Intermittent Fasting Journal #50 — 30+ Ways to Move From Creamy Milk Chocolate to Healthier or Sugar-Free Chocolate

Donna Reish, author of over 100 language arts books for students grades two through twelve, blogger, weight loss coach, and Intermittent Fasting teacher, brings the topic of chocolate to us! In this departure from Donna’s typical  broadcasts, Broadcast #50 is about how to move from creamy milk chocolate to a healthier or sugar-free chocolate to help you reduce sugar and cravings in your life. She begins with the power of dilution explaining how you can dilute the dark chocolate taste or stevia taste with either nut butter or cream, depending on how “loose” or soft you want it to be. 

After instructions on how to do those dilutions, Donna talks about three other ways to “dilute” the dark chocolate or stevia taste through mix ins, layers, or even dipping. She describes kid-friendly approaches to this as well as low carb approaches. She explains how to use these chocolates in recipes, such as Reishes’ Cups, Take 5 Bars, chocolate cheesecake mousse, chocolate-chip cheesecake dip, and more. 

Watch the video as Donna explains how you can move from a love (okay, partial-addiction) to creamy milk chocolate treats to something a little healthier, less sugary, and minimally dopamine-spiking!

(Learn about how milk chocolate and other sugary treats/processed foods cause dopamine spikes/addictive eating behaviors in Donna’s Broadcast #49: Six Seductive Concentrated Cravings!)

 

Also note that many of the items Donna refers to or describes in the video are available for purchase through her Amazon affiliate links at the end of the outline!

A. Why Change?

 

1. Reduce sugar (get my free Sugar-Free Solutions e-book here!)
2. Decrease overeating from dopamine spikes (most people do not have the dopamine spikes/cravings from sugar-free chocolates or dark chocolates that they do from Dove Creamy Milk Chocolate—Learn about dopamine spikes in my recent broadcast #49!)

B. Start With Dark Chocolate or a Healthy Sugar-Free Chocolate

 

1. 60-100% cacao chocolate

a. Many like the 60-80% out of hand
b. Those with sugar and milk chocolate cravings do not
c. We can “dilute” that dark chocolate for something creamier while still keeping it sugar free, dark chocolate, and less “seductive” in flavor and cravings

2. Healthy sugar-free chocolate

a. Lily’s stevia-sweetened milk chocolate bars
b. Lily’s stevia-sweetened dark chocolate bars
c. Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chips
d. We can “dilute” that sugar-free chocolate for something less “sugar-free tasting”/stevia flavored while still keeping it sugar free and less “seductive” in flavor and cravings

C. Use the “Power of Dilution” to Change the Taste of the Chocolate First, if Desired –With Peanut Butter or Other Nut Butter

 

1. How to

a. Melt approximately 1 ½ ounce of dark chocolate or sugar-free chocolate (watch closely!) *You can find melting instructions in my free e-book, Sugar-Free Solutions
b. When chocolate is glossy (but not melted yet), stir and then add ¼ cup nut butter
c. Spoon into a container lined with parchment
d. Freeze until firm
e. Cut and store

2. Tips and tidbits

a. This firms up better than the cream method (“ganache”) below
b. Doesn’t need refrigerated or frozen to store unless your nut butter was extremely loose—experiment with this
c. Has a peanut butter chocolate taste but definitely cuts the dark chocolate or sugar-free taste
d. Can be used with mix ins (see below) for treats that are acceptable to kids and non-sugar free people
e. Cuts the expense of the sugar free chocolate if using that (especially is using mix ins too)
f. Can cut into squares or can put in molds or can drop onto parchment and freeze for individual candies
g. Can sweeten more with a sugar-free, healthy powdered sweetener like this or a sugar-free drop like this. Be sure to do it after melting and a tiny bit at a time and taste as you go.
h. Can be used melted as a fondue or dip for fruits, cookies, etc.
i. Experiment with the amount of nut butter/chocolate, freezing, cut vs. drop, storing, carrying in your purse, etc.

 

D. Use the “Power of Dilution” to Change the Taste of the Chocolate First, if Desired –With Cream (“Ganache”)

 

1. How to

a. Heat ¼ cup of full fat cream in micro or stove top or double boiler until boiling/bubbly (1-2 minutes in the micro—watch closely_
b. Mix in 1.5 ounces of chocolate broken up into small pieces (or chocolate chips). Stir until melted.
c. Spoon into a container lined with parchment
d. Freeze until firm
e. Cut and store

2. Tips and Tidbits

a. This doesn’t firm up as well as the nut butter version but actually is the beginning of what is known as “ganache”—a type of chocolaty frosting.
b. Needs refrigerated or frozen.
c. Has a creamy taste—and can be even creamier if you add more cream, but then it will be a definite “spoon fudge”!
d. Can be used with mix ins (see below) for treats that are acceptable to kids and non-sugar free people
e. Can cut into squares or can put in molds and freeze for individual candies
f. Can be used melted as a fondue or dip for fruits, cookies, etc.
g. Experiment with the amount of cream/chocolate, freezing, cut vs. drop, storing, carrying in your purse, etc.
h. Can sweeten more with a sugar-free, healthy powdered sweetener like this or a sugar-free drop like this. Be sure to do it after melting and a tiny bit at a time and taste as you go.

 

E. Mix In’s

 

1. What are Mix In’s

a. Can mix into the cream/chocolate or pb/chocolate or straight up melted chocolate
b. Has the diluting power that cuts through the dark chocolate or stevia taste
c. Can do drops or pour and cut (See Take 5 Bars here)
d. Some dark chocolates already have these (i.e. dark chocolate Hershey’s with nuts, dark chocolate covered pretzels, etc.
e. Some sugar-free chocolates already have these
f. How to: Melt, stir in, drop or pour, freeze, cut in squares, store or eat!
g. By adding less-calorie-dense mix ins, you are also decreasing the total caloric load—chocolate and pretzels, for example.

2. Ideas

a. Kid friendly/not all low carb: pretzels, pretzel flats, cereal, cracker crumbs, graham crackers/Vanilla wafers, potato chips, peanuts, pecans, almonds, oats, cookie crumbles, crushed popcorn etc.
b. Low carb: pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, crisped low carb tortillas, chia seeds, coconut flakes, seeds, sugar-free chocolate chips, low carb cereal or crackers or chips, low carb peanut butter cookies crumbled.

F. Layers

 

1. What are layers?

a. Layer of chocolate, filling, layer of chocolate
b. Like making your own sugar-free candy bar of sorts
c. Filling is enclosed with top and bottom layer of chocolate, so “wetter” fillings like nut butter, cream cheese, sugar-free caramel, etc. work well in layers (See my sugar-free cream cheese dips to layer with your chocolate)
d. “Fancier” example is sugar-free Girl Scout Tagalongs

2. Tips

a. Process

i. Melt chocolate or create melted pb chocolate or melted cream chocolate
ii. Pour into bowl and partially freeze
iii. Fill with filling
iv. Pour another batch of melted chocolate mixture
v. Freeze until firm
vi. Cut into SMALL squares! 😊

b. These work well for double diluting! You’re diluting the dark chocolate or sugar-free chocolate with cream or nut butter then further diluting with layers!
c. Might not need to dilute with nut butter or cream with the layers! Also, with just using the sugar-free chocolate or dark chocolate, these are sturdy at room temperature.

G. Dips

 

1. How to

a. More peanut butter or more cream makes a creamy chocolate that can be used for dipping or spreading. (You will basically be making a “ganache” frosting with the cream version.)
b. Same process as for diluting but more nut butter or more cream
c. Won’t need to “mold” it in a container as it will stay spreadable in fridge more than likely.

2. Ideas

a. Can use either one as a fondue type chocolate with no sugar!
b. Kid-friendly/non-low carb dippers: marshmallows, stick pretzels, graham crackers, Vanilla wafers, apples, strawberries, bananas, cake squares, cookies, crackers, cereal bars, granola bars, rice cakes
c. Low carb/sugar-free dippers: sugar-free marshmallows, crisped low carb tortilla strips (see link above for how to do this), sugar-free peanut butter cookies (see link above for how to do this), low carb pretzels/crackers, strawberries.
d. Another favorite: Melted chocolate with a scoop of peanut butter beside it—dip crackers or cookies into them for the “lazy girl’s Tagalong cookies”
e. Another favorite: Cream cheese dip (link above) with crushed chocolate pieces throughout
f. Another favorite: Cream cheese dip with the melted chocolate stirred in while chocolate is still warm for a “chocolate mousse” or “chocolate cheesecake dip”

H. Closing

 

1. Moving away from creamy milk chocolate has helped me control my sugar intake greatly.
2. It takes so much less of these chocolates to satisfy me—or maybe I just don’t love them as much?
3. These are not low calorie snacks. They still have the same number of calories as packaged milk chocolates, but you will likely eat way less overall due to the craving-power being reduced without the sugary milk chocolate.
4. Research is mixed on whether something like stevia spikes insulin, but it leans way towards no than yes….experiment for yourself, but you will probably not feel that spike then let down that we commonly feel with sugar candy and chocolate.
5. The more time you have between processed foods, pastries, candy, etc., the less you want them. Period. This can fill in that gap!

 

 

Let me know what worked for you!!! Love and hope!

Livin’ the lifestyle,
Donna

Sugar Free Take 5 Candy Squares

Have you heard of Take Five Candy Bars? Their popularity is based on the fact that they have a little bit of everything in them—kind of Snickers, Nestles’ Crunch, Reese’s combo. That is this!  {from the “Healthy Mixes – Sugar Free, Flour Free” cookbook}

Yield: 45 squares

 

Net Carbs: 2 grams (with peanuts and peanut butter as the “mix ins”)

Calories: 147

Total Fat: 12 grams

Protein: 5 grams

CHOCOLATE LAYER:

 

  • 1 to 3 TBSP coconut oil

THREE OR FOUR INGREDIENTS OF YOUR CHOICE, TOTALING 1 ½ TO 2 CUPS:

  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Coconut flakes
  • Oats
  • Cookie Crumbles
  • Crushed healthy cereal
  • Crushed healthy pretzels
  • Crushed healthy popcorn

 

 

OTHER WET OPTION—choose one, totaling ½ to 1 cup

  • melted white chocolate
  • caramel sauce
  • peanut butter, loosened in microwave but not heated

 

 

  1. Combine half of the chocolate chips and half of the chocolate bar.
  1. Melt in microwave or in top pan of a double boiler until smooth.
  1. If mixture is melted but thick, pour up to 1 TBSP of coconut oil into it and whip quickly.
  1. Pour into 9”x 11” pan lined with parchment and sprayed with cooking spray. (These bars are thick in order to accommodate all of the mix-ins. You will want to cut them into small squares, but I don’t recommend using larger pan as the “dry” ingredients will not have enough wet ingredients to stick to.)
  1. Sprinkle up to 2 cups total of the Other Ingredients.
  1. Pour melted white chocolate or caramel sauce or loose peanut butter over the Other Ingredients. (Have this mixture ready.)
  1. Combine the other half of the chocolate chips and other half of the chocolate bar and melt as you did the first half, with coconut oil to thin at end as needed.
  1. Freeze or refrigerate until hardened.
  1. Lift out of the pan with the parchment and cut into small squares.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Sauce

 

Even sugar-free peeps need chocolate sauce! Everybody needs chocolate sauce!

When I was trying to do keto (before I discovered Intermittent Fasting!), I was constantly in my kitchen coming up with some sort of chocolate concoction that my ten-year old palate would enjoy. I found out dozens of things that are great…and dozens that are not so great. I only share the chocolates that I would eat on the blog! 🙂

read more…

Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce

 

For those trying to bake and cook without as much sugar, sugar-free sauces can be amazing! They don’t spike your blood sugar, they are wayyyy lower in carbs than their normal counterparts, and you won’t feel bloated or tired after eating them!

read more…

Low Carb Air Fryer Roasted Nuts

 

If you are following my grocery fast, you probably know that I am more than a month in to spending $25 a week on groceries in an effort to empty my cupboards, freezers, and refrigerators. As we became empty nesters, I just kept buying and buying if things were on sale, in case the kids stopped by, etc., without really having designated purposes for everything. (When you have a family of nine, you eventually use everything up–not so when you become empty nesters…my house was bulging with food!)

 

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!

 

 

 

But pecans. And not just any pecans, but roasted, salted pecans. And do you know how much roasted, salted pecans can take out of a $25 grocery budget for the week (one that includes toiletries, groceries, and cleaning products)? Yeah…they can be upwards to $20 a pound! (Like these amazing, dry roasted with pink Himalayan salt ones.) Super yummy but I can’t spend the entire week’s grocery budget on a snack!

 

I didn’t want to wait until my grocery fast ended to get me some more salted, roasted pecans because I have learned that I feel much better and don’t overeat as much during my eating window if I open my window with something low carb and even a bit high in fat. (New to Daily Intermittent Fasting? Check out all of my teaching on this here!)

 

So with air fryer in hand and determination in my heart, I purchased these pecans at Costcos and learned how to make my own roasted pecans with pink Himalayan salt in my amazing air fryer!

 

 

 

And it was super fast and simple! And they tasted even better than store bought as they were more tender (and were all halves, not pieces). I think you’ll love them!

 

The proportions in the recipe are great for any nut–or a combination of nuts. I want to try making my own mixed nut combination with my favorites—almond, cashews, and pecans! I’ll keep you posted on that.

 

In the meantime, I am enjoying my newly-opened eating window right at this moment with these amazing nuts after fasting for twenty-one hours. What a way to break the fast!

 


Low Carb Air Fryer Roasted Nuts
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. ) Preheat air fryer to 200 degrees for five minutes or so.
  2. ) Melt butter/ghee/oil and stir in salt.
  3. ) Toss pecan halves into the butter and stir until fully coated.
  4. ) Place in air fryer and fry for 4 to 6 minutes at 200 degrees until toasty and yummy, tossing every 2 minutes or so.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ cup Calories: 201 Fat: 21 Carbohydrates: 1 Sugar: 1 Protein: 3

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Skinny Chocolates and Fat Bombs (My 2 Faves Plus “Lessons”!)

 

In the Trim Healthy Mama world, homemade chocolates made with oil/butter, cocoa powder, and sweetener (and sometimes other ingredients) are called Skinny Chocolate (mostly because they have good fats and virtually no carbohydrates). In the keto and low carb world, these are often called chocolate fat bombs (for the same reasons).

 

In the healthy family world, there are ways to eat “candy” and chocolate (and some ways are very simple and inexpensive!) while still eating healthfully, keeping blood sugars balanced, not causing weight gain, and keeping us all out of the carb comas (or sugar sleeps) that regular candy and chocolates with sugar can cause.

 

This post will detail the most common ways to make/eat/have healthy chocolate on hand at all times. The first way is obvious: Purchase Lily’s chocolate bars (sweetened with stevia) in bulk from Amazon and store one in each purse, bag, and vehicle. 🙂  This might be all that some healthy eaters need to get their chocolate candy fix. Others are content eating the 70%, 80%, and even 90% sugar-free dark chocolate candy for health and cravings. And then move on to their healthy savory foods. And still others keep a bag of Lily’s sugar-free dark chocolate chips in the freezer and pull out a few when the urge hits them.

 

 

Others of us—especially we adventuresome types—must figure out ways to get the foods that others are eating into our diets in healthful ways. This post will help you out!

 

And for those who are joining me in the Daily Intermittent Fasting lifestyle, these are perfect for opening or closing your eating window!

 

 

Skinny Chocolates and Fat Bombs

 

There are dozens (hundreds?) of skinny chocolate and fat bomb recipes out there. So why bother putting my measly two recipes here? Because it took me three years to find two that I like!

 

You might have heard about my childish eating habits prior to a few years ago…yeah….that means everything that is new or different is “yucky.” And that is how I honestly felt about the homemade chocolates that I tried.

 

This one was too bitter. That one was too dark. Another was too grainy. This new one was too soft. The “healthiest” one was too coconut-oily. On and on.

 

It wasn’t until I hit on somebody talking about using half coconut oil and half butter that I started finding them palatable. Then when I added peanut butter (technically no longer making it a true “skinny chocolate”—still not sure why butter and coconut oil are that much better than peanut butter in some low carb worlds), I knew I could make my own inexpensive chocolates and really love them. (As in, I can’t stay out of them! Now I’m having too many calories—even though my carbs are low!)

 

So here are my two versions. They really are yummy, inexpensive, simple, super fast, and healthy! Note that you can also add nuts, almond extract, peppermint extract, coconut, etc., to make “specialty” candy!

 

Of course, the downside to them (and any chocolates that you make with oil and cocoa as opposed to chocolate chips or chocolate bars) is that they melt (as in melt into liquid in the summer). They must be kept in the freezer. That makes it difficult to transport in your purse!

 

Oh, I’ve heard that all cocoas are not the same! Some cooks in low carb groups swear that their chocolates are significantly different based on their cocoa powder. To be safe, I would get the best cocoa powder you can afford. While this is way less expensive to make than candy with sugar-free chocolate chips or chocolate bars, you still don’t want to waste time or ingredients to discover that your inferior cocoa makes inferior candy.

 

 

“Milk Chocolate” Bars/Skinny Chocolate/Chocolate Fat Bombs/Homemade Chocolates

 

As I mentioned in the opening, these are called many things, so take your pick! I like to call them my Milk Chocolate Bars to distinguish them from my fudges and other candies (and my PB-Flavored Chocolate Bars). Also, if you are following THM to a T, these will not work as Deep S since they have coconut oil and butter in them. They are great for other S applications and for low carb dieters, sugar-free dieters, and healthy eaters in general!

 

While I call these my “Milk Chocolate” Bars, I have to admit a tad bit of disappointment that I could not get them as “milky” as I wanted. They are good—way better than my first three years of skinny chocolate experimentation, but everything I did to make them “milkier” did not work. I want to warn you so that you don’t waste your time or money. I tried adding cream, and I ended up with ganache (it was yummy!). I tried dry powdered milk (made even more powdery with a coffee grinder), and even the addition of a tablespoon of this made it separate into yucky-looking glumps that could not be put into molds or even into a plastic-ware container to freeze (had to be pitched). The same thing happened with protein powder, coffee creamer, etc. It just wasn’t happening.

 

So the main tweak to the original recipe this was based off of was to half the coconut oil and add the same amount of butter. This definitely had a less coconut-oil taste and a little more milk chocolate taste. I made these in molds that look just like those old candy squares called Ice Cubes. (I think they still sell them at gas stations and Cracker Barrel!) That is exactly what this chocolate reminds me of. Not too bad for oil, butter, cocoa powder, and sweetener. Inexpensive and delicious.

 

I should add that if you do not powder your sweetener before making my chocolates (or any Skinny Chocolates, etc.), you will likely have to mix the chocolate in a food processor or blender. I find it easier to grind a bunch of sweetener up at a time (see sweetener chapter) and keep it in my canisters that making every batch of chocolate in a blender!

 

Reminder: Homemade chocolates with oil, butter, and cocoa will likely dissolve at room temperature after a few hours. If you want to put these on goody trays, you will need to add them at serving time. Otherwise, store them in the freezer.

 

 

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 “Milk Chocolate” Bars Recipe

 

Sugar-Free “Milk Chocolate” Bars Recipe
Author: 
Serves: 15 to 18 fun sized “bars”
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Melt butter until just barely melted. (Do not boil.)
  2. Stir in coconut oil (solid is fine) into butter until both are combined well and “liquidy” (do not heat.)
  3. Add remaining ingredients, whisking quickly to combine thoroughly.
  4. Pour into molds or flat container.
  5. Freeze for a few minutes until solid.
  6. Remove from molds or cut into squares and store in air-tight container in freezer.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 50 Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 0 Sugar: 0 Protein: 0

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“PB Flavored Chocolate” Bars

Skinny Chocolate/Chocolate Fat Bombs/Homemade Chocolates

 

 

 

 

This is the one. This is the recipe that made me think I could really enjoy “skinny chocolate.” Okay, it’s not really skinny chocolate because it has peanut butter in it, but it is wonderful. (And those of you who are purists can experiment with peanut flour in place of the peanut butter in this recipe for a more traditional skinny chocolate.)

 

I can’t really compare it to any sugary candy bar. It is in a class by itself. I love it so much that I would rather have this in my lunch bag than Chocolate Walnut Fudge or No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars (but not more than healthy Sugar-Free Tag-Along Girl Scout Cookies!). However, I don’t carry it in my bag because I don’t want it to melt if I carry my bag in and it stays at room temp for a while. It needs to be kept in the freezer, but it is yummy, inexpensive, and simple to make.

 

 

Sugar-Free PB Flavored Chocolate Bars
Author: 
Serves: Yield: 15 to 18 fun sized “bars”
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Melt peanut butter and coconut oil together.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, whisking quickly to combine thoroughly.
  3. Pour into molds or flat container.
  4. Freeze for a few minutes until solid.
  5. Remove from molds or cut into squares and store in air-tight container in freezer.
  6. I make this one in an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment. It is firm in a few minutes, and I remove it (using the parchment as handles), cut it into squares, stick it in a plastic ware container, label it, and pop it in the freezer. That is how I distinguish this from the Milk Chocolate Bars, which I make in molds.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 72 Fat: 8 Carbohydrates: 1 Sugar: 0 Protein: 1

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Sugar Free, Flour Free Cookie Candy Bars

 

For years when my kids were at home, I kept peanut butter cookie dough (either homemade or logs of store bought) in my freezer, along with some candies, to make these bars in a matter of a few minutes. Everybody loved them. The sugar-free version can be just as popular with your crew!

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!

 

Cookie Candy Bars - Sugar Free, Flour Free
Author: 
Serves: 8x8 pan (16 bars)
 
Net Carbs: 3 grams
Ingredients
  • COOKIE BAR LAYER:
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 TBSP Pyure (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) Or use ¾ cup of a cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • GANACHE TOPPING LAYER:
  • 1 cup peanut butter, melted and loosened but not too hot
  • 1½ cups sugar-free chocolate chips (almost one bag of Lily’s chocolate chips)
  • CANDY TOPPING:
  • The equivalent of 4 to 6 fun sized candy bars. You can use any of these sugar-free recipes---found in my cookbook, Sugar-Free, Flour Free
  • Homemade Take Five Bars crushed with extra nuts OR
  • Pay Day Drops crushed with chocolate chips (resulting in a Baby Ruth candy of sorts) OR
  • Homemade White Chocolate Drops crushed with chocolate chips and nuts OR
  • White Chocolate Cereal Mix crushed finely OR
  • No Bake PB Bars or Buckeyes crushed OR
  • Sugar-free candy bars with almonds, toffee, etc.—sort of sugar-free versions of Hersheys With Almonds, Heath, or Reese’s Cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir together all cookie bar base ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended.
  3. Line 8” x 8 “ baking pan with parchment that comes up the sides some. Spray parchment with cooking spray.
  4. Press cookie dough into parchment until even.
  5. Bake at 350° convection for 10 to 12 minutes (12 to 15 minutes regular oven) until puffed and lightly browned.
  6. Cool for ten to fifteen minutes.
  7. Prepare candy topping by placing all of your candy in a zipper type bag and crush with a mallet until crushed but not powdered.
  8. Prepare Chocolate Ganache: Melt chocolate chips slowly in microwave or double boiler. (Follow Chocolate Melting Instructions on page 99.) Stir loose (but not hot) peanut butter into the melted chocolate chips.
  9. Spread the ganache over the almost-cooled bars.
  10. Sprinkle crushed candy evenly over the ganache while it is still warm/soft.
  11. Allow to cool on counter or in refrigerator until ganache is firm but still somewhat soft.
  12. Cut into bars and serve or freeze.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 104 Fat: 9 Carbohydrates: 3 Protein: 4

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Recipe Keys

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is low carb yum—but once again, it is extremely calorie dense.

 

Family-Friendly (FF): Kids love these bars. The dilution factor (see post at the blog) plays an important role in how well these bars are received. There are many familiar flavors (i.e. peanut butter, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.).

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): For the final product that these are, this is an SBS’s delight. Not that much time yet an incredible impressive healthy treat. You can always buy the candy topping if desired (rather than making one that is listed). There’s a reason that I called the sugar-filled ones my “Ten Minute Hospitality Solution” on my parenting blog! These are actually more attractive and yummier with sugar-free “Heath” and “M and M’s” if you don’t mind less-than-perfect ingredients in your topping!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): HH’s might enjoy making your own candy for the topping. I recommend not using straight up chocolate candy for the crushed candy topping. For one thing, it does not crush easily. Also, it is chocolate on chocolate. Using a toffee candy, peanut butter candy, and/or nuts with your chocolate will give it more tastes. When I used to make this sugar-full, I often used Heath bars and Peanut M and M’s.

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): These do freeze well—either cut into bars and flash frozen or in the baking pan and cut after defrosting. You can also just freeze the bars after baking and do the topping ingredients at serving time.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Definitely an S—with no way to make it an E. But it is also calorie dense, so I would limit it to one a day!

 

Sugar Free (SF): Can definitely be totally sugar-free, depending on the candies you choose, etc.

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yes—again, based on the candies you choose.

My Newest Recipe Book: Sugar-Free, Flour-Free!

 

 

After ten months of testing, re-testing, and tweaking, I have my second recipe book finished! I have written over a hundred curriculum books, so you would think this book writing thing would be simple….agghhh….but recipe books are anything but simple! So much testing time and tweaking and trying again. But it’s done—and just in time for Christmas baking and goodies.

read more…

Sugar-Free Syrups and Honey Recipes (Corn Syrup, Maple Syrup, and Faux Honey)

 

Syrups and Honey

 

One of the biggest problems with sugar-free baking and cooking is the extra time that it takes. Sure, you can just stick with recipes calling for granulated sugar—and sub in your favorite sugar-free one (See my Sugar-Free Substitutes post!) and be a happy sugar-free-family. However, after a while, you will likely find yourself wishing that you could make those bars with that “Eagle Brand” stuff drizzled all over them or those candies with caramel centers or those milk chocolate peanut butter cups.

read more…

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip 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 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!

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Serves: 18 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 TBSP Pyure (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) Or use ⅔ cup of a cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar-free chocolate chips or two coarsely cut sugar-free chocolate bars (approximately 3 to 4 ounces per bar) (Homemade chocolate bars (“skinny chocolate”) may or may not work since they become liquid at room temperature….you will have to experiment.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips, chunks, or pieces.**
  4. Drop dough by small to medium cookie scoops (or roll into balls) 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  5. Press down on each cookie with the back of a spoon to flatten them some before baking.
  6. Bake at 350° convection for 10 to 12 minutes (12 to 15 minutes regular oven) until puffed and lightly browned.
  7. Cool on baking sheets on a wire rack 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer to wire rack, and let cool 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 92 Fat: 8 Carbohydrates: 3 Protein: 4

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Recipe Keys

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is a fairly low carb recipe, depending on what peanut butter and chocolate chips you use. I haven’t found a low carb chocolate chip cookies that I just love—so these work well for me.

 

Family-Friendly (FF): Kids love these cookies—and actually will probably not notice they are sugar-free.

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): Super fast recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Very few ingredients, which means that you will be more apt to make them often!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): As mentioned with the SF-FF PB Criss Cross Cookies, this dough can also be used in many ways as the base for other things—cookie bars, cheesecake bars, and more.

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): These freeze fine. However, I have never been one to freeze cookies if I had the option of freezing cookie dough balls for hot cookies later. You do this through “flash freezing”—place all of the cookie dough balls on cookie sheets and freeze until solid. When frozen, transfer to zipper type bags, label, and try to stay out of them! 🙂

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Great S treat. Not too carby, so can have a few of them! (See the nutritional label at the blog.) As mentioned above, it can be the basis for many, many THM S desserts.

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yep!

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yes!

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls

 

This is a basic energy ball recipe. Be adventurous! Save the coconut flakes for rolling in at the end. Or dip in melted chocolate!

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 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 Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls
Author: 
Serves: 24 balls
 
Net Carbs: 7
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (or oats, flax, chia seeds, crushed sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds, crushed nuts, crushed bean-based cereal, and/or wheat germ combination)
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free honey (see recipe below)
  • FOR 2 TBSP SUGAR=FREE HOMEMADE HONEY
  • ·2 TBSP Pyureor double of a cup-for-cup sugar substitute (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend)
  • ½ TBSP water
  • ½ tsp molasses
  • Drop of maple extract
Instructions
  1. Make two TBSP of honey in medium sized bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Combine thoroughly.
  4. Place in refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from fridge and roll into balls.
Notes
To make these more special, you can roll in sugar-free melted white, dark, or milk chocolate and or drizzle with chocolate and let sit until chocolate hardens.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 ball Calories: 80 Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 7 Sugar: 2 Protein: 2

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Very Low Carb (VLC): Great little low carb treat to carry in a snack bag. No need for a cracker to spread it on!

 

 

Family-Friendly (FF): To start these out very kid-friendly, you might want to keep the “unfamiliar” tastes to a minimum—use oats only at first then expand by reducing the oats and adding in other protein-rich ingredients.

 

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): Simple, no fuss, no bake recipe! These can be chilling within fifteen minutes of starting!

 

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): These can be as homemade as you want them to be!

 

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): I have never frozen these, but I do freeze Buckeyes and Buckeye bars, so I think they would freeze well.

 

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com):: To stay in S territory, you might have to reduce the oats and use more non-carb/low carb ingredients like coconut, flax, crushed nuts and seeds, etc. You could make these an E pretty easily by making peanut butter out of peanut flour and adding in low fat mix ins (oats, lavash “graham cracker crumbs,” etc.). You could possibly even get these down to a FP with a little tweaking and imagination!

 

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yes. Again, if you use super loose peanut butter, might have to add more dry ingredients in order to make the mixture shape-able.

 

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Be sure to use gluten-free oats!

Sugar-Free Milk Chocolate Bars (THM S, Low Carb)

Sugar-Free Milk Chocolate Bars (THM S, Low Carb)

 

This is my favorite non-peanut butter “skinny chocolate/fat bomb” recipe. The shape of the molds I use and the “fairly normal” chocolate taste of these remind me of the old chocolate candy from my childhood called “Ice Cubes.”

 

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 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 Milk Chocolate Bars (THM S, Low Carb)
Author: 
Serves: 15-18 fun sized bars
 
Net Carbs: 1 gram per bar
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla (Must be real, alcohol-based; water-based vanilla may harden your chocolate as you’re stirring.)
  • Shake salt
  • 4 TBSP powdered Pyure (or use 8 TBSP (1/2 cup) of a cup-for-cup powdered sugar sub)
  • 1 ½ TBSP cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and coconut oil together.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, whisking quickly to combine thoroughly.
  3. Pour into molds or flat container.
  4. Freeze for a few minutes until solid.
  5. Remove from molds or cut into squares and store in air-tight container in freezer.
  6. Note: I make these in little square molds—though that is not necessary at all.
Notes
See instructions for making powdered sugar-free substitute here. Note that this can be made with granulated sweetener, but would have to be mixed in a food processor in that case.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 197 Fat: 22 Carbohydrates: 1 Protein: 0

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Very Low Carb (VLC): This is very low carb and a real “diet saver” for the keto and very low carb crowd.

 

 

Family-Friendly (FF): Your kids will probably love these little bars. They do not, however, pack well because they become soft after a while at room temperature. These should be stored in the freezer.

 

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): These are not difficult to make—and are very quick. The main thing is to not overheat your butter. You just want it soft/melty. And to stir quickly and pour right away so that ingredients do not separate.

 

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): HH’s will love making their own homemade chocolates!

 

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): No need to flash freeze or freeze in layers. Just pop out of the molds (or cut if you made them in a baking dish) and toss in a plastic-ware bowl.

 

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): These are a Deep S treat.

 

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yes! And they do not even taste like it!

 

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yes!

 

 

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars (THM S, Low Carb)

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars (THM S, Low Carb)

This is the one. This is the recipe that made me think I could really enjoy “skinny chocolate.” Okay, it’s not really skinny chocolate because it has peanut butter in it, but it is wonderful. You want these in your freezer at all times to help you stay sugar-free painlessly

 

 

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 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 Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars (THM S, Low Carb)
Author: 
Serves: 15 - 18 bars
 
Net Carbs: 2 grams per bar
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (I did not use a runny type of natural peanut butter. That could make this more difficult to firm up. You might want to experiment with your favorites.)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla(Must be real, alcohol-based; water-based vanilla may harden your chocolate as you’re stirring.)
  • Shake of salt
  • 3 TBSP powdered Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure, or other stevia blend)*Or use 6 TBSP of a cup-for-cup powdered sugar sub
  • 1 ½ TBSP cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Melt peanut butter and coconut oil together until just melted. Do not heat or boil.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, whisking quickly to combine thoroughly. Do not delay and pour as soon as mixed.
  3. Pour into molds or flat container.
  4. Freeze for a few minutes until solid.
  5. Remove from molds or cut into squares and store in air-tight container in freezer.
Notes
I make this one in an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment. It is firm in a few minutes, and I remove it (using the parchment as handles), cut it into squares, stick it in a plastic ware container, label it, and pop it in the freezer. That is how I distinguish this from the Milk Chocolate Bars, which I make in molds.

Also, see instructions for making powdered sugar-free sweetener here. Note that this can be made with granulated sweetener, but would have to be mixed in a food processor in that case.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 71 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 2 Protein: 1

 

 

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Very Low Carb (VLC): This is very low carb, depending on the peanut butter you use.

 

 

Family-Friendly (FF): Your kids will probably love these little bars. They do not, however, pack well because they become soft after a while at room temperature. Store these in the freezer (perhaps in an empty broccoli bag to keep kids out of them??). 🙂

 

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): These are not difficult to make—and are very quick. The main thing is to not overheat your butter. You just want it soft/melty. And to stir quickly and pour right away so that ingredients do not separate.

 

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): HH’s will love making their own homemade chocolates!

 

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): These need to be stored in the freezer. I just break them right into a small plastic-ware bowl and stick in the freezer. No need to flash freeze or freeze in layers.

 

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): These would be a definite S—though there would be some debate as to whether they are Deep S or not with the peanut butter.

 

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yes! And they do not even taste like it!

 

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yes!

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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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.

Make Your Own Sugar Free Powdered & Brown Sugar

Make Your Own Sugar Free Powdered and Brown Sugar

Most healthy bakers need a brown sugar and a powdered sugar substitute. Most of us are tired of spending the money and time to gather so many substitutes. Good news!

 

With these two little “recipes,” you can whip up your own brown sugar and/or powdered sugar quickly without constantly buying more products!

 

They are both very simple and both use whatever granulated sweetener you usually use. (See my choices of sweeteners in the blog post containing my sweetener chapter and charts from Sugar-Free Solutions here or get the e-book here!)

 

Keep in mind that if you use the regular granulated Pyure (pink packaging) or Gentle Sweet (from THM) or homemade Pyure/Truvia, you only need half a cup of these per cup of “regular sugar.” Thus, when you make your brown or powdered sweeteners, you will still only need half a cup per cup of these compared to regular brown sugar or powdered sugar.

 

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!

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sugar-Free Brown “Sugar” Recipe
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia-blend) *Or 2 cups cup-for-cup sugar sub and doubled molasses and maple extract
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • ¼ tsp maple extract
Instructions
  1. Put granulated bulk sweetener in a bowl or glass measure.
  2. With a fork, cut in 1 teaspoon molasses and ¼ teaspoon maple flavoring (like vanilla extract but maple).
  3. Add more molasses or maple flavoring to get the brown sugar look and taste that you like.
  4. You may do this for many cups of granulated bulk sweetener—just keep increasing the amount of molasses and maple flavoring according to how many cups of Pyure (or whatever) you use. (If I am mixing a lot of this up and I have my Kitchen Aid ready for a project, I’ll often just whisk it in there instead of trying to cut in the molasses and extract with a fork.
Notes
Recommended Uses: Any time you want the brown sugar flavor, whip this substitution up. It makes great sloppy Joes, awesome bbq sauce, super apple dip, and more. While it doesn’t give you the brown sugar texture, it does give you the brown sugar taste.

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sugar-Free Powdered or Confectioner’s “Sugar” Recipe
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Granulated sugar substitute of your choice
Instructions
  1. Put ¼ to ½ cup granulated sweetener in coffee grinder.
  2. Hold down (grind) for ten to twenty seconds. Check to see if fine enough. Push more if needed.
  3. Empty into container and repeat until you have your powdered container full or you have what you need for what you are making. (I make a whole canister full at one time, and it keeps just like regular powdered sugar.)
Notes
This does NOT work in a Ninja or food processor. It must be a coffee grinder to grind it into powdered sweetener. (Um, trust me on this.)

 

 

 

 

 

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Make Your Own Sugar Free Powdered & Brown Sugar

 

 

 

 

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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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3 Sugar-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipes (Low Carb, THM)

Eagle Brand Sugar-Free Low-Carb Sweetened Condensed Milk

 

Sweetened condensed milk. Otherwise known affectionately by holiday bakers as just Eagle Brand. We all know what it means—cream, butter, and sugar. Combined to make a magic concoction that turns everything it touches into a dessert that brings tears to our eyes (especially to those of us who can’t have it anymore!).

 

So what is a sugar-free, low carb, healthy baker to do? Learn how to make our own, that’s what!

 

I’ll be the first to admit that none of the three recipes I have tweaked for this are the same as the creamy, milky lava that creeps out of the Eagle Brand can. However, I also have to tell you that these concoctions are pretty good. And they work—they make amazing fudge (one of the most-similar-to-marshmallow-cream-chocolate-walnut-fudge that I have had!); great Magic Seven Layer Bars; good “Better Than Sex Cake”; and a decent caramel sauce (in the “Eagle Brand in the jar crock pot magic caramel sauce” recipe floating around the internet).

 

I give three choices—the simplest one has powdered milk (though I’ve been reading about using vanilla protein powder in place of powdered milk…let me know if you try that!) and is a five minute process that is fairly thick.

 

The moderate-work one is a stove top one that takes quite a while but doesn’t have powdered milk and thickens fine too. (I just start it while I’m doing other cooking and baking and keep watching it and stirring it as I have that kitchen session.)

 

The last one is the easiest, also healthy—but takes forever in the crock pot and is the thinnest of the three choices.

 

Once you make some, you can refrigerate it (I like to double or triple) and pull it out for various uses. The best uses by far are the ones within things, like fudge, cake, and bars. Making sauces from it only yields an average, less-than-sticky substance (as many low carb/sugar-free sauces do unless you use sugar-free honey or sugar-free corn syrup). For the recipes I use them in—I love these!

 

For information about Pyure vs other healthy, sugar-free substitutes, take a look at my chart here, a free chapter from my e-book comparing and expounding upon the choices, and/or my free e-book here.

 

Eagle Brand Sugar-Free Fudge

My homemade, sugar-free versions make the yummiest, most “normal-tasting” chocolate fudge!

 

Each recipe has the same approximate yield…

 

Yield: 1 can of “Eagle Brand”—approximately 1 1/3 cup
Net Carbs: 10 grams (for one full recipe)
Calories: 485
Total Fat: 44 grams
Protein: 6 grams

 

Each one is extremely low carb, extremely high fat, and THM Solid S—no way around any of that! 🙂

 

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!

 

#1 RECIPE—-Fastest, Least Healthy (powdered milk), Thickest Version—Ready in a Couple of Minutes

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

 

4.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe #1 - Easy Sugar-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
Author: 
Serves: 1⅓ cup
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender or with an
  2. immersion blender until creamy.
  3. Store in refrigerator or use immediately

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#2 RECIPE : Sugar-Free Stovetop Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe (two plus hours cook time)

4.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe #2 - Two-Hour Sugar-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
Author: 
Serves: 1⅓ cup
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups milk (almond, coconut, half and half, etc.—I use half almond and half ½ and ½)
  • 1 cup Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure, or other stevia-blend)*Or use 2 cups of cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract (not imitation)
Instructions
  1. Combine milk and sweetener in a medium saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, whisking continually.
  3. Reduce and slowly cook on the lowest temperature until you have approximately 1⅓ cup. This may take two hours or more. Stir often, but not continually.
  4. When milk is reduced by half (resulting in approximately 1⅓ cup), remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour into a clean glass jar and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator or use immediately. Mixture will thicken more after being refrigerated, so I like to chill then use later.
  6. This was thinner than sugar-filled, store-bought sweetened condensed milk (though it does thicken in the refrigerator more). I’ve toyed with the idea of sprinkling a ½ teaspoon gluccomannan over it and whisking quickly and/or loosening a half a bar of cream cheese (or more) in microwave or stove top and whisking it into the mixture.

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#3 RECIPE: Sugar-Free Crock Pot Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe

 

4.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe #3 - Sugar-Free Crock Pot Sweetened Condensed Milk
Author: 
Serves: 1⅓ cup
 
This was thinner than sugar-filled, store-bought sweetened condensed milk (though it does thicken in the refrigerator more). I’ve toyed with the idea of sprinkling a ½ teaspoon gluccomannan over it and whisking quickly and/or loosening a half a bar of cream cheese (or more) in microwave or stove top and whisking it into the mixture. Note: 1⅓ cup equals 14 ounce can of “Eagle Brand.”
Ingredients
  • 3 cups milk (almond, coconut, half and half, etc.—I use half almond and half ½ and ½)
  • 1 cup Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure, or other stevia-blend)*Or use 2 cups of cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract (not imitation)
Instructions
  1. Pour milk and sweetener into crock pot.
  2. Cook on high for one hour covered.
  3. Reduce to medium with the lid half on and half off for 6 to 8 hours, depending on how hot your medium is.
  4. Remove from crock base and stir in butter and vanilla.
  5. When cool enough, pour into jar and refrigerate (or use).
Notes
Once I left this on overnight (lid half on/half off) for about twelve total hours. It was becoming a caramel sauce without putting it in a jar and in a crock pot filled with water (see last recipe in this section). It was thicker than when I used the “crock pot sweetened condensed caramel sauce” recipe at the end of this section. I say that to say that this is definitely something I’m going to be toying with as I don’t like making sauces on the stove top. Not sure what would have happened if I had let it continue on….

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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.

Single Serving Sugar-Free Creamy Hot Cocoa

 

Single Serve Sugar-Free Hot Cocoa

 

People have been loving my Crock Pot Hot Chocolate Recipe—and I think you will too! (See here!)

Someone asked me to make the single cup version, and I thought it was a great idea! So….here you go!

Have a cocoa-y, Merry, warm, blessed Christmas!

Single Serve Sugar-Free Hot Cocoa

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!

 

Single Serving Sugar-Free Creamy Hot Cocoa
Author: 
 
Net Carbs: 8 grams
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in glass measure twice the size of your mug.
  2. Heat in microwave for one minute. Stir. Heat another minute. Whisk thoroughly.
  3. Heat more as needed to reach desired temperature.

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Single Serve Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate - Nutrition Label

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Scotcharoos [Sugar-Free]

I have hit on one significant way to stay away from sugar, excess carbs, and unhealthy goodies (when I choose to…see 5 Tips for Ditching Sugar)….and it is summed up in the little bar pictured in this post!  Better known as the healthy Scotcharoo!

Sugar-Free Scotcharoos
Okay, well not just the Scotcharoo alone.  I am also helped by Sugar-Free Tagalongs, Apple Butter, Eagle Brand Fudge, and Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecans.  These are my favorite sugar-free treats, and you can bet that I have these on hand when I’m going to be faced with so many sugary treats!

My advice to those who want to not eat sugar every day from December first through the thirty-first?  Make something you love!  And carry it throughout December.  And decide ahead of time when and what you will eat.

 

Sugar-Free Scotcharoo Recipe

 

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!

Scotcharoos [Sugar-Free]
Author: 
Serves: 30 bars
 
Net Carbs: 11 grams
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour cereal in large mixing bowl. (You need lots of room to incorporate the sticky mixture.) I like to take a mallet and crush some of the cereal flakes, not til powdery, more like in half. In sugar-free applications, it is very hard to get things sticky enough to hold together. Crushing the cereal slightly seemed to help the sticky mixture to incorporate better.
  2. Melt honey and sugar on stove top or in microwave until just barely boiling. Stir constantly.
  3. When boiling, mix in peanut butter for bar base. Combine thoroughly.
  4. Remove from heat and pour over cereal.
  5. Work with your hands if possible to be sure that sticky mixture is incorporated all throughout cereal. This will take a bit and will require a little more effort than traditional Scotcharoos.
  6. In 9” x 13” pan lined with parchment and sprayed with cooking spray, press cereal mixture into pan. This also takes extra work. Press and press and press and press. Put zipper bags over hands or butter hands if needed. When you think you have the mixture well-pressed into pan, press some more. You can’t press too much!
  7. Melt chocolate chips in double boiler or microwave. (See melting instructions in Chapter 5. Be careful with those expensive chocolate chips! 🙂 )
  8. Loosen peanut butter if it is too firm. (Do this separate from the chocolate chips.)
  9. Stir peanut butter into chocolate chips until well mixed and shiny and smooth.
  10. Spread melted chocolate mixture over pan thoroughly.
  11. Refrigerate or freeze for a few minutes until well set. Don’t leave in too long as you don’t want them hard. You just want the topping to be somewhat firm so that they cut into nice bars.
  12. Store on counter, refrigerator, or freezer.

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**I use bean-based flakes. The original sugary recipe calls for Rice Krispies. I like the bean-based cereals (which is shocking…they truly taste normal), and the carb count can be as low as twenty carbs per cup, which is as low as coconut flour and other low carb alternatives used in baking.

 

*** Do not use my homemade corn syrup. It is not sticky enough for non-baked applications and will not hold the cereal together. I buy sugar-free honey for this recipe and other “sticky,” non-baked goodies!

 

It has been brought to my attention that there are cereals that are lower in net carbs than the Bean Flakes I have listed in this recipe. If you don’t mind grains, here are some other options:

 

 

Sugar-Free Scotcharoos - Nutrition Label

 

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Recipe Keys

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): With six cups of cereal, at approximately 20 carbs per cup, this is not a super low carb recipe. That being said, when you consider how many bars you get out of a 9x 13 pan, the carbs-per-bar are not bad at all. Keto? Maybe not. Moderate carb diet—like 40 to 60 carbs per day? Go for it! They are worth the carbs. (And your family would probably like them too—see Family Friendly!)

 

Family-Friendly (FF): Back to my ten year old eater here—these absolutely taste the most normal of any dessert I have made. That being said, do not serve them alongside the real thing (or any real thing). You can start to convert your family to healthier eating with this recipe, providing they are not choosing between this and sugary Twix bars!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): No special sweetened condensed milks or homemade corn syrup or homemade bar base, etc. This is a great SBS recipe!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): Take the day off! You can definitely try it with a homemade honey, etc., but my testing showed that homemade syrups and honeys were not sticky enough for this recipe. (We ate the test “crumbles” like chocolaty granola! Yum!)

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): I have never thought Scotcharoos froze well. That being said, they do keep for a long time. I prefer to refrigerate mine as it seems to keep the bars together better.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): I would definitely use this in an S setting. If you are a purist who does not go so much by carb count as much as contents, then you might not use bean cereal in an S treat. In that case, it would be a crossover—but a worthwhile one!

 

Sugar Free (SF): All of the Healthy Mixes e books, blog posts, and newsletters contain only sugar-free recipes. Sugar-free honey can be hard to come by in a truly healthy sweetener. I use one that is less than ideal for this and a couple other non-baked treats.

 

Gluten-Free (GF): As long as your cereal choice is gluten-free, you should be good to go.

 

Sugar-Free Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

 

There is a sugary hot chocolate recipe floating around Pinterest made in the crock pot with sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, and chocolate chips. It is convenient and looks delicious.

 

Sugar-Free Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

 

I decided that sugar-free people shouldn’t have to go without the best hot chocolate (especially at Christmas time!), so I set out to re-create that recipe in a healthier manner—and without sugar and/or many carbohydrates. And it worked!

 

The first version (and the one on the pinnable meme) is one in which you simply put everything in the crock pot and stir. Easy peasy. I have essentially taken the recipe for my homemade sweetened condensed milk and put those ingredients directly into the crock pot without making the “Eagle Brand” separately. The second version is the one in which you first make the sugar-free sweetened condensed milk then add it to the crock with the other ingredients.

 

My recipe testing assistant and I made them side-by-side, and to be honest, there was hardly a difference between the two. I am a short-cut queen, and I doubt that I will ever make option two again—the easier recipe is great, so there’s no reason for extra work!

 

That said, I am putting both of the recipes here in case you want to try the side-by-side test!

Make a double batch for your Christmas Eve!

 

Sugar-Free Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

 

 

This is the even simpler version of the crock pot hot cocoa! Side-by-side, there was only a small difference in creaminess between the recipe with the homemade “Eagle Brand” and this one in which the ingredients for the “Eagle Brand” are just added to the crock with the other ingredients. Take your pick!

 

 

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 Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate (Without Sweentened Condensed Milk)
Author: 
Serves: 16 servings
 
Net Carbs: 8 grams per 6 fl. oz.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ⅔ cup powdered Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) *Or double of a cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 6 cups unsweetened original or vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar-free chocolate chips or sugar-free milk chocolate bar coarsely chopped (one full bag of Lily’s and half of a 3 ounce chocolate bar)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot and stir until fairly combined.
  2. Cook on low for two hours, stirring every thirty minutes as the chocolate chips are melting.

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These are amazing hot chocolate recipes that are SIMPLE! This one uses my homemade sweetened condensed milk, which makes a tad bit creamier hot cocoa than the recipe without the homemade “Eagle Brand.”

Sugar-Free Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate (With Sweetened Condensed Milk)
Author: 
Serves: 16 servings
 
Net Carbs: 8 grams per 6 fl. oz.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ c. powdered Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) *Or double of a cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 1⅓ cup sugar-free sweetened condensed milk (equal to 14 oz can) –recipe below
  • 6 cups unsweetened original or vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar-free chocolate chips or sugar-free milk chocolate barcoarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot and stir until fairly combined.
  2. Cook on low for two hours, stirring every thirty minutes as the chocolate chips are melting.

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Quickest Sugar-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe
Author: 
Serves: 1⅓ cups
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender or with an immersion blender until creamy.
  2. Store in refrigerator or use immediately

 

 

Sugar-Free Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Sugar-Free Crock Pot Hot Chocolate - Nutrition Label

 

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Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies [Sugar-Free & Flour Free]

 

What can I say about these? They made my top five. They have no unusual ingredients except the granulated sweetener of your choice. They taste “normal”! You can take them anywhere!

 

Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies [Sugar Free & Flour Free]

While these are flour-free cookies, if your peanut butter is too runny, your cookies will not firm up as baking. If the only option you have is to use a loose peanut butter, you might have to add two to four tablespoons of some kind of flour (almond flour, my Very Low Carb Flour Mix, my Sprouted Wheat Flour Mix, corn starch, gluten-free flour, etc.).

 

Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies [Sugar Free & Flour Free]2

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!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
PEANUT BUTTER CRISS CROSS COOKIES [SUGAR-FREE & FLOUR FREE]
Author: 
Serves: 18
 
Net Carbs: 1 gram per cookie
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 TBSP Pyure* (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia blend) *Or use ¾ cup of a cup-for-cup sugar sub
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended.
  3. Drop dough by small to medium cookie scoops (or roll into balls) 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  4. Dip a fork into granulated sugar-free substitute and make criss-cross lines on each cookie, dipping into the “sugar” before each cookie.
  5. Bake at 350° convection for 10 to 12 minutes (12 to 15 minutes regular oven) until puffed and lightly browned.
  6. Cool on baking sheets on a wire rack 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to wire rack, and let cool 15 minutes.

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Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies - Nutrition Label

 

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Recipe Keys

 

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is a fairly low carb recipe, depending on what peanut butter and what sweetener you use.

 

Family-Friendly (FF): Kids love these cookies!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): Store-Bought Stellas will enjoy this recipe. No special ingredients. Super fast to mix up. Can be used for cookies, bars, crust for Cream Cheese Dessert Base or cheesecake. So many uses from one simple “Stella-friendly” recipe.

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): For the same reason that SBS’s like this (versatility)—Homemade Hannah’s will also like this. It can be used for so many dishes (including a couple in my Sugar-Free, Flour-Free book and my Cream Cheese Dessert Base book).

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): These are also in my freezer. Additionally, I am all about freezing cookie dough balls for hot cookies later. You do this through “flash freezing”—place all of the cookie dough balls on cookie sheets and freeze until solid. When frozen, transfer to zipper type bags, label, and try to stay out of them! 🙂

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Great S treat. Not too carby, so can have a few of them! (See the nutritional label at the blog.) As mentioned above, it can be the basis for many, many THM S desserts.

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yep! Of course, this is based on what sweetener you use and what peanut butter you use.

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yes!

“Eagle Brand” Chocolate Fudge [Sugar-Free]

I have a few fudges in my first Healthy Mixes book (and here at the blog), but this one is the most “normal tasting.” This tastes very close to the marshmallow fudge that my daughters and I have made every year for the past thirty years—except it is lower in calories, sugar-free, and super low carb. And it doesn’t put you in a carb coma on Christmas day.

Eagle Brand Chocolate Fudge [Sugar-Free]
While it is the tastiest fudge recipe I have so far, it is not the easiest. The Cream Cheese Chocolate Fudge is the simplest. Hands down. And it is yummy too.

This fudge also firms up and stays firm really well. No spoon fudge here—even without marshmallow cream!

This recipe requires that you make a batch of sugar-free sweetened condensed milk (“Eagle Brand”). That can be a five minute process (with the blender method) or a two hour method on the stove top or an eight hour method in the crock pot. In that way, this can be a very time-intensive fudge recipe. (But not all of that time is spent in work, of course.) It’s worth it. Give it a try!

Eagle Brand Chocolate Fudge [Sugar-Free]

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!

"EAGLE BRAND" CHOCOLATE FUDGE [SUGAR-FREE]
Author: 
Serves: 32 pieces
 
Net Carbs: 4 grams per piece
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place condensed milk and chocolate chips into large micro-wave safe bowl.
  2. Melt at 70% until creamy. Stirring every minute or so. (I am so paranoid about wasting expensive ingredients that I like to heat up the milk then melt the chocolate chips in a separate bowl, then combine.)
  3. Pour into 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment. (Leave some of the parchment up on the sides to remove entire fudge block out when hardened.)
  4. Cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  5. Pull up on parchment sides and remove fudge from pan. Place on cutting board and cut into squares.
  6. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

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Eagle Brand Chocolate Fudge

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Recipe Keys

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is pretty low carb, depending on what chocolate chips, sweeteners, and milks you use (in the sweetened condensed milk).

 
Family-Friendly (FF): This is a “trick” dish. Nobody will know that it is sugar-free.

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): This is a pretty involved recipe when you consider making the sweetened condensed milk first. SBS would probably not be as overwhelmed at the thought of this recipe if you try the immersion blender method for making a super quick “Eagle Brand.”

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): A little involved, but HH’s will probably enjoy this totally homemade recipe (well, except for the chocolate chips).

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): These keep really well in the freezer.

 

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

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yes, again, based on the sweetener you choose and the milks used to make the “Eagle Brand.”

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yes!

 

Sugar-Free Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecans

 

Another shocking recipe! I never expected these pecans to be anything close to the ones at the mall at Christmas time. Not without real brown sugar or real granulated sugar. And definitely not without butter. (I always thought all flavored nuts had butter!)

Sugar-Free Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecans

And oh the ease of the crock pot. Mix and forget. (They don’t call those popular books Fix It and Forget It for no reason!)

I love this recipe just as much with almonds as I do with pecans. Make them both for Christmas or for sugar-free gift bags for those you love.

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!

5.0 from 1 reviews
SUGAR-FREE CROCK POT CINNAMON PECANS
Author: 
Serves: 5 cups
 
Net Carbs: 3 grams per ½ cup
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup brown sugar Pyure (or other stevia-based one) Or use 1 ½ cups of cup-for-cup brown sugar sub
  • ¾ cup granulated Pyure (or Gentle Sweet or Homemade Pyure or other stevia-blend) Or use 1 ½ cups of cup-for-cup granulated sugar sub
  • 3 TBSP cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 to 5 cups pecans (or almonds)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In one bowl, combine the brown sweetener, granulated sweetener, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Place nuts in a large bowl. Pour egg white mixture over it and stir until mixture is over all nuts.
  4. Pour dry mixture over the egg white nuts. Stir until nuts are coated with this mixture.
  5. Spray crock with cooking spray.
  6. Pour in nuts, and cook on high (covered) for three hours. Stir every hour or so.
  7. Remove from crock and spread out on parchment to cool.

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Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecans2

Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecans - Nutrition Label
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Recipe Keys

 

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is a very low carb recipe! It is also high in fat (in the nuts). It is an amazing keto treat and awesome THM S snack.

 

Family-Friendly (FF): If your family enjoys pecans or almonds, they will love this. I have included it here because it is truly one the recipes that does not taste “different.” It is a great family treat!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): When I think of Store-Bought Stellas, I think of those gals who work and drive ten hours, come home to homework, dinner, baths, and more homework. The crock pot can be an SBS’s best friend! And this recipe is literally ten minutes of work!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): While this is fast in speed, it is also very homemade. It is a unique recipe—as people do not expect you to turn out the nuts that are sold at the mall!

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): I have not frozen these nuts, but I really think they could be frozen.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com): Trim, Healthy Mamas, rejoice! Healthy Mixes combines the healthful aspects of the THM eating plan with the convenience and step-by-step instructions that many who are not used to cooking more healthfully need when trying to following the THM program. This is just one of hundreds of Healthy Mix recipes that fit into the THM eating plan. Btw, this is definitely an S treat—as all nuts are.

 

Sugar Free (SF): All of the Healthy Mixes e books, blog posts, and newsletters contain only sugar-free recipes. Once you get accustomed to whipping up “brown sugar,” it goes quickly. Sometimes I just put my sweetener in my bowl first, drizzle the molasses and maple extract over, stir quickly, then add the remaining ingredients. It doesn’t even really need to be an additional step!

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Most of the Healthy Mixes e books, blog posts, and newsletters contain gluten-free recipes. Most sugar-free sweeteners, nuts, and egg whites are gluten-free!

 

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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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.

Sugar-Free Crock Pot Apple Butter

Sugar-Free Crock Pot Apple Butter

I used to make apple butter for my family of nine—even in the crock pot sometimes. You know…all of the “methods.” The peel everything then use an immersion blender method. The run everything through a hand crank thingy method. The cook-your-apples-in-apple-cider method (my former favorite way). Crock pot. Stove top. And more.

 

But I have never had such yummy, perfect, sweet apple butter as this recipe. I first found the method at The Busy Baker. I was sure that it wasn’t right—no apple cider or juice while cooking?

 

I tried it as she had it—then added Pyure, fingers crossed. Sure that it was going to have apple peel pieces throughout. Sure that it wouldn’t be sweet enough. Sure that it would be too light colored. Sure that it would be too thick or too thin. It just seemed too easy.

 

Don’t be fooled by the ease of this recipe. It is perfect in color, thickness, flavor, and spreadability. I absolutely can’t be without this apple butter! My sugar-free jams are getting moldy on the lids. Why have something store-bought and inferior when this brown glorious goodness is in the fridge?

 

I love it on my Sprouted Low Carb Bread (homemade and Trader Joe’s), dolloped on my BEST French Toast Ever (not hyperbole!), spread on healthy tortillas crisped and buttered, drizzled over my Cream Cheese Dessert Base, topping my Simple Cheesecake, and more. It literally keeps me away from my old favorite: cream-filled long John donuts from my favorite bakery.

 

So make it for your family. Or just make it for you and hide it from your family. 🙂

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Sugar-Free Crock Pot Apple Butter

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 HEALTHY APPLE BUTTER RECIPE [CROCK POT]
Author: 
 
Net Carbs: 5.4 grams per 2 TBSP
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place the apples in your crock pot—cored and sliced, peeling on, no water, not cider or juice. Just apple slices.
  2. Turn crock pot on high and cook with the lid on for about four hours (depending on the “hotness” of your crock pot and the number of apples used.
  3. Stir every hour or so—from the bottom and edges thoroughly.
  4. When apples are super tender (and start to “smush” when you stir the with a wooden spoon), transfer the apples to the blender. (May have to do this in batches.)
  5. Blend on high until mixture is smooth and creamy. (Don’t wash crock at this point, but be sure it is completely emptied of apples.)
  6. Add apple butter back to crock pot and cook on high for another hour or two with the lid half on and half off, stirring every thirty to forty-five minutes. (Mine was really thick enough after pureeing it, and the return to the crock was hardly needed.)
  7. When thick enough, stir in granulated sweetener and cinnamon to taste. (Taste it while doing this because you will be surprised how little sweetener you need.)
  8. When cool, transfer to jars or containers. Refrigerate for up to four weeks (ha ha).

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Apple Butter

 

 

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Recipe Keys

Very Low Carb (VLC): This is not VERY low carb. There are natural carbs in the apples, of course. Generally speaking, you are not going to consume this in half cup quantities. I think it would fit well into a moderate carbohydrate diet (40 to 60 carbs per day or more). I use it in that way. (It’s worth the carbs!)

 

Family-Friendly (FF): This is the number one recipes that absolutely nobody will now is sugar-free. It’s that good. Make this for your kids, for gifts, for brunch. It’s delicious.

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): The crock pot can be your best friend! And this recipe has no peeling (just core and slice). It is a little more work with the processor, but I even have a little tip for that: I plan to do at least two things every time I pull out my Ninja. First, I will crisp and grind up some lavash (see Healthy No Bake Peanut Butter Bars at the blog and in Healthy Mixes: Sugar-Free, Flour-Free) or nuts or dried bread for my Healthy Breading Mix, etc. Then I process this in the wiped out processor bowl. I always try to get double the work out of any cooking session or cumbersome kitchen tool!

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): What can be more homemade than apple butter on homemade Sprouted Low Carb Bread?

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): I haven’t frozen this, but as well as applesauce freezes, I would be surprised if this didn’t freeze really well too. Just be sure to stir thoroughly when defrosted.

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com):  Apples can be a tricky THM food. This apple butter is clearly an E food. However, if you are not a purist, I think you can add this to your Cream Cheese Dessert Base treat or a very low carb Cream Cheese Pancake or a Low Carb Crepe and still stay under the carb limit for an S meal or snack.

Sugar Free (SF): No sugar, of course! And you will be surprised how little sugar substitute is even needed (which is one of the reasons it tastes so “normal”—remember my Power of Dilution article!).

 

Gluten-Free (GF): Yep!

Best Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

BEST Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam

 

BEST. Sugar free. Jam. Ever. And I am a grammar police—I have written fifty books (mostly English curricula) and forty thousand pages over the past fifteen years. But this jam is good enough to break the sentence rules over! 🙂

 

I can’t get to the link to give the gal credit for the original, non-sugar-free version of this (blocks me!), so I don’t know who to give the accolades to—but trust me when I tell you that this is the best…the best of the best. The very best.

 

It can also be used in multiple ways—use a little less sweetener (if desired) for the jam itself. Add a little more sweetener (and maybe thin it when serving with a little water) to use as a shortcake or ice cream topping.

Low-Carb Bread

This Trader Joe’s bread only has four net carbs and is amazing with butter and the yummy jam!

 

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!

 

I keep a few pint jars of this in my freezer all the time—then transfer to the fridge to use on low carb toast, my BEST Low Carb Biscuits, low carb pitas, low carb crepes, Not-So-Oopsie Bread, pancakes, and more. You want this in your freezer! 🙂

 

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

Best Sugar Free Strawberry Jam
Author: 
 
Net Carbs: 5.2 grams per 2 TBSP
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, combine strawberries and bulk sweetener.
  2. Let stand for one hour.
  3. Heat the pot to boiling, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the Jell-O.
  5. Fill clean containers with jam. (I use pint jars and allow a little room at the top for expansion.)
  6. Place in freezer and get out as you need them. (I put one in the fridge right away and put the others in the freezer for later.)

There is a new stevia-sweetened jello mix available now! You can find it here.

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BEST Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam

 

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Recipe Keys

 

Low Carb (LC): This is a very low carb jam—but doesn’t taste “yucky” like the low carb jams available at the store! 🙂 (I told you that I am picky!)

 

Family-Friendly Low Carb (FFLC): This is family-friendly too! In other words, it is very low carb, but it doesn’t taste low carb—so all of my kids love it!

 

Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): No, this isn’t as easy as buying jam at the store, but I have tried like eight different jams—and all of the sugar-free ones are, as I mentioned above, yucky. 🙂

 

Homemade Hannah (HH): I know that many HH’s would never use sugar-free jello, but if you ever want to make an exception to that rule, this is the time to do it! It isn’t that much sf jello per serving over all. But I understand if you are not comfortable with this recipe. No problem!

 

Freezer Cooking (FC): Perfect for the freezer—that is why they call it freezer jam! 🙂 You want this in your freezer, at the ready, all the time…

 

Oldie Goldie Family Recipes (OG): I have made a lot of homemade jams and jellies in my day (jalapeno jelly, anyone?), but none (even the sugar-laden ones) were as good as this one!

 

Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM) (www.trimhealthymama.com):  Technically, this is not on plan for THM’s because of the artificial sweetener in the store-bought jello. However, if you want to go “off plan” while still staying well under your carb limit for all three settings—S, E, and FP—this is the dish to do it with!

 

Cycle Cooking (CYC): Not in my regular meat or side dish cooking cycle, but I do try to group things together. For example, if strawberries are on sale, I will buy a ton of them and cut and clean while listening to my audio book—and then have strawberry shortcake, make fruit salad for a dance with strawberries in it, make strawberry cake or muffins, and, of course, this jam! Efficiency, baby!

 

Sugar Free (SF): Yep—but doesn’t taste like it is!

 

Gluten Free (GF): Yes!

 

Low Carb Mixes (LCM): Not a mix per se, but another bulk item. I love cooking in bulk!

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