Keto-friendly muffins

A craving to bake and for muffins sent me on a web search for a recipe that fits my diet (and at-home ingredient availability). I found this recipe from SavoryTooth and the results were excellent.

It’s an almond flour base with just a few other simple ingredients.

The muffins were tasty, had a traditional moist crumb, and were gobbled up in no time. This particular recipe only makes a few muffins so I doubled it.

The other alteration I made was to add dark chocolate instead of blueberries.

I’m going to try this one out again soon. Baking can be relaxing and therapeutic for me, and especially so when I’m using a familiar recipe with expected good results.

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.

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.

Banana bread: Does it keto?

This banana bread went fast in our house this past weekend. Bananas are sweet and have up to 25g of carbs per medium/average banana. So they’re not on most keto-ers’ grocery shopping lists. If I had one whole banana that would be almost my entire daily carb allotment if following a stricter keto regime. Bananas are still a favorite for my kids though so we have them in the house often. And we happened to have three turning brown, being neglected on our counter. That used to be my cue to whip up some banana bread or muffins but I haven’t made banana bread in a long time – probably as long as I’ve been ‘keto’ which is fourteen months.

I got to thinking…can I make a low carb banana bread? I searched the internet and found a few ‘keto’ banana bread recipes. There were different versions so I wasn’t seeing anything consistent to give me confidence this would work. And I also didn’t want to go shopping first so I had to work with the ingredients I had on hand. I landed on this one from Keto Size Me and decided to try it out. I saw the recipe didn’t contain any sweetener or sugar which appealed to me. Now, I’m not against sweetener though I know from reading comment sections on other sites that many out there promote zero-sweetener or artificial ingredients. I am picky about the type I use and take note which kinds are in pre-packaged products, and where they are in the ingredient list (ie. how much in in there). And I don’t think I’ve baked anything sweet in the past year or so without sweetener. But that’s where the bananas come in.

I read some of the comments on that recipe’s post and saw people who thought bananas are a no-no while keto, and some were disappointed in the higher amount of carbs in this recipe. While bananas and other higher-sugar fruit are often out of the picture while eating keto you can incorporate them depending on the situation. For example, once slice of this bread will not equal an entire banana’s worth of carbs. I think it’s a great recipe (though I altered it slightly – see below) and it turned out wonderfully for me. Best of all, my kids loved it and I felt good they weren’t getting traditional, sugar-filled banana bread which can have up to 50g of carbs and hardly any fibre per slice due to pure sugar and wheat flour.

Is this ‘keto’? I say yes because lots of non-traditional ‘keto’ foods can fit into a ketogenic lifestyle as long as they fit within your macros. The sugar is more than I’d like but still fantastically low compared to most other breads or desserts.

This recipe calls for 3 bananas and I found it made 10 good-size slices. I’ll post my nutrition findings with the ingredients/brands I used calculated from SparkPeople here:

That’s a nice amount of fat per slice (19g), just over 5g sugar, 8g protein, and about
10g net carbs (total carbs minus fiber). These findings will differ depending on
types/brands of ingredients and the bananas themselves.

I consider this a huge ‘win’ for a banana bread recipe make-over to make it healthier.  

Ingredients:
3 bananas (medium, mushed/mashed)
3 eggs (large, slightly beaten)
1/4 cup olive oil (I actually used coconut oil which was melted – this was my only edit)

And this recipe is so easy! Mix wet ingredients together (incl. liquefied oil and mushed banana), add the dry ingredients, and combine. Pour into a loaf pan and bake 50-60mins on 350F. I used a silicone loaf pan which worked really well.

Sliced like a dream.
It was soooo good still warm with a bit of butter dabbed on top.

Product review: FlatOut flatbread

This pizza is on a “crust” made out of a pre-packaged flatbread. I didn’t want to put together any fat head dough. After a long work week I just didn’t want more work and really craved pizza!

I added some tomato paste, Italian meats, green olives, and cheese.

This is the base. FlatOut protein up carb down flatbread. The one I found was salt and pepper flavored but honestly I couldn’t taste much seasoning. It crisped up nicely and held the toppings.

Each whole flatbread contains just 1g sugar, and 9-10 net carbs (depending if you count sugar alcohols). Now, the sugar alcohol in the ingredient list is maltitol which many consider a no-no. Personally I haven’t experienced trouble with it in small quantities. In this product it’s about half-way down the ingredient list.

So it’s a personal choice but I like these flatbreads or wraps for their conscience and ease-of-use. There is also s decent amount of iron in these. Good for when you want a quick wrap, quesadilla, or pizza like I did tonight.

“Fat head” dough cinnamon rolls

These cinnamon rolls are low carb, gluten free, and can satisfy your desire for yummy baked goods. When living a ketogenic lifestyle it can be rare to have the classic baked goods you used to crave, like cinnamon rolls, donuts, muffins, etc. These baked goods are everywhere in our society. And though keto makes you have way less cravings and know sugar is just plain bad for you…you may still want a taste of something nostalgic or classic. This is the recipe for just those occasions. It is perfect for a weekend baking session and ends up making enough to share or bring to a gathering. 

The initial recipe is similar to most ‘fat head’ dough and uses coconut flour. Because of that, it’s also safe for anyone avoiding nuts which is a great alternative as some related dough uses almond flour. 

I got the idea for making these from a post by Keto Diet Channel for cinnamon and cream cheese babka bread. I tried that recipe and did like the addition of cream cheese laced with the cinnamon filling.

For these cinnamon rolls, once the dough is formed and chilled, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper (helps with it not sticking to surfaces). Then this recipe takes a turn from classic ‘fat head’ dough as you spread a cinnamon, butter, sugar (well, sugar alternative) mixture over the dough. Using the parchment paper to assist, roll the dough over itself trapping that amazing sweet cinnamon butter inside. Chill the dough again to make cutting and forming easier. 

Let the dough chill all rolled up and covered in the parchment paper for 15-20 mins in the fridge. Take it out and cut the roll into 1-2 inch sections. I find it best to cut the long roll in half first, then cut each half in half, and keep going like that. This technique produces the most uniform rolls. Or you can experiment with some larger and some thinner rolls to see what you like, like I did below. I ended up with 15 rolls total time time, and average about a dozen to 15 rolls each time I make this recipe. 

Bake the rolls for 30 mins at 375F. Check to ensure they’re not browning too much and that they’re not too soggy or uncooked in the middle. If you have larger rolls, you may need to put them back in the oven for a few more minutes. It’s my experience that this dough can’t go longer than 30 mins without burning. So if you decide to put them back in the oven for a few more minutes make sure you cover them with foil. 

And here they are! Super cute, satisfying, tasty. The coconut flour makes these have a nice texture that’s not mealy or crumbly. The cinnamon butter rolled throughout the dough does emulate a classic cinnamon roll. These should cool on the pan and then can last up to 5 days though I find they are eaten pretty fast! If you have an older roll, microwave it for a few seconds to bring some life back to the dough and make the cinnamon mixture nice and warm. 

Additionally, you can mix up a quick glaze for the top if you’d like but of course that’s optional. I don’t typically don’t keep powdered sweetener so didn’t go with this option. And I like they just fine plain and with a cup of coffee. 

“Fat head: dough cinnamon rolls

Dough ingredients:
+ 2 and 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
+ 3 oz cream cheese
+ 2 eggs (large, room temp)
+ 1/4 cup sweetener** (I use Swerve erythritol)
+ 45g coconut flour (it really should be weighed)
+ 1 Tbs baking powder
+ 1 tsp xanthan gum powder (option but really helps hold the dough together and gives better texture)
+ 1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the cheeses in the microwave and stir together. I do this in a large 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup and use that as the ‘bowl’ for adding the rest of the ingredients later on. I do this in 30-second increments and stir between each one until the cheese is mealty. 

Take the cheese out of the microwave and mix together with a fork. 

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, xanthan gum, and baking powder. Whisk or stir with a fork to ensure well-combined and set aside. 

Crack the eggs into a smaller bowl (I use a ramekin)  and break them up a bit with a fork. Now that the cheese mixture is cooled a little and then add in the eggs. Mix together with a fork. If you’re new to making ‘fat head’ dough, this is where the recipe will seem to be falling apart and you may feel like something has gone wrong. Nope. It’s just difficult to mix melted cheese with egg. Keep going and you’ll be find!

Mix in the vanilla extract and sweetener. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together. This is when you will see the dough start to come together (hopefully!). When the dough comes together, you can empty it out onto parchment paper and work it with your hands a bit. If it is really sticky, wait a minute or so to see if the dough changes after the wet get absorbed better. If still too sticky, add a little bit more coconut flour to it but go little by little. Coconut flour soaks up moisture super quickly. It’s easy to add too much if you’re not used to working with it. 

Once the mixture is in a dough and can form into a ball, you can then place another piece of parchment paper over it and roll it out between the paper. I find this dough to be less like a traditional all-purpose flour dough and more like a sugar cookie dough. 

Try to roll the dough into a large rectangle shape (longer on two sides, and shorter on two sides. Don’t roll it too thin (about 1/4″ thick is good) and use your palm to smooth over the paper to ensure the dough is of even thickness all over. 

Then pop this into the fridge while you make the filling mixture. 

Cinnamon filling 

+ 1/3 cup butter, softened (at room temp)
+ 2-3 Tbs cinnamon (depending on your preference for cinnamon!)
+ 1/3 cup sweetener (I use Swerve again. I have also done half Swerve and half Splenda brown sugar and love that combo)
+ 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional but yummy. I didn’t add them for this particular post’s pictures but I like to when I have the nuts on hand) 

Mix the ingredients together and get the dough back out of the fridge. Spread the cinnamon filling mixture over the dough, leaving a gap of about 1 inch on all sides. I like to leave a larger gap on one of the long sides of the rectangle of dough. Then using the paper to assist, and starting at one long edge (the one without the larger gap of no filling) roll the dough up and over itself into a log. Wrap in the paper and place back into the fridge to chill for about 15-20 mins. 

This is when I start to pre-head the oven to 375F. I get the dough out of the fridge, and cut it into slices which will be the cinnamon rolls. I place them on a baking sheet (which is lined with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone sheet). I find leaving a 2″ gap or so between each is sufficient as they don’t spread much in the oven. Bake for 30+ mins depending on how big your rolls are and your desired done-ness. Take out of the oven when they’re golden brown but before they’re too dark or burning. Let cool and enjoy!