Tag Archives: Sugar Free

Orange Almond Blueberry Muffins (Gluten & Sugar Free)

16 Feb

Problem: I keep making things planning to put them up on the blog.

They keep getting eaten before I can take a picture.

Luckily, I made these when no one was around and snapped the pictures right away.

These muffins are adapted from the cookbook “Baked” – a really great recipe that I’m going to have to try with carbalose flour, because honestly I’m still working on how to get the muffins to have the right texture. For now, I’ll post the recipe and see if any of you make it, then we’ll see where we come up. I found a muffin TOP pan, which is genius, because it is common knowledge that if faced with a whole muffin or two muffin tops, you would choose the muffin tops. This could work better as a coffeecake as well – I’ll try that next time.

Orange Almond Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)

1 tbsp orange zest
the juice of a large orange
1/3 c sour cream
2 large egg whites
4 tbsp melted and cooled butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 c almond flour
1/2 c xylitol or eryithritol (I’ll be doing a post soon about the baking science behind these sugars)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c fresh blueberries (if using frozen, run water over them in a sieve until they are thawed and the water runs clear and either let them dry or toss them in flour before you put them into the batter, saving a few for the topping)
handful of sliced or slivered almonds for decoration

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Get out 12 silicone baking cups, a muffin top pan, or lightly grease a normal muffin pan.

In a food processor, mix up your dry ingredients. This will help to get the almond flour ground up really well and if you are using a granulated xylitol or erythritol that has big crystals, this will help to get those a little smaller. Transfer your dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients together – egg whites, sour cream, butter, extracts, and orange juice.

I decided to freshly squeeze my orange juice – use a half cup of orange juice from concentrate if you have that on hand instead of oranges.

In your dry ingredients, make a little well and pour your wet ingredients in. Mix this just until the ingredients are all combined, then put your blueberries in, saving some for sprinkling on the top right before baking if you want. I used slivered almonds instead.

Pour the batter into your desired baking vessels. Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes, and enjoy once they’ve cooled! My initial thought is that these taste like Trix cereal. In other words, they are delicious.


Blueberry Walnut Bars (Sugar & Gluten Free)

10 Feb

I’ll be honest. The entire month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I ate whatever I wanted. I hadn’t done that in years, and there were a few moments in that month where it felt especially good to just eat a full-sugar, full-fat pastry right out of the pretty glass case at Rembrandt’s Coffee House in Eagle, Idaho. I could have gone for the tiramisu, the giant bacon chocolate chip cookies, the caramel pecan bars, the pumpkin cream cheese filled french toast with rum sauce… oh wait, I did go for that one – and let me tell you, it was so worth it. But that’s another recipe for a skinnier time in my life. The point is, I went for the Blueberry Walnut Bars. Because they’re freaking delicious.

It’s so satisfying to take something amazing you ate at a restaurant and make it at home – healthier. If you make the full no-bake cheesecake recipe from the Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Covered Strawberries, you’ll have a lot of cheesecake left over. Never a bad thing – especially when there are so many good uses for cheesecake filling. Another plus about this recipe is that blueberries will be in season soon, and so this is a great recipe you can make that is a. inexpensive, b. low-carb, and c. no one will know the difference. Seriously. I came home twice to an empty pan of these, when I had SO been looking forward to eating one… It turns out people ate them for breakfast. And a little something after lunch. And dinner. Get out of my kitchen.

The “prerequisite” recipe to making this one is for the graham cracker crumbs, and the recipe I use is found at All Day I Dream About Food – one of the best alternative baking blogs I’ve found. These are great to have on hand, so I’d suggest making a couple batches at a time. Or, if you can find graham cracker crumbs that suit your health needs, use those instead!

Blueberry Walnut Bars

Walnut Crust

3/4 c. almond flour
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
3/4 c. crushed walnuts
6 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon, optional

Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a bowl, melt the butter and add in the vanilla and cinnamon. Add in your dry ingredients and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 11×7 pan and bake it for 15 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Let this cool while you prepare the cheesecake and blueberry layers.

Once your crust has cooled, spread cheesecake filling into it. Here’s the recipe in case you missed it from Monday:

Vanilla Bean No Bake Cheesecake

16 oz Neufchatel cheese at room temperature
3/4 c. xylitol, erythritol, or sugar
1 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped stiff
1/2 tbsp good vanilla extract
Several drops of non-bitter stevia extract (to taste, darling)
1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste or the insides scraped out of one vanilla bean

Cream your Neufchatel cheese and your sweetener together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff. Fold in the whipped cream to your Neufchatel cheese mixture, then add in your flavorings and more stevia to taste.

Blueberry Topping

1 1/2 c. frozen blueberries (you can do a mix of frozen and fresh if you prefer)
1/2 c. orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp arrowroot powder

Bring the blueberries and orange juice to a simmer in a small saucepan. Once all the blueberries have thawed, add in the vanilla extract and the arrowroot powder, which is a healthy sauce thickener and will act like corn starch. Let the mixture simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionally, as it thickens. once it’s reached a nice thick consistency, put it in the fridge and let it chill for a few hours, or if you are feeling impatient put it right on top of the cheesecake layer and let it melt and swirl into the cheesecake.

Clearly, I was feeling impatient.

Refrigerate the bars for 30 minutes to an hour, then cut them up and enjoy!

New Classic Tiramisu (Gluten & Sugar Free)

1 Feb

About a week ago, Jon re-discovered his old espresso maker just in time for the maintenance phase of our diet. I had never made tiramisu before, but it seemed like something we could do low-carb pretty easily without sacrificing flavor. Even as a low carb dessert this is probably one of the most decadent tiramisu dishes I have ever had – we were really impressed with the results!

New Classic Tiramisu

Makes 4 large ramekins, should probably be 6-8 servings…

Ladyfinger Crusts:

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. heavy cream
2 large eggs
1/2 c. xylitol or erythritol
1/2 c. almond flour
1/4 c. carbalose flour (or coconut flour if you eat gluten-free)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F and coat a 9×13 in non-stick cooking spray. In a small pan, melt the butter and mix it with the cream until it steams. In a large bowl, beat the eggs on high speed until they pale in color, being careful not to under-beat. Right now you are ensuring that your crust will be light, springy, and spongy to soak up the espresso. While the eggs are being fluffed, go ahead and get your dry ingredients together in a bowl – your almond flour, carbalose or coconut flour, and baking powder. Once the eggs are ready, gradually beat in the sweetener until combined with the eggs. Slowly add the dry ingredients until just mixed, then add in your cream, butter, and vanilla. Pour it all into a pan and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch. Let this cool while you mix up the cream filling & pull your espresso shots.

Cream Filling:

2 8oz packages of cream or Neufchatel cheese, softened
1/3 c. erythritol or xylitol
1/4 c. rum, or 1/2 tsp rum extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream, whipped until very stiff

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until its… creamy. Add in the sweetener until well combined, then do the same with the rum and vanilla. In a separate bowl beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff, then fold it into the cream cheese mixture. Taste, and add liquid stevia extract if needed. In a separate bowl, take about 3/4 c. espresso and mix it with 1-2 tbsp of erythritol.


You can essentially put this together however you want; we happen to have a round cookie cutter that cuts rounds that fit perfectly in our ramekins. So I’ll just tell you how we do it. Cut out 8 rounds from your ladyfinger crust. Put one round in the bottom of each ramekin, then soak the crusts in espresso. Put about 1/8 of the cream mixture into each ramekin, smoothing the top out. Put another ladyfinger crust on top of that, and soak it in the espresso mixture. Divide the rest of the cream mixture out between your ramekins, and smooth it on top. Lightly dust with cocoa powder, and if you have the willpower, chill for at least 4 hours! The longer it chills, the longer the flavors will develop. I’ll tag this as guiltless, but it’s really not at all guiltless if you are watching your saturated fat intake. In fact, I’m not going to even try to figure out the nutritional information. The best you can do is use Neufchatel cheese, organic or raw heavy cream, and organic cage-free eggs.

A note about carbalose flour: I’ve decided to give carbalose flour a try. Its essentially modified wheat that leaves you with almost all insoluble fiber and proteins, with just a few starch carbs leftover that your body will react to as carbohydrates. I think in limited quantities, this isn’t the most dangerous thing in the world. It should be treated like any other processed food!

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins (Gluten & Sugar Free)

31 Jan

Resolution #1 this year was to get to a healthy weight. Thanks to a few weeks of the HCG diet (haters, take your case elsewhere), I am 23 lbs. lighter in under a month. I’ll be doing two more rounds of the diet, for three weeks at a time, but in between the weeks of strict dieting I’ll be trying to maintain my weight. In order to maintain the weight I ended with, the protocol says that I shouldn’t eat any sugars or starches – when I hear that, I hear “BAKING CHALLENGE.” Enter these delicious almond poppyseed muffins. I was at my Nana’s house and she had some of the giant ones from Costco and, oh baby, did I want one. This body wanted some buttery giant deliciousness. But I held off, so I could make these… and the wait was so worth it. I don’t think I’ll be going back to the originals!



Guiltless Almond Poppyseed Muffins

10 normal-sized muffins

1 cup finely-ground almond flour
3/4 cup xylitol or erythritol
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp water
2 eggs
a few drops of non-bitter liquid stevia extract if needed

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix together the almond flour, sweetener, flaxseed meal, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, extracts, whipping cream, water, and eggs. Once combined, add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If you’re not squeamish about a little raw egg, taste the extract to see if you need to add a little more liquid stevia. My recipe made enough to fill 10 silicone muffin cups, and although the end result was about 1/8 the size of a Costco muffin, these muffins filled me up pretty quick. I think the higher protein, healthy fat, and fiber content contributed to that. Anyways, lightly grease a muffin pan if you’re not using liners or silicon baking cups, fill them 3/4 of the way full, and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your muffin size. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan or cups, then for maximum enjoyment serve while warm, with butter slathered all over.

If you want a good variation on this recipe, try it with lemon instead of almond extract.

Nutritional Analysis (based on a 10-muffin yield): These muffins are about 2 carbs each after subtracting fiber and depending on how you count sugar alcohols. I tend to take all I can get in terms of “free” carbohydrates. Per muffin, you’re looking at about 12 grams of fat – but most of that is incredible omega 3’s from the flaxseed, and if you’re using coconut oil instead of butter you’ll get some great MUFA’s (mono-unsaturated fatty acids, your tummy will love you). The almond flour and egg contribute to 4 grams of protein per muffin, and you’re also getting 3 grams of fiber with the flaxseed meal and almond flour. And one more plus – using xylitol will help your teeth to stay clean since it is a plaque-fighting agent! Wow… after typing that, it seems like you can’t afford NOT to make these muffins. Enjoy!