Category Archives: Desserts

Easy Pumpkin Pie – Regular and Heart Healthy

Photo: Easy Pumpkin Pie

Hey, it’s Autumn… and that means Pumpkin Pie season! Actually, I love pumpkin year ’round, but it’s definitely a Halloween treat in my book.  This recipe is the easiest one I’ve found for making a rich, tasty pumpkin pie.

But there’s a twist… I have a friend who is on a limited-sodium, low-cholesterol  diet for her heart, so I wanted to adapt this recipe to make a crustless pumpkin pie that is within her range. What a revelation learning how much sodium is in almost everything. I trimmed this down as much as I could, and it still tastes delicious.

So I am printing the regular recipe and the heart-healthy recipe. The instructions are basically the same, only the ingredient list changes a little.

If you use a baking mix such as Bisquick, Bakesquick, or Carbquick, it will make a thin crust that adds just a little more support for a pumpkin pie. If you just make it as a crustless pie, you can put it in 1/2 cup ramekins or cups for a pumpkin pudding. If you use Bisquick, it will add many more carbs as that isn’t a low-carb flour.

This recipe is super-easy to mix and cooks in about 45 minutes to an hour. It’s rich and creamy. I’ve used a couple of specific brands to make this since they are the lowest I could find in both carbs and sodium. Swerve Brown Sugar Blend is 0 carbs and 0 sodium, which is the only brown sugar substitute I’ve found that meets that criteria. It is optional in the recipe. If you omit the brown sugar, then add 2 more tablespoons sugar substitute.

Easy Mix Pumpkin Pie Regular

1 cup canned Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup Bakesquick or similar low carb flour mix (optional)
6 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar Blend (optional)
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Butter, softened
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs
Pinch Salt
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Prepare a 6-inch square baking pan or an 8-inch round pie tin by putting parchment paper on the bottom. (This will prevent it from sticking to the pan.) Lightly grease the pan’s side with a little butter or a baking spray.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and stir until it is well-mixed. Add chopped pecans, if you wish. These will add 0.4 net carbs to each serving.

Pour into pan or pie tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The pie tin will be closer to 45 minutes, while the baking pan will be closer to the hour since it is deeper. Check with a toothpick. It should come out clean when inserted in the middle.

Remove from oven and let cool about thirty minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours before serving. Top with a little whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Makes six yummy servings.

Photo: Nutrition Info for Pumpkin Pie

Photo: Pumpkin Pudding

Easy Mix Pumpkin Pie Heart Healthy

1 cup canned Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
6 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar Blend (optional)
1 cup Unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon Butter-flavored Crisco, softened
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 cup Liquid Egg Whites
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Prepare six 1/2-cup ramekins or cups by lightly greasing with Crisco.

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and stir until it is well-mixed. Add chopped pecans, if you wish. These will add 0.4 net carbs to each serving.

Pour into ramekins and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. It should come out clean when inserted in the middle.

Remove from oven and let cool about thirty minutes. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours before serving. Top with a little Cool Whip.

Makes six servings.

Photo: Info for Pumpkin Custard with Coconut Milk

Info: Pumpkin Custard with coconut milk & Egg Whites

Fall delight is spicy peach cobbler

Photo: Spiced Peach Cobbler

One of my favorite foods is peach cobbler. You can still grab peaches in grocery stores, so this is a great time to make this fabulous Spiced Peach Cobbler. Now, if you’re not a fan of cinnamon, you can move along and go eat your plain peach cobbler. But, if you’re like me and you love spice, this is the cobbler for you.

I made these from a batch of fresh peaches I’d parboiled, peeled, sliced, and frozen, so you can work from frozen or canned peaches with this if you don’t have fresh. I also use a little clove to add more zing to it, but my secret ingredient -well, not so secret anymore – is Swerve Brown Sugar. This is the only brown sugar mix with sugar substitute that I’ve run across that is 0 carbs! It’s made from sugar alcohol, and it’s really good. So, give this a try and you might just fall in love.

I also used Bakesquick from Dixie Carb Counters, but you can substitute almond flour or soy flour in it. If you use coconut flour, cut the flour to 1/4 cup,  add extra water, and one egg white in order to get the dough to rise.

Cinnamon Spiced Peach Cobbler

Photo: Serving of Spiced Peach Cobbler

1 cup peaches, with juice, sliced
2 Tablespoons Swerve Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves (optional)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 oz. Sugar-free Peach Syrup

1/2 cup Bakesquick or other Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Cream
1/4 cup Water
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 385 degrees (F.).In an 8 or 9-inch skillet that can go to the oven, add the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, butter, and peach syrup. Stir all together and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about ten minutes. Turn off heat.

In a bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix together to form a dough. Drop one tablespoon dumplings on top of the peaches in the skillet. It should make about eight dumplings.

Bake for 15 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Remove and let cool about 5 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes four heavenly servings.

Photo: Nutrition Information Spiced Peach Cobbler

Fresh Taste of Blueberry Panna Cotta

Down to the last post of July 2019 and this is a simple recipe with all the delightful fresh flavor of blueberries and cream.  This is so easy to make that you’ll love it. The buttermilk adds extra richness to the taste.

The recipe says to use heavy whipping cream, but I made it with the slightly less heavy cream and it works fine. I adjusted it from the original recipe to use sugar substitute and I used lemon juice, which is just a tad lower in carbs than the orange juice. Either works really well with it.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Sugar Substitute
1 teaspoons unflavored Gelatin
2 tablespoons Water
1 cup Buttermilk

For Blueberry Topping:
1/2 pint fresh Blueberries
2 tablespoons Orange Juice or Lemon Juice
1/4 cup granulated Sugar Substitute

Either put 8 4 oz. ramekins on a tray that will fit in your refrigerator or you make this in one bowl and scoop out servings.

Either use a double boiler or use a pot filled half-way with water that a 3-cup bowl will fit into snugly without the bottom touching the water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to simmer. In the bowl, add vanilla, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar substitute. Whisk or stir vigorously to mix, then place bowl over simmering water. Stir or whisk until the cream mixture is just warm and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small recipe bowl ans gentle stir with a toothpick. Pour gelatin into cream mixture and stir or whisk to mix it in completely. Let sit until the mixture cools, around 20 minutes,

Add buttermilk to cream mixture and divide equally into ramekins or leave in the bowl to set. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about six hours.

Make the Blueberry Sauce:

In a small pot, add the blueberries and cook for about five minutes to get them to release their juices. Add orange or lemon juice, and sugar substitute, and stir over reduced heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced about fifty-percent. About 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool. It should get thicker as it cools. Place in a container and refrigerate until ready to serve panna cotta.

Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to loosen the cream and slide into a servings dish. Or, if you used a bowl, dip out about 1/2 cup of creamy panna cotta into a serving dish. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of blueberry sauce over te top and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Info - Blueberry Panna Cotta

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Done 2 Ways, and a Product Review

 

A 48 ounce tub of Breyers CarbSmart Vanilla front of packLast week, I wrote about my quest to find some low carb ice creams other than CarbSmart, which our local grocery stores carry only in vanilla, even through three other flavors are available (chocolate, peanut butter, and smooth mint). When I asked one of our local stores to please carry other flavors, not just of CarbSmart but of other brands, I was told I could order a case, but they don’t have room on their shelves for many choices.

But I digress. I found other lower carb options at three of our local stores and sampled a couple of more.

Halo Top frozen dessert is probably the lowest carb ice cream ProductImage_WEB-MintChip-190620asubstitute on the market with most of their flavors coming in around 1 net carb. I tried their mint chocolate chip, which was very good although being sugar-free means it is harder than ice cream and needs to thaw for about 5 to 10 minutes before you can scoop it out. I’ve opened two of their cartons and both had a frozen lump of the product with lots of space around it within the container. They are supposed to hold two cups but I don’t think they do. Two of my ice cream scoops equal 1/2 cup and the mint had three servings in it. Halo Top comes in 26 different flavors sold in pint cartons. Of course, my  trio of grocery stores had about six different flavors between them. I would give this a rating of 4 stars. It tastes good, no after taste, but it isn’t as creamy as CarbSmart, and it seems a little shy on the stated quantity.

The other one I tried is Enlightened Frozen Desserts. This is a really good diary-free ice cream substitute, but it also contains more sugar than the others, so it comes in around 8 to 10 net carbs per serving. If you have enough carbs to spare, then this is a terrific option. I tried their Salted Caramel bars and their Chocolate Mint Swirl bars, and they are delicious. You don’t miss the cream in these at all, and there is no aftertaste. They make an amazing 32 different flavors and are available at a reasonable price in pint cartoons. Again, our local stores stock a few of their flavors. I give this one a 5-star rating, right up there with CarbSmart, except for the higher carb count.

So, if you are on a quest for ice cream substitutes, you might try one of these options. If you can get CarbSmart, it is made with cream, and delicious with only 4 net carbs per half cup.

How About a Recipe?

Now, since I haven’t posted a recipe in the past two weeks, here’s one that comes from a keto site for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs. This is an almond flour dough that is eaten uncooked, so it is like eating cookie dough, sort of. The almond flour leaves it a little grainy, and it doesn’t taste totally like cookie dough to me. On the plus side, the flavor is pretty good, and one fat bomb makes a satisfying quick treat that boosts your carb burner with the fat content.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

Photo: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

The recipe is simple and is pretty much exactly as it is on the keto site I borrowed it from, except I rephrased it a bit. For one thing, the ingredients don’t have to be termed keto-friendly. Most of the sugar-free are. I used Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Chips. I also used Splenda granulated which is almost fine enough to be confectioner’s sugar, but if you want to take it to a powder, you can do it in your blender.

1 stick Butter, softened
1/3 cup Confectioners Sugar Substitute
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
2 cups Almond Flour
2/3 cup Sugar-Free Chocolate chips

In a large bowl, add softened butter and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add in the sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until mixed into the butter.

Add the almond flour, a little at a time, and mix until it is completely moistened. You may have to finish it off by hand. My mixer balked before the flour was completely mixed in. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for about twenty minutes.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Use a 1/2 tablespoon measure or a cookie scoop to form the dough into half-balls, flat on the bottom, and place on the paper. Put them in the refrigerator for another twenty minutes to firm the balls up, then put in a plastic bag and store in the ‘fridge until you are ready to snack on one. They will keep for about a week or you can freeze them for up to a month.

Makes about 36 balls.

Nutrition Info: ChocChip Fat Bombs

Make Those Bombs Cookies

Image: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now, as I mentioned, I wasn’t too enthused with these as a raw dough ball, so I decided to turn them into cookies. It’s an easy change, and I even added the egg after the rest was mixed. Ideally, if you’ve decided to make cookies, you’ll mix the egg in with the sugar and vanilla. These cookies are about the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve made. They are firm, yet soft in the middle and have a wonderful flavor. I had expected them to spread on the pan, so I only patted them down a little, but they held up through the cooking. If you want yours a little flatter, then press them down to the size you want.

1 stick Butter, softened
1/3 cup Confectioners sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
Pinch of Salt
2 cup Almond Flour
2/3 cup Sugar-Free Chocolate chips
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

Prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add softened butter and beat until it is light and fluffy. Add in the sugar, salt, egg, and vanilla and beat until mixed into the butter.

Add the almond flour, a little at a time, and mix until it is completely moistened.  Stir in the chocolate chips. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for about twenty minutes.

Use a one-tablespoon measure or cookie scoop to form the dough into half-balls, flatten on the bottom, and place on the paper, allowing 2 inches between cookies. Press down slightly to spread the dough. Place in the refrigerator for another twenty minutes to firm up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on top. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes or more. Almond flour is delicate and will break if you try to move the cookies while they are still hot.

Once they cool, enjoy or you can store in a plastic bag for a few days. Makes 18 delectable cookies.

Nutrition Info: ChocChip Cookies

If you try these products or these recipes, please leave me a message. I’d like to know how you like them or if you disagree with my opinion. Everybody’s taste buds are different.

Perfect Cake to combine with fruit

Photo: Almond Cake

A sign of spring in the Truckee Meadows is a farmer’s fruit stand on a street or parking lot near your house as some of the California growers begin bringing their spring harvest to the Reno area. We have one who sets up on the corner of the road to our house, and for the last three weeks, he’s been offering oranges, mangoes, cherries, and strawberries fresh from the farms. Nothing beats fresh, plant-ripened berries with their wonderful sweet taste. The first batch we bought could have been a little riper before picking, but the boxes from last weekend — perfection!

When you have sweet, flavorful strawberries, they just call out for cake and whipped cream. It’s a bit of an indulgence when you’re counting your carbs, but they are within limits when you mix the berries with a granulated sugar substitute, and you make a low carb cake. While not a shortcake, this recipe for an almond-flavored cake is moist and delicious complimenting the berries so well. You can use it for any kind of fruit you’d like for the topping or put a sugar glaze (with a sugar substitute, of course) over the top to serve with only a trio of raspberries and a mint leaf for garnish.

I made mine using Dixie Carb Counters Bakesquick, but the original recipe from Bob’s Red Mill called for almond flour. You can also use a combination of a low carb flour with almond flour. I changed the recipe to add in ricotta cheese, which adds to the moistness and flavor of the cake. Since it calls for coconut flour, I altered the egg option to 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites to give it more lift. You can use liquid egg whites for this.  I changed the proportions to a small cake recipe. If you want a large cake, double the amounts of all ingredients and use a 9″x13″ cake pan.

Photo: Cake with fruit
Cake with freshly cut peaches and whipped cream on top. So refreshing.

Moist Almond Cake

Based on a recipe from Bob’s Red Mill as made by Rene Averett

6 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
2 Egg Whites
2 tablespoons Cream or Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Water
2 tablespoons Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
3/4 cup Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
Pinch Salt
1 tsp. Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.). Prepare a 6-inch square baking pan by putting parchment paper on the bottom, then spraying the bottom and sides with baking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, add the butter and sugar substitute and use a mixer to cream together until it is smooth. Add in the egg and egg whites and beat until they are fully mixed in. Add cream, ricotta cheese, and almond extract and mix until blended.

In a separate small bowl, mix flour and coconut flour with the salt and baking powder. Add the flour to the egg mixture in three batches and beat each addition until all the flour is mixed in. You will have a thick batter. Let it sit a few minutes. Coconut flour expands as it gets wet, so you may need to add a little water to have an easily spreadable batter.

Spread into your cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is done. Test with a toothpick in the middle that should out clean.

Remove to a rack to cool about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. If the cake has not pulled away from the sides of the pan, run a plastic knife around the edges, then put a plate over the pan and flip it. Remove the parchment paper if it flipped out with the cake.

Let cool, cut into slices and serve with berries and whipped cream or make an icing to top it.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. I cut it in 6 servings initially, but with the berries and cream, a smaller slice works great.

To my shame, I didn’t take a photo of the cake with the strawberries and whipped cream on top.  I will be doing this recipe again in a couple of weeks and will add a photo then.