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
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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
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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

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

Gluten-Free Rice Flour Pumpkin Skillet Biscuits

Crisp  on the outside...sweet and creamy like porridge on the inside.
Crisp on the outside…sweet and creamy on the inside.

Hello Your Fit Day Friends!

I want to let you in on a secret. Carbs are not evil. Really. They’re not. And neither are my Gluten-free Rice Flour Pumpkin Skillet Biscuits. Trust me on this one! It’s more about which carbs you choose, how you cycle them into your diet, and how to make them work for you.

If you haven’t read my last post, where I talk about why I’m using the Carbnite® Solution Plan, stop and click here first. That should explain it all. Well, a lot anyway.

Now, I’m all about helping you stay lean and fit, so some of the best times to indulge in my starchy treats would be:

  1. After a weight training session, preferably in the evening.
  2. When you’re on a Low Carb High Fat ‘diet’, where a re-feed of starches will help boost your metabolism. (Low Carb diets are typically low calorie, due to the satiating effects of fat. You are eating more fat, aren’t you?!!)
  3. Anytime,  because you really don’t care about all this carb timing stuff; you’re here mostly for the yummy gluten-free and sugar-free recipes, high carb or low carb; and because you want to impress someone with your gluten-free, sugar-free baking skills instead of serving them bricks. I know, I’ve had my share of them too!

So, I’ve decided to travel outside the box of my post-workout-world staples of straight-up sweet potatoes and kabocha squash, and get creative in the kitchen. And I’ll be delivering them to you one bite at a time, all gluten-free and sugar-free!

First, I thought I’d give my hand a try at making some biscuits. You know, those light, fluffy, flaky shortcakes, that catapult you into a state of carb-coma euphoria.

But when I was searching the web for “gluten free rice flour biscuits” I hit a stumbling block: I could only find super high-fat and sugar laden recipes, most of which included slow carb flours from grains and legumes. Not exactly what we’re looking for post-workout, or for a program like Carbnite®, which you read about here.

So after some searching and tweaking of recipes, I think I came up with a pretty good gluten-free, sugar-free, low fat biscuit. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

Ah ha! But it’s not! And to prove it, below is my modified version of a skillet biscuit I found over at The Daily Diatribe. I replaced most of the fat, and all of the applesauce (fructose), with Japanese pumpkin (Kabocha squash); and I used stevia instead as the sweetener, instead of the maple syrup.

You could use any type of dense starchy winter squash if you don’t have Japanese Kabocha pumpkins. Or you could use canned pumpkin. However, I can’t vouch for the canned pumpkin because I haven’t tried it yet. But I’m sure it would work. Although, I wouldn’t add any extra water to make a mash, since canned pumpkin is already the right consistency. If you do try it please let me know how they turn out in the comments below.

Mind you my version didn’t end up exactly light and fluffy, like regular biscuits.  Instead they are a bit flatter, crispy on the outside, with a creamy and sweet, baked porridge-like texture on the inside; and very carb-coma worthy!

I also saved out two 1/4 cup portions of the batter and baked them at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes until the tops were a deep golden brown. They save you a bit of fat and I think they are just as crunchy and creamy and delicious.

I find both ways rather addicting.

For some extra added comfort I drizzled a few swirls of my homemade lemon-blueberry compote on top…Divine! (Recipe coming soon)

Some Variations to try:

Bacon Skillet Biscuit (I have not tried this as of yet, but I imagined it to be yummy?): Cook 4 strips of bacon until crisp. Cut each slice in half, so that you have eight pieces.  Crumble each 1/2 strip.  Gently press each 1/2 crumbled strip into each 1/4 cup of scooped batter before ladling onto skillet. Cook per directions.

Blueberry Skillet Biscuit (I have tried this and it is yummy!): Wash and pat dry 8 oz of organic blueberries. Divide into eight separate one ounce servings. Dust each ounce serving with rice flour. Add one ounce of blueberries to each 1/4 cup of scooped batter. Cook per directions.

Chocolate chip variation (I have not tried this yet, but chocolate with everything, including bacon, is yummy!): Measure out eight 1 oz servings of gluten free dark chocolate chips. Add one ounce of chips to each 1/4 cup of scooped batter. Cook per directions.

Savory Chive and Herb (I have tried this with my Ultra Low Carb biscuits-recipe coming soon-and they are Yum Yummy!): For savory biscuits you can fold in some fresh chives, or your favorite blend of fresh or dried herbs, to the mixed batter. Cook per directions

I hope you like them as much as I do. Please let me know in your comments below.

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, in the above right hand corner, so you don’t miss out on the fun!

Biscuits that melt in your mouth
Biscuits that melt in your mouth…drool!
Gluten Free Rice Flour Pumpkin Skillet Biscuit
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A sweet and savory biscuit with a hint of vanilla. Lightly cooked in coconut oil on your skillet makes for a crisp savory crust with a sweet creamy inside, similar to a thick griddle cake. You can also try baking these biscuits too.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Whole Foods 365 Almond milk unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1⅓ cups white rice flour (not sweet white rice flour or brown rice flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons sweet potato mash (4 tbsp baked kabocha squash* with 1-3 tbsp of water to make puree the consistency of applesauce. This is important. This will depend on the moisture content of your winter squash. You will end up with slightly more puree than 4 tbsp. I usually add it all since it's just a little bit more)
  • ¼-1 tsp liquid stevia, to taste. Start with small amount as it's very potent.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • * You can also use winter squash such as acorn, butternut.
  • * You can also use canned pumpkin, but you don’t need to add any extra liquid to make it a puree, since it's already the right consistency.
Instructions
  1. Stir together the milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle. Begin heating a skillet on medium to allow it to get nice and hot.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add the oil, kabocha mash puree and vanilla to the milk and stir.(If making savory biscuits then omit vanilla and instead add your favorite spices, maybe onion powder, garlic, red pepper flakes, to flour mixture). These are still savory-sweet, if you stick to original recipe.
  4. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients, and stir together just until completely mixed.
  5. Add oil to your skillet(I just coat the pan), then scoop the batter into the skillet, using a ¼ measuring cup per biscuit. Try and shape the biscuits so they are high when you scoop them out of the measuring cup. (Actually, I whacked the pan to get them out; or you can be more civilized and use a spoon).
  6. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip. Immediately cover the skillet with it's lid (or find something to cover it with) and cook for another 4 minutes.
  7. I didn't have a top so mine were a bit flat, but they still puffed up.
  8. Remove from skillet and let cool about 5 minutes before serving.
  9. If they are not crispy for your liking, or you prefer the centers to be a bit more baked, you can put them into an oven at 350 for a few minutes to crisp them up.
  10. Best eaten warm.
Notes
You can also bake the biscuits in a pre heated 400 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the tops are a deep golden brown. I kept biting into mine to see if they were done. After about 30 minutes of taste testing, and not much biscuit left, I proclaimed them to be delicious!

These freeze well in a zip lock bag. To reheat simply thaw and bake for about 5-8 minutes in a 300 degree oven or until crispy and crunchy again.


Nutrition Info for the Variations
Per Biscuit

Bacon: Fat:8.5grams; Protein: 6.5grams ; Carbs same as original

Blueberry: Carbs:29grams ; Fat and Protein same as original

Chocolate Chips(Enjoy Life Brand): Fat:13 grams ; Carbs:41grams ; Protein:5
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 Fat: 4 Carbohydrates: 23 Protein: 2
Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside!
Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside!

 

Low Carb Pumpkin PieTartlettes and the Art of baking

Pumpkin Tartlette
Hand sculpted like a piece of art!

HI Your Fit Day Friends!

I Love Art! It’s no wonder since I grew up with an abundance of art and music in my home; from an opera singer mom to an impressionist painting dad, as well as my brothers, sister and myself playing our various instruments and doing our own crafty things. And during those years I  was drawn to jewelry making, knitting, claymation, ceramics, cooking, tile making,photography, painting t-shirts, terrarium building and landscape gardening, to name just a few!
So of course I would classify myself as the creative type, possibly a diva!

But like most of us life got in the way, and it was hard to keep up with my crafting. And as I got older I found myself not doing much more than making Holiday cards and cookies! Then about 14 years ago, after a tragic event in our family, once again I had this sudden urgent creative itch, which ran deep.

At  first this resulted in the medium of painting;. However, it didn’t take me long to realize I would never be Renoir or Van Gough. I can barley draw a line, let alone a circle. No, I was painting pots. You know, the red clay ones you buy at the garden store.  I bought a few, went to the art store, stocked up on color and started painting away; which only resulted in a bunch of pots in my house that reminded me of my 5th grade art class.  The passion was there but I needed more authenticity in its expression.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I should be building the pots I was going to paint, not buying them. I needed to get down and dirty in some clay; really make something… or attempt to anyway. So I found a ceramics studio in Oakland-near my apartment and conveniently right next door to my pool-signed up for a class, and fell in love with the art of building and molding things out of clay.

After a couple years of this, and a house full of eclectic pieces, I considered myself an artist and was energized by the thought of just going to class. I dreamed about pottery as much as I did about lifting weights!

But then, tragically, the studio closed down for renovation. Unfortunately I couldn’t find another suitable place to do my craft, since they were too expensive or too far a drive. And when the City of Oakland’s Studio One finally did open it’s doors again, in it’s swanky new building, the price for a session had nearly tripled. While my tax dollars had supported the building of a new art studio my budget was unable to support taking a class. So my art fell to the wayside.

Well, kind of. Fitness has allowed me to sculpt not only my own body but those of 100’s of others’. But with my recent two surgeries, one on my hip in October of 2011, and another on my shoulder in May 2012, it’s been hard training clients, do art, or even garden (and won’t be able to garden for several months). But that craving to create has never ceased. And it’s getting stronger.

Fast forward 12 years later

My passion for creativity has surfaced again and it’s like a tsunami! But now I have found a new art medium:  the art of baking. And so here we are, at my fitness blog, drooling over pumpkins, pies and nutty crusts, and who knows what else that lies ahead!

What I really love about baking is that, just like working with clay, I can dream up anything; and using all my senses I can bring it to life. My hands now work again as they did with clay: I mold and shape the dough,  I mix the ingredients into batter, and  I fire, or now bake, what was once raw. And just as I did with my clay pieces, I hope my baked ‘piece’ turns out as intended. Sometimes it doesn’t because ovens, as with kilns, can be testy and temperamental,  having their own intentions. And sometimes I end up with a flop! But who cares. I love the whimsy of both: art and baking.

So making my pumpkin pie tartlettes brought me back in time… to the old Studio One ceramics class.  There you would find me one with the clay, transformed with intent, immersed in another world, throwing, plying and molding the mound with my hands; and bringing to life the various shapes and beings that I had no idea could come forth from the tips of my fingers. Just as it was with clay I now find myself in my closet kitchen-my culinary studio-hovered over my counter top doing the same.

Today I’m working with ground nuts, like I did with clay, and molding the delicate meal into a vessel that holds my leftover pumpkin pie batter, which is then baked into the mini, sweet, aromatic pumpkin pies. And let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to lick your hands when they’re filled with ground nuts than it is if they’re yucked up with mud.

These spicy tartletes are 1/5th of the leftovers from my Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie. But you can make and use the entire batter which will yield about 26 mini pies.

I also did a new take on my Nutty Crust and Pumpkin Pie Batter, using more spices. Hope you like it. Let me know in the comments!

Low Carb Pumpkin Pie Tartlettes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A creamy rich mini pumpkin pie, with a spiced, slightly salty crust, that I make from the leftovers of my Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Leftover pumpkin pie batter from Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie or 1 cup or your own leftover pumpkin pie batter.. Or the entire batter if you want to make 26 tartlettes.
Pumpkin Pie Batter
  • 2 cups pumpkin, mashed ( I use real sugar pumpkins, not canned. If you use canned pumpkin use 1 15oz can but results will vary)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cups Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 can (15 oz) coconut milk, canned, full fat
  • 1 teaspoon liquid stevia - vanilla cream flavored
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract (Use 1 more tbsp if no Vanilla cream stevia)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoons nutmeg (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (adjust to taste)
Nut Crust
  • ½ cup, whole almonds, raw
  • ⅔ cup, ground hazelnuts, ground
  • ⅓ cup Finely ground, blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon walnut halves, roughly chopped (OPTIONAL, as these were all I had left so I used them!)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil metled
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
Instructions
Crust
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line 6 muffin tins with liners (you will have approx. 6 tbsp of crust batter left over, which you can make into shells for something else!)
  3. Combine all ingredients into food processor or blender. Pulse or grind til combined and meal sticks together in small beads. Make sure to stop before nuts have become butter.
  4. Using 3 Tbsp of nut batter per muffin liner gently mold into liner making sure entire cup is covered in nut batter. Make sides are thicker than bottom and batter goes to top rim of liner.
  5. Bake at 350 for approx 10 minutes
  6. Let cool 10 minutes before filling
  7. Make pie batter while waiting for crusts to bake (If not using leftovers, of course)
  8. Be careful not to eat the pie batter while waiting, it tastes that yummy!
Batter
  1. If using frozen leftover batter bring to room temperature and set aside and proceed to CRUST direction.
  2. If using your own batter results may vary as well as nutritional information. I highly suggest making my lovely Pie batter.
  3. In a blender or food processor add pumpkin, eggs, spices. Blend until combined. Slowly add coconut milk and continue blending until combined. Recipe makes 5 cups of batter. Approximately 1 cup of batter makes 6 tartlettes.
  4. Gently add Approx 3 Tbsp of pumpkin batter into each of the nut crust lined muffin tins.
  5. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until center of tartlettes are firm.
  6. Check at 20 minutes and pull out of oven before tops of tartlettes turn brown
  7. It's smelling really good right now!
  8. Let cool 5 minutes
  9. Keeping the tartlettes in the liners, remove from tins and place in open Tupperware container.
  10. Place in refrigerator to set for an hour, and keep your hands off!
  11. Store loosely covered in fridge. Will keep for about a week, if they last that long uneaten!
Notes
The entire batter will make approximately 26 tartlettes. You will need to triple the Nut Crust recipe.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 201 Fat: 20 Carbohydrates: 7 Sodium: 133 Fiber: 2.8 Protein: 6.65

Pumpkin Tartlettes

Gluten Free Pumpkin Tartlette

Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

The Great Pumpkin
Pumpkin on Steroids

Hi, Your Fit Day Friends!

How was your Halloween? Well, mine was great, and it really got me into the pumpkin spirit. Everywhere I go there’s a pumpkin staring me in the eyes. And now at my local food market, The Berkeley Bowl, there are a gazillion bins of pumpkins and gourds, all different sizes and shapes. My favorite is still the Japanese pumpkin, which is also called Kabocha squash. It’s my favorite because if you pick them just right the flesh is usually very creamy and dense when baked, almost like the flesh of a sweet potato. Now’s actually the best time of year to eat them; and up until about March, from my over 20 year experience of noshing.

And the bonus is that pumpkins, along with all the Vitamin A and fiber, have less starch than other winter squashes and sweet potatoes which makes them great for baking into treats, adding a nice texture without all the extra carbs.  And it’s all about eating less carbs, right?  So no wonder I love it. But a starch is still a starch so I watch how much I’m eating. In fact if I eat too much Kabocha I practically light up at night, my skin becomes such a glow from all the vitamin A!

And what about all those cute little pumpkins. The baby pumpkins.

Pumpkin minis
Baby Pumpkins are too cute to eat!

What do you do with them? I’m assuming they’re for decoration. I’ve never bought one because I tend not to buy food as decoration. I don’t see the point. OK! call me frugal, but I’d rather eat my food, not stare at it! Wouldn’t you?  Bottom line…more money for more food. That’s more recipes for you!

So, back to Halloween… I decided to buy a pumpkin, even though I live in an apartment, on the second floor, with no balcony or stoop to put it on.  It’s just a small 1920’s style house with five small units that, wow, come to think about it, looks like a gingerbread house! The guy living downstairs is lucky; he has a front porch and nice bay windows that would look swell with a scary glowing pumpkin in the window. But a pumpkin on the porch in this city neighborhood wouldn’t last long anyway.

So, instead of buying and carving up Jack-O, I decided to get creative in the kitchen and roast his cousin, Sugar, and make some Paleo pumpkin pie for my friends. However, since I’m on the Carbnite Solution plan I needed my pie to be low carb, as well as sugar free, grain free, dairy free and gluten free for my Ultra Low Carb days (more about that later). OMG! You’re probably saying aloud ,’will this taste much better than cardboard?’ You betcha. Because I made it with the wholesome goodness of coconut milk, fresh pumpkin, eggs, some stevia and spices, and a lot of love! And the crust was a savory mix of nuts, nut flours, and virgin coconut oil. No kidding, that’s it. A low carb pumpkin pie. Ahhh! And wait til  you taste it.

Since this was my first pumpkin pie you’d think that I’d be a bit weary of giving most of it away to my friends as taste testers. But I did. And despite having no sugar or dairy in it they all thought it was yummy. And that’s a good thing. Because nobody wants to be ‘defriended’!  One friend even said it reminded her of cheesecake…it was that creamy.

And guess what? I’ve been inspired to start a separate recipe blog. I can’t reveal the details just yet. It’s super secret! But in a couple weeks I’ll have a new website up devoted to gluten free Paleo, low carb, sugar free, grain free and mostly dairy free treats. But since Wo-man can’t live on treats alone (I know, that sucks!) I do plan having other edibles that will be pleasing to your palette while nurturing your soul with good nutrition.

And if you’re in the Oakland, CA area and want to try some of my treats drop me an email at debkaplan@sbcglobal.net, Facebook me, or Tweet me. The plan is to make some goodies each week, and I’m looking for taste testers…

Sorry about the weird box below. I’m using a new format and it’s it’s not formatting correctly. I didn’t know how to fix it without losing my recipe.

Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Paleo Pumpkin Pie
Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

 

Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie
 
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 16 Calories: 194 Fat: 18 Carbohydrates: 6 Sodium: 59 Fiber: 2.4 Protein: 6

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Debby Kaplan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
This is a rich and creamy dairy, gluten, sugar and grain free pumpkin pie that is perfect for an Ultra Low Carb meal plan. It is also Carb Backloading™ and CarbNite Solution™ friendly. I don’t like the taste of canned pumpkin so I try to use fresh pumpkin for most of my recipes. NOTE: Recipe makes approx. 5 cups of batter. I used 4 cups and the nutritional information is based on 4 cups, not 5.

Ingredients
  • Pie Batter
  • 2 cups roasted sugar pumpkin. One small sugar pumpkin will usually yield 2 cups roasted pumpkin (1 15oz canned pumpkin if you really have to!)
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 can full fat organic coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp vanilla cream stevia
  • 1/4 cup whey protein powder
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

 

  • Pie Crust
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour finely ground
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil melted
  • Lots of Love!
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Roast Pumpkin
Pie Crust
  1. In a blender add all pie crust ingredients.
  2. Grind until nuts are fine meal. Be careful as to not allow nuts to start forming butter.
  3. Continue to pulse until mixture forms a crumbly meal and comes together when pinched. Make sure you don’t grind too much so it turns into nut butter! Stop to scrape down sides as needed.
  4. Scrape out into mound in center of pie pan or dish
  5. Starting from middle work the pie crust out and up sides of pie tin. This part of pie making reminds me of hand building a bowl or plate out of clay. Allow for thicker crust up the sides. Bottom can be thinner.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until it just starts to brown. Do not over bake!
  7. Remove and let completely cool before filling
  8. Pie crust can be made day ahead and stored in refrigerator
  9. While crust is baking make the pie filling
  10. Remember to turn up oven to 400 after pie crust is removed from oven
Pie Filling
  1. In a blender or food processor add pumpkin, eggs, spices. Blend until combined. Slowly add coconut milk and continue blending until combined. Recipe makes 5 cups of batter. My pie crust held about 4 cups. I used the rest of the batter in my Pumpkin Pie Tartlets (Will be posted shortly)
  2. Pour into (cooled) pie crust.
  3. Do not over fill
  4. Cover crust with foil or pie crust cover
  5. You may have extra batter, which you can use to make my Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts, which will be in my next post. I know, I’m such a tease.
  6. Place pan on lower third of oven
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 400
  8. Lower temperature to 350
  9. Bake for additional 40-50 minutes or until center is firm and doesn’t jiggle when you shake the rack it’s sitting on. The edges may be brown. Since it’s a custard you don’t want to over bake it, and the knife in the center trick doesn’t apply here. Go by touch!
  10. It’s smelling really good right now!
 
Notes

This is my first time using this recipe plugin. I really wanted the picture of my pumpkin pie in the box above but it won’t let me change it. So you’re stuck with the big fat pumpkin on steriods. Looks like I’ll be upgrading my plugin version!

Paleo Pie Crust
This is basically a big nut cookie!

 

It tastes as good as it glows!

 

Low Carb Paleo Pumpkin Pie

 

Paleo Pumpkin Pie
Perfect Paleo Pumpkin Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DebbyK’s Hip Surgery_My Healing Potion!

HI Your Fit Day Friends!

Well Day 7 got off to a good start. Especially after my tour of the resort and walk on the beach with the conch man.

And like I said in my last post, I was dying to put my butt in those lounge chairs by the pool and relax. I mean, shorten the word RelaX and what do you have?  Rx: A prescription for healing…So that is exactly what I intended to do.

And that’s not hard to do when your greeted by my friend Prahbu, the pool attendant-or should I say ‘pool boy’, which is how he referred to himself.

Then as I was laying back and taking this all in I noticed all the coconuts above me. Wow! Look! Complementary coconut water!! I was kind a hoping that one would just fall into my lap, without, of course, knocking my head off.  And I must have been thinking aloud because Prabhu immediately took notice and offered to fix me a treat.

I mean a real Paleo treat. Something that was so yummy and refreshing that I ended up having another…..and another….and….well, watch the video:

Paleo Treat: Fresh coconut cut up after I drank the fresh juice out of the shell!

I am so grateful for everything Prabhu has done for me today. He even went the extra mile and brought surprised me with this fresh treat from the coconut he felled for me.

Hey! It doesn’t get better than this!

He, works really really hard. Not just here at the pool where he provides ten star service to all the guests who park it by the pool; but everyday, from early in the morning into the wee hours of the following day.

You see, Prabhu, like most of the  men who live near the resort, has been a fisherman since he was a little boy. He grew up in the village at the far end of the beach. Remember? In the video ?

He told me that his father died when he was five, leaving his mother to raise he and his younger brother.  Since he was the older brother he became a fisherman to help support his family, and he never got to finish high school or enroll in college, like his younger brother has done. But that’s OK with Prahbhu.

So now, every night after his 1-8pm shift at the pool, he heads three miles out to sea in a small boat, with his friends as hired fishermen, to set lines, wait, and haul in the catch; which is then split among the group. Sometimes he doesn’t get back until 3am.

And if the catch is successful and he has fish to bring home, his mother cleans it and then walks the five to six kilometers to market, to sell it. Of course in the monsoon season they don’t go out to sea.

Hard working hands…Prebhu is also a fisherman at night.

And check these out (left)… the hands of a real working man.

And on most days, after getting in so late, Prabhu tells me he is up early with his friends, playing beach volleyball, soccer or cricket and being super active.

On the day I met Prabhu it was after one of those long nights, and early athletic mornings, and he was happy and full of energy, despite a ‘no catch’ night.

Prabhu may work long hard hours but he loves his life. He is engaged to be married in February, is genuinely happy, and living the life he wants. Prabhu says he wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m glad for that, since his commitment, caring, and genuine love for people, topped with his energy, transcend his work, all which make a great recipe for healing…my healing potion!

When I think about it I can’t imagine having been sent home on Day 3 day post op for recovery, like they do here in the U.S.  So, coconuts aside, I’m sure I wouldn’t have had this experience in the U.S.; especially when I’d be recovering in my apartment, by myself, for the most part.

What’s so special about recovering here in India, and what I’ve found that I’ve needed, is the constant ‘companion’ who’s always at your service…all day, all night..any hour. (Achem! for those of you who are letting your minds wander, please, this is a PG rated blog….!)

Potions For Healing

India is truly full of love, peacefulness and positive energy; and it shines through in all the people who I’ve met and befriended.

And this has become my elixir for healing. OK… Of course, not to mention I’m eating Paleo-healthy tasty Indian food, drinking lots of coconut water, and doing my daily exercise routines that I’ve been posting in some of my blogs. Mix all of this together and you’ve got yourself the best recipe for healing, as well as a happy and healthy life.

Hey! Are you doing the same, and following my fitness routines that I’m posting in my blog?!! Because I guarantee that if you do you will be strong and fit and lean and you’ll be ready to take on any challenge that comes your way…Like I have.

So stay tuned for my next post where I personally give you a walking tour of the Fisherman’s Cover resort AND the beach. You won’t want to miss it.

My Question Is This…

Have any of you had this kind of experience in India or another foreign country? I’d love to hear from you.

Leave your comment below.

Your Friend and Trainer

DebbyK!

Make It Your Fit Day