Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crumbly THM (Shortcake) Cookies

Today I set out to create a THM-friendly biscotti recipe. (If you don't know what THM is, check out Gwen's review here and the Trim Healthy Mama book on Amazon.)

I love biscotti. Hard-enough-to-break-a-tooth biscotti. Alas, my recipe turned out delicious but very crumbly.. almost like shortcake, really. It's not biscotti.. not the rock-hard biscotti I had dreamed of dipping into a cup of espresso tomorrow morning.

Oh well, I still have a plate of delicious S cookies to devour guilt-free over the next few days.

This is a pretty simple almond flour-based recipe. I added orange extract to it for a subtle flavoring, but you can easily leave it out or, if you're more of a purist, sub it for fresh zest from an organic orange. 1/4 cup of chopped dark chocolate would make for a delicious addition to the orange flavor, too. Just play around with it and make it as simple or as complex as you would like!

If you divide the dough into 32 pieces like I did (I like the idea of eating 2-3 small cookies better than eating one big cookie), each cookie has 7.9 grams of fat and 1 gram net carbs. A definite S dessert or snack! If you're not nursing a seemingly insatiable 17-pound-three-month-old like me, you should probably not polish off an entire plate of these cookies. Even a small one is 85 calories. If you want more nutrition info, check below.

Prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 F.

To start out, I beat two eggs foamy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add liquid stevia or your choice of sweetener. I used 30 drops of Sweet Leaf liquid stevia and this made the cookies just slightly sweet. If you prefer your cookies more sweet, add 40 drops.

A bit of sea salt, a stick of melted butter or 1/2 cup coconut oil, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a teaspoon of orange extract (optional). Mix 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder either into the almond flour, or throw it directly into the liquid ingredients if you like to take shortcuts like me.

Now slowly add the almond flour as you continue mixing the dough. When you're done, you should have a very soft but non-sticky dough. Add a handful of sliced almonds and/or chopped dark chocolate by hand, if you like.

Now, if you're shooting for something that resembles biscotti, shape your dough into a flat log on your cookie sheet. If you just want cookies, you can probably just roll out balls of dough and flatten them on your sheet; HOWEVER I have not tried this and don't know if the results would be exactly the same.

Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350 F, until your cookies are very lightly browned. Take them out to cool for at least 10 minutes, and cut them into strips if you formed a log.

Turn your oven down to 325 F, and when the cookies are quite cool, turn them on their sides and toast them for 20 more minutes. For the ultimate crunch, leave the oven door closed after they finish baking, and let them cool in there several hours.

Crumbly THM (Shortcake) Cookies - S [Printable Recipe]

  • 2 eggs
  • Stevia or other plan-approved sweetener
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups almond flour
Optional ingredients
  • Orange extract or zest
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds or other nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

1. Beat eggs foamy, 2-3 minutes. 
2. Add 30-40 drops of liquid stevia or other sweetener.
3. Mix in sea salt, melted butter or coconut oil, vanilla extract and optional orange extract.
4. Stir baking powder into almond flour and slowly add to liquid ingredients; mix well.
5. Knead optional sliced almonds and chocolate in by hand.
6. Shape dough into a flat log on a lined cookie sheet.
7. Bake at 350 F for 22-25 minutes.
8. Cool at least 10 minutes, cut into slices, and turn cookies on side.
9. Bake for 20 more minutes at 325 F and leave in closed oven to cool for ultimate crumbliness.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 23 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 2%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4%Iron 2%

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Friday, May 17, 2013

Stevia Freezer Jam

This post is completely off-topic for this blog, but I couldn't keep from sharing this wonderful low-carb recipe for freezer jam which my mom and I discovered today. I recently bought the book "Trim Healthy Mama" by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett at the recommendation of a friend. To read a detailed review of this book, I suggest reading Gwen's review of it. Trim Healthy Mama (aka THM) is packed to the brim with valuable, life-changing information. Seriously, this book is worth its weight in gold (and it's heavy!) Essentially, the most important fact is summed up in one sentence:

"Never include large amounts of both fats and carbs in the same meal unless you are trying to gain or maintain weight." - Trim Healthy Mama, page 64

But like I said, read Gwen's review to learn more. I'm just here to give you my recipe for delicious low-carb freezer jam made with stevia. I didn't find much to go by online, except for this post at Fragile Fantasies which involves cooking the fruit for a few minutes, something we were trying to avoid. We wanted our strawberries as fresh as possible-- plus, some stevia is known for developing that bitter after-taste during cooking. We didn't want to take that chance. So, instead of using Ball's special low-sugar pectin, we just used the regular ol' instant pectin.
But anyway, let's jump right in!

For five 8 oz jars of jam, you're going to need:

Wash, hull, and dice the strawberries into a large bowl (we tripled the recipe to make a large batch).

Use a potato masher (we're using the nifty little Pampered Chef "Mix 'N Chop" tool) to mash the strawberries down to your desired consistency. Add the packet of Instant Fruit Pectin and as much or as little stevia as you would like. We used one teaspoon of SweetLeaf liquid stevia per 4 cups. You could use Truvia or any other powdered stevia, but you're on your own for those measurements. Just go slow, taste it, and add more as needed.

Now give your arms a bit of a work out and stir, stir, stir that jam for 3 minutes. It should thicken up as you're stirring, but it won't set fully until 30 minutes later. Fill your jars (you don't have to wait for it to set), and voila-- delicious, yummy strawberry jam without any guilt at all!

This will keep 3 months in the fridge, 1 year in the freezer!

You could pair this with a bowl of 0% Greek yogurt for a refreshing FP (Fuel Pull) snack if you are on the THM plan.

 Or a slice of warm, toasted Ezekiel bread with Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese topped with sweet strawberry goodness for an E breakfast. One of life's best things. Seriously.

Yummy (Slimming!) Peanut Butter Cup Iced Coffee

Another THM recipe! Sorry ;-) I'm really enjoying trying new recipes though, and it's so much fun to take pictures and share them with the world :)

I got this recipe from Nicole at Blissfully Blessed. I tweaked it just a little, but all credit for this amazing idea definitely goes to her! I have a hard time enjoying "healthy" shakes and drinks most of the time.. but this one is so good I could guzzle it all day!

How I Made It: (tweak to your taste)

  • Two handfuls of ice (I like it icy.. you can do less)
  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter 
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 cup of leftover, cold coffee
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • Stevia to taste (I used NuNaturals)

I like to blend my ice to powder before adding the other ingredients.. no chunks of ice for me ;-)

You can definitely reduce the amount of peanut butter and leave the coconut oil out completely. I'm nursing a 7-week-old and am having a hard time eating enough for both of us.. I'm staaarving all day long, so I like the extra fat snuck in this way. Plus, you can never have too much peanut butter ;-)

The coffee isn't required, either.. I loved the nutty mocha flavor this had. Definitely rivals anything at Starbucks! :) 

This makes a lot-- about 3 cups.. but I can finish that off in no time at all! It doesn't get very thick-- it's really more like an iced coffee, so you can keep it in the fridge to enjoy throughout the day.  

If you follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this would be an S. Use defatted peanut butter flour and leave the coconut oil out to make it a fuel pull (FP)!