Buttery Lemon Poppyseed Cookie

I love me a chocolate chip cookie, but sometimes I crave something a little different. Lemon and poppy seeds are one of my favourite combos. The bitter bite of lemon zest, with the crunch of poppyseeds, mingled with the sweet lemon and vanilla flavours, and topped off with a buttery crumb texture….shall I go on?

I’m not one for huge lead ins to my recipes, but I will make a few notes. This cookie falls in the “S” category if you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan. Which basically means it’s a low carb cookie. I wanted to make it ingredient friendly, or to use THM lingo, no special ingredients. My natural sweetener preference is Lakanto (erythritol and Monk fruit extract) or Swerve. Mainly because I unfortunately do not tolerate stevia. So I am unable to comment on the substitution of a sweetener that contains it. You will be safe however, using something that measures equal to sugar.

This recipe makes one giant cookie, but you could always make 3 or 4 smaller cookies instead. Be sure to reduce the cooking time accordingly.

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Buttery Lemon Poppyseed Cookie

Sugar Free, Low carb, THM Compliant, Gluten Free, Dairy Free Option

Ingredients:

2.5 TBSP softened butter (use Spectrum Organic Shortening for dairy free option)

3 TBSP ground Lakanto sweetener (powder in a coffee grinder before measuring)*

1.5 tsp pure lemon extract

.5 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 TBSP egg white

Zest from a 1/2 lemon

3 TBSP almond flour

2 TBSP coconut flour

2 tsp ground flax seeds

1 tsp collagen (optional)

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp poppyseeds

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with coconut oil spray.**

Mix the softened butter together with the powdered sweetener and the exacts.

Mix in the egg whites.

Add the dry ingredients, and mix well.

Stir in the poppyseeds.

Mound on the prepared cookie sheet and spread out to a even 6″ inch circle. You may need to use your hands for this step!

Bake for 14 minutes, or until golden on the edges, and lightly golden on top.

Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack while still on the parchment, to completely cool.  The cookie is delicate until it completely cools. I sometimes cheat this last step, and put the rack in the freezer until the cookie is cold!

If you follow the THM plan, this is an “S” cookie.

Recipe notes:

*Confectioners Swerve also works in this recipe. Any other sweetener that measures equal to sugar should also work.  Be sure to powder the sweetener before measuring.

**Spraying the pan is optional, but I find that it helps with the crisp on the bottom, soft in the center, factor.

Just-For-Me Chocolate Chip Cookie

This giant, single serve chocolate chip cookie is low on carbs, and high on home-baked flavour! Crisp on the bottom and edges, and soft in the middle, it’s hard to believe this cookie is sugar free, and THM plan friendly.

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Just-For-Me Chocolate Chip Cookie

Sugar Free, Low carb, THM compliant, dairy free option, gluten free

Ingredients:

2 TBSP room temperature butter, or Spectrum Palm Shortening, for dairy free

4 TBSP Swerve confectioners sweetener, or your favourite on plan sweetener, powdered in a coffee grinder*

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 TBSP egg whites

3 TBSP Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend

2.5 TBSP Trim Healthy Mama Pressed Peanut Flour (or other sugar free defatted peanut powder)

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp collagen (optional, but boosts the protein)

1.5 TBSP sugar free chocolate chips, or two pieces of chopped 85% dark chocolate

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

Cream powdered sweetener with the butter. Mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Egg white will stay somewhat separated, but will blend once the dry ingredients are added.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips, or chopped dark chocolate.

Spray the parchment lined cookie sheet with coconut oil baking spray. This helps to crisp up the cookie.

Drop the batter in a large blob on the sheet, and using a spatula, spread out to an even 5″ circle.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a light golden colour (the edges will be darker)

Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes, before carefully moving to a wire rack to fully cool.

The cookie is an ‘S’ if you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan. It has 9.5g of carbs, and 24g of protein.

*any THM approved sweetener that measures equal to sugar should work for this recipe. Grind sweetener before measuring.

Grain Free Carrot Cake

I posted this cake on social media yesterday, and had such a positive response (I’m looking at you SCD group!), I had to hustle to get it published!

It was my husbands 40th birthday yesterday and I wanted to make something special to mark the occasion. He’s not a chocolate guy, so carrot cake it was! I selfishly wanted to be able to eat the cake (he’s not grain free) so I made sure that it was Specific Carbohydrate Diet compliant. The cake is dairy free, but the frosting does contain pressed cottage cheese, so you will want to follow one of my substitutions, if you’d like a Paleo cake.

This cake is everything I want a carrot cake to be. Its moist, with a slight sweetness in each bite from the dried coconut and crushed pineapple. Not a walnut to be found inside the cake, as we prefer it that way, but you may add them if you wish!

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Grain Free Carrot Cake with ‘Cream Cheese’ Frosting and Candied Carrot Curls

SCD Compliant, with Paleo and Dairy Free Options

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut (finely shredded)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

3/4 tsp sea salt

4 eggs

1 cup honey

1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or other liquid oil)

2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large)

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, juice squeezed out

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9″ springform round cake pan, and line with a circle of parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle the sides of the pan with coconut flour.

Sift almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and spices into a large bowl.

Add the dried coconut, and mix well.

Add the carrots, and all of the wet ingredients. Mix the batter well. It will be on the thick side.

Scrape batter into the prepared cake pan, and smooth it out on top.

Bake in oven for 50-55 minutes. I found a toothpick in the centre was not an accurate measure of the cake being cooked through. Instead, the cake should not wobble in the centre when the pan is moved, it should feel firm to the touch, and should just have the beginnings of cracks forming.

Cool cake for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around the inside edge, and remove the springform pan sides. Let cake cool completely before icing.

‘Cream Cheese’ Frosting*

Ingredients:

2 cups of dry curd cottage cheese (I like Western Dairy brand)

1/2 cup palm shortening (Spectrum or Tropical Traditions brand)**

1/2 cup raw honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP coconut flour

pinch of sea salt

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend well, until frosting is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides occasionally.

* substitute your favourite dairy free frosting for a paleo compliant cake, or brush with the reserved honey glaze, and top with candied carrot curls.

**palm shortening is required to create a fluffy frosting. Coconut oil will not work as a substitution. Palm shortening is non-hydrogenated organic palm oil, and is scd complaint. It may be found at Whole Foods, or ordered online from Swanson Vitamins or Amazon.

Candied Carrot Curls

Ingredients:

1 large carrot

1 cup honey

1 cup water

Method:

Line a pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel long, wide ribbons of carrot. You need about 8-12.

Bring honey and water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add carrot ribbons, and reduce heat to a simmer.

Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place a wire sieve over a bowl, and strain the carrot ribbons. Leave the carrots in sieve for 15 minutes. You may save the reduced liquid to use as a glaze for the cake, if you are not making the frosting.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

Spread out the carrot ribbons on the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, until ribbons are dry but flexible.

Wind carrot strips, one at a time around the handle of a wooden spoon, then slip each curl off the end. Place curls back onto the pan.

Return to oven for 10-15 minutes, to dry until crisp. Cool on baking sheet.

 

Creamy Cashew Pudding

Anyone who know me well, knows that I am a bit of a pudding and custard freak, er, connoisseur. I loooove me some pudding! This may be a relic of my childhood, where often dessert consisted of Birds Eye custard, poured into bowls, and left to set in the fridge. It was then topped with a spoonful of my mum’s homemade grape jelly. I loved breaking through the custard skin, to get to the unctuous custard that lay beneath.

This pudding however, is a whole lot healthier than the puddings of my childhood. It relies on a few simple ingredients to deliver that same rich creaminess. With no eggs or dairy, its lusciousness comes from coconut milk and cashew butter, married together with the help of gelatin. I have included instructions in the recipe notes for a vegan version.

The pudding is delicious served as is, but I enjoy it with sliced bananas, and a dollop of whipped coconut cream. Yum!

 

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Creamy Cashew Pudding

Egg free, Dairy Free, Paleo, and SCD compliant

2 1/4 cups coconut milk*

3/4 cups cashew butter

1/3 cup honey

3 tsp gelatin**

2 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

Method:

Pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan, and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes to bloom.

Turn the element on to medium low, and whisk the coconut mixture until the gelatin is fully dissolved. You can check this by dipping your thumb and pointer finger into the mixture, and then rubbing them together. If it is smooth with no granules, then it is ready for the next step.

Turn heat to low, and add cashew butter, honey, vanilla and salt. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and fully combined.

Scrape the contents of the pot into a bowl. Whisk for a minute or so to release some of the heat.

Press a piece of parchment paper (or plastic wrap) directly onto the top of the pudding. This is to prevent a skin from forming.

Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, to allow the pudding firm up.

Remove from fridge and whisk the pudding (or use an electric mixer) for a few minutes. The pudding will now be smooth and creamy and ready to eat!

 

Recipe notes:

*I use Aroy-D coconut milk, as it contains no stabilizers such as guar gum, but you may use any brand you prefer, or use homemade coconut milk. The pudding may not be as thick if you use homemade milk.

**I have not recipe tested this, but for a vegan pudding you may use 3 tsp of agar-agar, instead of the gelatin. The pudding will set up at room temperature in about an hour.

Savoury Apple and Fennel Sausage Patties

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These tasty little patties are packed full of big flavour. I love the aromatic, anise taste that the fennel seeds impart, and the grated apple and fennel bulb keep the sausage juicy and tender. I form them into small patties that are manageable for kids, but if you have a sausage attachment for your KitchenAid mixer, you could make them into full sized sausages.

Try these with my homemade barbecue sauce. It’s an unexpected and yummy combination!

Savoury Apple and Fennel Sausage

Paleo, SCD, grain free, egg free, dairy free

2 lbs ground pork

1 cup grated fennel bulb, with juices squeezed out

1 grated apple, with juices squeezed out

6 small, or 3 large shallots, finely diced (in a pinch, use 1/2 onion)

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1/4 tsp if you like it spicy!)

4 tbsp olive oil, separated

Method:

Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan, over medium heat, until they start to pop and release their aromatic scent. Remove to a plate to cool.

Pour 2 tbsp of oil into the pan, and add the diced shallots. Sauté shallots until translucent.

Add the grated apple, fennel, garlic, and thyme. Cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let the mixture cool down for a few minutes.

Put the ground pork into a large bowl, and add the fennel seeds, apple/shallot/fennel mixture, salt, pepper and cayenne.

Using clean hands (there really is not better way to do this!) mix the sausage together until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Place bowl in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight), to let the flavours meld.

Form into smallish 2″- 2.5″ diameter patties.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the patties in batches, about 5-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Extra patties may be frozen. Defrost patties in the fridge before reheating in a pan.

 

 

 

Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Roast Chicken

Here is my easy peasy, refined sugar free barbecue sauce. I love using passata sauce in my recipes, because it is so flexible. It’s just pureed tomatoes and salt, and has the added benefit of being packaged in a glass jar. Which means no BPA!

We enjoy this sauce on burgers, meatballs, ribs, and chicken. It would also be delicious brushed on Portobello mushrooms, and veggie kababs. I’ve included my roast chicken recipe at the end of the post. Roast chicken is one of the easiest and most delicious things that you can cook! Its just a minute or two of prep, and then an hour and a half of mindless cooking in the oven. Okay, so this version requires you to brush the bird twice with sauce, but I know that you can handle it! Serve with salad for an easy summer supper.

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Vegan, Paleo, SCD, GFCF, Sugar-free option

2.5 cups passata tomato sauce*

1 finely diced medium onion, or 1/2 TBSP onion powder

1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup), or 1/3 cup erythritol

3 cloves garlic, crushed, or 1 tsp garlic salt

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp sugar free yellow mustard

1/4-1/2 tsp chipotle powder (depending on how much heat you like!)

1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.

Add all the other ingredients, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer for 1/2 hour, stirring once or twice during that time.

Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature, and puree in a blender. I’ve been known to pour the sauce directly into my wide mouth mason storage jar, and stick blend it in the jar. If I can save myself a dish to wash, I will!

Store in the fridge for up to one week.

 

Chipotle Roast Chicken

SCD, Refined Sugar Free, GFCF

1 whole chicken

3/4 cup chipotle barbecue sauce (recipe above)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place chicken in a roasting pan, or 9″x 14″ glass pan.

Drizzle olive oil over the chicken, and give the bird a good massage to evenly distribute the oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Put pan in the oven, and roast for 1 hour.

Remove pan from oven, and using a brush, spread half of the barbecue sauce on the chicken. Put back in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, and spread with the remaining sauce. Put back in oven for a final 15 minutes.

Check doneness by cutting the leg partly away from the breast. Are the juices clear with no blood? If not, pop back in oven for 5 minutes increments, until done.

Let the chicken cool for 10-15  minutes in the pan, before removing to a cutting board or platter.

Lemon Cherry Water Kefir

Have you made your own water kefir? Of all the fermented beverages, it’s my favourite one to make. A few minutes of pouring and stirring, and 2 days later you have a flexible probiotic beverage base, to fancy up however you like. A few of our favourites are raspberry (just add 2 dozen raspberries to the second ferment), lemonade (add 1/2 cup lemon juice, skip the second ferment, and put straight into the fridge to chill), and cream soda (add 1-2 vanilla beans to the second ferment). Our hands down favourite is this combo of lemon and cherries. Oh yum! Its perfect on a hot summer day. Drink from a mason jar for a true hipster foodie experience.

Lemon Cherry Water Kefir

Lemon Cherry Water Kefir

7 cups filtered water

3/4 cups water kefir grains

1/2 cup organic cane sugar

1/4 cup organic raisins (optional)

2 cups cherries, frozen or fresh

1/2 cup lemon juice

Method:

Pour the sugar into the bottom of a large 2 quart mason jar. Pour 7 cups of water over the sugar, and stir to dissolve.

Add the water kefir grains, and the optional raisins.

Cover with a cloth, held on with a rubber band.

Let sit undisturbed for 24-48 hours, or until bubbles rise from the bottom, and the raisins float. It will take the full 48 hours in the winter, and less time in the warmer months.

Strain the water kefir into a new jar, using a plastic sieve or cheesecloth (do not use metal with kefir, it will kill the grains!).

Add the lemon juice and the cherries. If you are using fresh cherries, cut them in half to release the lovely juices into the kefir. Frozen cherries do not need to be halved.

Cover tightly with a lid, and leave on the counter for 24 hours.

Strain out the fruit, and store the lemon cherry kefir in the fridge.