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!

Product review: Keto Creamer (360 Nutrition)

I’ve noticed products popping up in stores branded specifically for the keto diet. Companies are bound to jump in as this lifestyle gains popularity and more people try it, and succeed with it. I’m in Canada but follow many American keto instagram accounts and bloggers. Though we’re slower on the uptake some keto-branded products are making their way north.

This particular product is a powdered creamer for coffee and other such beverages. It’s named very directly Keto Creamer and contains MCT oil powder. I found it at Winners for about $10.

Note: I find lots of interesting food products at Winners including most of my keto-friendly baking supplies. #winnersfabfind

I assume the reason it’s marketed as ‘keto’ is because of the fat content from the MCT. The packaging boasts about its power as ‘fuel for your brain’.

This product is a fine white powder with brown specks.

The issue I have with this so-called ‘keto’ product is it’s sweetened with coconut sugar, and has added palm oil. Everyone must do their own research and figure out what they will or won’t allow in their diet. I’m ok with a little bit of these ingredients but I know some folks would give this a hard NO.

Looking at the nutrition content and ingredients is important. Please don’t be fooled into supporting products just because they are labeled certain way. I see online this company does make unsweetened creamer too FYI.

So now that you’re aware of the product and content, what about how it actually performs and tastes? Well I did try this product out several times and ways over the past few weeks. Here is my take:

It is sweetened but not too sweet in my opinion. There is a slight coconut flavor. It doesn’t blend well into just straight coffee. If you take a spoonful and stir it into a cup, it does whiten or cream the coffee but doesn’t fully dissolve. I think it’s the oil which tends to float on top like a crema, but mixed with some of the powder so it’s unpleasantly chunky.

It did blend very well in a blended boosted coffee. I tried it several times with my usual morning bulletproof coffee, both instead of straight MCT oil and in addition to it. This powder doesn’t have enough fat for me to outright replace all the oil/butter in my boosted coffee. And often I don’t like a sweetened coffee if I’m fasting.

So what is this product good for? I ended up taking it to my work office and am using it there. I can make coffee at the office but don’t have a fridge. So I haven’t to been able to have cream for my coffee (I don’t like plain black coffee). The product was also useful a few times when we ran out of cream and butter at home (I know, gasp!). I use about 1tsp powder for a cup of coffee, which is an ok sweetness and cream for me, and that’s 2g carbs which is still less than regular milk.

Do I recommend this product? Yes and no. If you’re serious about a ketogenic lifestyle then you probably have (or will get) the real things in terms of coconut oil, MCT oil, or other coffee additives. But this is good if you are in a pinch or want to start dabbling in adding fat to your drinks. As I’ve said, just be aware that not all products beaded as ‘keto’ will be right for you and proceed only if it fits your macros.

Fat bombs (and a recipe for cocoa almond bites)

If you asked me two years ago (or any time before that) if I would make or eat something called a ‘fat bomb’ the answer would be a big NO. I learned from an early age that fat is bad. I’m sure many of you were the same. But it’s so wrong. Fat is glorious and healthy (and tasty). I’ve been making fat bombs since starting a ketogenic lifestyle. They’re popular in most keto sites and you can find lots of recipes on Pinterest.

Try these peanut butter chocolate ones from Divas Can Cook or these strawberry cheesecake ones from Savory Tooth.

I usually have at least a few in the freezer for a quick snack or to help nix any sweet or chocolate craving.

Fat bombs are made with ingredients with low or no carbs, lots of fat, and are often best kept cold or frozen. If at room temperature they generally will fall apart or melt. I mix mine up and use a silicone mold to form them. Best of all they don’t require baking or cooking!

Here is a recipe I recently tried and loved. It’s simple, doesn’t contain hard-to-source ingredients, and is satisfying and tasty.

Ingredients

3Tbs almond butter

2Tbs peanut butter

2Tbs coconut oil (solid)

2Tbs sweeteners (I had Truvia on hand)

2Tbs almond flour (finely ground almonds)

2Tbs cocoa powder

Handful of add-ins if desired such as pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts, chocolate, etc.

Mix everything together in a bowl and scoop into a mold. I find this much easier and less messy than rolling into balls. This particular mixture is looser or wetter too so doesn’t roll well.

Freeze. That’s it. When I get to them in a few hours or overnight, I pop the fat bombs out into a freezer-safe container. Put the lid on and keep them in the feeezer. Grab and snack as desired!

I often mix together a version of these and substitute different fat/butters and play with the ratios. I’ve not calculated the nutritional content as I just have these occasionally. And I know if they’re made with high fat, low carb ingredients then they’re ok for me. That’s one of the benefits of making your own food and keeping those options on hand.

Dinner pic: chili toppings edition

I made a big pot of chili and served with sour cream, and this buffet of toppings or mix-ins. There’s shredded cheese, lemon slices for squeezing or adding to water, pickled jalapenos, green onion, broccoli coleslaw bagged mix, and avocado. Take a bowl of chili and top, or mix in, whatever you’d like!

Pancakes: made ketogenic-friendly

Do you need a pancake recipe that’s ketogenic-friendly? Lazy weekend mornings call for a bigger breakfast. And breakfast-for-dinner is a common thing at our house. Plus Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday) is coming up. Whatever your need for pancakes I’ve got you covered with this gluten-free recipe.

This particular recipe uses a mixture of almond flour and coconut flour. Unlike some keto pancakes there’s no cream cheese or anything to make these too rich. Nor do these taste too eggy.

It comes together and cook like regular pancakes. I will caution they can be more delicate (less sturdy) than ones made with white wheat flour. But they have always turned out well for me as long as I’m careful when flipping them in the pan. I also use a seasoned cast iron skillet or other non-stick pan which helps.

Essentially you just mix the ingredients together and fry them up like regular pancakes.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond flour

2 Tbs coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 TBS sweetener (I used Truvia)

1/4 cup milk (of choice)

3 eggs

You can also add a dash of cinnamon or vanilla to the batter, or add berries, dark chocolate, shredded coconut, or nuts.

This recipe makes about 10 pancakes. That will change depending on how big you make them. I find smaller ones turn out better for this recipe.

Im usually frying pancakes while cooking other food and fending off hungry kids. So, unfortunately, my pancakes usually don’t end up looking uniform or pretty. But I assure you they taste good.

Top these with butter, a keto-friendly jam or syrup, blueberries, or a fried runny egg.