3 articles Tag low sugar

Making Our Own Raw Chocolate with Indigo Herbs

Indigo Herbs Raw ChocolateSince I’ve been on a ketogenic diet, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and what we should be putting in our bodies, which in turn has made me hyper-conscious about what is in the food we eat. Even on a rare “cheat” day, I’m checking labels and have still been known to shun food which are pure sugar or artificial ingredients, which is why I was really intrigued when Indigo Herbs offered to send me one of their raw chocolate kits, containing everything we need to make our own raw chocolates.

So what, I hear you ask, is raw chocolate? Well, the guys at Indigo Herbs say it a lot better than I can:

“Much of the Cacao bean’s natural goodness gets destroyed in the heating process of conventional chocolate making. Consequently the feel good factor often experienced when eating chocolate is significantly more noticeable with raw chocolate because much more of the feel good chemical compounds remain intact. The Cacao bean is naturally so rich in nutrients that when the ingredients are handled and processed at low temperatures, these micro-nutrients remain available.”

The kit was really beautifully packaged and would make an excellent gift for an health-conscious foodie, and it was so simple to make that I let Sausage and Burrito Baby help too. The instructions on the kit are really clear and concise and I think Sausage could actually have managed all by herself if it wasn’t for needing me to sort out the bain marie. We made them at the dining room table and the whole room smelled AMAZING by the time we’d finished.

In terms of taste, the chocolates were genuinely some of the best I’ve ever tried. The brazil nuts and goji berries, combined with the slightly bitter raw chocolate flavour made them feel decadent and satisfying – there’s no way you could over-indulge on these because one or two is enough to well and truly satiate your sweet tooth. Before I cut carbs out of my diet, I had a monster sweet tooth and could eat chocolate almost endlessly, but eating a diet which consists mostly of savoury food has sort of reset my taste buds, making even the smallest morsel of sweet food enough.

Obviously, the beauty of these chocolates is the ingredients. There’s literally nothing in them which isn’t totally natural and the sugar comes from agave nectar which is a low-GI sweetener and doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar. Nutrition-wise, the chocolates have 72 calories per portion, which is made up of 4.9g carbs, 3.1g fat and 1.2g protein – perfect for someone like me who is on under 20g of carbs per day – keeping these in the fridge to have with a cup of coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up would not only be a welcome addition to a largely savoury menu but is also a real morale booster. There’s huge mental value to being able to treat yourself to something which is basically guilt-free when you’re on a restricted diet.

I’m genuinely really impressed by the kit on so many levels – it looks good, it contains everything you need, its easy to use and the results are fantastic. I’d be thrilled to receive one of these kits as a gift and also love the fact that I feel confident in giving them to my children because the ingredients are all natural. Thanks to Indigo Herbs for introducing us to raw chocolate – we’re definite converts! (Get Your Raw Chocolate Kit here)

Bread Maker Low Carb Recipe

bread maker low carb recipeFor the past year and a half, Husband has been on a kick to get himself healthier by watching what he eats and doing a combination of running and weight lifting; he’s done amazingly well and his fitness levels are really impressive. I’m usually the main cook of the household so it’s been my mission to find as many new and varied recipes to keep his diet healthy but interesting as there’s nothing worse that the same 5 chicken breast dinners on rotation when you’re trying to improve your health!

One of his main requirements is to keep his carb intake as low as possible, as new research shows that it’s not fat which causes weight problems but carbs and refined sugars, which can make eating anything bread-based really tricky. However, investing in a bread maker has really helped because it means we can make our own low-carb loaves without needing to worry about finding pre-made ones in the shops. Here’s the recipe we use:

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Low Carb Breadmaker Recipe
 
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A low carb recipe for your breadmaker
Author:
Recipe type: Low Carb/Keto
Cuisine: Bread
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda sugar substitute
  • 1⁄3 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup soy flour
  • 3⁄4 cup vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
Instructions
  1. Using a 1 pound capacity bread maker, combine ingredients according to order given in bread maker manual.
  2. Select 'light' browning setting.
  3. Don't remove bread until it is cooled.
  4. Cut into slices, and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

It’s such a simple, easy to make recipe if you have a bread maker, which is basically zero effort but yields a really decent loaf of bread without the worry about going over daily carb allowances. We tend to use erythritol as our sugar substitute because it’s a sugar alcohol and doesn’t cause a spike in sugar levels, which is exactly what you want if you’re trying to maintain ketosis in your body.

If you’ve got any questions about the recipe, using a bread maker, or just fancy a chat about ‘going keto’, please do leave me a comment below. Happy baking!

 

Coconut and Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (low sugar recipe)

Chia seeds are, in the world of food trends, pretty huge at the moment and it’s easy to see why. In terms of nutrition they’re quite a little power-house, containing more Omega-3 than salmon, pound for pound. The seeds come from a plant which is related to mint (although they don’t taste minty) and are high in fibre, protein and calcium amongst other things, and eating them has been proven to aid weight-loss. Some of us in the MTW house are a little iffy when it comes to dairy, which can make getting enough calcium hard, so adding chia will really help.

Chia Seeds

Getting seeds into your diet can be quite tricky if you don’t know how to prepare them, but luckily with chia seeds it’s really easy to make them into a pudding which uses just a few ingredients and is amazingly good for you. As you’ll know if you’ve gone through some of my slow cooker posts, we try to limit our sugar here in the Mum’s the Word house and instead opt for erythritol, which is actually a sugar alcohol which contains NO calories and none of the nasties of something like aspartame, and is zero-GI, making it completely safe for use by diabetics. If you also need Omega 3 supplements, this is our recommended site.

I’ve played around with a few chia seed pudding recipes, adapting as I go, and have ended up with something we all love…even Chuck likes it!!

Here’s how we make OUR chia seed pudding:

Coconut and Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding (low sugar recipe)
 
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A delicious pudding made from chia seeds and just a few other ingredients.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Healthy
Serves: 5x100ml portions
Ingredients
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • ½ a cup of chia seeds
  • 1½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ a cup of erythritol
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Shaved coconut (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend for 1-2 minutes until all of the ingredients are combined
  3. Pour into ramekins or individual serving bowls
  4. Top with a little shaved coconut (if you like it)
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 100ml Calories: 226 Fat: 19g Saturated fat: 13g Carbohydrates: 16g Sugar: 0.1g Sodium: 0 Fiber: 12g Protein: 4g

The thing that we love about this pudding is that it’s sweet enough to feel like a real treat for dessert, but not so sweet that it would feel overwhelming as a breakfast. A small 100ml portion is also incredibly filling and feels like a really nice alternative to porridge, especially if it’s a hot day and you don’t want to go off in the morning laden with a belly-full of hot oats!

chai seed pudding

Obviously, the flavour is very coconutty, which is great if you’re a fan of coconut, but not ideal if you aren’t, however you can also flavour it with other things. Husband uses protein powder as a supplement after weight-lifting and I’m thinking of adding a scoop of either chocolate or banana next time we make it (or maybe BOTH!) to see how it affects the flavour. I think people also add raw cacao powder to the mixture too, but I’ve not tried that yet.

Do let me know what you think if you give this a try, or if you have any alternative recipes for things to do with chia!