Recipes

Orlando Weight Loss – 10 tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

10 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

Experts offer advice on navigating the supermarket.
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

But who has time to read all the food labels and figure out which items are the most nutritious and the best buys? Grocery shopping can be a daunting task, simply because there are so many choices.

“Markets perform a great public service, but keep in mind they are designed to get you to buy (and, therefore, eat) more food, not less,” says Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating.

But with a little guidance, healthy choices are a cinch to find in any supermarket.

Plan Ahead for Success

The process starts even before you head to the grocery store, experts say. Before you set out for the market, plan your meals for the week, and create a list to shop from. It takes a few minutes, but saves time in running back to the store for missing ingredients.

To save money, use coupons, check the weekly grocery ads, and incorporate sale foods into your meal planning. And don’t shop hungry: An empty belly often results in impulse purchases that may not be the healthiest.

“When planning your grocery list, consult the guidelines of MyPyramid [the government nutrition web site mypyramid.gov] to make sure you are including all the foods you need for good health,” advises Elizabeth Ward, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids.

To help meet the pyramid guidelines, you should be filling your cart with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts, she says.

Most of us tend to eat the same foods over and over again. But variety really is the spice of life, says Ward.

“One of the tenets of the pyramid is variety, so instead of white potatoes, choose sweet potatoes, which are much richer in beta-carotene, or baby spinach instead of iceberg lettuce,” she advises.

Be adventurous; aim to try a new fruit or vegetable each week, she advises.

Both Ward and Nestle say organic foods are a great option, but note that they may not be the most economical choice.

“You get the same nutritional benefits with fewer pesticides [with organics], but eating plenty of produce is more important than choosing organic foods,” says Ward.

Money Well Spent

Convenience is often worth the extra cost, especially when you’re packing lunches or are trying to control portions. Ward relies on single-serve packages of precut apples and carrot sticks for food to go for her three young daughters.

“Anything that will get you and your family to eat more fruits and vegetables is worth the extra expense, especially when you consider there is no waste associated with washed and prepped produce,” says Ward.

Nestle also recommends splurging in the produce aisle for the best fruits and vegetables.

Supermarket Savvy

Ward offers this checklist for making healthier food choices in every department of your supermarket:

  1. Produce. Spend the most time in the produce section, the first area you encounter in most grocery stores (and usually the largest). Choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. The colors reflect the different vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content of each fruit or vegetable.
  2. Breads, Cereals, and Pasta. Choose the least processed foods that are made from whole grains. For example, regular oatmeal is preferable to instant oatmeal. But even instant oatmeal is a whole grain, and a good choice.When choosing whole-grain cereals, aim for at least 4 grams of fiber per serving, and the less sugar, the better. Keep in mind that 1 level teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams and let this guide your selections. Ward points out that cereals — even those with added sugar — make great vehicles for milk, yogurt, and/or fruit. Avoid granolas, even the low-fat variety; they tend to have more fat and sugar than other cereals.Bread, pasta, rice, and grains offer more opportunities to work whole grains into your diet. Choose whole-wheat bread and pastas, brown rice, grain mixes, quinoa, bulgur, and barley. To help your family get used to whole grains, you can start out with whole-wheat blends and slowly transition to 100% whole-wheat pasta and breads.
  3. Meat, Fish, and Poultry. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish a week. Ward recommends salmon because people often like it, and it’s widely available, affordable, not too fishy, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to choose lean cuts of meat (like round, top sirloin, and tenderloin), opt for skinless poultry, and watch your portion sizes.
  4. Dairy. Dairy foods are an excellent source of bone-building calcium and vitamin D. There are plenty of low-fat and nonfat options to help you get three servings a day, including drinkable and single-serve tube yogurts, and pre-portioned cheeses. If you enjoy higher-fat cheeses, no problem — just keep your portions small.
  5. Frozen Foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables (without sauce) are a convenient way to help fill in the produce gap, especially in winter. Some of Ward’s frozen favorites include whole-grain waffles for snacks or meals, portion-controlled bagels, 100% juices for marinades and beverages, and plain cheese pizza that she jazzes up with an extra dose of skim mozzarella cheese and a variety of veggies.
  6. Canned and Dried Foods. Keep a variety of canned vegetables, fruits, and beans on hand to toss into soups, salads, pasta, or rice dishes. Whenever possible, choose vegetables without added salt, and fruit packed in juice. Tuna packed in water, low-fat soups, nut butters, olive and canola oils, and assorted vinegars should be in every healthy pantry.

4 Simple Shopping Rules

Nestle offers these simple solutions to savvy shopping without spending hours in the grocery store:

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish are usually located. Avoid the center aisles where junk foods lurk.
  • Choose “real” foods, such as 100% fruit juice or 100% whole-grain items with as little processing and as few additives as possible. If you want more salt or sugar, add it yourself.
  • Stay clear of foods with cartoons on the label that are targeted to children. If you don’t want your kids eating junk foods, don’t have them in the house.
  • Avoiding foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

How to Become a Calorie Master

Orlando Weight Loss Program – Everyday Fitness

with Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

Living life to the fullest is all about striving for a mind-body balance every day. Achieve a mental, nutritional, and physical transformation for life with tips from wellness expert Pamela Peeke, MD.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How to Become a Calorie Master

“Oh, NO! Don’t make me count calories. Can’t I just eat healthy foods and be OK?” This is one of the frequent responses I get when I mention the importance of knowing how much you’re actually eating each day. I also get the “I’ve done that before. It didn’t get me anywhere and it was such a pain. Just one more thing I’ve got to do.” Since just about everyone’s been on some kind of “diet”, many people feel like they’ve been there and done that with calorie counting. For that matter, it’s almost un-American not to have counted calories at some point in your weight management journey. And presently, some people in the nutrition community even avoid the topic of calories altogether, focusing instead on “healthy eating”. Is calorie counting a throw-back to the dark ages of weight management? Or is it your key to achieving your optimal weight? Do you really have to count calories?

Yep, but with some qualifiers.

Beginners need to take the time to learn how many calories they’re eating. As you achieve success and become more experienced over time, there’s less of a need to count every calorie. So, the great news is that with baseline learning, practice and success, you can one day graduate and become a calorie master. So, for those beginning on your journey, or those who’ve plateaued and want to get back on track, here are some calorie basics to help guide you.

I’m a real advocate of promoting caloric literacy. Most people are clueless about what they’re putting in their mouths. So I’m going to make this easy to understand.

A calorie is a unit of energy. It’s the currency of weight management. There are:

4 calories in every gram of protein

4 calories in every gram of carbohydrate

9 calories in every gram of fat

If you ate some random food that had 10 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of carb, you’d be consuming 170 calories— (10×9) +(10 x 4) + (10 x 4) = 170.

If you’re good with the concept of a financial budget, you’ll be fine with caloric budgets. The way you handle your bank currency is the same as how you’ll manage your calorie currency. This is why I have a problem with people who advocate winging it and thinking they don’t have to have at least some basic understanding of how much they’re eating each day.

Let’s say I give you $500 to go to a department store and purchase an outfit. That’s all the money you get, including tax. You don’t want to go overboard and suffer the embarrassment of being short on cash. So, you’re very vigilant as you enter the store. If you’re a newbie at shopping (and we all were at some point), you’ll have to spend some time learning which parts of the store to avoid and which will have great options for you. First up, when you see the word “couture”, run. That’s a guaranteed five figure dress or suit, so don’t even go there. “Sale” can be good if it’s within your budget. You’ll find yourself flipping price tags to learn which designer or store section is user friendly and won’t burn a hole in your wallet. This is the learning process you must go through to get the gist of how much cash you’re spending.

The same applies to calories. As I said, most folks don’t know how much they’re “spending” when they select foods to eat. And it’s a real eye-opener at time to realize how fast you can eat through your budget. Check out what Gerryca from my Diet Community had to say:

Gerryca posted:

Thereare many articles and books about avoiding having to count calories. But in MY book (LOL) counting those little darlings is the ONLY way to go… WEBMD also has a tracker that I am using, I like the food search. I am drinking at least 48 oz of water a day. I am only 5ft.2. When you count, you will be amazed at how fast you reach your calorie goal.

And here are some words of wisdom from 1961mark:

1961mark posted:

I STARTED OUT AT 284.5 ON 1-11-11.I now weigh 260lbs.2-19-11….I had type 2 diabetes. This material gives you a no nonsense way to count calories… (that i thought i could never do) …THE OVERALL KEY IS EATING FOODS LOW IN CALORIES THAT ALLOW YOU TO EAT MORE FOOD VOLUME WISE. You mentioned oatmeal, how many calories? I eat 2 packets of great value (from Walmart) maple and brown sugar at 100 cal per packet. I sometimes eat a banana 80 cal. Then I take 100% whey protein made by EAS. (one scoop 120 cal.)…that equals 400 calories. Then I work out with weights then I hit the elliptical machine alternating between 50 min. and 65 min per daily workout. (I burn between 653 and 875 calories per session.) My doctor listened to what my present activity level was and determined that my total calorie intake should be 1875 calories. The key to weight loss is getting active so you can burn calories up each day. People always say” eat less than you take in”. No kidding…but get real! If you can identify those foods low in calories but high in nutrients I am sure you know what I mean. I told you all this because I was trapped in my body basically dying a little bit every day due to diabetes and its complications.

So Gerry and Mark, like the newbie shopper, are taking time to check out the calorie “price tags”, learning which foods have “couture calories” and which are safely within your caloric budget. How do you know what that budget looks like? You need the WebMD Food and Fitness Planner.

To help you get started on the path to becoming a calorie master, I want to introduce you to a terrific new tool from WebMD to help guide you.

Click into WebMD’s Food and Fitness Planner and you’ll see that WebMD has gone all out to provide an easy way to find out how many calories you need to consume as well as burn given your weight goal. This is customized to your unique needs and incorporates critical and user friendly information to:

  • Learn about Portions: Prior to entering a food into the food log, a “portion size help” widget is available that helps people visually understand portion sizes so they can log accurately. Most people generally under estimate the amount of food they consume. This portion size helper educates users on what a portion size really looks like.
  • View Your Weekly Summaries: People can quickly assess “how they are doing” for the week, and identify trends which may help them modify their behavior. WebMD has a unique product design which allows the user to quickly and easily view their food and fitness logging for the week where they can assess (a) how well they have stuck to their plan and (b) they can notice trends in their eating habits which may lead to needed behavior change (e.g. The user may not be losing weight – by looking this weekly view they may find that they are consuming the majority of their calories at dinner – and this may be why they aren’t as successful as they had hoped.)
  • Monitor Your Medical Condition: WebMD also has “Condition Trackers” for people who may use their eating plan as a means of helping to manage a health condition (Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, and Heart Disease). Most people generally don’t understand the nutritional content of the foods they eat, and how those foods may impact on their medical condition. WebMD’s “Condition Trackers” aim to help educate people about various macronutrients so they can learn to make more informed eating decisions.
  • Learn How to Read Nutrition Labels: WebMD displays Nutrition Facts Labels on all foods and has Nutrition Trackers which deliver personalized messaging to help the user understand how to read a nutrition label to guide them as they their eating decisions. People don’t understand how to read nutrition labels. WebMD’s Nutritional Trackers aim to help users understand how each of the macronutrients impacts their health, and helps them understand if they are taking more or less then what is recommended by the USDA or AHA. Research shows that this would help people better understand how to read a nutrition label, and how to make decisions in the supermarket.
  • Budget Calories In and Calories Out: WebMD allows people to select how they would like to split their calories. For example, options include: “Eat the same amount, but increase fitness”, or “Have a 50/50 split between food and fitness”. All other diet planners do the calculation for the user and only allow them to restrict food calories. Incorporating physical activity into a person’s lifestyle is critical to both shedding weight and maintaining the healthier weight. WebMD users love that they were able to customize their preferred calorie split.

For people who are beginning their weight management journey and are not yet calorically literate, do this two part exercise:

FIRST — Scope Out Your Binge Foods and Beverages: It’s time to face the music. Make a list of those bad boy foods and drinks you tend to over consume. It could be anything, even healthy foods (eg. you like sweet potato but you’re eating 3 of them). Now, just quickly look at the calories you’re consuming with each bender. Whoa! Quite an eye-opener. So wipe the shock off your face when you see smoke coming out of your bathroom scale after a week eating like that. The point is to just know how much you’re “spending” on a typical overeating session. Hopefully, it will make you think twice before you do that again.

SECOND — Scope Out Your Healthy Foods and Beverages: Now, whip out another piece of paper and simply write down the typical foods you’ll be eating on your new plan. Studies show that most people usually rotate the same 10 foods around all week. Write them down and look at the serving sizes and calories attached to them. Now look at your budget and start figuring out how you’ll spend your calories throughout the day. Pair that up with your physical activity and you have your total budget.

Calorie masters had to do this exercise at one point. With months and years of experience, they can tell you by memory how many calories are associated with specific foods. That’s why they don’t have to write it down any longer. However, when new foods come along, the calorie masters will take a moment to look up the calories and register that number in their memories. They’re constantly learning, as you should, too.

Everyone should strive to become a calorie master. Here are the requirements. A calorie master has:

  1. achieved their optimal body composition goal (e.g. which may not be the “ideal” but one that is much healthier and not associated with increased risk for disease or disability);
  2. kept weight stable (e.g. +/- 5 pounds for removal of 40 pounds or less; +/- 10 pounds for removal of 50 pounds or more) no less than one year following the achievement of their body composition goal;
  3. shown the ability to adapt and adjust calorie consumption and burn when “life happens”— new physical disability, medical condition, personal/professional challenge(s), and keeping weight stable (see “2″).

Greater Orlando Medical Weight Loss is a safe and effective Program that can help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals. Call us today and find out how we can help you change your life.

Stawberry Chicken Salad

Strawberry Chicken Salad

This is a quintessential summer dinner salad — lovely, light, and different. Dress with strawberry vinaigrette dressing and you have a real treat on a hot summer night.

Ingredients:
• ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, grilled or broiled
• 8 cups lettuce, spinach, and/or arugula (fill a 2-quart mixing bowl)
• 2 cups sliced strawberries
• ¼ cup sliced or slivered toasted almonds (toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds are also good)
• 2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (Parmesan also works well)
Preparation:
Toss the greens with about ¼ cup strawberry vinaigrette or other oil and vinegar type salad dressing. Arrange the rest of the ingredients on top of the greens. For meal-sized salads, distribute between two plates or bowls.

Nutritional Information (without dressing): Each serving has 9 grams effective carbohydrate plus 5.5 grams fiber, 35 grams protein, and 319 calories.
Nutritional Information (with strawberry vinaigrette): Each serving has 9 grams effective carbohydrate plus 5.5 grams fiber, 35 grams protein, and 442 calories.

Low- Carb Pizza Bites

Low-Carb Pizza Bites

These are like pizza-flavored mini-quiches using pepperoni as the crust in a mini-muffin pan. They also can be made without the pepperoni. You can use small amounts of whatever pizza ingredients you like.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ cup sugar-free pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or combination mozzarella and other cheese such as Parmesan
  • ¼ cup finely minced green pepper or other pizza topping
  • 24 slices of thin-sliced pepperoni, preferably in large thin slices

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350° F.

  1. Poke the pepperoni slices into the bottoms of the mini-muffin cups, or butter the cups well if you aren’t using the pepperoni (I find that oiling the pans doesn’t work as well).
  2. Cream the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, garlic, and oregano, and beat until smooth.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in by hand.
  4. Fill the muffin cups with the egg and cheese mixture.
  5. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and set in center. Remove from oven, and cool for a few minutes (5-10), then run a knife around the top to loosen (I use a plastic knife for my nonstick pan). Remove to a plate.

Makes 24 pieces

Nutritional Information: Each piece with pepperoni has 1 gram effective carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, and 67 calories. Without pepperoni, each has 1 gram >effective carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, and 47 calories.

 

Low Carb Chili

Low Carb Chili

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings: 8-10

About This Recipe

“I found this on a low carb website and it is very good. Sometimes I use the cinnamon, other times I don’t. It tastes good even if you aren’t a ‘low carber’. The picture was taken using 2 lbs of beef stewing meat! Thanks for the comments to use 2 lbs, it’s much better!”

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (241 g)

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Amount Per Serving

% Daily Value

Calories 283.0

 

Calories from Fat 158

55%

 

Amount Per Serving

% Daily Value

Total Fat 17.5g

27%

Saturated Fat 6.7g

33%

Cholesterol 77.1mg

25%

Sugars 4.0 g

Sodium 871.2mg

36%

Total Carbohydrate 8.5g

2%

Dietary Fiber 2.5g

10%

Sugars 4.0 g

16%

Protein 23.1g

46%

 

Ingredients

    • 1 quart water
    • 2 lbs ground beef
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 onions, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon red peppers
    • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
    • 1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 (4 ounce) cans mushrooms ( drained)
    • 3/4 cup chopped green peppers

Directions

  1. Brown meat, drain off fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer 3 hours.
  3. Approx.
  4. 7- 9 carbs per serving.

Almond Flour & Almond Meal _ Benefits

What is Almond Flour? What is Almond Meal?:

Almond flour and meal are both just ground up almonds. Almond flour is most often made with blanched almonds (no skin), whereas almond meal can be made either with whole or blanched almonds. In either case, the consistency is more like corn meal than wheat flour. I find that for the most part they can be used interchangeably.

What is Almond Flour/Meal Good For?:

Almond flour is good in “quick-bread” type recipes, like muffins, nut breads, and pancakes (see recipes below). It’s not good for foods such as bread that require a real dough (you can’t knead it). Usually, more eggs are required when baking with almond meal to provide more structure. Almond meal can also be used in breading fish, but care must be taken not to burn it.

Carbs in Almond Meal

Half a cup of ground almonds contains about 10 grams of carbohydrate, 6 of which are fiber, for a net carb count of 4 grams of carbohydrate. That half cup also contains 10 grams of protein, 23 grams of fat, and 273 calories.

Can I Make My Own Almond Flour?:

Yes, you can make it in a blender or food processor, though care must be taken not to go too far, or you will have almond butter! Use fairly small amounts, and pulse until it’s meal.

Where Can I Get Almond Flour/Meal?:

Most health food stores sell it. Trader Joe’s has the best price I have found for almond meal with the skin. Online Shopping:

Spinach Frittata Recipe with Bacon and Cheddar

A frittata is an Italian-style flat omelet that’s baked in a skillet. This frittata recipe features spinach, bacon and cheddar cheese. It’s perfect for holiday brunches or other special occasions — even dinner.

For this frittata recipe we cook everything in a cast-iron skillet because it can be heated on the stovetop and then transferred to the oven where the cooking is finished. But any other large skillet that is safe for both stovetop and oven should be fine. (See note below.)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ lb fresh spinach, rinsed, dried and torn into roughly 1-inch pieces
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ½ large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

 

Cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. When bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan, drain on paper towels and set aside. When it’s cool, roughly chop it into ¼ inch pieces — or just crumble it up.

 

Reserve about 2 Tbsp of bacon fat, then add diced onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until it’s slightly translucent.

 

Turn off the heat under the pan, then add the spinach pieces and stir with a wooden spoon for a minute until the leaves are fully wilted.

 

In a glass mixing bowl, thoroughly beat the eggs until nice and frothy. Add the milk and stir until combined. Season to taste with Kosher salt.

 

Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, and sprinkle the bacon pieces in as well. Give everything a stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. This is the last time you’re going to stir, so get it all out of your system now!

 

Turn the heat under the skillet back on to about medium and cook for about 5 minutes or until the egg begins to set. No stirring!

 

Add the grated cheese, sprinkling it evenly across the top, and then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the eggs are fully cooked.

Makes 4 wedge-shaped portions of frittata.

NOTE: If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can pour the egg mixture into a baking dish and add the cooked onions, spinach and bacon as well as the grated cheese, and just bake the frittata in that dish. If you do it this way, add 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time and check to make sure the egg is fully cooked before serving.

Low-Carb Pancakes – Almond Meal

I actually think these low-carb pancakes taste better than the old white flour kind, and almond meal is healthier as well. Almond meal (same as almond flour) differs a bit from one batch to the other, so you may have to adjust the amount of liquid to get the thickness you want.

Laura’s Cooking Tip: Which Oil Should I Use?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water (for puffier pancakes, you can use sparkling water)
  • 2 T oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T sweetener

Preparation:

Mix ingredients together and cook as you would other pancakes. I like to use a nonstick pan with a little oil. The only real difference is that they won’t “bubble” on top the same way as regular pancakes. Flip them when the underside is brown.

Serve with sugar-free maple syrup, Easy Three Berry Syrup, strawberry topping, or other low carb topping.

Yield: Six 4-inch pancakes

Nutritional Information: Each pancake has 1 gram effective carbohydrate, plus 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 155 calories.

Low-Carb Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

This delicious low-carb coffee cake is very filling, since it’s made with almond meal. If you don’t like cream cheese, you can leave out that layer, or use less cream cheese (see below). It is also delicious with raspberries instead of blueberries.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1 ½ cups sugar substitute (liquid or powdered, see below)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter (4 Tablespoons), chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extracts
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • Salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (but not thawed) blueberries or raspberries

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter or oil 9X9 inch pan (cooking spray is fine).

Coffee cake is prepared in three layers. If you are using a standing mixer, you can use the same bowl if you make the layers in the order listed – just remove them to separate bowls until ready to assemble.

1)Streusel Topping: Mix 1 cup of the almond meal, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup sweetener, a pinch of salt and the 4 Tablespoons butter. I find that the whisk type attachment on my standing mixer works well – you want the mixture to stay crumbly. You can use a pastry blender, knives – whatever works. But if it all clumps together, don’t worry – just crumble it over the top when the time comes. This is one area where I used to use powdered sweetener, but I have found more recently that my beloved Sweetzfree liquid (zero carbs; no aftertaste) works fine.

2) Cream Cheese Layer: Mix cream cheese, 1 egg, and ¼ cup sweetener. If you want a thinner layer of cream cheese, you can use 4 oz. instead of 6. The mixture won’t be as thick and will pour more evenly over the cake layer.

3) Cake layer: Mix dry ingredients: 2 cups of almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, ¼ ½ teaspoon cinnamon, teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup sweetener if you are using a powder. Then add the sour cream, oil, extracts, liquid sweetener if that’s what you’re using sour cream, and 2 eggs and mix well. At this point, you might want to add 1-2 Tablespoons of water, depending on the consistency. You want the batter to be thick enough to support the rest of it, but not too gloppy – you should be able to spread it easily in the pan. I usually end up adding about a Tablespoon of water.

4) Assembly: Spread the cake layer in the pan, and spread the cream cheese on top (if it’s the larger amount of cream cheese, you won’t be able to spread it evenly, but that’s OK). Then sprinkle the blueberries on the cream cheese and the streusel on the top of that.

5) Bake for about half an hour, or until toothpick not inserted into a berry comes out clean. If you use a thermometer, it should be about 155° F. in the center.

6) Cool and slice. It is filling, so I usually cut it into 16 pieces.

Nutritional Information: For 16 servings, each serving has 3 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2.5 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, and 217 calories.

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Pudding

This easy, healthy, low carb breakfast pudding can be made with any berries or other addtions as listed. Make it in the microwave in under 5 minutes. For a larger serving, increase the almond meal up to 1/2 cup, add 1 Tablespoon water, and cook a bit longer.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup blueberries – frozen or otherwise
  • Sweetener and flavoring to taste – see list below

Preparation:

Mix almond meal, egg, and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 45 seconds. Move the cooked part of the pudding towards the center of the bowl and add blueberries and/or any mix-ins you want. Microwave for about 45-60 more seconds, depending on mix-ins (frozen fruit will need even longer cooking, as it will cool down the pudding). Stir and eat.

Possible Additions:

  • Fresh or frozen berries or other fruit (Low Carb Fruit List)
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Peanut butter or other nut butters
  • Small cubes of cream cheese (any fat level)
  • Sugar-free maple or other syrup
  • Sugar-free jam or preserves
  • Chopped nuts

Nutritional Information: Each serving (with blueberries) has 6 grams effective carbohydrate plus 5 grams fiber, 13 grams protein, and 273 calories.