Carrot cake

I wanted to make a special occasion dessert recently and searched for a low-carb, gluten-free recipe online. I found this post for a promising carrot cake on the Fit To Serve site. I had many of the ingredients as they’re typical keto baking supplies. Just had to pick up carrots and the frosting components. This recipe is easy to put together but it is expensive to make. I’m happy to report the cost and effort was worth it for this impressive and tasty dessert!

I definitely recommend this one 😋

Product review: CarbQuick

I’ve seen this product online and finally decided to try it when I found it at a local health food shop. I paid about $20 for the box which is comparable to what it costs online. I was intrigued by the product because it promised a low carb baking mix that’s made out of wheat. Typical low carb options for baking include but flours, coconut flour, and other harder-to find (and expensive) ingredients.

The CarbQuick box included several recipes and I can attest to the few I tried.

First was basic cheddar tea buns or biscuits. They involved using the box mix base, adding cream, egg, and shredded cheese. These turned out well and were eaten in a flash at my house.

Then I tried a muffin recipe from the box. I subbed in chocolate chips and again these turned out well. The muffins were a little dry and didn’t make a lot. So next time I make these I’ll probably add more cream and double the recipe.

I made pancakes with the CarbQuick mix but forgot to get pics. But I also tried the thicker waffle recipe with the mix and the waffles were excellent. This is my favourite use of the mix so far. I haven’t found s good waffle recipe with low carb ingredients yet. So getting to make and have these were an extra nice treat.

At first I was hesitant to purchase CarbQuick because I wasn’t sure how it would work, plus it seemed expensive. But after my experiments I attest that the mix makes good baked goods. And I still have about half a box left. In doing some math, I realize CarbQuick is cheaper to use than almond flour which has been my go-to flour/base recently. The main draw back is that CarbQuick is made with carbalose flour (wheat) so not gluten-free. So that’s important to keep in mind if you have sensitivity or an allergy, or someone you’re baking for is in that situation. That flour base is also high in fibre which is what causes it to have a lower net carb count than typical flour.

I don’t have issues with gluten myself, and didn’t experience any adverse effects from this product or it’s added fibre. And though it is “processed” I’m ok with incorporating some of that including convenience foods.

All in all I’m glad I took the plunge and tried this product!

Supplements

Living a ketogenic lifestyle does not mean a person takes a bunch of supplements or pills to stay healthy but I do have some diet additives I find useful. Do you take any supplements?

Here are my current main go-tos:

Drink of champions

This combo of liquid chlorophyll and electrolytes saves my butt constantly. I don’t take the electrolytes supplement every day but I try to have at least one dose of the green stuff daily. I add both to a bottle of water so stay hydrated at the same time. My nephropathic doctor recommended liquid chlorophyll to help with skin, inflammation, and hormone issues I had this past fall, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s a wonder fix-all and I now recommend it to everyone! This particular electrolyte powder has no sugar or carbs and does the trick when I’m lacking sodium, potassium, and magnesium in my regular diet.

More fat

If you are doing ‘keto’ then you know fat is good for you. I knew oil supplementation was good for me way before I understood the benefits of  fat or keto. I have taken some sort of fish oil on-and-off for at least ten years. Where I’m from, cod liver oil has been a cure-all for centuries and I grew up knowing it to be foul-tasting but effective. Now, you can get oils of many varieties in pill form and many are odourless, and some are flavoured. I tried taking evening primrose oil capsules but didn’t find much benefit. For a while my doctor recommended a high does of perillia seed oil but when that bottle ran dry I went back to fish oil. I’m not loyal to any particular brand or type. There is lots of debate online and in literature about what type of oil is better for you: seeds vs. animal but there is little doubt omega 3 supplementation is beneficial.

Probiotics

Genestra HMF Forte Probiotic Formula

This is a lesson I only recently learned and wish I’d known sooner: Get yourself a good probiotic! These itty bitty guys will help with digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Taking a supplement is especially important if you don’t eat much (or any) fermented foods. I keep mine in the fridge and have one per day before eating.

Chill pill

This is another excellent supplement I was turned on to my by naturopathic doctor. She recommended teas of holy basil as well as nettle. While I do like those I have found taking a concentrated pill supplement of holy basil (or tulsi) amazing for my mental health and ability to manage stress. I’ll take all the help I can get in those areas!

Those are the main supplements I take on a mostly daily basis. They are my starting line though there are a few others I sprinkle in when needed or when I remember. A good diet rich with nutrients is the best basis for health but it’s nice to know I can bring in these supplements to help!

Keto-friendly chocolate chip cookies

I made this recipe recently and the resulting cookies were chewy and satisfying. The recipe is from the site Fat For Weight Loss. It’s a great one and the recipe page has various ingredient options with photos. I used regular almond flour (not fine ground) and added xanthan gum. I didn’t have grass-fed butter but did use butter, of course. The sweetener I had was Swerve, and the chocolate was my fav Lindt 78% cocoa chopped up into pieces.

The dough before baking didn’t look the same as the pic for the original blog recipe. But I kept going and things worked out.

I put small balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with a non-stick baking mat. That made 15 with some dough leftover. The original recipe said it would make 12 cookies so perhaps I made mine smaller and/or my ingredients made more volume. I did not smoosh or flatten them before baking.

These baked for about 15mins. The original recipe said to bake for 10mins but I kept checking mine and thought they needed more time in the oven. The cookies didn’t spread too much but flattened out to a nice cookie.

As with most keto and gluten free baked goods I found these were better a day after they were baked. The texture gets chewier which I love. Also as with most of my keto-friendly baking these cookies were gobbled up pretty quickly by me and my family. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe out again soon and see how it works next time.