04/15/18

Low carb, keto friendly blackberry lemon muffins

It’s berry season here in Florida!

From December-March it’s strawberry season.

And from about March-May is blueberry and blackberry season (with blackberry season starting a little later than blueberry season)! 

All throughout those months you can find the BEST berries around Tampa by venturing out just few miles to surrounding cities like Odessa and Plant City for both berry buying and berry picking!

I love berries, let me tell you.

They’re sweet, juicy, flavorful, versatile, AND low carb/low sugar!

You can enjoy them as is, toss them into you favorite mixed green salads, puree them with stevia and freeze them for sorbet, serve them with a bit of whipped heavy cream, or make (my favorite) muffins! I love berries and picked up some blackberries and raspberries this weekend from my local farmer’s market (pictured above). Aren’t they just gorgeous?! 

Before I started the clean ketogenic way of eating 7 months (and 50lbs) ago, I made muffins all of the time. With a few modifications, I’ve created an awesome crumbly, moist, and delicious blackberry muffin that will make even the non-low carbers in your life smile! 

This recipe makes 8 moist, tender, crumbly, and delicious cupcake sized muffins, or 24(ish) mini muffins. And if you don’t like blackberries, no worries! You can use blueberries or raspberries! I’ve used this recipe with all three berries and they were a hit each time. The lemon zest, however, is a MUST. It just takes these muffins to new heights and is certainly missed if it’s not there! So zest away!

At just 4g total carbs (2g net carbs) per muffin, you can enjoy one of these with butter for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! I was able to reduce the carbs in these little guys by using oat fiber to replace some of the flours in the recipe. Oat fiber has no effective carbs and works really well in keto baking! It’s not a 1:1 substitute, however, so be careful when experimenting with it. If you don’t have oat fiber, you can still make these! There are a few tips and modifications in the recipe to guide you.

If you’d like to purchase oat fiber for your low carb, keto life, you can snag a 1lb bag of the keto-friendly brand “Lifesource” for  $3.99 at Netrition.com!

Here is the recipe!

Low carb, keto friendly blackberry lemon muffins!
A quick and easy from-scratch recipe for low carb, ketogenic diet friendly blackberry muffins!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/8 cup coconut flour
  2. 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  3. 1/2 cup oat FIBER (not oat flour)
  4. 1 tsp. gluten free baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  7. 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
  8. 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil or butter
  9. 3 large eggs
  10. 1/4 cup cold water
  11. 2 tbsp. zero calorie, keto approved sweetener (I used Swerve)
  12. 1/4 tsp. liquid vanilla stevia (if you don't have it, it's ok to omit- they will just be a little less sweet)
  13. 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  14. 1/2 cup fresh blackberries (if they are super big, cut them into halves)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together coconut flour, almond flour, oat fiber, baking powder, sea salt and ginger until just combined.
  3. Add eggs, melted coconut oil or butter, water, sweeteners, vanilla extract, and lemon zest into the bowl. Use a spatula or spoon to stir until well combined.
  4. Gently stir in blackberries.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon the muffin batter equally into 8 the cupcake pan. Smooth the top of each muffins with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula so that there are no "peaks". Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick placed inside a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Let cool and enjoy!
Notes
  1. At just 4g total carbs (2g net carbs) per muffin, you can enjoy one of these with butter for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! **If you don't have oat fiber, use 1/4 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup blanched almond flour. The carb count for these will increase since oat fiber, as oat fiber has no effective carbs. You can purchase a 1lb bag of Lifesource oat fiber for $3.99 at Netrition.com!
http://orangespoken.com/
03/28/18

Pull apart keto cast-iron rolls & other keto friendly Easter dishes!

Happy spring! Happy Easter!

The weather has been GORGEOUS here in Tampa, FL- lows in the 50’s and 60’s, highs in the 70’s and 80’s. Literally the epitome of spring! It’s been the perfect weather for having the windows open and letting the springtime breeze air out the house. Last weekend we went camping to celebrate Brian’s birthday and man-oh-man, it was just lovely. I wish it would stay this way all year long!

And of course, gorgeous weather like this means it’s also the perfect time for spring cooking, spring picnics, and spring get togethers with friends and family! When I think of my springtime kitchen, I picture gorgeous trays of deviled eggs, thin slices of sweet and salty baked ham, fresh salads made with spring greens, roasted vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and mushrooms, and refreshing desserts made with citrus flavors and floral notes. 

Spring also makes me yearn for freshly baked bread. I know some people associate bread with fall or winter, but for me, the intoxicating perfume of a loaf of baking bread wafting out an open window on a sunny spring day is just heavenly.

Maybe it’s because I associate scents with good memories. For me, the scents that remind me of Easter and this time of year are all from when I was a kid- the pastel colored artificial grass from the Easter baskets my mother would make for my brother and I (what WAS that scent anyway? Whatever it was, it was glorious!), the sweet smell of malted milk and chocolate robin’s eggs (my favorite!), and the delicious aroma of pull-apart rolls baking in the oven for Easter dinner. 

I LOVED these rolls growing up.  Do you remember them? They were a party and holiday dinner staple around our house. I don’t think they make them anymore, but man were they GOOD! With every holiday, my cousins and I would steal a pack to sneakily snack on, hoping that no one would notice the missing package from the stack. They were JUST irresistible!

As I was thinking about upcoming plans for an Easter gathering with family and friends, I thought about these rolls and how I might recreate them to fit in with my clean keto, low carb way of eating. 

I already had a tried and true recipe for all-things-bread (I use this recipe for everything from pizza crusts and biscuits, to crackers and bagels!), and so I wondered how the dough would work for pull-apart rolls. I decided to try a batch out cooking them in a hot buttered cast iron skillet. I took golf-ball sized pieces of dough and rolled them in my hands until they were smooth. I was able to fit 7 into my cast-iron skillet, topping each with a brushing of melted Kerrygold butter, and some flaky sea salt. I baked them at 400 degrees F for 14 minutes, and VOILA! 

OH. MY. GOSH. YOU. GUYS. These are incredible. 

They are crispy on the top, and fluffy inside, and the butter and sea salt are just enough to make these satisfying, indulgent and just about PERFECT!

I will definitely be whipping up a batch of these for Sunday’s Easter activities along with a few more keto friendly, low carb dishes: 

Rosemary and mustard ham

Roasted radishes with fresh herbs

Lemon roasted asparagus

Strawberry butter

Deviled eggs with bacon

Greek wedge salad

Low carb Cadbury creme eggs

What is on your Easter menu?

02/24/18

My favorite low carb, keto friendly dough recipe!

I’ve been following a clean, whole food way of ketogenic eating since August! I feel great and have experienced so many great changes happening to my body which make me SO glad I chose to dive in and try it.

My long term plantar fasciitis has completely healed, I’ve lost over 40lbs, I’ve gone from a size 24/26 jeans to a size 18/20, and I just FEEL awesome all around. I still have more milestones to hit (and smaller clothes that I hope to fit into!), but so far so good! 

In these past 6 months, I’ve definitely made a few mistakes, tried recipes that crashed and burned, eaten things with sugar and hidden carbs I didn’t know about, and, as in all weight loss adventures, the scale has gotten either gone up, or gotten stuck (thank goodness for non-scale victories like shrinking pant sizes and slack on an airplane seatbelt vs. needing an extender!). But, the show must on go, and luckily things have started moving in the right direction again. With some small tweaks, more practice in eating for hunger, instead of boredom, and getting my Orangetheory workouts in more consistently, I’m back on track and ready to see what’s next!

                                                                           February 11, 2018

People always ask me “What’s your favorite go-to keto friendly meal?” My answer is usually a few things: bunless burgers, omelettes, and anything made with my favorite low carb dough.

If you have heard of the ketogenic diet, then you have probably heard of “fathead dough.” Basically, fathead dough is a low carb dough base made with a couple of things: cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, a low carb flour, eggs, and seasonings. It first appeared a few years ago on the Fat Head blog, and low carb followers around the world have been using it help curb carby cravings ever since. Fathead dough can be used for SO many keto-friendly treats: crackers, biscuits, flatbreads, focaccia, bagels, breadsticks, pizza crust, croutons, avocado toast, empanadas, and even low carb cinnamon rolls- all with one recipe! Once you find a fathead dough recipe that you love, just do a Google search for recipes and you’ll see all of the yummy things you can make with a batch of this dough! 

I’ve tried a lot of fathead dough recipes out there, but I always go back to this simple, yet delicious recipe that is so versatile, I use it for everything. My recipe uses blanched almond flour for tenderness, olive oil for a golden crunchiness, my rich and delicious backyard eggs (good, organic eggs are a must for this dough!), and something called oat fiber, which is a flour type substance that has no calories, no fat, and no effective carbs! Not only do I love to bake with oat fiber, but it’s also great as a binder for meatloaf and meatballs! Not to be mistaken for oat FLOUR, oat fiber is the only insoluble fiber out there. 

Here’s the 101 on oat fiber:
From this website: Oat fiber is made from grinding the non-digestible oat hull… It’s made from the hull or husk that the oat was harvested from. Nutrition wise, oat fiber is really more akin to sawdust than to oatmeal. It does contain some nutrients, but because it’s essentially non-digestible, it does not provide any nutrients or carbs for the body to burn. But that’s OK, because it’s not used for its nutritional properties. It’s used in low carb baked goods as a flour sub either on its own or in a blend of other lower carb flours. It’s very affordable and very absorbent-oat fiber is capable of absorbing a lot of liquid in a recipe and can be used to add moisture to baked goods. Since oat fiber doesn’t break down in the digestive track it also helps to prevent constipation by bulking up the stool.

My dear friend Kristen is the one who introduced me to oat fiber. She has been following a ketogenic way of eating for over two years now and has seen great success- not only in weight loss, but also in managing her MS! She is my go-to for all-things-keto and has patiently been there every step of the way in helping me get my footing. She has cooked up some amazing low carb goodies, including some things using oat fiber!

I’ve been experimenting with oat fiber for a few months and have learned that it’s a great ingredient to use to reduce the amount of coconut or almond flour a recipe calls for, but to not completely use it to replace it as a 1:1 substitute. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups of blanched almond flour, you can use 1 cup of the almond flour and 1 cup of oat fiber to reduce the carbs in the recipe. It’s practically tasteless, so it will take on any flavors you pair it with. 

A few days ago I made a batch of my favorite fathead dough and turned it into a few individual-sized pizza crusts, 2 flavors of bagels (everything and onion), and some buttery biscuits! This crust is my favorite because it’s crispy, but also has a great chew to it- just like real bread/pizza dough/bagels! The oat fiber gives the dough some bite, and the addition of xanthum gum gives it its chew. I turned the pizza crust into a delicious pepperoni, tomato, and parmesean pizza for dinner! It was DELICIOUS! 

I topped the crispy and chewy pizza crust with freshly grated parmesean cheese, a couple of sliced tomatoes, pepperoni, italian seasoning, and cracked red pepper. You’ve GOT to try it! 

So are you ready for this dough recipe yet? Well here it is! 

My favorite fathead dough
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  2. 3/4 cup oat FIBER (you can get it at Netrition.com (search for Lifesource brand)
  3. 1 tbsp. baking powder
  4. 1 tsp. sea salt
  5. 2 cups freshly grated full fat mozzarella cheese (from a block- not fresh mozzarella) (I have also had success with monterrey jack cheese!)
  6. 1/4 cup finely grated parmesean cheese
  7. 2 oz. full fat cream cheese
  8. 2 large whisked eggs
  9. melted butter for biscuits or olive oil for pizza crusts/bagels
  10. toppings for bagels (everything but the bagel seasoning, dried onion flakes, parmesean cheese, pretzel salt, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Stir together the almond flour, oat fiber, salt, and baking powder- set aside.
  2. Combine the shredded mozzarella and cream cheese in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring with a spatula halfway through the cooking process.
  3. Remove from the microwave and stir until the cheeses are well combined. Set aside to cool just a little bit (if you put the eggs in right away, they will scramble- so wait just a few seconds!).
  4. Stir the flour mixture and eggs into the melted cheese mixture. Oil your hands with butter or olive oil, and while the mixture is still warm, knead it until a ball of dough forms (adding extra grease to your hands if the dough begins to stick to your hands).
  5. At this point you can use the dough for a variety of creations!
  6. >>>To make bagels- divide the dough into 8 sections, form a cigar shape by rolling and pulling the dough in your hands, then form bagels by pressing the two ends together. Brush with melted butter or olive oil, top with your favorite topping (I love Trader Joe's everything but the bagel seasoning!) and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes on a greased baking sheet, or until the bagels are golden brown.
  7. >>>To make biscuits- divide the dough into 8 sections, form biscuit shaped discs, brush with melted butter, top with a sprinkle of sea salt, and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes on a greased baking sheet, or until the biscuits are golden brown.You can also place these in a small hot cast iron skillet coated in butter for pull apart biscuits/rolls!
  8. >>>To make pizza crusts- place the warm dough on a floured (use a little oat fiber) cutting board and roll out to desired thickness, size, and shape. Brush with a little olive oil. For thin individual sized pizzas, bake at 350F for 10 minutes on a greased baking sheet then add toppings and broil under high heat for 1-2 minutes to melt toppings. For a large pizza crust, adjust the baking time to 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness.
Notes
  1. Remember to search for other fathead dough recipes! There are TONS out there! Have fun exploring and experimenting!
Adapted from Inspired by all of the fathead recipes out there!
Adapted from Inspired by all of the fathead recipes out there!
http://orangespoken.com/
Enjoy!

02/13/18

Hassleback Baked Envy Apples for your Valentine! {low carb}

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

I love any reason to celebrate- especially when it involves whipping up sweet treats for family and friends. 

I’ve been thinking about what to whip up this year for this day of love, and of course, thought of all of the regular go-tos: brownies, cookies, cheesecakes, truffles… 

But then, THESE gorgeous gems arrived at my doorstep courtesy of Envy Apples and Allan Brother’s Inc. Continue reading

12/29/17

Low Carb, Sugar Free Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan)

Flan was one of those things I never liked as a child. I remember my grandmother and great aunts making it often, but it would always turn my stomach for some reason. I think it was the texture and the overall “look” of it. But with age, I’ve learned to like traditional flan, and have learned to LOVE Flan de queso! 

Flan de queso is like flan and cheesecake got together and had a dessert baby. It has the flavor of traditional caramel flan, but with the texture of a creamy cheesecake. It is DIVINE!

I was watching a hilarious video about flan the other day when it hit me- flan (and flan de queso) can TOTALLY be made to be low carb and keto friendly! With a few tweaks to the batter, and making the caramel sauce out of a healthy sugar substitute, this modification might actually work!

And it did, my friends… it totally DID.  Continue reading

12/23/17

Perfect low carb, sugar free chocolate chip cookies

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!!!

I’m SO excited about the upcoming holiday!

The stockings are stuffed, the presents are wrapped, the food is prepped (or ordered!), and the cookies are baked!

A few days ago I posted about all-things-CHRISTMAS COOKIES. Well I’m back to add one more cookie to the list!

There’s still time to bake up a batch of these chewy, crispy, buttery, chocolately, low carb, sugar free, keto friendly chocolate chip cookies to share with family and friends this holiday! These cookies are a winner. They’re SO delicious you’ll think you’re snacking on the real thing!  Continue reading

11/26/17

Low carb Fiddle Faddle (or Poppycock if you’d like!)

When I was around 7 or 8, my grandfather, Abuelito, built me a treehouse. 

It wasn’t fancy or elaborate, just a big wooden platform, about 7 feet off of the ground with a ladder to get up to it. He even added green indoor/outdoor carpeting over the wood to add a little extra something, but other than that, it was a super simple design (unlike my life-size, walk-in, air conditioned playhouse him and my dad built me when I was a toddler which WAS elaborate, but I’ll save that for another post). Continue reading

10/22/17

The New Earth Fare in Oldsmar (and a fall recipe!)

Disclosure: As a local member of TBB, I was invited to attend this event at Earth Fare for free, and receive compensation in the form of a gift card in exchange for my honest review of the store. All foodie-inspired opinions are my own. 

Hey friends! I hope things are well with you and that you had a super weekend! My weekend was a restful one, which was a welcomed sight after a few whirlwind work trips last week. I worked out, grocery shopped, did some cooking, and spent quality time with my main squeeze my husband (still love saying that!) Continue reading