounds of quite a few blogs. However, I decided I would throw my recipe into the mix, for those looking for a quick, healthy fudge recipe for the holidays. I made a similar fudge in the past, but had pretty much forgotten about it until the other day when my husband was commenting on some peanut butter fudge sitting out at work. Now that we are working extra hard to get his blood sugars down (will be posting about our grain-free diet soon), I wanted to make something that he would enjoy that would also be healthier for him, instead of harmful. Most recipes call for using coconut oil, which works equally well, but I opted for the coconut butter for two reasons; 1) I had some on hand and, 2) coconut butter has a naturally sweet taste. I do want to thank Feeding My Tribe for reminding me of this recipe (after she commented on my last post and I visited her blog and saw it).

coconut butter

Coconut Butter PB Fudge
makes approx. 15 large or 30 small pieces

1 cup coconut butter
1 cup nut butter (I used organic crunchy pb that was simply ground nuts)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup coconut nectar (low glycemic) or honey
liquid stevia to taste
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

fudge ingredients
Ingredients except for butter, which was a last minute decision. (And not including the pecans soaking in the background!)

In a small saucepan, heat over very low heat coconut butter and butter until it is a soft consistency.

coconut butter melting

Add remaining ingredients to pan, except chopped nuts if using. (For a sweeter fudge, you can add up to another 1/4 cup of coconut nectar or honey)

all together now

Continue stirring over low heat until everything is well blended together. Add nuts. I used the macadamia nuts I had.

chopped mac nuts
(Yes, I use a steak knife to chop nuts)

At this point, the fudge is basically done. You can scoop spoonfuls of it into paper cupcake liners or use the smaller ones for bite-sized pieces for a nice finished look.

pouring fudge

Though I didn’t try it, I would imagine dropping little spoonfuls of it onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet would work just as well. (Another alternative that I have used is to spread it out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, then break into pieces when it’s cold) The fudge then needs to go into the fridge for 30 minutes or the freezer for 10. Store in covered container in fridge. I thought the flavor was improved after a day in the fridge. It seemed to cut down on the coconut taste.

CBPB fudge

Pumpkin “Fudge” Update! I made the pumpkin “fudge” and really love how it turned out. Because I’m not a fan of the coconut flavor, I love that the pumpkin comes through a lot more than the coconut.

Pumpkin Fudge

Pumpkin “Fudge”
makes approx. 24 squares

1 16 oz jar coconut butter 1
4 Tbs butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 tsp coconut nectar or honey
Liquid stevia to taste (I used 1 dropperful)

Mix coconut butter and butter in small saucepan over low heat until butter is completely melted and coconut butter is very pliable. Add other ingredients and mix well, continuing to heat as you stir. Once ingredients are thoroughly combined, spoon mixture into a well greased 8 x 8 baking pan or other dish. (I used an oblong, plastic bowl without greasing and it didn’t stick) Put in freezer for 30 minutes or fridge overnight. Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper and cut into desired size squares. I will definitely make this one again!

pumpkin fudge serving

1 The jar says it’s 16 oz, but the servings say 14 servings of 2 Tbs each. 16 oz = 2 cups and 28 Tbs (2 Tbs x 14 servings) = 1 3/4 cups, so all I can say is that I used an entire jar. And that this recipe is pretty forgiving.
🙂

You can follow me on Facebook by clicking on the link in the above, right-hand corner.

This post is part of the following blog carnivals:

Fight Back Fridays hosted by Food Renegade
Healthy 2day Wednesdays hosted by day2day joys
Fresh Bites Friday hosted by Real Food Whole Health

Check them out for lots of great recipes and real food info!


Christmas Scone Cookies

December 9, 2011

Scookie!

I was about to go on a long-winded explanation of how we are going to eliminate grain from our diets (AGAIN!!!) and how I bought this 20 lb bag of white spelt flour from the food co op a couple of weeks ago and how I was wondering what to do with it…

but I think I’ll just fast forward to the good part.

So I’ve been craving scones. Maybe it’s the display at the Starbucks drive up. Yes, I’m sure that must be it. They have all these wonderful looking treats, so Christmas-y and yummy looking. Arg! Bad food! Bad ingredients! I should give up coffee. I’ve been craving scones ever since I made them almost a year ago. I’ve tried really hard to limit sweets this year and for the most part I think I’ve done pretty well. But those scones were calling my name and here I had this flour and besides, Barbara gave me permission. (Hey, E, please don’t tell your mom I said that!) So I made scones today. And they were so yummy. I cut them a little smaller than last time. In fact, I separated the dough into two balls, then rolled them out and cut them like a pizza, like last time. It was while I was eating one on a Christmas napkin I brought home last night (thanks, Julie!) that I saw a resemblance.

Christmas scone

See what I mean?! That’s definitely a Christmas scone! So then my brain kicked into holiday overdrive. Christmas scone…cookie…potluck Sunday, dessert needed. It was providence! When my husband came home and tasted one of these scone-cookie things he instantly dubbed it “scookie.” Thus, scookies were born! (You know how we love to name our food)

As always, keep in mind this is how I made them. You can make your own substitutions and/or additions. I like using cacao nibs and happened to have the macadamia nuts (soaked and dehydrated) on hand, but you can use anything you like: chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, etc. I had to make an adjustment from the last time I made them, because previously I used sour raw milk. Due to a severe shortage of milk here (and because I save it for more important things, like COFFEE) I did what I always do; made it up as I went along.

This is my end of the year grain blowout. Feel free to remind me of that if you see me straying.


Christmas Scone-Cookies (Scookies)

makes approximately 48 medium cookies

6 cups white spelt flour
2 cups turbinado sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 medium or 2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup butter or ghee
1/2 cup cream cheese
3/4 – 1 cup whey1
5 Tbs cacao nibs
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Cookie ingredients

Preheat oven to 450o.

In a large bowl or mixer add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until combined.

mixing dry ingredients

Add eggs, butter, cream cheese, and coconut oil and mix just until combined. (Wet ingredients should be soft enough to mix easily with dry ingredients)

Add wet ingredients

Add 3/4 cup of whey and mix till dough forms. If needed, add up to another 1/4 cup of whey a little at a time. (It will probably take the higher amount if using all purpose flour; spelt has a tendency to seem dry at first, but them becomes more moist quickly)

Whey
I love whey. I’m concerned about running out of it. I’ll be glad when they change the silly laws.

Lay dough on work station (I just use the counter without any flour) and form into a ball, then press out. Add cacao nibs and nuts (or whatever additions you are using) and mix them into the dough.

add cacao nibs and nuts

Separate dough into two balls and set one aside. Roll first ball out to desired thickness. I rolled mine to about the thickness of a sugar cookie you would use a cookie cutter with. At this point you can cut them like a pizza, use a glass or biscuit cutter and cut round shapes, or use cookie cutters. I used cookie cutters and a little spatula my insurance agent gave me.

cutting cookies

I interrupt this cookie making session to let you know, if you happen to buy your insurance through State Farm, that you should make sure you pick up one of these handy jar openers:

jar opener

Seriously, I love this thing! I had one for years and years and when I was packing for North Dakota I made myself throw it away. It was completely falling apart, but I hadn’t been able to bring myself to throw it out. After my agent here in ND graced me with this little spatula (because I had to fill out a form and include what my personal interests were…seriously!), I told him about my beloved jar opener. And what to my wondering ears did I hear, but he thought he might have one somewhere in the back!! He came out with not one, but TWO of these beauties. Yes, I know, they don’t look like much, but trust me…they can open ANY jar!

Okay, where were we? Oh, yeah…cookies…

Place cookies on a baking sheet with parchment paper, silicone sheet, or that has been greased with butter or coconut oil.

ready to bake cookies

Bake at 450o for 8 minutes or until just beginning to brown around bottom edges. Remove from oven and cool.

cookies baked

Use frosting of your choice to frost and/or decorate or eat them as is!

I used a simple frosting by mixing approximately 2 parts softened cream cheese to 1 part raw honey and added a little homemade vanilla. Adjust sweetener to your own liking or add liquid stevia to cream cheese/honey mixture, a couple of drops at a time, to desired sweetness.

I’m still working on the decorating part, but for the sake of the blog I used some organic raisins. I’m hoping to find a way to incorporate some fresh cranberries I have, either by candying them or making a thick version of my cranberry sauce and using that somehow. I’m always open for decorating suggestions using real food.

Christmas cookies
Christmas tree, snowman, stocking, and holly leaf.

I was concerned about the icing causing the cookies to stick when stacking on a serving tray, so I came up with another idea. I cut them out in circles, then made little sandwich cookies with icing in the middle.

scookie sandwiches
Scookie Sandwiches
🙂

1 If you have some raw milk, sour raw milk, or buttermilk, you can substitute all of the cream cheese and whey with it for a total of 1 1/2 cups of milk.

This post is part of the following blog carnivals:
Healthy 2day Wednesdays (day2day joys)
Fight Back Fridays
(Food Renegade)
Fresh Bites Friday (Real Food Whole Health)

You can follow me on Facebook by clicking on the link in the above right hand corner.