Mozzarella sticks CAN be a “real food”!!?? Okay, maybe not the deep fried ones from street fairs and carnivals. But making these at home (in an air fryer, especially) can yield a pretty healthy snack with just the natural fat in the mozzarella cheese and eggs and a few (or very few) carbs in the breading mix (depending on your choice of breading). Note that you can also bake these in the oven (see below).
Low carb and healthy cooks often have trouble with “crispies.” Sure, you can crisp up some veggies here and there. And if you aren’t low carbing it, you can purchase some healthier crackers and chips here and there. However, low carbers often miss the “crisps” more than anything (especially people who have learned how to make sugar-free treats.
(See my recipe index for some amazing sugar-free treats. My personal favorites are Peanut Butter Bars, Apple Butter, Cinnamon Pecans, and Reishes’ Cups…. 🙂 …) So to combat the “crispy conundrum,” I recently posted an article called “Simple Low Carb Tortilla Chips and Crackers (Savory and Sweet).” (I know that’s a mouthful!) In that post, I describe how to use low carb or healthier lavash, flatbreads, soft tortilla shells, and pitas to “crisp” for crackers and chips.
You know how you have those recipes that you go to over and over again? Every graduation party. Every baby or wedding shower. Every Christmas Eve appetizer party. Yep? Well, this is one of those. I have two cheese spreads/cheese balls that get rave reviews from everyone and that I have made for over twenty years. They’re that good. The first is my Creamy Delicious Cheese Ball that has one of those little glass jars of “processed cheese” (along with cream cheese, cheddar, and other ingredients). It really is wonderful. And the second is a cheese spread recipe from a friend many years ago (not sure where it originated). One of these has literally been on the serving table at every one of my kids’ seven graduation parties and every Christmas Eve. (Why reinvent the wheel, right?)
I have tried to make low carb crackers in the past. And even with my Very Low Carb Flour Mix, I really didn’t like any that I tried. When you think about the Power of Dilution that I have discussed here on the blog (along with my ten year old palate!), it makes sense that I wouldn’t like almond flour or my VLCF mix crackers. There is no diluting the flour flavors in crackers! After all, crackers are mostly whatever flour they are made of. Since I am not “keto,” I don’t really want to make all-cheese crackers or crackers made with mozzarella, eggs, and almond flour. Way too calorie/fat dense for the non-keto person. But I NEED crispy. I NEED salty. I NEED savory crisps to have cheese, meats, cheese ball, cheese spread, savory cream cheese dips, etc., with. (And a little lower in the blog post, I have SWEET crackers–substitutions for graham crackers and such–to have with sweet cream cheese dips, peanut butter cream cheese spread, chocolate chip cheeseballs, low carb frostings, and more. And I discovered how to make both of these quickly out of low carb tortillas, lavish, and pitas. So here you go…
When my husband and I were in high school, the school had a spirit week featuring the basketball players before their sectional tourney. The theme was a candy store, and each player was assigned a candy or spin-off of his name or personality, etc. It just so happened that my husband and his brother were in the same grade, both Varsity starters and both had the last name of Reish.
Enter Reishes’ Cups. Packages of Reese’s cups pairs were everywhere in the spirit week store, made over with a new label—Reishes’ Cups.
*I make “graham cracker crumbs” with Joseph’s lavash. (All of my crusts, crisps, and crumbles are in my upcoming book next year by that same name!)
You may use crisped tortillas, low carb wraps (not egg wraps or my low carb crepes), Joseph’s pitas, or other mild crackers of your choice to make “graham cracker crumbs” that are actually quite convincing, thanks for the Dilution Factor of low carb recipes!
These bars are magic. And they are seven layers. And they taste so much like the real thing that I am squealing with delight! Way too much testing went into this recipe, but it works now.
”Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
CHEESEBALL ON CRACKERS—they want me to bring,
These are a few of my favorite things”
Note: this post contains affiliate links
Yep……everybody’s favorite cheeseball. Always asked to bring it. Simple to make. Loved by everybody.
Win. Win. Win.
Can cheese balls really fit in with a healthy eating plan? How about a low carb one? Well, the answer is yes and no.
If I can only have one chocolate treat in my freezer, this is the one. I have been making a “messy” version of this for a couple of years. My recipe assistant often came to test recipes with me for the day and found this blob lying on a plate covered with plastic wrap. She pointed (probably hoping that we weren’t going to be making that!), and I smiled and said, “Yep…they’re Tagalongs!”
Well, they were Tagalongs….but I never took the time to make them pretty. I just crisped up two low carb tortillas, spread peanut butter between them, and drizzled melted chocolate over all. A big, yummy, chocolate-peanut butter mess. But a delightful one, for sure!