Air Fried (or Oven Baked) Mozzarella Sticks (Healthy and Low Carb!)

 

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).

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21 Ways to “Crumb” Low Carb for Savory Breading, Filling, and Toppings!

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.

This article will take those one step further and explain how I use those crisped items, low carb bread, pork rinds, sprouted low carb bread, and more to create savory and sweet crumbs (including substitutions for graham cracker crumbs, panko, and cracker crumbs).

 

First of all, a rundown on what all you can use for crumbs. (Specific instructions and yields are given later in this post.)

 

What you choose to use will be based on any or all of the following:

 

a) Your “crunchy–health food level” —not to be confused with the crunchiness of the product! Lol (Some would never use crushed pork rinds!)

b) Your available time (It’s fine if you are too busy to “do it all”–honest!)

c) The carb level you want (Store bought panko combined with no carb products really can yield a fairly low-carb-per-breaded-item net carb count for low to moderate carbers.)

d) The taste you are after (Some don’t want to dilute the carbs in a breading mix with powdered Parmesan because it changes the taste somewhat.)

To get breading to stick to cheese sticks, double dip in egg then coarse breading mix that have a tablespoon or two of olive oil added to it. Handle carefully.

 

Ideas for “Crumbs” for Breading, Crusts, Filling/Binders, and More—All 21 Ideas!

 

1) White Soft Low Carb Tortillas–If you absolutely don’t like a “wheaty” taste, you will want to stick with Mission Carb Balance WHITE soft flour tortilla shells (or white low carb buns/bread–see below) out of all of the pitas, lavash, and tortilla choices. These have 6 net carbs per tortilla, and will yield enough crumbs for a low carb crumb. (Of course, you can “dilute” the carbs by combining it with something carb free.)

 

2) White, Low Carb Buns or Bread–This is not the healthiest choice by far, but many people are trying desperately to make lower carb choices and coming from a SAD (Standard American Diet) background. This blog doesn’t assume that everyone is happy being keto or that everybody is accustomed to all of the lower carb options’ flavors! These Healthy Life white buns, usually available at your local store, have 15 net carbs per bun. They aren’t huge, but they’re not tiny either. Based on the fact that each slice of bread yields approximately 1/4 cup of crumbs, I am guessing that one of these buns would yield 1/2 cup or more of crumbs. Either way–with the white low carb bread or the white low carb bun–you are looking at about 5 to 7 net carbs for each piece of 4 ounce meat that you bread with this. Dilute it in half with something lower in carbs (low carb torts or pitas or almond flour) and get a lower count. Dilute it with something nearly carb free like Parmesan or crumbed pork rinds, and cut that carb count in half.

 

3) Lavash–If you don’t mind a more wheat taste for your crumbs, I highly recommend Joseph’s Lavash. There are four large rectangles per package (as in huge, probably 11″x15″ pieces). Each half lavash is only 5 net carbs. If I am making crumbs out of this, I just rip it into big pieces and stick it in the microwave as given in the instructions below. (No need to make perfect squares for crumbing!) With Joseph’s lavash, one package contains four rectangles. These four rectangles yield 1 ½ cup finely ground crumbs after crisping. Follow instructions below. That means that each 1/8 cup (enough for the average fish or chicken single-dipped) would be about 2 net carbs per piece of meat.

 

4) Low Carb Pitas— Another cracker option is Joseph’s Low Carb Pitas. There are six “loaves” in a package. Each “loaf”/pita would make a ton of crackers–though you don’t need to make perfect crackers to crumb these either. Just cut in large strips and crisp….then crumb.

 

Single dipped cheese sticks

 

5) Dried Low Carb Bread–Another “out of the box” option for crumbs is to cut a piece of low carb bread in quarters and crisp it in the oven like large croutons. You can butter and salt them before you do this. (Or you can butter and “Pyure” them for sweet crumbs–see below!) If you have an extremely low carb bread, such as ThinSlim Bread at 1 net carb per slice or even your locally-purchased bread with 4 or 5 net carbs, you could have a fairly low carb crisp. (I don’t need super low carb since I don’t do keto, just lower carb, so I even use my mini loaves of Low Carb Sprouted Dough, sliced, crisped, and processed.) (See instructions for homemade panko below.) One cup of bread crumbs is usually yielded from four slices of low carb bread.

 

6) Low Carb Tortillas— For a somewhat nutty flavor (not heavy), my favorite is Mama Lupe Low Carb Tortillas. They have a wheat flavor, but not as intense as the Joseph’s pitas and lavash. They have 3 net carbs per tortilla, so you can get a very low carb crumb out of these! Another good option is La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low Carb Tortillas, also at 3 net carbs per tort.

 

7) White or Wheat Mission Low Carb Tortillas–Mission Low Carb Soft Flour Tortillas come in white and wheat. The white tortillas are somewhat smaller and also have 6 net carbs per tortilla. The wheat ones are burrito sized and have 4 net carbs per tort. These are both great tasting options for those not used to low carb or grainy flavors. (I make chimichangas out of the wheat ones all the time!)

 

8) Bean or High Protein Cereal—Crisped low carb or healthy cereal (again, depending on your goal). There are bean cereals that really taste like regular O’s and Kellogg’s even has high protein/lower carb flakes available. These work for sweet or savory applications. If you single dip, 1/8 cup of breading is all that is needed. (Keep in mind that your 1/8 cup of breading is after the item is crumbed—it will take more cereal (closer to 1/4 cup?) to get 1/8 cup of crumbs.)

 

9) Crisped Parmesan Crispsyou can get these crisps that are fully 100 percent cheese. I personally have never “crumbed” these, but I would start with a small amount and work up. The main concern I would think might be making them too moist once the oil in the cheese is released. Just grind slowly and see how much crumb you end up with. Also note that these are extremely calorie dense. I would mix this with panko or low carb crumbs from another option. The benefit of these over powdered Parmesan is that you can crumb them more coarsely, adding to the crispiness of your final breading.

 

Use a wide, shallow dish for dipping. Refill with the breading mix often (and clean out between batches) to keep the breading mix from forming big clumps of egg/mixture.

 

10) Parmesan Cheese–Low Carbers and Keto peeps use grated Parmesan cheese for everything! It makes a great filler for meatloaves, meatballs, salmon patties, tuna balls, salisbury steak patties, and more. It is also great for a breading mix alone (it is the basis of the popular Parmesan Chicken Breast recipes you see floating around) and even better when mixed with another breading type. You will not have a crispy exterior with Parmesan alone, but it does give flavor and add a little texture to skinless chicken.

 

11) Pork Rinds–Keto people are often crazy about these for a chip replacement (some dip them in savory dips AND sweet dips….ummm). Even those of us who can’t stand the taste of them as a snack have found that they actually make a nice breading. (I especially like them when mixed with other crumbs.) No need to crisp; just run them through the processor to the crumb texture you desire.

 

12) Store Bought Panko Crumbs—Panko crumbs get a bum rap in the low carb world. I know many low carbers absolutely do not eat wheat, which totally eliminates these as an option. However, in terms of carb count, some panko crumbs are not terrible. For example, Kikkoman crumbs have 24 carbs per half cup. It takes approximately 1/8 of a cup of crumbs for each 4 ounce piece of meat. This means that if you use store-bought panko straight up, you have 6 carbs per piece. However, if you combine these crumbs with a carb-free or nearly-carb-free option, you will have 3 net carbs per piece of meat. Unless you are keto, this is totally doable!

 

Doubled dipped in breading

 

13) Homemade Panko Crumbs–Panko crumbs are simply bread crumbs made from bread without the crusts. (I know…I used to think it was something fancy too! lol) To make homemade panko crumbs, use your favorite low carb bread and trim off the crust. Tear the bread into pieces and toast pieces in the oven at 300 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or on a plate in the microwave on high for one minute or so. Trim the crust off the bread and discard, tear bread into pieces. Pulse the dried bread or crumbs in a food processor. (You can also do my French toast trick of leaving the bread out on the counter all night, flipping at some point—then finish crisping quickly in the oven since they will already be “stale” from lying out.)

 

14) Healthy Cracker Crumbs—Most of us have done the whole “Ritz” cracker casserole topping before, so we are used to crumbing crackers for breading and topping, etc. Depending on how fine you want your crumbs, you may use a processor or the old “zipper bag and mallet” for crumbing. There are some low carb crackers out there, but they are super pricey. If you have some healthy crackers you enjoy but want to keep your crumbs lower carb, you could use half cracker crumbs and half something with fewer carbs, like Parmesan cheese or pork rinds.

 

15) Ground Nuts–Almonds are often used for breading in savory recipes. You can use “almond meal” that you purchase (somewhat coarser than almond flour so good for breading) or you can make your own. To make these yourself, you can add any type of almonds (whole or partial–salted, unsalted…any kind will do) to a processor in small increments and pule until they are coarsely ground. Do not over-process or you will end up with almond butter!

 

16) Coconut FlourCoconut flour has approximately 12 grams of carbs per half cup. So when you compare it to panko, it is significantly lower. Again, panko plus pork rinds would be about the same as using coconut flour only, carb-wise. Most people prefer to combine coconut flour with Parmesan cheese so dilute some of the coconut taste.

 

Most breadings stick well to chicken with skin. Double dipping or oil/butter in the breading mix is not usually necessary

 

17) Shredded Coconut–Even before low carbing, many of us enjoyed coconut shrimp and coconut chicken. They are both delicious! Generally speaking to make the shrimp and chicken, you use half shredded coconut and half flour. There are only 7 carbs per half cup of unsweetened shredded coconut, so this makes it a very low carb breading option. Mix it with almond flour, Very Low Carb Flour Mix, Sprouted Flour Mix or half sprouted flour mix and half almond flour—all lead to a low carb breading option.

 

18) Shredded Cheese—One of my favorite chicken breast recipes (that I don’t have posted yet!) has half breading mix and half shredded cheddar cheese. It is absolutely delicious. Not as crispy as some with only breading mix, but it showed me how shredded cheese could be incorporated into breading quite easily, adding a level of yumminess and moistness to lower fat meats.

 

19) Very Low Carb Flour MixMy Very Low Carb Flour Mix can be used for breading much like a store bought flour-based breading mix (or similar to Bisquick—though if you want the same result as Bisquick in breading, you would need to add some baking powder and butter or olive oil to the flour mix, cutting it in to the texture of corn meal). While the flavors are diluted in this flour mix, making it ideal for low carb baking, keep in mind that breading flavors are very obvious. You might want to start with half this and half Panko to get your family accustomed to this as a lower carb breading option. (See the recipe for this here!)

 

 

20) Sprouted Low Carb Flour Mix—This baking mix doesn’t taste much different than the typical white and wheat flour combination and can be used really well for a breading mix on its own. It has 36 net carbs per cup, so at 1/8 cup of breading mix per item, your breading would be at 4.5 net carbs each. Pretty low for something that tastes normal! (See my low carb flour graphic for 9 low carb flours and their nutritional info.)

 

21) Sprouted Low Carb Flour—At 24 carbs per cup for sprouted wheat and 48 net carbs per cup for sprouted white, this flour is a great lower carb option for those who are not gluten sensitive. The wheat one is the same in carbs as most coconut flours! And the white one tastes like white flour —and ACTS like white flour. I use it all the time when the kids are coming for a meal. (I don’t even keep regular white or wheat flour at home anymore.) The white sprouted is the best choice for flour breading for lower carb for those who do not care for lower carb tastes. (See the lowest carb, best tasting sprouted white flour here and my favorite sprouted wheat flour here.)

 

 

BREADING TIPS

 

I won’t go into great detail for “how to bread” here since I have a low carb breading mix post with those….but I have to give a few ideas!

1) Try using any of the combinations above in my Low Carb Breading Mix!

2) Consider eggs! Breading stays on so much better when the breading is preceded by egg. Some people dip in flour first, then egg, then the breading mix.

3) Try everything in your air fryer! I love how it crisps low carb breaded items.

4) If oven “frying,” put the items on a rack over a cookie sheet so that the underside gets crispy as well.

5) Consider adding fat! Low fat meats and fish are benefited by placing a pat of butter on each one if oven frying or by stirring in some olive oil or avocado oil right into the breading mix. (This also helps the breading stay on better.)

6) Double dip for double the flavor and double the crisp!

 

Again, skin-on meats already have the benefit of the skin that gets crispy. A lighter, more flour based combination works well for breading.

 

CRUMBS

 

*Carb count and nutritional info will vary (see full list above)

Tortilla, lavash, flatbread, or pita of your choice

1 TBSP oil or spray

salt as desired

 

Any combination of these “crumbs” makes great filler for meatballs (as shown in our fondue pic), meatloaves, ham loaves, tuna balls, salmon patties, Salisbury steak, etc.

 

1) Cut each item in shape you desire. I cut lavash, etc., with scissors into pieces about cracker size or long strips.

2) Oven method: Brush each piece/side with oil and sprinkle with salt as desired. Place on baking sheet with parchment spread all out. Bake for 5-8 minutes, turning halfway through, until crispy.

3) Microwave method: Brush each piece/side with oil and sprinkle with salt as desired. Place in microwave baking dish (I use microwave-safe pie pans.), spread out and not overlapping. Microwave for one minute, turn, and microwave until crispy, checking every thirty seconds.

4) Once crisped, crumb in a food processor to your desired texture.

 

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Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links, I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!


Amazing Cheese Spread {With Low Carb & Healthy Options}

 

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?)

 

The spread is unique with its flavor combinations. It isn’t as attractive as a cheese ball. (But really, cheese balls don’t look so great after the first half dozen people cut into them anyway!) But you can serve it in a pretty dish and be good to go.

 

Another thing about this recipe is that if you have no problems with dairy (and you have a healthy mayo), it has a lot of real food in it–meat, cheese, nuts, cream cheese. Yum!

 

If you are trying to eat low carb, this makes a delicious snack served with my Sprouted Low Carb Dinner Rolls/Bread or Easy Low Carb Crackers/Tortilla Chips!

 

And….if you practice Daily Intermittent Fasting, I highly recommend the aforementioned low carb crackers and this cheese spread for opening your eating window! (I discuss good foods to open your eating window with in this informative slideshow)

 

*Note: The original recipe has two cups mayo and no cream cheese. We are not mayonnaise fans, so we do half and half. People who love mayo do love the original recipe!

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!


Amazing Cheese Spread {With Low Carb & Healthy Options}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 cup Hellman’s Mayo (no substitutions)
  • 1 cup spreadable cream cheese*
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
Instructions
  1. Mix all.
  2. Refrigerate.
  3. Serve!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 125 Fat: 12 Carbohydrates: 1 Sugar: 0 Protein: 3

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SIMPLE Low Carb Tortilla Chips and Crackers (Savory and Sweet Options!)

 

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…

 

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Sugar-Free Reishes’ Cups

Reishes' Cups [Sugar Free, THM]

 

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.

It was cute and it was clever. And I love cute and clever. (I write books for children, after all!)

 

So….when it came time to label my sugar-free Reese’s Cups, Reese’s would not suffice. Reishes’ Cups it is.

 

(And don’t even get me started on the lesson that I want to insert here on how to make names ending in sh, ch, x, z, or s plural—and then how to make them possessive. But I will give you a hint. Our Christmas picture should always say Reishes not Reishs. I’ll stop there! You can learn more about my homeschooling/English blog,Character Ink Press!)

 

These are super simple in ingredients. Not so much in execution. I made them as darling as I could for the pictures, but to be honest, I would only do these for a special event.
I am a self-proclaimed efficiency expert. The words cup, tart, tort—or anything with “let” at the end, spells the opposite of efficiency.
Thus, I am a bar girl. If a cup, tart, tort, or mini can be made into a bar, it will be in my kitchen. Pour melted chocolate over the top of that. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut. And cut in squares! (This recipe is in my book, Sugar-Free, Flour-Free and is called No Bake Peanut Butter Bars. Easy peasy.

 

But for those who love to do DIY—and make things super cool looking, I bring you my official Sugar-Free Reishes’ Cups!

 

Sugar-Free Reishes' Cups

 

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in the recipe above. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

 

Sugar-Free Reishes’ Cups (THM S, Low Carb)
 
Yield: 24 minis and 12 regular-sized OR 24 regular OR 48 minis
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • ¾ c. “Graham Cracker” crumbs
  • ½ cup powdered Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) *Or double a cup-for-cup powdered sugar substitute
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 1½ cups peanut butter (either creamy or crunchy is fine)
  • Chocolate Coating:
  • 3 cups Lily’s chocolate chips and/or Lily’s milk chocolate bar, coarsely chopped (or any sugar-free chocolate of your choice; I like half dark chocolate (chocolate chips) and half milk chocolate.)
  • 4 TBSP butter
Instructions
  1. Filling Instructions:
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and powdered sweetener until well blended, set aside.
  3. In a microwave-safe glass measure or bowl, heat butter and peanut butter together in microwave in 15 second increments until melted but not hot.
  4. Stir until combined and pour over graham cracker mixture. Stir until well combined, set aside.
  5. Chocolate Coating Instructions:
  6. Melt half of the chocolate chips with half of the butter in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 15 second increments (stirring each time) until chocolate is melted. (I like to use 75% or even 50%. Once your chocolate is over-melted, it is useless.)
  7. Place cupcake liners in cupcake tin (mini or regular depending on what size peanut butter cups you want to make.
  8. Using a paint brush (I used a long, rubber baby spoon though!), "paint" each cupcake liner with melted chocolate. Be sure to evenly coat the bottom and half way up each cup (if using the "mini" cupcake liners). If you are using full-size cupcake liners paint about ⅓ of the way up each cup. You don't need to paint it very thick, just enough so you don't see any of the liner underneath.
  9. Place in the refrigerator to cool for about 5 minutes or until chocolate hardens.
  10. Press about 1 tsp. of graham cracker mixture in each mini cup (about 1 TBSP for regular-sized cups). Make sure the top is somewhat flat (it doesn't need to be perfect). Just make sure you don't go above where you "painted" the chocolate on the cup.
  11. Melt remaining chocolate chips and butter in another glass dish in the same manner you did the first half.
  12. Spoon a little chocolate over each peanut butter cup until the peanut butter filling is completely covered (you can lightly shake or tap the cupcake pan to even out the chocolate over the filling). You want the top of the peanut butter cup to look completely flat.
  13. Place in refrigerator or cool area until chocolate hardens, then serve! If making bars, they will take a little longer to firm up. Do not freeze the bars or the chocolate will not slice nicely.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Reishes' Cup Calories: 271 Fat: 21 Carbohydrates: 4 Sugar: 2 Protein: 4

 

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Recipe Keys

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): These can be made very low carb by using the lavash, pita, or low carb tortilla for the graham cracker crumbs. Choose your favorite low carb peanut butter, but remember that the looser the peanut butter, the more powdered sweetener is required to keep the filling from being too loose.

 

Family-Friendly (FF): Everybody loves these!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): Super fast and easy using mostly store-bought ingredients.

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): If you want to make these even more homemade, you could make a low carb, sugar-free shortbread cookie and crumble that for the bar base. I keep low carb “brown sugar” cookies in my freezer for times I need a firm but sweet crumble.

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): These freeze fine. However, many times when ganache topping is frozen (in this or any bar with a ganache topping), it hardens to the point that when you cut into it, the ganache splits. I like to cut my bars before freezing them so that they do not do this.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Another delicious S treat!

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yes. If you use lavash for the graham cracker crumbs, you can control the sweeteners better. Store bought sugar-free graham crackers might be filled with a less-than-healthy sweetener.

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Joseph’s Lavash and pitas do contain gluten. I am sure you could use a gluten-free tortilla to crisp and make your graham cracker crumbs—or your favorite gluten-free graham cracker will also work.

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb “Graham Cracker” Crumbs

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb, Graham Cracker Crumbs

 

*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!

 

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb, Graham Cracker Crumbs
Various torts, pitas, and other low carb products that can be crisped in the microwave or oven work to make “graham cracker crumbs”!

 

 

I use these all the time! They are in my upcoming Sugar-Free Reishies Cups (and seriously, nobody would have guessed they have whole grain pitas in them!); crusts for Cherry Delight; Magic Seven Layer Bars (the homemade, sugar-free “Eagle Brand” dilutes them wonderfully!); and many more.

 

I don’t always use these—sometimes I want a peanut butter taste, and I use my Sugar-Free, Flour-Free Peanut Butter Cookies crumbled for a crust (in my upcoming Sugar-Free, Flour-Free {SFFF} book). Sometimes I want a sugar-cookie taste (and use my upcoming Brown Sugar Cookies crumbled). Other times I want a chocolate crust, and I use my Starbucks Chocolate Malt Cookie knock off (also in SFFF book).

 

But when I want graham cracker crumbs, I don’t hesitate to use this—especially if there are a lot of yummy, fattening ingredients helping to dilute the more bland crust, like cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, melted chocolate, peanut butter, etc. I keep this “mix” in my pantry all ready to go (along with my many other mixes!).

 

 

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb, Graham Cracker Crumbs

Crisp these up for mild tasting crumbs!

 

 

I don’t have measurements for other “crisped” things—like low carb tortillas, gluten-free pitas, etc.—you will have to experiment with those. However, I know they would work equally well since the lavash is a low carb, whole grain, mild-tasting product, and those others are pretty mild as well.

 

With Joseph’s lavash, one package contains four rectangles. These four rectangles yield 1 ½ cup finely ground crumbs after crisping.

 

 

Follow instructions below.

 

*For sugar substitute information, see my chapter and charts from my e-book, Sugar-Free Solutions, in a blog post here.

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in the recipe above. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb “Graham Cracker” Crumbs
Author: 
Recipe type: (THM S, E, FP; Very Low Carb)
Serves: Approx 5 cups
 
**Each rectangle has 4 net carbs. Thus, each half cup of “crumbs” is approximately 5 ½ net carbs.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Crisp lavash in oven or microwave. I tear one lavash into a few pieces and crisp on high for 30 seconds, turn over then 30 seconds more, etc. until crisp enough to grind up. Repeat for all lavash rectangles.
  2. Finely grind the crisped lavash (cooled) in food processor.
  3. Measure out 1 ¼ cup ground lavash; ¼ cup granulated Pyure; and 1 tsp maple flavoring. This will yield just over 1 ¼ cup “graham cracker” crumbs.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Carbohydrates: 5

 

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Magic Seven Layer Bars

Magic Seven Layer Bars

 

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.

 

This recipe is in my next cookbook, Sugar-Free, Flour-Free, because, believe it or not, it doesn’t require flour. How cool is that? Just grind up some low carb/healthy/sugar-free/grain-free tortillas, lavash, or pitas that you have crisped in the microwave, and you’ll be ready to go…oh, and make the sweetened condensed milk (“Eagle Brand”)—everything good is worth the extra work, right?

 

Magic Seven Layer Bars

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

 

Magic Seven Layer Bars
Author: 
Serves: 30 bars
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Line 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment allowing extra to be able to pull bars out of the pan easily to cut them on a cutting board.
  3. Melt butter and pour into parchment lined pan.
  4. Mix in “graham cracker” crumbs. Press into butter in pan.
  5. Note: In remaining steps, when pouring ingredients over layers, be sure you do not skip the corners and outside rows. Bars will not hold together without all of that gooey goodness everywhere!
  6. Pour half the condensed milk over the crumbs and then layer the remaining ingredients (except for other half of milk) evenly, pressing slightly after each addition. (Don’t press so much that remainder of milk will not drizzle down into the bars.)
  7. Pour remaining sweetened condensed milk over all.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes regular oven (20 minutes convection).
  9. Cool. I like to cool mine in the fridge and cut when chilled so that bars hold together better. Do not cut until fully chilled as warm bars will not hold their shape.
  10. Store in fridge or freezer or counter.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 170 Fat: 13 Carbohydrates: 5 Protein: 6

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Magic Seven Layer Bars

 

Sugar-Free, Low-Carb “Graham Cracker” Crumbs

 

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.”

 

With Joseph’s lavash, one package contains four rectangles. These four rectangles yield 1 ½ cup finely ground crumbs after crisping. Follow instructions below.

 

Sugar-Free, Low Carb "Graham Cracker" Crumbs
Author: 
 
Each rectangle has 4 net carbs. Thus, each half cup of “crumbs” is approximately 5 ½ net carbs.
Ingredients
  • 4 rectangles of Joseph’s lavash
  • ¼ cup granulated Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) *Or double of a cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 1 tsp maple extract
Instructions
  1. Crisp lavash in oven or microwave. I tear one lavash into a few pieces and crisp on high for 30 seconds, turn over then 30 seconds more, etc. until crisp enough to grind up. Repeat for all lavash rectangles.
  2. Finely grind the crisped lavash (cooled) in food processor.
  3. Measure out 1 ¼ cup ground lavash; ¼ cup granulated Pyure; and 1 tsp maple flavoring. This will yield just over 1 ¼ cup “graham cracker” crumbs.

 

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Recipe Keys

Very Low Carb (VLC): Low carb? Yes. Low calorie? Most definitely not! There are a lot of calories (and fat!) packed into these little bars! I mean….chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk (i.e. cream and butter!), coconut, peanut butter, butter…..yum!

 

Family-Friendly (FF): These are what I call “adult bars.” Yes, oftentimes kids will like them. But many kids do not care for coconut in things, so before you spend the time and money making them for the family, you might want to make yourself a small batch first. They are delicioius—and hubby will probably love them.

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): This recipe is very involved. You have to make the graham cracker crumbs and the “sweetened condensed milk.”

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): Lots of steps and homemade processed included in this recipe. These bars are worth them!

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): These will be fine in the freezer, but they will keep a long time in the refrigerator too. I like to keep many of my sugar-free bars in the refrigerator because the cold helps the bars keep their shape. I do the same with these.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Delicious S treat. I won’t try to E it! 🙂

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yes. If you use lavash for the graham cracker crumbs, you can control the sweeteners better. Store bought sugar-free graham crackers might be filled with a less-than-healthy sweetener.

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Joseph’s Lavash and pitas do contain gluten. I am sure you could use a gluten-free tortilla to crisp and make your graham cracker crumbs—or your favorite gluten-free graham cracker will also work.

Favorite Things: Delicious, Creamy Cheese Ball

”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”

 

Delicious Creamy Cheeseball

 

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.

How particular are you about your “healthy” plan? Is there wiggle room? Are there absolutely no cans or jars in your kitchen? Do the words “cheese product” scare you? 🙂

A healthy, fully natural cheeseball that would be good for real food or low carb peeps is the old “cream cheese, shredded cheese, worcestershire sauce, green onions, and nuts” combo (or something similar).

This isn’t that.

But it’s not horrible—I mean, it’s not sugar, white flour, terrible fats, etc.

So make this. And serve it with healthy crackers and/or veggies. Serve it with low carb tortillas or lavash that you crisp in the microwave on high for thirty to ninety seconds, brush with butter or olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. It doesn’t have to be an “off my diet” food. Really. (Check out how to make quick low carb crackers or tortilla chips here!)

 

 

Delicious Creamy Cheeseball

 

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DELICIOUS CREAMY CHEESE BALL
Author: 
Serves: 1 cheese ball
 
Net Carbs: 1.2 grams per 2 TBSP
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 jar Kraft Old English cheese spread
  • ¼ tsp parsley
  • ¼ tsp onion salt
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp worcestershire sauce
  • ½ green pepper chopped finely (or more or less)
  • a few green onions chopped finely (or more or less)
Instructions
  1. Cream the cream cheese in mixer.
  2. Add Old English cheese spread and mix it.
  3. Add all seasonings and chopped veggies.
  4. Add shredded cheese and mix until shape-able.
  5. You can shape now if not too soft or refrigerate and shape later and roll in nuts or bacon bits or ham bits.

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Cheeseball Nutrition Label

Below are links to the ingredients I use in the recipe above. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com.  If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission.  Thank you for your support of this blog!

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Recipe Keys

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is very low carb by itself. Of course, as with most meats, cheeses, nut spreads, etc., the carb damage is based on what you serve it on or with. Follow the instructions in the forward for crisping your own “homemade crackers,” and you can have a hearty cheeseball and cracker snack for under five carbs or so!

 

Family-Friendly (FF): No unfamiliar tastes or ingredients. Everybody loves it!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): Cheese balls made with canned/jarred cheese are super simple—but taste like you went all out!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): Make this along with homemade crackers—and you are Queen Homemade Hannah!

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): I do not freeze cheese balls. The texture of cream cheese changes in the freezer, so even when I freeze cream cheese, I prefer to use it in a cooked recipe rather than a fresh one, like a cheese ball or spread. This does keep for week in the refrigerator though.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Definite S with low carb crackers and/or veggies!

 

Sugar Free (SF): No sugar, of course!

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yep!

Sugar-Free Girl Scout Tagalong Cookies

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!”

 

Sugar Free Tagalong Cookies

 

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!

So I’m giving you the “proper” version of them. My recipe assistant made them beautiful. (I’m more the brains behind the operation—and she is more the beautifier—at age thirteen!) She brought the perfect sized biscuit/cookie cutter and painstakingly cut out the little circles, crisped them to perfection, spread the peanut butter filling, and then dipped them so that they truly do look (and, honestly…..taste!) like Tagalong cookies!

 

Note that you can use all chocolate chips or all milk chocolate bar, depending on how dark you want the coating to be.

 

I wanted to include this one here (and in my first Healthy Mixes book—Sugar-Free, Flour-Free) simply because I want to help people get started incrementally and inexpensively (and without having to learn too much information all at one time). This only requires peanut butter, sweetener, chocolate, and healthy tortillas of your choice. Great place to start on sugar-free treat making!

 

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Sugar-Free Tagalong Cookies

 

Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for this recipe’s helpful Recipe Keys!

 

Below are links to the ingredients I use in this recipe. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!

 

SUGAR-FREE GIRL SCOUT TAGALONG COOKIES
Author: 
Serves: 18 cookies
 
Net Carbs: 2 grams per cookie
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut healthy tortillas into rounds with small biscuit or cookie cutter. Use one that is approximately the size of an Oreo cookie.
  2. Place the tortilla “cookies” on a single layer in a pie pan (approximately 36 of them) in microwave (might need to do it in batches).
  3. Crisp them on high for thirty seconds.
  4. Turn over, move around, etc. And crisp for another twenty to thirty seconds.
  5. Then crisp for ten second intervals until the rounds are crispy like crackers.
  6. Melt peanut butter and butter in microwave until soft but not liquidy.
  7. Stir butter with peanut butter until smooth.
  8. Whisk in powdered sweetener.
  9. Spread about two teaspoons of peanut butter filling onto the top of each of eighteen “cookies.”
  10. Top with remaining eighteen cookies.
  11. Freeze “cookies” for fifteen to thirty minutes to make them easier to dip.
  12. Melt chocolate chips and chocolate bar (broken up) at 50 to 70 percent power stirring every twenty to thirty seconds. (See detailed chocolate melting instructions in this book.)
  13. When melted, stir in butter or coconut oil. (Might still be a tiny bit thick until you add the oil.)
  14. Using one cookie at a time (leave remainder in freezer), add the cookie to the melted chocolate and use a fork to coat both sides.
  15. Transfer cookie to parchment-lined cookie sheet and continue with remainder of the sandwich cookies.
  16. Freeze on trays (or refrigerate) until chocolate is firm.
  17. Transfer to plastic container. May be stored on the counter, refrigerator, or freezer.

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TagalongCookies

 

 

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Recipe Keys

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is a very low carb recipe! It is also high in fat with the chocolate and peanut butter. It is a wonderful keto cookie and great THM S snack.

 

Family-Friendly (FF): As I stated in the intro, this is one of my faves—so consider it to have been tested by a ten year old! 🙂

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): Store-Bought Stellas rejoice! No shortbread or peanut butter cookie to make before you ever make the cookies. Uses ingredients you can purchase—tortillas, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and chocolate bars.

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): You can definitely make a shortbread, sugar, or peanut butter cookie, spread the peanut butter filling over it, freeze, dip, and have a Homemade Hannah Tagalong if you are not comfortable using store bought tortillas. You will probably be adding to the carb (and calorie and fat) total, depending on the cookie recipe you use. Do not use my Low Carb Crepes or other “eggy” type of homemade tortilla for this as they do not crips enough to be a “cookie.”

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): They are in my freezer right now—ready for the holidays when everybody else is eating M and M cookies!

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com):  This is a perfect S treat! It would be challenging (if not impossible to make it an E—omit oil or butter, use peanut butter made with peanut flour, drizzle rather than dip in chocolate. Possibly…but it would be a stretch.

 
Sugar Free (SF): All of the Healthy Mixes e books, blog posts, and newsletters contain only sugar-free recipes. Trust me, though. This one does not taste sugar-free!

 

Gluten-Free (GF): This can definitely be gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free tortillas.

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