May 2009 archive

Healthier Chocolate Cake with a Secret

Cake.

Sugar-Free, Healthy Chocolate Cake (Made from Black Beans!)
Chocolate cake!

Chocolate cake made without flour, sugar, or dairy. Low carb and gluten-free, of course. Cake made out of a surprise ingredient, one that will make you wrinkle you’re nose upon hearing it. This cake is good. So good, in fact, that I had to have a mug of stevia-sweetened pomegranate tea and go to bed, so I’d stop shaving off “test” slices.

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Coconut Flour Brownies, revisited–Gluten-free and Delicious!

Healthy Coconut Flour Brownies

Coconut flour is so much fun to play with! It’s so much easier to measure out versus grinding up almonds each time I want to bake. Get some and I promise you’ll be hooked on the richness of this gluten-free, low carb “flour.”

Interjection to share some science nerdiness. Check out this study on LDL in heart attack patients. Who knew that lower LDL is associated with increased mortality? And more of the low LDL patients were diabetic. Curious, very curious…

Remember these brownies? They’re delicious when undercooked, but turn cakey and dry if you leave them in the oven a minute too long. I know how annoying it is to waste these expensive natural ingredients on recipes full of fail, so I am sorry if you have been caused grief by moisture-sucking overcooked brownies. This new and improved version of sugar-free low carb coconut flour brownies is MUCH less temperamental, and pretty much foolproof in terms of the baking time. Thanks to Buffy at Low Carb Friends for bringing this inspiring recipe to my attention! These brownies are not gooey or chewy, but fudgy and dense. They’re more milk chocolate than most chocolate treats I’ve made, which is refreshing. If you enjoy these brownies as much as my roommates do, you’ll want to stockpile coconut flour for many more batches!

A note about ingredients: Use the highest quality pastured butter you can find for optimal results. I bought a bunch of Kerrygold butter on sale, and have found that it lends such a pleasant buttery taste to everything I use it in. So worth the not-on-sale price! I’ll be using Kerrygold in the recipes you see here from now on. When baking with no sugar and no flour, it’s recommended to use the best of the ingredients we CAN work with! Also, for those of you who don’t use erythritol, I’m pretty sure these brownies would work with 1/4 cup raw honey and 3/4 teaspoon of stevia. This will add 68 grams net carbs to the recipe, making each brownie about 9.5 grams net carbs. Be aware that with the honey/stevia combo, they won’t be as sweet as traditional brownies.

Remember to keep your mitts off of these for a full night in the fridge. I don’t know why, but it seems that baked goods made with coconut flour take a full night to “settle” into their full decadent yumminess. Just make up a batch, toss ‘em in the freezer, and go to bed. Or watch SVU reruns on USA all night. Or read Good Calories, Bad Calories under the covers. Just do something to avoid cutting into this chocolately goodness until it achieves its full potential!

Then wake up and grab yourself a delicious and nutritious sugar-free low carb brownie. For breakfast. You know you want to!

Healthy Coconut Flour Brownies

Serves 12-16

Ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 sticks salted organic butter (3/4 cup), softened
OR 1 stick butter, 8 ounces sour cream (for more moist brownies)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup sifted Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
3/4 cup erythritol or xylitol OR 1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals pure stevia extract (increase to 1 teaspoon if using honey)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brush both sides of an 8″ by 8″ (or 11″ by 7″ for thinner brownies) pan with coconut oil, or spray with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray. Place a cut square of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.

Beat softened cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in butter, vanilla, and sweetener. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add eggs one at a time to cream cheese mixture, and beat until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and heavy cream. Fold in nuts. Pour chocolate mixture into prepared pan, and smooth top with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes for the wider pan, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, and top feels firm to the touch. When done, place pan on wire rack and cool completely. Cool pan of brownies overnight in the refrigerator. Slice into 12-16 squares, and serve. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container, or freeze cut brownies, individual wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil.

~4g net carbs per 1/12th of a recipe

Coconut Flour Pound Cake

Coconut Flour Pound Cake

It’s so nice to have a bit more time to blog now that summer is here. I’ll have more gluten-free low carb recipes coming your way, with more of a focus on primal ingredients. What do I mean by primal? Head on over to Mark’s Daily Apple and check out the primal blueprint, a paleolithic way of eating. Basically, the primal plan eschews modern processed food and the typical refined carbohydrate-heavy American diet. I don’t always stick to such a plan 100% (evidenced by this upcoming dairy laden recipe), but I make an effort to put health over convenience and at least avoid the prepackaged stuff. The primal way constitutes a budget-friendly approach for students, too. The prices of organic vegetables and wild salmon burgers are far exceeded by fast food, pints of Ben and Jerry’s and card swiping at the vending machines around campus!

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