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.
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.
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
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.