Pumpkin Protein Muffins With A Sugar Cookie Twist

pumpkin protein muffins
“Forget Honey” says this Bear. “Clearly, I’m to eat all of these pumpkin protein muffins instead!” Photo credit delightfultastesbuds.com

Several months ago I came across the yummiest flavor in all of Celestial Seasonings Teas: Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride®. Seriously, it really does taste like sugar cookies. So I got all inspired, ran into the DebbyK kitchen (which is about five paces from my computer), and on my first try whipped up what is now one of my favorite cookies muffins: Pumpkin Protein Muffins With A Sugar Cookie Twist.

Are you someone who loves the thought of eating healthy sugar cookies muffins? Then you will LOVE each bite of my Pumpkin Protein Muffins With A Sugar Cookie Twist.

And for those who care it’s sugar free, gluten/grain free, and ultra low carb.

Pumpkin muffins you make that Are Easier than Easy Bake!

My Pumpkin Protein Muffins are really easy to make, and the ingredient list is short: eggs, coconut flour, coconut oil, the tea, a low carb sweetener (I’ve tried the recipe using Splenda, powdered or liquid stevia, and powdered erythritol) , but you can keep it Paleo/Primal and use liquid stevia, erythritol, real maple syrup, or whatever your preference to keep it low carb (or not so low carb if  you really don’t care!), a high quality whey protein powder, kabocha (click on the link to find out more about this pumpkin squash) or canned pumpkin, and a pinch of salt.

It’s as simple as this:

First, mash up the pre-baked kabocha in a medium size bowl.

Then, add your eggs and mix on high speed with your hand held mixer until everything is a nicely blended together (about one minute on high speed will do). You can also use a food processor. But because the batter is a bit thick, I would not use a blender since some of the batter will be stuck on the bottom and be hard to get out.

Then add in the loose tea from each packet (open each tea satchel and pour in loose tea) and blend into the egg mixture.

Next, in a small bowl mix all the dry ingredients together (including the dry sweeteners if using them).

Then mix the dry into the egg mixture until creamy and smooth, and all lumps are gone. Again, I use my hand held mixer to do this, but you can do it the old fashioned way, by hand, and work up an appetite! You will need to use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides as you mix with the hand mixer.

Blend in your liquid sweeteners here, if using them, and adjust to taste.

Then add in your melted coconut oil and water, give one last blast with the mixer, and pour evenly into muffin cups, about 1/2 way full.

You can let the batter sit for several minutes to let more sugar cookie tea flavors meld into the batter, or you can pop them into the oven right away. Either way they are great.

Now, Bake. Cool (if you can wait that long). Eat.

Pumpkin Protein Muffins that always taste great

pumpkin protein muffins
Super soft with a crunch on top! Photo credit delightfultastebuds.com

And on top of being super easy to make, there’s no way to mess up this recipe. Really, you can’t burn these muffins even if you try. Not so with sugar cookies. Forget them for a split second past the timer and, well… Have you ever tired to eat a burnt sugar cookie?

Now it’s a totally different story with my Pumpkin Protein Muffins. You can forget about them in the oven (please, don’t try this at home) and you won’t have to throw them away when you discover you’ve had a senior moment and they’ve been cooking past their due date!

I know this to be true because I had a senior moment made the mistake of leaving my muffins in the oven (no pun intended) for well beyond the 40 minute bake time. It was more like an hour. I must have been writing this blog post!

Anyway, although my Pumpkin Protein Muffins were a little bit super extra crunchy on top, they were still soft and fluffy on the inside. Actually I’m one of those people who love extra crisp, so I was all smiles that their crunch quotient was beyond the curve!

In fact, I love crunch so much that after they’ve cooled, I pop them back into the oven again to be toasted, to bring out even more of that sugar cookie crispiness!

OH! And don’t forget to schemer a little bit of coconut oil or grass fed butter on top. You won’t be disappointed.

Super healthy pumpkin muffins for an anytime meal

pumpkin protein muffins
One serving of my Pumpkin Protein Muffins is a complete meal! Photo credit delightfultastebuds.com

It’s true! I’m not joking when I tell you that my Pumpkin Protein Muffins are great for eating anytime. They may look like a muffin to you, but they have enough protein, healthy fats, and fiber to be a complete meal (or a mini meal for some).

And the Kabocha (or pumpkin) adds additional nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium.

If you follow my blog you are already familiar with my use of love for Kabocha squash in many of my recipes (Brownie Bites and Muffins Brownie Cake and Muffins Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins Lemon Chiffon Poppy Seed Cake and Muffins Rice Flour Skillet Biscuits)

A little bit goes a long way in flavoring, or adding texture to a baked good. And what I love best about my Pumpkin Protein Muffins with A Sugar Cookie Twist is that the kabocha helps make them soft, with a nice crumb on the inside, yet they still remain slightly crunchy on the top, reminding me of the sugar cookies I used to eat as a kid.Yumminess!

So what are you waiting for?  Go ahead! Make my muffins, and enjoy them anytime.

Alas, let’s get baking!

Pumpkin Protein Muffin With A Sugar Cookie Twist
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A healthy pumpkin muffin that tastes just like a sugar cookie, is high in protein, low in carbs, and can be eaten as a complete meal.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack
Cuisine: Paleo/Primal
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 2 egg
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 tbsp baked kabocha squash mashed( or canned pumpkin, or baked winter squash mashed)
  • 2 tbsp Organic Coconut Flour
  • 4 tbsp high quality whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tea bag of Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Herbal Tea, no need to ground them or brew them. You will be adding them loose leave into the batter.
  • 12-24 drops Vanilla Alcohol Free Stevia
  • OR sweetener of choice (i use 4 packets splenda or ½ cup erythritol, powdered after measuring).
  • 2 tsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp water (or other liquid such as coconut milk, almond milk)
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In small bowl combine all dry ingredients (including dry/ or powdered sweeteners) and mix or sift well to make sure no lumps
  2. In a medium bowl, mash pre baked kabocha (or if using pumpkin, just scoop out into bowl)
  3. Add egg whites and eggs to the kabocha
  4. Beat on high until creamy and frothy (About 1 minute)
  5. Add the tea leaves (make sure they have been removed from the bags!) and combine well
  6. Add dry ingredients to the kabocha/egg mixture and mix well until creamy and no lumps
  7. Blend in liquid stevia (or your other choice of liquid sweeteners) and adjust to taste
  8. Add oil and water
  9. Give it one final whir with the mixer to incorporate the oil, water, and any additional sweetener into the batter.
  10. Divide evenly into 6 muffin cups. (3 muffins=1 serving) I recommend these silicon baking cups The New York Baking Company | Reusable Silicone Baking Cups / Cupcake Liners
  11. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until tops are brown.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes
  13. Remove from muffin cups
  14. Devour
  15. When completely cooled, store in zip lock or tupperware. They will remain fresh for several days. Or freeze in ziplock bags for future use.
  16. To reheat from freezer: Defrost, then place in 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or until soft
  17. To Crisp up muffins: Place in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  18. For optimal pleasure Spread lightly with coconut oil, coconut butter, grass fed ghee or butter
Notes
Options: Add in toasted coconut flakes, crushed macadamia nuts or walnuts, blueberries for extra fun. Be sure to account for the macros.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 Muffins Fat: 8 Carbohydrates: 8 Fiber: 4 Protein: 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low Carb Pumpkin Brownie Bites

If you're not a chocolate lover now, you will be after eating one of these...!
If you’re not a chocolate lover now, you will be after eating one of these…!

Hello Your Fit Day Friends!

I’m kind of on a chocolate roll these days. Funny, because I’m not even a chocolate lover. In fact, you’ll never see me go hunting for chocolate, or wear one of those Death by Chocolate T-shirts.

But still, I love making my sugar free low carb treats…and chocolate is good for us (right?)…and practically everyone I know will snatch up a piece of chocolate something, if offered.

So… I’m offering,..with my Low Carb Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Bites!

This recipe is a variation of my Melt In Your Mouth Chocolate Chiffon Brownie Cake, the one where I used Kabocha squash (known also as Japanese pumpkin) and Splenda granules. The one that tastes like a chocolate truffle!

In this Low Carb Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Bites recipe I’ve replaced the Splenda with erythritol and liquid stevia.

And for convenience, and because some people can’t find kabocha squash in their area, I used canned pumpkin.

Each bite melts in your mouth, and tastes just as decadent as my Chocolate Chiffon Brownie Cake. And if you let it sit in the fridge for a day it becomes nice and fudge-y!

These Low Carb Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Bites are not too sweet, so you may want to add extra sweetener. But I think it’s really really good just the way it is!!

For most of my pumpkin baking treats I usually use kabocha squash, which is also called Japanese pumpkin.  I love kabocha and have been using it for more than 20 years. You can read about kabocha here.

Crispy on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth on the inside!!
Crispy on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth on the inside!!

So here’s how I made these brownie bites:

First, I sifted the dry ingredients together, minus some of the sweetener which is used for the egg whites.02_dry_mixture

Then I beat the egg whites in a stainless steel bowl until frothy (copper bowls are best, so they say; and you can also use glass),03_foamy_eggwhites

at which time I added in the cream of tarter. I continued beating until soft peaks formed,04_softpeak_eggwhites

and then added in the sweetener of choice (See notes below), a little bit at a time so it wouldn’t fly around the room. (In the pictures I used erythritol and liquid Splenda)

After it was all incorporated I beat for about another 30 seconds, just until stiff peaks formed. When they are fluffy, STOP your beating!

These are egg whites whipped until stiff peaks
Whip it! Whip it good!

Make sure not to over beat the whites or they can liquify again. And if they’re too stiff they will get dry and crack when you are folding in the other ingredients. If this happens make sure not to panic! Just add in another egg white and carry on. It’s a learning experience…all will be OK!!

Next I gently poured the squash/egg mixture on top of the egg whites. 06_pumpkin_on_top_eggwhites

Then I folded in the squash/egg mixture until all incorporated.07_pumpkin_mixed_eggwhites

So it looked like this,08_pumpkin_eggwhite_batter

Then I sifted and folded in the dry mixture, in 4 equal siftings, until no pockets of the dry mix was left visible.06_sifted_dry_mixture_on_eggwhites

This part takes a lot of patience and time. Because every time you think it’s all mixed in another little pocket appears underneath the egg whites. So you kind of have to gently lift that bubble of egg white/dry mix, and shake the spatula against the bowl when it appears, so it bursts out the dry mix hidden inside, and then keep folding. I told you this takes patience!! But it’s well worth the effort in the end!07_eggwhite_cocoa

Your final batter will look like this:

Try not to eat the batter, like I do!!
Try not to eat the batter, like I do!!

If you’re not too sure on how to fold flour, or any other ingredients into egg whites, refer to my Lemon Chiffon Poppy Seed Cake recipe directions and watch the video on folding.

Then I divided my batter evenly (about 2.5 tbsp per cup) into 8 greased muffin cups without the parchment paper-because they come out more crispy-and placed them on the middle rack. (Or you can use parchment lined muffin tins, but they are not as crisp on top and sides and bottom).DebbyK Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Bites

And finally, after baking in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes (while being tortured with the smell of chocolate wafting through my apartment) out from the oven they came. As hard as it was to do, I let them sit for 15 minutes.

DebbyK Low Carb Chocolate Brownie Bites

Then I plated them up…12_round_stacked_closeup

and devoured every last one. Well, that part wasn’t hard at all!!12_round_stacked_02

Really, I did! Because my chocolate brownie bites, have 24 grams of protein for the entire batter. I’d qualify that as a complete meal!

I like to schemer some my home made coconut butter, or some of my homemade chocolate pudding , on top, to add some good fats to the experience! So go ahead, have your cake and eat it too…for dinner!!

BTW: The macros for canned pumpkin and kabocha are very similar.

Notes about Sweeteners and carb counts:

Using Splenda Granules and erythritol: The first time I made these brownies I used Splenda Granules. (Yes! I eat Splenda!) This is what helps impart that light and airy melt in your mouth texture. I find that Splenda granules bake up more like real sugar than erythritol does.

Erythritol is a heavier sweetener by weight, and I believe this makes the brownie texture slightly more dense. But this could just be my own experience with it.

The recipe below is using erythritol, which gives the brownies a slightly different mouth feel; a bit more fudge-y.

Should you count Erythritol Net Carbs?: Personally I don’t count the sugar alcohols of erythritol into my net carb count, like some low carbers do. Erythritol has been shown not to spike insulin, and is not metabolized by our bodies, and even eating the entire cake doesn’t affect me.

But we are all individual snowflakes, so follow your bliss!

So if you choose not to count the erythritol carbs, that leaves the entire batch of brownies with 15g net carbs. That’s less than 2 grams net carbs per brownie!

However, in the nutrition info I have included total net carbs using erythritol, for those of you who count the sugar alcohol’s net carbs.

12_round_stacked_angle_0212_round_stacked_0112_round_stacked_front

P.S- You can also bake these as a cake and enjoy the crispy corners! I prefer to bake these in one of those grocery store 7″-8″ cheap pie pans.

This is a picture of brownies baked in an 8 inch square tin seen on DebbyK website wwww.yourfitday.com
Melt In Your Mouth Brownies made with pumpkin

Alas, let’s get baking!

Note: If you prefer even more of a ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ experience and don’t mind using Splenda,  check out this chocolate ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ brownie recipe.

Low Carb Melt-In-Your Mouth Chocolate Brownie Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A low carb Paleo friendly brownie, with a slightly sticky and crispy top, that's light and airy inside, and melts in your mouth with every bite!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • 75gram canned pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp liquid vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 10 gram whey protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 8 gram unsweetened cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • ¼ cup erythritol
  • ¼ tsp powdered stevia

  • What You'll Need:
  • Large Stainless Steel, Copper, or Glass mixing bowl
  • Medium size bowl
  • 2 small bowls
  • Rubber spatula
  • Mixer, either hand or stand
  • Sifter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly grease muffin tins with coconut oil
  3. In a medium size bowl, separate the egg whites and the yolks (best done when the eggs are still cold straight up from the fridge). Reserve the yolks for another use.
  4. Let egg whites rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes
  5. Grind ¼ cup erythritol in a coffee grinder.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, whey protein powder, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, ¼ tsp powdered stevia and ½ of the powdered erythritol.
  7. Sift the dry ingredients.
  8. In another bowl, mix canned pumpkin with 1 Tbsp coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp of water. Mixture should resemble thick gravy. Don't make it too watery. If the batter gets too watery, a quick remedy would be mix about 1-2 tsp of the sifted dry ingredients.
  9. By this time, the egg whites should be at a room temperature.
  10. Using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, lightly beat egg whites until foamy.
  11. Lower the mixer speed, then put in ⅛ tsp cream of tartar. Increase the mixer speed and beat until soft peaks formed.
  12. Lower the mixer speed, then mix in the remaining powdered erythritol. Mix it slowly until everything incorporates so you won't have powdered erythritol flying around.
  13. Beat the egg whites until stiff peak formed.
  14. Pour in the pumpkin/coconut milk mixture and carefully fold into the egg whites. Please watch video on folding below:
  15. Once the batter is mixed, sift ¼ of the dry ingredients on`to the egg white. Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites mixture. Repeat this three more times, until you use up all the dry ingredients.
  16. Fill about 2.5 Tbsp batter into each muffin tin. The batter should fill about ½ of the muffin tin if you want to make them into 8 muffins.
  17. Bake in 350F for 45-50 minutes
  18. Remove from oven and let sit about 15 minutes before removing from muffin tins. They come out easier this way.
  19. Enjoy!
Notes
Take your time when folding all the ingredients into the egg whites. And make sure to break apart, very gently, any lumps or bubbles of dry mix that you see.

The best way to do this is by lifting the lumps onto your spatula and breaking them apart by tapping the spatula on the side of the bowl.

Using Splenda: I use ½ cup of the Splenda granules (not the baking Splenda or packets) and then powder that for the dry mix, and use ¼ cup for the egg whites.

Net Carbs: NOT Counting Erythritol, for Entire Batter: 15g
That's for the entire batter!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 Calories: 28 Fat: .6g Saturated fat: .3g Carbohydrates: 7.9g Sugar: .5g Sodium: 24 Fiber: .8g Protein: 3g

A big Thank You to Jos, over at Delightfultastebuds, for her exceptional photography skills and patience!

Low Carb Chocolate Protein Pudding

Chocolate pudding
Warm and creamy protein pudding, before being turned into ‘gelato’

Hello Your Fit Day Friends!

I’ve always loved rich creamy pudding type foods. They don’t even have to be deserts. I’ll make just about anything into a thick gloppy mush and eat it! This one just happens to a be creamy, sweet and chocolatey low carb chocolate protein pudding! And each serving has 6 grams of  protein. Great for a little afternoon protein boost.

I came up with this recipe because I had some extra room in the day for my fat and protein macros, and I was experimenting with making pudding. So I kind of just threw things together following a couple different recipes for pudding and lemon curd.

What’s not to like about a warm and creamy chocolate pudding. And what’s not to like about your pudding going a.k.a. as gelato, chocolate sauce, or a ganache for your cakes and muffins!

Well, this Chocolate Protein Pudding can be all that. It just depends on what type of self control you have the moment it comes off the stove!

And I’m not going to lie! I had to maintain a lot of self control not to spoon all of this goodness into my mouth instead of those little glass dishes. It was a challenge, let me tell you.

As I was pouring the pudding into the dishes I just happened to very intently swiped my finger through the stream of chocolate and touch the tip of my tongue with it, and suddenly my olfactory memories transported me back to my mother’s kitchen, baking chocolate chip cookies, and dissolving Hershey Kisses in my mouth.

And that’s exactly what this pudding tastes like (to me, anyway!). A bowl of melted Hershey Kisses.

And if you love Hershey Kisses you will definitely become addicted to this pudding. I’m not even a chocolate lover and I’m hooked!

It’s super quick and easy to make, and takes all of about 6 minutes from prep to fridge. (Of course you then have to wait for the pudding to firm up in the fridge!)

So go ahead and whip some of this goodness up. But I’m warning you now, you may not be able to wait the 20-30 minutes for it to firm up! Let me know how far you got…. 🙂

Alas, let’s get baking!

chocolate pudding in two glass jars

Chocolate Protein Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Whisk an egg yolk and 1 Tbsp of coconut milk in a small dish.
  2. In another deep small bowl mix the 5 or 6 gr of a whey powder (about a tbsp), 8-10 grams of cocoa powder( about 2 tbsp), the stevia and erythritol mix ( or whatever sweetener pleases your fancy), a pinch of salt together. Whisk that all up!
  3. Then, with a rubber spatula, mix the egg yolk mixture into the cocoa mixture and blend it all up. It's hard not to lick the spoon and just eat that. But stop yourself so you can indulge in the real goodness that is to come!! If it's not sweet enough then sweeten to taste.
  4. Then, in a small saucepan heat 6 tbsp of coconut milk until just simmering and small bubbles appear on the sides.
  5. Remove from stove and begin tempering the chocolate with the milk by adding 1 tbsp of the milk into the cocoa mixture and mixing vigorously as you do that, combining it all, and then continue to do this tbsp by tbsp until it's all combined.
  6. Then, with the rubber spatula transfer that all back into the saucepan.
  7. Now here is where you need to be super vigilant! Reduce heat to low and put saucepan back on stove. But making sure to stir stir stir that cocoa mixture. It will seem like nothing is happening. But in 30 seconds to 1 minute it will start to thicken and you will see streaks of the pan on the bottom.
  8. Make sure to continue moving that spatula around the corners of the pan. At this 1 minute mark or slightly less you will see small curds start to form. Immediately lift the pan 4-6 inches off the stove top, but continue stirring the mixture around the pan getting in all areas as it thickens up.
  9. It may start looking dry on the edges and you don't want this, so lift the pan higher and make sure that the flame is low.
  10. Once those curds start forming at the beginning, when you first start to lift the pan off the stovetop, you only need to do that mixing for about 1.5 minutes. I used a timer at the beginning , but eventually you will know when to stop.
  11. So now, take the pan off the stove and place on counter. Add in 4 tsp of coconut oil or butter, TWO tsp at a time, and mix it all in before adding in the next 2 tsp. It will be nice and shiny and glossy. Take a whiff and sweeten to taste if necessary. It will smell and taste like a Hershey Kiss.
  12. Divide evenly into 2 small shallow dishes
  13. Place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes or desired consistency is reached. I don't put plastic on top of the pudding, but if you care about a film that may form you may do so to prevent it.
  14. Or, eat warm from the dish or serve on top of some of my other delicious treats!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 237.5 Fat: 23 Carbohydrates: 3.5 Fiber: 1 Protein: 6

Low Carb Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Brownie Cake

Top view of brownie slices on platesHi Your Fit Day Friends!

As I sit here on my ball, writing my post, the scent of chocolate is wafting it’s way throughout my apartment and under my nose. This is causing quite a stir. With me anyway, since I’m the only one here, and I know how amazingly good this low carb melt-in-your-mouth chocolate brownie cake is!

And I can almost guarantee that you will soon add these chocolate melt-in-your-mouth brownies to your list of ‘go to’ and ‘must haves’!

Now, for those of you who know me, or who’ve clicked around on my blog, here, and here, you know that I’ve been sugar, and processed-foods free for the past 26 years.

But that doesn’t stop me from indulging in a bit of decadence-low carb style. And that’s just how my low carb melt-in-your-mouth chocolate brownies make you feel: like you’re diving into a box of Swiss chocolates!!

They’re super chocolatey, with a slightly sticky, merengue-like top. And, they have crisp sides, which has always been my favorite part of a brownie.

Ahhhhh…and when you sink your teeth into one…it’s so light and airy… and just melts in your mouth.

low carb melt-in-your-mouth chocolate brownie cake
They will melt in your mouth after each bite!

OK! Well, I don’t want to make you wait any longer…so here’s what to do:

Make the kabocha squash mixture and set aside.

Pureed kabocha pumpkin in white bowl
Creamy Kabocha squash mixture should be like a thick gravy or sour cream consistency.

Sift together dry ingredients following recipe directions, and set aside.

cocoa powder and coconut flour dry mix in bowl

Beat eggs until frothy, and then add in the cream of tarter,

03_foamy_eggwhites

Beat until soft peaks form,

04_softpeak_eggwhites

and then add in the sweetener of choice (see notes in recipe), a little at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form

Egg whites beaten to stiff peaks
Beat egg whites just until stiff peaks form

And then add the kabocha mixture gently on top, and spread around a bit, making sure not to break the whites.

Kabocha squash mixture sitting on top of egg whites in metal bowl
Kabocha mixture should sit on top of egg whites

Then fold the mixture gently into the egg whites. (You can watch the video on folding here)

Kabocha partially folded into stiff egg whites.
Slowly fold kabocha squash mixture into beaten egg whites

Until they look like this

orange colored stiff egg whites in metal bowl
Folded to perfection with lots of volume

Then, take 1/4 of the dry mixture and sift it over the egg whites. Then fold this into the egg whites gently. Repeat this step three more times. It will eventually look smooth and creamy like this.

Picture of chocolate batter
The dry mixture has been nicely folded into the kabocha/egg white mixture. Make sure that all the large and small clumps have been bursted and incorporated

You’re almost done!

Now pour this lusciousness into the prepared tin.

Chocolate batter in round baking tin
Tap the pan on the counter to take out all the air bubbles. Look how nice and smooth the batter is!

And bake, following the directions below, until it looks like this.

Baked brownies in round pan on counter
Waiting to be cut and plated for some eating pleasure!

Or if you are a square, like this!

baked brownies in square pan

(Personally, I prefer to bake these in one of those grocery store 7″-8″ cheap pie pans because the bottom and edges come out super crispy).

Let cool without going nuts (Oh, you can fold those into the batter at the end if you want!)

Slice and plate them up, like this, if you want!

Side view of sliced brownies on plates with glass of milk

Or this…

Brownie slices on plate with glass of milk
They will melt in your mouth after each bite!

Or this…

Triangle slices of brownies on plate in star shape with glass of milk
Almost too pretty to eat…NOT!

Honestly, I couldn’t wait this long with my first batch. They were gone, baby, gone!

Really, whichever way you choose to bake these, it’s like eating milk chocolate truffles (that recipe’s coming soon!).

Ha! I should have called it my milk chocolate truffle cake!

Alas, let’s get baking!

All photos credited to Jos. Be sure to check out all her yummy recipes, too!

Low Carb Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Kabocha Brownie Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A chocolate chiffon-like brownie cake that melts in your mouth with every bite!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert/Meal
Cuisine: Paleo/Primal
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • 75gr baked kabocha
  • 1 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp liquid vanilla extract
  • 5-6 Tbsp water (this really depends on how watery or starchy your kabocha squash is. Add 1 Tbsp each time until you got that thick gravy/sour cream consistency
  • 10 gram whey protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 8 gram unsweetened cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp xantham gum (optional)
  • ½ cup powdered Splenda
  • ¼ cup granulated Splenda

  • What You'll Need:
  • Large Stainless Steel, Copper, or Glass mixing bowl
  • Medium size bowl
  • 2 small bowls
  • Rubber spatula
  • Mixer, either hand or stand
  • Sifter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly grease 7-8 inch tin with coconut oil
  3. In a medium size bowl, separate the egg whites and the yolks (best done when the eggs are still cold straight up from the fridge). Reserve the yolks for another use.
  4. Grind ½ cup granulated Splenda in a coffee grinder until it becomes powdered
  5. In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, whey protein powder, baking powder, powdered Splenda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  6. Sift the dry ingredients.
  7. In another bowl, mix mashed baked kabocha with 1 Tbsp coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp of water. Mixture should resemble thick gravy. Don't make it too watery. If the batter gets too watery, a quick remedy would be mix about 1-2 tsp of the sifted dry ingredients.
  8. By this time, the egg whites should be at a room temperature.
  9. Using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, lightly beat egg whites until foamy.
  10. Lower the mixer speed, then put in ⅛ tsp cream of tartar. Increase the mixer speed and beat until soft peaks formed.
  11. Lower the mixer speed, then mix in ¼ cup granulated Splenda. Mix it slowly until everything incorporates so you won't have the Splenda flying around.
  12. Beat the egg whites until stiff peak formed.
  13. Pour in the kabocha/coconut milk mixture and carefully fold into the egg whites. Please watch video on folding below:
  14. Once the batter is mixed, sift ¼ of the dry ingredients on`to the egg white. Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites mixture. Repeat this three more times, until you use up all the dry ingredients.
  15. Fill your 7-8 inch tin with the batter.
  16. Bake in 350F for 45-50 minutes
  17. Remove from oven and let sit about 15 minutes before removing from the tin. They come out easier this way.
  18. Slice and enjoy!
Notes
Take your time when folding all the ingredients into the egg whites. And make sure to break apart, very gently, any lumps or bubbles of dry mix that you see.

The best way to do this is by lifting the lumps onto your spatula and breaking them apart by tapping the spatula on the side of the bowl.

Using Splenda: I use ½ cup of the Splenda granules (not the baking Splenda or packets) and then powder that for the dry mix, and use ¼ cup for the egg whites.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 Calories: 28 Fat: 1 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 5 Sugar: 1 Sodium: 24 Fiber: 1 Protein: 3

Lemon Curd

Hello Your Fit Day readers!

This is Jos and I’d like to thank Debby for having me doing a guest post on her blog.

Single serve Lemon Curd by Jos

I’m sure you’re all still remember her delicious Low Carb Melt-In-Your-Mouth Lemon ‘Chiffon’ Poppy Seed Cake? If you haven’t made it yet, go shop for the ingredients and make them pronto!

When Debby shared her recipe to me, I couldn’t wait to try them out and it has become one of my staple low carb treats whenever I need a sweet-tooth fix. FYI, in general, I am not a sweet tooth person but once in a while, that thing kicks in.

02_lemon_curd_muffins

I enjoyed her Low Carb Melt-In-Your-Mouth Lemon ‘Chiffon’ Poppy Seed Cake (in these photos, I made them in muffin tins). When she posted her recipe, she told me that the cake will go very well with my Lemon Curd, which I posted on my blog here.

03_lemon_curd_muffin_sliced

Since her recipe yields extra 2 egg yolks, I am thinking instead of having you figuring out how to scale down my original Lemon Curd recipe, might as well I do it for you, right?

Anyway let’s proceed with the recipe, shall we?

Single Serve Lemon Curd
 
A yummy dairy-free lemon curd. Perfect companion for Low Carb Melt-In-Your-Mouth Lemon ‘Chiffon’ Poppy Seed Cake.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon erythritol
  • ½ tsp liquid SweetLeaf Vanilla Stevia
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice (if you like it tart)
  • 1 tsp liquid lemon extract
  • ½ tsp lemon zest (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and heat on a double boiler on medium heat. Stir constantly. If you don't have a double boiler like me, you could place the bowl on top of a sauce pan filled with water. Just make sure the bowl isn't touching the water.
  2. Mix until the mixture thickens but be careful not getting it too hot or you'll end up with scramble egg yolks. (usually takes about 7 minutes at least).
  3. Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Cover the curd with plastic wrap directly to prevent skin forming. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  5. Enjoy with Debby's Low Carb Melt-In-Your-Mouth Lemon ‘Chiffon’ Poppy Seed Cake!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 133 Fat: 11 Carbohydrates: 2 Protein: 6

So, what are you still waiting for?

04_lemon_curd_muffin_sliced_topview

If It Falls To Far From The Tree…

Hi Fitness fans,
If your reading my blog you most likely are here to get the most up to date information of health and fitness, which of course includes nutrition. Now, although I don’t claim to be a doctor or nutritionist, I do have a background in exercise physiology and a certificate in sports nutrition so I feel comfortable talking about healthy alternatives to what most of you are choosing to put in your mouths on a daily basis.

As some of you know I send out a bi monthly fitness newsletter.(Send me an email to subscribe) My last issue, June 15, had a recipe for grilled salmon that used Agave nectar as a sweetener for the glaze, along with the alternative, honey. I hemmed and hawed whether or not to include the recipe. However as it was coming down to the wire to hit ‘send’ I didn’t have the time to research an alternative for the syrup while also including the nutritional values, so I left the recipe as it was. As it turns out I made a huge mistake. I received an email from a subscriber, who happens to be my cousin, who just happens to live in that beautiful healthy paradise, Sedona AZ, reminding me why fructose is poison to our bodies. Cousin Dan sent me a video on the research done by Dr.Robert H. Lustig, Professor at UCSF, Division of Endocrinology. I felt it was my duty to get this information out to you ASAP. I have based much of this blog on his video so make sure you watch it.

So why should most of us we steer clear of fructose?

Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and the liver is used to process poisons, which then wreak havoc on our bodies causing disease. Don’t get me wrong. A highly trained athlete like a marathon runner is able to use the fructose and replete their glycogen stores faster than with glucose alone, eg. Powerbar drinks and bars. But if you are using it other that consuming it for athletic training then you are most likely doing damage to your body. Without getting too technical when you take in fructose you generate certain enzymes that are bad for your body. And when you take a compound into your body and in the process it generates various problems, you are basically left with poison.

Make sure you check out this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM (cut and paste into your browser)

One of my objectives as a fitness trainer and wellness professional is to help fight obesity. Everyone always asks me what they should eat and how much. My answer is: if it falls too far from the tree then don’t eat it. Have you ever seen a bottle of juice hanging from your apple tree in the back yard? How about a carton of fortified orange juice? Have you ever seen an ITZ clinging onto a package of real cheese? I don’t know about you but in my yard their are no glass shards beneath my plum tree, only plums. Nor are their ITZ clinging onto my cheese(Well,I don’t eat cheese, since I don’t consume dairy products, other than whey protein powder as a supplement. Which is another blog all together. But I do gift a nice bleu!). You get the point. So if it’s processed it is most likely not in my house and never on my plate. But one of our problems today is that we as a nation…hmmm, let me rephrase that…a world population, are consuming way too much processed foods, including sweeteners. And if you start reading your labels fructose is in almost everything. And Agave nectar is just that, processed fructose.

Is Agave good for you?

Well, after doing a little research, listening to the above video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM , as well as the research done by the sought out raw foods specialist John Kohler, http://www.living-foods.com/articles/agave.html, I’ll let you make that decision. Although I am not a raw foods only gal, whole, raw foods are the building blocks of a healthy vital body, free from disease (notice the word, dis-ease) and including them as the bulk of your diet will allow your body to function at its optimal.

Here is why you want to stay away from Agave nectar as well as honey. This is an excerpt from an article by John Kohler, raw foods specialist( email me if you would like his sitings):

‘1. Agave Syrup is not a “whole” food. It is a fractionated and processed food. Manufacturers take the liquid portion of the agave plant and “boil” it down, thus concentrating the sugar to make it sweet. This is similar to how maple “sap” that comes directly from a tree is heated and concentrated to make maple “syrup.” Agave Syrup is missing many of the nutrients that the original plant had to begin with.2. Agave Syrup was originally used to make tequila. When Agave Syrup ferments, it literally turns into tequila. The enzymatic activity therefore MUST be stopped so that the syrup will not turn into tequila in your cupboard. Raw or not, if there is no enzymatic activity, it is certainly not a “live” food. As Raw Foodists, we want the enzymes intact.

3. According to my research, there are three major producers of agave syrup. Some of these companies also have other divisions that make Tequila. For the most part, agave syrup is produced in the Guadalajara region in Mexico. There are those within the industry who I have spoken to at various trade shows who say that some of the agave syrup is “watered down” with corn syrup in Mexico before it is exported to the USA. Why is this done? Most likely because Agave Syrup is expensive, and corn syrup is cheap.

4. Agave Syrup is advertised as “low glycemic” and marketed towards diabetics. It is true, that agave itself is low glycemic. We have to consider why agave syrup is “low glycemic.” It is due to the unusually high concentration of fructose (90%) compared to the small amount of glucose (10%). Nowhere in nature does this ratio of fructose to glucose occur naturally. One of the next closest foods that contain almost this concentration of glucose to fructose is high fructose corn syrup used in making soda(HFCS 55), which only contains 55% fructose. Even though fructose is low on the glycemic index, there are numerous problems associated with the consumption of fructose in such high concentrations as found in concentrated sweeteners:

A. Fructose appears to interfere with copper metabolism. This causes collagen and elastin being unable to form. Collagen and elastin are connective tissue which essentially hold the body together.1 A deficiency in copper can also lead to bone fragility, anemia, defects of the arteries and bone, infertility, high cholesterol levels, heart attacks and ironically enough an inability to control blood sugar levels.2

B. Research suggests that fructose actually promotes disease more readily than glucose. This is because glucose is metabolized by every cell in the body, and fructose must be metabolized by the liver. 3 Tests on animals show that the livers of animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrohosis of the liver. This is similar to the livers of alcoholics.

C. “Pure” isolated fructose contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals and may rob the body of these nutrients in order to assimilate itself for physiological use.4

D. Fructose may contribute to diabetic conditions. It reduces the sensitivity of insulin receptors. Insulin receptors are the way glucose enters a cell to be metabolized. As a result, the body needs to make more insulin to handle the same amount of glucose.5

E. Consumption of fructose has been shown to cause a significant increase in uric acid. An increase in uric acid can be an indicator of heart diease.6

F. Fructose consumption has been shown to increase blood lactic acid, especially for people with conditions such as diabetes. Extreme elevations may cause metabolic acidosis.7

G. Consumption of fructose leads to mineral losses, especially excretions of iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc compared to subjects fed sucrose.8

H. Fructose may cause accelerated aging through oxidative damage. Scientists found that rats given fructose had more cross-linking changes in the collagen of their skin than other groups fed glucose. These changes are thought to be markers for aging.9

I. Fructose can make you fat! It is metabolized by the liver and converts to fat more easily than any other sugar. Fructose also raises serum triglycerides (blood fats) significantly.10

5. Agave Syrup and other concentrated sweeteners are addictive, so you end up trading a cooked addiction (eating candy bars or cookies) for a “raw” addiction which is not much better. Eating concentrated sweeteners makes it harder to enjoy the sweet foods we should be eating – whole fresh fruit since they don’t seem as sweet by comparison.
6. Long-time raw foodist and Medical Doctor, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D. says that agave nectar raises blood sugar just like any other sugar. Dr. Cousens wrote a book, “There Is a Cure for Diabetes”.

Whole fruits generally contain a much smaller amount of fructose compared to sucrose and glucose. In addition, fruits contain vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and other nutrients. Our bodies are designed to digest a complete “package” of nutrition that appears in whole, fresh, ripe fruits. Could nature be wrong? For example, it’s always better to eat fruits whole or blend them rather than juice them. When you juice fruits you remove the fiber which helps to slow down the absorption of the sugars. Concentrated sweeteners also contain no fiber and have much greater concentrations of simple sugars than are found in fresh fruit or even juices.

Now that you have a better understanding about Agave Syrup, hopefully the companies selling “raw” agave won’t dupe you. They are out to make a buck, which in this case is unfortunately at the expense of your health. If you are making a “raw” recipe and it does require a concentrated sweetener, I have some recommendations for some better options to use instead of agave: (Listed in order of preference.)

1. Use ripe fresh fruits. Ripe fruits contain nutrients, fiber and water, a complete package, as nature intended. I find that ripe and organic fruits are usually sweetest.

2. Use fresh whole stevia leaves. Stevia is an herb that actually tastes sweet but contains no sugar. This herb can be very hard to find fresh, so I personally grow my own. If fresh leaves are not available, get the whole dried leaves or the whole leaf powder. Avoid the white stevia powder and the stevia liquid drops as they have been highly processed.

3. Use dried fruits. If you need a “syrup” consistency, just soak the dried fruits in some water and blend them up with the same soak water. Dates, figs, and prunes are some of the sweetest dried fruits that tend to work well in recipes. Try wet Barhi dates blended with a little water for an amazing maple syrup substitute. Please note: Since there are no raw labeling standards, some dried fruit may be dried at higher than 118 degrees, and thus, not really raw. If you want to ensure you are eating really raw dried fruit, it is best do dehydrate it yourself.

4. Raw Honey is a concentrated sweetener, and although not recommended, in my opinion it is better than agave syrup because it is a whole food and occurs naturally in nature. Of course, honey is not vegan and that may be a concern for some. I recommend purchasing local honey from a beekeeper.

Other “concentrated sweeteners” that are often seen in raw food recipes include:

1) Maple Syrup which is not raw and heat processed. If it is not organic, it may also contain formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals.

2) Sucanat or evaporated cane juice is pure dried sugar cane juice. Unfortunetly this is processed at a temperature above 118 degrees and therefore can’t be considered raw.

3) Yacon Syrup is a syrup from the root of the yacon plant in South America. It is once again, a concentrated sweetener processed at a temperature of up to 140 degrees farenheight.

The moral of this article: Eat whole fresh fruits and vegetables, they are always best. Always question processed and concentrated foods that are not found in nature, even if “raw”.’

 

And instead of reaching for the processed sweeteners try using instead organic fruits and vegetables to make delicious syrups and glazes for your meals and treats!

If you’d like more on this topic or recipes without processed sweeteners please send me an email.

Stay ‘Fit4TheDay’ with debbyK