Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pumpkin Gingerbread






   
     And these are a few of my favorite things...Pumpkin Gingerbread has stolen my heart...right after it delighted my taste buds.  But seriously, this may be one of the best things I have ever made.  Moist, dense and flavorful are all adjectives that come to mind.  Not to mention, each of these nine baby loaves are only 212 calories, 11g net carbs and 9g protein.  These are so delicious they need no topping, but add a Tablespoon of low fat Cream Cheese for only another 35 calories, 3g net carbs and 2g protein if you are in the slathering mood.  Either way,  you will be tasting the Holidays with each and every bite.  :)

Ingredients for 9 mini Loaves~
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
3 Extra Large Eggs
1 cup Oats, grind to flour in Magic Bullet or Food Processor
15oz can Pumpkin
6 scoops Gingerbread Vital Protein Collagen Creamer (vitalproteins.com)
1/2 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit~use code Paige20 at checkout for discount
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Dash Pumpkin Pie Spice
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Vanilla

     Add ingredients to mixing bowl and beat til fully combined.  Add to sprayed non stick mini loaf pan with 9 slots, each slot will receive a scant 1/2 cup batter.  (Use a loaf pan or 8X8 pan if preferred, may need to alter bake time.)  Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes.  Top each loaf with 1 Tablespoon reduced fat Cream Cheese, if desired.  Enjoy  :)

* A note about Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer:  Vital Proteins Collagen Creamers are a nourishing way to boost your morning brew. Also great in teas, baked goods, and desserts, their versatile Creamers are Whole30-approved and free of dairy, artificial flavors, added sugars, and carrageenan. A healthy way to start your day, they’re rich in clean collagen protein and healthy fats from organic coconut milk.
  • Boost Energy: Their Collagen Creamers are rich in energy-boosting MCTs, a type of healthy fat found in coconut milk.**
  • Add Protein: Their creamers boast 10 grams of clean collagen protein from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine.**
  • Support Connective Tissues: As the most abundant protein in the body, collagen is responsible for the maintenance of healthy hair, skin, nails, bones and joints.**
  • 100% Clean: Their Whole30-approved Collagen Creamers are made with only real-food ingredients and are free of artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, dairy, and gluten.**
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.




Healthy Homemade Gift Giving






     Sugar does not mean love people.  PLEASE do not bring me cookies, cakes, pies, rolls or candy as a gift and especially at Christmas time.  We all like to give food as a sign of our affection, which is wonderful and perfectly acceptable, but there are a few things to consider.  Overindulgence is already at an all time high, and further inventory only compounds the problem.  The Holidays seem to open the flood gates on Sugar Season.  Since excessive gatherings offer even more high Sugar opportunities, this year consider giving something toward the healthy end of the spectrum.  In fact, I have a few Sugar Free options that you may really enjoy and the receivers will appreciate the reprieve.  And don't forget to invest in a fun decorative jar to hold your goodies, let that be part of the gift.  So, before you label me a ''Debby Downer'', take a peek at my creative Healthy Homemade Gift Giving ideas...you will soon realize that I'm really a ''Perfect Present Presenting Paige''!

Nuts~ One of the beauties of giving Nuts, is that not only are they a healthy option as well as many varieties,but also, they don't have to be consumed immediately or all at one time.  As a double bonus, if you want to add spice we have further options as well.  Check out my Keto Praline Square, Salted Candied Pecans, Salted Nut Clusters as well as Chocolate Dipped Almonds.  Nut Butters are another great choice and super easy to make, you will love my Honey Roasted Peanut Butter recipe.

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2018/12/keto-praline-squares.html

http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2017/11/salted-sugarless-candied-pecans.html

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2018/02/roasted-chocolate-almonds.html

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2019/12/salted-maple-rosemary-almonds.html

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2018/12/salted-nut-clusters.html

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2019/12/five-seed-chocolate-chips.html

http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2017/11/salted-dipped-almonds.html

http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2016/12/honey-roasted-peanut-butter.html

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2015/11/200-calorie-english-toffee.html

Olive Oil~ Flavor infused Olive Oils are a super idea and oh so easy.  The options are only limited by your imagination.  Use the Oil for dipping your bread, drizzle on pasta, or in your cooking dishes.  Enjoy my Garlic Olive Oil recipe, then scour Pinterest for a ton of other varieties.
http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2017/11/garlic-olive-oil.html

Jam~ Fruit spreads are always popular, and can still hold a healthy element.  Check out how I make my Blueberry Chia Jam, feel free to sub with other berries of your choice.
http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2016/09/blueberry-chia-jam.html

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2018/12/cranberry-orange-jam.html

Vanilla~ Homemade Vanilla is one of my favorite things and such a fun craft project.  I make this in bulk so I will have plenty to last a long time.  Plus, this opens up opportunities for even more gift giving.  Look for the perfect container to bottle your extract, which adds to the feeling of celebration.  This is super easy and super delish.  You can also pick up other fun premade extracts such as Orange, Maple, Rum, Almond, Butter, etc.
http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2014/02/homemade-vanilla.html

Salsa~  Have you ever thought of Salsa as a gift!?  I have.  Can you think of anything you would rather receive than an awesome jar of Homemade Salsa!?  I can't.  Check out how I do Salsa!
http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2016/06/homemade-salsa.html

Pretzels~ There are a few low carb Pretzel options out there, and why not take it a step further and dip them in a low carb Chocolate for a touch of Christmas, all the while still sugar free.  Win win!
http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2017/11/chocolate-cinnamon-pretzels.html

Fudge~Speaking of Chocolate...(did you really think I would forget Christmas Fudge).  I found a way to have your fix and eat it too... all sugar free...and it's GOOD!!!


https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2018/12/keto-fudge-chocolates.html

Prepared Ground Beef~ I have prepped Ground Beef into one pound freezer zip lock baggies for loved ones, this is a priceless gift.  I saute diced Onion in Olive Oil, Garlic and Cayenne til golden brown, then add several pounds of ground beef, drain and weigh out a pound at a time, add to freezer zip lock baggies and store in freezer til ready to use or give as a gift.  This is invaluable to the working mother, and will be received as a treasured possession.
http://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2016/12/ground-beef.html

Caramel Sauce~Last but certainly not least, my famous Keto Caramel Sauce.  Perfect for just about anything you wish to make sweeter...but without the hazards of real sugar.  The best part is, no will ever know the difference!

https://foodfitnessbypaige.blogspot.com/2018/12/keto-caramel-sauce.html

There are many other healthy sugar free gifts that you can give at Christmas time.  Here are some of the things I've received and accepted with gratitude:
Unsweetened Cocoa in a decorative jar
Ground Cinnamon in a decorative jar
Grilling Spices or Dry Rubs (try your hand at making your own)
Truffle Salt
Citrus fruit in an attractive basket, especially Grapefruit.
Designer Apples, such as Fuji, Honeycrisp and Braeburn.
Fresh Pineapple with a pretty red bow
Low Carb or Edamame Pasta with a Gourmet Sauce
Flavored Balsamic Vinegar
Gourmet Pink Himalayan Salt and Black Peppercorn, give a nice set of Grinders too
Freezer Dinners, find out your friends favorite casserole and prep one for their freezer, give this prepared in a lovely new casserole dish
Favorite box of Protein Bars, Protein Powder, Protein Chips
Gourmet Tea Bags, or loose leaf Tea with a fun infuser
Lily's Stevia Sweetened Baking Chocolate or Chocolate Chips
Microwave Popcorn (preferably 100 calorie packets)
Potted Herb Plants
Gum

I also have a few non-food related gift ideas that might help for that person who is impossible to buy for:
Session with a Trainer for the New Year
Homemade Dog treats for their favorite pooch
Gym membership
Magazine subscription
Specialty Candle
Scented Lotion
Body Scrubs (try making your own)
Sentimental or Homemade Christmas Ornament
Personalized Mug, Towel, Bath Robe, Note Cards
Manicure/Pedicure
Car Wash Gift Certificate
Massage Gift Certificate
Phone Charger (can we have enough of these around the house!?)
Copper Skillet or Kitchen Gadget
Movie Tickets
Grocery Store Gift Certificate
Quik Trip Gift Certificate
Starbucks Gift Certificate
Fun Socks
Automatic Remote Starter installed in Car (about 100 dollars)
Kitchen Utensils
The gift of Time is the greatest gift of all, commit to taking a walk or just visiting with a loved one, they will cherish the sentiment!

Here are a few tips to help with controlling your weight during the Holidays:

1.      Fill up on fiber and protein rich foods: When you go to a party look for the veggies, beans, and lentils, and lean protein foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, and pork. Vegetables have fiber that will fill you up and nutrients you need to thrive. Eat less fried foods, processed meats, foods with sugar, and cheeses.

2.      Keep moving: Eating well and exercising go hand in hand to maintain weight. Find time to work out at least four times a week. This includes cardio, strength and flexibility exercises. Any activity you like to do that will get your heart pumping and build lean muscle. Don’t know where to start? Take a long walk after dinner, check out Youtube videos, or join a class with a buddy to keep that motivation going.

3.      Bring Your Own Food: Going to a place that might not have any healthy options? Bring your own dish. Veggie platters, or a vegetable based entree will fill you up with fiber and protein.

4.       Drink Liquor In Moderation: I am not going to tell you not to drink, but I would recommend to stick to 1 drink a day if you’re a woman and 2 drinks if you are a man. Too many drinks will increase your waistline along with your risk for type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So if you are conscious of carbohydrates and calories you can try to stick with vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, scotch, and brandy. Use lime and seltzer instead of sugary mixers like juices or tonic. Want to avoid those holiday hangovers? Stay hydrated with water and stick to clear liquor.

5.      Watch Your Sugar: Sugar is abundant this holiday season in everything from cookies and cakes to candy canes, pies, and even entree and side dishes. Too much can increase your waistline and also put you at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and dementia. One teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams of sugar. This can add up pretty quickly, so be sure to check food labels and try to stay below 25 grams (6 teaspoons) a day.

6.      Plan Ahead: If you know you’re going to a party tonight plan your meals for earlier in the day so you are eating whole nutrient dense foods that will satisfy your hunger. Foods like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, avocados, or plain yogurt are great snacks to eat before your event later in the day.

7.      Give In To Your Indulgence: The last thing you want to do is deny yourself a treat during this season. Make it something special that you may not be able to have any other time of the year.

8.      Watch Your Portions: Portion distortion is alive and well in our society. Fill up on nutrient rich foods like vegetables. Eat much smaller portions of sweets, treats, and other indulgent foods. One trick is to use a small plate and wait 20 minutes until your brain knows your stomach is full.



Salted Sugarless Candied Pecans








     I'm not sure if anything could be easier or better tasting.  My Salted Sugarless Candied Pecans is like a dream come true, it's a healthy treat that is sugar free as well as good for you!  And what a perfect gift for that figure conscious friend.  Each 1/4 cup/1 oz serving is only 210 calories, 2g net carbs and 3g protein...and worth every macro!  This is a must try  ;)

Ingredients for 6 servings~
1/2 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit~use code Paige20 at checkout for discount
2 Tablespoons Water
Dash Salt
Dash Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Pecans  (I like to get nice big beautiful Pecans out of the bins vs packaged)
Beautiful Container, if gift giving

     Add Monk Fruit, Water, Salt and Vanilla to skillet (I use a copper skillet, love the way it cooks), stir til well combined and melted together, add Pecans and blend til well coated, continue to stir and coat till all of sauce in skillet has been used in coating, pour onto parchment paper taking care to immediately separate any touching Pecans, give another light sprinkling of Salt depending on taste while still wet.  Allow to dry, then add to decorative container if gift giving...otherwise enjoy to your hearts content.  :)

Salted Dipped Almonds







     If anyone calls you a cheater, tell them to talk to the hand.  Salted Dipped Almonds may look like a decadent sinful treat but are nothing of the kind.  Take comfort in knowing that these little babies are filled with only good things.  Each of these 1/4 cup servings are only 251 calories, 4.5g net carbs and 8g protein.  And if you are wanting to share with your health conscious friends, this would be the perfect opportunity...then they won't be a "cheater either"...and everyone can just use their hands for eating!  :)

Ingredients for 4 servings~
2 teaspoons Coconut Oil
1 square Lily's Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Bar
1 cup raw Almonds
Salt to taste

     Melt Coconut Oil and Chocolate in microwave safe bowl til softened, stir to thoroughly combine.  Dip half of Almond in Chocolate one at a time and dry on parchment paper, season with Salt as desired while still wet.  When done transfer to fridge til set, as well as store in fridge.  If you prefer the counter top method that is fine too, let rest overnight til no longer wet.  Add to decorative container if gift giving.  Enjoy  :)

Chocolate Cinnamon Pretzels







     You are going to think I'm a genius...and you would be right of course.  Before we move on,...can we talk about how smart I am a little longer...!?  First of all, I found an awesome company that has low carb snacks that I really enjoy, and hits the spot when hankerings arise.  Kay's Naturals has many options, from sweet to savory.  So me thinks to me self, why not take it a step further and introduce them to my other phenomenal find, Lily's stevia sweetened dark Chocolate...now there's a perfect marriage if there ever was one!  See what happens when Kay's and Lily's have a baby~you will want to be reproducing in your own kitchen too!  Each serving is only 210 calories 13g net carbs and 13g protein.  How's that for one big happy family  :)  PS this is not a paid post...unless anyone wants to give me money, then that's fine too...  :/

Ingredients for one serving~
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
1 square Lily's Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Bar (lilyssweets.com)
1 bag Kay's Naturals Cinnamon Toast Pretzel (can sub with their regular Pretzels too) (kaysnaturals.com)

     Melt Oil and Chocolate in microwave safe bowl, and stir til well combined, dip Pretzels in Chocolate and dry overnight on parchment paper.  Add to decorative jar if gift giving, or just eat them all yourself!  Enjoy  :)

Cool Rise White Bread








     My typical day rarely involves white flour...but Holidays are far from typical, especially when it comes to food.  My Cool Rise White Bread is a tradition I make every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my family LOVES it!  (once you see the ingredients you will know why)  Sometimes part of a healthy diet includes enjoying yourself on special occasions surrounded by loved ones, strive for moderation, but know tomorrow is a new day so just enjoy the moment...and I do.  Once you try this, I bet it will be on your table from now on as well.  Happy Holidays ~ in good health, paige  :)

Ingredients for 3 loaves of Bread~
5 1/2-6 1/2 cups Flour (more if humid)
1 pkg dry rapid rise Yeast
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 stick Butter, softened to room temperature, extra chilled Butter for coating after baked
2 1/2 cups hot tap Water
Vegetable Oil

     Combine 2 cups Flour, Yeast, Sugar and Salt in bowl of mixer, stir to blend.  Add Butter and pour hot Water over the top, stir to blend.  Beat with mixer at medium speed 2 minutes.  Add 2 more cups Flour and beat at high speed 1 minute, or until thick and elastic. (you may be able to reduce time if using a Mix Master)  If using Mix Master, change beater to dough hook and add enough remaining Flour to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl when kneading, continue kneading til nice ball forms, or knead by hand on floured board 5 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap and towel, let rest one hour.  Uncover and punch down, divide into 3 equal parts, pat each section in rectangle on floured board, roll up tightly starting from short end, seal edges and place in greased and floured bread pan, lightly coat top with Vegetable Oil and rest in fridge for 2-24 hours, repeat with remaining 2 pieces of dough.  When ready to bake, remove from fridge and let rest for one more hour.  Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes, remove and rub hot top with chilled stick of butter til nicely coated.  Enjoy  :)