food + drink

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Father's Day wasn't a big to-do around our house this past Sunday but I wanted to do something special for Dan, so I decided to make his favorite cake: Carrot Cake.  But Keto!  I always tend to give keto versions of delicious non-keto foods the ol' side-eye but this cake was seriously delicious. And with only 5.5 net carbs per slice, I can eat a slice for breakfast, ain't no thang!  

Keto Carrot Cake
Recipe slightly adapted from WholesomeYum


Cake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Erythritol (I use Swerve Confectioners)
  • 3/4 cup Butter (softened; I use Kerrygold)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup Almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cup Carrots (grated, measured loosely packed after grating)
  • 1 cup Pecans (chopped; divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup)

01/   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9 in round cake pans (springform is best) with parchment paper.  Grease the sides.

02/   In a large bowl, cream together the butter and erythritol, until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Set aside.

03/   In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

04/   Stir in the grated carrots. Fold in the chopped pecans.

05/   Transfer the batter evenly among the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is spring-y.

06/   Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cream cheese (softened, cut into cubes)
  • 4 tbsp Butter (softened, cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup Powdered erythritol (again, I use Swerve)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Heavy cream (or more if needed)

01/   Use a hand mixer to beat together the cream cheese and butter, until fluffy.

02/   Beat in the sweetener and vanilla, until well incorporated.

03/   Add cream and beat again, until creamy. You can adjust the amount of cream to desired consistency.

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Put it all together

If you aren't looking to make a fancy lookin' cake, you can just frost the two 9in. cakes like you normally would, with frosting between the layers and then on the top and sides.

I wanted my cake to have a little more style to it so I tried something new! I recently watched the Milk Bar episode of Chef's Table (if you aren't craving sweets, you absolutely will after watching it), and I loved how she used a plastic sheath mould thing (you can see what I'm talking about here) to create her naked cakes, and I also like how she deconstructed cake, mixed it with frosting and pressed that in to the mould to create layers. 

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

So that's what I did.  I took my two 9 inch cakes and cut 6 inch rounds out of them, then used the remaining pieces of cake and frosting mushed together and pressed that into the mould to make layers.  And I frosted it in a more "naked cake" style.  I think it definitely was more delicious with the layers that were frosting/cake mixed together than a standard cake-frosting-cake situation. 

I didn't feel like putting chopped pecans on the top, so I made a little carrot round flower instead, but if you want a more classic topping, cut up 1/2 cup more pecans and add those to the top!

If you want to get the nutrition info on this cake, head over to Wholesome Yum, the info might be slightly different as I didn't include a couple of the ingredients she used but it should be about the same!

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

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Keto Chocolate Cookies

Keto Chocolate Cookies

Being on a high fat, low carb diet means that you can sometimes get cravings for baked goods that are off limits.  Luckily I've found some great recipes for keto-friendly goodies and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand the other day when I was having my cookie craving so I threw them together real quick, popped 'em in the oven and was happily munching on cookies in less than an hour.  The original recipe calls for chocolate chips which was the only thing I didn't have on hand, but next time I make these I will definitely be adding those for some additional gooey goodness.

Keto Chocolate Cookies Recipes

Keto Chocolate Cookies

(makes 12-18 cookies. recipe via peace love and low carb)
Ingredients: 
1 cup natural creamy almond butter
2/3 cup confectioners erythritol (I use this brand)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon melted salted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/ Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

2/ In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, erythritol, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, eggs, butter, water, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Using an electric hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are well combined. It will be a very thick dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3/ Form the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch balls. This will produce 12 good sized cookies. You can make them smaller to yield more cookies.

4/ Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. At the 9-10 minute mark, remove the cookies and press them down to keep them from getting to big and cake-y.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack to allow the cookies to cool before eating.

Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate cookies
Low Carb Keto Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Keto Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

Keto Cookies + Cream Ice Cream-9.jpg

Dan and I have been attempting Keto since last summer.  Well, I should say Dan has been pretty successfully doing Keto, and I have been... not.  But I finally feel like I have mental and physical energy to focus on my own health and am diving back in!  For those who have no clue what Keto is, the readers digest version is: Your body runs on glucose and ketone bodies, but will default to glucose when it's present.  Ketone bodies are created from fats, so if you reduce the glucose you consume and increase the healthy fat, your body switches to running off of fat.  So real basic: eat fat = burn fat.  When your body is running on ketones, it's said to be in "Ketosis" hence: Keto.  Anyway, in such a carbohydrate and sugar heavy culture it can be hard to switch to a high fat/low carb diet, so something like Keto ice cream can help not feel sad about the carbohydrates I'm craving.

I was skeptical that this would be actually as tasty as normal ice cream because usually substitute foods are like a sad version of the original, but this stuff is actually amazing.  I was pretty excited to make ice cream because it was the first time I used my ice cream bowl and mixer for my Kitchenaid mixer!  If you have a Kitchenaid, you can find the ice cream attachment here

Keto Cookies + Cream Ice Cream

makes 10 servings (recipe via ruled.me)
 

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKIE CRUMBS:

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup erythritol (I used Swerve)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp. softened coconut oil
1 egg, room temperature
Pinch of salt

MAKE THE COOKIE CRUMBS:

1/ Preheat your oven to 300°F. Take a 9 inch circular cake pan (or similar sized pan), and grease with oil, or line with parchment paper.

2/ Into a medium bowl, sift your almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, erythritol, and salt then whisk until there are no lumps.

3/ Add the vanilla extract and coconut oil to the bowl and mix until batter forms into crumbs.

4/ Add the egg and mix everything together until the cookie batter begins to stick together.

5/ Dump the batter into your prepared pan and press the batter down with your fingers until it evenly covers the bottom of the pan.

6/ Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the center of cookie bounces back when it's pressed.

7/ Once it's done, take the pan out of the oven and let it cool.

8/ Now that the cookie has cooled, crumble the cookie into small bits. Set aside.

INGREDIENTS FOR ICE CREAM

2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup erythritol
1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened

 

MAKE THE ICE CREAM

1/ In a large bowl, blend the whipping cream with a Kitchenaid or electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

2/ Add vanilla extract and erythritol, and whip until thoroughly combined.

3/ Pour in the almond milk and blend mixture until it re-thickens.

4/ Transfer cream mixture to ice cream maker bowl and churn until ice cream begins to hold its shape. If you're using the kitchenaid mixer, make sure you only use the churning attachment on the "stir" speed.  Churn for about 20 minutes.

5/ Once you've been churning for 20 minutes or so, gradually pour the cookie crumbles in while the ice cream maker is churning to evenly mix the crumbles into the ice cream. Churn for 5-10 more minutes, until the cookie crumbles are mixed throughout.

6/ Once all of the cookie crumbles are incorporated, transfer the ice cream into a freezer-safe container.  You can serve the ice cream right away if you want a softer texture, or if you want it harder, put it in the freezer for an hour or two. Mine gets too hard in my freezer, so I have to take it out and put it in the fridge for a bit to let it soften up. 

Makes 10 servings. Each serving comes out to be 289.9 Calories, 28.9g Fats, 3g Net Carbs, and 4.6g Protein.

ENJOY!

 

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My Mother's Day 2018 Gift Guide

liz & jack-0034.jpg

Commercialized Mother's Day gifts feel so impersonal and out of touch with what real moms want and need.  Not that I don't like flowers and little goodies, and growing up I don't think I thought much in depth about a Mother's Day gift.  But I think if we're going to have a holidays celebrating moms, lets give moms something they really need.  And obviously for every mom that's going to be different, especially depending on her love language and personal interests.  

For me, my love language is quality time, and I've realized that as a mom you get tons of quality time with your kid(s), not as much quality time with your partner, and almost no quality time with your self. This gift guide doesn't really have a theme other than "things I as a mom truly love or crave."  So it might be relatively specific, but I figure there are probably moms out there like me, so you might enjoy this little list too!

A get-away OR a staycation

I crave an escape to the desert at least once a month.  But being able to hang out in a relaxing home-- ALONE --in the warm sun, getting to sleep in, not have to give my kid any of the food I'm eating, and lounge around all day with no one bugging me?  Sounds magical. On the flip side, being able to be in my own home for a long weekend so I can accomplish projects around the house that feel impossible to do when a toddler is following me around or napping also sounds magical.  I think the key here is: time sans child(ren).   Just time to fill our own tanks without the distraction or obligation of caring for anyone else.

Plants that don't die in a week

  image via  wearetriibe

image via wearetriibe

Flowers are nice and all, but in a few short days, they start to wilt and eventually all those pretty blooms will have dropped their petals and died.  I don't know about you, but I adore have living plants in my space and have accumulated a small urban jungle-- but I always want more.  I would prefer to get a snake plant, monstera, or some other beautiful greenery that will fill my home with life for years to come!

Professional Hair Cut/Color

  image via  jessfxstyle

image via jessfxstyle

I would love to sit in a salon chair and have a hair magician take my locks to the color I've been dying to try for years.  I haven't had my hair colored since before I had our son, and while I'm not a salon junkie and I prefer low-maintenance hair, it feels so luxurious and caring to have someone refresh your hair.  I'm usually too cheap to splurge on a salon, so it would be a lovely treat to be able to hit the salon and get a fresh look.

Gift Card to a Shop I Love

  image via  satori

image via satori

This one gets me two things: time alone to walk around said store and enjoy the ambiance of a store I like (ya'll even Target will do, my ambiance threshold is loooow), and then things that I want to buy.  I know people like to give gifts that they find meaningful, but it can feel really nice to just get something that you know you'll love because YOU picked it out.  A gift card to an online shop is nice, but now that I'm a mom I kind of like the idea of getting to get out of the house by myself, wander around the store and touch things.  Ideas? World Market, Target, Home Goods, Satori, Moorea Seal, Ikea  (These are just stores that I like shopping at that have local shops where I can go walk around).

I know Mother's Day is coming up quickly, but pretty much all of these gifts can be procured last minute (probably minus a vacay). And throwing in a nice note of appreciation can go a long way too.  Oh and a mimosa.  Happy Mother's Day!

photos of me + jack by sons and daughters photography

Strawberry Mango Lemonade Popsicles

Strawberry Mango Lemonade Popsicles.jpg

I got these popsicle molds a few years ago and have rarely used them but this time of year when the days get hotter, I get really excited about making homemade popsicles and ice cream.  I like the idea of homemade popsicles and being able to keep the amount of sugar in them pretty low.  With there being lemonade in these ones they are pretty sweet but not overly sweet.

Jack is teething with some new molars right now so I wanted to make something icey that he could chew on and he really likes these.  I'll probably try to make some other ones that are less sugary for him instead, but the texture is perfect for him to chew!  Maybe this summer will be the summer of the popsicle!

Ingredients (makes 6 popsicles):
2 Cups Mango Lemonade
3 Strawberries
1/2 Banana
1/2 Cup Strawberry Banana Coconutmilk Yogurt

In a blender, blend everything together and then pour into your popsicle molds and insert the top with the sticks. Put them in the freezer and wait!  I usually wait overnight but I'm sure a few hours would do the trick.  Enjoy your summer frozen treat!