Ketogenic Baking – Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Coconut Bread – Ketogenic Baking

Ketogenic Baking Zucchini Coconut Bread

Ketogenic Baking Zucchini Coconut Bread

I originally lost 25 lbs. about 4 1/2 years ago on a slow carb diet and then took off the last 10 lbs. about a year ago.  My weight has been stable throughout the 4 1/2 years (ok, I gained a few pounds on vacations but quickly took it back off after returning home).

So anyway, I’m pretty adapted to this type of lifestyle and I really don’t miss the breads and pasta and desserts.  Having a few pieces of sourdough or a bag of cookies on cheat day has been quite sufficient for me.

For some of the clients that I coach however, breads and baked goods are a part of life that they are loath to part with.  So, I finally bit the bullet and decided to try some ketogenic baking recipes that use almond flour or coconut flour and sugar substitutes.  The idea was to try a few recipes to have something to share with clients, but I liked this one so much that I will probably make it for our family once a month or so.  Might have to try some more keto baking this winter!

This recipe for zucchini coconut bread is the first one I came across that looked simple and tasty and had ingredients that you can find at most grocery stores.  It is from a woman named Carolyn and this is the link to her recipe:  http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2016/08/best-low-carb-chocolate-chip-zucchini-bread.html.  Here it is in my words, but very little has been changed.

Recipe: Zucchini Bread for Ketogenic Baking

This  is a wonderful quick bread but just know that it is quite crumbly and it is not very sweet.  I liked that it was not that sweet, but if you are expecting the typical sweetness of zucchini bread you’ll be a bit surprised.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • salt
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • sweetener equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar (I used Truvia)
  • 1/3 cup protein powder (whey isolate)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (more if needed)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Place zucchini in a sieve set in the sink or over a bowl.  Sprinkle with salt, let it sit for a while to drain and press down on it firmly with hands every so often to help it drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with Pam or grease.
  3. In large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, coconut, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder and salt).
  4. Slightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and then stir in the eggs, the coconut oil, the coconut milk and the drained zucchini to the dry ingredients in the large bowl.  If the batter is too thick and not spreadable, add a little more coconut milk.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly.  Bake at 325 for 55 to 65 minutes, unti the top is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in pan 15 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool.

 

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Pork Posole Slow Carb or Keto Style

What is Mexican Pork Posole?

Pork Posole - Slow Carb

Pork Posole – Slow Carb

The classic Mexican posole is a rich stew made with pork butt, hominy, mixed chiles and flavored broths.  But alas, hominy is corn and corn is not compliant with a slow carb diet.  Not to worry however!  This pork and ancho stew is every bit as tasty with beans standing in for the hominy.

What?  You’re on a ketogenic diet?  Well then, please substitute cabbage for the hominy instead.  It’s all good.  And I mean really good.

Ancho chiles in Pork Posole

The ground ancho chile is the key to the flavor here, and go as fresh as you possible can.  Ancho chile powder is not the same things as generic “Chili Powder” that you get at the grocery.  The generic stuff is usually a blend of multiple ingredients such as cumin, oregano, garlic powder and ground chiles and the ratio of each ingredient varies widely between brands.

You can usually find ground ancho chile at Latin grocery stores and sometimes in regular supermarkets in the Mexican grocery aisle.  If you want really fresh ancho powder, you can buy some whole dried anchos from me and grind them up yourself.  I sell them at the local farmers’ markets, but if you don’t live in Minnesota, contact me at dsheathglen@gmail.com and order some.

Pork Posole Toppings for the Crowd

This recipe makes a lot and if you don’t want to have it for lunch all week, share it with your family or invite some friends over.  It’s always fun to put a platter of toppings on the table so everyone can add them to their soup, and most of the traditional garnishes/toppings are also low carb!  Here are a few:

  • thinly sliced red radish
  • shredded cabbage
  • cilantro
  • diced avocado
  • Queso Fresco
  • lime juice
  • diced fresh green chile

Recipe for Slow Carb Pork Posole

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin, toasted and then ground if possible
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup ground Ancho chile powder
  • 2 1/2 – 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder (aka Boston Butt), cut into small chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 cans of white navy beans (or 2 cups of dried navy beans soaked overnight)
  • substitute cabbage in for the navy beans if you are strictly ketogenic

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a crockpot or slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.  Add salt and more Ancho chile powder if needed.
  2. This is even better the next day.  Just turn the slow cooker back on low for a couple more hours.  You really can’t overcook.

 

 

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Low Carb Lunch – Egg Avocado Salad

Egg Avocado Salad - Low Carb Lunch

Egg Avocado Salad – Low Carb Lunch

 

Low Carb Lunch Quandary

Lunch on a low carb or ketogenic diet is always tricky.  People are busy and it’s often a huge chore to make it out the door in the morning with a decent breakfast, let alone a pre-planned portable lunch.  It is getting easier to find low carb options in restaurants now (thankfully), but it is still questionable as to what is in the sauce, soup base or the salad dressing.

However, if your refrigerator is full of low carb or ketogenic ingredients, it really is not that hard to throw a bunch of them in a lunch bag and put them in the refrigerator when you get to work.  Easier still is to make this salad the night before or on the weekend and put it into portable containers to grab on your way out the door.  If you work at home, so much the better!  Busy stay-at-home parent?  This type of salad doubled and mixed up in a big bowl will cover you for days.

If you make your own hard boiled eggs on the weekend the taste is better, but I’ve been so busy lately that I just pick up peeled hard boiled eggs at the grocery store.  I know, kind of lazy, and they don’t taste as good, but I tend to get overly frustrated dealing with all those finicky eggshells.  Seems like one out of three eggs actually peels with anything close to ease.  I do have a method for hard boiling eggs that is considered “fool proof” and you can find it here.  If the eggs aren’t extremely fresh it works most of the time.

At any rate, I bought the peeled hard-boiled eggs from the grocery store and if you grab a couple of eggs, an avocado, a small container of sour cream and some paprika or hot spice, you can quickly make a great and filling salad for lunch.  Here’s the recipe, such as it is:

Egg & Avocado Salad Recipe for a Low Carb or Ketogenic Lunch:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 hard-boiled peeled eggs
  • 1 avocado, chopped or mashed
  • 2-4 Tbsp sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika or hot chile pepper spice

Directions:

  1.  Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss delicately until well combined.

There are a ton of additions you can make to this simple salad to enhance it or change it up.  Here are a few suggestions:

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Pepperonata & Heirloom Squash with Romesco Sauce

Heirloom squash with Romesco Sauce

Pepperonata & Heirloom squash with Romesco Sauce

What is Pepperonata?

Peperonata (peh-peh-roh-NAH-tah) is an Italian vegetable dish of slow-cooked, or stewed bell peppers with onion and garlic.  Of course there are variations and some Italian cooks will add tomatoes, eggplant, or other Italian vegetables.

We had the luxury of an extra long growing season in Minnesota this year, and I was able to harvest a boatload of different sweet and hot peppers, along with a bountiful harvest of heirloom squash.  It is always easiest to design a dinner around what is in your fridge (or in this case your garden), and the bright orange bell peppers and squash prompted me to think of an Italian fall dinner.  A little Italian Romesco sauce to spice it up a bit and you have a gorgeous feast rich with the beta carotene from the orange vegetables, and comfort food to the max.

The Basics of a Pepperonata

The simplest way to make Pepperonata is to cook 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 sliced onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil over low heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 5 bell peppers that are quartered and of different colors and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the bell peppers are soft.

For my dinner I added some ground pork, some capers and a bit of anchovy paste.  I selected my favorite tasting heirloom squash, one called Buen Gusto De Horno.  Conveniently it played well with the Italian theme.  The Romesco Sauce is something that we sell online and it is a blend of heirloom tomatoes, peppers, almonds and spices.  It pairs perfectly with squash, as well as many other veggies and meats.

Recipe for Pepperonata & Heirloom Squash

Pepperonata Saute

Pepperonata Saute

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups assorted peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork (or ground hamburger)
  • 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste or 2 anchovies, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • squash of choice, quartered

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet or saute pan over high heat. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add the peppers and onions to the skillet and saute, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft (about another 10 minutes).  While the peppers are cooking place the squash on a baking sheet in the oven.  Add the garlic and saute quickly being careful not to burn the garlic (only needs about 30 seconds).
  4. Add the ground pork and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the anchovies.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Check to see if squash is done by poking flesh with a fork and if it gives easily it is done.
  7. Serve topped with Romesco Sauce.

HeathGlen has included the spice mixes used in this recipe, along with a jam, a beverage syrup, and a Romesco sauce in our 2016 holiday gift box.

I will post the list of products, prices and options in the 2016 Holiday Gift Boxes by November 15th, 2016.   Please visit our website for details on the Holiday Boxes or sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay apprised of recipes, specials and upcoming events.

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Chile Mocha Mexican Coffee – Low Carb Style

Chile Mocha Mexican Coffee

Chile Mocha Mexican Coffee

Coffee drinks are my beverage of choice whether it be a classic Irish coffee at the restaurant, a fresh brewed light roast coffee in the morning, a Pumpkin Spice coffee during the fall, or an Affogato dessert drowned in great espresso.  I love them all, and am something of a fanatic.  So, as I was putting together the holiday gift boxes for winter I wanted to make a special coffee drink that included the smoked chile peppers from our farm.

The Spice Mix for the Chili Mocha Mexican Coffee

We had a bumper crop of chile peppers this year and spent all fall harvesting drying and smoking them.  The smoked peppers are the most intriguing to me and this year they included Chipotles (smoked Jalapenos), Anchos (smoked Poblanos) and Pasilla (smoked Pasilla).

When I heard that Starbucks was offering a Chile Mocha Coffee, I rushed down to try one out, only to be sorely disappointed.  No heat!  I was anticipating a spicy, chocolaty rich coffee topped with a spicy whipped cream.  I asked the barista what was going on and they said really there was just a little spice on the top, but mostly it was a coffee mocha.  Harrumph!

So, as I was putting together the spice mixes for the boxes, I used the mocha coffee as a test for how hot and how smoky to make the “hot and smoky” mix.  I thought if it could stand up to the strong flavors of chocolate and coffee and still provide a spicy depth, it would work with just about anything that needed that kind of complexity.

Ingredients of the Spice Mix

Our “hot and smoky” spice mix includes dried and smoked Chipotles, smoked Ancho, smoked Pasilla peppers, dried Sweet Banana peppers, toasted Cumin, and Cinnamon.  The mix of these smoky hot peppers make a spice mix that is adaptable to adding to stews, sauces, chile, salsas, and…to coffee drinks!

How to Make a Chile Mocha Mexican Coffee

This recipe makes a coffee drink that is what I would consider “medium” hot.  If you prefer a drink with more intense heat, just add more of the spice mix.

Directions:

  1. Mix together 1-2 tsp of the Hot & Smoky Spice Mix with 1-2 tsp powdered cocoa, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2-3 tsp sugar (use Truvia if making a low carb drink) and a pinch of salt.
  2. Add 1 tsp of the pepper/cocoa mix to a cup of hot coffee, stir and top with whipped cream.  Garnish with cinnamon or more of the spice mix.

For a “spirited” Chile Mocha Mexican Coffee, add a shot of brandy or a shot of Irish Whiskey.  Perfect!

The spice mix (along with several other spice mixes and HeathGlen products) will be available in the Holiday Gift boxes, which should be available at our website by November 15th.

You can also pick up some spice mixes individually at several of the winter farmers’ markets.  The best way to keep in touch on the farmers markets and event locations and times is to sign up for our weekly newsletter either on the sidebar of this blog or at our website.

Cheers!

 

 

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