Saturday, September 17, 2016

APPLE CRISP PIZZA (low carb and gluten free)

I'm on an apple roll these days, Fall is in the air, and my house smells like apples.  I love it!!  Okay, I have to admit part of that apple smell comes from a room fragrance.  After my 3 jars of fermented apples were all done I made up a batch of my Fried Caramel Apples and I found a recipe on Taste of Home that I knew would be the perfect one to low carb using these apples. One problem was the crust.  Hmmmm, what would make a good crust.  I KNOW! I KNOW!  A version of  uplateanyway's stromboli crust!  I've made her stromboli and it's just too good. Really!  You have to try it! So for this I added a little sweetener to it.

Oh my oh my oh my!  This turned out so good.  I'm not kidding.  It's not as much work as it appears.  You do have to plan ahead for it though.  It takes 3 to 5 days to lacto-ferment the apples.  Then just make up a batch of the Fried Caramel Apples before you are going to do this, then all you have to do is make the crust...easy peasy, not as hard as it looks.  Tonight is pizza night at our house.  So I'll make my pepperoni pizza and then I'll have a slice of dessert pizza too.  I feel like I'm at a pizza buffet or something!  


Apple Crisp Pizza

Recipe By     :Ginny Larsen
Serving Size  : 12

1 1/4  cups  part skim milk mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon  Pyure sweetener
4 tablespoons  almond flour - Honeyville
3 tablespoons  coconut flour
4 tablespoons  Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening, non-hydrogenated -- melted (OR butter)
1 egg

 Fried Caramel Apple Filling
2  tablespoons  butter
2  quarts  fermented apples -- *see recipe
1/4 cup  Pyure Sweetener
1 teaspoon  cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon  blackstrap molasses
1/2 teaspoon  Watkins Caramel extract
1/4 teaspoon  guar gum

Crisp Topping
3/4  cup  almond meal -- (place slivered almonds in food processor and process until it makes a coarse meal)
3 tablespoons  Pyure sweetener
1/4 teaspoon  blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons  oat bran
1 teaspoon  cinnamon
1/4 cup  butter -- cold, diced

1/4 cup  Pyure sweetener -- powdered in coffee grinder
3 tablespoons  heavy cream -- (OR as needed to get the right consistency)

Crust:  Melt shortening OR butter in microwave. Set aside

Combine Pyure sweetener with shredded cheese and melt in microwave about 2 to 2 1/2 min. at 30% power.

Add almond flour, coconut flour, melted butter, and egg to melted cheese and combine.  It will be really sticky and messy.  Put the whole thing back in the microwave for about 10 to 30 seconds more and mix together until it is well blended together and forms into a ball.

Roll out dough on parchment paper to fit your pizza pan.  Place parchment and dough onto pizza pan.

Fried Caramel Apple Filling: (Easier if you make this up ahead and have ready). In small frying pan, add butter and melt.  Add apples, sweetener, cinnamon, blackstrap molasses, and caramel extract.  Stir together and bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle guar gum (if using) over all and stir in for another minute).

Crisp Topping: In food processor, add almond meal, Pyure sweetener, blackstrap molasses, oat bran, cinnamon, and butter.

Pulse until mixture is crumbly, but don't over process or you'll get a dough instead of crumbles.

Spread apples onto unbaked crust.  Top with crisp topping.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cool completely.

Glaze: In small bowl place powdered Pyure.  Add enough cream and stir until it is of drizzling consistency. Drizzle with a spoon over pizza.  Serve.

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12 servings/Per Serving: (Not counting the apples, because I cannot know the carb count after they are fermented. Go by your meter) 200 Calories; 17g Fat (72.8% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber

*editing this to say that the fermented apples raised me as much as a low carb vegetable would, like broccoli.  So I estimate about 5g carbs (no way of really knowing) when I use them in a recipe.  So in that case, this would come to about 11g total carbs.  But as I always say, your mileage may vary.  You can do your own test with a blood sugar meter.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Yes Virginia! You can have your apples and eat them too!  I've posted previously about fermented apples and the effect they have on my blood sugar.  Well that was way too long ago and I never did get back to it, or make another apple pie or decide on a good crust for it.  So I apologize to those who were looking forward to that!!  It's apple season once again and I'm interested in apples.  So I made a video to show you, first of all, how to ferment the apples. Some people add salt, but if you use fresh whey from kefir or homemade yogurt, you don't have to add salt.  They turn out lovely without and you don't have salty apples then.

Crust ideas anyone?  It needs to be a crust that will not get soggy when baked with the apples.  If you have a good one feel free to share it in the comments.  If you want to benefit from the pro-biotics then eat these as is without heating them.  I sprinkle a little sweetener and cinnamon on them and just eat them as a side dish.


Fried Caramel Apples

Recipe By: Ginny Larsen
Serving Size  : 4  

1 tablespoon  butter
2 cups  (1 jar) fermented apples -- diced  (nutritional information not given because I really have no way of knowing the carb count once they are fermented! I go by my meter)
2 tablespoons  Pyure sweetener
1/2 teaspoon  cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon  blackstrap molasses
1/4 teaspoon  Watkins Caramel extract
1/8 teaspoon  guar gum -- (optional - if you want it thickened more)

In small frying pan, add butter and melt.  Add apples, sweetener, cinnamon, blackstrap molasses, and caramel extract.  Stir together and bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle guar gum (if using) over all and stir in for another minute).

  "© - 9/7/2016"
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*Apples not included - remaining ingredients per serving: 27 Calories; 3g Fat (92.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; trace of Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber

Serving Ideas: This is wonderful as a treat by itself hot or cold.  Add whipped topping, or yogurt, or spoon over ice cream.  Use it for a pie filling.  For a 9-inch pie you would have to double the recipe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Even though it does not feel like a Fall day, my mind is in "Fall mode" today, and I'm looking forward to cool crisp air once again, and thinking about Fall foods.  This was my last bag of cranberries from the last cranberry season, actually.  I had bought several and kept them in my freezer.  I decided I better find a way to use them today.  I was going to do a search for a good cranberry bread recipe online but decided to just see what I could do with converting a Betty Crocker recipe.  I still have my very old Betty Crocker cookbook, believe it or not! It was a wedding gift that I've treasured through the years and learned to cook with.  The cover is duct taped together and some of the pages are falling out, but I still refer to it often!  Many of the recipes are so easy to convert.

I love my silicone bread pan and that's what I used to bake this in.  I think it works best if you happen to have one.  Comes out nice and easy.  As I always do when I make a new recipe, I say a prayer that it turns out good.  I've had too many flops with bread or cake recipes.  And all those expensive ingredients go to waste!!  But I was very pleasantly surprised how well this turned out.  It is so good. I love the color and flavor the cheese adds to it.  I could not be more happy with this bread.  If you try it, I hope you will enjoy it.

P.S. My hubby (non-low-carber) just took a piece and said, "I like it.  It's good."  There ya go... you can't get a better review than that.

Cranberry-Cheese Bread

Recipe By Ginny Larsen

Serving Size: 16  

1  cup  almond flour - Honeyville
1/2  cup  golden flaxseed meal
1/4  cup  oat fiber -- (*distinct from oat bran-see note below)
1/8  cup  coconut flour
1/2  cup  Pyure Sweetener -- OR other granulated sweetener to equal 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2  teaspoons  baking powder
1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  salt
2  tablespoons  Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening, non-hydrogenated -- (OR unsalted butter)
3  large  eggs
1/4  cup  water
1 squeeze  MIO Orange Vanilla flavored water inhancer -- OR 1 tsp orange extract + 1/4 tsp Stevia extract (GV brand at Walmart) or other liquid concentrated sweetener to equal 1/4 cup sugar.
1 1/2  cups  Sharp Cheddar, Finely Shredded, Happy Farms -- 6 oz.
1 cup  cranberries -- halved
1 tablespoon  Pyure sweetener
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan (Silicone works best if you have it).

In mixing bowl, add almond flour, flaxmeal, oat fiber, and coconut flour.  Stir to combine.

Add Pyure Sweetener, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir together.

Add vegetable shortening and blend in with fingers or cut in with pastry blender until crumbly.

In small bowl add eggs, water, and orange flavoring.  whisk together.  Pour into dry ingredients.

Add cheese and cranberries and stir together until combined.  Dough will be stiff.  Sprinkle Pyure sweetener over the top before baking. Bake 60 to 70 minutes.  Mine took 70.  Let cool slightly and remove onto wire rack.  Let stand for several hours before cutting.

OPTIONAL:  Add chopped walnuts or pecans if desired, with the cranberries.
May add 2 tsps. grated orange peel if desired.

*NOTE: Most Oat fiber is not gluten free, however if you are gluten free I found a brand that is on Amazon. If you prefer not to use oat fiber, add 1/8 cup more of coconut flour instead.

  "© - 9/7/2016"
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Per Serving: 131 Calories; 11g Fat (63.1% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : 2g net carbs per slice of 16 slices

*Brands are just what I use, and the nutrition info is based on that.  If you use different brands, adjust accordingly.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Avocado Pesto With Zucchini Pasta

This recipe was not my original idea.  I saw this video on facebook and then sort of decided just to improvise and adapt it to my own liking. It's pretty much a whole different recipe than the original.  I had some leftover chicken I needed to use up, and I decided to add some bacon and my own seasonings.  You could easily just make the avocado pesto and mix it with the zoodles for a delicious side dish as well.  I loved loved loved this!  I have had to grow into liking avocado.  There are only certain ways I'll eat it.  So I was a little hesitant to try this, but I did, and am so glad! I felt like I was eating a very scrumptious pasta dish at a fancy Italian restaurant.  It was very filling! I made this for 1 serving, and it is a very hearty 1 serving at that!

The picture is actually taken after I ate about a third of it!  I had not intended to make a post out of this but it was so good that I decided on the spur of the moment to take a quick picture and post.


Avocado Pesto with Zucchini Pasta

Recipe By     :Ginny Larsen
Serving Size  : 1  

2.5 ounces  avocado (or 1/2)
1  tablespoon  lemon juice
1  teaspoon  olive oil
1  teaspoon  Basil Pesto, Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro
1/4  teaspoon  salt -- or to taste
1/4  teaspoon  onion powder
1/4  teaspoon  garlic powder
2 slices  Center Cut Bacon, Specially Selected
3.6  ounces  chicken breast -- cooked and diced
6.6  ounces  zucchini -- made into "zoodles"

In small bowl add avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, basil pesto, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Mash with a fork and mix together until creamy.

In frying pan, sprayed with non-stick spray, add bacon and cook until crispy.  Break into pieces and add chicken breast and heat together until chicken is warmed.  Add zucchini noodles and avocado pesto mixture, and stir together, cooking for a couple minutes until "zoodles" are tender but do not overcook until soggy!  You want them to resemble al dente pasta.

  "adapted from"
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356 Calories; 24g Fat (60.4% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber

NOTES : Nutritional info is based on what I used.  If you use different amounts be sure to adjust.


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