LC/GF Chocolate Cake & Buttercream Frosting Review

Hey everybody!

If you are following the Night Owl Kitchen Blog on Instagram and/or Facebook then no doubt you know where this post is going to go. 😏

Friday was a busy cooking day here, mostly because of G-Man. Those of you who have been following since the beginning know that I’m a control freak in the kitchen and really don’t let kids (mine or anyone elses) help that often. But I gave in since he was so determined to make anything. He had my Memaw’s olf Pillsbury cookbook out asking if he could make a thick crust pizza. I kept telling him no, that’s not low carb. Finally I told him, ok, you can help me make dinner. He wasn’t too interested in in what I had planned until I showed him some Googled images. That’s when his eyebrows shot up and he said “whoah”. But that’s for another post! 

He didn’t want to stop after helping with dinner. No, after getting dinner into the oven he asked me if we could make a dessert. Kid you’re killing! He asked me to make REAL brownies, you know high carb, one bowl Baker’s chocolate brownies. Yeah those. So we compromised, I pulled out the low carb family cookbook that mom and I have spent the last few years putting together. These are mostly tried and true recipes that we’ve been making since 2011, and there are some recipes in there that are waiting to be made. This low carb chocolate cake was that recipe!

Let me preface this by saying, this cake is crazy good! This was my first time making a low carb double layered cake complete with a low carb frosting. Most of the desserts I make are simple(i.e. brownies, fruit desserts, coconut pound cakes, etc.). G-Man helped with every part of this recipe, which original credit is giving to Tropical Traditions. We did have to make a little change to the original recipe, in order for this to be truly low carb we swapped out the sugar and used granulated stevia, which measures cup for cup. We don’t keep much liquid dairy in the house anymore, so for that we measured out half a measurement of heavy cream and made up the difference with water to simulate half n half. But you can certainly use whatever you have on hand. 

G-Man measured out the ingredients, while I whipped up the wet he stirred together the dry. Of course, the reward for such amazing help is getting to lick the beaters and batter bowl. Family tradition around here! πŸ˜‰ I waited for his seal of approval and boy did he give it! The little fiend even pinched a few bites of batter right out of the cake pans!!! Apparently he liked it A LOT! Thank goodness, he is so hard to convince sometimes but I guess letting him help out with the whole process made it worthwhile for him. 

So, where’s the recipe?

I haven’t received permission from Tropical Traditions to share it here on my blog. But you can click HERE for the original recipe, just remember to swap out the sugar for a low carb granulated sugar option. We buy the Great Value brand of Stevia in the Raw, it’s actually pretty good! Have yet to notice any bitter aftertaste and it measures cup for cup, which makes it easy to use.

Overall, the cake recipe is easy to put together. G-Man got to experience measuring out coconut flour, Dutch processed cocoa powder, and learned that sometimes you have to get creative with a thick batter. Indeed this stuff is thick, but that’s the nature of coconut flour. Surprisingly it wasn’t a suck all the moisture out of your mouth kind of dry cake. But you can tell that it is made with coconut flour and that’s why the next time I make it(yes there will be a next time) I’m gonna add a spoonful of sour cream and replace some of the coconut flour with almond flour. It’s not an unpleasant cake at all if you’re used to using coconut flour in baked goods, or you’re so desperate for a low carb dessert you don’t care! LOL! I know that feeling, when you don’t really care what it is as long as it’s low carb and pretty good you’ll eat it in order to kill that craving! This cake recipe will take care of that and then some!

Once we got the cake into the oven we talked about “frosting options”. Which let’s face it, when you’re doing low carb you’re pretty much left with maybe one or two ideas. And he didn’t like either one. So that’s when I took to Google and found this incredible low carb buttercream frosting that blew us away. It tastes like the real deal only better because it’s not going to send your bloodsugar through the roof or make you feel guilty later on for eating a large piece. Truly, there is no judgment here, I will serve up large pieces if that’s what you want. Just saying. πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ Low Carb Yum (<–click for recipe) came through for us with flying colors! Again we had to fudge our way through it, no pun intended. We used only granulated stevia as our main sweetener and wound up adding an extra 4 tablespoons of stevia to cut through the bitterness of the cocoa. If you can, use two different sweeteners to help sweeten the cake and frosting. Just like the cake, it’s an easy recipe, comes together quickly, and is so rich! Didn’t feel like I was eating something low carb, it felt absolutely sinful. 😈😜

I sincerely hope you all give this cake a try, it really is a wonderful dessert would be perfect for a birthday, anniversary, get togethers, or just because! Because we mamas need some cake without all the guilt, so get to it!! 

Happy Baking!!

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Triple Berry Bake

Good morning everyone! I’m so happy to report that after one week of eating right and upping my level of activity I have lost 1 1/2 pounds!! The first of so many but I’m very pleased with it πŸ™‚ People always commend me for being so open and honest about myself, even online, and I can’t help it that’s who I am. What I’m about to share I’ve only told my family and very close friend. Why post it here on the blog for the world to read? Because for me it’s a major accomplishment in my life!

It’s no lie that I’m a big woman, I’ve been upfront about that with you all. As a big woman daily activities are difficult to do, even just standing at the bathroom sink to brush my teeth or brush my hair. I’m ashamed I let it get that bad, to where I couldn’t even stand for five minutes to brush, floss, and rinse. The pain in my lower legs was too much at times, the only way I could get through the process was to bring a folding chair in and sit down. Yesterday I was getting myself ready for morning church and when I got out of bed I noticed that there wasn’t any pain in my calves and my thighs weren’t aching. Even my lower back pain was barely there! At first I thought about dragging in my chair but then I decided you know what, I’m feeling good let’s see how this goes!

Know what?! For the first time in 2 years I stood at the sink and brushed my teeth along with my other routine and didn’t feel the first ache! Got to church stood and talked with a sweet friend for 5 minutes or so and didn’t feel like I needed to sit down. I moved around for for the fellowship time with ease but by there time the invitation came I could feel the muscles in the backs of thighs quivering. Not wanting to overdo it I remained in my seat and took it easy for the rest of the day. I know most folks who will read this will go, so what? However, for anyone else out there who knows and understands the struggle this is a major deal! Mobility is a big deal in everyone’s life, the lack of mobility can spell numerous health issues, one major one being the heart. Living a sedentary life can put so much strain on the heart leading to coronary heart disease. Not to mention high blood pressure, which that tends to run in my family.

I’ve only just begun, last week I don’t feel like I did enough in the way of exercise to warrant 1.5 pound loss but apparently I did. I am so thankful to the private fitness and health group I’ve joined with the mini challenges that I figured I wouldn’t be able to do. Such as walking for 10 minutes…I even gave myself one of walking up and down the stairs for 10 minutes. As I said in the group, my legs were like jello afterwards. Even the day after it felt like I was a snail that was trying to crawl through peanut butter. Every step was brutal, painful, my back screamed in agony but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was not being able to move around period.

trying to think of a proper segue into the recipe and my mind is going blank! I did suffer from a sweet tooth this past week though. I was craving something major but didn’t want to blow my progress. That’s when I came up with the following dessert, just something I put together Saturday that really hit the spot!

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Triple Berry Bake

Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 2-3 minutes
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes

3 cups frozen triple berry mix(or you can use fresh if it’s in season)
1/4-1/2 cup granulated Stevia in the raw(I used less for a more tart flavor)
1 cup almond flour
2 Tblsp granulated Stevia in the raw
2 Tblsp raw organic coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350*F. Add your frozen berries to an 8×8 baking dish. I didn’t prep my glass pan but if you feel led to do so then by all means use whatever you like. But quite honestly nothing is needed.
Sprinkle the granulated Stevia over the berries and set aside. In a small bowl combing the almond flour, granulated Stevia and coconut oil. You could add sliced almonds or chopped walnuts to the topping for more of a crunch. Disperse the topping evenly over the berries. Bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned on top. Serve warm or cold(I prefer cold, the topping hardens up because of the coconut oil and makes for a scrumptious breakfast alternative).

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Now some folks may wish to add homemade whipped cream on top. This is delicious either way. I know for a strict candida diet I’m not technically supposed to have dairy, but I couldn’t resist. This was the only dairy I had had all day and didn’t suffer from it, as in I didn’t itch afterwards.

The nutritional counts for this are as follows for one serving(minus whipped cream) :

Calories: 192
Fat: 14g
Carbs: 15g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Net Carbs: 5g
Protein: 5g

The more you add to this recipe then the nutritional value changes, just be mindful of that. I personally loved this concoction, my Dad wasn’t too thrilled with the topping but he loved the tart berries. He’s used to brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and granola for toppings which tend to crisp up. While this topping didn’t get crispy, when eaten with the homemade whipped cream it was a nice layer of flavor. But like I said I like eating it when it’s cold and without whipped cream.

Hope you all enjoy and have a blessed day!!

Cornbread Chili Casserole and Caramel Apple Crisp

Afternoon everyone, I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything. It’s been a crazy recovery since September. I certainly do have a backlog of posts I need to share with you all, and what better one to start with than the cornbread chili casserole and caramel apple crisp!!

Y’all know I’m always on the prowl for food inspiration, even when I have a pretty good idea how something can go, I still like to see if someone else has done it with success. I’m weird that way πŸ˜‰ Let me just preface this in saying, my Mom makes THE best chili and cornbread in all the 50 states. She learned from the best, who had learned from the best and so on πŸ™‚ I’m not the least bit biased hehe!! Well, I got it into my head that those two needed to be put together in a big ol’ pan just because. Now putting these two together is not anything new, just do a google search and you’ll find oodles of recipes that put together chili and cornbread. Why is mine worthy to blog about? Perhaps it’s not, but the family thought it was pretty amazing and left only two servings in the pan afterwards(even G–Man ate some, huge shocker). But hopefully on those chilly fall/wintery nights when your family is sick of having another pan of soup you’ll consider making this version and win them over πŸ™‚

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This is by far the easiest meal I’ve made yet, bakes up in 20 minutes and can be made as spicy as you like…or not! πŸ˜‰

Cornbread Chili Casserole

For the Chili:

2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans black beans, one drained

2 Tblsp chili powder

1 Tblsp Spanish paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp oregano(or more if you like)

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of red pepper flakes

2 cup shredded cheese(Mexican blend is nice)

For the Cornbread

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 Tblsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tblsp sugar

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a dutch oven pan, brown ground beef with onions and garlic. Drain fat if needed. Add in black beans, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and oregano. Let simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. If mixture seems a tad loose(almost soupy) sprinkle in a little instant potatoes. It won’t alter the flavor and will thicken the mixture up perfectly! Spoon into a lasagna pan, spread out evenly and top with shredded cheese.

In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add in milk, vegetable oil and egg. Whisk briskly until completely combined. Pour over cheese layer, smoothing out to the edges and corner with the back of a spoon or spatula. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and somewhat bubbling around the edges. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Yields 8-10 servings

 

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My Dad grew up having desserts almost every night, and while I wasn’t raised that way I do indulge him occasionally. Seeing that it’s apple season I went looking for a quick and easy dessert and thankfully I found one! Chow (dot com) has a very tasty apple crisp recipe with an oatmeal streusel topping. I just took it a step further and added a caramel drizzle over the top.Β  I didn’t have 2 1/2 pounds of granny smith apples, I had about three of them and several gala apples. It worked out nice in the end and is now one of G–Man’s favorite desserts! SCORE!! I’ll share the original recipe below since the website is acting all wonky on my computer. Not sure if it’s my system or the website. But I’ll post my changes/additions afterwards.

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Easy Apple Crisp

(Original recipe from Chow.com)

2 1/2 pounds medium Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples (about 5 or 6), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces, plus more for coating the dish

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oven to 350Β°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Lightly coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter.

Combine the apples, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Place the apple mixture in the prepared baking dish and set aside.

Using the same bowl as for mixing the apples, mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt until evenly combined. With your fingertips, blend in the butter pieces until small clumps form and the butter is well incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and bake until the streusel is crispy and the apples are tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

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***NOK’S Touch***

Instead of thinly slicing the apples, chop the apples into bite size pieces. I left the salt out of the sugar and cinnamon mixture on purpose because I use salted butter when I bake. If you use unsalted butter by all means add in the salt. I even cut back on the cinnamon by 1/4 tsp because we use an imported cinnamon which is very strong. A little goes a long way!

I added the Breyer’s caramel ice cream sauce(comes in a soft black squeeze pouch, we use this one specifically because there is no high fructose corn syrup in it) after I pulled the crisp out of the oven. No need to poke holes or drag a knife through it, just let it cool with the caramel sauce on top till it’s warm and serve with vanilla ice cream. Simple!

This dessert was definitely a hit and a keeper! There wasn’t any left, I’m not surprised πŸ˜€ If you like, you could certainly add golden raisins or dried unsweetened cranberries to the apples(or both). Instead of apples, try this with peaches for a peach crisp (which is another favorite of my Dad’s)!

 

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!!

S’mores Krispy Treats

Tonight was a great night to serve up some s’mores…s’mores krispy treats that is πŸ˜€ These really ought to win some kind of award because seriously they are amazing! My Wednesday night kiddos were in love with them, I’m shocked I came home with any at all! Even my Dad who isn’t even a Rice Krispy treat fan liked these. Oh yes, this recipe is a keeper! My hat goes off to Nikki from Chef-in-Training (<—click there to get the recipe) for creating this recipe and sharing it on her blog.

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This is all that’s left, major hit!

Be sure to head on over to Nikki’s blog to get the recipe and to let her know what you think. Honestly I don’t know of any reason to not like these. These are going on my MUST MAKE AGAIN list πŸ˜€

Happy Eating!!

Sunday Morning: Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares

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Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares

Usually we don’t do breakfast on Sunday mornings. Mostly because we’re out the door by 8:40am and on our way to church. My son might grab a bowl of cereal before he gets dressed and Dad might have some buttered toast. But to actually sit down and enjoy a real breakfast…not the norm for us. Today is a bit different because I chose to stay home, allowing my right foot and left knee to recover from last week’s Missions Conference. I did a lot of walking, standing, and while I did try to sit when I couldn’t take much more it wasn’t for long. I’m not complaining, it was a wonderful experience and one I’d do all over again, I just don’t bounce back like most people.

Around 9am this morning I asked G–Man what sounded good for breakfast. His automatic reply…cinnamon roll pancake squares. Oy. I thought a moment, not that I don’t enjoy making those, they’re simple and take no time at all to bake, but I wanted to change it up. His favorite pancake are the chocolate chip pancakes I used to make. When I told him I could make chocolate chip pancake squares he was excited with a resounding “Mmmm”. There is no original recipe for what I made this morning, sure I based it off of the cinnamon roll pancake recipe, but I changed it up so much that the end results were denser, cakey, and rich. If you want to save yourself some calories you don’t have to follow my recipe exactly, but if you’re going to be bad, you might as well go all the way right?! πŸ˜€

Chocolate Chip Pancake Squares

Yields: 12 Squares

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 eggs

4 Tblsp butter, melted

2 Tblsp sugar (or brown sugar)

1/8 cup sour cream

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tblsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4–6 ounces of semi–sweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 7×11 baking dish with Reynolds Release Foil, or use preferred cooking spray.

In a large bowl blend together cream, eggs, and melted butter. Add in sugar and sour cream. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, you don’t want to over mix. The batter is going to be thick and fluffy, carefully spread out into your lined baking pan evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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I didn’t want this to brown on top, it did just a little bit around the edges and that’s fine. My son’s suggestion was to melt the chocolate chips and pour it over the pancake squares, you can certainly do that if you wish. Just add a little milk and butter to help thin it out a touch to make a syrup.

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You can serve this up with coffee, tea, milk, and your favorite breakfast meat. It’s dense enough to pass as a dessert, just add whipped cream or ice cream. For a chocolate chip cookie flavor substitute brown sugar for the white sugar. You can add nuts if you like, or use a different chip flavor! I’m more of a butterscotch fan myself πŸ™‚

Hope you all have a blessed Sunday!

Coffee–Break Cake

Oh what a trying day it’s been, it wasn’t enough that I woke up sneezing and achy (I’m not getting sick…absolutely not!), but our school day was very difficult for us. Attitudes flying everywhere, constantly griping at me for leaving out a word here or there while reading out loud, and correcting me when I mispronounce something. Momma said there would be days like this…

I need a break, anyone else need one? I’m beyond ready and I’ve got the best cake recipe that will help melt away all worries…well, at least for the few moments any way πŸ™‚ It’s a simple cake that I found in one of my great-grandmothers cookbooks. The recipe is from Inez Manuel under the Quick Breads section. You won’t regret making this cake, I promise!

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What you’ll need:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

1 T. brown sugar

1 unbeaten egg

2 cups flour

1/2 t. salt

2 t. baking powder

3/4 cup milk

1 t. pure vanilla extract

1/4 t. pure almond extract

Directions:

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Cream butter well; add sugar gradually and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. (At this point I went ahead and added the brown sugar and extracts. Something I’ve done with previous recipes and it works well.)

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Sift together dry ingredients. Add alternately with milk to creamed mix. (So basically, start with half the milk in the creamed butter, then add half the flour. Then more milk and finish with the flour.) Blend in extracts. (Kinda already did that!)

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Line an 8×8 inch square pan with Release Foil, or if you prefer you can spray with a nonstick spray. Pour mixture into pan and level out evenly.

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For the topping:

2 T. melted butter or margarine

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 t. cinnamon

Directions:

Mix topping thoroughly.

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Sprinkle on top of the batter. Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Best when served warm.

And indeed it is! Couple this with a hot mug of coffee and you’ve got perfection!

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This would be good with some cinnamon sugar apples on top if you wanted to skip the crunchy sugar topping, or spiced pears, or ooo perhaps some spiced peaches instead! I personally love it just the way it is…classic. It’s a moist cake with a lovely contrasting topping, perfect for any time of the day πŸ™‚ I had to stick the rest of it in the freezer to keep from eating the entire cake! Seriously, that good.Β 

I guess it’s time to get back to work, still have to bake up those homemade pizza bites for tonight. Best get crack–a–lackin’, eh? Hope you have a blessed day! And thanks for taking a break with me, I really appreciate it πŸ™‚

Low Carb Recipes

Evening everyone! Tonight was a night to make a few different meals to appease everyone’s taste. I first made a creamy burrito bake, followed by a steak salad, and finally a chicken salad. For a lower carb dessert I attempted to make a “soft serve” out of whipped cream and mashed strawberries. I didn’t let it freeze till it was rock hard, just long enough to get frosty. It was a pleasant treat, not one I’d want to indulge in too often because of it’s acidity but a guilt free dessert for anyone living a lower carb lifestyle!

I started off with the creamy burrito bake. It was simple, easy to throw together and a hit with the family!

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I found the recipe on Spark Recipes, just one of my favorite sites to get dinner inspirations. The net carbs per serving is 9.9 grams.

What you’ll need:

1 pound ground hamburger

1 packet taco seasoning or 1 to 1 1/2 tblsp homemade taco seasoning

8 oz shredded cheese(monteray jack cheese or any that you prefer)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup sour cream

4 oz mild salsa

8 Low Carb high fiber tortillas (the only ones I keep in the house)

Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.

Mix together the can of soup, sour cream and taco sauce.

Spray a 9 x 12 pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 of the soup mixture into pan. Divide meat mixture evenly between the tortillas and sprinkle cheese in shell before folding and putting into pan.
Reserve about 1/2 – 3/4 cup cheese.

Spread rest of soup mixture onto the shells and top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

This serves 8

General consensus:: It was good. I may substitute the sour cream with cream cheese, it seems to hold up better than sour cream does. You can use any cheese you like, I just used a regular cheddar cheese since that’s what we keep on hand.

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For my Dad I used up the leftover steak from last night’s meal. Warmed it up, sliced it thinly and placed it over a mixed salad with tomato. As for how my Dad seasons it? Salt, pepper on one side and a homemade Outback Steak Seasoning on the other side. He topped them off with some homemade garlic butter and lets them rest before serving. That’s it! He was very pleased to have this tonight. Salads are pretty much a staple when living a low carb lifestyle, how you dress it up depends on your taste!

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For myself I chose to warm up some Tyson grilled chicken strips that I had marinated in a little soy sauce and served it over another mixed salad. It was a nice change, all that was missing was an egg roll (wishful thinking). You can dress up the Tyson grilled chicken however you like, I’ve even seasoned it with my favorite grill seasoning for a little extra kick. I left the tomatoes off my salad tonight and added extra organic cucumber.

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And for a dessert I looked around online for a suitable solution for a lower carb “soft serve”. Everything called for sugar, confectioners sugar, and I can’t use those ingredients. So, I kept it simple. I whipped up a 1/2 cup of heavy cream (which will make 1 cup of whipped cream) with 1/8 cup Stevia in the Raw. It was important to over whip it. Partially thaw 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries and put into a food processor or blender. It almost resembled a puree except for a few chunks here and there, to which I folded gently into the whipped cream. Not completely either, there were pockets of plain whipped cream and strawberry puree. Let it freeze for an hour or two, depending on how firm you like it. I let it sit for an hour in the freezer, it was firm around the edges and frosty toward the center. It was quite tasty, again not something I want to make all the time but a nice treat. It will serve two generously and stretch to serve three if needed.

1/2 Serving: 5.6 net carbs

1/3 serving: 3.7 net carbs

If you are a PCOS cyster looking for a lower carb dessert this may not be for you. Though I’m lactose intolerant I’ve never had any issues with heavy cream. Mostly because I don’t consume it in large quantities, and one must take into consideration that not everyone suffers from the same lactase deficiency. However, I have found that taking one acidophilus pill prior to consuming any dairy does help me with my intolerance.

It’s been a mentally draining day and may even turn in early. Thankfully there’s nothing on the agenda to bake tonight. I am hoping to order some almond flour and coconut flour soon to start baking up some gluten free desserts that have become family favorites! Goodnight πŸ™‚

Related Article:

http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/l/lactose_intolerance/intro.htm