Cookies, Candies, And Puddings, Oh My! – 45 Low Carb Desserts
Last week I shared with you a huge list of 35 low carb snacks. So many of those are either favorites of ours, or are on the list to be made soon! This week, I have an even bigger list of low carb desserts, with all of them also being vegan desserts (or having vegan options). I am not a vegan, but my son has life-threatening food allergies, so we typically don't use egg or dairy when making dishes–hence the “vegan” focus. Interestingly enough, these are all paleo desserts too. I know – paleo and vegan don't typically seem to go together, but in my home they sure do :). As I mentioned in my post of low carb snacks, we have been eating more and more low carb for several reasons, one of them being candida, and another is that we are simply eating fewer grains for gut health and overall health. However, I am not opposed to carbs. In fact, I think they are important as long as they are good carbs and not out of proportion. I'll be sharing more about that later, but just wanted to get that out there so folks know where I stand. I do think we are doing better without a bunch of carbs, but do many people are turning up research and information about thyroid and adrenal health as it relates to carbs and I think it's worth looking at. In any case, typically desserts are full of refined sugar, refined flours, and more unsavories. Several of these recipes have sweeteners that aren't low carb. If you would like, substitute stevia or xylitol, or erythritol, or your sweetener of choice to make them lower carb. Oh, and if you notice, this post is devoid of frozen desserts. If you're an ice cream lover like me and that's what you're looking for, this post of Low Carb Ice Creams will be exactly what you are looking for! (substitute 1 scoop stevia for the honey) Don't feel like mak Continue reading >>
What Is The Best Natural Ketogenic Sweetener?
Sugar is tricky. We are told biologically that our brain runs off of sugar in the form of glucose primarily, and that if we don’t maintain steady blood sugar levels then we will not run optimally. As a society however, Americans vastly overconsume sugar in highly processed forms such as corn syrup and fructose. Consequentially, conditions such as diabetes, obesity, chronic inflammatory disorders, and cancer are all at historically high prevalence rates. Although not the only factor involved, excess sugar intake and rampant blood sugar imbalances can dramatically influence all of these diseases. As more and more people are becoming aware of the detrimental impact of these sweeteners, sugar replacements are flooding the market in order to capitalize on this trend. There are many great natural sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, raw honey, yacon syrup and more. The ones with the lowest impact on our blood sugar are stevia and monk fruit. These will help influence the production of therapeutic ketones and the utilization of ketones as opposed to sugar for energy in the body. This article addresses the question: What is the best natural ketogenic sweetener? Many Dangerous Sweeteners Exist Too often I meet people who are diabetic or trying to lose weight who have replaced sugars in their diets with highly refined artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. These artificial sweeteners are toxic to the brain, disrupt the health of our gut bacteria, and may even lead to metabolic dysregulation (Which could mean weight gain, go figure!). Now there are even artificial sweeteners that claim to be natural and sweetened with healthier alternatives like stevia. What they don’t tell you is that these sweeteners are actually primarily chemical sweeteners with a touch of st Continue reading >>
Is Truvia Sweetener Ok For Low-carb Diets?
Truvia is a granulated sugar substitute. I have tried many sweetener brands, but finally settled on Truvia as my preferred option. I now use it in all of my low-carb recipes. Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions and comments about Truvia. There seems to be some confusion on whether it is suitable for low-carb dieters. Why some of us are confused about Truvia Truvia have several products in their range. Some are great for low-carb dieters, but some aren’t. All Truvia products are sold under the same brand name, and have similar looking packaging. So it is potentially confusing for us. Double check product names and nutritional information on the labels before buying. Here’s what you need to look out for. YES – Truvia Calorie-Free Sweetener Zero net carbs, PERFECT for low-carb diets This product comes in sachets, in a spoonable plastic pack, and in a pouch. It doesn’t contain any digestible carbs, and its net carb count is zero. So we can safely use it as part of a low-carb diet. The nutritional label does show some carbs, due to FDA regulations. However, these all come from erythritol and are not digestible (otherwise it wouldn’t be marked up as zero-calorie). The exact product name varies in different markets – I have seen it called “Calorie-Free Sweetener”, “Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener”, “Nature’s Calorie-Free Sweetener” etc. The keyword to look for is “calorie-free”. There is also a “zero calories” stamp on the packaging. NO – Truvia Nectar, Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, Truvia Baking Blend Contain sugar, NOT SUITABLE for low-carb diets Truvia range also includes products that contain Stevia blended with sugar – Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and Truvia Baking Blend, and with honey – Truvia Nectar. The sugar content is clearly Continue reading >>
Keto Carb Free Whipped Cream
~ This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products we use. Carb free whipped cream is a go-to snack for me, and when I first started keto, it was one of the recipes that helped me beat sugar cravings. If you are looking for a great heavy whipping cream, I highly recommend using Organic Valley because it is the only zero carbs heavy whipping cream I have found. I’m sure there may be others, but like I said it’s the only brand I’ve been able to find. This carb free whipped cream couldn’t be easier to make, and it has been the base of many other recipes I will share soon. I also love using it as a topping for my mug cakes and keto pumpkin cheesecake. I usually make a big batch so I can use my whipped cream in a variety of ways without having to wash my mixing bowl multiple times (what can I say, I try to keep it simple) but you can always cut this recipe down and make single servings. This recipe makes about 20 servings, which is perfect for holiday parties. You do take keto recipes to holiday parties, right? PLEASE READ: —> Update: There is a lot of debate about whether of not this is actually carb free whipped cream. Yes, Organic Valley in large enough amounts is going to have carbs, but this brand does appear to have fewer carbs than other brands unless they have figured out a way to skew their label. With that said, yes if you eat this entire batch you are going to be eating carbs there is no way around that. If you only eat one serving you will be good to go but if you eat more half the whipped cream well… why would you do that? Whipped cream isn’t a meal, is it? Come on people! Are we babies. I mean seriously?!?! Carb Free Whipped Cream: Ingredients: 2 Cups of Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream 2-4 Tsp of Liquid Stevia or 1-2 itty bitty Continue reading >>
6 Tips To Really Love Stevia
I've been eating stevia for a long time now – ever since I knew that I had candida. I was quite the sugar-aholic but am now reformed from that habit and am glad to know that stevia is one of the more healthy sugar alternatives. If you don't LOVE stevia (and even if you do), then this is the post for you. Even if you love stevia, the following tips are great ways to love it even more and to deal with the bitter stevia taste issue.. (Note – this post was written by Candace of Candida Free Candee, but her site is now offline so all links to her site have been removed.) Are you a stevia lover? Do you wish you were? Do you wish you could enjoy all the pros of stevia without the palate-intruding cons? Well look no further! Today I am going to share with you some tips and tricks that will help you enjoy each and every trip you take to Stevia-land without the stevia taste problem that's oh so common! Read on to learn more. When I first heard about Stevia, I was ecstatic. I thought it was a godsend to my candida-ridden body. 1. Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant and can be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar (the typical range is 200-300). As a result, depending on the recipe, stevia can be either simple, or pretty hard to use in recipes. Check out How to Use Stevia here.} 2. Stevia is a zero calorie sweetener that does not contain any sugar or carbohydrates, nor does it feed candida. 3. Easy on your digestion–stevia lacks the unpleasant tummy-lurching side effects that are a characteristic of some other non-candida feeding sweeteners (think sugar-alcohols, like xylitol). 4. Stevia comes in many forms with varying amounts of processing. Among theses are: homemade extracts, liquid or powder extracts and ground stevia. – Homemade extracts Continue reading >>
What Are The Side Effects Of Aspartame, Stevia, And Other Sugar Substitutes?
One quick update: Two weeks ago I was interviewed by the great folks at A Sweet Life. Their site is a great resource, especially for folks with diabetes, but really for everyone (I had the most incredible appetizer on their recommendation this past Sunday). Here’s a link to the interview. Ok, on to the issue of the week. Once you realize how harmful sugar is (by sugar, of course, I mean sucrose and high fructose corn syrup or HFCS, primarily, but also the whole cast of characters out there like cane sugar, beet sugar, dextrose, corn syrup solids, and others that masquerade as sugar), you inevitably want to understand the impact of substituting non-sugar sweeteners for sugar, should you still desire a sweet taste. If you’re not yet convinced sugar is a toxin, it’s probably worth checking out my post, Sugar 101, and the accompanying lecture by Dr. Lustig. Sugar is, tragically, more prevalent in our diets today than we realize – our intake of sugar today is about 400% of what it was in 1970. And it’s not just in the “obvious” places, like candy bars and soda drinks, where sugar is showing up, either. It’s in salad dressings, pasta sauces, cereals, “healthy” sports bars and drinks, low-fat “healthy” yogurt, and most lunch meats, just to name a few places sugar sneaks into our diet. I know some people have an aversion to aspartame (i.e., Nutrasweet, Equal) over sucrose (i.e., table sugar, sucrose, or HFCS). In other words they think Coke is “better” that Diet Coke because it uses “real” sugar instead of “fake” sugar. If you find yourself in this camp, but you’re now realizing “real” sugar is a toxin, this poses a bit of a dilemma. There are two things I think about when considering the switch from sugar to non-sugar substitute sweete Continue reading >>
Stevia For Ketogenic Diet?
Is stevia suitable for a ketogenic diet (30 grams of carbs per day maximum)? Does it cause the body to "burn" stevia's sugars and "kick" the body out of ketosis? For argument's sake, let's say I somehow manage to never eat more 30gr of carbs per day, and my body kicks out of ketosis at 31 gr/day of carbs. If I eat 1 teaspoon of stevia (e.g. on tea during the day), will I get out of ketosis? Can the body burn it, or it just goes through me like water? Is stevia really safe to use on a ketogenic diet? Continue reading >>
Sugar, or any alias or variation of sugar (fructose, HFCS, cane syrup, honey, agave, etc), is not keto. Here are the following sugar substitutes that I use on my site: Pyure – This is a mixture of stevia and erythritol. This is my favorite one and I save 15% by buying it through Amazon subscription. Erythritol – Just the pure stuff, such as this one from Now Foods Swerve – This is mostly just erythritol. It comes in granular and powdered. Stevia drops – Such as these from NuStevia Sweet drops – These are also just stevia but they come in flavors. Monk fruit powder, such as this one Sukrin Gold – Brown sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol Sukrin Milis – Powdered sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol Xylitol is also a keto-friendly sweetener, but I have not tried it. This can be toxic to pets so if you buy it just keep it away from your furr babies. Truvia is also keto-friendly. It’s basically stevia/erythritol just like pyure. NOT Keto: Splenda. It has maltodextrin in it. AKA Sugar. That’s right. Splenda, which is advertised to diabetics, actually contains sugar, and our FDA allows this to be marketed as sugar-free! Check out the serving size and you’ll see why. Sucralose. This is another name for splenda. Sometimes you can find pure sucralose which has no maltodextrin in it, however, this is still man made and not technically keto. Stevia in the Raw. Also contains Dextrose which is yet ANOTHER alias for sugar. Opt for pure stevia instead (or a blend of stevia and erythritol) Maltitol. This is man-made sugar-alcohol and can cause terrible bloating or discomfort. Avoid as much as possible. Sorbitol. Same as above. Okay in tiny quantities such as gum or mints. Much lower glycemic response than maltitol though. Aspartame. Stay away from th Continue reading >>
The Difference Between Splenda, Sweet And Low, Equal, And Stevia
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed as many as eight kinds of artificial sweeteners to be safe for consumption. You probably recognize some of them by their brand name: sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet and Low), aspartame (Equal), and stevia (Truvia). Each has varying levels of sweetness and uses. These sugar substitutes are popular among people suffering from diabetes because they don’t spike blood sugar the same way sugar does, and among dieters who want something “sweet” without the hefty calories. Because unlike table sugar, which has approximately 16 calories per teaspoon, Splenda, Sweet and Low, Equal, and Truvia all contribute little to no calories. Here’s where they differ: Splenda (sucralose): Sucralose isn’t broken down in the body, so it has zero calories. It’s about 600 times sweeter than table sugar and can be used in anything. Since it doesn’t lose its sweetness when you apply heat to it, you can use Splenda in hot foods and baking. Sweet and Low (saccharin): Sweet and Low is one of the first available artificial sweeteners and used in foods, medicine, and even in toothpaste. Saccharin is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and can be used in cooking, too. Equal (aspartame): Aspartame is typically found in chewing gum, diet soda, puddings, and many other “sugar-free” snacks. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it does have some calories (a measly 2 calories or so) per packet. It also loses its sweetness when heatedso it’s not ideal in baked goods. Truvia (stevia): Because the sweetness of stevia is derived from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana, it’s often touted as a “natural sweetener.” In the U.S., the plant itself is not added to the food, just a chemical extract called Re Continue reading >>
Stevia Is Very Keto Friendly! Here’s Why…
Stevia has made a dynamic entrance into our lives in the past 10 years. Some people call it the queen of all sweeteners. The origin of this plant is in Latin America, but its reputation is now global. The natives of South America used it for centuries as a natural sweetener. Also, as a remedy for various conditions. The Paraguayan Guarani tribe was the first to use the sweet leaves in their medicinal herbal potions. In the 19th century, a Swiss botanist named Moisés Santiago Bertoni who worked in Paraguay described and observed the plant for its unique sweet taste. The leaves of this plant are 60 to 80 times sweeter than sugar. The natives eat it raw or use it in herbal teas, various foods and of course sweet treats. Why is it so much superior What makes Stevia superior to any other sweetener is quite simple. The unique substances from the leaves, in particular, the raw plant contains natural sweeteners, such as stevioside and rebaudioside A. For comparison, 1 gram of sugar contains 4 calories. On the other side, Stevia does not contain any calories. The stevia leaves contain, among other things, minerals and trace elements. Let’s just mention chromium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, zinc, B vitamins. Also, it contains phytonutrients such as chlorophyll and plant sterols. Word of experts Experts recommend it as the best sweetener. Also, it is highly recommended for diabetics and people who want to regulate their weight. There are other sweeteners that do not affect blood glucose like Erythritol and Sucralose but they are not natural sweeteners. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, while sucralose is an artificial sweetener. The worst of all artificial sweetener is Aspartame. I always recommend Stevia extract in powder for coffee, tea or for cooking. In 2006, th Continue reading >>
54 Ketogenic Dessert Recipes To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
You’re excited by the ketogenic diet, but you just can’t survive with some desserts? Don’t worry – we’re here to help! Check out this giant list of delicious ketogenic dessert recipes we’ve compiled. We’ve got everything from ketogenic cookies to mint chocolate chip ice cream! Just 2 quick notes before you jump into these delicious dessert recipes… Sweeteners and Dairy in Keto Dessert Recipes Many of the keto recipes use some form of non-caloric sweetener to make these desserts sweet. While we think it’s better to avoid all sweeteners on a ketogenic diet, it’s clearly not possible when it comes to creating desserts. We try to stick to pure stevia as our preferred non-caloric sweetener. None of these recipes contain dairy other butter or ghee. If you tolerate dairy ok, then feel free to use butter, but if you don’t tolerate dairy, then try to use cultured ghee instead as this removes most of the lactose and casein from butter (and so it’s not as problematic for most people). Want to download the whole Ketogenic dessert recipes list as a PDF? Just click the green button below and we’ll send it over. Table of Contents For Ketogenic Dessert Recipes Click to jump to a specific section: Ketogenic Dessert Bar Recipes Coconut Chocolate Bars – The Nourished Caveman Ingredients: unsweetened shredded coconut, stevia, vanilla extract, coconut cream, coconut oil or cocoa butter, and unsweetened cocoa powder Flaky coconut covered in smooth, rich, indulgent chocolate. This combination creates the perfect, classic, healthy candy bar – Keto-style! Homemade Sugar-Free Mounds Bars – Low-Carb, So Simple! Click here for the recipe. Ingredients: extra virgin coconut oil, coconut milk, Swerve, shredded coconut, and dark chocolate These Ketogenic mounds bars are Continue reading >>
The Top Four Sweeteners For A Low-carb Keto Diet
Sugar is basically off limits on a ketogenic diet, but not all hope is lost — you CAN still enjoy sweetness while eating keto. All it takes is some education on the right types of sweeteners to use. Read on to find the top four sweeteners you can use for a low-carb keto diet and why we recommend them. What Defines a Keto-Friendly Sweetener? First, let’s start with what each of these top keto sweeteners have in common and how they follow our guidelines: Low Glycemic The glycemic index (GI) refers to how much a food raises blood sugar. It runs from zero to 100, zero representing no raise in blood sugar and insulin levels. The goal with the ketogenic diet is to remain in ketosis, so staying as close as possible to zero GI for sweeteners is the best choice. Sugar Free Obviously, avoiding added sugars is a necessity on keto. We’re training the body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates; therefore, carb intake should be kept very low. Even fruit should be severely limited, preferably eliminated, so it makes sense that anything with added sugars are a no-go. Low Carb Another obvious guideline when you’re keto: low- or no-carb sweeteners are a must if you want to stay in ketosis. Top 4 Low-Carb Keto Diet Sweeteners Now that we’ve established some guidelines, here are our top four recommendations for sweeteners on a low-carb ketogenic diet: #1 Stevia Stevia is from the extract of the herb Stevia rebaudiana. In its pure form, stevia contains no calories, no carbs and is zero on the glycemic index. Additionally, It is typically 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, meaning you only need to use a little to get a sweet taste in foods. Benefits and Using Stevia: Besides not affecting blood sugar or contributing carbs or calories, stevia has also been shown to actu Continue reading >>
The Best And Worst Low Carb Sweeteners
Most people that start a keto diet plan find that they have some intense cravings for sugar in the beginning, but will dissipate after a few weeks. Even the seasoned low carber will tell you that they have cravings every once in a while, sometimes burning inside them so deep they want to give up to temptation. That’s where sweeteners come in, where you can make or bake things you usually can’t eat. Of course, you will have to watch out because most things that say “carb free” actually still contain carbs. Make sure you take the net carbs of any impacting sweetener into consideration when tracking your macros. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to try to avoid sweeteners in the beginning. They’re well known to cause cravings and some may stall your progress with over-use. Stay strict and try to only occasionally consume sweet treats when you are on a low carb diet. Types of Sweeteners In general, there are a few classifications of sweeteners. There are natural sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and synthetic sweeteners (or artificial sweeteners). There are a few others that aren’t exactly classified in these categories (like glycerin based sweeteners) but they are quite uncommon and rarely used, so we’ll skip going over them. For a ketogenic diet, I personally suggest sticking with erythritol and stevia (or a blend) because they are both naturally occurring, don’t cause blood sugar or insulin spikes, and sweeten just perfectly. When used in combination, they seem to cancel out the aftertaste that each has, and work like a charm. When you purchase sweeteners, make sure to take a look at the ingredients on the packaging. You normally want the pure sweetener, rather than having fillers such as maltodextrin, dextrose, or polydextrose which can cause spik Continue reading >>
Guide To Natural & Artificial Sweeteners
For hundreds of years, sugar and the delicious foods it produces hooked us good. It goes by many different names and is added to the most unlikely items. Sugar finds its way into our lives every day and will keep you coming back for more. Fortunately in more recent years, people are becoming more aware of the dangerous effects of sugar and are reducing their intake accordingly. For those of us on low-carb diets, this fact is particularly clear. Sugar is to be avoided at all costs. However, sweetness is in our nature! Sugar stimulates the “feel good” parts of our brain. We were raised on sugary sweets in reward of good behavior and associate it with birthdays, holidays and vacations in which we indulge. It’s perfectly natural to crave a sweet treat. In the search for alternatives to use in baking and beverages, artificial and natural sweeteners offer a ray of hope. As with all processed foods, it’s important to examine these critically and consider the risks and benefits they offer. Let’s take a closer look at some sugar substitutes. Natural Sweeteners Nature provides a few sweeteners that can be good for your health. They’re low in fructose and calories, and actually taste good! Here are some natural alternatives to sugar that we enjoy: Stevia Perhaps the most popular natural sweetener, stevia is extracted from the leaves of a plant called stevia rebaudiana, which is grown in South America. Gram for gram, stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so you can use a lot less of it – plus, it has virtually no calories! Stevia also contains a few beneficial micronutrients like chromium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Some studies have shown that stevia can lower high blood pressure by 6-14%, and lower blood sugar levels in diabetics1. There are several studies that h Continue reading >>
Keto Recipe: Yummy Low-carb Peanut Butter Cups
Oh thank goodness for this keto recipe, I’ve really been needing a sweet fix. I found a recipe for Keto Peanut Butter Cups here who credits it to lowcarber.org. Seriously needing somewhat healthy chocolate in my life, I gave these little guys a try, with some modifications to lower the carb more than half, and was not disappointed. They’re cold, creamy and yummy. Splenda in the original recipe had a ridiculous amount of carbs (16!), and 1/3 cup of Splenda just didn’t sit well with me. 5 packs of Stevia in the Raw was a great substitute with only about 3 carbs! The entire recipe comes to to 21 grams of carbs. When I split them up into 8 cupcake cups, it makes them 2.6 carbs each. The original recipe had them at 7 carbs each! You could also use smaller cupcake cups and make a bunch of them around 1 carb each. Keto Peanut Butter Cups 1 stick unsalted butter (I used salted!) 1 oz / cube unsweetened chocolate 5 packets Stevia in the Raw (original recipe called for 1/3 cup Splenda, in case you need a substitution, or I’m sure Truvia could be tasted to work too!) 2 tablespoons heavy cream 4 tablespoons peanut butter (the original recipe also called for chopped walnuts to use at the bottom of the cup – I didn’t use these) 1. Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave. I chopped the stick of butter in half and put the chocolate on top of the sticks of butter so that it wouldn’t burn in the bowl. 2. Melt for about a minute in the microwave, then mix the chocolate around in the hot butter until completely melted. Add in the 5 packets of Stevia and mix until all melted. 3. Stir in cream and peanut butter and taste. Right now you could adjust to your own particular taste by adding more Stevia, peanut butter, etc. but I found this to be a good balance. – If you used n Continue reading >>