Monday, January 6, 2014

Is Your Cinnamon The Real Thing

I have to say that cinnamon is probably my favorite and most used spice, but what I didn't know about it is that what I've been using for years isn't cinnamon at all, of course I didn't really notice a difference and if it wasn't for the health implications I probably wouldn't even care all that much.

After all real cinnamon and the fake stuff are almost indistinguishable for most people. But when it comes to your health you really can't be too careful which is why I decided to do a little more digging and find out just what is the difference between real and fake cinnamon.

First off real cinnamon also known as Ceylon cinnamon is from Sri Lanka and is more expensive than the fake stuff know as cassia or Chinese cinnamon. Both varieties of cinnamon have similar taste and health benefits, although you may notice that the Ceylon cinnamon has a more subtle flavor.  But the main difference is that Cassia cinnamon contains higher levels of a blood thinning compound called coumarin that in high levels may cause liver damage.

The reason for the price difference is that cassia cinnamon which comes from China, Vietnam and  Indonesia is much more readily available than the ceylon cinnamon which only comes from Sri Lanka.  I did find it interesting to note that cassia cinnamon has been used in the United States for at least 100 years with as far as I can tell no problems, so it's probably up to you whether you decide to go with the ceylon over the cassia. Because it usually isn't labeled most if not all of the powdered cinnamon that you'll find at your local grocer is in fact cassia cinnamon.

If you would like to check the real stuff out it can be found on Amazon.
Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks
Organic Ground Ceylon Cinnamon

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Low Carb Gluten Garlic Cheese Bread

Bread is something that a lot of us who are on a low carb diet really miss. So of course when I come across a low carb bread recipe I'm usually the first to check it out.

This recipe was originally a paleo recipe that I modified to fit in with the low carb lifestyle and after just the first try it turned out even better than expected. In order to make the cheese bread come out biscuit shaped I used a Whoopie Pie Pan like this one on Amazon.

Delicious fresh out of the oven it's warm and gooey and oh so cheesey. And the really nice thing about this recipe is that it's just as good hot as it is cold. It's also very versatile, you could serve it hot with soup or some kind of Italian dish like lasagna or even as a breakfast sandwich.

1 egg
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese ( feel free to experiment here in order achieve different flavors, I used cheddar & colby jack.)
2 tbs. sour cream
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1/ tsp minced garlic
1/3 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees then mix together the almond flour, baking powder and salt. Blend together the egg and sour cream cream and garlic. Next add the almond flour mixture to the egg mixture and blend well. Then add the cheese and pour into your greased pan and bake at 350 for approx.10 minutes.
Recipe makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Low Carb Fruit Christmas Tree

I ran across this picture of a fruit Christmas tree on another site this morning and just had to post a picture of it.

Wouldn't this make an awesome addition to your Christmas party this year? Of course I doubt that it would last long so you would probably want to get a picture or two of it right away.

If you want to give it a try you can find the instructions here.

Low Carb Dairy Free Sour Cream

If you miss the delicious creaminess of sour cream but can't have dairy because of a dairy allergy then you're going to love this post from Healthy Living How To on making your own dairy free sour cream.  I'm thinking about going dairy free myself and this recipe would certainly help to make life a little easier since I do tend to use a lot of sour cream in my cooking.

Dairy Free Sour Cream

Monday, December 16, 2013

Low Carb Four Cheese Pizza Casserole

The four cheese pizza casserole is perfect for hungry families and anyone who loves pizza but doesn't want all of the carbs. My kids usually request this dish at least once a week but I really like it because it's fast and easy, the whole dish is made in just one pan as well as nutritious and satisfying.

I like to use my electric skillet for this casserole, using it saves energy and more importantly there's a lot less mess to clean up afterwards.  If you don't already own an electric skillet you might want to check out this one on Amazon. It's the same one that I use and you can't hardly find a better price than on Amazon.

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 med cabbage chopped or thinly sliced
1 med onion chopped
8 oz  mushrooms sliced
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
24 oz. low carb or sugar free pizza sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese grated

While your hamburger is browning chop your cabbage, mushrooms and onions, then add it to the ground beef just as it is starting to brown. Cover and allow to simmer for approx. 10 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Then add your minced garlic, pizza sauce and any spices that you would like to include. Mix well and top with your four cheese mixture. Turn the heat down to warm and cover until the cheese is melted.
Serves approx. 6-8.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Low Carb Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Since my family doesn't care all that much for the usual egg  breakfast dishes I decided to try out these low carb mini pumpkin muffins for breakfast this morning.
My mini muffin pan badly needs replaced so I went with my mini cupcake maker instead and they turned out beautifully,

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup butter melted
1/4 cup unsweetened unflavored yogurt
5 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup granulated sweetener ( like swerve or ideal)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp double acting baking powder

Prepare your cupcake pan and while it's warming up you can beat together your wet ingredients. Next sift together your dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients taking care to blend well. Then allow mixture to set for at least five minutes, this will give the coconut flour time to absorb the liquids before filling each cupcake hole 3/4 full. Then bake for approx 8 minutes or until done. Muffins can be eaten with or without topping, I topped mine with a little cream cheese frosting.

* Note  these muffins can also be baked in the oven.  Just preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for approx. 15 minutes or until done.

Most of the specialty items needed for this and the other recipes on this blog can be found for sale on Amazon. Many times for a much better price than can be found in stores.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Low Carb Chocolate Cupcakes

I've been trying different cupcake recipes for a while now and after a little experimenting have come up with this delicious low carb chocolate cupcake recipe.

This recipe is definitely a keeper, not only low carb and gluten free it's also extremely good, so far I've tested on several non low-carbers and they had no idea that it was a healthy recipe.

I like to have them for breakfast in the morning with a cup of coffee and have to say that it's so nice to feel like your cheating on your diet and still be able to lose weight or even maintain.  Give this one a try and I'm sure that you're going to be pleased with the results. For the topping I just used a simple cream cheese frosting (low carb of course.)

1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sweetener like swerve
4 Tbs. cocoa
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tbs. melted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees then mix together your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Next blend together your wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients taking care to mix well.. Then pour into cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for approx 15 minutes or until done.  Recipe makes approx 10-12 cupcakes depending on how full you fill the liners.