So you think you that the reason you might not be able to go vegan is that you won’t be able to live without dairy? Well, think again because there are many reasons for you to ditch dairy.
Let me start with why dairy is not an optimal food for human consumption:
1. This is probably the most overlooked reason – it’s a calf’s (baby cow’s) first food.
2. The protein in milk – Casein – has been found to be a possible carcinogen (source: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell)
3. Casein is also highly addictive – producing casomorphins in your brain. These are opiate-like substances that make you feel euphoria creating addiction.
4. Dairy is loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol.
5. Dairy is loaded with chemicals: steroids, hormones, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, antibiotics, veterinary medications, synthetic preservatives, additives, and (possibly most disturbing) white blood cells (aka pus).
6. Contrary to popular belief propagated by the dairy industry it is not a good source of calcium – you’re better off getting calcium from green leafy vegetables.
Having that out of the way let me introduce you to Vegan Cream Cheese – made with no dairy at all.
Pre-soak your cashews in water, preferably overnight, but if you didn't plan ahead you can soak them for 15 minutes in hot water.
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and mixture resembles spreadable cream cheese. It's not going to be as solid as store-bought cream cheese. It will look like softened cream cheese.
Note1: you can play with the flavor. This basic recipe can be transformed into any flavor you desire. You can play with herbs, for example, make one batch with some fresh dill and see it transform into anything you want.
And it’s even better with a side of lentils!
This spread is calorically dense, so that’s why you want to exercise caution with your serving size. You can still overdo it, same as with “the real thing”.
Go ahead, make some for yourself. Here is a visual in a short video I put together.
Given that my previous recipe pretty much blew my mind in terms of the undetectability of the main ingredient I decided to follow suit with another sweet treat that features some sort of bean. After all, legumes are here to stay, given the new and improved, almost released Canadian Food Guidelines, so we must as well embrace them.
I decided to marry red kidney beans with chocolate for a delicious Vegan Chocolate Loaf. If you are wondering if I’ve been as successful with this recipe to disguise the Beans I can assure you that you would not be able to tell there are beans in this treat! I can guarantee you that if I were to make 2 loaves like this and only one featuring beans you could not be able to tell the difference between the two.
As for the taste test – I might be biased because I love everything chocolate, put some cocoa powder in your treat and I am all over it – but to be perfectly honest, this loaf is exquisite. It has a dense texture, due mostly to the beans, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you are hoping for a light sweet treat, however, if you are looking for a slice of cake that would pair great with a cup of tea, this is your cake! I’m not even kidding.
Add soaked dates, beans, and milk in a large food processor and integrate fairly well.
Whisk all the dry ingredients and add to your wet mixture.
Process in a food processor until you get a somewhat cakey consistency.
Add chocolate chips and mix lightly to integrate the chips evenly in the batter.
Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until your toothpick comes out dry.
Whenever I share my treats people often assume they are good for you. If you have been reading this blog you know that I don’t claim my sweet treats are, per se, good for you. I do believe they are way better than anything you buy in a package at your grocery store or at your grocery’s bakery section. However, I don’t think either choice is good for you, especially on a continuous basis, everyday type thing. If you have a slice of my loaf on a Friday night as a treat you will be just fine, but if you down it in one sitting, it will be just as detrimental to your waistline as eating an entire bag of conventional chips or cookies. And this brings me to my point: All food has calories that if added to whatever else you consume throughout the day will inevitably end up as body fat – that is if you eat more than what your body burns to live. There is absolutely no free food.
Let me elaborate… Most recently I learned that Weight Watcher (whose spokesperson apparently is now no other than Oprah) is implementing a new Freestyle counting system. They have decided that there are certain foods that just don’t count:
Flexible counting and tracking. With more than 200 zero Points foods (including favourites like chicken breast, eggs, and seafood) you can form the foundation of a healthy and satisfying menu – and never feel deprived!
So, in a nutshell, what they are saying is that amongst other food items: chicken breast (3oz=210calories), eggs(1 egg = 140 calories) and seafood(5oz salmon=250 calories) can be eaten with no regard for their nutritional value. According to WW you can eat as much as you want of those calorically dense foods and not count them as consumed.
If you ask me, whoever is behind this point idea is not only brilliant but also a great business person – oh wait, a quick google search revealed that she was, in fact, a business entrepreneur! Well, this Weight Watchers business certainly was and continues to be a success – it follows a prime example of a sustainable business model.
It amazes me to no end how this company can have such great following when they tell you to eat as much as you want of A B and C because supposedly they don’t count – I guess we really know that little about simple human physiology because we keep flocking to WW meetings like it’s some sort of a new age savior, yet year after year our waistlines are not getting any smaller. But I will admit it is a brilliant way to make sure people keep coming back. Make sure those waistlines will never get any smaller by telling people there are certain foods that don’t have any points – we’ll feel encouraged to eat them with no regard and will keep the weight on or in most cases put on more.
So what about the people who are successful with Weight Watcher? After all, there are some success stories that keep motivating the rest of us. It’s simple: any diet will work as long as you keep your calories (not points) below the amount of food that you expend via daily activities. Period. You can eat twinkies and burgers and wash them down with non-diet coke and still lose weight, as long as you keep your food intake below what your body burns. It’s a simple equation that should be well known and understood. So the question one has to ask themselves: What do I want to fuel my body with? Do I want to fuel my body with nutritionally void foods or do I want to nourish it with whole foods? If it’s the former then you also need to know that eating nutritionally empty calories (and Weight Watchers does encourage eating that way, they also sell packaged manufactured foods ) then keep in mind that sooner or later it will catch up with you. Just look at the American population dying of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. Secondly, eating manufactured packaged food-like items is a trap that nobody escapes – you will not end at eating one because they do not satisfy, they are not even half as satiating as whole foods.
So what are you to do? I say, save your hard earned money that you otherwise would give to Weight Watchers and buy real food, preferably plant food and get an app on your phone that will track (for free) the calories (not points) you are eating. Go online to calculate the number of calories your body (at your age, size and activity level) needs to function optimally, take away between 200-500 calories from that max, eat real food and see the weight melt away! I know what you will say, you will say “Oh, that’s so hard, so time-consuming, etc. etc.” Yes, losing weight takes effort, if it were easy none of us would have any to lose and WW would be out of business. The way WW is failing most of us is by implying that losing weight is a piece of cake that you can also eat – that’s a lie. It isn’t easy and unless you are ready to accept that, you will continue the vicious cycle. You need to put a lot of effort and a lot of thought into shedding some pounds if you want to do it the conventional way. To make things easier simply switch to Plant-Based Whole Foods diet.
This was a rant, I realize, but there is nothing that pisses me off more than a multimillion dollar company that takes advantage of uninformed people. I get visibly upset when people talk about WW and how they have to get back on the plan that I had to put in my 2 cents about how horribly wrong WW is. If you stuck around this far here is my video for the Vegan Chocolate Loaf 🙂
Remember my Poppy Seed Cakes recipe that almost turn out to be a disaster but I somehow managed to save it by switching gears and turning a roulade into a cupcake like treat? Well, it sort of happened again this weekend. Even though that initial Poppy Seed Cake recipe almost ended up in the garbage bin I really liked how the final product tasted so I reused the almond flour batter to make some cookies. Surprise, surprise they also almost did not materialize. I guess I have a knack for pulling recipes out of a fire when they flop 🙂
I won’t bore you with a big write up about how these almost did not come to be, instead I leave you with the recipe, some pictures and a video that explains it all. I will say, even though I was quite apprehensive to put my voice into the video, I enjoyed the process and hope you enjoyed listening to my cookie story at least half as much. It was not easy to put myself out there for everybody to judge. But hey, nobody’s perfect, least of all me and my recipes.
You really won’t need much for this cookie – if you are worried about the 2 ingredients that might not be readily available at your local grocery store you can skip them – I’m starting to think they might have been the reason why this cookie almost flopped.
Mix all the dry ingredients, making sure to get rid of any lumps.
Add eggs, extracts, butter and coconut oil and mix well.
Do not forget to sweeten your batter, otherwise it will taste more like a cracker than a cookie, which wouldn't totally ruin it, but people will laugh at you if you still call it a cookie.
If you wish you can put the chocolate chips and nut butter into the batter like I ended up doing in the end or you can attempt to fill the inside of the cookies with each. I can spare you the frustration - it won't work, so you might as well just integrate all the ingredients in the batter.
Form cookies and put in the over at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.
When I first came to Canada I was convinced I hit a jackpot in respect to the country I decided to call my home. I still do, but for different reasons now – 16 years after I first set foot in this country than upon my arrival. Back then I marveled at the conveniences of daily life like the abundance of ready to eat meals, or the cheapness of processed foods and the ease at which one could (and still can) avail of food at fast-food restaurants at a very small cost. 16 years ago those conveniences were extremely appealing to me because where I came from , even though they were available, not very many families could afford them – processed foods such as candy were only bought sporadically (usually on a payday that happened once a month), visiting a fast-food restaurant was only a special occasion thing and as for ready-to-eat meals in cardboard boxes – they were only slowly emerging at that time and had a very high price tag. So, all in all I had not to that point partaken in all the “eye-candy” nutrition that now all of a sudden was at my fingertips. And of course, I fell for those cheap conveniences – you can read about it more in my About Page, but I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next. Long story short – I’ve learned a lot about food in the past 16 years that now I chose carefully what I put in my mouth. That doesn’t mean I don’t like food or that I have some unhealthy relationship with food, if anything I’ve learned to understand food and nutrition better than ever before – I’ve taught myself about the dangers of malnutrition. And to me malnutrition does not only mean lack of proper food, to me it also means eating highly processed, fake foods. And this is why I spend time preparing my own food from scratch instead of going for the convenience of ready to go meals. Like I said I still like food and that includes treats – that’s why, just like for my savoury meals I do not settle for store-bought treats. What you get from a wrapper is loaded with sugar and other additives that I would rather avoid in my diet. People who know me know not to offer me candy and we have an understanding that they can skip me when when they do their rounds offering people sweets. On the other hand, those who don’t know me, find me weird for turning down free candy. And I’m fine with that – the weirder the better. So, I came up with my own version of chocolates a while back that contains only the ingredients that I am willing to consume. This recipe was made for valentines this year – I guess I’m too slow for themed blog posts ;), but to have a lovely chocolate cup does not require that there be a holiday, does it? Hope you enjoy them nonetheless!
Add Coconut Purée and integrate with the melted Cocoa Butter.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for Macadamia Nuts and mix well.
Place a nut of choice in a silicone mold - I used a peanut butter cup mold, but any will do and fill up with the chocolate mixture to cover the nut.
Place the mold on a cooling rack and slide into your freezer. I highly recommend the cooling rack technique, because otherwise you will make a mess trying to place the silicone mold into the freezer without stabilizing it first. It is rather flimsy.
Leave it in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until chocolate has set.
When fully hardened put the individual chocolate cups out of their molds and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I’m not sure how helpful my videos are, but these chocolates were so simple to make that it was a breeze to put together this little video. With the ease and really not much time put into making these I don’t see why anybody should settle for sugar laden factory made chocolates… Maybe I’m just an odd-one out – hell I know I am, but I like to know that I am putting only good quality ingredients in my food. Sure, it’s easier to pick up a chocolate bar at a grocery store, but it’s way more satisfying to make them myself 🙂 Enjoy and give me a thumbs up.
I will admit to being a bit of a snob when it comes to some dietary approaches. For example, I have always scoffed at such claims as Gluten-free, Vegan, Organic etc. I’ve always considered those labels just a money grab by big food companies who put them even on things that are inherently gluten-free just to be able to charge a premium for it. Just think about it, if water gets a label “gluten free” don’t you feel like you’re getting taken in? I do. So, I view products with these claims as gimmicks and if I want to make my meals follow a certain dietary approach I just make them from scratch instead of buying ready to go meals that supposedly are gluten-free, vegan or organic etc. Also, if you think that you are going to be healthier by following any of these “diets” think again, the gluten-free, vegan or organic versions of regular junk are still junk – they are just parading as better than the regular. This is not to say that if you really have a gluten intolerance, celiac disease or simply want to eliminate gluten from your diet because you believe eating gluten-free is healthier doesn’t mean you can’t do so, just don’t fall for the fancy packaged foods, because they are just as bad as the gluten variety.
I’ve mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I draw my current inspiration from a vegan bodybuilder – as a result I inevitably ended up emulating some of her recipes. These are a modified version of her recipe and I can’t recommend them enough. If you are looking for an alternative to overly processed and sweet cookies that our grocery store isles are laden with, this is a recipe for you. They are a child’s play (literally) to make and you might be surprised how rich and decadent they are. If you do prefer a sweeter cookie you can make them as sweet as you like, but I opted out for very little sweetener. This way I was able to let the ingredients speak for themselves rather than making a sweet bomb.
Put all the nuts, goji berries and seeds in a food processor and pulse until they are ground. They don't need to be ground extremely fine - pulse about 10 minutes. Not too long because you will turn them into a paste.
Transfer your ground nuts, goji berries and seeds into a large bowl.
Add melted coconut oil, nut butter, maqui powder, protein powders, lucuma powder and a few drops of stevia (more if you want a sweeter cookie)
Integrate all the ingredients together.
Add enough water for the dough to become slightly sticky - I think for me it was about 1-2 cups, but you really need to go by how the mixture feels and how well you are able to form your cookies.
Weigh out about 65g of your dough and form into a cookie shape.
Roll in some unsweetened coconut flakes and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Transfer into an airtight container and store in the fridge.
NOTE: As for my choice of protein powder that's what I had on hand so that's what I ended up using. Any protein powder will do - the ones I used are plant based, but if you prefer whey or casein you will be just as successful.
NOTE: The ingredients that are not easily found in the grocery store I personally purchased online (see links) but they are not indispensable in this recipe. They add antioxidants and minerals to my recipe but you can just as easily skip them with no repercussions to the recipe.
Couple of years ago I’ve got sucked into the social media trend and started using Instagram. I had joined the Facebook wagon a long time before that in 2007, but I kept resisting IG for quite a while. I didn’t see the purpose of it, after all if I wanted to share some pictures I would have simply created an online photo gallery, which I did do multiple of times at different sites such as Flickr or Picasa. But, by looking at my sidebar where I feature my IG pictures, you know I eventually caved in and joined in on the fun.
Why am I saying all this? Well, I, like just about anybody out there, am very impressionable by what I see. In other words, if you walk the talk you will have my attention and I will be interested in what you are saying. If you don’t walk the talk and it shows, I will ignore your preachings. And before anybody even begins to form the criticism of that statement by saying that people use photoshop and filters to improve what they put out on IG, let me say that I am aware of that and I believe I can see through it. So, long story short, I’ve been fascinated by a vegetarian bodybuilder for a while now – her name is Geraldine Morgan. In fact, I must give her credit for my Basic Savoury Pancake, because her food posts have inspired me to make one myself.
If you’re following any dietary news, especially in the bodybuilding sphere, you know there is a lot of controversy and dispute as to what’s the best macro ratios for building muscle. In fact, some will argue that you absolutely cannot build any amount of muscle by avoiding meat aka animal protein. Well, have a look at Geraldine and tell me she doesn’t carry a great amount of muscle on her frame! She can easily put to shame not only some women but also males trying to build muscle!
I’ve got so inspired by her posts, her work ethic and simply by her appearance that I decided to go meatless for a week. I would say I did rather well and didn’t really miss meat that much. I’ve actually increased my protein intake slightly, my carbs went up just a notch only because I decided to include some fruit in my morning post-workout meal and I was still able to keep my fats at a comfortable level to stay in a ketogenic state by including a lot of home-made nut butters, avocados, eggs and coconut oil. It was quite liberating not to have to worry about my main protein for a meal – I simply stuck to eggs, my savoury pancake (which can also be called a protein pancake for its high protein content) and last but not least my old time favorite cottage cheese creation. I supplemented liberally with hemp seeds, vegan protein powder, nuts and to a lesser extent with chia seeds. I liked it so much that I think I will continue this regiment into the second week!
And this is an example of what I would have for breakfast every single morning with the exception of the orange which I swapped for blueberries and plums. If you have been following my sweetener resolution you will now know that I’ve only been able to reduce my stevia usage, but not eliminate it completely – I still have a very strong sweet tooth that I am trying to control. I still believe I am doing pretty good and this type of breakfast makes everything better, every single morning 🙂
This can be transformed 100 different ways by playing with flavours.
500g Dry Pressed Cottage Cheese
125ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
Stevia to taste
4 drops of Orange Extract
20g Unsweetened Cocoa
Combine Cottage Cheese, Skyr and Milk until smooth in a food processor.
Add more milk if desired.
Add Stevia, Cocoa Powder and Orange Extract.
Process until very smooth.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Please note even though I am promoting this as a ketogenic meal it is not very high in fat. This DOES NOT prevent it from being a keto food simply because one can add as much fat to this meal as desired. Toppings is where you can play with the fat content.
And as tradition would have it I put it all together in a quick video – actually it ended up being my longest video yet – but I believe that all 8 minutes of it is worth your time! So have a look and give me a thumbs up if you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to subscribe for more.
If you have ever been on any type of regimen to lose weight or to become healthier (which btw. are not always synonymous) you’ve probably come across the notion that as long as you eat healthily you can eat a lot and it won’t matter. I hear it all the time. I make a sugar-free cake and all of a sudden my brain thinks it’s a free for all, eat-the-whole-cake kind of a deal. But whether you use healthy sugar-free ingredients or not it’s still a cake – if you have one too many slices it will go right into your thighs and buttocks. Why is it so hard to remember?
Food is energy and it doesn’t matter what type of food it is (perceived to be healthy or unhealthy), if you eat more than you can use, it will most certainly be stored in your body especially when you’re already carrying too much weight on your frame. If you are already super lean, then it might be a different story (more about that in a future post), but for now, let’s assume that we all have some padding we could spare.
A common misconception that fuels the if-it’s-healthy-there-is-no-limits mantra is the idea that there are healthy and unhealthy versions of sugar. Let me explain: there’s been quite a bit of stirring news in recent years about the dangers of consuming too much white sugar that now almost everybody agrees that white refined sugar is bad and should be avoided or its consumption be minimized. You’d think that this is a positive outcome, but you’d be wrong. We still crave the sweet taste so we arbitrarily decided that we will find sugar replacements or “healthy versions” of sugar. We’ve been taught that because honey is made by bees it is somehow different than white sugar and it’s even considered a healthy sweetener – how many times have you heard somebody say to have some hot water with honey when you’re sick? Honey will not only not cure your cold, but it will make you sicker by spiking your blood glucose, the same way that white sugar will.
Another fraud that we have have fallen victims of at least once in our lives is being perpetrated by the the organic food industry : think organic molasses, organic coconut sugar, even simple white sugar parades as a healthy alternative because the label reads it’s organic. This is the biggest and most successful food scam that I have ever seen – not only are you still eating sugar, you are also paying through the roof for it. A 4.4lbs pound of non-organic white sugar sells for $1.99 and 2lbs of the organic variety is $5!
The list goes on… if you think you are somehow doing yourself a favour by switching from sugar to Maple Syrup, Agave Syrup, Coconut Palm Sugar, Brown Rice Syrup etc. you are fooling yourself. They are all metabolised by the body the same way as sugar – in the liver – and have a glycemic index around that of white sugar – anywhere between 50 and 70. Sure, you could be harming yourself even more by consuming maltodextrin whose GI is 100, but you could also be doing much better by not fooling yourself with “healthier” versions of sugar.
Pure Canada Maple has a great little spin on their website about the benefits of consuming Maple Syrup that touts its antioxidant, mineral and vitamin content. It looks impressive enough to make me want to chug on some straight from the bottle… until I remember that it is a sugar and it will make my body go bonkers trying to deal with a surge of blood glucose, my insulin will try to lower it and redirect it into liver and muscle as glycogen and when that’s full and it will be full very quickly, it will deposit the rest on my thighs. I also looked at their little comparison table trying to convince us that the nutritional information of Maple Syrup is so much more superior to that of other sugars… until you look at the calorie and sugar content that is on par with its neighbors:
What counts the most is the damaging sugar content in all those sweeteners – this is the deciding factor of how much these sugars are going to harm your body and in effect negate the other micronutrient content. You can get your vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from other sources that will not spike your blood glucose and make you fat.
This idea that there are better options of white sugar paired with the first notion that if something is healthy we can eat unlimited amounts of it, followed by the revelation that there is no such thing as healthy sugar alternatives creates an atomic bomb kind of problem. If the sugar alternatives are just as bad as white sugar (and they are) but we perceive them as better, less harmful and as a result eat more of them then we might as well have been eating the white stuff in fear and moderation all that time and be better off for it. Now, we’re eating more of the sweet stuff and the results is we are harming ourselves more than before!
So what’s the solution? – you ask. When I first started being aware of the damaging effects of sugar on my body in 2005 what really did it for me was to get rid off all sugar altogether. I went cold turkey to heal my body and it worked like a charm. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to do that, most of us want to have the cake and eat it too. Damned be all the social media food porn that teases us with the picture perfect images of various treats! Yes, I blame the social media – when I first started using IG, I swear to my food processor, I did get dummer! I bought in to all those pretty pictures of supposedly healthy sweet alternatives and started experimenting with substitutes myself. Mind you, my substitutes were never the above mentioned sweeteners, because by then I knew better. I picked my sweeteners of choice based on their blood glucose effect, forgetting completely that it’s still the sweet taste that mattered
and whether a sweetener has calories and high GI rating or not, it is still telling our brain that sweet stuff is coming. So my vices were and still are: Pure 100% Stevia, Pure 100% Erythritol (or a blend of those two) and to a lesser extent 100% Xylitol. When I say 100% pure I mean without any bulking agents – remember you have to look at the ingredient list – if your Stevia, Erythritol or Xylitol contain bulking agents like Maltodextrin or even Sugar, you might as well just be eating straight white sugar. Those 3 sweeteners have no or very little effect on blood glucose which is good, but consuming them daily does mess with my brain. I never thought I would say this out loud – because prior to my use of these sweeteners I consumed sugar based foods only once a month – but I now believe that the sweet taste (regardless what sweetener it comes from) consumed on a daily basis makes me want to eat more than I would normally eat. And it’s not even the idea of them being calorie free, I simply get a feeling of dissatisfaction and disappointment when the treat is gone that I reach for another piece and another and another, until the feeling turns into a disappointment with myself…
All this to say that the sweet stuff is here to stay and as much as I can make sure that packaged stuff doesn’t
contain any added sugar, I can’t in my right mind say that I will never consume any sweet treats. I’d be lying to myself and you. Our weekly grocery shopping includes many items that are high carb and high sugar because other members of my family do consume them. So I am surrounded by the carbage that taunts me on a daily basis. Do I like the taste of carbs? Yes! Do I have weak
moments? Yes! And I try to deal with them by creating my own “better” recipes that don’t contain sugar. Does it work? Most times it doesn’t, because I, like everybody else, have learned to believe that the sugar replacers are somehow better and my inhibitions get lowered and self control goes out the window and before I knew it, my latest low carb creation – The Poppy Seed Cakes – was gone!
If you read this far, you probably gathered that my New Year’s Resolution is not doing as well as I would have hopped and you would be correct. Granted, I’m not having my sweet treat every
day, but when I do my sweet tooth kicks in with triple the strength and I want to eat a horse made out of chocolate 😉
So I decided to try something new – this is probably an old wives tale, but I don’t care – they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so starting today until March 18th I’m quitting Stevia, Erythritol and Xylitol (the only sweeteners I’ve been using for years now) to see if my sweet cravings subside. So, no treats, no pancakes, not even once a week. I’m fed up! You should join me too and let me know how you’re doing in the comments section.
In the meantime, I leave you with the creation that became the source of inspiration for this long rant – Poppy Seed Cakes. It is, of course an all time childhood favorite turned low-carb, but I momentarily forgot that it was still a sweet treat and inhaled them quicker than the speed of light – I am not even kidding. By now, they are all gone, of course. If you think you can apply self control better than me, I highly encourage you to try them, because they were truly off the hook delicious – I guess that’s partly to blame for their disappearance 😉
Bring 1 cup of Almond Milk to a boil and add your Poppy Seeds, 1tbs Truvia, Stevia and 1tsp of Almond extract.
Reduce the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
When cooled off process Poppy Seeds through a grinder to break down the seeds - repeat 4-5 times.
Add 2 Egg Yolks, mix well.
Gently fold in 2 whipped Egg Whites into the poppy seed mixture.
Mix together in a bowl: Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, 2tbs Truvia and Baking Powder.
Add 2 Eggs, melted Coconut oil and Butter and mix well.
Using silicone muffin cups line the bottom of the cup with a tablespoon of the dough, pressing with your fingers line the bottom completely.
Add a tablespoon of the Poppy Seed mix.
Cover the Poppy Seed mixture with another layer of the dough.
Repeat until all your dough and Poppy Seed mixture is used up.
Preheat the oven to 350F and bake 45 minutes or until your cups turn brown on the tops.
This recipe was originally supposed to be in a shape of a roulade called Poppy Seed Roll, but having very little experience baking with these ingredients I had to improvise quickly. When I realized that rolling this closed would pose a problem I turned the recipe into individual cakes by using silicone muffin cups. The dough would just not stick and hold together the same way traditional flour does.
Traditionally, since this recipe calls for potato starch and regular white flour it does come out being fairly dry, so my mom would make an icing to drizzle on top. She would use icing sugar with hot water to create it, but of course that's a no-no in my books. So I used a bit of Erythritol with hot water, but as you can see it did not produce a good looking icing. My recipe tester also disapproved by scraping it off. He found it too sweet. Next time I might grind Erythritol into a powder to imitate the icing sugar texture.
The bottom line is : whatever you decide to be your sweetener of choice for your treats make sure you use it as a treat, not as a constant, daily component of your meals – that’s why we call them treats, because they are supposed to be infrequent.
Since pork is known as the other white meat and it has now largely replaced chicken breasts from my diet it only makes sense that I incorporate it in my meals a lot. The most recent creation – which I decided to call Pork de Volaille (polish equivalent of Kotlet Devolay) – is the easiest dish I know, other than of course just frying the meat with spices in some coconut oil.
Even though it might not look like it, this recipe is another example of a transformation of a high-carb dish into a low-carb alternative. The original version packs quite a bit of carbs in the form of dried prunes. In the original recipe, each pork roll would be stuffed with mushrooms, onions, smoked sausage and a big fat pitted prune. And as you might have already guessed I simply skipped the prune to turn it into a low-carb, keto-friendly Stuffed Pork Roll.
Most people think of dried fruit as a healthy alternative to candy – dried fruit fulfills their sweet tooth and at the sand time is associated with being healthy because it bares the name fruit and is packed with fiber. The fact remains, though, that fiber will do you no good in the face of high sugar content. The sugar in dried fruit will raise blood glucose and cause an insulin spike just as much as pure sugar does – so those who are insulin resistant should avoid dried fruit, especially when paired with high fat ingredients as is the case with this meal. Dried fruit is just a glorified candy, nothing more.
Back to the meal at hand….
I leave you with another video that will unveil the whole process for this delicious Pork de Volaille. Enjoy! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for updates and like my videos to help me develop a presence for those interested in this WOE.
My mind has been in full overdrive mode (I’m not sure what I should attribute this to – I’m thinking ketones? …) trying to remember all the delicious recipes from my childhood. I recall vividly spending hours in the kitchen with my mother chopping/mixing/slicing various foods that were used as components of her recipes. It usually happened around holiday season (Christmas, Easter etc) when school was out and I felt that since there was no school work I might as well bond with my mother and learn a thing or two in the process.
Most of those recipes called for some type of starchy vegetable, so I have made it my mission to turn all of them into low carb alternatives that I can enjoy guilt free and not have to worry about being kicked out of ketosis and having my blood sugar spike up.
One of my old time favorites was a traditional Tuna Salad – mind you, it was not some ordinary tuna salad that you might find on the web by googling the phrase. No way! This was the most delicious, satisfying Tuna Salad on the face of the planet earth! The polish name, if you are so inclined, was Sałatka z Tuńczyka.
The problem with replicating the recipe today is that it was both heavy on the starches and on the fats. The original recipe called for quite a bit of cooked rice, corn and peas – all of which I do not include in my diet nowadays. And, of course, the choice of fat for the tuna salad was, most times, commercially made mayo, which also is a no-no due to highly inflammatory vegetable oils used in most mayo production. So, you know I ketofied my mom’s recipe and here is how I did it:
I totally eliminated corn and peas and I replaced conventional rice with cauliflower rice. As for mayo… Lately, I heard somebody dismissing mayo as not being that big of a deal in keto diet – insinuating that there are better ways of incorporating fats into ones diet – and while I admit I would chomp on an avocado sooner than I would eat mayo out of a jar, the truth of the matter is that mayo packs tons of flavour to any dish, if done the right way. So, I used my previously made Simple Mayo in this salad instead of settling for a grocery store bought jar.
Turn your cauliflower into cauliflower rice by processing it on high in your food processor.
Chop sweet pepper, cucumber, pickles, leek, eggs.
Mix all of the above ingredients together with tuna and salt and pepper.
Add Simple Mayo and mix well to coat all the ingredients with it.
Voilà! You have made yourself a delicious side.
You can use this as a meal on it’s own by measuring more than 100g (my suggested serving) or you can use this as a side dish with whatever meat that you happen to be serving. If you find it’s not enough food, how about having 2 sides? The sky is the limit, as usual.
And for your viewing pleasure I have put together another instructional video:
A staple meal in my mother’s kitchen when I was growing up was breaded boneless pork chops and boiled potatoes. And it wasn’t happening just in my mother’s kitchen – early Sunday afternoon you could hear the reverberation of the meat mallets pounding the pork chops in perfect unison. It was like in a Swiss clock – at 12PM – all the women took to their kitchens to cook breaded pork chops for their families.
Part of me really misses this tradition, part of me really misses the taste of the grease from the bottom of the pan drizzled all over my boiled potatoes. It was so simple, yet so satisfying that we would fight for the drippings from the pan and if there were any extra chops left, you know they would not last long and would never make it into the fridge for later consumption. Somebody would always sneak into the kitchen to grab the last one when everybody else retired to their respective bedrooms.
Today, I won’t even come close to breadcrumbs – I tried in the past, only to get really disappointed by the amount of grease that bread crumbs can absorb. And as you probably gathered by now, bread and flour does not belong in my WOE these days. In fact I haven’t had bread in years. But does it mean that I can never again have my childhood favorite meal?
Well, you know I found a way to have my Breaded Pork Chops and eat them too. Only my Pork Chops do not include heavy coatings of bread crumbs and flour – they are light as a feather 🙂
So here you have it – you may consider this another instalment of “How will I live without _______ (fill in the blank) on a LCHF diet?” – this time a perfectly breaded porkchop without the unnecessary carbage. You can enjoy the delicious breaded pork chops and not worry about the carb content in your meal – there is some carbs in coconut flour, but the amount is truly insignificant when looking at how much actually adheres to each chop. Note : that I had 5 chops and did not use up all of my “breading” mix.