Low carb cupcakes

These coconut flour cupcakes from I Breathe I’m Hungry are excellent sugar free, low carb, gluten free, nut free, fluffy, moist cupcakes!!! Get the recipe here. 

They smell like vanillery birthday party cake that you want to gobble up in big scoffs with a nice mug of tea. They’re very satisfying, especially when you haven’t had a sugary, buttery, vanillery cupcake in a while.

It contains 7 EGGS and you need a whole TABLESPOON of baking powder. That’s because the coconut flour is very absorbent so it requires a lot of eggs and needs baking powder to help lift it. Don’t skip on the vanilla essence – a good couple of teaspoonfuls is required for that vanillery flavour.

If you make 12 cupcakes, they’re only 7g carbs per cupcake (!!!).

If you can’t be bothered making the icing (or if you don’t have the powdered sweetener on hand), a dollop of Greek yogurt suffices just nicely.

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Low carb brownies

Gooey, decadent, utterly devourable, these little gems are not only delicious and an excellent chocolate fix, they are incredibly easy to make. They pair very well warm with some cream or low carb ice cream and fresh berries. Sugar free, gluten free and low carb too so you won’t get a spike in blood sugar.

MAKES 12
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER BROWNIE
carbs 2g / fat 20g / protein 5g

INGREDIENTS
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup sweetener of your choice (e.g. xylitol, erythritol, stevia mix)
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (125g or 6 tablespoons)
A few squares of dark chocolate, chopped (I used 4 squares of Lindt 85% cocoa)

MIX, MELT, STIR, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a sheet pan or lamington tin with baking paper.

Mix the almond meal, cocoa powder, sweetener and baking powder together. Melt the butter. Stir the eggs into the dry mix, then stir in the butter and mix well. Stir in the chopped chocolate bits.

Pour into the baking tin and spread out with a knife. Bake for 20 minutes until just set.

Allow to cool slightly, then serve with some cream or low carb ice cream and berries. You can warm it up again later, or enjoy it as it is at room temperature.

Top with some easy ganache frosting.

HOW TO MAKE GANACHE FROSTING

FOR ONE CAKE (12 SERVES OF APPROX 1 TABLESPOON EACH)
carbs 3g / fat 6.5g /protein 1g

It’s very easy! Add more cream to make it a runny sauce or add more chocolate to make it a thicker ganache frosting.

INGREDIENTS
100mL whipping cream
100g dark chocolate (70% or more)

Warm the cream over low heat. Once it starts to steam but before it bubbles, turn it off and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate dissolves and the mixture thickens. Allow to set if you want a thicker frosting, or pour on warm if you want it runny.

Low carb blondies

This recipe has been adapted from All Day I Dream About Food Low Carb Browned Butter Choc Chip BlondiesIt has all the flavours of a choc chip cookies but the the texture of a soft brownie. No one can tell the difference that this is sugar free, gluten free and low carb.

MAKES 12
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SQUARE
carbs 4g / fat 21.5g / protein 5g

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup (125g) butter, melted
2 cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g chopped 70% dark chocolate
1/2 cup xylitol or other sweetener
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

MELT, MIX, PRESS, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a lamington or sheet tray with some baking paper.

Mix the almond meal, baking powder and sweetener together. Combine with the melted butter, egg and vanilla extract. Mix well before stirring in the chopped chocolate so it doesn’t melt into the mix.

Press into a lined lamington tin and bake for 20 minutes.

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Ginger pear crumble

If you have a few leftover pears, this is a great way to use them up. You could use other fruit such as apples, rhubarb or berries instead. This is low GI and has no added sugar – just the sweetness of the fruit, making it a healthier dessert option. 

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 9g / fat 23g / protein 5.5g

INGREDIENTS
4 pears
Peel of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or 1 cinnamon quill
1 centimetre piece of ginger
1 cup of almond meal
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon stevia or xylitol
Thick Greek yoghurt to serve

CORE, DICE, SIMMER, HEAT, MELT, ADD, COMBINE, POUR, BAKE, SERVE…
I leave the pears with the skin on but you can peel if you wish, then core and dice. Place in a saucepan with the lemon peel, cinnamon and sliced ginger. Add 1/2 a cup of water and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until the pears have softened.

In the meantime, heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Melt the butter in a baking dish in the oven for a couple of minutes. Add the almond meal and sweetener to the melted butter and stir to combine into crumbs. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn the crumble. Remove the crumble from the baking dish and place in a separate dish.

When the pears are done, remove the lemon peel, cinnamon quill (if using) and ginger (if you wish, or you could leave the ginger in for some extra spice). Pour into the baking dish and cover with the crumble. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm with the Greek yoghurt. 

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Choc chip cookies

Soft and chewy inside, with a light crumble on the outside, these are an ideal low carb and low sugar substitute for the good old choc chip cookie. They are honestly just as good as the real thing, and have the right flavour and texture that you want in a choc chip cookie; perfect for dipping in a glass of cold milk. I’d really recommend adding the coconut to the mix as it adds a chewiness that makes all the difference, otherwise the cookie can be a little on the crumbly side and less chewy. Use dark chocolate for a lower sugar content, or sugar free chocolate. They are also gluten free. 

MAKES 12
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER COOKIE
carbs 2g / fat 18.5g / protein 3.5g

INGREDIENTS
125 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup xylitol, stevia or other sweetener
1 egg
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup dessicated coconut (or an additional 1/4 cup of almond meal)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter; omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

CREAM, MIX, COMBINE, SCOOP, FLATTEN, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cream the butter, sweetener, egg and vanilla extract together. Mix together the almond meal, coconut flour, coconut, baking powder and chopped chocolate and combine with the creamed mixture.

Scoop spoonfuls of mixture into round balls and flatten out on the tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool completely before taking out of the tray as they will be very soft until they cool.

Rich chocolate slice

This recipe is adapted from Ditch the Carbs. I first tasted it at a cake bake at work. It was one of the few low sugar and healthier cakes there (I made a flourless gluten free mandarin polenta cake) – but everything else was high in sugar and refined white flour. I was really happy to see that everyone who tried this cake really enjoyed it (including me), so I asked for the recipe. I tried baking it for myself and have adjusted the recipe slightly. It’s a great low sugar, low carb and gluten free treat that will satisfy any chocolate craving. I sometimes spread a little sugar free hazelnut chocolate spread on top or some homemade ganache for an icing substitute, which is very moreish.

INGREDIENTS
200 gram dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more)
100 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 tablespoons double cream
1 tablespoon stevia (or other sweetener of your choice such as xylitol)
100 grams almond meal or crushed nuts such as walnuts (optional)

MELT, BEAT, POUR, WHISK, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius, and line a cake tin with baking paper (I used a square tin so I can cut these into square bites).

Melt the chocolate and butter together, then take it off the heat and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, cream, stevia and vanilla extract together for a good 5 minutes, either by hand or with an electric beater, until it goes light and frothy.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, whisking thoroughly until it thickens up. Stir in the almond meal or nuts if using (it’s fine to leave out).

Pour into a lined tin and bake at 180 degrees celcius for 30-40 minutes. If it starts to burn, turn the heat down.

Cut into pieces (I cut mine it into square bites). Serve as it is, or with some whipped cream, berries, or a little chocolate spread or ganache.

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Lemon poppy biscuits

These are so light and delicious – they’ll disappear pretty quickly. Low carb, sugar free and gluten free, too. 

MAKES 12

INGREDIENTS
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
3 tablespoons xylitol or 1 tablespoon stevia (or other sweetener)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, pips removed
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

MELT, MIX, ROLL, FLATTEN, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Prepare a tray with baking paper.

Melt the butter or coconut oil and mix together with the almond meal, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. If it’s not binding, add a little more melted butter or lemon juice.

Roll out tablespoon-sized balls and flatten with your hands onto the baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool before eating.

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Almond crumble

This is great crumbled over ice cream or yoghurt, or as a topping to stewed fruit or apple crumble. 

INGREDIENTS
1 cup of almond meal
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon of stevia
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

MELT, MIX, BAKE…
Melt the butter. Mix the ingredients together and pour into a baking tray, spreading out evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container or allow to cool and serve over stewed fruit or ice cream. Add a little drizzle of dark chocolate for something extra special when serving.

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Granola bars

There are a few great recipes out there for low carb granola bars, such as Ditch the Carbs Grain Free Granola Bars and Diet Doctor Low Carb Granola Bars.

These are a perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack during the day to tie you over until the next meal. They are low carb, sugar free, grain free and gluten free.

INGREDIENTS
200 grams mixed raw nuts (such as almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts)
100 grams mixed seeds (such as chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, linseeds/flaxseeds)
50 grams coconut (flakes, chips, shredded or desiccated)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons tahini or nut butter (such as almond or peanut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (or sweetener)
2 eggs
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, cocoa nibs or unsweetened dried berries (optional)

MELT, MIX, BLEND, PRESS, BAKE…
Melt the coconut oil and tahini or nut butter together with the sweetener. Allow to cool slightly and whisk in the eggs. Mix in with the rest of the ingredients. Blend the nuts, seeds and coconut together, leaving some chunks. Mix together with the egg, coconut oil and tahini mix. Mix in the dark chocolate chips or dried berries if using. Pour into a lined baking tray and press in. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 20 minutes, making sure not to burn. Allow to cool and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container or the fridge.