Keto Breakfast Bars with Variety

Photo: Keto Breakfast Bars

This is a low-carb or Keto adaptation of an oatmeal breakfast bar recipe that has changed so much that it is really a new one.

Using a combination of flour products, I created a nice mix with great flavor but isn’t overly sweet. You can experiment with add-ins, but be aware of the added carbs in your additions. I recommend Carbquick or Bakesquick for the baking mix since they are both low in carbs. Other low carb baking mixes, such as Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour, also work. Add extra sugar substitute if you want your bars to be sweeter. I also add a simple icing for that purpose.

While I’ve used unsweetened almond or coconut milk to keep the carbs low, you can use whole or 2% fat milk or cream. The carbs will go up a little.

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars made in pan with separator.

These make eight breakfast bars that are filling and very satisfying with your morning coffee or tea. If you feel overly full or want to cut the carbs a little more, you can make a dozen by slicing 4 bars in one direction and three the other way. I have a Copper Chef 11×7-inch pan with separators to make 12 bars that I used, but you can also use an 8×8-inch pan and cut them yourself.

Keto Oatmeal Bar

Keto Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

1/4 cup old-fashioned Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Golden Flax Meal
1-1/4 cup CarbQuik or other baking mixes
⅓ cup packed Swerve Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon White Sugar Substitute
1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 cup Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch square pan.

Combine oats, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Whisk milk, eggs, canola oil, and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl. Stir egg mixture into oats mixture until well combined; set aside until flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Spread oats mixture into a prepared square pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until edges are golden brown, about 30 minutes.

To make this using Coconut flour, replace the Baking Mix with 1/2 cup Coconut flour and add 1/4 cup Egg Whites. The extra egg whites will be absorbed by the flour and help it to rise.

Add-Ins: 1/2 cup chopped Pecans, 1/2 cup chopped Sugar-reduced Craisins, 1/2 cup Blueberries, or 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree

This version is made with Coconut flour and uses pumpkin puree. You can use this as a base to make any of the bars using Coconut flour.

Makes 8 servings

Nutrition Info: Keto Oatmeal Bars

Image: Pumpkin Oatmeal Bar

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars
With Coconut Flour

The pumpkin version is my favorite bar. It’s very moist and filled with spices.

1/4 cup old-fashioned Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Golden Flax Meal
2/3 cup Coconut Flour
⅓ cup packed Swerve Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon White Sugar Substitute
1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup Almond or Coconut Milk
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
3 Eggs
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

4 tablespoons Swerve Confectioners’ Sugar
1 tablespoon Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Prepare according to the above instructions and add pumpkin puree with the wet ingredients. This recipe may take a little longer to cook, so check at 30 minutes, then extend by 5 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Makes 8 servings

Nutrition Info: Pumpkin Oatmeal Bar with Coconut Flour

Savory Acorn Squash

Photo: Herb roasted acorn squash

If you’re like me, you haven’t thought about using acorn squash or butternut squash with savory seasonings. I grew up with it being covered in butter and brown sugar with cinnamon, so it was more of a sweet treat. It’s still a favorite way to eat the squash, but others are also delicious.

The herbs and butter mix on this one is wonderful, bringing a delightful flavor to the squash. It pairs well with ham, pork roast, or chicken.

This recipe is adapted from one at and is slightly easier, mainly because I use a pre-packaged mix of herbs rather than mixing several together myself. For this recipe, I used Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Seasoning, one of the staples in my kitchen. Any garlic herb mix will work.

Herb-Roasted Acorn Squash with Parmesan

1 large acorn squash (about 4″ in diameter)
⅓ cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
2–3 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb Seasoning
1 tablespoon Butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400℉. Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering with either aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then slice each half into ½-inch thick slices.

In a small bowl, mix the spices, cheese, salt, and pepper.

Arrange the acorn slices on the baking pans with flat sides down. Spread the melted butter over each piece with a cooking brush. Use a spoon to sprinkle the herb and cheese mixture over the squash liberally. Coat the entire top of each slice.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the squash, and the parmesan cheese is crispy and slightly browned.

Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

Image: Nutrition Information

A surprising rice substitute

Photo: Riced Turnips with chiles.

Turnips are often overlooked when people think about vegetables. While we turn to cauliflower to provide for many low carb vegetable substitutes, we don’t think about some of the other low carb vegetables that can work as well. Among them are kohlrabi, celery root, zucchini, beets, and turnips. All of these can be riced and used as a rice substitute.

Turnips can also be cubed and shredded to stand in for potatoes in hash or home cooked hash browns.

When I made stuffed Mexican chicken a few months ago, I substituted turnips in my rice with chiles. It was wonderful! I love the flavor and was thrilled with how well it worked.

One key to working with turnips is to use them as soon as you can. Although they keep a long time, they tend to get bitter the longer they sit.

Riced Turnips with Chile

1 large Turnip, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Green Chiles, diced
1/4 cup hot Water
1/2 teaspoon Better than Chicken Bullion
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Boil water, pour into a 1/4 cup measure and add the bullion, stirring to dissolve.

Put turnip cubes into a food processor and pulse until it is chopped to the size of rice. In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then add the riced turnips and onions. Sauté for about five minutes, add the bullion water and stir it in. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add chiles, salt and seasoning, stir and cook for another 10 minutes until the turnips are tender and most of the water has evaporated.

If the water cooks out before the turnips are tender, add more water. It should be about the same texture as cooked rice. Fluff up the turnips before serving.

Makes two 1/2-cup servings.

Image: Nutrition for Turnips with chile


A Mexican Cheese Pie Variation

Photo: Chicken Chile Rellano PieWhile a cheese pie is a lot like a quiche, it’s not exactly the same. It’s the basic recipe adapted with different ingredients that takes it on a different path. In this case, our cheese pie is similar to the Chile Rellano casserole but with a couple of differences. This recipe is adapted from Miz Liz at Low Carb Friends. I made a few adjustments and changes to spice it up a little more.

It cooks quickly and makes a thick, satisfying slice of pie. It will serve six average appetites, but those bigger eaters should be content with one-quarter of the pie.  You can dress it up when you serve it with other go-withs like pico de Gallo, avocado or guacamole, and/or sour cream.

If you want it to be spicier, add more fajita or taco seasoning to it. Don’t want it spicy at all? Omit the seasoning and simply add salt and pepper. While it does use a low carb baking mix – the original recipe came from Carbquik’s web site -, you don’t have to use it. Omit the flour if you wish, or simply use 1 tablespoon of any low carb flour to help thicken it.

I hope you will give this a try and let me know what you think

Chicken Chile Rellano Casserole

2 4 oz. cans chopped Green Chilies, drained
1 cup shredded Chicken
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese or Cheddar Jack Cheese
1/2 cup Cream plus 1/2 cup Water
1 cup CarbQuik mix or other Low Carb Baking Mix
1 – 2 tablespoons of Fajita or Taco Seasoning Mix
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F.) Grease an 8″ pie plate or casserole dish or spray with baking spray.

Drain the chiles and spread them over the bottom of the pan. Top with cheese, then spread the chicken and chop onions over the top.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, cream, water, seasoning, and baking mix together until it is completely mixed using a spoon or silicone spatula. Pour over the chicken and cheese. Place pie pan on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Insert a knife in the middle to check if it is fully set.

Cool for about 10 minutes to allow it to finish setting up to make it easier to cut. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and/or guacamole to garnish. A green side salad works well with this dish.

Makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on appetite.

Tip: For those who want a meatless dish, simply omit the chicken.
If you would like to add corn to it, use Dynasty Baby Sweet Corn and chop it up. It adds the flavor with only 0.3 carbs extra per serving of 1/6.

Photo: Nutrition Info for Chicken Chile Rellano Casserole