Tag Archives: pecans

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

Happy Holiday Cheeseball

As I hinted, I did make a terrific cheeseball over the weekend, let it sit until Monday, then dug in. I would have posted yesterday, but time escaped me again! Wrapping packages, writing my last few Christmas cards, and the next thing I know, the day is gone. Funny how that happens faster when you get older.

I took time to look for the Christmas star, aka the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction. I expected it to be brighter and maybe a little larger, although I’m sure city lights dimmed the view. If I’d been in the desert like I used to be when I lived in El Paso, Texas, I’m sure it would have popped more. Still, how the heck did the Three Kings manage to follow that light amongst all the others?

But I digress… I found this recipe on gimmedelicious.com and had to make minor adjustments to make it low carb. Of course, I added a tiny touch or two to make it mine. Use low carb crackers, bagel chips, carrots, or celery as the base to spread a little of this yummy cheese on top. Easy to make, it comes together quickly once you have the chopping done. It’s great for a family gathering or a small party. Besides that, it’s festive-looking with the red and green in and on it.
One tip, though; when it comes to chopping chives or onions, it’s easier to use kitchen scissors to cut them into small pieces.

Photo: Cranberry-pecan cheeseball

Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

8 ounces Cream Cheese
1 cup White Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
1/2 cup dried Sugar-reduced Cranberries chopped and divided
1 cup Pecans chopped and toasted (optional)
2 tablespoons Chives, chopped
2 tablespoon Spinach, chopped
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Set the cream cheese out to soften for about an hour. Meanwhile chop the pecans, the craisins, chives, and spinach. Shred the white cheese if needed.

Toast Pecans: Pre-heat oven to 375F. Spread the chopped pecans on a baking tray and bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until they smell toasty. Be careful not to burn them.  Set these aside and turn the oven off.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder together until you have a smooth mixture. Add 1/2 of the roasted pecan and 1/2 of the cranberries, then the chives. Stir together until these are mixed through the cream cheese.

Cut a large piece of plastic wrap and put the mixture in the middle.  Use a spoon or spatula to begin to shape it into a ball. Once all the cheese is pulled together, use the wrap to push it closer together and round the shape as you encase the ball in the wrap and close off the top by twisting.

Put the cheese ball in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. This will firm up the cream cheese.

Before serving, mix the remaining pecans, cranberries and spinach or chives together on a flat surface, such as a baking pan or cheese board. Unwrap the chilled ball and roll it in the pecan and cranberry mixture, coating all sides. Press the fruit and nuts into the ball if they won’t stick.

Place on a serving platter and surround with dippers. Makes about 12 servings.

A Bar Cookie for the Holidays

Photo: Cranberry Nut Chewy Bars

Winter is arriving soon in the northern hemisphere, but many of us have already experienced the cold, snow, and icy winds that come with the season. Of course, it also means the holiday celebrations are already in full swing.

This yummy bar cookie recipe is just the thing to have with a hot cup of cocoa. I adapted a chewy chocolate chip bar one to use the red berries in it. Since it is meant to be a chewy bar, be careful to not overcook it. Depending on your oven, you may want to check it at 18 minutes rather than 20 and work your way up to perfection. I’ve overcooked the edge some, so I can say it still tastes delicious, but it doesn’t have the chewiness the center does. By the way, if you feel inclined to add sugar-free chocolate chips to the recipe, they would make it extra yummy.

More holiday recipes will be coming in the next week. I’ve got my mind set on making ricotta cookies this weekend and maybe a cheese ball.

Photo: Sweets By the Season book cover
Great low carb recipes for delicious desserts and other times.

By the way, if you’re looking for a great collection of holiday sweets to make, check out my book, Sweets By the Season which has over 55 delicious dessert recipes for any occasion. Most of these low-carb-adapted recipes are not on this web site. Click on the image to go to a universal link of available sellers.

Cranberry Ricotta Nut Bars

1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 cup Sugar Substitute
1 Egg
2 teaspoons Almond Extract
1 cup low carb All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/4 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Cranberries
1/3 cup Pecans, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar substitute, almond extract, and egg until well combined.

Add flour, almond flour, whey powder, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl and whisk to combine. Stir flour mix into wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.

Stir in cranberries and nuts and pour into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 bars.

Image: Nutrition Info for Cranberry Bars

Flavorful Pork with Apples and Butternut Squash One Pan Dinner

Image: Sheet Pan Dinner of apples, pork, and butternut squash

Oddly, I had several recipes for sheet pan dinners show up in my email feed this past week. They prompted me to create a delicious one pan dinner using pork. This one was originally written for chicken, but pork is frequently interchangeable with the bird.  The attraction with a single pan dinner is that it’s easy to get your dinner on the table at one time and the seasonings used enhance all the components. This one has a lovely sweet and lightly spiced sauce that works beautifully with the apples and squash. It uses pecans, but if you prefer, you can substitute walnuts or omit them.

Most of my recipes are 10 net carbs or below, but this ones comes in a little higher, depending on whether you want a large serving or a smaller one.  It will make four large servings or 6 smaller ones. You decide.

Apple and Butternut Pork Sheet Pan Dinner

Photo: Serving of pork with apples and butternut.

8 slices of Pork Roast or 6 boneless Pork Chops, about 1/2″ thick
2 Apples, cored and cubed
2 cups Butternut Squash, cubed
1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Sugar-free Honey
1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Thyme, dried
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees( F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to make clean up easier. Spray with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, add olive oil, sugar-free honey, Dijon mustard, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.

Place pork slices or chops in the center of the baking sheet and season to your preference with salt and pepper.

If you’re cooking about 1″-sized cubes of butternut squash, precook them in the microwave for about five minutes. Smaller cubes will probably get done in the allotted cooking time, but the larger ones won’t. Alternately, you can cook them for about five minutes in boiling water, drain, then add them to the baking pan. Place them on one side of the pork.

Toss apple pieces and pecans together and arrange them on the other side of the pork. Brush or pour the seasoned honey and oil syrup over everything.

Place the baking sheet in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork is done. Let rest about 5 minutes, then spoon the squash and apples on the place and top with a pork chop.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Image: Nutrition Information

Add craisins to chocolate chip cookies for a treat

Photo: Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

I decided to get a little creative with this great recipe from Carb Counters All Purpose Flour for chocolate chip cookies. I decided to add craisins and pecans, so it’s not a big change, but the result is delicious. If you want just chocolate chip cookies, leave out the craisins and pecans. I used CC’s low carb flour but you can make this with almond flour. Just substitute the same amount for the flour.

To make this low-sodium, use almond flour and unsalted butter. Otherwise, the recipe is the same.

1 cup Low Carb Flour
1/2 cup Sugar Substitute
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Egg
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 cup Sugar-free Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Reduced Sugar Craisins
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.). Place parchment paper in a cookie tin.

In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar substitute, and baking powder and mix together. Add eggs, butter, and vanilla, then stir to mix. If the dough does not absorb all the flour, add a little water and stir to incorporate. Stir in the craisins, chocolate chips, and nuts.

Drop cookies by one tablespoon at a time onto the cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Press down to about 2″ in diameter. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes for soft cookies.

Makes 14 to 16 cookies. (I got 14 using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop.)


May 2020 be a deliciously healthy year!

Image: Nutrition Info for Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies