Sugar-Free “Brown Sugar” Apple Dip (Low Carb)

 

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!

 

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Mixed Pork Gravy (Low Carb & Healthy Options)

 

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.

 

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17 Ways to Thicken With Fewer Carbs (Soups, Stews, Gravies, and More!)

 

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!

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Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe

Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe

True confession: I do not like Olive Garden’s salad dressing. But that is probably only because I do not like salad dressing at all.

 

Period. Not.one.single.dressing. Nada. Nope. None.

 

However, I have some kids who are crazy about this dressing, so I make it with my homemade Italian Dressing Mix for them.

 

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Italian Dressing Mix

Italian Dressing Mix

I have been building up my repertoire of mixes lately. (Check out my Very Low Carb Flour Mix, All Purpose Seasoning Mix, and BBQ Base mixes!)

 

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!).

 

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Monterey Marinade

[Sugar-Free] Monterey Marinade

 

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!)

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Sugar-Free Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Sugar-Free Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Sugar-Free Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

One of the primary uses for my BBQ Sauce Base is definitely to make BBQ sauce! I love sweet BBQ—but I also love foods with a little zip. This sauce give me both!

 

I like the sweetness just as it is, but you might like a little more or a little less bulk sweetener. Also, I like the spice as is, but you might want to adjust your base (i.e. omit the chili powder) or lessen the liquid smoke if you feel it is too spicy for your family.

 

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All Purpose Seasoning Mix

All Purpose Seasoning Mix

 

I have been trying to develop a seasoning mix that can be used in meats, fish, vegetables, and salad. I think I am finally there!

 

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!).

 

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