Keto-Friendly, Low-Carb Bagels

Now, Almond Flour and Mozzarella are your friends!

This is a gift – given to me, and I now pass along to all of you. A gift for those doing the low-carb-thang, the gift of bagels. Yes, my friends, even though we have sworn to abstain from carbs and their glorious servants of bread, here is a bagel you can easily bake and eat!

This life-saver was brought to us from Wholesome Yum, and what a joy! The few things I miss eating low-carb are the bread-y things, bagels being one of my favorites. This recipe is a spin-off from the infamous Fat-Head Pizza dough, and is made primarily from almond flour and mozzarella. I know it sounds like it will make a mess putting it together, but it’s really easy to clean up – so don’t let that stop you! I threw these together at 10 pm, cleaned up, and was done eating one by 11!

On my next attempt, I’m going to throw a little yeast in the mix, not for any dough-raising properties, but to see if I can add a little of the flavor and smell of a traditional yeast bread. If it works, it will be killer!

These don’t toast up like regular bagels, although some people have had luck broiling in a toaster oven, while others fry the buttered halves in a skillet. I put mine in the toaster on the longest setting and then buttered ’em, and while not crispy, they were still awesomely delicious.

These total out at about 360 calories and 5 net carbs each. This may not be an every day snack, but if it fits your macros for the day – woo-hoo! I hope you get the chance to give them a try, maybe with some Kerrygold butter! Good luck and good eating!

Keto-Friendly, Low-Carb Bagels
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the almond flour and baking powder, breaking up any lumps.
  3. In a separate bowl (glass is preferable), combine the shredded mozzarella and cream cheese. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, microwave one more minute and stir once more until well mixed.
  4. Stir the flour mixture and eggs into the melted cheese mixture. Knead with your hands until a dough forms and ingredients are fully mixed. The dough will be very sticky. If the dough becomes too stiff before fully combined, microwave an additional 15-20 seconds to soften it.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 parts. Form each into a long snake, and then stick the ends together to make a bagel shape on the lined baking sheet. If you're adding any toppings, brush with an egg wash and lightly press the toppings on, or brush with a light coating of butter.
  6. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until the bagels are firm and golden.

 

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Let’s Talk Low Carb

Testing Out a Ketogenic Diet

So, I have finally hit the point in mid-life where I can’t eat whatever I want anymore. I mean, I COULD eat whatever I want, but my body has decided to hold onto every. last. calorie. ever. Which puts a damper on things, gastronomically speaking.

Back around October, I noticed that my work clothes were getting a little snug. And then the chin was a little gushy. And then the belly jiggled when I walked. And then the work clothes were more than snug and I started to feel like a little sausage. Not cool, body!

Over the next 3 or 4 months, I started tracking my calories, eating better, and ACTUALLY exercising (C25K). The weight was stubborn. The scale didn’t move. I cut more calories, got stricter with the veggies and fruit, added more water. Still nothing. Cut MORE calories, ate only whole foods, watched portions, used a food scale. I’m talking under 900 calories a day. And guess what? No change.

At this point, I was upset. It seemed like there was nothing I could do! I felt like I was depriving myself every day, but I had nothing to show for it. Scientifically and mathematically, I didn’t understand how in the world I could NOT be losing weight. I couldn’t realistically cut any more calories. I had to be missing something.

Around March, I stumbled across something called the Keto diet. Very simply, it’s a high-fat, moderate protein, very low-carb way of eating. The success stories were amazing! Not only were people losing weight long-term, there were many other benefits. Reversing type 2 diabetes, reversing high blood pressure, body pains gone, enhanced mental clarity, greatly increased energy, skin problems disappearing, the list went on and on.

The underlying principle is that by practically eliminating carbs from your diet, your body switches it’s fuel source from glycogen (sugar) to ketones (fat). This sounded like a BIG step to take, and kind of scary to be honest. Would this screw me up? Was there any going back if I didn’t like it? I did a ton of research, and determined that there wasn’t any risk – if I didn’t like it, I could go back to my old way of eating with no side effects. Already, I wasn’t eating a lot of bread or sugar. It was primarily grains (like oatmeal) and fruit (Agh!!!) that I would give up, but I could increase the fats I was eating (butter, heavy cream, cream cheese, etc.)

I started at the end of March, and it’s been a real learning process. Wow, there are hidden carbs in almost everything you buy other than unprocessed meat! But I have consistently lost weight, I haven’t been hungry, and I have really been enjoying the foods I do get to eat now. I track all of my food in an app on my phone. A typical dinner for me now looks like this:

A juicy, delicious barbecued chicken breast and grilled asparagus. And I eat like this almost every meal – it seems too good to be true! Due to the anti-inflammatory nature of this “diet” I feel better than I have in years. My body doesn’t hurt, I’m happier and more optimistic, I get twice as much done every day, and naps are pretty much a thing of the past.

Best of all, it’s all gluten-free, so the hubs and I eat the same stuff. He still eats carbs, but the amount he eats now is way less than before. If you’re interested in learning more, please let me know. I hope to share more Keto goodies with you soon!

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(Gluten Free) Berry, Berry Good Strawberry Cake

One Heckuva Strawberry Cake

Hubby’s Big 5-0 was coming up, so a few days before, I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for this momentous event. “Hmm…” he says, “like what?” Oh geez…. “Well, you’ve got the old chocolate standby, or carrot cake, or maybe something with strawberries since they’re your favorite.” His eyes got a little bigger. “How about like a strawberry shortcake, except a regular cake instead?” The decision was fast and sure – now I needed to come up with a way to make it happen!

Keeping in mind the cake had to be gluten-free, I hit the internet, and soon found just what I was looking for from The Pioneer Woman. A nice easy recipe with whole ingredients. Bonus? When frosting the cake, you’re going for the rustic, shabby-chic kind of finish. This is a win-win for me because I have ZERO skills when it comes to frosting and decorating baked goods. This is something that future-me wants to work on, but that time is definitely not now! (In an ironic plot twist, I frosted this cake pretty darn nicely, see pics.)

Strawberry Cake
Strawberry Cake

So let’s see, we have strawberries (yum), cake (yum), cream cheese frosting (super-yum), and a milestone birthday to celebrate (YAY!) I call this one a WINNER!

Gluten Free Berry, Berry Good Strawberry Cake
 
Ingredients
Cake
  • 1-1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill One-to-One Baking Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 9 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • ½ cup Sour Cream, Room Temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
Frosting
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1-1/2 pound Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound Strawberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together dry cake ingredients.
  3. In your main mixing bowl, cream the 9 tablespoons of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low until just barely combined.
  4. Pour into the cake pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until set. Turn cake out onto a cooling rack as soon as you remove it from the oven.
  5. Remove the stems from the strawberries and slice them up. Add 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let it sit for half an hour. After 30 minutes, split into 2 bowls and smash. Sprinkle each half with an additional tablespoon of sugar and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
  6. While waiting, make the frosting. Mix together the cream cheese, 2 sticks butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
  7. Slice cooled cake in half to make 2 rounds, place cut side up. Spread strawberries and juice evenly over each half. Place cake halves into the freezer for five minutes to firm them up a bit.
  8. Remove from freezer. Use about ⅓ of the icing to spread over the top of the strawberries on the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top. Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining ⅓ cup around the sides.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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