Keto Kitchen – Cheese Danishes

My obsession with cheese danishes began a few months ago when my daughter tried out a cheese bun recipe that turned out amazing. The buns looked so light and fluffy, and the cheese filling and sweet crumble on top made my mouth water. Trouble is, I don’t eat flour or sugar so I couldn’t even take a single bite. I wanted something similar that was keto-friendly so I took to the Internet.

I found a delicious recipe for keto bagels on Gnom-gnom, so I first tried the bagel dough recipe with a cream cheese topping, and they were good, but I kept searching. Then I found the ultimate keto cheese danish recipe on the Keto Diet website.

Fathead doughs (made mostly from mozzarella cheese and cream cheese with a bit of almond flour and a few other ingredients) tend not to sit well with me. Bagels, breads, and pizza crusts made with fathead dough is too heavy and a little oily for my liking, but that isn’t the case with these low-carb cheese danishes. The crust is light and flaky-adjacent, and the cream cheese centre has just the right amount of sweetness. The cream cheese drizzle on top doesn’t hurt, either.

Instead of rolling out and cutting my dough this time, I divided it into 8 equal portions and used a tortilla press to flatten them, which was seriously quicker and easier than using a rolling pin. My cheese filling was a little runny this time (this was probably my third time making them) but that might have been because I put a bit too much vanilla in. I added an extra 1/4 cup of cream cheese which helped, but not a lot. The recipe says to bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. I started with 12, and they came out a little overdone, but that didn’t seem to affect the flavour at all.

This recipe yields eight danishes, but they freeze well. I like to take one out to defrost overnight or zap for 15 seconds in the microwave if you can’t wait.

I totally recommend Keto Diet’s low-carb cheese danish. This recipe works well and tastes anything but low-carb.

Keto Test Kitchen

Today’s test recipe is Keto Banana Muffins, posted on The Big Man’s World website.by Arman Liew. I have tried several recipes from this site with good results, so when I was searching for a banana bread recipe, this was the obvious choice.

I LOVE banana bread, especially with chocolate chips and pecans, but bananas are a no-no on keto. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one medium banana has 27 grams of carbs. Most banana bread recipes call for two or three bananas, meaning that the average loaf can have anywhere from about 54 to 81 grams of carbs. If you assume 12 slices per loaf, you are looking at a minimum of 4.5 to 7 carbs per slice. And that doesn’t take into account the carbs in the flour and sugar in the recipe.

An unripe banana has only about 12 grams of carbs (adding only 1 gram of carb per slice), but it lacks the sweetness and flavour of a ripe banana, which is why most banana bread recipes call for ripe or over-ripe fruit.

This Keto banana muffin recipe relies on banana extract for the flavour, eliminating the danger of overloading on carbs. I first got the idea to bake banana muffins after purchasing a keto caramel banana loaf mix from Farm Girl. Though delicious, the mixes are expensive, and I wanted to see if I could find a similar recipe online.

I made these Keto Banana Muffins exactly to recipe specifications with the following modifications:

  • My milk of choice was sugar-free vanilla oat milk.
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips seemed like a lot so I only put in 2/3 cup.
  • I used 1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/3 Krisda semi-sweet chocolatey chips.
  • I substituted pecans for walnuts.

The results were amazing. The muffins were super-moist and really chocolatey. The pecans provided just the right amount of crunch. Though the recipe calls for one whole tablespoon of banana extract, the banana goodness was lost at times, given the other bold flavours, particularly that of the chocolate.

I would absolutely recommend this recipe, and I plan to make them again. I might increment the banana extract by 1/2 tablespoon to see what it does to the recipe next time, but overall, this recipe passes the test kitchen with flying colours.

Note that this is an unsolicited review and I have not received any reimbursements from any of the products, services or websites mentioned in this blog post, nor do I have any affiliations with them.

My Paleo Diet – 1 Year Later

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Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins – Low Carb and Gluten-Free on All Day I Dream About Food

I began my Paleo diet a little over one year ago today after my trainer suggested it as a way to help me lose weight. Turns out, Paleo for weight loss was an epic fail for me. Though I’ve lost about 4 pounds through the year (and I suppose that’s 4 pounds better off than I was last year), it’s no where near the results others have reported with the switch. Rather than be deterred, I kept with it, still hoping I’d eventually lose the weight, but mainly because I felt better eating this way.

Before the switch to Paleo, my stomach was…let’s just say, unsettled. That’s disappeared. So has the gas, water bloat, brain fog and headaches. Most of my sweet and salty cravings are gone. So is my joint pain. A surprising side effect was that my hot flashes have disappeared, those horrible hormonal waves that made me strip off my jacket and sweater and t-shirt in a mall only to leave me drenched in my own sweat and shivering—are gone! Eating Paleo’s worth it’s weight in gold for that discovery alone.

On the down side (besides no weight loss), food preparation is timely and costly. I can’t come home after a stressful day at work and pop something into the microwave for dinner. I must shop for fresh veggies and meat, prepare them, cook them, and clean up after ward. And while the fact that my kids enjoy my Paleo food is a bonus for them, it’s a negative for me as, no matter how much I think I’ve made, there are never enough leftovers and the whole process must begin anew the next day.

I’ve learned that…

  • I don’t miss processed foods (except where convenience is concerned). In fact, when I eat processed foods, the brain fog and bloat and stomach upset returns the next day as does my hip joint pain, in both hips, including the one that was replaced three years ago.
  • Spiralized zucchini has a consistency similar to Udon noodles when sauced.
  • Stevia leaves an aftertaste and agave’s not as healthy as you think. The best sugar substitutes are coconut sugar and xylitol. Both are plant-based sweetners that are less sweet than refined sugar.
  • I enjoy milk and milk products. My grandfather owned a dairy when I was a child. When he passed, my mom and her siblings took over. I was raised on yogurt, cottage cheese and cream cheese. I never much liked milk because I couldn’t get it cold enough. I learned I had a lactose intolerance with my first pregnancy when I decided to drink more of it. Thank heaven they have lactose free milk for my morning lattes. And though I don’t eat much yogurt or cheese, I do feel for it every once in a while.
  • I can’t cut grains out entirely. When I crave a salty snack, I pop some popcorn. When I eat too much fibre, I need to eat a small serving of rice daily until my body corrects itself. I eat wild rice, because I reason the cavemen I’m emulating might have come across a patch of wild rice at some point and harvested it (Hey! It could happen!).

Lastly, Pinterest is amazing for finding recipes and new weight training moves. Without variety I’d be bored. Pinterest has yielded a number of amazing ideas for recipes. Here are some I’ve tested that I really like:

Microwave Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin on The Big Man’s World

I make a savoury version of this muffin. Take the basic recipe, omit the cinnamon and raisins. Add 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed and a half teaspoon of your favourite spice. I like onion soup mix and/or garlic powder. After microwaving, cut in half like a real English muffin and toast until brown. I use this as sandwich bread, to substitute for a bagel (topped with butter or jam or cream cheese) and as the base for pizza muffins.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins – Low Carb and Gluten-Free on All Day I Dream About Food

When you make this, add in the optional molasses. It gives it a rich feeling and adds little sweetness. The result, when served slightly warm, is reminiscent of pecan pie. I recently served these at work and my colleagues couldn’t believe there wasn’t any flour in it! I take two of these for breakfast once or twice a week.

Chocolate Muffin in a Minute on DJ Foodie

The basic recipe for this muffin is great. Throwing in a teaspoon of chocolate chips makes it better. Ditto chocolate mint chips. This muffin works as a sweet treat to satisfy a craving or as a gooey weekend breakfast.

The Best Paleo Pumpkin Pie on The Paleo Mom

My son absolutely loves this recipe, and I like pumpkin (who knew?). The crust is simply nuts and egg whites and the inside is pumpkin (a vegetable) and eggs. Rather than walnuts, I use pecans for the crust. I’ll sometimes have this for breakfast or lunch or for a guilt-free evening snack. I add a drizzle of pure maple syrup on my piece before eating.