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.

 

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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/

Cheaper than Canned Chicken

All this from one 2.81 lb chicken.

All this from one 2.81 lb chicken.

Do you use canned chicken for your recipes much? If you have a crock pot and, ideally, a freezer, you can save some serious money.

I don’t use canned chicken much since tuna is cheaper. But I recently heard a news story about how canned tuna may have more mercury in it than previously believed. So I thought I ought to start making my mom’s Famous Tuna Casserole with chicken instead. But since I use 2 cans of tuna in the recipe and chicken costs a bit more, I worried.

So I did something instead. I bought a whole chicken at the grocery store for somewhat over $5, put it in my large (5 quart) crock pot, and by the end of the day I had this: 3 one-cup containers of chicken in broth. A standard 5 oz. can of chicken has 1/2 cup and is over $1 even on sale, so the chicken alone would have cost over $6. Plus, there were 2 quarts of broth plus an almost-half quart. I’m not sure of the price on that but I’d reckon it at $2-3 dollars for a quart at the least.

If you don’t have a crock pot and are in extreme poverty (as in people on SSI disability, like many Aspies/people with Asperger Syndrome are) try shopping at your local St. Vincent de Paul or Goodwill thrift shop. Try to find a crock pot where the crock comes out of the heating-element base for washing, but if you can’t, know that I still use my mom’s old crock pot which dates back to my childhood— and I’m 55 years old!

Here is the basic recipe:

1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs)

water to cover

salt/pepper to tast

optional:

sprig of parsley, cut up

1 medium onion

1 – 2 stalks celery, cut up

Set the crock pot to ‘high’ for one hour and cook on ‘low’ for 8-12 hours. When time is up, take out the chicken and put it on a platter. Pick out the meat, which will be very tender, from the bones. Put the meat (skin included, it’s healthy and good for low-carb living) into 1 cup container good for freezer storage (I used canning jars). Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of jar. Pour a small amount of the broth into the container. Next, strain the broth through a colander or whatever. You can discard the onion, celery and parsley if you used it, add it into some recipe, or feed it to animals. I put the broth into quart jars because the mushroom soup recipe I use calls for that amount of broth. Leave 1 inch space at the top for that size jars.

If your crock pot is the 3 quart size, you can still make the recipe. You will just have to cut up the chicken. Use your sharpest knives. You may have to do it in 2 batches, with 1/2 of the chicken in each, depending on the size of your crock pot and of your chicken.

The only inconvenience is that you will have to remember to pull your ingredients out of the freezer the day before you need to use them. Put them into the refrigerator to thaw.

So, that’s how I prepare chicken. Stay tuned to this blog, and I will give the recipe for Famous Tuna (or Chicken) Casserole , both in the original and in my de-carbed version. (I finally found a substitute for the noodles that I’m actually willing to eat!)

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This Diabetic is Kicking the Drug Habit

OK, it’s like this: ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes a few years back, I have been on from one to two oral diabetes medications (metformin and Actos). When I developed kidney complications I have been on from one to two high blood pressure drugs (lisinopril and amlodipine). Even so, I’ve had to at least partially follow a low carbohydrate diet to get decent blood sugar readings.

And then my latest kidney test comes along, and my kidney doctor gets to shrilly screaming on the phone to my real doctor (who’s a nurse) that I have to quit both my diabetes drug and my high blood pressure drug AT ONCE!!! and so I’m kicking the drug habit.

Luckily I know about low-carb dieting as an aid in controlling diabetes. There are a lot of myths about the LC diet— that it’s a fad diet (the first diet book published was low carb, Banting’s Letter on Corpulence), or that it’s high in fat or has too much protein (actually I eat less fat, and smaller portions of protein foods, when I’m strict LC).

The major books I use to guide me (since there are no doctors around here that I can get to that know low-carb) are:

Atkins Diabetes Revolution (Robert C. Atkins, M. D.)

Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution (Richard K. Bernstein, M. D.)

Dr. Bernstein’s diet is a little stricter, and so I go mostly by that, though if there are foods Bernstein bans but Atkins allows (like raw carrots), I feel free to consume in small quantities if I don’t go over Dr. Bernstein’s carb limits.

The Results:

My blood pressure has immediately gone down to very good levels. My blood sugars are not yet great, BUT they are better than they were on pills and a half-hearted approach to low-carb dieting.

My Low-Carb Breakfast this morning:

IM001195I was in the mood for an ultralight breakfast this morning. So I had some celery sticks which I spread with spreadable Gouda cheese which I bought in the specialty-cheese section of the grocery store in Menominee, MI, which is where my mother lives. I also had a cup of low-carb hot chocolate. The recipe was based on one in an Atkins recipe book. That one called for 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 2/3 cup water, 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder and a bit of an allowed artificial sweetener. And then you gotta put in in a pot and heat it on the stove for a bit. My recipe is easier— I make it in a styrofoam cup.

Nissa’s Hot Chocolate:

Heat water up in tea kettle or whatever you use to make water for tea.

In your cup, place 1 teaspoon cocoa and 1 to 2 Splenda tablets to sweeten (Or whatever sweetener YOUR preferred Low-Carb book allows).

Pour about 3/4 cup hot water in cup and stir.

Pour about 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream in cup and stir again.

(If you like your hot chocolate really HOT you may have to resort to the kettle method.)

Net carbs of the original Atkins hot chocolate was 5, so this should come in at about 3-4 grams of carb depending on how much cream you use.