Almond Cookies -Keto Friendly

SIMPLY SWEET
This almond cookie is an explosion of flavour,  yet shockingly simple to make. Gluten free. Keto – friendly and does not spike your blood glucose levels. This is my all time favourite  ‘cookie’.  You may be hooked like I was, with your very first bite.  The vanilla extract makes these gems extra good!

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Bernini says. “I’ll give you a hand ( a paw that is)”…

INGREDIENTS
2-3 Egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup of sweetener  ( Monk fruit )
3 cups of sliced blanched almonds
a pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix egg whites with a fork. Add sweetener, salt and vanilla.  Mix again.  Toss in almonds and mix. (check your egg white consistency here)
  3. Spoon and flatten cookie mixture  on a silicone sheet or parchment or on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 20 minute – to a media brown colour
  5. If bottom still soft and sticky  ..turn over bottom side up and put back in the oven
  6. Turn off oven ..let cookies sit 5-10 minutes to dry out.

VARIATIONS
Dip cookie in dark or light chocolate after baking. Flip chocolate side up. Let cool  (see below).

Chocolate Lovers

TIP!
Egg whites vary in size.  Make sure you have enough ‘egg white’ to have a thick consistency when blending – well coated ( sort of gooey). If it looks dry, you may have to add another egg white . Beat the ‘additional’ egg white separately before you add it to your cookie mix. Err on more egg white. Crumble the cookie on yogurt, hot, morning oatmeal, ice cream, salad or cooked green beans. There are more ideas as you  might guess. The ingredients are healthy and you can dress up any meal with healthy almonds.

DID YOU KNOW?
Almonds are not a true nut. It is a seed or pit similar to a peach or olives. My uncle, who reached his 100th birthday,  would enjoy six almonds daily for good health.  Did you know Bill Gates’  frequently snacks on  ‘nuts’.  I’m sure the almond squeaked its way in the mix.   Monk fruit is the trending sugar substitute,  some say no aftertaste. There are various Monk fruits to buy  with varying sweetness. Investigate them before using in a recipe. Monk fruit  toots a higher sweetness level than sugar. Tasting is believing. Swerve is another emerging substitute for sugar you may want to try.

A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that consuming almonds increases vitamin E levels    Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation and also lowers cholesterol levels. Almonds have a  significant  increase the amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream. Blood flow is improved along with reduced blood pressure.

Key Lime Pie made with Avocado

lime-fruitKEY LIME PIE is another pie my friends remind me to make. Fresh key limes is the secret ingredient. Try and get the key limes instead of regular limes. It tastes just as good either way. The first time I had the Blonde Giraffe’s” key lime pie in Key West, Florida I was hooked. It was that good. Using a family recipe from their Brazilian grandmother, the Blonde Giraffe‘s pie shop flourished and delivered key lime pies all over the U.S. (No longer delivers (the pies) and the Blonde Giraffe has moved). They added key lime zest to the whipped egg white topping. Instead of their traditional evaporated milk, we will be using whipping cream + cream cheese.  We will also be adding avocado to this health -TRENDY key lime pie!

Best Key Lime Pie I Ever Had!

Best Key Lime Pie!

BLONDE GIRAFFE – Home of the award winning KEY LIME PIE! When I came down to Florida, my sister would leave a Key Lime Pie in the freezer for us. What a treat! I would get up at night and wander into the kitchen for a treat and hack away at the key lime pie like a block of ice. It was just as good frozen! I guarantee it!
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INGREDIENTS
300 grams cream cheese
200 ml whipping cream for mixing with avocado
150 ml Whipping Cream
1 medium-large Avocado, cut into big cubes
1/4 cup sugar – Stevia, organic coconut sugar, etc.
30 ml water
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
1 sachet Gelatin Powder
Limes + Key Lime Concentrate + Key Limes

Limes + Key Lime Juice + Key Limes

Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. DirectionsHeat oven to 350 degrees F. In food processor, pulse walnuts until finely ground. Add graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, anise seeds and salt; pulse just until combined. Add 2 tablespoons water; pulse until ingredients are thoroughly combined and resemble wet sand. Press into bottom of an 8 1/2-inch springform pan. Bake 20 minutes; cool completely.

      The walnuts are a healthier option.  The tiny amount of anise seeds give it an interesting flavour.An almond crust would also be a very healthy option.

Three-Ingredient Crust

This easy-to-make crust contains just three ingredients and browns up beautifully. You might even like it better than traditional pie crust!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar substitute

Instructions (pie crust)

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Combine the sugar and almond flour in a bowl.
  3. Pour the butter into the almond mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently until all the almond flour is incorporated with the butter and the dough forms a moist ball in your hands.
  5. Place the ball of almond flour dough on the bottom of the nine-inch spring form pan.
  6. Use your fingers to press the dough evenly out the sides.

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Zest the lime first before extracting the juice. Set aside the lime zest and juice
2. Place the gram crackers in food processor until finely ground. Add 8-12 dates (less is better), Hint: moisten the dates with  the water -use kitchen sheers to cut and drop the dates into the crumb mixture before turning the blender on. Add salt and melted butter. Process until a moist crumb forms. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 10 inch diameter spring form pan or 10 inch diameter mousse ring.  Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
3. Boil 150 ml of whipping cream in a small sauce pan and add it to the gelatin powder in a medium bowl, stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved. strain through fine sieve. Cool it down.
4. Using a food processor combine avocado, cream cheese, sugar, 200 ml. whipping cream, lime juice, zest and 30 ml of water until everything is smooth and well combined.. Pour in the cooled gelatin cream mixture and continue processing until well combined, cream and smooth in texture.key-lime-pie-avocado
5. Pour avocado lime cheese cake into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top. chill in the freezer for 1 hour to set.
6. Release the pie from the pan if using spring form pan. If using a mousse ring (which I used I this recipe) use a blow torch and run around the edge of the ring to loosen the mousse and remove the ring.
7. Garnish with lime slices and zest on top.
TOPPING
Whipping Cream (optional)

 

HAT2FOOD TIPS
You can substitute quark  (even cottage cheese) for the cream cheese to have a lighter side. My aunt (German influence) always uses quark in baking her cheese cakes. For this recipe I was able to produce an 8 inch and one 4 inch pie. This recipe can fill a 10 inch pan too.
IMG_3667didyouknow2
WHIPPING CREAM:  People sometimes use half and half as a substitute (12% milk fat) for whipping cream. “Whipping cream” is made up of 30 percent fat, while cartons labeled “heavy cream” or “heavy whipping cream” must contain 36 percent milk fat. The fat gives stiffness to the cake or pie. That is why we added the gelatin -for stability. Evaporated milk contains 7.5% milk fat. Remember…the evaporated milk is still susceptible to microbiological spoilage even though the evaporated milk is packaged in cans and heat-sterilized. Tropical countries use evaporated milk a lot since refrigeration may be a problem in some areas.

15 minute ~Summer Pudding

RED SKY AT NIGHT SAILORS DELIGHT!
Celebrate summer evenings with beautiful golden red sunsets enjoying abundant fresh fruit with my favorite SUMMER PUDDING!
Red_black_currantsWhen I saw red and black currants at the market, I was immediately inspired to make my favourite dessert.  I am not a big fan of desserts in general.  But,  I love my summer pudding!  You can use a combination of almost any berries that are available. There is so much fresh fruit  this time of year.  Our window of opportunity to make this healthy dessert is here now!
Imagine a dessert packed with super foods!

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RECIPE
3/4 cup Raspberries
3/4 cup red currents
3/4 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cups black currents (or red currents)
3/4 cups sweetener (i.e. zylitol, stevia)
1/4 cup of water
8 fairly thick slices of dense white bread, crusts removed
whipping cream (optional)
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INSTRUCTIONS
1. Remove stems and wash fruit, add with sugar into a pan +plus 1/4 cup of water
2. Cover and cook gently for 5-7 minutes or until currents are tender
3. Drain off the juice and reserve 1/3 cup [ 75 ml.]
4. Line a 1 quart (1 liter pudding basin or Charlotte mold ) container with plastic wrap so that the pudding will be easily removed from the mold.
5. Place some of the bread slices, cutting the slices to fit into basin exactly
6. Spoon in the fruit and packing it in well
7. Pour in the reserved juice
8. Place the remaining bread on top of the fruit
9. Place a plate small enough to rest on the pudding itself
10. Place your heaviest weight or water in a plastic container on the plate
Leave the pudding overnight in the refrigerator or a very cold place.
Serve with whipped cream, custard sauce, or cream if desired.
Serves 4-6 people
VARIATIONS
Alternatively if you cannot find currants substitute strawberries and or raspberries and add lemon juice to get the tangy flavour of currants. Loganberry or blackberry can be substituted for blueberries.

SINGLE SERVINGS
For single servings, make individual portions by using large ramekins. Use the ramekin to cut out the piece(s) of bread.  Place  one circle of bread on the bottom. Fill with the fruit compote  and top the ramekin with another piece of bread if you like (optional).  A fruit sandwich!  You can line a soup tin with saran wrap and make a 3 -layer tall single serving ~super size it!  When you begin, place the bottom of the saran lined tin on a small plate starting with the bread on the bottom. Use whatever you have handy. You do not have to get the exact container that is mentioned in the recipe. The possibilities are endless.

Single Serving Summer Pudding

Single Serving Summer Pudding


HAT2FOOD TIP
Use sourdough bread for this summer pudding. The hypoglycemic index is much lower in sour dough bread than any other white bread. You will not have a hypoglycemic episode after eating sour dough bread. Dense white bread may require more liquid. Keep the extra liquid in the frig. When you unmold the pudding–fill in the missed (white) spots with the juice. I found that additional liquid was needed.
didyouknowDID YOU KNOW?
Research shows that the common or garden black currant is more nutritious than other fruits ~ from home-grown apples and strawberries to tropical mangoes and bananas.
Black currants also contain the highest levels of health-boosting antioxidants – natural compounds credited with the ability to stave off a range of illnesses from heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Since the middle ages, herbalists used black currents to treat bladder stones, liver disorders and coughs. A black current cordial was given free to children during the Second World War in Europe.  Black currents are popular in European countries.
SUPER FRUIT
All berries have numerous health benefits but if you can find black currants, you will have the number one super fruit.

Dried Black Currents No Additives

Heart Smart

DRIED BLACK CURRENTS
You can buy dried black currents and use them in the Summer Sunset Pudding. I found this wonderful site that processed and packaged dried currents in Washington, on the Pacific Coast of U.S.A, Better they are shipped to your door not your store. The flavour is outstanding.  Here is the link–> nwwildfoods.com

Simply Splendid Summer Pudding (used Charlotte mold)!

Simply Splendid Summer Pudding (used Charlotte mold)!

Clafoutis DESSERT

Plum, Cranberry and Almond Clafoutis (pronounced “kla-FOO-tee”) Recipe
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INGREDIENTS
3 plums
1 cup cranberries (can be frozen, no need to defrost)
1/4 cup (50g)   ground almonds
2 tbsp (30gm) rice flour
1/2 cup (100g) sugar substitute
2 free range eggs
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup (250g) milk (2% or whole)
1 tbsp(30g) melted unsalted butter
2 tbsp(30g) sliced almonds

PLUM9
DIRECTIONS
1)  Preheat oven to 375 F ( 190C)
2)  Line a spring form pan with parchment
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3) Using a pastry or silicon brush the bottom and sides of pan with melted unsalted butter
4) Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the sweetened on the pan and rotate the pan to distribute evenly.  Turn the pan upside down to let any access fall out.  Keep any access sweetener to add to the batter.
5)  Place pitted, sliced in half plums evenly on the spring form pan.  Sprinkle the cranberries all around.  It is alright to bake these from frozen.  There is not need to defrost them.
6)  Place in a blender the ground almonds, rice flour, sugar substitute, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and a pinch of salt. Blend the batter and pour it on the fruit.  Scatter the top with sliced almonds and bake for 35-45 minutes until risen and golden brown.
7)  Let cool and dip a knife into hot water and run it along the side on the spring form pan. Remove the ring.  Slice using a knife dipped in hot water.  Plate and serve warm ( topped with whipped cream – optional ).
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Into The Oven

Into The Oven

Out of the oven

Out Of The Oven

To The Table -M-M-M-M-

To The Table -M-M-M-M-

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW? Eating 6 almonds a day lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eating almonds also helps curb your appetite and regulates your blood sugar. It looks like a peach pit because it is a member of the prunus family (fruit trees). The polyphenols and antioxidants are thought to help fight off heart disease and cancer.
It is easy enough to make this dessert for two or just for yourself.

Just use half of the ingredients and bake in individual custard cups. I used frozen cherries for the individual servings.  The flavour was a little flat as the cherries had very little acidity.  I would add some grated lemon rind the next time I make this with cherries.
Enjoy one of them and refrigerate the other one for tomorrow!