Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Healthy Indulgences readers! School’s out and baking season is here. After a semester of new beginnings during which I moved back home to Florida and started my post-baccalaureate coursework, it’s time to get back in the kitchen and go on a baking spree. I’m trading in my calculator for my camera and ditching the library for the kitchen these next few weeks, bringing you holiday sweets and a couple of GIVEAWAYS!
Update: The lemon curd post and Gary Taubes summaries are on hold until the new year. We have many seasonal goodies to make over! Stay tuned…
To kickstart the baking bonanza, here are some sugar-free, gluten-free Healthy Whoopie Pies to satisfy your sweet tooth.
They’re all the rage, and perfect for an easy, kid-friendly holiday dessert. My version of these cakey cookie sandwiches with a sweet buttercream filling tastes every bit as good as the traditional dessert chock full of flour, sugar, and shortening! Made with ground almonds, a little oat flour, pure unsweetened cocoa powder, and natural sweeteners, you can feel good about indulging in these treats after your holiday feast. Actually, they’re wonderful any time of the year. In fact, you should make these right now. You need fuel to get through all that gift-wrapping and baking, right?!
This healthy chocolate dessert is rich, decadent, and ridiculously simple to prepare. You might just find yourself eating chocolate mousse for the next few weeks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Did I mention this mousse is sugar-free, low carb, and so easy a caveman [with a blender] could do it?
Many thanks to the Pioneer Woman for developing the method for this fabulous recipe. She even has photos showing how to make this dessert, although there are no chocolate chips in my version since it’s sugar-free. She calls it Pots De Creme. I call it Chocolate Mousse. Whatever you call it, it’s a surefire hit with company, or any time you want to indulge.
As promised, here’s my printable guide and Question and Answer post for baking with sugar-free sweeteners! Thank you for submitting your sugar-free baking questions through Facebook and email.
Download the printable chart at the following link:
Sugar-Free Baking Cheat Sheet
I created this sugar-free baking tips sheet with reminders of how you use sugar-free natural sweeteners and a couple of widely available low carb artificial sweeteners. Feel free to post this chart on your own website, or link back to the chart as a reference. The more people who have access to information explaining how to use these healthy sweeteners, the better! I’ll update the body of this post (not the comments) with answers as more questions come in. You are welcome to provide your own feedback and answers to questions in the comments. I’d love to hear about your experiences with sugar-free baking, and any information you might have to add! Hopefully we can all collaborate to make this a helpful post for both fledgling and veteran sugar-free bakers.
A reader request led to the experiments that produced these paleo bread rolls, made without grains, tree nuts, or dairy.
It’s bread, made without grains! I jumped for joy a bit when these turned out so well.
The sweet aroma of yeast-y dough filled up my kitchen while I was shaping and baking these promising mounds into the perfectly browned, crusty n’ soft rolls you see below.
To my readers, who’ve wrapped their burgers in lettuce, their sammies in gluten-free wraps, and have grown accustomed to using a knife and fork for formerly handheld entrees – this one is for you guys. You who have dutifully forgone high carb, refined foods to avoid allergens, take charge of your health, and eat like Grok (Mark Sisson’s paleolithic alter ego) can eat bread again without fear. Go ahead… take a bite!
This healthy version of everyone’s favorite peanut buttery candy is quick and easy to make. Check ’em out!
Yes, we can eat peanut butter cups following a healthy, whole foods eating plan. These delicious candies melt in your mouth, and give you a dose of antioxidant rich chocolate and immune system boosting coconut oil. This recipe is pretty nifty since you can shape and flavor your chocolates any way you’d like! The possibilities are endless…
This is going to be the first in a series of quick and easy desserts that can be made with primal (or paleolithic diet-friendly) ingredients. I’ll include a low carb (sometimes sugar-free) version for each of these recipes as well, of course.
Quick announcement: Healthy Indulgences now has a Twitter @ indulgehealthy (add me, er… follow me?)
These are not your typical granola bars. What’s so special about ’em? Look closely…
You don’t see any oats, do you? Or sugar. I know you can’t see there’s no sugar, but I promise you it’s not there (okay, so there’s 1 tiny teaspoon of honey in the whole recipe!). Low carbers and gluten-free eaters, take heart. These snack bars are sure to satisfy your craving for this formerly forbidden treat.
Why have I made carrot cake over ten times in the past three days? To come up with a Healthy Carrot Cake that’s low in carbohydrates and gluten-free for you! This fragrant and flavorful cake is also dairy-free and nut-free, if you omit the classic add in of chopped walnuts. I promise you won’t miss the raisins in this nourishing carrot cake that’s not just healthy “because it has vegetables in it!” 😉 The other bad stuff–those culprits named Sugar and Flour–are conspicuously left out of this recipe. All of that grating was totally worth it.
There is a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses–which is technically a sugar–in this recipe. It’s a thick, dark iron-rich syrup made from the sugarcane plant. This molasses is potent stuff, and contributes a rich flavor and coloring to the cake. You can leave molasses out to be completely sugar-free, but I think it’s worth the 4 grams of carbs.
You can bake the cake into a traditional rectangular loaf, or snack-sized mini muffins. Get creative and have fun with your sugar-free frosting! It pipes well, using a zip top bag with the corner snipped off.
A bit of food coloring can transform your homemade low carb treats into festive, eye-catching confections worthy of special occasions. Check the food coloring label for hidden sugar before you buy. I made the mistake of not checking the label of the Wilton gel coloring I used here, and saw it contained corn syrup, much to my dismay! That pesky Sugar manages to sneak in everywhere, doesn’t it? McCormick food colors, found in most grocery stores, are sugar-free. I’ve tried a couple of organic dyes, and unfortunately neither of them yielded satisfactory results. You need so little coloring for an entire batch of frosting that I’m not too worried about the health effects. If you have any recommendations for natural food dye, let us know in the comments, please.
The frosting is absolutely delicious any color you make it. It’s a new and improved Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting, with a special low carb ingredient that might be familiar to the Asian and Indian readers of this blog…
I realize I’ve done a few pies in the past few posts, and I’m letting you know there are definitely other treats on the agenda coming up. I’m just really loving cold and creamy low carb pies for this warm weather we’re having here in NC!
There is another coconut cream pie recipe posted here, which I made back in December. This one is a little different since it is free of any starch thickeners. It’s better tasting and lower in carbohydrates, which is good news for diabetic and primal readers. Now, I realize dairy is in no way primal, but it is a food group that I consume quite frequently since my Northern European ancestors conferred upon me the ability to handle it pretty well! You might try making this pie with coconut cream, but whipping it to a fluffy and light consistency has proven difficult since it is more stiff than regular cream.
The multiple steps make this recipe sound complicated, but it’s really just a bit of a drawn out process. I recommend doing little tasks (blog surfing, laundry folding, etc.) during the intervals between the steps. I promise you that the labor will be well worth it.
I’m not ashamed to admit this slice was gone within minutes of the photo being taken!
This pie is one of my top three favorite desserts of all time. It was gobbled up within a couple of days by my family when I made it as a Christmas treat! It’s got just the right balance of sweetness and richness, with a delicate, light filling and a hint of coconut flavor to tantalize your tastebuds.
Here’s a sweet treat for you peanut butter lovers out there! If you are allergic to everyone’s favorite legumes, try substituting in smooth almond butter for a nutty flavor.
Try sprinkling chopped peanuts on top (instead of the sliced almonds pictured here). I improvised with what I had on hand.