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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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.

Granola

This granola is low carb, sugar free, grain free and gluten free – but still tastes amazing.

It is so ingrained in us to eat cereals, muesli and oats for breakfast, and I honestly love them. But as a type 1 diabetic I find it hard to have cereal for breakfast every morning while keeping my levels in good range. Throw in some honey and dried or fresh fruit, and I am struggling most of the morning until lunchtime. So when I discovered various grain free and sugar free granolas on blogs such as Ditch the Carbs, I knew there was some hope that this low carb business and controlling my sugar levels wouldn’t be all that hard without having to sacrifice too much.

When I made this for the first time I was astounded at how good it was and how similar in taste and texture it is to a crunchy cereal or muesli. Now I make a big jar every couple of weeks (if it lasts). My boyfriend (who doesn’t follow low carb and loves Coco Pops) also loves a bowl of this. It’s great on its own, or with cold milk or thick yoghurt, or fresh berries. In the winter, try it with warm milk. I don’t have it every morning for breakfast, as I like to have some variety (such as eggs, savoury muffins, chia seed pots, granola bars, etc.), but it also makes a good afternoon snack. I keep a small jar of it at work when I want a quick and satisfying snack.

I have included 2 different types of granola here – the first one is simpler (and the one i make all the time), and the second one is crunchier because of the egg and coconut flour. They are both equally good. Mix it up with the flavours you like. Try a chocolate granola with some cocoa powder, or add some vanilla essence or some cinnamon or ginger powder for morning warmness.

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BASE INGREDIENTS
500 grams of your choice of coconut, nuts and seeds, such as:
250 grams coconut flakes
150 grams walnuts, almonds or pecans
100 grams mixed sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds/flaxseeds, sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of stevia (to taste)

OPTIONAL FLAVOURS
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one orange
2 teaspoons of cocoa powder

CRUNCHY GRANOLA TOPPING
2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

EVEN CRUNCHIER GRANOLA TOPPING
3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
1 egg
2 tablespoons coconut flour
(Mix together)

Mix all the base ingredients together in a large baking dish or tray. Add the optional flavours that you want to use (such as your choice of cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract, orange zest, cocoa powder). Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan or in the microwave. If making the second option (even crunchier granola topping), mix in the egg and coconut flour. Pour the topping over the base ingredients and mix together. Place in a 180 degrees celcius preheated oven for 20 minutes, making sure to shake the tray and mix the ingredients every few minutes so it doesn’t burn. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container. If you’re in a hot part of the world or it’s summer, store the granola in the fridge.

Bounty bars

The inspiration for this recipe is from I Quit Sugar and Health Yeah. They are a very delicious and healthier alternative to commercial chocolate bars, although are still a once-in-a-while treat. They need to be made in advance to give them time to set in the fridge then freezer. Don’t worry about melting the chocolate until right at the end when you’re ready to coat. 

INGREDIENTS
2 cups of desiccated coconut
1 cup of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
250g good quality dark chocolate (70-85%)

HEAT, STIR, LINE, TIP, FLATTEN, SET, CUT, FREEZE, MELT, DIP, STORE…
In a small saucepan, gently heat the coconut oil, coconut milk and honey or maple syrup until blended and dissolved. Take off the heat and stir in the coconut until combined.

Line a tray with baking paper. Tip the mixture into the tray and flatten evenly with a spatula or spoon. Place in the fridge to let it set for half an hour or so.

Pull the tray out of the fridge and cut into rectangular bars or square bites. Place into the freezer for a few hours until they harden.

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When they are hard, pull them out of the freezer. Melt the chocolate slowly in a saucepan over low heat. Individually coat each bar with the chocolate and place back on a sheet of baking paper in a plastic container. It can be a little messy, so be prepared to get your hands dirty! 
Store in the fridge.

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Chocolate tart

DELICIOUS. It’s all I can say. Oh, and very easy.

FILLING
200g dark chocolate (sugar free if you like, or 70% cocoa minimum)
300ml cream
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom or 8 ground cardamom pods (optional)

ALMOND MEAL CRUST
2 cups of almond meal (ground almonds)
6 tablespoons of melted butter or coconut oil
1 tablespoon of stevia

ADD, MIX, PRESS, BAKE, HEAT, STIR, SPRINKLE, POUR, SET, SERVE…
To prepare the crust, add the melted butter to the almond meal and the sweetener and mix to form a ball of dough. Press the dough into the tart case and bake in a 200 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Heat the cream in a saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces to melt and turn off the heat, stirring to combine. Sprinkle in the ground cardamom and give it a stir until it is combined.

Pour into the almond crust and let it set in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

Sprinkle with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, blueberries or cocoa powder and serve with a dollop of cream.

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