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Archive for Low-Carb

PASSOVER: Delicious Nut Flours You Can Eat

almond-flour-bobs2-230

Gluten-free almond flour. Photo courtesy
Bob’s Red Mill.

 

Gluten free pioneer and whole grains leader, Bob’s Red Mill, offers delicious recipes for Passover using the company’s gluten-free Natural Almond Meal and Natural Coconut Flour.

Nut flours have long been a gluten-free salvation as well as a Passover alternative, and these organic flours will also be welcomed by those looking for lower-carb or Paleo Diet alternatives.

ALMOND MEAL/ALMOND FLOUR

Almond meal is ground from whole, blanched sweet almonds. The nuts are also very low in carbohydrates and very nutritious. Bob’s suggests that you harness the nutrition by replacing 25% of the flour in your conventional baking recipes with almond meal. It will add wonderful texture and flavor while reducing the total carbohydrates. Here’s more information.

COCONUT FLOUR

Coconut flour is another delicious, healthful alternative to wheat and other grain flours. Ground from dried, defatted coconut meat, the unsweetened flour is high in fiber and low in digestible carbohydrates.

 
The light coconut flavor blends seamlessly into sweet or savory baked goods. Use it instead of cornmeal to coat chicken, fish or other proteins. Here’s more information.

Check out Bob’s organic nut flours, including hazelnut flour, at BobsRedMill.com. All are produced in a gluten-free facility. (Note that they are not certified kosher for Passover.)

RECIPE: GLUTEN-FREE ALMOND PANCAKES

Ingredients For 10 Pancakes

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (from approximately 2 medium bananas)
  • 3 eggs
  • Garnish: maple syrup, sliced bananas
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT a skillet to medium heat (350°F). In a small bowl, combine almond meal, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.

    2. WHISK together the mashed bananas and eggs in a separate large bowl, until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

    3. LADLE 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto the preheated skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes and then flip, cooking an additional 4-5 minutes until no longer wet in the center. Serve immediately with maple syrup and sliced bananas.

     

    RECIPE: GLUTEN-FREE ALMOND CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

    Ingredients For 25-30 Cookies

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda/li>
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup voconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds*
  •  

    coconut-flour-bobsredmill-230

    Gluten-free coconut flour. Photo courtesy Bob’s Red Mill.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the almond meal, baking soda and salt and set aside.

    2. MIX the coconut oil and maple syrup in a mixer or by hand until creamy but not fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Add the whole egg, egg whites and extracts and mix for 2 additional minutes. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix briefly.

    3. ADD the chocolate chips and toasted almonds and mix until well combined. Place large rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Flatten slightly, to approximately 1-inch thickness. Bake until set and golden, about 15 minutes.
     
    *To toast the almonds, spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 375°F oven for 7-10 minutes, stirring at least twice during baking for even browning.

     
    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALMOND FLOUR & ALMOND MEAL

    Ground almonds—also known as almond meal or almond flour, are commonly used in baked goods and in breading of proteins, in place of, or in addition to, bread crumbs. Sometimes “almond meal” is called for, sometimes “almond flour.” What’s the difference?

    Both consist of finely ground almonds, and there is no official difference between them. The terms are used interchangeably.

    However, be aware of these differences, depending on the manufacturer:

  • Almond flour is often much more finely ground than almond meal; the flour also has a more uniform consistency.
  • Almond meal can be blanched (skins removed) or unblanched, while most products labeled almond flour are blanched.
  •  
    For most recipes you can use either. However, some recipes, such as French macarons, require the finest almond flour to get the smoothest finish on the cookies. For breading, almond meal provides a bit more texture.
      

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    RECIPE: Fish Ceviche (Consider Trout!)

    Trout ceviche. Photo courtesy
    ILoveBlueSea.com

     

    Ceviche, raw fish or shellfish cured by acidic citrus juice, has been popular in Latin America for many centuries. In the early 1500s, the Spanish conquistadors wrote of an Inca dish of raw fish marinated in chicha, a fermented maize beer that dates back some 2,000 years.

    The concept evolved into ceviche (pronounced say-VEE-chay) (here’s the history of ceviche). There is something about fresh, homemade ceviche that is refreshing and satisfying, as well as low in calories and healthful (here’s why ceviche is so good for you).

    We love the tangy twist of lime, the briny hit of fish or seafood, the sprightly cilantro and creamy avocado.

    Throughout South America, the mix of fish or seafood changes depending on the local catch and regional preferences.

     

    This recipe can be used with any fish or seafood. It is courtesy of chef Giovanna Garcia and I Love Blue Sea, an e-tailer of premier seafood, where the team enjoys their ceviche with raw tuna or trout.

    The recipe is so easy to make, you’ve just got to try it. Warning: You may become a ceviche addict.

     

    TROUT CEVICHE/FISH CEVICHE RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh rainbow trout
  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  •  

    MacFarland Springs Trout. Photo courtesy I Love Blue Sea.

     

    Preparation

    1. CUT trout into pieces and place in a glass dish or bowl. Cover trout with lime juice and let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.

    2. DRAIN the lime juice from the fish and add to the bowl. Toss to combine.

    3. TASTE and season with sea salt and pepper.

    4. SERVE with crackers or tortilla chips, in a lettuce cup or with mixed greens.

    Here’s THE NIBBLE’s ceviche recipe for mixing and matching your favorite ingredients into your dream ceviche.

    Find more of our favorite fish recipes.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Low Carb Pizza Alternative: Zucchini Pizza

    Zucchini “canoes” substitute for pizza crusts. Photo courtesy Lucero Olive Oil.

     

    It’s not the toppings that are the problem with eating pizza frequently. The crust is where the ne’er-do-well carbs reside.

    The late, lamented Goldberg’s Pizza in Manhattan offered a diet pizza by heaping the toppings into an aluminum pie plate instead of onto a carb-laden crust.

    All of the vegetable toppings (bell peppers, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, onions—whatever you like) were added to the pie plate, covered with sauce and cheese and baked in the oven.

    It was a way for dieters (of whom proprietor Larry Goldberg was one) to enjoy the flavors of pizza without the empty carbs.

    Zucchini pizza is a modern take on the idea. In this recipe from Lucero Olive Oil, halves of zucchini serve as the base for the cheese, tomatoes and other toppings.

    Zucchini pizza is not only more nutritious; it’s a way to get family members to eat more vegetables, more often.

     

    ZUCCHINI CANOES, A PIZZA ALTERNATIVE

    Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini (one is a zucchino)
  • 1 box grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
  • Fresh Basil (1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Basil olive oil (we used Lucero’s)
  • Salt and pepper or crushed chili flakes to taste
  • Optional: pepperoni or other favorite meat topping, chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Trim as necessary so they fit into a glass baking dish.

    2. SCOOP. Using a teaspoon, grapefruit spoon or melon baller, scoop out the center core where the seeds are to create a shallow trench. Do not scoop all the way to the bottom. (You can save the zucchini you’ve scooped out and add it to scrambled eggs.)

    3. COMBINE. Combine the crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper/chili flakes. Brush the surface of the zucchini with mixture.

    4. BAKE. Halve the grape tomatoes and arrange them inside the trench with the optional pepperoni. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.

    5. ADD. Remove the zucchini from the oven and place diced mozzarella in the trench between the tomatoes.

    6. BROIL. Place the baking dish under the broiler until golden and bubbling.

    7. GARNISH. Remove and drizzle the zucchini lightly with basil olive oil. Top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
     

    Find gourmet pizza recipes—with the crust.

      

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    FOOD VIDEO: How To Choose Healthy Snacks

     

    If you’re one of the millions of people who have just made a New Year’s resolution to pursue better food choices, here’s an “inspirational” video. It shows some simple, portion-controlled snack ideas that let you treat yourself without going overboard.

    Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savory flavors—and there’s no reason you can’t have both—pick up some tips to maintain your 2011 eating plan.


    Some of our favorites:

  • Quality lower-calorie, fat-free and no-sugar-added ice cream is as close as your local supermarket. If your goal is to have more ice cream more often, trade away the superpremium brands for those with half the calories, fat and carbs. It’s not plain vanilla: Edy’s, Dreyer’s and Breyer’s, among others, make exciting flavors.
  • Check out different sugar-free preserves. You can’t tell the difference with the best ones, imported from Europe made sweetened with maltitol. Or check out the organic Fiordifrutta line, sweetened with apple juice instead of sugar and available in an orchard of flavors: Apricot, Blackberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Lemon, Peach, Plum, Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry, Wild Berries and Wild Blueberry.
  • No Sugar Added preserves also make good low calorie dessert toppings for ice cream and yogurt, as well as pancake toppings.
  • Salsa is low in calories but bursting with flavor and nutrition. Salsa and baby carrots are a ready-to-eat, healthy snack. Check out some of our favorite salsas and salsa recipes.
  • And speaking of veggies, treat yourself to pickled vegetables. Our two favorite brands are Rick’s Picks and Tillen Farms. Asparagus, okra, red pepper strips, string beans and other veggies never tasted so good!

    Find more healthy ideas in our Cooking Videos Section.

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    Cooking Video: Low Calorie Cocktails

     

    You can still enjoy a few drinks on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, without breaking the calorie bank.

    Registered Dietician Elizabeth Somer provides tips that help you to “drink this, not that,” to borrow a phrase from the popular book by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding.

    In fact, the book series that includes Drink This, Not That, Eat This, Not That and Cook This, Not That will help jump-start your New Year’s diet.

    But back to our weekly cooking video: Spend a few minutes with it and you’ll be mindful of which drinks are highest in calories and which alternatives are just as satisfying. Or as we see it, trade off drink calories for a piece of pecan pie or cheesecake.

  • Enjoy these low-carb cocktail recipes at your Christmas dinner, New Year’s party and throughout 2011.
  • Find more food and drink videos in our Cooking Videos Section.
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