Keto Protein Cloud Loaf

I love the cloud bread recipes floating around (excuse the pun), but I find them to be a bit frustrating and a bit hit-and-miss sometimes.

Also, my oven isn’t huge so making a few light pieces of cloud bread isn’t convenient or satisfying, and I can’t wait around to make them in batches as the whipped egg whites are too sensitive so they really need to go in the oven as soon as they’re prepared.

I personally find making a good old loaf of bread to be the simplest thing. This recipe was inspired by the cloud bread recipe and a chiffon cake recipe using whey protein.

I’ve replaced the cream cheese with Greek Yogurt (it’s cheaper and we buy it in bulk), and the texture works PERFECTLY as a bread (it works both savoury or sweet depending on your preference).

FAQ’s

Does the bread taste like cake?

I don’t think it’s cakey as it has no (nut) flour. It’s almost like a super light Keto version of a loaf of brioche.

It’s so good that in my books it beats almond bread, coconut bread, and flax bread. I’m a sucker for light and fluffy bread!

How do you eat it?

Like bread!

Slice, smother in butter/ghee/garlic olive oil, pan fry, (I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried toasting it because it’s quite light and I have a feeling it might get stuck in the toaster), use it in a sandwich, and so on.

(This morning I toasted a slice in ghee and made an open sandwich with creamy scrambled eggs – because I’m addicted to scrambled eggs at the moment – with a side of bacon and greens).

Keto Protein Loaf (6)

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 eggs separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 170g Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 50g Whey Protein Isolate (Unflavoured for savoury bread, *Vanilla flavoured for Sweet bread)
  • OPTION 1 Spicy Savoury Bread: Spices: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt of choice, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Dried Chilli Flakes (or other savoury spices of choice).
  • *OPTION 2 Sweet Bread: 2-3 tablespoons sweetener of choice if using unflavoured whey protein OR use a vanilla flavoured whey isolate protein powder.

METHOD

1. Preperation: Pre-heat the oven to 150C and grease a loaf tin.

2. Add the cream of tartar to the egg white and whisk until stiff peaks form.

3. To the egg yolks add the remaining ingredients (greek yogurt, whey protein, baking powder, salt and spices).

4. Mix the yolk mixture well.

5. Add the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture in parts:

  • Add 1/3 of the white and mix to loosen the batter.
  • Add 2/3 and FOLD very gently. You want it to be well combined but don’t want to lose any “fluffiness”.

6. Pour it into your greased loaf tin and bake at 150C for approximately 60minutes. (You may have to adjust the temperature and time depending on your oven.)

(NOTE: If you really want buns it might work but I haven’t tried!)

Macros

1 whole loaf (= approximately 10 servings):

  • Calories: 835.2 kcal
  • Protein: 85.6g
  • Net carbs: 17.6g
  • Fat: 45.6g

1 slice:

  • Calories: 83.5 kcal
  • Protein: 8.6g
  • Net carbs: 1.8g
  • Fat: 4.6g

 

 

Brain Butter (Low Carb | High Fat |Gluten Free )

Keto vs. Epilepsy vs. Life Update

It’s been a LONG LONG time since I’ve posted. Mainly because there’s been so much going on, and not much at the same time, such is the life of an epileptic! For the average Joe a small task doesn’t take alot of effort, but for an epileptic, doing normal things is exhausting. You brain literally feels like butter much of the time.

As I’m working on a number of small projects part-time, instead of focusing on one stable full-time job now, it can get stressful and mentally draining even though physically right now I’m only really in London as opposed to hopping between two continents as I was doing before.

Still, it’s a battle trying to merely get started, complete tasks, and stay functional.  I find I often spend as much (if not twice as much) time recovering (catching up on sleep, Netflix and chill, yoga and meditation, me time!) as I do just getting on with things and trying to lead a “normal life”.

However, these last few months I’ve had moments of gratitude repeatedly for my parents (without whom I wouldn’t be seizure free), my partner (who saved my life and for giving me space, time and love in his own way), my sister and her family (for just being around and especially for allowing me to vent, cry, be a cow), and for a handful of friends I know I can count on.

Amongst them, one recently came to London all the way from Mumbai last month, and she opened my eyes to a whole new world of Nichiren Buddhism I hadn’t explored. I’m thankful for the quality time we got to spend together and the exciting project we’ve dreamed up! I love that you and I recognise that we are “Dysfunctionally Functional” and accept it.

It was also my niece’s first birthday and my sister and her fambam came to visit for four days.

So here is my confession – last month – OCTOBER 2017, I SLIPPED UP BIGTIME on a few occasions:

  •  Whilst my friend was around there was one night where she had a dessert with flambéed alcohol on it, I took one bite and pretty much got drunk (who gets high on flambéed apple crumble?) We also went to Ping Pong (Chinese Dim Sum) two nights in a row. And I had dessert!!!
  • Whilst my sister was down as well I went to the pub with my her and my BIL and had a chip from her plate with my steak, ate some rice and Paratha with my curry, I also had cake, panna cottage and ‘payesh’ (rice pudding) on my niece’s birthday.

SO SUE ME, I decided to live a little for a few days 😂! No regrets. And it will happen again I’m sure.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Here’s the upside though:

  • Whenever I do slip up, it reminds me that I just can’t stand sugar and carbs, it’s not for me. I can literally feel the sugar slap my brain around. It satisfies me temporarily for a few spoonfuls but in the back of my  mind I think “hmmmm how can I ketofy this at home 😂!” What I really enjoyed though was just being around my family and friends.
  • Unlike previous times during the summer for instance when I had a bad carb-up, practically went into a “food coma”, and also seemed to struggle getting back into the Keto way of eating, every single time I re-started keto after relapsing, THIS time I pretty much bounced straight back into ketosis after a few days, no major struggle or keto flu (although I did battle the real flu twice during this period). I didn’t fast intentionally although it may have happened that I unintentionally Intermittent Fasted a number of days sporadically.

Brain Butter?

Anyway enough of my rambling, as November is the month for #EpilepsyAwareness here is a lovely nut butter recipe especially for my fellow #brainwarriors on Keto – #BrainButter!

The reason it’s called Brain Butter is because it’s made from Walnuts, Pecans, and Fats (olive oil, ghee, coconut oil) which are good for the brain. I used all three, but feel free to use just one or two.

When I was making it I didn’t realise how symbolic it really was. 💜

Walnuts and pecans look like the brain. It’s poetic almost, the whole process of making a nut butter is almost like what it is to be an epileptic – you’re ok one minute and the next your brain feels all mushy and you’ve lost control like liquid nutbutter. BUT homemade BrainButter is of course healing with so many nourishing and restorative properties.

In addition to the countless  health benefits of walnuts, they’re also supposed to have numerous properties which make them good for the brain and there are studies that show they have anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effects (albeit on rats).

This recipe also has cinnamon which is supposed to be good for the neurological system including memory – us epileptics suffer greatly on that front!

Other reasons why I LOVE this Brain Butter: 

  • Probably because of the high fat content in walnuts and pecans, it comes together ALOT quicker than almond butter and peanut butter. I think it took me less than 10 minutes to blend a batch of butter. So for tired epileptics, maximum fat for less effort, I think it’s a go-to nut butter!
  • 1 Tablespoon of this would  give you a significant amount (0.9g) of your heart healthy Omega 3’s.

Brain Butter Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (approx. 100g) pecans
  • 1 cup (approx. 80g) walnuts
  • 2-3 Tbsp Fat of choice (I used 1 Tbsp Olive Oil / 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil /1 Tbsp Ghee)
  • 1-2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Himalayan Salt

Note: The ghee makes it smell/taste like burnt caramel a little bit, I would only suggest using homemade ghee otherwise use one / a combination of the other two oils, as store-bought ghee might be overpowering.

METHOD

1. Toast your pecans and walnuts in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes to release the oils.

2. Set aside to cool slightly, allow the nuts to come down to room temperature before putting them in the food processor.

3. Place your nuts in a food processor and blend until you get a grainy consistency.

 

4. Then gradually add your oils in turn every 1-2 minutes. Keep the the processor churning, but check periodically, stir (and push down the sides and scrape the bottom of the processor) and of course taste as you go along if you must and adjust 😊!

 

5. This is what the finished Brain Butter should look like !

 

MACROS per serving

This recipe creates approximately 10 Tablespoons of Brain Butter.

1 serving = 1 Tbsp

  • 157.4 kcal
  • 2.1g protein
  • 1.1g net carbs
  • 16.4g fat

Update: How do you eat it?

Like any other nut butter!

  • By the spoonful 🙂
  • On your (ahem low carb / keto) bread / toast / bagel / waffle / bun  / pancake / donut / world!
  • On top of a keto granola.
  • In your smoothie.

 

 

 

 

Keto Mini Cinnamon Rolls & Chocolate Rolls (Gluten Free|Low Carb)

Keto & Epilepsy Update

I’ve been struggling to get my fats in again and I know my weight has changed since I started this way of eating, and I feel like I need to adjust my macros. But I’m not quite sure.

However I FINALLY GOT AN APPOINTMENT WITH A DIETITIAN ON THE NHS! Although the appointment is all the way in December, I’m over the moon and couldn’t be more excited because I thought it was never going to happen. I don’t think there are that many “ketogenic diet for adults with epilepsy” specialists around.

Anyway it has been over nine months since I found out about the the diet, and around six months of being on it. I can now say the following:

POSITIVES:

  • My seizures have reduced in severity. Since going keto I did have one grandmal however that was a day after changing my dose which was kind of expected.
  • Creative outlet: I enjoy cooking and experimenting with keto recipes, especially making more ‘mainstream’ food out of low-carb ingredients.
  • Be prepared: It’s hard out there and MOST foods have sugar and/or additives. So planning is crucial!
  • Learning: The Keto WOE isn’t the same for everyone. My dad is doing it for weightloss and his heart but he also doesn’t really care (yet) about inflammatory additives. Whereas I’m doing it for epilepsy and eczema and so additives are important to me.

NEGATIVES:

Please note that both of the negatives mentioned below are also side effects of Zonisamide (Zonegran), the anti-epileptic medication that I’m on. 

  • Weight loss. Chubby 16 year-old me on Epilim would have loved to be able to lose the weight so quickly, but 32 year-old me isn’t quite so sure about the drastic weight loss.
  • Fluctuating energy levels. There are moments where I have sufficient energy and moments where I’m exhausted. I can’t drink caffeine so rely on MCT oil for quick bursts of energy.

FatHead Pastry: The Keto Holy Grail!

My foodprep this Sunday was mini Keto pastries made with a slightly sweetened fathead pastry.

I made bitesized Mini Cinnamon Rolls (0.9g carbs) and Chocolate Rolls / Chocolate Danish Pastries (1.5g carbs) today!

KetoPastry-001

Whoever came up with the idea of the genius fathead dough. I. LOVE. YOU!!! Next time I visit my sister in Paris, I’m taking along a batch of these babies so I’m not tempted (again!)

Ingredients

FatHead Pastry:

  • 200g (1.5 cups) shredded mozzarella
  • 80g (0.75 cup) almond flour
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Natvia
Cinnamon Filling:
  • 2 tbsp Natvia (or other low-carb sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Hot water
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • Vanilla

Chocolate Filling:

  • Cocoa or Cacao powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Sugar-free maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • Hot water

Chocolate Drizzle:

  • Dark Chocolate (I used 2 squares of Lindt 85% Chocolate)

Method

Fathead Pastry

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 Celsius/360 Fahrenheit.
  2. Measure out mozzarella and cream cheese, and melt in a non-stick pot over a low flame or in a microwave. It will take approximately 1.5 minutes. NOTE: Stir the mixture half way through!
  3. Crack and stir in the egg into the mixture well.
  4. Then measure and add the almond flour, baking powder, and sweetener of choice, and mix well into a smooth doughball.
  5. Divide the dough into two batches / balls.

Cinnamon Rolls

ketopastry-min

  1. Place one batch / ball on a parchment paper and place another parchment paper on top of it. Roll it out until it’s as thin as you can get it (but still workable) into a large rectangle.
  2. Prepare the Cinnamon Filling: boiled water, sweetener and cinnamon.
  3. Brush the Cinnamon Filling along the entire flat top of the pastry.
  4. Roll the pastry into a log along the length.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into rolls (approximately 10-12 rolls).
  6. Place on a non-stick dish and bake at 180C for 20 minutes (check at 15 minutes).
  7. While the rolls are baking, mix the frosting: cream cheese, yogurt and sweetener,
  8. Once the rolls have baked, drizzle or spread over your WARM CINNAMON ROLLS AND EAT!!!

Chocolate Rolls / Chocolate Danish

ketopastry6-min

  1. Place the second batch / ball on a parchment paper and place another parchment paper on top of it. Roll it out until it’s as thin as you can get it (but still workable) into a large rectangle.
  2. Prepare the Chocolate Fillling: Boiled water, Cacao Powder, Cinnamon (optional), Sugar-Free Maple Syrup or other sweetener of choice.
  3. Pour the chocolate filling on top of the pastry and spread over evenly. NOTE: Don’t go too close to the edges.
  4. Roll the pastry into a log along the length.
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the pasty into rolls, or slightly longer pastries.
  6. Place on a non-stick dish and bake at 180C for 20 minutes (check at 15 minutes).
  7. Whilst the Chocolate Pastries are baking, melt your required amount of Dark Chocolate to drizzle on top!
  8. Once the pastries have baked, drizzle or spread over your WARM CHOCOLATE PASTRIES AND EAT!!!

ketopastry9-min

Let’s just say I think I’ll his my fat macros today :-)! These are BY FAR MY FAVOURITE FAT BOMBS!

Macros

Mini Cinnamon Roll:

  • 70 Kcal
  • 3.5g Protein
  • 1.9g Carbs
  • 1g Fiber
  • 0.9g Net Carbs
  • 5.8g Fat
  • Calcium: 84.4 mg

Mini Chocolate Roll:

  • 75.7 Kcal
  • 3.7g Protein
  • 2.4g Carbs
  • 0.9g Fiber
  • 1.5g Net Carbs
  • 6.1g Fat
  • Calcium: 77.9 mg

Keto Croutons (Gluten Free|Dairy Free|Low Carb)

This was one of those spur of the moment things that I’m so pleased with, it’s DEFINITELY going to become a permanent part of my staples in my Keto pantry.

The reason these babies came about was because I was craving a Caesar salad. But you can’t have a Caesar salad without croutons right!!!

As I learnt, Keto Croutons couldn’t be simpler to make. If making microwave Keto Flax Bread was the easiest recipe in the world, this is just one step up.

They take less than 10 minutes to prepare, are quite moreish (I finished 3 portions of the 4 I made in one day). It also makes for a satisfying Keto snack-on-the-run. I’ve actually been munching on them with cheese (like flax crackers I suppose). They’re THAT good and guilt-free, and SUPER CRUNCHY 🙂 !

ketocroutons (2)_1200-min

RECIPE

This recipe make approximately 4 servings.

Utensils & Ingredients

  • 1 Microwavable Dish (I used a glass dish that was approximately 5×5 inch)
  • Butter (or oil) to grease
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 4 Tbsp Flax Meal (You could also probably make it from Almond Meal)
  • 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt of choice
  • OPTIONAL Spices / Seasonings of choice: E.g. Pepper, Chilli, Garlic, Onion, Cayenne, Paprika, Turmeric etc.

Method

  • Grease your dish with the butter or oil.
  • Crack and beat the egg in the dish.
  • Add the flax, baking powder, salt, and optional spices and seasonings of choice.
  • Stir the mixture well until everything is well incorporated.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes.

(Click here for step-by-step images of how to make microwave keto bread)

  • Remove the bread from the microwave and slice it into two slices, then cut into crouton sized cubes.

ketocroutons (6)_1200-min

  • Place the bread cubes on a plate and microwave in 1 minute bursts until hard. (Mine took 2 minutes in total).
  • Cool, sprinkle on your salad, or eat as it is with a dip or cheese!

Macros

Per serving:

  • 47.2 Kcal
  • 2.9 Protein
  • 2.7g Carbs
  • 2g Fiber
  • 0.7g Net Carbs
  • 2.9g Fat

ketocroutons (8)_1200-min

‘Cheese’ & Onion Bittergourd and Kale Crisps (Gluten-Free|Vegan|Low-Carb)

I love kale but bittergourd / bittermelon / bittersquash / Balsam-pear / Karela / Goya – call it what you will, my reaction to it would have been the same until very recently. EURGH!!! It’s just so erm, intensely bitter? HOW could anyone with normal tastebuds enjoy it?

This is a recipe to start initiating yourself into the world of bittergourd! It’s actually yummy and moreish.

kaleandbittergourdfries (3)

I don’t know how else to start this post but to say that until I started preparing bittergourd this way, it has been nearly (but not quite at) the top of my hate list of vegetables (or is it a fruit?) . Either way it’s something that until very recently my tastebuds detested.

Being Bengali this is shameful as it’s a staple vegetable in many dishes including my boyfriends beloved “Shukto” or Bengali style mixed vegetable. Bengali’s love exciting the tastebuds, and this mighty vegetable definitely does. I unfortunately cannot make a “Shukto” yet (but I shall soon!).

Amongst other nutritious elements, bittergourd is a high potassium vegetable, which is something that on the keto diet, I’ve been struggling with and have been searching for ways to incorporate it into my every day diet. If it wasn’t already obvious enough, I’m a bittergourd hater, but this simple recipe my friends, I simply cannot get enough of!

Although it’s commonly seen in Asian households, it’s highly underrated in the western world but it’s increasingly available in supermarkets (and readily available in the Asian / Indian markets). 

Bittergourd: Reasons why I can’t get enough of it now

  1. I’m older and wiser! I know that it’s good for me. Like kale, bittergourd is a nutritious powerhouse
  2. The green colour! And how it changes into a brighter green when you season raw bittergourd with salt. It’s magic :-).
  3. It looks weird and dangerous, like a massive green club.
  4. It can be delicious and moorish, when done right (like this recipe)!
  5. These crisps keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

I’m not listing any quantities for the dressing below because I believe it’s entirely up to your tastebuds and personal preferences as to how flavoursome you’d like your crisps to be! Quantities for the vegetables are also up to you, the 1-2 cups are just a guideline.

  • 1-2 cups sliced bittergourd: Washed, dried and sliced thin.
  • 1-2 cups Kale: Washed, dried and torn into larger than bite-sized pieces (they will shrink when baked).
  • Olive oil (or any other oil of choice). I personally like to use a garlic olive oil.
  • Nutritional Yeast (This is where the ‘cheese-ey’ flavour comes from. There isn’t any actual cheese in this recipe.)
  • Onion Powder.
  • Himalayan Salt / Sea Salt.
  • Cayenne Pepper.
  • Turmeric: Optional

Method

Bittergourd chips:

kaleandbittergourdfries (1)

  1. Heat the oil in a suitable pan. You will you need enough oil to fry the bittergourd until they’re crispy.
  2. Slice the bittergourd into thin round slices and wash thoroughly.
  3. Sprinkle salt onto the bittergourd and  massage into it well. Leave for 10 minutes.
  4. Shallow fry the bittergourd in the oil until they’re darker and crispy but watch closely to make sure they don’t burn. The seeds should be crispy. (You could also try baking them, but we haven’t attempted this before).
  5. Once fried, dress the bittergourd with nutritional yeast, onion powder, himalayan salt and cayenne pepper according to your macros and taste.Tip: The bittergourd crisps keeps well in the fridge for a few days so you can make a large batch of this and snack on it (if it lasts)! It’s good cold, room temperature, or can be reheated in the oven or dry-toasted in a pan on the stove top.

Kale chips:

kaleandbittergourdfries (2)

  1. Wash and dry the kale well.
  2. Pre-heat an oven to 150-160C (it depends on your oven but I find that a lower temperature works better).
  3. Massage the kale with olive oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt and cayenne pepper according to your macros and taste. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Bake your kale chips in the oven for about 12-15 mins, and then give them a toss, then bake them again for another 10-12 mins (or until crispy but not burnt).

I don’t think kale crisps keep as well as bittergourd crisps, so eat the same day if possible.

Eat separately or mix BOTH the bittergourd and kale crisps up for the best of both worlds and enjoy getting your greens and nutrition in!

 

Tahini Buns (Gluten-Free|Vegan|Low-Carb)

This is a beautiful recipe for Gluten Free Vegan Keto Bagels by The Herbivore Post, adapted to make buns and with added spices.

I cannot tell you how amazing these little buns are! In fact, the day I tested them out, an aunt and uncle popped by unannounced, and they were astounded at the ingredients, and at how it smelled and looked like actual bread! They’re not Keto but they tried it and quite liked it as well – Score!

The original recipe for bagels can be found on The Herbivore Post website, however I tweaked it to make buns and added paprika, cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt to the mixture as well. And a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds on top.

This is going to become a staple I feel!

Ingredients

For the Tahini

  • 3/4-1 cup sesame seeds
  • Optional: 1-3 tbsp olive oil (or any neutral oil)

For the buns

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp flax meal 
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk powder
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Spices to taste: I used Paprika and Cayenne Pepper (approximately 1tsp each)
  • Optional: Seeds e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia.

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1 cup water

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C (375F) and prepare a baking tray with greaseproof paper. I added some extra coconut butter to the paper.

2. Measure out 3/4-1 cup Sesame Seeds for your Tahini (ignore the measurement in the picture!!!). This will give you more than the required 1/2 cup of Tahini required for the recipe, and you can have some extra to create delicious keto salad dressings!

ketotahinibuns (1)

3. Dry toast the sesame seeds in a pan to release the oils. Keep stirring as they burn easily, once they get a bit of colour and you get a toasty smell, take them off the heat and cool.

ketotahinibuns (2)

4. Blend the cooled sesame seeds in a grinder or food processor. Once it gets towards the end, add the oil (1-3 tbsp) to get the smooth consistency if required.

5. Take 1/2 cup of the Tahini and add 1 cup of water: Mix well. (If there’s oil in Tahini it might separate and that’s fine).

6. Take a large bowl and add the dry ingredients: Flax, almond meal, psyllium husk powder, baking powder, and salt.

ketotahinibunsdry (2)

7. Mix the wet ingredients (Tahini and water mixture) to the dry ingredients in step 6.

8. Add any spices if you like. As mentioned I added paprika and cayenne pepper. And mix well.

ketotahinibuns (11)

9. The dough will quickly come together and you will get a dough ball that looks like this:

ketotahinibuns (12)

10. Cut the dought into 4 pieces.

ketotahinibuns (14)

11. Roll the dough between your hands into bun shaped balls and decorate the top if you like with seeds of choice. I used pumpkin and sunflower seeds. ketotahinibuns (15)

12.  Bake for 45 minutes at 190C (375F) and wash up while you wait! You will get these at the end!ketotahinibuns (16)

13. This is what the insides look like.

ketotahinibuns (17)

14. And this is how I ate mine!!!

ketotahinibuns (18)

ketotahinibunoriginal (20)

Macros

(The macros I calculated per serving are slightly different to that in herbivorepost but they’re great)!

  • Energy: 254.7 kcal
  • Net Carbs: 3.2g
  • Fat: 23.7g
  • Protein: 5.4g
  • Magnesium: 96mg
  • Zinc: 2.1mg
  • Calcium: 123mg

Crumbly Coconut Granola (Low Carb | Keto | Gluten Free)

Mornings are not an epileptic’s friend!

It’s when many of us are vulnerable to seizures. Mine normally occur when I’m incredibly tired and sleepy, so first thing in the morning is primetime for the seizure gremlins to attack.

It’s therefore vital that my mornings are peaceful and stress-free. Most people don’t like being disturbed in the AM, but I should probably come with a DND warning sign before 8 am and a matcha latte.

I’ve really missed grabbing a quick cereal, yogurt and fruit-to-go

It does seem like Keto breakfasts are ‘mostly’ soft and/or warm and generally take a lot of time and effort to prepare. There seems to be a lot of ‘cooking’ involved to get those macros in. Precious time which most people don’t have.

This Low-Carb Crumbly Coconut Granola recipe came about on my quest for a cold, crunchy ‘Keto Cereal’! I just couldn’t deal with the cravings anymore, and there was nothing in the shops that catered to my needs.

Granola in the shops tend to have sugar or honey, or gluten. This is a homemade solution to my dilemma, bearing in mind that I also needed a high fat intake in addition to low-carb – hence the coconut oil.

Granted, it kind of looks like sand, but it TASTES like a Keto breakfast from heaven! Especially if you’ve been eating bacon and eggs everyday!

A great meal-prep recipe for the working week

It might take some time the first time round, but once you get the hang of making granola, and if you have the ingredients lying around, it shouldn’t take too long the next few times.

The best thing about making any type of granola is you could make a large batch and keep it in an air-tight container for a few weeks (if it lasts that long! I’d give it a few days).

Other benefits of this Granola

  • The texture of this granola also means that it’s great as a crumbly topping on other desserts (I had it on top of my panna cotta yesterday!).
  • An average portion (5 tbsp) has just 3.1g net carbs and 27.5g fat. 
  • An average serving also has 114.3 mg Magnesium and 299.7 mg Potassium  – two minerals that Keto-ers often find challenging incorporating into our lifestyle.

So without further ado, here we go:

Ingredients

Makes 45 tablespoons (average serving = 5 tablespoon)

You will need:

  • Flax Meal: 1 cup
  • Coconut Flour: 0.5 cup
  • Almond Flour: 0.5 cup
  • Coconut Oil: 0.5 cup
  • Vanilla stevia liquid: 3-5 drops (OR other sweetener of choice and vanilla essence or vanilla bean powder).
  • Pumpkin seeds: 0.25 cup
  • Sunflower seeds: 0.25 cup
  • Dried coconut flakes/chips: 0.25 cup
  • Walnuts: 8
  • Cinnamon powder: 0.5 tsp (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F) and prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment paper for your granola.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flax meal, coconut flour and almond flour.

GranolaStep1.3

3. Measure out 0.5 cup of Coconut oil.

GranolaStep2.1

4. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave or over a low heat.

GranolaStep2.3

5. Add the melted coconut oil into the flax-coconut-almond mixture.

GranolaStep3

6. Add Vanilla stevia drops to taste (approximately 3-5 drops). Alternatively, add vanilla essence or powder and sweetener or choice.

GranolaStep3.2

7. Stir the mixture well until it starts the come to together – it should start to look like slightly damp sand.

GranolaStep3.3

8. Measure out nuts and seeds of choice. I used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts and dried coconut.

GranolaStep4.1

9 (optional). Add cinnamon.

GranolaStep5

10. Mix the nuts, seeds and cinnamon into the granola mixture well.

GranolaStep6

11. Grab the baking tray you prepared in the beginning. Add a tiny bit of coconut oil to it (you can never be too careful!) and pour the granola mixture onto the parchment paper, spreading it out and flattening it down.

GranolaStep7

12. Bake in the oven at 160C (320F) for 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture has toasted and is golden-brown in colour. Take it out of the oven every 5-10 minutes to give it a good stir. (Note: You could increase the temperature up to 176C / 350F but keep a close eye on the granola mixture as it is finer than usual, so I like to keep the temperature lower and just increase it at the end for a final toast!).

GranolaStep8

13. Remove from the oven, cool and store in an air-tight container!

GranolaFinal

Granola. Yogurt. Berries – Enough said!

Granola&Yogurt5

Macros:

1 serving = 1 tablespoon

  • Energy: 61.03 kcal
  • Protein: 1.34 g
  • Total Carbs: 2.1g
  • Fiber: 1.48g
  • Net Carbs: 0.62 g
  • Fat: 5.5 g
  • Magnesium: 22.86mg
  • Potassium: 59.94mg
  • Selenium: 1.81ug
  • Zinc: 0.32mg

An average portion = 5 tablespoon

  • Energy: 305.15 kcal
  • Protein: 6.7g
  • Total Carbs: 10.5g
  • Fiber: 7.4g
  • Net Carbs: 3.1 g
  • Fat: 27.5 g
  • Magnesium: 114.3 mg
  • Potassium: 299.7mg
  • Selenium: 9.05ug

Zinc: 1.6mg

Low-carb Chocolate Covered Nuts

There are a few things that I find very frustrating on the keto lifestyle with epilepsy at present. These are namely:

  • Brain fog.
  • Tiredness and lethargy.
    (Note: for people who don’t have epilepsy reading this, this probably won’t affect you apart from the initial induction / ‘Keto flu’ period. For those of us with epilepsy, this is why it might be prolonged.).
  • Watching people eat bread, chips and desserts when I’m out!

But then again there are many things that I’m loving about the experience so far. A few of these are:

  • Discovering new things about my body every day.
  • A pretty impressive digestive system – the fibre in the keto diet must be working its magic! It only lets me down when I eat too much lactose.
  • Reading and learning about a whole new world of diet and nutrition.
  • Discovering new foods, recipes and getting creative in the kitchen.
  • The knowledge that I’m feeding my body nutritious food.
  • Building willpower and the comfort of knowing that I’m capable of creating delicious keto alternatives to bread, chips and desserts (this knowledge keeps me going when I’m out watching others eat carb-loaded foods! I have the good stuff waiting for me back at home in my kitchen).

So you see, there’s a lot to love about lifestyle, and the pros outweigh the costs!

Natures Fat Bombs – Nuts!

Nuts are my snacking staple. They’re high in fiber and numerous micro-nutrients, and there’s so much you can do with them. They’re great as an on-to-go snack, in desserts, and really are natures fat bombs.

Because I find it really hard to hit my fat macros, I find that some nuts in particular are ideal to munch on, namely Pecans and Brazil Nuts. But days when I feel like I’ve had too many calories as well, my go-tos tends to be almonds, pistachios, peanuts or hazelnuts.

Below is some useful nutrition information for various nuts:

NutNutrition

The only thing that tops nuts on my snack list is CHOCOLATE! And boy am I glad that Dark Chocolate is legit on the keto diet!

The benefits of dark chocolate and its miraculous properties deserves a whole post to itself so I’ll save that for another day, BUT the reason I’m writing this is because this post is all about chocolate covered nuts – my ultimate keto comfort snack.

My new chocolate discovery – Montezuma’s !!!

As I was working in a coffee shop the other day, I got peckish and unfortunately this popular coffee shop chain largely still does carb-loaded goods. Even the salads in this cafe were “pasta salads”. So I ventured to the supermarket to stock up on sneaky snacks to sustain me whilst I worked.

I was very excited to find this, hidden away in the chocolate aisle:

IMG_40992

And I was even more thrilled to discover the nutritional values.

Wait for it…

IMG_40973.jpg

The nutrition label says that 100g (i.e. the WHOLE BAR) has just 8g of carbs, and 17g of Fibre.

Now on Keto as we’re calculating net carbs (Carbs minus fibre), does this mean this bar of chocolate is actually negligible in terms of net carbs (-9)? Drop me an e-mail with your thoughts on this because I could be wrong, but until I have more clarity – I’M INDULGING!

As can be expected with 100% cocoa dark chocolate – it’s bitter AF. So much so, they’ve put a warning on the back of the package which has almost become a tagline for the brand – “For that dramatic cocoa hit. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!” This is great I think, because a little goes a long way when you’re looking for your cocoa high!

Which brings me to my next point – it’s not cheap. I got this bar for £2.50. However on Amazon you could buy in bulk and save some that way. And I look at it as an investment for all the keto chocolate goodies I could make.

On top of that, you are paying for a top-quality British product. I cannot describe in words how smooth the texture of the chocolate is. It really is incredible and something one needs to touch and taste for oneself.

Low Carb Chocolate Covered Nuts

VeryDarkChocNuts (1)
Natures Fat Bombs (Almonds and Pecans!!!) covered in Montezuma Dark Chocolate. P.S. Thank you mum for holding the nuts!

So I wanted to make my chocolate investment last for a while (and there’s no way I could eat a block of 100% dark chocolate so I would have to sweeten it up Keto style.)

Hence here is a very sweet and simple recipe for chocolate covered nuts! These are great on their own, or as a crunchy topping on something else.

Note: ANY Dark Chocolate will do, just make sure it’s at least 85% dark chocolate so as not to throw you out of ketosis.

Ingredients

13 servings (1 serving = 5 nuts)

You will need:

  • Nuts (I used 25 pecans and 40 almonds for this recipe, and the macros reflect the same).
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 25g Dark Chocolate
  • 2-3 drops Vanilla Stevia

Method:

  • Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until melted).
  • Stir in Vanilla Stevia and adjust sweetness to taste.
  • Add nuts and salt to the mixture and stir well ensuring all the nuts are covered with the chocolate.
  • Place some parchment paper on a plate, and place the chocolate covered nuts on the parchment paper.
  • Place the plate in the fridge to cool and allow time for the chocolate to re-harden around the nuts.
  • Once the chocolate has hardened, remove from the parchment, and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

NOTE: To boost the “Fatbomb” quotient per serving, you could add a tablespoon of MCT Oil to the chocolate mixture.

Macros:

One serving of 5 nuts (pecans & almonds):

  • Energy: 84.7 kcal
  • Protein: 1.8 g
  • Net Carbs: 0.3 g
  • Fat: 8 g