Tag Archives: peanut-butter

The Cure (to a variety of sugar cravings & bad days)

I was having a rough morning, for pathetic reasons – turns out my old laptop is too old to run the game I’ve been dying to play, yes I know…sad – , but I have fixed it! My day, I mean, not my computer – that would cost nearly as much money as it would to buy a new one, so that’s just going to have to wait.

I’ve been digging around online the last couple of days, trying to figure out what more there is to bake with almond meal, just because well, I bake and I get cravings… I stumbled across a site that talked about using almond meal in combo with protein powder to make pancakes. Now, I’ve never used protein powder – being LCHF makes me paranoid about consuming any sort of ‘substitute powders’, and I try to eat whole food whenever I can – and I don’t have any in the pantry, so I made Almond-Psyllium Chocolate Pancakes instead and slathered them with crunchy peanut butter (because I’m a peanut butter freak!).

The recipe is something like this:

2 Tbs Almond Meal
1 Tbs Psyllium Husk
1 Egg
A pinch of salt
A touch of vanilla essence (organic if you can get it!)
~ 2-5g pieces of dark chocolate, chopped
~ 100ml water, cool

Mix all of it together barring the chocolate. Tip into a hot – buttered! – frying pan and wait till the bottom is sealed. Sprinkle on the dark chocolate and wait till it feels like you can flip it – around 2mins. Flip, seal that side, and flip back over. Use a good non-stick pan to avoid the chocolate from getting stuck! Keep flipping until its cooked through – or whack it under a salamander grill – if you’ve got one – until it’s slightly fluffy. Turn out onto a plate, cover in peanut butter if you want. Devour.

You can technically leave out the psyllium husk and then replace the water with thick cream or another liquid substitute like almond milk, soy, or whatever you prefer. I try to avoid too much dairy, thus the water.

Clear skies,

Vee

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Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Coconut-Milk Smoothie anyone?

So I was mucking around online today at the Cafe waiting on the cakes I was baking to finish baking, which, as we know can often lead to my ‘hmm, I’m hungry, I should eat something, but what?’ moods. Clearly the answer lay within Google, because well, don’t all answers hide there? I came across a variety of smoothie recipes that I desperately wanted to try, except all of them use coconut milk, and to be honest, I don’t really like coconut. This can be an issue in a low carb lifestyle since coconut derivative products are really, really awesome when it comes to substitution. I then realised I’d never actually tried making anything with coconut milk or cream, and it’s not like I’d never had it in curries or stews or anything growing up. My mother certainly never heard me complaining about her use of it in Indonesian cooking. So, what the hell! I figured I’d try it out. Turns out the stuff is bloody moreish and an absolute killer of sugar cravings, dairy cravings, and hunger. I had to restrain myself quite drastically from drinking the whole lot straight up. So here’s what I made:

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Coconut-Milk Smoothie

1 400ml Can Coconut Milk (I use Nakula Organic Coconut Milk since that’s what we stock at the Cafe)

1.5 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa

1.5 Tbs Peanut Butter

2 Tablets Stevia (or equivalent)

+ a handful of ice if you want it.

Whack the lot of it in a blender and blend away until smooth and creamy.  Now, this next bit is important (unless you’ve got a will of iron!): divide the mix up between four small cups and remove three of those cups from your immediate reach – for me that meant the freezer! Then drink the remaining cup. I’m not kidding, especially if you haven’t had dairy or something creamy for a while, these things will hit the spot like a sledgehammer and you will want all of it. Which is fine, if you’re not counting the kilojoules…

1 Serving is roughly 995kjs,contains about 20.5g of fat (which is awesome for an LC diet!), 29.4g sodium (I don’t keep track of my sodium intake so I don’t know if this is high or low or whatnot), approx. 5.3g carbs net, 3.5g protein, and a small %1 RDI Iron.

I’m currently seeing what happens if you freeze them – hopefully one side effect will be to stop me from devouring the entire batch next time – and it’s quite muggy/warm/humid/hot here in Melbourne so I can do with an ‘ice cream’ that won’t kill my lifestyle choices again…

Clear skies,

Vee

A Word About: Peanuts

I have a weakness for peanut butter – so much so that just now, typing the word made me crave it intensely. Luckily for me, most PB is low enough carb to fit into my regime: the best kind is homemade, or, in my case the stuff that Upper Ferntree Organics sell that I’m very lucky to have access to. (For those of you in Melbourne: 1232 Burwood Hwy, Upper Ferntree Gully, VIC3156. Ph. 03 9752 2688) I haven’t had it in forever, but it is by far the best pb that I’ve had. That said, if you don’t have access to organic, homemade, preservative-free, gluten-free pb, that’s okay, store-bought brands will do the thing too. And if you’re anti pb for some reason – maybe you don’t like the way it sticks to your mouth? I don’t know. – peanuts are your answer.

“Answer? What’re you going on about, Vee?”

Bear with me, this isn’t just some ramble about one of my favourite foods, I promise it actually serves a purpose.

As it turns out, peanuts – and the pb! – help in lowering and maintaining blood sugar levels. I stumbled across this fact while reading one of the many blogs I read, and the author commented that she’d given in and eaten a popular candy bar but figured the peanuts in it would lessen the damage of the chocolate. I raised an eyebrow when I read that comment, thinking she was making excuses for herself. Turns out, I was wrong, she was right.

As we already know, as nuts, peanuts are fairly good on the GI level, not affecting it all that much. Several studies I came across stated that a handful of peanuts or a small spoonful of peanut butter were enough to have a positive effect on steadying blood sugar levels.  Additionally, because it’s so high in fat and relatively high in sodium, you’re going to feel satisfied with your little snack, keeping you from raiding the pantry any further. This makes it an ideal snack for diabetics and pre-diabetics as maintaining a healthy diet is one of the prime means by which we deal with these issues.

And then there’s the magnesium.  Peanuts, like many nuts, are chock full of the stuff, and because they break down slowly you’ll regulate your magnesium levels while you’re at it.

There’s a wealth of information out there, waiting to be found, and I’ll definitely keep looking into it – I mean, hey, any excuse to eat pb right? But I also want to give a shout out to those of you who struggle with peanut/nut allergies. Of all the allergies, I think I’m right in saying that the peanut allergy is one of the most prevalent and I feel for anyone who struggles with it or has to watch their child struggle with it.

Clear skies,
Vee

Recommended reading:

The Peanut Institute – Diabetes and Blood Sugar
Diabetes in Control – Peanut Butter at Breakfast Helps Control Hunger and Blood Sugar All Day

The Problem with Pancakes

This morning it’s dark, rainy, generally miserable and wet: yes, winter’s finally here. For me, this means making sure I don’t dive head first into sweet custards, tarts and cakes. I don’t do well in the cold, and my cravings for comfort foods go through the roof. I particularly crave pancakes, a left over from my dad making pancakes for us when we were little and surrounded by the snows of Europe. Of course, I can’t have my dad’s pancakes right this moment for various reasons; firstly because he’s not even in the same country as me at the moment, and secondly because of the flour.

Sometimes the things I can’t have get depressing and I go through a longwinded conversation with myself about why I’m putting myself through this and whether or not it’s okay to have just one more cheat day this week. 9 times out of 10 my common sense wins out: I want to lose this weight so I’m just going to have to bite the bullet and find alternatives. Luckily for me, there’s a variety of ways to make LC pancakes – none of them come close to the actual thing, in my opinion anyway, but they fulfil my needs adequately enough for it not to be a complete disaster.

My particularly favourite thing to do is to make Peanut-butter  & Cream Cheese Pancakes. Yes, they’re as insane as they sound. The basic recipe goes like this:

1 egg
1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese – I like Philadelphia, but use whatever you feel like.
1 tablespoon of good peanut-butter – and by ‘good’ I mean the lowest carb count you can find.
Throw together in a blender and mix until light and fluffy. Have a hot fryingpan with melted butter ready. Pour in mixture in thin layer(s). Seal both sides and voila! LC pancake.

I usually just have one, mainly because the peanut-butter is a little higher in carbs than I’m allowing at the moment, and because they’re incredibly filling. I also prefer them plain so the PB can shine through, but if you leave it out you can have it with other LC things – you could go bacon, for example, or, if your carb limit will allow it, a tiny bit of thinly sliced apple in the mix as you cook it.

The other comforting thing I can make to fix my pancake craving is a really quick pan-quiche, for lack of a better name. It’s kind of like a fluffy omelette I guess.

2 eggs
Fillings – I usually pick spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes in the right amounts
1 cup Ricotta or 2 tablespoons cream cheese
Put your eggs and cheese into a blender with the spinach. Blend until mostly smooth pour into a hot frying pan and top with your other fillings. Pop a lid on once the base is set and let it go. It should rise up and become firmish. If you’re stuck, put the whole thing into the oven or under the grill.

The great thing about quiches is that you can make them in varying sizes, fill them with just about anything, and they make great party food.

The important thing is to make sure you don’t get bored with what you’re eating, so mix it up, try something new, do something you’ve never thought of trying before! If you get bored, hop online and search the wealth of recipes that are out there – some of which I’ll share on here – but there really is a lot of LC stuff out there and it’s just waiting for you to give it a shot, who knows, you might find something awesome!

Do you have any favourite recipes? Please feel free to share! I’m always looking out for new things!

Clear Skies,
Vee

Have a look at this blog for more inspiration!