Lemon Rosemary Cookies (Sugar Free, Low Carbohydrate, Grain Free)

These tasty little morsels got out of my dreams and into my oven.  Really.  They will blow your mind.  And would you believe that they’re sugar free, low carbohydrate, and grain free?  Using simple, easy to find ingredients puts them at the top of my list for quick and healthy treats!  

Lemon Rosemary Deliciousness!
Lemon Rosemary Deliciousness!

Ingredients

2 c. Almond Meal

1/2 c. (1 stick) Butter, softened

3 Tb. Powdered Stevia

1 tsp. Grated Lemon Peel

2 Tb. Lemon Juice

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

1/2 Tb. Fresh Rosemary, minced and crushed in pestle and mortar

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.   In a large bowl, cream butter and stevia with a hand mixer until mixed well (stand back while you do it, or you will inhale powdered stevia!).

3.  Beat in the lemon juice, grated lemon peel, and vanilla.

4.  Beat in the egg and mix well.

5.  In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour and rosemary.

6.  Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well.

7.  Drop dough by the tablespoonful on a cookie sheet lined with foil.

8.  Flatten to a thickness of about 3/4 of an inch.

9.  Bake in the top third of the oven for 10-12 minutes, until brown on the top and bottom.

10.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Yields approximately 22 cookies.

What is Stevia?

Unknown-1There are certainly a lot of misconceptions about Stevia.  I had never even heard of the herb until a few years ago.  Now that Stevia is becoming more mainstream, there are a lot of different varieties available.  Most have fillers in them to make it measure for measure like sugar.  The fact is, though, that Stevia is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, so it only takes a small amount of pure Stevia to equal the sweetness of sugar.

My favorite brand of Stevia is SweetLeaf.  It is an all natural Stevia, with no fillers.  There is no bitter aftertaste.  You may need to modify your Stevia measurements if you are using another brand of Stevia.

Here is a great resource for any questions/concerns you may have about Stevia.

Updated 9/26/13.

Sugar Free Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

Don't forget the milk!
Don’t forget the milk!

This is a wonderful recipe for a healthy “treat” that my children absolutely love!  Most of the time I hide some so that I can get some too (just don’t tell the kids!).

Ingredients:

3/4 c. Unsalted Butter, Softened

1 c. Unsweetened Peanut Butter

3 Tb. Powdered Stevia

2 Eggs

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 c. Almond Meal

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking Soda

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, mix Almond Meal, Baking Soda, and Salt.

In a large mixing bowl, mix Butter and Peanut Butter until smooth.

Add Powdered Stevia and mix just until combined.

Add Eggs one at a time while mixing.

Add Vanilla and continue to mix.

Last add the Almond Flour mixture, and mix until combined.

Scoop approximately 1 Tb. of dough at a time and roll into balls.

Lightly press each ball down on cookie sheet with a fork.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

Yields 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Chocolate Cake with a Secret

 Sugar Free.  Grain Free.  Chocolate.  Low Glycemic.  Beans.  What!?  Yes.  Beans.  There are beans in this recipe.  A chocolate cake recipe with beans.  It is the most awesome piece of cake I’ve ever had, and I think you’ll agree.  

Chocolate Bean Cake

Ingredients (For one 9 inch Round Cake)

1 15.5 oz. can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed

4 Large Eggs, at room temp.

1 Tb. Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp. Salt

6 Tb. Butter, softened

2 Tb. Powdered Stevia

6 Tb. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 tsp. Aluminum-free Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

Method (Cake)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a 9 inch cake pan, and lightly dust with Cocoa Powder, tapping off excess.

Place the Beans, 3 of the Eggs, Vanilla, and Salt in a food processor.

Blend until the Beans are liquefied, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, and Baking Powder.

In a large bowl, beat the softened Butter with the Powdered Stevia, until light and fluffy.

Add the remaining Egg to the Butter mixture, and beat another minute more.

Pour the Bean batter into the Butter mixture, and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients from the medium bowl to the wet ingredients in the large bowl, and mix for 1 minute, until smooth.

Pour batter into the cake pan.

Grab pan by the sides and tap on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is rounded and firm to the touch.

Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out cake onto a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

Cover (if needed) until ready to frost cake (right before serving is best).

Ingredients (For the Icing)

1 Stick (1/2 c.) Butter, softened

2 Tb. Powdered Stevia

6 Tb. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Tb. Milk of your choice (I used Goat Milk)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Method (Icing)

Cream the butter in a medium bowl until fluffy.

Add the Powdered Stevia and beat until smooth.

Slowly blend in the Cocoa Powder and Vanilla.

Slowly beat in the Milk.

This icing is light, fluffy, and very easy to spread.  There will be plenty of icing if you wish to make a layer cake.

Double Layer Chocolate Bean Cake
Double Layer Chocolate Bean Cake

Updated 11-11-13

Low Carb / Sugar Free / Grain Free / Cheesecake Brownies

I am in love with these brownies.  They taste divine, and are good for you too!  All of the ingredients are incredibly easy to find…none of those weird sugar substitutes that you see in most low carbohydrate recipes!  The texture is more like that of cheesecake, so be sure to let them cool completely before you try to remove them from the pan.

Epic Brownie Tower
Epic Brownie Tower

Ingredients

Cheesecake Filling:

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

1 Egg

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

2 tsp. Powdered Stevia

Brownie Batter:

1 c. Almond Meal

5 Tb. Cocoa Powder

2 1/2 T. Powdered Stevia

6 Tb. Butter, melted

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 c. Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream

2 Eggs, beaten

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and dust an 8 x 8 baking dish with cocoa powder.

Dusting with cocoa powder keeps the recipe grain-free!
Dusting with cocoa powder keeps the recipe grain-free!

Melt the butter over low heat.

Mix the cheesecake ingredients in a glass bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the Almond Meal, Cocoa, and Powdered Stevia.  Use a fork or whisk to break up any lumps.

Mix in the melted Butter.

Mix in the Vanilla, Yogurt/Sour Cream, and eggs.

Pour brownie batter into the prepared pan.

Pour the cheesecake filling on top, and mix the two batters with a butter knife to form “swirls.”  Be sure to mix them together well.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for at least fifteen minutes before serving.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Updated 9-27-13.

Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

I call these my Blueberry Ninja Muffins, since I’ve adapted it to be less messy when my children eat them.  I add a blueberry puree’ to the top of the muffins for two reasons: for uniform blueberry flavor (whole blueberries tend to sink to the bottom of the batter), and to trick my children into eating the whole muffin.  They like to pick out the blueberries and eat the rest of the muffin separately.  Talk about a mess!

For approximately 6 GIANT muffins (I use my large muffin tin for this recipe):

Ingredients

2 c. Spelt Flour

1 Tb. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

3 Tb. + 1 tsp.  Powdered Stevia

1 egg, beaten

1 c. Half and Half, Whole Milk, Almond Milk

1/2 c. Whole Fat Greek Yogurt

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/4 c. Unsalted Butter, melted (You may sub a flavorless baking oil of your choice)

1 + 1/2 c. Frozen Blueberries

1 tsp. Arrowroot Starch

Method

For the puree’:

Heat 1 c. Frozen Blueberries and 1 tsp. Powdered Stevia over medium high heat.

Mash and stir the blueberries for approximately 5 minutes to reduce liquid.

Add 1 tsp. Arrowroot Starch, and simmer for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and allow to cool while mixing the muffin batter.

Muffin Batter:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the Eggs and Yogurt together.

Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients (including the Butter).

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just blended.

Fold in 1/2 c. Frozen blueberries.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

Spoon approximately 2 tsp. of the Blueberry puree’ on top of the batter in each cup.

Swirl into batter.

Bake for 30-32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Updated 4/26/13

Low Carb Almond Cookies

I pressed the cookies with a chocolate-dipping spatula for the swirl effect
I pressed the cookies with a chocolate-dipping spatula for the swirl effect

These cookies are Sugar Free, Grain Free, and Low Carbohydrate.  Is it okay to call them cookies?  Yes.  It is.  Go pour a cup of coffee and enjoy!

For approximately 12 large cookies:

Ingredients

2 c. Almond Meal

3 T. Powdered Stevia

2 Eggs, beaten

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp. Almond Extract (optional)

1 T. Cinnamon

1 Stick Butter, melted

1/4 c. Chopped Pecans

1/4 c. Dried Coconut

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix almond meal, stevia, cinnamon, pecans, and coconut.

Mix in the eggs and extracts.

Add the melted butter and mix once more.

Drop dough on cookie sheet and flatten with hand to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden on top.

Smoothie Time!

20111129-133344.jpg

When I’ve first woken up in the morning, the only thing on my mind is coffee. Yet, a lot of times Leo is ready to eat something. That’s where smoothies come into play. They’re fast and healthy, and allow me to get to my coffee quickly (not to mention I enjoy them too)!

Ingredients

1/2 – 1 c. Coconut Milk/Goats Milk/Cow Milk

1/4 – 1/2 c. Whole Fat Yogurt

Frozen Fruit (I buy frozen bags of fruit, and also keep some pieces of very ripe banana frozen. This way, I don’t have to add ice which waters down the flavor in my opinion)

Spinach (Don’t tell Leo)

Vanilla Stevia, as desired

Method

Blend together, adding the amount of liquid you like until your preferred thickness is reached.

100% Rye Flour Banana Pecan Muffins

Sweet Cinnamon Topping, Plain, Vanilla Cream Topping
Sweet Cinnamon Topping, Plain, Vanilla Cream Topping

I really enjoy the heartiness of these muffins. The moistness and flavor are amazing, and they are very filling. I prefer to smear them with almond butter while they’re still hot.

Ingredients

2 c. Rye Flour

1 Tb. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

3 Tb. Powdered Stevia

1 Egg, beaten

1 c. Half and Half or Whole Milk

2 Medium Very Ripe Bananas, Mashed

2 tsp Vanilla

1/4 c. Unsalted Butter, melted

1/2 c. Chopped Pecans

For the Sweet Cinnamon Topping:

Mix 2 tsp. Cinnamon with 1 tsp. Powdered Stevia and sprinkle on unbaked muffins.

For the Vanilla Cream Topping:

Blend 4 tsp. Powdered Stevia, 4 Tb. Softened Butter, and 1 tsp. Vanilla with a hand mixer.  Slowly mix in 4 Tb. Milk.  Spread on muffins once cooled.

Method
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Grease muffin tins with butter or spray oil.Mix the dry ingredients (excluding the pecans) in a large bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients (including mashed bananas) in a smaller bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, and mix until just blended.

Fold in the pecans.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool. Enjoy!

Updated 4/26/13