Recipe: Nut-Flax Hot Cereal – Low-Carb, Keto

It’s the new year, and a lot of people have started new diet plans. But too many dieters haven’t discovered the low-carb and ketogenic diets, which actually have loads of scientific backing. Plus, these diets are good for our brains. Writers need healthy brains.

Here is a breakfast recipe that is easy to prepare, even in the morning.

Nut-Flax Hot Cereal

This is a cereal that you can assemble ahead of time. Start out by getting 3 to 6 containers. You can use disposable plastic storage bags. Or you can buy a dozen Ball brand 1/2 cup jelly jars. If you can’t find the 1/2 cup (they are not easy to find, buy online) you can use 1/2 pint jars (1 cup). Or you can use small plastic containers.

In each container, put:

1 1/2 T(ablespoon) ground nuts (nut meal), pecan, walnut or almond

1 1/2 T shredded coconut meat, UNSWEETENED!!! (They carry it at my local Walmart)

1 T (or 1/2 T) ground flaxseed meal.

1/2 T chia seed (optional)

1/4 t(easpoon) sea salt

Put the lid on your containers and put away in a kitchen cabinet.

To make a serving of cereal, get out a suitable small cereal bowl, and empty the contents of one container into it. ADD one thin pat of butter.

Put on your teakettle and get some boiling water. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the boiling water to your cereal bowl. Make sure that the pat of butter gets hit by the hot water. Let the cereal sit 1-2 minutes. Add 1-2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream. If you want a sweet taste in  your cereal, add a bit of liquid or powdered stevia sweetener. If you buy English Toffee flavored liquid stevia, it gives the cereal a bit of brown sugar flavor. Add a pinch of cinnamon to it for a real taste treat.

The flaxseed meal is very good for you— but it does add a slippery texture to the cereal. Which is why you can cut the amount to 1/2 T. Or less, if you have a low-carb eater in the family that is fussy about this. But I’ve learned to put up with the weird texture of the full 1 T amount, and I like it just fine that way.

This recipe is based on Dana Carpender’s Hot “Cereal” recipe in her Fat Fast Cookbook. I’ve just added some butter and chia seeds and the make-ahead concept. Which is a natural since it is just as easy to prepare 6 servings as it is the single serving in the original recipe.

The one hard thing about the low-carb and/or ketogenic lifestyle is that it requires a lot of cooking, which leads to a lot of dishwashing. Which is something I can’t always face in the morning. So I make cereal ahead of time, and then I always have some acceptable food that I can prepare with very little effort.


Low-Carb & Ketogenic diets are DIFFERENT

Low-fat and calorie counting diets are temporary diets
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are ones you follow for life

In low-fat and calorie counting diets, feeling hungry is GOOD.
In low-carb and ketogenic diets, feeling hungry means you need to EAT some low-carb/ketogenic foods

In low-fat and calorie counting diets, you eat whole grain toast without butter.
In low-carb and ketogenic diets, you eat the butter but not the toast.

In low-fat and calorie counting diets you are urged to eat a lot of sugar-filled fruits.
In low-carb and ketogenic diets, fruit is something you avoid. You eat non-starch veggies instead.

In low-fat and calorie counting diets the goal is to cut down on what you eat.
In low-carb and ketogenic diets, the goal is to change over your metabolism to one that runs by burning fat.



 

Coconut_Bev_UnsweetenedIf you wish to avoid dairy and don’t like canned coconut milk, So Delicious Coconut Milk  beverage is a tasty substitute. The green carton is the unsweetened one.

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Keto/Low-Carb Recipe: Cheese Pancakes

Blintz step 1Sometimes eating healthy can be a real pain first thing in the morning. All those traditional breakfast things— toast, French toast, Pop-Tarts, Cheerios, hot oatmeal— all now on our Not For Us foods list.

But how about some pancakes? Tasty pancakes smothered in butter, perhaps with some sugar-free syrup? We can do that. Here is my favorite pancake recipe, which makes one serving of pancakes.

Cheese Pancakes

2 T (tablespoons) full-fat cottage cheese or cream cheese (or 1 T each)

1 egg

1/2 T ground flaxseed

1/2 T melted butter or melted coconut oil

1/8 t (teaspoon) sea salt or seasoned salt

Put all your ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Yes, even the butter/coconut oil, it’s part of the batter. Use a hand blender or mixer to blend the ingredients until smooth. You can also use a hand-crank egg beater/mixer if you are off the grid, but this will be harder work if you’ve used cream cheese.

Heat up your frying pan for about 5 or 6 minutes. Then add the butter or cooking oil you will be using to fry your pancakes.

Add the batter to the pan. I have used this recipe to make a large pancake of the crepe/blintz variety, but for breakfast pancakes I used to make three pancakes. These pancakes are thin and hard to flip, so you might do 6 or so little ‘silver dollar’ pancakes.

Since I fry my pancakes in butter, I pour leftover melted butter from the pan onto the pancakes once they have been put on my dish. Easier than putting cold butter on them and hoping for it to melt.

You can use this pancake recipe for a variety of purposes. I’ve made a filled low-carb blintz with it. I’m thinking of making a hamburger/cheese filling and making a blintz version of my mom’s cheeseburger turnovers.



Notes on ingredients

Cottage cheese, cream cheese: don’t use low-fat versions of these. You need the fat to make you feel full, and to keep you in a state of ketosis. Most people on ketogenic or strict low-carb diets will find their cholesterol numbers improving on the diet, so don’t worry about the fat.

If you are worried about the dairy— well, it is possible to make a yogurt out of coconut milk (the kind you buy in cans). Don’t use a low-fat variety of coconut milk, and check the labels of different varieties, some have added ingredients you don’t want in your coconut milk. If the coconut yogurt doesn’t work so well in the recipe, perhaps you could make coconut yogurt cheese— you put yogurt in a strainer lined with a coffee filter overnight, letting the whey (or whatever that stuff is) drain off. I have done this with home-made dairy-milk yogurt, but haven’t tried it with coconut milk yogurt. Dana Carpender’s recipe book 200 Low-Carb High-Fat Recipes has a recipe for coconut yogurt on page 51. I find her recipe books VERY useful, so I’d suggest giving her a try.

Ground flaxseed: In the original recipe I adapted for these pancakes, it called for soy flour. I don’t care to put soy in my diet, except for soy sauce, so I have tried alternatives. Ground almond, pecan or walnut is nice but the batter will be thinner. Ground flaxseed plumps up the batter a bit. A little bit.

Butter/Coconut Oil: You may have read old-fashioned recommendations to avoid butter at all costs. The up-to-date science says otherwise. And coconut oil is very good for a ketogenic diet— a diet which is proven to be good for your heart.

Salt: When you stopped eating a processed food diet and started eating a healthy low-carb/ketogenic/Paleo diet, you cut out most of the sources of salt in your diet. Many of us when we start cooking healthy omit the salt. Don’t do this. Salt makes food taste better, and tasty low-carb food helps you resist the temptation to have ‘just a little’ processed food. Also, you can actually feel sick after a rapid switch from salty processed food to very-low-salt home-cooked low carb food. And your blood tests can show that your sodium is low.

 

Recipe: Keto Bone Broth Mug Soup

Keto Bone Broth Mug Soup

Ten Benefits of Bone Broth by The Coconut Mama http://thecoconutmama.com/2012/11/nutrient-dense-bone-broth/

Ten Benefits of Bone Broth by The Coconut Mama http://thecoconutmama.com/2012/11/nutrient-dense-bone-broth/

Here’s a keto/Paleo convenience meal that you make in your mug! Great for breakfast.

1-2 T coconut oil (regular, unless you want the coconut flavor in cold-pressed oil)

dash of seaweed granules— kelp, dulse whatever you like (optional)

dash of sea salt

1 T sour cream, heavy cream or coconut milk, not ‘reduced fat’ versions (optional)

1/4 to 1/2 cup of reduced bone broth, depending on broth’s strength

Hot water

Put the coconut oil, kelp, sea salt, cream and reduced bone broth into a large/double sized coffee mug. Pour hot water into the mug to fill. Stir until the coconut oil and sour cream melt. Taste— if your bone broth was weak, you may need to add a bit of something to bring up the flavor, such as a bit more salt, more seaweed granules, a bit of vegetable broth powder, reduced grocery store broth, or even grocery store bouillon granules (I’m trying to give that up, really….)

This is as close to an ‘instant breakfast’ type of keto/Paleo food you can find. (It may seem complicated the first time, but before long you can do it in your sleep.)

Note on the bone broth: ‘reduced’ bone broth means that you’ve boiled it down a bit to reduce the water content and intensify the flavor. This is a good idea for storing the bone broth in the freezer. When the bone broth is stored in the refrigerator there may be a solid layer of healthy fats on the top. You will need to place the bone broth container (I use canning jars) in a pan of hot tap water to bring it to room temperature to melt the fat so you can shake up your bone broth to mix up the components.

To make bone broth: google for ‘bone broth’ recipes. You can use bones from leftovers— beef, chicken, pork, lamb, goat, venison— whatever you’ve got. (Put a gallon-size freezer bag into your freezer and put in leftover bones to save up enough bones.) The version of bone broth recipe I use calls for cooking it 48 hours in a 3 quart crock pot.

Substitutions: when your bone broth is all gone, you can substitute reduced grocery-store broth, reduced home-made vegetable broth, home-made dashi, or store-bought dashi or bouillon powder (which you probably can’t get without MSG).

Keto diet questions? Read Keto Clarity: http://www.amazon.com/Keto-Clarity-Definitive-Benefits-Low-Carb-ebook/dp/B00MEX9B4C   It, and other books like it, literally saved my life— I have diabetes with complications that made my doctor cut off my diabetes meds. My blood sugar, blood pressure and kidney test results have all improved as a result of the ketogenic diet.

Benefits of bone broth by The Coconut Mama: http://thecoconutmama.com/2012/11/nutrient-dense-bone-broth/

Recipe: Keto Rescue Bouillon

I can't get cool-looking Maggi beef bouillon where I live.

I can’t get cool-looking Maggi beef bouillon where I live.

 

I have been tweaking my diet into a more ketogenic form lately. Ketogenic diets are good for a variety of health problems, from epilepsy to obesity to diabetes to autism. It may also be beneficial for kidney disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Here is a book that tells more about it:

Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet – Eric Westman MD & Jimmy Moore

The book recommends using bouillon as a drink to help add back electrolytes/salt when you drop the typical American diet. Author Jimmy Moore also recommends adding butter to whatever you eat. This recipe is the result.

Keto Rescue Bouillon

Bouillon— cube or powder, enough for 1 cup, NOT the low-sodium kind. I have not been able to locate bouillon without sugar, but at least I found a brand without MSG!

1/2 Tablespoon butter

pinch kelp/seaweed powder (optional)

Hot water

~~~~~

Add the bouillon, butter & optional seaweed to your cup. Add hot water. Stir.

I was sick with flu-like symptoms from my flu shot when I first made this. I felt a lot better. NOTE: do not use this recipe if you are still on the Standard American Diet eating lots of pre-salted foods! This is for ketogenic and low-carb diets where you are essentially making all your own food at home (other than ordered eggs over-easy and bacon or ham at restaurants), and you are at risk for not having enough sodium in your diet.

Low-Carb Recipe: Cloud Bread/Diet Revolution Roll

cloud bread 3

Cloud bread baked in muffin top pan.

Haven’t done any low-carb lifestyle posts in a while. Very neglectful of me. So here’s what I’ve been making recently.

In the original Atkins diet book published in 1972, there is a recipe called ‘Diet Revolution Rolls’ consisting of separated eggs, cottage cheese and  a pince of cream of tartar, total carbs 3.1 for the whole batch of six rolls.I tried a couple of times but it never turned out well until I bought a muffin top pan. Since I don’t have a working full-size oven, I use a convection oven and so had to buy a four muffin-top size pan to fit.

This improved the rolls quite a bit, but since I put the full batter in the four slots I guess it came out a little thick.

So I Googled. And I found a recipe for ‘Carb Free Cloud Bread’ http://www.food.com/recipe/carb-free-cloud-bread-411501.  It has the SAME ingredients but there are some differences in how you make it. First, that you make 10 ‘rolls’/bread pieces instead of the 6 of the Diet Revolution Bread recipe.  Second, that you cool the bread pieces, put them in a large baggie or some Tupperware, and refrigerate overnight to make it more ‘bready’

So I tried it myself and am working to refine my own version of the recipe. Here’s the preliminary version:

Basic Cloud Bread

 

Cloud bread in my muffin top pan

Cloud bread in my muffin top pan

3 eggs, separated

3 Tablespoons cottage cheese or cream cheese, made from WHOLE milk, not low-fat or fat-free.

1/4 cream of tartar

1 packet (2 teaspoon equivalent) stevia sweetner, WITHOUT maltodextrin (read labels— Truvia and Walmart store brand are OK so far, Family Dollar store brand has the maltodextrin.)

Oven: 300 degrees.

Separate the eggs into 2 bowls. Not one speck of yolk can get into the white. If you are new to separating eggs, have a third bowl to separate the egg whites in to. That way you only ruin one egg white if you get yolk in. Set the egg white bowl with the 3 whites aside.

Add the cottage cheese or cream cheese to the yolks, and the stevia packet. Use a mixer or a hand blender to mix well. (You will either have to wash the blades well, or else use a hand blender for this step and a mixer for the next.

Now, set the yolk mixture aside and get out the egg whites. Add the cream of tartar. Then, beat the eggs with a mixer for a LONG time. Set your timer to 5 minutes. You want the egg whites to form fluffy white peaks.

Mix the yolk mixture very carefully into the whites. Stir just enough to mix well.

Now, prepare your muffin top pans. You must have enough pans for your ten bread pieces. If you don’t have enough muffin top pans, use a plain cookie sheet for the rest of the slices. Spray the pans with non-stick cooking spray (I prefer olive-oil based sprays).

Use a soup spoon or other larger spoon to spoon out the mixture into the pans. Do it one spoonful into each slot and then start over to add the second spoonful. Try to distribute it evenly. Using your spoon, smooth the mixture so that each one is an even round the diameter of a hamburger bun (this is where the muffin top pan makes it easy.)

Bake in a preheated 300 degree Fahrenheit over for about 30 minutes. The time can vary— check near the end of the 30 minutes. Breads should be the color of a store bought hamburger’s bun.

Put the bread pans somewhere safe to cool. You can take them off the pan if you like. When the breads are wholly cool, put them in an airtight plastic bag or plastic container.

Use 2 of the breads to make sandwiches of all sorts, use them as buns for hamburgers or hot dogs. You can even buy take-out burgers and switch the nasty, sweet buns that they come with for these breads.

Carb count (cottage cheese version)

Whole batch: 3.1

Each bread piece: .31

Variations:

Add things like a bit of minced onion, sauted, or some caraway seeds or poppy seeds.

cloud bread 2

Cloud bread on an ordinary cookie sheet. (Excuse the foil lining, it’s a bad idea unless your cookie sheet is old and nasty, like mine.)

Cloud bread is good for low carb lifestyles and is also gluten-free. It’s not quite kosher on Paleo, unless you decide to do a ‘modified Paleo’ which allows dairy and sets severe limits on the fruits (because of the carbs).

It is a good daily bread. If you have children, don’t buy ordinary bread for them even if you are compelled to feed them too many carbs in other parts of their daily diet. Get them used to low-carb daily bread and other staple foods of the low-carb lifestyle.

For Ketogenic diets: this is low-carb enough, but only 4% fat. If you are on the ‘fat-fast’ diet for the moment, you’ll probably end up with only one of the breads to make room for the higher fat items that you’ll want to eat with it. The fat-fast diet is a temporary, very restricted diet for people on a strict low-carb lifestyle (such as Atkins Induction or Bernstein’s Diabetes Diet) who have not been losing weight on it. For more info, read Dana Carpender’s Fat Fast Cookbook. http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Fast-Cookbook-Recipes-Weight/dp/0970493126