Warm Flax Blueberry Cereal

It’s been cold here with beautiful blue skies. How cold? The chickens’ water was frozen this morning. It’s cold for Corvallis.

It turned out so blue from the blueberries!

It turned out so blue from the blueberries!

It’s also cold season. Nora came home with a scratchy voice, wracking cough and low fever yesterday, but thankfully she is in good spirits today. Anders woke up with a fever and has spent most of the day dozing. Poor kid. Now they are re-watching The Sound of Music. That will keep them quiet and still for 3 hours.

To warm up in the morning, I made Nora this warm Flax Blueberry Cereal, inspired by the flax cereal in The Keto Cookbook. Yes, it has protein powder in it, from the big jug I am trying to use up, 1 gram at a time. You may omit it and adjust your recipe! Nora loved it and licked the bowl clean. This formulation is 3.5:1.

One recipe Flax Blueberry Cereal, analysis by www.caloriecount.com

One recipe Flax Blueberry Cereal, analysis by www.caloriecount.com

Flax Blueberry Cereal
8 g Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed meal
5 g Coconut oil
19 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
12 g Frozen blueberries
5 g Walnuts, in pieces
1 g Ultimate Nutrition whey protein powder
Dash of cinnamon
Drop or two pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Measure all ingredients into a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, repeat until combined and thick like oatmeal.

If it gets to thick, add a bit of hot water to thin.

It’s a bit much to measure out on a busy morning, so I plan to mix up the dry ingredients for several separate servings and store in small baggies. Then I can just add the coconut oil and cream each morning, microwave and serve.

Frozen Yogurt Recipes

Frozen yogurt is yummy and easy! It’s also a nice way to pack in a little extra protein. Nora LOVES them. Sometimes I get extra special thanks and hugs after she has one of these.


Back when Nora started on MAD she needed so much protein and we had a hard time getting enough calories into her because she was always full. Back then, I bought a humongous container of unsweetened whey protein powder to sneak more protein into her diet and now I’m determined to use it up. It has the nice added property of making the smoothie a little extra thick. Honestly, I think that going more keto is easier on her because she gets enough calories from a smaller amount of food (remember, fat has more calories per gram than protein). We don’t have to wrestle more meat and cheese into her, which is a relief after always missing the protein mark with MAD.

Frozen yogurt is easy to whirl up in the food processor. I made this recipe for 7 servings so that I can whip up a batch after school and feed her 1 serving immediately as a smoothie, then freeze the remaining 6 servings in the popsicle molds for 6 more after-school snacks. Score.

As always, use these recipes as a guide for proportions and calculate using your own ingredients, checking with your dietician and/or Ketocalculator for exact nutritional information. You could concoct your own with any frozen berries that you like and to find the appropriate ratio for your child’s needs.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 8.39.06 PM

Nutrition facts for one Berry Frozen Yogurt Pop, 72 g each. 2.3 g net carbs, 3.51:1 ratio. Nutrition information from www.caloriecount.com

Berry Frozen Yogurt
100 g Greek Gods Traditional Plain Greek Yogurt
262 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
50 g frozen blueberries
80 g frozen raspberries
14 g Ultimate Nutrition plain whey protein powder
No-carb sweetener to taste. I put 1 packet of Cytra-K into the mix.

Weigh all ingredients except protein powder and blend in food processor or blender until smooth. While blending, add in the protein powder and continue to blend until very smooth.

Weigh out a 72 g smoothie and serve immediately. Weigh the remaining mixture into individual popsicle molds, 72 g each, and freeze.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 7.37.53 PM

I impulse-bought these Tovolo bug pop molds at the end of summer, and I calibrated this recipe to fit into them. They make a larger pop than I had been making for Nora previously, which is nice as she grows older. They are also nice because 2 pops fit into 1 leaf-shaped stand, so I can put 1 leaf-stand on the gram scale and weigh out 2 popsicles. They fit on the scale better than some popsicle mold stands that are larger.

As long as the food processor is dirty, I just throw in a bunch of extra berries, yogurt and a bit of protein powder and make some smoothies and popsicles for Anders too. No reason for the keto-kid to get all of the treats. His seem super easy without measuring! Of course I use different popsicles molds for his, larger ones that I can’t use for any of Nora’s popsicles. And his are much deeper berry colored without all of that cream. It’s not tough to tell them apart.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 8.54.29 PM

Nutritional information for one serving of Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt, 51 g each. Not shown here: 0.4 g fiber, lowering net carbs to 1.9 g. 3.53:1 ratio. Nutritional information by www.caloriecount.com.

Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt
90 g Greek Gods Traditional Plain Greek Yogurt
175 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
10 g Ultimate Nutrition plain whey protein powder
24 g Green & Blacks Organic 85% Dark Chocolate
8 g Bob’s Red Mill vanilla extract
No-carb sweetener to taste. I use 1 packet of Cytra-K.

Makes 6 servings with 4 g of chocolate in each. It is important to make sure that the chocolate is evenly distributed to get the correct carb count and ratio. To get it right with minimum effort, first weigh the chocolate and chop in the food processor until it is quite fine. Scrape out as much as possible and divide into 6 popsicle molds, putting almost 4 g in each because there will be a bit left behind in the food processor. Try to get it as even as possible.

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 9.01.10 PMFor these, I use Tovolo Ice Cream Pop Molds. They accommodate around 50 g of mixture. I have 2 sets for some reason that I can’t remember, and for some reason I made this recipe to make 6 servings. Nobody is perfect.

Next, mix the remaining ingredients in the food processor. You will pick up any bits of chocolate that were left behind, but that’s ok because it will be fairly evenly distributed and it’s just a bit. If you want to be extremely precise, mix everything except the chocolate then scrape 4 g of chocolate into each pop individually.

Measure 47 g of of the yogurt-cream-protein mixture into each pop mold. This 4-pop stand also fits well on my gram scale. I just measure one out, tare it, and measure the next. I have to rotate the popsicles around so that I can easily pour into the next empty one. After all are full, carefully stir to distribute the chocolate bits, although kids won’t complain about getting a bite of chocolate at the top! Snap on the handles and freeze. Enjoy the delight of serving a fancy ice cream pop to your keto-kid.

Peanut Butter Whipped Cream

The Splendid Table on National Public Radio is one of my favorite shows, and it’s based in St. Paul, MN where we once called home. Lynne Rossetto Kasper knows and appreciates her food and the science behind cooking.

A recent post on their website caught my eye: 10 ways to flavor whipped cream. Many of these would not work on the keto diet, and all would need the sugar removed, but it planted a seed of an idea. One day Nora’s lunch had a lot of whipped cream included with berries. Too much whipped cream for her taste (I know, how is that possible?) She also had a little peanut butter with butter mixed in to top a Flacker, so to get the rest of the whipped cream down I mixed the peanut butter in with the whipped cream. Lunch went down just fine.

25 g serving of Peanut Butter Ice Cream with 4 g Green & Blacks 85% Dark Chocolate

25 g serving of Peanut Butter Ice Cream with 4 g Green & Blacks 85% Dark Chocolate

This week I decided to try out a batch of dedicated peanut butter whipped cream made in advance and ended up with 2 snacks: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, and Peanut Butter Whipped Cream. Small difference, but here’s why.

First I tried mixing 10 parts cream to 2 parts peanut butter, but it was too heavy for the whipped cream to hold it and remain fluffy. That batch was turned into ice cream, in 25 g servings. Topped with Green & Blacks 85% Dark Chocolate makes a special treat–you can melt it in the microwave in a little silicone pinch bowl, or shave it into chips with a knife. I tried out some myself. I love chocolate and peanut butter, particularly in ice cream form.

The whipped cream recipe that worked was 10 parts cream to 1 part peanut butter. It has a more subtle peanut butter flavor, but holds up well enough to be called whipped cream. Nora is having it with blackberries today, just because she wants to.

1 serving of Peanut Butter Ice Cream, 25 g. Also contains 0.26 g fiber. Analysis by www.caloriecount.com

1 serving of Peanut Butter Ice Cream, 25 g. Also contains 0.26 g fiber. Analysis by www.caloriecount.com

Peanut Butter Ice Cream
100 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
20 g Adams 100% Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
5 g Vanilla Extract

Whip the cream until almost stiff, then add in the peanut butter and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Divide into 5 servings of 25 g each, then freeze.

Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving to let it soften and mix. Top with shaved or melted 85% dark chocolate to reach desired ratio.

Ice cream without chocolate includes 0.26 g of fiber, for 0.64 g net carbs. Ice cream alone is 6.17:1 ratio.

Nutrition Information for one batch of Peanut Butter Whipped Cream. www.caloriecount.com

Nutrition Information for one batch of Peanut Butter Whipped Cream. www.caloriecount.com

Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
100 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
10 g Adams 100% Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
5 g Vanilla Extract

Food science experts say that the best way to make whipped cream is to keep everything cold. Place your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer before you start and keep all ingredients cold.

This time I placed all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl together. Whip for about 2 minutes on high until stiff.

Breaking this out per gram, this peanut butter whipped cream contains 0.01 g net carbs, 0.02 g protein and 0.41 g fat for a 11.84:1 ratio. Serve the an amount that makes an appropriate-sized snack with berries or another food to achieve the proper ratio.


Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Spring! The world is blooming and life gallops on. We have so much going on right now that I have not had much time for blog posts or recipes.

Nora and Luna share a moment a few weeks ago. This is when we realized the chicks should get outside before they started exploring the house.

Nora and Luna share a moment a few weeks ago. This is when we realized the chicks should get outside before they started exploring the house.

In addition to the normal spring activities with school, soccer, baseball, piano, friends…we also added four backyard chickens to our brood! They are about 8 weeks old now and looking like little hens. In a few months we will have the freshest of the fresh eggs for keto meals.

In other big busy news–we are moving to a new house! I have been trolling for a house that will give us more space, including a bigger kitchen, and get us on the right side of the busy street we cross daily on our bikes. We also chose a neighborhood with an elementary school that offers full-day kindergarten with a dual-language Spanish immersion program. Nora adores language and will be in heaven there, in addition to the benefits of learning a language when young. We are excited about our move, but it’s adding to an already busy spring.

And in keto-news, Nora’s big news story was intended to get the word out about the keto-diet for other families in the area and it worked! A nearby family contacted us because their little guy was getting progressively worse while on 2 drugs and they had been thinking about diet therapy. After talking with them he really took a turn for the worse and they were able to get in to Doernbecher Pediatric Neurology (the best, where Nora goes) for treatment and started the diet. We feel their suffering while watching their little guy struggle and trying to get the help that they need, and we are thrilled to be able to help them get on the right path. We delivered some keto-treats and shared our support last weekend and he is doing better already. In June we will meet with the keto-team at Doernbecher to official start a support group for families. All good work to keep us busy.

On to Nora’s latest favorite recipe! We’ve had these for months now, and it’s finally time to share. These are also adapted from The Joy of Gluten-free, Sugar-free Baking cookbook, where they are called Chocolate Pecan Cookies. I left some pecans in the recipe, but substituted hazelnuts for most of it because Bob’s Red Mill makes a hazelnut flour but not a pecan flour, and hazelnuts have a little lower carbs per gram. Nora loves them and we hope other keto-kids love them too.

WIMG_3425e started out serving them simply with enough cream cut with water to make “keto-milk.” They hold together well enough for dipping.

On the same note, we also served them as chocolate cereal for awhile, crunched up with “keto-milk” of cream and water. Last time I was down the cereal aisle, chocolate cereal in still in fashion, although I won’t buy it for Anders!


Next we started serving them as a large snack of 2 cookies with whipped cream in the middle. It’s either like a big Oreo, or an ice cream sandwich if you prep it then put it in the freezer for awhile. Very satisfying. This would make a great snack to send to school for a special treat when there is a class birthday or some other event.


IMG_3447Then one day Nora needed a smaller snack so I make a little food art with whipped cream and a tower of strawberries. That was a hit! Nora took this to a friend’s birthday party because I didn’t have the time to make cupcakes. The cookies keep in the refrigerator for a week or more, so making a batch will give you the base for several good snacks.

The cookies are also fairly fast and easy. It helps to have some pecans pre-ground, but it’s a small amount to put in the food processor or coffee grinder, which is my preferred way to grind small amounts of nut or seed flour when needed.

Only 0.8 g carb per cookie, and 2.56:1 ratio! Nora gets up to 3.5:1 ratio with 2 cookies, 12 g whipped cream for 178 calorie snack. For the strawberry stack, 1 cookie, 12 g whipped cream and 10 g fresh strawberries for a 114 calorie snack, 3.5:1 ratio.

Nutrition information for 1 Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie. Nutritional analysis by www.caloriecount.com

Nutrition information for 1 Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie. Nutritional analysis by www.caloriecount.com

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
(makes 24 cookies at 14 g each)
10 g Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flaxseed Meal
100 g Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal/Flour
50 g Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour
20 g Rapunzel Organic Cocoa Powder
5 g Baking powder
3 g Salt
20 g Pecans, roughly ground
58 g Egg
50 g European-style Butter, melted
11 g Pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).

Combine flaxmeal, hazelnut meal, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and pecans. Here, I added a packet of Nora’s Cytra-K for sweetness. Add a no-carb dry sweetener of your choice here.

In a large bowl, whisk egg, melted butter, vanilla, and a liquid no-carb sweetener of your choice if desired.

Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir well until a thick, sticky batter forms.

IMG_3131Weigh out 14 grams of dough per cookie. You can roll them in your hands to make a ball then flatten into rounds, as they will not spread when cooking. Place on a prepared silicone baking sheet or parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake for a total of 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking. Transfer to wire rack and cool at least 15 minutes.


Toasting Bread

Please note: This recipe and nutrition information is developed by a parent. It is not medical advice. Use your best judgment when preparing and serving foods on the ketogenic diet, and ask your dietician before serving if you have any doubts. 

I promised to post a bread recipe long ago. I wanted to try this out a few times before posting it, and it’s finally time to share. Note that a stand mixer is required to make this batter. I don’t want to be responsible for the loss of another hand mixer. (Click on pictures to see larger image).

Having a bread on the keto diet seems to be really important to a lot of kids. I can imagine that it would be critical for older kids who remember “normal” food and see sandwiches around them at school. Nora’s biggest loss when she first started the diet was toast, although we don’t think she really remembers “toast” as the rest of the world knows it.

Nora has especially enjoyed this bread as peanut/almond butter (and butter) and keto-jam sandwiches, but it also holds up well enough to make grilled cheese or toast!

To be clear, it does not have the consistency of wheat-based loaf bread. It is a quick bread and even smells like banana bread to me, even though there is not a hint of banana in it!

This recipe is adapted from the “Toasting Bread” recipe in The Joy of Gluten-free, Sugar-free Baking. There are several similar recipes in that cookbook. The key to this one appears to be the egg whites, which give it a dryer texture after toasting. But after I substituted heavy cream for milk, it’s not exactly a “dry” bread.

I have to address how to use a loaf recipe in the ketogenic diet, because our typical procedure is to pre-weigh the batter and then cook accurate single servings. In this recipe, you will bake the loaf then cut servings of varying weights, and you have to know how to account for that. I’m using these calculations for Nora’s meals because I have verified it myself and we have had no problems. But if your kid is very sensitive or just starting the diet, you probably want to stick to recipes that weigh the batter into servings rather than these batch or loaf recipes that rely on good estimates. I want to be very clear about my procedures here so that you can make the best choices for your kid’s diet. If you are using LGIT or MAD, you are probably just fine with this bread. For the keto diet, you may want to pre-weigh the batter and post-weigh the bread when it is done and do your own calculations. Or weigh it out into smaller loaves so that it is all pre-weighed and adjust the cooking time accordingly. (I also explained this in the Holiday Cookies post, but eventually decided it was much easier to pre-weigh the cookies. Slicing bread to a certain weight is easier than weighing and calculating for each baked cookie.)

The recipe and nutrition information is for one whole loaf, 1169 g of batter. To convert this to nutrition information per gram of baked bread, I weighed the loaf when it came out of the oven and cooled, which was fairly consistant from loaf to loaf: 1057 g. It is lighter than the batter because water cooks out during baking, while the macronutrient breakdown remains the same. Therefore, I take the nutrition information for the full 1169 g of batter and divide it by 1057 to get the per-gram nutrition information (sorry, no fancy nutrition panel for this):

Nutrient             Per gram               40 g serving
Net carbs:         0.033 g                     1.31 g
Protein:              0.117 g                     4.67 g
Fat:                      0.357 g                   14.28 g
Fiber:                  0.075 g                      3.0 g

Ratio:        2.39:1

To calculate it into a meal for Nora, I choose an amount that will fit into her meal, usually 30 to 40 g. Then I cut a piece of bread to that weight. See above for the breakdowns for a 40 g slice (or 2 very thin slices). It packs in a good amount of protein and fiber! A typical meal would be 35-40 g of bread, equal parts natural peanut butter and butter (8 g each, could use almond butter instead), 8 g keto mixed berry jam (could also use crushed raspberries), and 30-40 g of heavy cream steamed with a touch of cocoa for “hot chocolate.” Hits the spot for a kid!

Toasting Bread
(nutrition info for batter, whole loaf)
227 g Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal
227 g Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal
32 g sesame seeds
32 g sunflower seeds
20 g baking powder
3 g Bob’s Red Mill xanthan gum
3 g salt
340 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
285 g egg whites (about 6 eggs)

Preheat the oven to 375. Line the bottom of a 4.5 x 8 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, then lightly coat with oil.

Weigh the sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, then grind to flour in a clean coffee or spice grinder. You could opt to leave some of each whole if you prefer whole seeds in the bread. Combine with remaining dry ingredients: flaxeed meal, hazelnut meal, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, and mix well.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cream and egg whites. You may add a non-carb liquid sweetener here if desired. Blend with paddle attachment thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients, and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes, until you have a thick, sticky, aerated batter.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes until golden and springy when pressed in the center.

Transfer to wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes before turning out of the pan. Loosen around the edges with a thin nice. Cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. Store in the refrigerator.

Because Nora eats so little at a time, I cut the loaf in half to use half and freeze half. She can eat sandwiches for awhile, move on to other foods, and when she asks for bread again I can just get the other half loaf out of the freezer.

When you read the ingredients, you probably thought (as I do), “what about the egg yolks!?!” I’m always trying to use a whole egg. This recipe is the perfect match to keto ice cream on a big cooking weekend! That recipe requires about 6 egg whites. So there you have it. Bread and ice cream. You have everything you need for a very happy keto kid, and no wasted eggs parts.


Food scientist Nora

We were out of baked goods for Nora, which naturally leads to a cooking Saturday. And naturally, it leads to Nora in the kitchen with me. She’s a creative cook!

I like to let her experiment, so our usual procedure involves Nora looking in the fridge and picking out some ingredients. Then I apply my food knowledge to help her combine them to create something edible. While I was on the phone and barely supervising, she took out sticks of string cheese and sprinkled liberally with cocoa powder. Hmmm, interesting start.

We learned from G’ma Margie that string cheese is good when microwaved until gooey and taffy-like, so that’s what we did with her string cheese and cocoa to get Choco-Cheese. Microwave then mix! Nora ate hers up. Mine was…ok. I’m not sure that Nora will ever request it again, but it was a safe and fun experiment! We weighed hers out at 14 g of string cheese and 1/2 g of cocoa powder, which I built into a morning snack for her.

Our next experiment built off of the first recipe that Nora concocted, Blueberry Monster Mash. Today we made Choco-Strawberry Monster Mash. I’m tempted to call it Frankenberry, but that name has too much baggage! It’s simple and Nora loves to run the food processor. She enjoyed some with lunch and extra strawberries.

Choco-Strawberry Monster Mash
(Makes 10 servings at 18.9 g each)

60 g strawberries
100 g macadamia nuts
10 g coconut oil
1 g salt
15 g water
3 g Rapunzel Organic Cocoa Powder

Process all in a food processor until smooth and enjoy! Remember, if you use a different brand of cocoa powder, you must update your nutrition facts. As always, this is an approximation for your reference based on the ingredients and brands listed.

Monster mash has been a very nice addition to Nora’s line-up. We don’t have it made up all of the time, so it’s kind of a treat. She also likes to eat whole macadamia nuts, which she calls “crunchy munchies” and are a staple of the keto diet at a 5.4:1 ratio. Getting some extra coconut oil in here and adding some other sweetness with the berries packs in a lot of flavor and goodness, and still makes a 4.7:1 ratio that helps to round out a meal.

Our last experiment was in the breakfast realm. Nora gets tired of her same breakfasts, but it’s hard to have several things on hand. It’s also hard to let her choose in the morning because on work/school days we build her meals the night before from breakfast through afternoon snack and don’t have the time to change it up in the morning.

Today she decided that she wanted to go back to gingerbread for breakfast, but I’m giving it a new life as cereal, ala my Re-Purposing Recipes post. I decided to go for a cereal again because she was watching Anders eat Chex recently and said, “I can’t wait until I can eat that when I’m done with my diet.” She’s amazingly mature about it, but it also breaks our hearts a little bit. Giving her keto cereal is the least that we can do.

You could use Dawn’s original gingerbread recipe from ketocook.com. I realized that I did not post my adaptation here yet, so here it is, in cereal form.

Gingerbread Cereal
(Makes 2.4 servings of cereal at 28 g each)

15g european-style butter, room temperature
20 g Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut meal
5g Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
5g Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour
20g egg, raw & mixed well
1g cinnamon
0.2g ground cloves
0.3g ground ginger
0.5g pure vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients well in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until smooth and well incorporated. Place dough in a ball in parchment paper and flatten, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300. Divide dough into 28g portions (it doesn’t come out even. I made one odd-sized cookie and calculated it into Nora’s snack today, or use it as a taste tester for the rest of the family). Space the dough balls 0n a silicone mat and cover with parchment paper, then roll quite thin with a rolling pin. Because you want to get it thin, I find it easier to roll it right on the cooking surface to avoid losing it in the transfer. You see here that I made a double batch, so I had 4 servings. No, they are not a uniform size or shape, but they are a uniform weight!

After they are rolled out, push the edges up to avoid a thin crumbly edge. Then use a knife to press down into the dough to score them into pieces–squares, rectangle, triangles, trapezoids  whatever has straight lines! Don’t drag the knife through or you will lose a lot of dough. My serrated-edged bread knife worked well.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until very dry and crisp. When they have cooled, it is very easy to snap them into squares. They were surprisingly sturdy little things! Now we have 4 servings of cereal. The nutrition information above puts them at 1.34 net carbs (precisely, from my spreadsheet) and 2.8:1 ratio. I will add 8 g of Organic Valley heavy cream thinned with water to make “milk” to serve a 3.5:1 breakfast of 156 calories. Serving this with 13 g of heavy cream will get you to a 4:1 ratio and 174 calories.

The longer we go on with the diet, the more I come to believe that it’s all about keeping Nora happy. When she starts complaining in the least, it’s time to get creative again.


Fruit Souffle

Hot out of the oven and still poofed up!

This one is adapted from a recipe shared by my friend Karen, who also keeps a lookout for Nora-friendly recipes for me. I didn’t have to do much to modify it; the original is from Primally Inspired’s Breakfast Fruit Souffle.

It was pretty easy to make, particularly if you have a stand mixer. I was burnt out on recipes with whipped egg whites until I got my stand mixer. It takes a bit of experience and persistance to get them fully whipped if you have a hand mixer, and lord help you if you are doing it by hand. I was intimidated by the notion of a “souffle,” but Nora eats it after it is cool anyway so no pressure to serve it before it falls. And you will see below that I whipped them all together then divided into 4 measured servings, which reduced the time in the kitchen.

Deflated after cooling, but still delicious!

Best of all, it was a smash hit! Nora ate hers so fast that I didn’t have a chance to take a picture. I always use a first-batch serving for the rest of the family to taste test, and when Anders tried a bite, he did his dreamy “this is so good I’m going to faint” eye flutter and smile. I agree, it was excellent.

But it is not high ratio. It’s only 1.5:1. If used as a snack or breakfast for Nora, I would pair it with 24 g of heavy cream (steamed or in tea) to get it up to a 3.5:1 snack totaling 170 calories. I think it is possible to sneak more fat into the egg mixture, but it’s also nice to have some food that are not so fat-laden on their own. I might experiment with upping the ratio another time. For now, it’s nice for the LGIT or MAD diet and works if paired with another fat to reach the desired ratio for the ketogenic diet. Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free.

Nutritional information for 1 serving (50 g) of Fruit Souffle. The recipe makes 4 servings. Analysis from www.caloriecount.com

Fruit Souffle
makes 4 servings

40 g strawberries
20 g blackberries
20 g raspberries
20 g coconut oil
32 g egg yolk
60 g egg white
6 g vanilla extract
2 g cinnamon
No carb sweetener to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Measure 10 g strawberries, 5 g blackberries, 5 g raspberries (all cut or broken into pieces) and 5 g coconut oil into each of 4 ramekins. If you use frozen fruit, put them in the oven while it preheats to thaw them and melt the oil.

Separate the whites and yolks from 2 large eggs. Weigh the whites, then whisk on high in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer for several minutes, until stiff peaks form.

While the whites are whipping, measure the yolks into a separate bowl and add the vanilla, cinnamon, and a bit of no carb sweetener of your choice. I used 2 g of Nora’s Cytra-K, which I use to sweeten everything for her. Mix the yolk mixture well. It turns out super cinnamon-y, which makes it light brown and extremely fragrant and delicious. I think a touch of sweetness is nice to balance it out if you use a no-carb sweetener, but it doesn’t require much.

After the whites are whipped until stiff, carefully mix in the yolks. I put them into the mixer on low for less than 1 minute and it turned out fine. You could also fold them in by hand.

Take the ramekins with fruit out of the oven if you have not already done so, and mix it up. Spoon 25 g of the egg mixture into each ramekin on top of the fruit. Place them in the hot oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until browning slightly on the top.

They came out beautifully puffed up, light brown and smelling of cinnamon. I let them cool on the counter so they deflated before serving, but we aren’t uptight about that kind of thing around here. I tried to max out the amount of fruit while keeping it under 2 g of net carbs, but it is still just a bit of fruit on the bottom. The egg mixture was so delicious though that it was very nicely balanced. A real treat with a good amount of protein and some precious fiber.


PBJ Breakfast Muffins

Variety is the spice of life. But routine is the method of survival for the keto parents. So we do a bit of both to keep everyone happy.

I just said that I haven’t been developing new recipes lately, didn’t I? Didn’t I say that we have our happy rut and Nora is pretty happy with her regular foods? Well, the only constant is change.

Nora had been happy eating her pumpkin cheesecake bars for breakfast for at least 2 months. Before that it was the hazelnut breakfast cookies. I would make up a big batch then freeze some and take them out as needed. I could get away with baking a breakfast about once per month. And there is nothing better than pulling out an all-in-one breakfast in the morning. When we started this, we were making scrambled eggs everyday, but that just wasn’t sustainable.

But Nora is tired of her pumpkin cheesecake bars now so it was time for a new recipe. I thought about going back to the hazelnut breakfast cookies, but my sister just sent me this recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Breakfast Bake. She’s a good cook and nutritionist, so she can spot a recipe that could be modified for Nora’s needs. I played around with the recipe this morning and found another winner! At 3.5:1 and 167 calories, we can pull it out of the fridge and plop it own at breakfast time.

You can see that the original recipes is dairy-free, using almond milk and coconut milk. I substituted heavy cream and coconut oil, but if you are doing dairy-free but still want a higher ratio, you could use coconut milk or almond milk where I used cream here. My version is also gluten-free, whereas the “Uncle Sam” cereal in the original is made primarily from whole wheat. The psyllium husks and flaxmeal seemed like a natural substitute and packs in a lot of fiber. Nice way to start the day.

PBJ Breakfast Muffins
(makes 12)
50 g Bob’s Red Mill hazelnut meal
12 g Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal
12 g Whole Psyllium Husk (from our local natural foods co-op)
18 g Ultimate Nutrition whey protein powder
0.5 g salt
2 g vanilla extract
1 g Baking Powder
3 g ground Cinnamon
50 g Adams 100% Natural Peanut Butter
190 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
60 g coconut oil, melted
72 g raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure and mix the dry ingredients into a bowl. Measure and mix the wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Be sure to get the peanut butter well incorporated, along with the melted coconut oil. It needs to be evenly distributed.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix very well, until even. The psyllium husk needs a few moments to absorb the liquid, and when it does it will be a thick batter.

Measure 33 g of batter each into 12 silicone muffin cups. Place 6 grams of frozen raspberries on top of each–you can break them up and push them in a bit to get them nicely distributed.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. The fat will bubble up while the edges brown. The bubbles will subside when you pull them out of the oven to check them. All of the fat re-incorporates into the muffins as they cool, and they should come out of the silicone cups easily when they are completely cool.

You could certainly add a few drops of no-carb sweetener if preferred. If you need a higher ratio, it would be lovely with whipped cream on top. Or with greek yogurt mixed down with English Double Cream for more calories.

Or if you need to use a non-dairy version and get a lower ratio with coconut milk or almond milk (you will probably need to decrease the liquid, or it may be too runny), you could boost the ratio by adding non-dairy whipped cream as well.

I just tried one, and I would eat these for breakfast myself. I think I’ll make a pan of them and cut into bars (substituting coconut milk for the cream for myself). To make this part of a MAD diet, I would back off the coconut oil and eat it with full fat Greek yogurt. Mmmm.

Re-Purposing Recipes

“I have so much energy, I could lift a butter truck!”

~Nora, on why she doesn’t need to eat breakfast.

We’ve been sticking mostly with the tried-and-true recipes lately, but wanted to share some innovations, some of which are Nora’s imaginative re-purposing of recipes.

Snickerdoodle Cereal

The snickerdoodle recipe was a hit, but I made a few big batches and Nora started to get bored with them. One day she was eating snickerdoodles as part of a bigger snack that also included steamed cream, so she dipped her cookies in her “milk.” Eventually, she ended up crumbling a lot of the cookie into the cream and needed a spoon–cereal was born!

It was a happy discovery because we were almost out of the pumpkin cheesecake bars that Nora had been happily eating for breakfast for many weeks. With the snickerdoodle cereal and milk, I could put off more baking for another week.

Because the snickerdoodles are already 3.5:1, adding cream meant that we had to add more carbs or protein to make a 3.5:1 breakfast. Enter another Nora favorite: blueberries! One breakfast consists of 3 snickerdoodles, 5 g (1 tsp) heavy cream mixed with a few tablespoons of water to make “milk,” and 4.5 g blueberries (around 4 very small).


As crazy as it sounds, I had a hard time consistently making mac-and-cheese that was the right consistency. But finally, I have mastered it! Nora ate her mac-and-cheese several days per week in the last few weeks because she kept demanding it, and it’s a quick and easy meal when there is a package of Miracle Noodles in the fridge.

I came across Miracle Noodles somewhere near the beginning of starting the ketogenic diet, but they weren’t a big hit right away. They are quite chewy, a little tough for little teeth to easily bite through. I’ve learned that I need to cut them with a kitchen scissors as I weigh them or after they are in the bowl so that they are in smaller bits. They are made of a Japanese root vegetable that is pretty much all fiber (the Ketocalculator has the values per gram, only 0.0028 g carbs per gram noodles). Because they are basically nothing but fiber for the purposes of calculating a meal, it’s great to be able to serve red pepper, avocado, flacker and other nice healthy things on the side.

To make mac-and-cheese, take 12 g to 15 g of shredded cheddar and put it in a small bowl with 1 T to 2 T (15-30 g) of cream and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth. I’ve got ranges here because the exact amounts don’t matter too much for the outcome, but sometimes I add more or less when I’m balancing a meal for Nora. If she needs more fat with her meal, she gets 2 T of cream in her mac-and-cheese. If she needs more protein, then more cheddar.

Weigh and cut 20 g to 25 g of Miracle Noodles, the vermicelli variety, into a separate small bowl and microwave for 10 seconds, just to warm up. Dump into hot cheese sauce and stir well. Cool and serve.

Anders is thrilled with this development because he has been eating more mac-and-cheese too. He has been put in charge of making it for himself, because he also eats the entire box by himself.

Bacon Pancakes! Making Bacon Pancakes!

This was inspired by a favorite cartoon, Adventure Time! Nora’s bacon is going on to her Keto-Krepes. Except that while I was cooking it, she actually decided that she wanted her bacon in a “pile” instead of in her pancake. So there you have it.

The rest of us had some bacon pancakes. And some piles of bacon. The best of all worlds.

They were totally math, asymptotically to the max! 


I hate to build this up too much, but these might be the best keto-recipe yet! Nora agrees, but she is also very persuadable. They taste great, look fun, and are easy to make–an all-round great addition to our keto-friendly line-up.

I’m trying recipes out of The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace. My sister, Jen, sent it to us after she got a review copy for her nutrition education work, Nutrition in Action (you can find the book for a great price from the Nutrition in Action website! Linked above). Free cookbooks are a nice perk of her work and I’m thrilled that I get the benefits too! In exchange, I try out the book and give her a review. This is the first of a few recipes that I will post.

When I opened the cookbook for the first time I knew it would be a great resource because the recipes are nut-meal based. That is the key to uniting low-carb and gluten-free cooking. It sure helps that the cookbook is also sugar-free! The main recipe modification required for keto-cooking is using heavy cream instead of milk. I also tend to omit the sugar substitutes for Nora, or use some of her saccharine Cytra-K for a little sweetness. I’ve made just a few of the recipes so far, and they have been a hit! I’ve made Nora-versions of some recipes and a few some for myself, like the biscotti recipe. For myself, I sub in reduced levels of real sugar. I have more recipes to post in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

It also helps to have my new stand mixer. I burned out my hand mixer on one of the bread recipes in this book, paving the way for Ted and the kids to give me the stand mixer for my birthday. The instructions for most of the recipes in this cookbook allow for hand mixing, but with big sticky dough it’s wonderful to have the right tool for the job. Some of the recipes require an electric mixer to adequately aerate the dough to make a soft and airy loaf of bread or cake. I was a little surprised about how excited I was to use it. It makes keto-cooking much easier and more enjoyable.

On to the pretzels! This recipe does not call for milk or sweetener, so I did not have to make any of those substitutions. The authors discussed their attempt to make these as much like traditional “Philly” soft pretezels as possible, which required an odd ingredient: “butter sprinkles.” I was skeptical. I found them in the grocery store one day, and they do not qualify as “real food” in my opinion. They had some carbs, and I wasn’t sure that I was willing to include them in this recipe. Didn’t people make real soft pretzels before “butter sprinkles” existed? I’m not going to take the time to do the research to answer that question, but I did have to decide how to work around them in this recipe. I’m glad that I made great pretzels with my “butter sprinkles” substitute ingredient: real butter. Imagine that.

And for another bit of reality, it’s also impossible to replicate the texture of real soft pretzels without gluten. As with all gluten-free baking, you have to accept a new but good texture and taste as a substitute for the gluten version. The cookbook authors came up with a very good texture and taste here with some clever ingredients. These are soft but not crumbly, but also not chewy like traditional soft pretzels. One key ingredient in many of these recipes is xanthan gum, which is a soluble fiber. Does not add to the net carbs (yippee!) but it does improve the texture. If anyone wants to experiment with these recipes, I have about 1 pint of xanthan gum from the Bob’s Red Mill package, but I’m using about 1/2 tsp at a time. I’m happy to share.

The pretzels taste pleasantly of sunflower seeds, even though that is not the main ingredient. The yeast is added purely for the flavor–it is not the leavening agent with these ingredients. It adds a bit of carbs, but is worth it for that satisfying slightly-yeasty taste. And oh, they are pretty! Note that the plate in the picture is just a little saucer, so it makes just a little pretzel (see picture of Nora with pretzel above for scale). I made them 1/2 of the size called for in the recipe as an appropriate portion for Nora (see below). I actually cut the whole recipe in half, then made 12 pretzels out of it as in the original recipe, so ended up with 1/2 sized pretzels.

I served a pretzel with cheese dipping sauce, made of 12 g of cheddar cheese and 15 g (1 T) heavy cream. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and you have cheese sauce. The pretzel itself is 1.57:1 ratio; with the cheese sauce it is only about 2.5:1, so more fat is needed on the side to get up to Nora’s 3.5:1 ratio requirement. However, it was no problem to get there when included with everything else in her lunch.

Nutrition information for 1 plain Keto-Pretzel. Nutritional analysis by www.caloriecount.com

110 g Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal
25 g sunflower seeds, finely ground
25 g sesame seeds, finely ground
4 g baking powder
0.5 g Bob’s Red Mill xanthan gum
1.5 g salt
16 g Strauss European-style butter, frozen
50 g egg
4 g active dry yeast
15 g warm water

Egg Wash
12 g egg
0.5 g baking soda
8 g water

Salt to taste, or see other topping options below.

Preheat oven to 350° for soft pretzel or 375° for a crispier topping.

Measure the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds then grind in a spice grinder or coffee grinder until fine like flour. Combine with almond meal, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Cut the frozen butter into tiny pieces that are still whole. Combine well with the dry ingredients; try to keep the butter bits solid but well distributed throughout.

Put the weighed egg in your stand mixer bowl or another large separate bowl and whisk. In another small bowl, measure the warm water and dissolve the yeast into the water. You don’t have to wait for it to bubble up because it is not the main leavening agent. Add the yeast mixture in with the egg and combine well.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir by hand until well combined or mix on low to medium speed for less than 1 minute. Scape down the sides of the bowl and mix again briefly. The dough will be thick but sticky.

Lightly oil a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. You can also lightly oil a small bowl to measure portions of dough. I found that once I started working with the dough, it wasn’t too sticky.

Weigh 20 grams of the dough and roll into a ball, making 12 balls. Technically, you should have 20.9 g of dough each if you weighed everything correctly, but I’ve found that I lose just a bit of dough in the mixing process and it’s safer to shoot a little low when I measure out portions so that I don’t end up with a much-too-small ball at the end. This way, the actual food will also have slightly fewer carbs than you plan for, putting you on the conservative side of measurement error.

Roll each 20 g ball of dough into a rope about 10-12 inches long on your oiled baking sheet. I found that the dough was fairly easy to work with. If it breaks a bit, just mush it back together. Then form the pretzel shape out of each rope as shown. Place them on the baking sheet. They don’t have to be spaced too far apart because they won’t spread much.

Whisk up the egg wash. The cookbook authors suggest adding baking soda to get the traditional alkaline taste of lye. I adjusted the recipe to make just enough egg wash for the whole batch. If you distribute it approximately equally, the nutrition information is accurate and you should have no egg wash left over. Again, you will lose a bit of egg wash to your pastry brush and pan but that will only make your nutritional estimate appropriately conservative.

Sprinkle with course salt if you have it. I just used sea salt because it was all I had and my kids love salty foods. You could also add other toppings, including them in your calculations, such a sesame seeds, poppy seeds, herbs, etc. I added 1 g of grated parmesan to several of the pretzels, as you see in the picture. I will add that into Nora’s meal calculation when I serve it. You could add cheddar or any other topping you can imagine!

Bake for 6 minutes, then turn the pan and bake for another 6 minutes or until the pretzels are evenly browned. Remove from oven and transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool. They are excellent served warm!

I’m going to explore modifying the recipe again to include some of the brown rice protein powder that I have in my pantry. These would be a nice vehicle for including a little extra protein, and with the cheese sauce could be the only protein Nora needs in a meal.

These could also be the basis for a sweet-and-salty treat. The buttercream recipe posted on the Charlie Foundation site is excellent. When I made it for the keto-gingerbread house; I flavored it with a ginger-spice tea that was delicious. Topping these with buttercream icing would easily pop it up to a 3.5:1 or 4:1 snack close to 150 calories (that’s off the top of my head, but very doable). The top of my head was wrong! The buttercream recipe is 4:1 at best (I got mine up to 5 to 1) so you need over 20 g of frosting per pretzel (which are around 20 g themselves), which is just plain ridiculous. A better bet would be the caramel sauce or decorating icing from ketocook.com, which are methods of serving pure fat. I’ve been putting 8 g of the buttercream frosting on pretzels for a big snack for Nora, along with 1.5 T of cream in tea to get 3.5:1. She loves them so much she demands another immediately, although I have to deny that request. She did have another with her dinner last night though!

As I’ve said before, it’s a great time to be a keto-kid.


US Measurements for our gluten-free friends. I will give you the full recipe here, not the half-recipe that I used above (so if you try to compare this with the grams above, this will be double):

2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup sunflower seed flour (grind then measure)
1/2 cup sesame seeds flour (grind then measure)
2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, very cold and chopped into tiny pieces
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2.25 tsp (1 package) instant or active dry yeast
2 Tbsp warm water

Egg wash
1/2 egg (or less, you will have leftovers)
1/2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp baking soda (optional)

Other toppings: course salt, sesame seeds, cheeses, etc.

Makes 8-12 large soft pretzels, or 24 small Nora-sized pretzels : )

Follow directions above.