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.

blondie

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.

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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Chicken parmigiana

You can easily make the sauce in advance (store it in the fridge or freezer) to whip this satisfying dish up. Serve with some crisp salad on the side. 

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS
Mozzarella cheese, for the top
Parmesan cheese, to grate on top
Fresh basil, to sprinkle on top

CRUMBED CHICKEN
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried or fresh herbs (optional)
1 egg with a dash of milk, whisked
500 grams chicken breast (2 chicken breasts sliced lengthways)

TOMATO SAUCE
2 cloves of garlic
2 tins of tomatoes
Splash of olive oil
Generous pinch of salt
Crack of black pepper
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

To make the sauce:
PEEL, CRUSH, HEAT, ADD, SIMMER…
Peel and crush the garlic. Add a splash of olive oil and the garlic in a saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tinned tomatoes, salt, pepper, chilli and oregano. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt, pepper and chilli according to your taste.

To crumb and cook the chicken:
SLICE, SEASON, WHISK, MIX, DIP, COAT, PRESS, FRY, SERVE…
If using chicken breast, slice them in half lengthways so they are thinner (this will help with cooking and will make your chicken go further). With the thighs, you can leave them as they are, or cut them in half to stretch them further. Wash and pat dry the chicken with kitchen towel. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken on both sides.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and a splash of milk together and add some salt and pepper. In a plate, mix the almond meal and parmesan cheese together with the herbs if using. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg to coat, then press into the almond meal mix, coating well. Do this for each piece until they’re all coated.

Heat a pan with a generous glug of olive oil. Fry the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning a couple of times, until golden brown and cooked through. It’s a good idea to slice a piece in half to make sure it is cooked through and not pink.

To assemble:
PREHEAT, SLICE, SPOON, ARRANGE, TOP, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Slice the mozzarella. In a roasting tray, spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Arrange the chicken so they aren’t overlapping. Top with generous amounts of the sauce, then a slice of mozzarella on each piece. Finish with some basil leaves. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

parm 3 parm 8parm2   parm1

Crumbed chicken

I love crumbed chicken, whether it is in a parmigiana, as a starter with dips or some fresh lemon, or a complete meal with a big salad or veggies. But when I wanted to cut down on my carb intake, this is one that I thought I had to sacrifice to eliminate the breadcrumbs. But, it’s amazing what almond meal and parmesan can do – and it really is just as good. Give it a go!

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried or fresh herbs (optional)
1 egg with a dash of milk, whisked
500 grams chicken breast or thighs

SLICE, SEASON, WHISK, MIX, DIP, COAT, PRESS, FRY, SERVE…
If using chicken breast, slice them in half lengthways so they are thinner (this will help with cooking and will make your chicken go further). With the thighs, you can leave them as they are, or cut them in half to stretch them further. Wash and pat dry the chicken with kitchen towel.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and a splash of milk together with a fork, and add a crack of salt and black pepper. In a plate, mix the almond meal and parmesan cheese together with the herbs if using.

Dip each piece of chicken in the egg to coat, then press into the almond meal mix, coating well. Do this for each piece until they’re all coated.

crumbed chicken 13

Heat a pan with a generous glug of olive oil. Fry the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning a couple of times, until golden brown and cooked through. It’s a good idea to slice a piece in half to make sure it is cooked through and not pink.

crumbed chicken 11

Serve with some vegetables or salad, or with some homemade dips (such as a cool mint raita, a spicy salsa or a homemade tomato sauce). You could also turn this into a carb free chicken parmigiana by topping the prepared chicken with some homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella and baking in a 200 degree celcius oven for 20 minutes (see my recipe here).

crumbed chicken 10


Nutritional information (per serve)
Carbs 3
Fat 15
Protein 12
Calories 189

Cheese biscuits

These savoury biscuits are low carb and gluten free, and are perfect for a little snack on their own or with a cheese platter or dips instead of crackers. 

MAKES 12

INGREDIENTS
2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup of grated cheese, such as parmesan, cheddar or gruyere
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme (optional)

MELT, ADD, MIX, ROLL, WRAP, REFRIGERATE, SLICE, BAKE…
Melt the butter then add the almond meal, cheese, cayenne pepper and dried herbs (if using). Mix to combine. Push into a thick cylinder and wrap in cling film. It will be a little crumbly but should hold if you push it together. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or the freezer for 30 minutes. Pull out of the fridge or freezer, unwrap the plastic, and cut into thin slices. Line on a prepared baking tray and bake in a preheated oven to 180 degree oven for 10 minutes until they are slightly golden. Allow to cool.

cheese1   cheese4


Nutritional information (per biscuit)
Carbs 3
Fat 15
Protein 4
Calories 155