Tag Archives: strawberries

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.


Strawberry Mock Trifle is cool and easy

Photo: Mock Strawberry Trifle

This little creation uses a vanilla magic muffin along with low carb yogurt, sliced strawberries and whipped topping to create a variation of trifle that is most satisfying. The muffin cooks in a minute, then you just assemble the rest, so it goes together quickly.

Strawberry Mock Trifle

For the muffin:
1 tablespoon Butter
1 oz. Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons Egg Whites
2 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoon Low Carb Flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Other ingredients:
2 oz. low carb Fruit Yogurt or Dairy mix such as CarbMasters fruit
1/2 cup sliced or chopped Strawberries with juice
1/4 cup Whipped Topping or
use 1/4 heavy cream and whip it with sugar substitute to taste
1 tablespoon Brandy (optional)

In a microwavable cup or bowl, add the butter and the cream cheese. Microwave for about 15 seconds to soften. Stir together with a spatula or small whisk. Add the egg whites, vanilla, and sugar substitute and mix until it looks creamy. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until it is all worked into a batter. Smooth down the sides and microwave for one minute.

Let cool for about 15 minutes.

Cut or tear the cake into pieces. Put into a larger bowl and sprinkkle brandy over the top if you are using it. Add 1/3 carton (2 oz.) of flavored yogurt of your choice. (I use strawberry or another complimentary fruit flavor.) Add strawberries and whipped topping and mix it altogether until fruit, cake and yogurst are evenly distributed.

Spoon into two one cup serving bowls and add a dollop of whipping cream on top. Add a mint leaf for garnish if you wish. Serve.

Makes two servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories:132.4 Fat:8.6 g Net Carbs:5.5 g Protein: 6.0 g

Frozen Cranberry Cream is cooling

Let’s end the hot days of July and move into the even hotter days of August with a refreshingly cool frozen dessert that is easy to make. I happen to be one of those people who has cranberries in my freezer, but this recipe can use any berry in it. In fact, most berries don’t require the first step, which is making the cranberries into a jam. It’s not hard and it’s worth it if you like the taste of this seasonal berry.

A key ingredient in this is yogurt or a yogurt substitute. Most vanilla yogurts are not very low carb, so look for the Greek yogurt with the lowest carb count you can find (the carbs minus the fiber and any sugar substitutes in it).  Or you can use a low carb yogurt-like substitute, such as CarbMasters Dairy Blend.

Frozen Cranberry Cream

To make the Cranberry Sauce:
1/2 cup Fresh Cranberries
2 tablespoons Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup water

Put the water in a small saucepan and add the sugar. Heat over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the water comes to a near boil, add the cranberries. Cook, stirring frequently until the cranberries pop and the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and let them cool for about 10 minutes. They should continue to thicken. Save about two tablespoons of the mix back and use the rest for the cream.

1/3 cup Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
6 oz. Greek Vanilla Yogurt or CarbMasters Vanilla Yogurt
1 tablespoon Sugar Free Honey or Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons slivered or shaved almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons Cool Whip or other topping

In a 2 cup bowl, mix yogurt, cranberry sauce, and honey together until well blended. Add the cool whip and almonds, and stir until mixed in.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for at least two hours. Remove about 30 minutes before you want to serve to let it soften.

Use a spoon to scoop the desert out and put it in serving cups or glasses. Garnish with a teaspoon of cranberry sauce and a sprig of spearmint.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Information with Greek Yogurt per serving:
Calories:71 Fat: 2.1 g Net Carbs: 7.9 g Protein: 4.4 g

Nutrition Information with CarbMasters per serving:
Calories:32 Fat: 2.1 g Net Carbs: 1.9 g Protein: 0.8 g

Note: Raspberries and Strawberries will come in around the same carb count, but the blueberries will be just a little higher.

Light and Fruity Ricotta Cookies

What says Spring better than a light, delicious and delicately-flavored cookie?  Drawing on early spring fruit like strawberries or lemon, you can add a special sweet taste to the cookie.  Other stand-bys, like lemon and orange extracts add the flavor without adding carbohydrates or calories.

Ricotta cookies are an Italian style cookie that are light and very tasty. I think the recipe works well with low carb flours, although they are more delicate than the full flour version. You can add a teaspoon of lemon juice to make them lemon cookies or a 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry extract to give them a strawberry flavor. For that matter, you can add a little chopped strawberries to the batter to make them a strawberry cookie. Prefer the taste of orange? Add 1/2 teaspoon orange extract and a little chopped orange to it. With fruits, you need to add the fruit sparingly, no more than 1/4 cup or you will begin to run the carbohydrates up quite a bit.

Ricotta Cheese Cookies

1cup Sugar Substitute
1/2 cup Butter, softened
7.5 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 1/2 cups Low Carb Flour
1 tablespoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt

3/4 cups Confectioners’ Sugar Substitute
1 tablespoons Cream
1/2 tablespoon Water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone mat.

In a large bowl, add the sugar substitute and butter and use a mixer on low speed to combine them before increasing the speed and beating until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add in the ricotta, vanilla (or lemon, strawberry or orange) and egg.

Reduce the speed back to low and add the low carb flour, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until the dough forms. If you are adding any chopped fruit, stir it into the dough now.

Using a tablespoon, drop dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookies are just golden brown around the edges. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to allow them to cool before icing.

For the icing, use a small bowl and add the confectioner’s sugar, cream and water.(If you’d like you can add a drop of flavoring extract to the icing. Stir until it makes a smooth glaze. Use a knife blade or a spreader to ice each cookie.

Makes 18 cookies.

Nutrition Information per cookie (vanilla):
Calories: 115 Fat: 9.8 g Net Carbs: 1.4 g Protein: 5.2 g

Using wheat flour and sugar per cookie:
Calories: 189.5 Fat: 7.6 g Net Carbs: 27 g Protein: 3.4 g

Easy, Delicious No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

Summer calls for fresh strawberries. They are everywhere right now,  calling your name and asking to be made into delicious desserts or just eaten with a touch of sugar or dipped in chocolate. They can be a real temptation for anyone trying to watch their carb or calorie in-take. Fortunately, strawberries are an allowed fruit if you’re on phase II or higher of Akins, but you do need to watch the quantity. One half cup of cut up strawberries is 3.9 net carbs, which isn’t too bad if you plan for it.

But strawberries are also delicious in other things, including salad, like this wonderful Strawberry Chicken Salad, and my so delightful adaptation of a Knox Gelatin recipe for cheesecake that I’ve jazzed up with strawberries in the mix and on top. Depending on how much will power you have, this could set you back between 2.5 nc’s (1/12th of pie) and 4 nc’s per slice (1/8th of pie).

Summer Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

1/2 cup Almond Flour
2 tablespoons Vanilla Whey Protein Powder*
2 tablespoons low carb Baking Mix*
Butter, 2 tbsp
2 tablespoons sugar substitute
Cinnamon, ground, .5 tsp

1 envelope Knox Gelatin
2 8 0z packages Cream Cheese
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup sugar substitute
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon sugar free Strawberry Drink Mix or strawberry extract
1/2 cup Fresh Strawberries

 1/2 cup Strawberries, fresh, .sliced and sprinkled with a little Sugar Substitute (optional)

• You can use all almond flour instead of protein powder and baking mix.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)

Make the Crust:

In a small bowl, mix all crust ingredients, cutting butter through with a fork. The dough will be soft and sticky. Spray a pie tin or cake pan with cooking spray and spread the dough over the bottom of the pan. Wet your finger tips to make spreading it easier. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool while you mix the filling.

Make the Filling:

Puree the fresh strawberries in a food processor so they are mashed. Set aside.

In a small bowl, add sugar substitute and boiling water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let it sit a few minutes to soften, then stir it in. Continue to stir until the gelatin completely melts, about five minutes.

In a large bowl, put the softened cream cheese, vanilla extract and strawberry drink mix and mix on low speed until the flavorings are blended in. Gradually add the gelatin mixture and continue to beat until the filling is smooth and creamy, then add the pureed strawberries and mix until blended.

Pour the filling on top of the crust and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least three hours before serving.

Yes, I pulled out the fine dinnerware for this one, but really? It’s summer, isn’t it? And paper plates are so much easier than doing dishes.

To serve, arrange sliced strawberries on each slice and add a garnish of whipped cream and a sprig of mint, if you have it.

Makes 8 servings
Nutrition Info per slice
Calories: 271.6 Fat: 26.3 g Net Carbs: 3.7 g Protein: 6.1 g
With berries on top:
Calories: 275 Fat: 26.3 g Net Carbs: 4.2 g Protein: 5.2 g

Makes 12 servings
Nutrition Info per 1/12 of pie
Calories: 181.1 Fat: 17.5 g Net Carbs: 2.5 g Protein: 4.0 g
With berries on top:
Calories: 183.1 Fat: 17.5 g Net Carbs: 2.7 g Protein: 4.0 g