While I prefer my fruits fresh for the most part, I do love apple-anything desserts! (Okay, I also love this low carb/sugar-free cherry delight too!) Apples are a perfect snack (if you’re not keto). They are delicious, not messy, portable, and readily-available. But how I really love my apples is with a yummy, caramely apple dip. The one that I have made for thirty years is still a family favorite (1 package cream cheese, 1/2 cup (or more!) brown sugar, and 1 TBSP vanilla). However, for daily fare and for me and Hubby, I prefer to make a low carb/sugar-free one that is seriously just as tasty!
If you’ve been following my Grocery Fast, you know that I have been trying for eight weeks to not spend much money at the grocery store but instead use up my many food stores in my pantries, cupboards, freezers, and refrigerators. (And then I’m hoping to learn to shop and cook for two of us—wish me luck!) I found a few bags of “pork” (mostly turkey products) in my freezer that I couldn’t see using as main entrees since there were bits and pieces. But with my quest to really use up all of these “bits and pieces,” my mind went crazy trying to figure out how to make a meal (another benchmark is that I am making MEALS out of what I have, not just side dishes or “add ons” to meals) out of this combination. I had been so hungry for biscuits and gravy, but with our OMAD (One Meal a Day)/Daily Intermittent Fasting), I can’t fit all the meals in that I am hungry for. (IF problems!) So I set out to make “Mixed ‘Pork’ Gravy” with these little bags of frozen meats.
When I began cooking and baking low carb, I knew that I didn’t want to add 50 carbs to a gravy or soup by using 1/2 cup of white flour to make a roux and thicken soups, stews, and gravies. So I began experimenting with various thickening agents. Since I have some upcoming gravy and cream soup recipes, I thought this would be a good time to share some of my findings with readers. You don’t have to eat specifically low carb to benefit from these tips. They are good ones for any health-conscious cook. So….if you would like to get some new tricks for thickening in less starchy/less carby ways, read on!
If you are low carbing, you will want to be careful of seasoning mixes and packets. Many have thickening agents (i.e. arrowroot or cornstarch); others have anti-clumping properties, which can add carbohydrates to the total. Of course, many of us home cooks have been doing many homemade things for years and years—including sauces, seasoning mixes, and more—in an effort to either save money or be able to put into our foods exactly what we want (and know what that is!).
I like to marinate meats in a bbq type/Tex Mex marinade when using them in fajitas, bbq, etc. (Even if I am adding bbq sauce at cooking time, I still love that flavor-infusion from marinading in this mixture!)