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

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

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, 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.


Chicken ala Bacon

It appears that we still have some work to do civilizing the boy child. At least he picked up the fork.

We have a new way of measuring the deliciousness of food in our house. It’s called the POB scale: Plate of Bacon. The deliciousness of a Plate of Bacon sets the benchmark at 10/10, and all food can be expressed as a number out of 10 that compares to a perfect plate of bacon. The scale was derived the night that I made this recipe, which got a 9.5/10 on the POB scale from Anders. Hence, I have named it Chicken ala Bacon, and it includes the world’s best version of bacon, pancetta. I made it last night to rave reviews so I did a quick encore tonight to make sure it was a winner. Also eaten with gusto tonight. Hurrah!

It looks pretty fancy, but it’s not so complicated. The best part is that it can be assembled in a baking pan and put in the oven to cook. No intermediate cooking steps. And it works for everyone in the family. The recipe itself is not high ratio (slightly less than 1:1) but it is very low-carb, so it can be worked into a ketogenic diet meal with added fat on the side.

1 serving Chicken ala Bacon, cut in half and pancetta removed on left half so you can see the flax and parmesan “breading.” Served with avocado and kalamata olives. Cream and fish oil also included in the meal not shown.

The recipe below is formulated for Nora, who gets a smaller portion of protein at each meal than a bigger kid or adult. Scale it up for bigger people. Anders had a portion on top of noodles for dinner tonight, with a little extra parmesan on the noodles. You can see that I made 6 portions here, but I don’t really expect Nora to eat this 6 days in a row so I gave Anders a portion too. It was just easier to make them all the same instead of keeping track of the Nora-weighed ones. In addition, I made a non-weighed pan of the recipe in a big batch using the same ingredients. The rest of us will have leftovers this week too!

The pancetta is optional; the recipe works wonderfully without it. I had to omit it from Nora’s portion on the first night I served it because it put her over her protein needs for the day. If you leave off the pancetta, the top of the chicken cooks up nicely in the oven kind of like oven-fried chicken, with just the flax and parmesan on top. However, I would estimate that without the pancetta the POB rating drops to about 8. Tradeoffs can be difficult. 

1 serving of Chicken ala Bacon. Nutritional analysis by

Chicken ala Bacon
30 g Chicken thigh, raw and boneless
20 g zucchini, raw, cut into thin medallions
2 g Bel Gioioso Parmesan
2 g Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flaxmeal
5 g olive oil (estimated)
5.5 g Applegate Farms Pancetta (~1 slice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the baking pan with a thin layer of oil.

Cut the zucchini into thin medallions and measure 20 g per serving. Make a small mound of zucchini in the pan; if you are making more than 1 serving you can make several separate small mounds in your pan to accomodate each serving.

Front row: Zucchini slices with flax and parmesan.
Middle row: Chicken on top
Back row, left: Flax and parmesan on top of chicken
Back row, right: Topped with a slice of pancetta

For each serving, measure 1 g flaxmeal and 1 g parmesan, then sprinkle it over the zucchini slices with a sprinkle of salt. Next, lay the chicken on top. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with another 1 g of flaxmeal and 1 g of parmesan. Finally, top with a slice of pancetta. You can see each step in the photo, eventually making 6 servings in this pan.

Cook for about 20 minutes. The pancetta will be crispy when done and everything will be cooked through.

Transfer to serving plate and let cool. Scrape up some of the oil to be served with the meal and drizzle it over the chicken. It is difficult to make sure that the correct amount of oil makes it on to the plate, so if you need more precision you should cook this whole meal in separate ramekins or other small ovenproof dishes so that you know all of the oil is incorporated into the meal.

I am storing the individual servings in the refrigerator for easy meals this week. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Chez Nora

We enjoyed a great Christmas-New Year vacation at home with lots of keto-goodies and many tried-and-true recipes. Nora is still doing great, seizure-free, and growing up before our eyes. I’ve been intending to write this post for the past month and finally have a moment to get to it.

It is probably natural that a child who’s diet requires so much specialized cooking will take an interest in cooking. Especially an independent 4 year old like Nora. Last quarter, I spent at least 1 day per week home with Nora, when I did a lot of cooking for her. In early December Nora took up the creative task of cooking also.

Recipe 1: Chez Nora Olive Pie

One day Nora came out of the kitchen holding a jar of jam, proclaiming that she was ready to bake a pie. I had to talk her out of the jam, but told her that we could make another kind of pie that would work with her diet. Next, she brought out a jar of kalamata olives and lemon juice. Hmmm, we could work with that.

It took some time and negotiation to convince Nora that she needed my technical expertise to make anything that would be edible and fit into her diet. I suggested that she could make something like a quiche, an egg and olive pie. She agreed that would be good, and suggested it would be good with chicken in it too. Then she decided to add some fish oil to the recipe so that she didn’t have to drink it separately that night. I could go with that too.

I let Nora weigh everything on the scale and do the mixing. I told her when she had weighed enough of an ingredient so that she would like the final result. She mostly went along with my suggestions and I recorded the weight of everything that she included in her recipe.

After we weighed everything and assembled her olive pie, she made one for Papa and one for Anders for dinner too. I let Nora weigh and mix theirs but didn’t require precision. I also let her omit the fish oil from their portions. Unfortunately, egg dishes are not on my special diet (my stomach can’t tolerate much egg.) She could relate to that explanation. I had an alternative meal that evening.

Although Anders was skeptical at first, everyone was very pleased with their olive pie! Nora was especially proud to present it to Ted and Anders. It was adorable. She made me hide them for as long as possible until Ted was at the table to receive his meal. He was very gracious and complementary, much to Nora’s delight.

Chez Nora Olive Pie. Nutritional information from

Chez Nora Olive Pie
2 g Fish Oil
8 g Kalamata Olives, chopped
6 g Napoleon Chopped Green Olives
12 g egg
0.5 g lemon juice
3.5 g Heavy Whipping Cream
10 g chicken thigh, chopped

Measure egg and cream into a small ramekin and whisk well. Fold in remaining ingredients and mix. Bake at 325 for 10-15 minutes or until set. Cool and enjoy.

Recipe 2: Blueberry Monster Mash

One Saturday morning, Nora and I were home together and I was making up a batch of Macadamia Monster Mash. Nora likes to run the food processor when we make recipes like this one. She was inspired to make another recipe with the ingredients that we had on hand and another one of her favorite foods: blueberries.

Again, I tried to guide her on amounts as she measured the ingredients on the gram scale. I would say, “that’s enough!” then record the weight on the scale. Thankfully, she wanted to include coconut oil in this recipe, which worked great!

Blueberry Monster Mash
50 g blueberries
100 g macadamia nuts
10 g coconut oil
0.5 g salt
1/2 T lemon juice
1/2 T water

Measure and process in food processor until smooth. Enjoy!

Nora likes to call this “ice cream” and has offered to share it with friends. Of course, it’s not ice cream by most kids’ standards, but it’s pretty yummy anyway.

Keto-tastic Kristmas: Gingerbread House

Sorry, couldn’t resist the aliteration again 🙂

We also couldn’t resist Dawn’s gingerbread house from We started the recipe yesterday, but then Nora got an unhappy surprise from the vomit elf. Thankfully, she felt better in just a few hours and is fine now. We are still wondering what happened. We have all felt just a bit off the last few days, so maybe it is just a little virus. We also opened a new pint of cream which seemed fine right away, but the second time Nora had some she complained that it tasted bad. It was bitter. We think it was just beginning to sour, so maybe that was the culprit? But Nora has been fine since so all is well today.

It’s also Nora’s half birthday today! She’s 4 1/2! To celebrate, we put a candle in her gingerbread house as the chimney and she ate the roof for breakfast. And in 2 days it will be her 8-month-seizure-free anniversary! So many celebrations!

Nora can’t eat the whole thing because it is far too many carbs and calories. To serve, I pre-weighed the pieces of the house. I made sure each matching piece was the same weight–the 2 roof pieces, the 2 side walls, and the 2 peaked walls. She ate both roof pieces for breakfast, so I knew how much dough went into each piece of cookie, and the amount of frosting needed to get the ratio to 3.5:1. She can eat the rest of the house for snacks today and tomorrow and I will know how to account for it.

I adjusted Dawn’s recipe to decrease the carbs a bit. I substituted hazelnut meal and a bit of flaxseed meal for the almond flour. My gingerbread looks a little more rustic as a result. I also made a triple-batch of dough out of spur of the moment laziness. The recipe called for 20 g of egg, and the egg that I cracked was right on 60 g. It seemed easiest to just triple it instead of holding on to the extra 40 g of egg and finding another use for it. Of course, that bought me more work in the long run, but Nora got more gingerbread!

Because I made more dough, I had more to work with when I rolled it out. I tried to follow Dawn’s general dimensions but mis-measured the walls  and ended up making a bigger house than Dawn’s. If you look at the picture of Nora’s house and make Dawn’s recipe, just know that you won’t have enough dough in a batch to make a house that is this big. I overdid it. As you can see, I weighed the cut pieces of dough before baking them. The chilled dough was sturdy enough to move from scale to cookie sheet and back again. I could also weigh each matching piece and adjust to make them the same weight.

I also made the buttercream frosting recipe for the icing. This was so good! And it used up 23 g of our protein powder making the 4:1 ratio recipe! Yippee! To add some flavor, I made some Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread tea and used that for the 50 g of water called for in the recipe. I also added a packet of Nora’s Cytra-K for it’s sweetness. As you can probably tell, my frosting is not white, but light warm brown. It looks good and it tastes wonderful. If I make the frosting again for other treats, I might use peppermint tea or another flavor in place of the water, depending on the recipe.

The buttercream frosting is also great because it hardens when chilled. I had to keep the frosting around room temperature to work with it, then we put it in the fridge to harden. Works like a dream.

Nora directed the decorating on the gram scale. I calculated that I needed a little more weight in frosting than weight in cookie to make this a 3.5:1 ratio snack. Because I knew the weight of the baked cookies, I knew the total weight that the whole house should be when finished (baked cookies plus weight of required frosting). We could assemble it right on the gram scale, adding the walls and roof as necessary, and adding frosting until we reached the required total weight.

We also cut some mini gingerbread people and trees with the rest of our dough. I made sure that they were all 4 grams of dough so that they could be served without weighing and calculating. Then I frosted them all with 2 g of frosting because that would fit easily on the cookie. They are not at-ratio snacks so we will have to serve with tea and cream.

We have a very full fridge of Keto Kristmas Kookies! And a happy Nora. I told Ted that I am done baking for awhile, and in the next moment I realized that we are out of some of Nora’s other daily baked goods, like fiber rolls and pumpkin bars for breakfast. Sigh. She will be eating gingerbread for breakfast this week. I think I will try to hold off on more baking until I find out if we are getting a stand mixer for Christmas 🙂

Candy Cane Cookies

What does your kid do when innocently offered sugar? What do you do?

We are lucky that Nora informs people that she has a “special diet.” She doesn’t make a fuss. I make sure we thank them for the gift or offer, give a short explanation and try to re-direct the conversation.

This week, the kids’ swimming teacher gave them 3 candy canes each, of different flavors, wrapped with a ribbon. It was nice of her and she didn’t know about Nora’s diet. There is not reason for her to know the details, they just swim! Nora took the candy canes but said she had a special diet. Anders and I gave the short explanation, which usually is something like “she has epilepsy and can’t have sugar.” To redirect, I suggested that we could use them as decorations on our Christmas tree. The kids thanked her for the present.

Anders really does a good job for a 7 year old, but he can’t help but blurt out, “but I can eat one later, right?” I try to tell him that we will discuss it later, but he can’t help but bring it up repeatedly. Somewhere in there I remembered making candy cane Christmas cookies in the past, and suggested that we could make some for Nora so that she can have a “candy cane” too. Then I was committed.

We had already made the Coconut Cut-Out Cookies from into Christmas Cookies, so I knew I already had a recipe. We just had to make the shape.

I made a double batch of the Coconut Cut-Out Cookie recipe and divided it into 2 balls of 101 g each. FYI, this time I increased the coconut oil to 16 g and the butter to 29 g to make it a 3.5:1 ratio for Nora. I also do not add as much no-carb sweetener as called for in the original recipe.

One ball I left in it’s original color and flavor. For the other ball, we added 4 drops of red food coloring and a few drops of peppermint extract, mixing well to get it fully incorporated.

Then I weighed out 8 g balls of each mixture, so that each cookie is made from 16 g of dough. That makes serving them much easier because they are a uniform weight.

If you have older children, they will like to help you shape the cookies. Just like soft playdough, roll each 8 g ball into a long snake shape, about 5 inches. You will have 1 pink string and 1 “white” string. Then carefully twist them around each other and form into a candy cane shape. I found the the dough tended to break a bit, but you can easily keep smushing it back together to get a compact cookie. As you wrap the strings around each other, press together to form a single compact stick of dough.

Forming each one took 2-4 minutes so the dough tended to dry out. Part way through I realized that I should keep the dough moist and put a damp dishcloth over the top of everything, both the formed and un-formed dough.

Nora wasn’t able to do that fine motor work with the precision needed to make a candy cane shape and just wanted to play with it. I let her try to form hers, then we just mashed her dough together into a round pink and white cookie because it was beyond repair. It will still taste the same.

The double-batch of dough with 16 g per cookie made 12 candy cane cookies. Because they were a bit thick, they took 8-10 minutes to bake through. They turned out quite sturdy! a few broke when they were picked up and waved around (4 year olds tend to do that), but they were not crumbly at all. Nora was able to dip hers in tea. I tried the littlest cookie made from leftover dough and it tasted good. I think the coconut flour gives it a bit of a dry texture, even with all of that fat, so it is perfect for dipping. Anders and his friend Henry really really really wanted to try one even though I offered them sugared snickerdoodles, so I let them split one and they liked it too! That’s the ultimate taste test! Also, it signals that food that looks fun is always good to eat.

With less than a week left until Christmas, I’m going to dole these out slowly so that I don’t have to make them again until next year. They were fun, but time consuming. Make it a fun holiday activity with your keto kid and enjoy the smiles.

Mexican Chocolate Protein Cupcakes

Holiday goodie #4: Mexican Chocolate Protein Cupcakes! The texture of these cupcakes is near perfect for a gluten-free, low-carb cupcake. I am proud that I seem to have nailed a recipe on the first try. I was due for some good luck.

Mexican Chocolate Protein Muffin and Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting. Click on the picture for a larger view to see details and the texture of the open cupcake.

This was inspired when Nora was invited to a birthday party for her friend Fiona that would feature chocolate cake and pink frosting. I have been reluctant to make any chocolate baked goods for Nora because one of her breakthrough seizures early in the diet therapy came after I made her MAD-approved brownies. She has since been having cocoa periodically with no problems: occasionally a touch of cocoa in her cream to make her hot chocolate and 4 g of 85% dark chocolate in her Chocolate Chip Keto Ice Cream Pops. I was careful in making these cupcakes not to give her any more cocoa than she has already been having in other treats. I know it’s likely superstition at this point, but I have no interest in tempting any breakthrough seizures.

To round out the flavor profile, I added cinnamon in equal parts with the cocoa powder. Hence, the Mexican chocolate flavor and a nice warm holiday ambiance.

And the protein? That was partly to balance the carbs and proteins in this snack to make it more keto-diet friendly, partly to use the 2 pounds (that’s ~900 g) of whey protein isolate in my pantry. 5. Grams. At. A. Time.

I know your next question: “Why in the blazes do you have 2 pounds of whey protein isolate in your pantry?” I think the answer is obvious, but I will indulge you: I aspire to make Nora into a body builder. Ok, you got me, that’s not really the reason. I aspire to be a body builder. In another lifetime.

Now for the truth. When we started Nora on the MAD diet 1 year ago, the lower ratio meant a much higher protein requirement each day. We felt like we were stuffing her full of protein constantly, so I looked for ways to replace carbs with protein wherever possible. I also read on gluten-free blogs that whey protein produced superior baked goods, so I wanted to experiment with recipes. The only whey protein isolate in town that was free of added sweeteners or flavors came in a 2 pound tub at Stoker’s VitaWorld (that’s right, it’s as groovy as it sounds). As Nora moved to the higher ratio keto diet, she needed much less protein and more fat. Actually, she was happier and able to eat about the same number of calories on a higher ratio when we replaced protein with fat. Everyone was happier and closer to seizure-freedom.

But I was left with almost 2 pounds of whey protein! The recipes I made back then were not clear winners because they didn’t stay with us. I should find some of them and try again. In the meantime, I’m happy that I was able to incorporate a bit of it into these cupcakes. Slowly but surely I will use it. It’s good through November 2013. One more year on the diet, one more year to use the whey protein.

My starting point for this recipe was the Basic Chocolate Cake recipe at, but I wasn’t comfortable with it because of the high cocoa content. As you can see I made some substantial changes to create this recipe, but followed the general proportions of dry to wet ingredients. I frosted them with my Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting, made at a slightly higher ratio than I’ve used before, which is posted below as well. To achieve a 3.5:1 ratio, I used 1 cupcake and 20 g of frosting. Varying the amount of frosting will achieve different ratios.

As always, use this as a starting point for your own recipes and re-calculate using your exact ingredients.

Mexican Chocolate Protein Cupcake. Ratio is 2.3:1. Nutrition per 47 g cupcake (whole recipe makes 3 of these). Nutrition analysis by

Mexican Chocolate Protein Cupcakes
10 g Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour
5 g Ultimate Nutrition whey protein powder
3 g Rapunzel Organic Cocoa Powder
3 g cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1 g baking soda
28 g Strauss European style butter, melted
20 g Thai Kitchen Premium Coconut Milk
20 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
50 g egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients well. If you want your cupcakes more chocolatey, you can certainly add more cocoa powder, up to 5 to 6 grams will probably be good. I also added about 1 gram of Sweet Leaf Stevia Sweetener, and you can add sweetener of your choice. Remember to re-calculate with your ingredients and measurements.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: Melted butter, coconut milk, cream and egg. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir well, removing lumps.

Divide into 3 silicone cupcake molds, 47 g of batter in each. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until done. If you depress the top of a cupcake lightly, it will spring back. Or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Check it out. One of these beautiful full-sized cupcakes has only 1.8 g net carbs. I kept waiting for them to fall, but they didn’t! They kept their perfect cupcake shape and popped out of the silicone molds like a dream (you have to turn them inside out after they cool). They had a nice dense but airy cupcake texture, and you know that a keto cupcake will never be too dry.


Nutrition breakdown for 20 g of Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting. This is the amount that I add to the Mexican Chocolate Protein Cupcake to take the ratio of the whole snack to 3.5:1, 243 calories

Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
30 g Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream
88 g Primrose cream cheese
70 g Strauss European style butter
12 g raspberries

Blend all well with a mixer and serve. Full recipe makes 200 g of frosting, or 10 servings at 20 g per cupcake.

You can add a no-carb sweetener to taste. I often use a touch of Nora’s Cytra-K for sweetness and pinkness. You could also use food coloring if it is approved by your dietician and ok for your kid.

Ratio is 10.8:1. I have used it to top the Coconut Cutout Cookies and other treats. When refrigerated, it hardens nicely so you don’t have to worry too much about smashing it. Leave at room temperature to soften.

I know that also has a buttercream frosting recipe that uses protein powder. I will have to give that one a try as a new way to use the whey (heh).

Holiday Cookies

Tis the season for holiday treats! Nora and I have been experimenting with several great recipes. At the moment she has 4 different types of goodies in the fridge to choose from!

Three cookie recipes come from The fourth is a new chocolate cupcake recipe that I concocted this weekend, which I will put in a separate post. I am including the links to the original cookie recipes and you can get the recipes and nutritional information there.

Coconut Flour Cut-Out Cookies

This recipe made lovely dough. It was rollable and easy to cut and work with, at least compared to traditional Christmas cookie recipes I have made in the past. I was able to help Nora roll the dough, she cut the shapes, and I could scrape them carefully from the parchment paper and move them to the baking sheet.

How to weigh and serve different cookies was my conundrum. Of course, each cookie will be a different weight because of differences in thickness, even if you were to cut only 1 shape. But who wants 1 shape?!? What to do? How to serve?

Dawn at ketocook said that she makes and serves 1 batch of dough at a time. Then they can cut any shapes as long as they get all of the dough into the cookies. But Nora is smaller and I don’t want to serve her a whole batch at a time. I could halve the batch or do some other portion for each snack. That’s totally doable. But I tried something more complicated (I know, you are not surprised). This is my method for serving other batch recipes that I have been experimenting with, so you will see this again.

As Nora cut the cookies, I weighed them on the scale and recorded the pre-cooked weight for each pan of cookies. We lost about 1 gram of dough to the parchment paper and cutters out of 194 g in our double-batch. With wetter dough it would be necessary to weigh the amount of dough going into the oven (which is just a preview for a future bread post).

After each batch was baked and cooled, I weighed them again. They each lost about 10-12% of their weight in the oven, due to water cooking out. We went from 194 g of dough to 172 g of cookies.

Now we could figure out the nutritional content of each gram of baked cookie. We took the nutritional information of the total dough and divided it by the total baked grams of cookie. To give an example for net carbs, if you calculate the nutritional information per gram of dough, you have o.06 g net carbs per gram of dough (12.6/194). When you divide the nutritional information by the total baked grams of cookie, you get 0.07 net carbs per gram of cookie (12.6/172). Cooking makes them a bit more dense. So if you are baking then weighing out cookies before you serve them and calculating per gram of dough, your estimating error is causing your kid to eat a bit more carbs than you were planning. With these cookies it doesn’t make a big difference, but I am experimenting with using this method for wetter batch doughs in the future where it will make a bigger difference.

Now when we serve Nora these cookies, we can let her choose 1 or 2 of them, weigh them, then figure out the right amount of icing to add to them to bring the ratio up to 3.5:1 for her. For the cookies pictured, I used the cream and coconut oil icing recipe from, although I confess that I didn’t get it to smooth and harden properly because I was in a hurry when I was making it for the first time. I also blended in some strawberry for color. It would be worth another try when I have the time and patience.

The sprinkles are Cake Sparkles by Wilton, made from gum arabic and artificial coloring. My independent research told me that gum arabic is a fiber so it does not add to the carb content and we add just a pinch to her cookies. I don’t know if this has been keto-approved by the Charlie Foundation, so ask your dietician before using. We have had no problem with them. We now have them in pink (pictured), green and red.

This cookie-by-cookie method is not a time saver. You have to frost each cookie individually with the right amount of icing to be at ratio. You can do that each time you serve them, or pre-frost them, but then you have to keep track of how much is in each cookie. Last night I frosted the last 5 cookies so that they are ready to go, and taped a cheat sheet to the container: “red ornament, 7.2 g cookie, 1.5 g icing”… etc. Next time I would do Dawn’s batch version and serve them as a stand-alone snack. Nora is happy. Live and learn!

I would also make this recipe for the rest of the family with a bit of sugar. I liked the coconut flour, but they are a little flat to my taste without the sweetener and I personally don’t like the taste of the little bit of stevia sweetener that I added to Nora’s, about 1/3 of the amount called for in the original recipe. Nora doesn’t mind a bit. Pretty = Delicious

Melt Away Cookies, a.k.a. Russian Tea Cakes or Snowballs 

This was the first holiday cookie I tried because it’s fast. I don’t have a picture, and the picture at the link is much prettier than the cookies I made!

Again, you can serve these as a whole batch for a snack, but I made them 5 g each and pressed them into little holiday candy molds. They are in my Excel database as 5 g cookies so I can serve as many as makes sense for Nora’s snacking needs. They are not at ratio for Nora, so I serve them with tea and cream to make a complete ratio snack.


Nora loves this recipe! I love this recipe!

I brought this recipe up to 3.5:1 by increasing the butter to 25 g in a batch.

To make these, I bought a Cookie Press hoping that it would make pretty cookies at a uniform weight. I tend to be resistant to buying more kitchen gadgets, but this was already 40% off with other Christmas items at the beginning of December. Seemed like it was worth a shot at $6. But I’m still astounded that they already discounted the holiday stuff and had aisles filled with Valentine’s stuff. In a few years the new holiday merchandise is going to be hitting the shelves in July and discounted in August. Good grief.

The Cookie Press worked fairly well. It works like a caulking gun. You put the dough into a cylinder and a plunger pushes the dough out through your chosen mold at the bottom. It is 1 click per cookie, so it is quite uniform. We refrigerated the dough so that it was a bit firm, but not hard. We put a small piece of parchment paper on the gram scale and Nora gave the Cookie Press one squeeze directly on to the gram scale. Then we had to hold the parchment paper down while pulling the Cookie Press away, leaving the cookie behind. It has helpful to have 4 hands working on it!

Doing it on the gram scale let us weigh each cookie easily. After the first cookie, the rest were close to 6 g each for both of the shapes we made. If it was slightly above or below 6 g, I just took a dab away or added a dab more dough. Then we moved the small piece of parchment paper with cookie to the cookie sheet and did the next. It was quite easy and Nora enjoyed it. Now we have cookies that were made with 6 g of dough each so we can calculate the nutrition per cookie and serve easily. And they are at ratio!

The original recipe tells you to make small balls, roll in cinnamon, then flatten. That is also an easy way to make uniform sizes. I was not able to roll them in cinnamons because of the Cookie Press shapes, so I had a clever idea (if I do say so myself): I put the cinnamon into a tea ball and sifted it over the shaped cookie dough. It worked great!

I made one batch for Nora and they were eaten over the course of the day that I made them. So I made 2 more batches later that day and have about 20 in the fridge for easy snacking.

I also made the same recipe for the rest of us, with a bit less butter and about 1/4 c sugar. They are so good! And so much easier to plunk them straight onto the cookie sheet when I don’t have to weigh each of them. Oh joy! I will be making them for myself again very soon. The first double batch for the family disappeared over the first day–and not only into me, mind you, I also have a 7 year old boy to feed. I will be making more for the rest of us very soon too.

Thanks Dawn and Tiffany at for the fabulous recipes! You make keto-parent life easier and many happy keto-kids.