Posts tagged low carb
Easy low carb (keto) nut roast

I love a traditional (vegan) roast dinner and now I have a low carb nut roast to join the party! For a great low carb meal option you could add roasted celeriac and broccoli (maybe some more veggies!) along with lots of gravy- yum!

I've made this loaf a few times now... always making a double or triple batch so I can freeze a loaf for another time. Top tip: defrost a pre-baked loaf only just enough to slice it with a sharp knife four super clean edges and the 'double bake' for a few minutes it to heat it through and to give great crispiness to each edge- I love crispy bits!

When I first got in touch with Leanne about my vegan Keto experiment, she wanted to make the loaf for herself and has released the recipe HERE on her blog. (also click through via the image directly below.)

I have also included my original recipe and photos below for you information.  Feel free to change up the herbs/spices to suit your taste. 

It's a great speedy dinner options and perfect for a snack on the road or in a lunchbox too as it holds together really well and is totally delicious served cold.

Recipe: Low carb nut roast

Makes 1 medium loaf (can easily double/triple)

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion- diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 cups nuts/seeds- chopped coarsely*
  • 1 tbs spices to taste (I used dried Italian herbs)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup flax egg (approx 1 tbs flax mixed well with and 3 tbs warm water)

Method:

Cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms for 5 minutes until softened. Add all remaining ingredients and mix together well to achieve a thick paste.

Spoon into a medium loaf pan (or brownie tray if you want a more shallow ‘tray bake’) and bake at 180C for approx 30-40 minutes until cooked in the centre. You may need to loosely cover with foil if the top is browning before the centre is cooked.

As with all my nut roasts. I like to freeze this loaf and slice once slightly defrosted for neat edges and then ‘second bake’ for 10 minutes before serving for crispy edges. It also tastes great served cold.

* I have made this with all almond, a combo of almond and walnut and a combo of almond and pumpkin seeds. 

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Salted peanut butter glaze (on chocolate balls) ...keto friendly!

This is a crazy simple recipe.. and accidental one if I'm honest!

I made some raw chocolate balls and felt they needed pepping up a bit. They probably didn't really but because I make so many of these types of snacks for people I felt the need to 'add' something to this batch. I was also in the midst of a nut butter craving at the time! :-)

Enter the salted peanut butter glaze! 

This would also make a great drizzle topping over a loaf, a cake or ice cream!! Raw treats that are served chilled or cold are best as the nature of the cocoa butter is that it needs to be cool to form the glaze.

I made a batch of these nutty truffle balls for a friend, but since the glaze itself if totally keto friendly, you could by all means make these keto choc hemp bites into balls and dip them in this glaze for another twist.

Recipe: Salted peanut butter glaze

Makes approx 1/3 cup of glaze

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs cocoa butter
  • 3 tbs peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) 
  • large pinch sea salt (less if PB is salted or to taste)
  • 3-4 drops stevia for a slight sweetness

Method: 

Melty the cocoa butter then stir through peanut butter and stevia until melty and well mixed. 

Ensure the glaze is fairly cool and starting to thicken before dipping or drizzling to get the thickest coverage. Chill the balls to set the glaze firmly and then best keep chilled (or frozen) to prevent potential softening.

Note: you could also use other nut butters of choice... roasted hazelnut or almond would be amazing!

Raw cocoa butter... love this stuff! I ground up a large chunk and then melted it (quicker too melt down that way)

Raw cocoa butter... love this stuff! I ground up a large chunk and then melted it (quicker too melt down that way)

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Nutty keto crackers... pack in the protein!

When it comes to following a vegan ketogenic diet, I have found one of the easier way to keep on top of things without having to specifically track every macro to the last detail is to focus on packing in the veggies in my main meals and make up most of my protein needs through snacks in between. The hemp porridge is a great boost in this respect but handfuls of nuts and seeds (and spoonfuls of nut butter!!) also factor in pretty heavily.

These crackers are virtually the same as eating a handful of nuts and seeds but a lot more interesting with the flavours and texture. I would serve these up alongside a big salad, or just nibble on their own with a slather of PB or almond butter. The pictures show hummus which isn't really so keto friendly :-)

I use a dehydrator for maximum nutrition (no heat destroying nutrients) but you could use an oven on the lowest hear setting- just keep an eye on the timings as I haven't tried it that way.I always soak the nuts when I make crackers, this makes the nutrients much more bio-available to the body as in the nature nuts have enzyme inhibitors which make them harder to digest- soaking them breaks this down. You don't need to soak the hemp seeds. 

I haven't added any extra spices to the recipe below as you can leave plain or add your own... I love chipotle pepper sauce, or soy sauce instead of salt. Italian herbs would work well too.

These crackers freeze well so I tend to make a double (or triple) batch, and sometimes divide the mixture before mixing in different spices.

Recipe: Nutty keto crackers

Makes approx. 15-20 crackers

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup each 3 types soaked nuts/seeds (I used shelled hemp, almonds* and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 small tomato (or 2-3 cherry tomatoes)
  • ½ an onion
  • 2 tbs flax seed
  • scant 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Method:

Process all ingredients together until you have a sticky, lightly chunky mix.

Spread the mixture on to a lined dehydrator tray and smooth to approx 3mm thick as evenly as possible.

Dehydrate for 2 hours at 50C then 6 hours at 40C. Flip the sheet carefully and finish with 1 hour at 40C. Or try oven baking on the lowest temperature for approx 1 hour (maybe more?) To keep the temperature low you could leave the door open a crack.

Slice to serve. The crackers may be a little crumbly depending on how finely you've ground the nuts.

* walnuts are also especially good too.... but for this recipe version I was looking for the highest protein and lowest carb option so opted for almonds. Sunflower seeds could be swapped for pumpkin or another lower carb option, but I happened to have sunflower to hand at time time!

These were some similar crackers using almond, sunflower, sesame and chia.

These were some similar crackers using almond, sunflower, sesame and chia.

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Hemp and almond chocolate bites

I've found that the easiest way for my to monitor my protein and carb intake whilst following a ketogenic eating plan (without continuously counting every macro) is to focus on getting the bulk of my protein via my snacks and hemp porridge as constants in my day to day routine and then focussing on maximising the low carb veggies (which is still the largest carb proportion of my day) in my main meal and green smoothie. 

High protein but low carb snacks that also qualify as a treat are therefore always going to be a winner for me!

These raw hemp and almond squares are also perfect if you are trying to minimise your sugar intake since most snacks of this type are high in fructose and packed with dates as the binding ingredient. A few drops of stevia is the only form of sweetener here, but you could add a small amount of dates or a little coconut sugar to add a touch of caramelly flavour if you prefer whilst still offering a low overall sugar content.

You could also try adding flavour extracts such as orange, rum or almond if you fancy. I often find adding flavours such as these gives the impression of sweetness and covers any potential aftertaste of stevia (for those who are sensitive to it). Make sure you use oil based extracts and not alcohol based ones in raw goodies for best flavour.

 Recipe: Hemp and almond chocolate bites

Recipe adapted from Leanne's Rum Balls

Makes approx. 10 squares/balls

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup hemp hearts
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • a few drops of stevia (or 2 tbs coconut sugar)
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean powder 

Method:

Process all ingredients together until slightly sticky and press into a small pan or roll into small balls. Press in a few extra hemp hearts to decorate. 

Chill the pressed mixture before slicing. Store in the fridge.

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Chocolate crunch pudding.... sugar free and keto friendly!

I'm so excited about this recipe!

Over the last month of experimenting with the keto way of eatingdessert and snacks have been my main focus. Main meals have actually been the easiest part of the plan.... predominately a lot of veg! 

I have always been a snacker, and whilst I don't always feel the need for a sweet treat after dinner, I do have a sweet tooth and this dessert hit the spot perfectly. I would go as far to say everyone would really enjoy this, regardless of dietary preference. It's very easy to add a little extra fruit if desired, or if serving for a crowd with differing requirements. These single serve pots are really versatile in that way.

The shortcake clusters have been seen on my blog in various guises in this strawberry shortcake here and atop this blackberry and apple crumble. The almond flour creates a 'dry' shortcake like texture which perfectly compliments a yoghurt or save style base.  The simplicity and speed of the recipe is what grabs me time and time again. You could make a big batch of clusters and have the topping on hand for speedy deserts of snacks throughout the week. The almond flour (make sure you don't use ground almonds!) is also 50% protein making it a perfect low carb option.

Recipe: Chocolate crunch keto pudding

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour (not ground almonds- I use this one)
  • 3 tbs cocoa
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • a little stevia to taste 
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or other)
  • 1 cup non dairy yoghurt such as soy or coconut
  • Few drops almond or vanilla extract to flavour the yoghurt- optional
  • a tiny handful frozen raspberries- crushed (they go further this way)
  • a handful of rough chopped macadamia nuts (or other nuts of choice)

Method:

Mix the almond flour and cocoa together then add the coconut oil, syrup and stevia, rub through with fingers to form crumbs. The crumbs should tick together when you squeeze the mix in your hands. if they don't the add a little water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Squeeze the mix into small clusters and lay evenly on a baking tray. Bake for approx 10 mins or grill for 3 mins on a medium heat until just toasted (keep a close eye as the almond flour can burn quickly!)

Meanwhile, spoon the yogurt (add flavours if desired) in two glasses or ramekins then add the choc clusters. Top with the macadamia and crushed raspberries to serve.

Chocolate shortcake clusters fresh from under  the grill

Chocolate shortcake clusters fresh from under  the grill

a few frozen raspberries give a pop of flavour without the high carbs

a few frozen raspberries give a pop of flavour without the high carbs

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Easy green smoky soup with roast veggies... low carb and keto.

Now to focus on a few savoury successes along my ketogenic journey .

As part of my experiment I knew I needed to find quick simple dishes that I could make in a batch and freeze. This soup is a great freezer option as I could eat with or without toppings and also vary the toppings depending on what I had to hand or what I fancied, giving extra variety.

If you chop your roast veg into smallish pieces and use quick cook varieties such as cauliflower, broccoli and courgette you have a meal ready to go in 15 minutes... most often the time it took me to get in from the gym, prep and put the veg in the oven and have a shower whilst it cooked!

The flavours are what make this soup, again you can very your seasons with the toppings, or toss seeds and nuts in top instead of veg. Experiment to find your on preference- powerful smoky flavours work well, be sure to include enough salt. I've been adding a little extra himalayan sea salt to myself dishes compared to pre-keto to ensure I get the minerals.

I also added a sprinkle chilli roasted pumpkin seeds for some extra kick and crunch!

In case you're thinking 'there isn't much protein in this dish', I tend to get the bulk of my protein needs in my snacks- nuts and hemp protein. That said, green veggies are a good secondary protein source and you could always increase the seeds on top or add a little silken tofu to the blend.

Recipe: Green veggie soup with roasted topping

Serves 2 (double up and freeze some!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large leek- chopped
  • 4 cups cauliflower – chopped (3 blended, 1 roasted for top)
  • 4 cups broccoli – chopped (3 blended, 1 roasted for top)
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked garlic powder*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • handful parsely
  • sprig of thyme
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • extra roasted veg on top*

*Note: I used the chopped cauliflower and broccoli plus 2 cups of chopped aubergine. I mixed these with 1 tbs melted coconut oil, ¼ tsp salt and extra fresh mixed herbs

Method:

Prepare the veg for roasting if applicable. Roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil or steam the chopped cauliflower and broccoli for approx 10 minutes or until just tender. Add the kale, water and remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes until the kale is cooked. 

Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup until smooth.

Serve into bowls and top with the roasted veg.

* If you can’t find smoked garlic, another smoked herb/spice could work well. It just helps add depth of flavour.

 

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Bounty bars... totally sugar free and keto friendly!

Did you read my cookie post a few days ago?

I mentioned I have been exploring a ketogenic diet, whereby the body fuels on fats instead of carbs. I have a bunch of recipes to share... all my successes (but let's not mention the failures- including one which stank the house out and made a friend gag when she walked through the door- oops!)

These recipes are packed full of good fats, and really help to curb the sweet tooth without sugar, and create satiety. So many people I know follow some form of lower carb diet from time to time, and even for those that don't these recipes can work for you too to add variety to you snacks and meals.

Coconut is a fantastic ingredient. I use it in all my Wholeplus products because it's a healthy fat that more ready converts to energy, but also when used in my sugar free recipes it is great since it has a subtle natural sweetness. I often combine it with vanilla and/or cinnamon for an even sweeter experience since both spices give the impression of sweetness.

I will mention now that these bars are very 'dark', so if you are not such a fan of dark chocolate you may wish to add a little sweetener of choice to the coating mixture or use your favourite brand (preferably unrefined) of chocolate. I gave one to my mum and she loved it just as it was- result!  This recipe by My New Roots would be a great one to try of you'd like a sweeter version.

Recipe: Bounty Bars (Inspired by this recipe)

Makes approx 5 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • approx 6 drops pure stevia (I use this one)
  • 2 x 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or paste (high quality one is essential for best flavour)
  • ⅓ cup coconut cream*
  • 4tbs coconut oil
  • 2tbs cocoa powder

Method:

Mix shredded coconut with coconut cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla bean and a few drops of stevia and blend well with a spoon. Place the coconut mixture on a small cookie sheet lined with parchment and form into a slab. 

Place in the freezer for around 2 hours until frozen and then slice into bars once solid.

n the meantime prepare the chocolate coating. Melt coconut oil in a small sauce pan until liquified, then stir through the cocoa powder, a few drops of stevia and 1/2 tsp vanilla bean until well blended.

Let cool to room temperature but still liquid. Dip the bars in the cocoa mixture, and turn to all sides to coat evenly. The coating will solidify very quickly over the frozen bars, after a minute to so dip them again to get a thicker coating until you have no cocoa mixture left.

hen all bars are all coated put in the refrigerator to harden. The bars can be kept in the fridge or freezer for an ice cream style bar. 

*For the coconut cream, use the thick part of a can of coconut milk. Set the watery liquid aside for a smoothie (not need to waste it!)

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Almond choc-chunk cookies (plus introducing my keto experiment!)

For the last few weeks I have been in experimental mode when it comes to changing up my eating habits. Let's get things straight... I don't believe in 'diets' in the traditional understanding of the word BUT I do believe in being as informed as possible when it comes to knowing what is optimal for your body. My method for this is experimentation.

We are all unique and there is no one size fits all approach to dietary habits. Obviously I write a vegan food blog, but many (most) of my health coaching clients are not vegan or even vegetarian, that's absolutely fine by me since my coaching method is to empower you to find what is right for your heath and your life. Of course there are some factors I feel hold true for everyone and I encourage in our sessions... pack in as many veggies as you can and get rid of as many refined foods as possible.

Even following a vegan diet there is plenty of room for experimentation and its something i've been playing with for the best part of year now, tweaking things to see how my body feels. I've mentioned before I often suffer from digestive issues such as gas and bloating so by eliminating certain foods or eating in a certain way I hope to determine the root causes and find the balance that best suits me. Digestive issues also have emotional connections so this is something I'm learning to heal also.

I have documented a few of my nutritional experiments in previous posts, maybe I'll document them more formally on the blog. So far i've tried... a candida diet, grain free diet, intermittent fasting and now a ketogenic diet.

Nutritional ketosis is where the body is fuelled by fat instead of carbs... you literally switch the source of energy.

This in effect means a high fat and low carb approach to eating. Low carb in this context means super looooow carbs- under 50g net carbs (once fibre has been accounted for).  I decided to do a months experiment (I still have a week or so to go) and then review things.

I initially bought Leanne's book having been a long time reader of her blog, and would highly recommend it as a great introduction and guide to this style of eating. I will talk about it all in a bit more detail at the end of the experiment!

Before I started 'properly', I spend a couple of weeks or so gearing up with a selection of recipes in my arsenal, as well as reducing my carbs in the lead up (to be honest I was already fairly low carb to begin with). The cookie recipe I'm sharing today is a fab low carb recipe and one of my transitional recipes, but not strictly keto. It's pack with protein and good fats to sustain you and contains minimal sweeteners (you could add a touch more if you need to when you've tasted the dough).

I gave my mum a cookie and she loved them, so these are definitely family friendly too! They have a great crisp an crumbly cookie texture even without granulated sugar due to the higher fat content. 

Recipe: Almond choc-chunk cookies (low carb)

Makes approx 12 cookies

 Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • ¼ cup white hemp powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/3 cup cacoa liquor chunks (or dark chocolate if preferred)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil- softened
  • 1 tbs syrup of choice* plus ¼ tsp pure stevia
  • 2 tbs water (to bind)

Method:

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, in a small bowl mix the coconut oil and stevia and mix until very soft and lump free. Mix into cookie batter using hands if needed. Add a drizzle of water so the mixture holds together nicely.

Form walnut sized balls and flatten onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for approx 15 mins on a fairly low heat approx 160C until golden at the edges.  Allow to cool fully before eating/storing as these cookies are quite delicate and a little ore crumbly than regular.

* I used yacon syrup which is a really thick low carb syrup, but any syrup would work here, you could also increase to 2-3 tbs if strict carb control is not necessary.

low carb cookies2a.jpg
low carb cookies3a.jpg

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

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