Monthly Archives: February 2014

Healthy Crab Cake Recipe

You may be asking yourself: are crab cakes healthy?! Well, that depends. A lot of restaurants make them with a bunch of processed ingredients and white flour bread crumbs and all sorts of bad things, so definitely check before you order them out; however, if you make crab cakes at home (which is really easy and fun!), you can be SURE they are healthy, especially if you use my recipe below ;). They are also delicious:

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The texture is fabulous. Just like a regular crab cake made with bread crumbs. 

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Here’s the recipe:

Low-Carb Healthy Crab Cakes
Serves 4
These crab cakes are delicious and guilt-free! Enjoy your beloved favorite food, crab cakes, WITHOUT having to worry about pesky processed ingredients, gluten, bread crumbs, etc. Simple - make them and have them ready in less than 30 minutes!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound crab meat (you can use either claw-meat or back-fin which is usually used for crab cakes)
  2. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 tsp pepper
  6. dash paprika
  7. dash cayenne or other hot pepper sauce/powder
  8. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  9. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  10. 1/2 tsp dried mustard or 1 tsp prepared mustard
  11. 1/2 small to medium onion (white or yellow)
Instructions
  1. Preheat non-stick or cast iron pan over medium to medium-high heat.
In food processor
  1. Cut onion in half and peel. Put half onion in food processor and process until diced. Then, add other ingredients and processed until homogeneously combined. Do not over process.
Without food processor
  1. Dice onions. Whisk egg, and add spices to egg. Then add coconut flour and mix until combined. Use hands to pull apart crab meat into small pieces/strings. You can also use a knife to dice it up. Then mix the crab meat with the other ingredients until combined.
  2. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts, and then form patties. You can do this by first creating a ball by cupping your hand, then smashing it down into a patty. Put a small amount of olive oil, coconut oil or butter in your preheated pan, and give it a few seconds to heat up. Then, place the 4 crab cakes in the pan. They should sizzle when they hit the pan, and if they don't your pan isn't hot enough, so take the off and let it heat up a bit more. After a few minutes and the bottom is browned nicely, flip the crab cake and cook the other side until browned. Serve with tartar sauce.
Nutrition To Fruition http://www.nutritiontofruition.com/
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Bob’s Red Mill Review, Recipe & Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I received a free 3-pack sample of Bob’s Red Mill products to review and Bob’s Red Mill also offered to give away a 3-pack to one of my readers via a giveaway. Clicking through any of these links and buying these products will result in Nutrition to Fruition receiving a small commission. You will not pay a higher price for this. Thank you for your continued support.

I’ve got some exciting news! Bob’s Red Mill has offered to do a review and giveaway for my readers! {scroll down to the bottom of the page for the giveaway} I know it seems like my blog is filled up with this stuff lately, and I hope that’s okay with you! I will get back to writing articles as soon as things calm down a little bit at my job (giveaway posts take me significantly less time than articles). 

What you will win

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Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter to win a 3-pack of Bob’s Red Mill products, excluding gift sets, etc. Basically pick 3 bags of gluten-free flour, like I did, and you should be safe. I got potato starch, which by the way if you are diabetic and you are interested in using potato starch (a.k.a. resistant starch) to help with controlling your blood sugar, you should check out my friend Steve’s blog, Diabetes Warrior,  and all the experimentation he has done lately on it. He has gotten better blood sugar control as a diabetic using this exact product after eating starchy foods due to changing the gut flora. By the way if you are diabetic, you probably shouldn’t make the recipe below. Just sayin’.

I also got hazelnut flour and coconut flour (both low-carb FYI). I have a recipe with hazelnut flour (below), and I also have two recipes with coconut flour: crabcakes (coming soon!) and salisbury steak.

Bob’s Red Mill

One of my favorite companies is Bob’s Red Mill, for multiple reasons. Even though I don’t eat much in the way of grains anymore because of my IBS (I’ve since added back in dairy), Bob’s Red Mill has products for everything, including Paleo flours like Coconut, Almond and Hazelnut, as well as Gluten-Free mixes, flours, etc. Basically if you have any kind of special or modified diet, you are going to want to check out Bob’s Red Mill. You CAN find these products in store, but some of the really cool ones like the Hazelnut Flour they sent me, I haven’t seen in many stores, but you can buy them online in web stores. 

The reason it took me so long to get this post up (when I said I would put it up on Saturday, when the Tropical Traditions Giveaway ended) is I have been trying to perfect a chocolate chip cookie recipe with the Hazelnut flour. While both batches have been tasty, they haven’t been perfect enough to put up here. The first batch spread out too thin and were very moist and chewy, so I overcompensated with some tricks to make them stay taller, less chewy and more crumbly, but I overcompensated and they were TOO tall, crumbly, and almost scone-like. Don’t worry, I still ate them (you knew I would!), but they just weren’t quite right. 

So this morning when I wanted to make waffles for the kids, I decided to pull out the hazelnut flour and do some experimentation. Oh. My. Goodness. I got this one right on the first try. I used local NC Cassava flour (*note, I received an email from Mark Moon Rabbit Foods, and he wanted to clarify that while Moon Rabbit Foods is a North Carolina company, the Cassava root is actually grown in Brazil since it doesn’t grow well here. He also wanted to point out that Cassava flour and Tapioca Flour/Starch are different products (albeit from the same plant), and are not interchangeable in recipes. Good to know!), but Bob’s Red Mill also makes a tapioca flour, which by the way, is NOT** the same product, although it is from the sample plant. (Updated 2/21/14) Take a look at these waffles:

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They are so fluffy and soft! I never would have expected them to be THIS tender!

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They were PERFECT. Not just good, but blog recipe perfect, so that I want to share them with the world, and you guys! These are not low-carb, though, so if you’re looking for a low-carb waffle, I might substitute in more hazelnut (for which you’ll need more liquid), drastically reduce the cassava and buckwheat. Believe it or not, buckwheat (despite the -wheat suffix) is actually gluten-free. It took me a while to believe it at first too, even as a Dietitian when I first went gluten-free almost a year ago. However, I have safely enjoyed buckwheat baked treats on multiple occasions, and even have baked stuff with buckwheat for my boss who has been diagnosed with Celiac disease (something in the water at work ;) )

The recipe card for these waffles is below. Keep in mind that the batter is super thick, but don’t worry about that – they turn out great. You just may have to scoop the batter into the waffle maker and spread it out a bit. It may look like this:

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By the way, I have this amazing waffle maker that makes waffle sticks the kids can dip in pure maple syrup. I got it for a gift, but the link will take you to the exact one. I hardly ever make regular waffles anymore, just these yummy oversized waffle sticks.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the giveaway. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

 

Gluten Free Waffles From Scratch
Serves 4
These gluten free, fluffy waffles are absolutely delicious! You may not even realize they are gluten free, with a magnificent fluffy crumb. All links are the exact products I used.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup NC Cassava Flour
  2. 1/2 cup Buckwheat Flour
  3. 1/2 cup Hazelnut Flour
  4. 1 T. sugar
  5. 1 T. baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 8 ounces butter, melted
  8. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  9. 3 eggs, beaten
  10. 1/4-1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat waffle maker. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients except water. Make a hole in dry ingredients, and pour wet ingredients into dry, and then stir until thickened. Then, add water until mixture is consistency of thick batter. Spoon batter into heated waffle maker, spreading if necessary. Batter SHOULD be thicker than you're used to, don't be concerned. Close waffle maker, and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until waffle is golden brown.
Nutrition To Fruition http://www.nutritiontofruition.com/

Good luck on the giveaway! 

Rules: 

1. Open to USA and Canada.

2. Winner must respond to email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

3. Winner must provide Address and Phone number.

4. Winning entry will be verified to make sure action was performed. 

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CocoKefir and CocoYo Review and GIVEAWAY!

Disclaimer: CocoKefir, LLC sent me a free 4-pack of CocoYo and CocoKefir to review and try, and in addition offered to sponsor a giveaway. In addition, I am an affiliate of the CocoKefir program and if you click a link from this website and buy the product, I will receive a modest commission, and you will be supporting the hard work that goes into Nutrition to Fruition! All opinions are my own, and I only support programs I fully recommend.

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You and I both know that probiotics are one of the most important aspects of health. What if, though, you have a dairy intolerance? That immediately eliminates two of the most common probiotic sources out there: kefir and yogurt. It’s hard to remember to take a pill every day, and there’s evidence that when taking probiotic pills, the bacteria might not even be alive when they reach the small bowel or when you take the capsule. So what to do? Well, the obvious answer is to find a probiotic food that doesn’t contain dairy! Sauerkraut is an excellent option, but not very instant gratification with a minimum of 4 days of fermentation and up to weeks to get the right flavor. (I’ve got some sitting in my fridge now that’s on it’s way). CocoKefir is a great ready-to-go option for those who need cultures you KNOW are alive, fast.

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CocoKefir is just PERFECT. I love this product. The plain CocoKefir taste like a mix between coconut water and Kombucha. Sweet, but with a definite coconut flavor, slightly fizzy from the fermentation CO2. If you don’t like that flavor, though, the Apple Cinnamon tastes great, too! In fact, my 3-year-old daughter LOVED it. She kept asking for more “juice”. I even tried her out with the Citrus flavor and she liked that, too! It is pretty sour, though, so if you don’t like sour I would recommend sticking with the sweeter plain Coconut or Apple Cinnamon flavor. One serving of CocoKefir contains 15 billion good bugs and 7 strains of different bacteria per CocoKefir’s website. I have been drinking this stuff every day since they sent it to me last week, and I feel great. I’ve always noticed that my body does so much better when I’m getting a daily probiotic, and this is so easy to just keep in the fridge and pour a little out whenever I feel like it. FYI, CocoKefir recommends if you aren’t use to a probiotic regimen, to start with a tablespoon (teaspoon for kids) and work your way up to the 1/4 cup serving size. I, personally, have been drinking about a half a cup twice a day, but I have been doing probiotics for a while. 

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The CocoYo wasn’t as much my favorite. I tried it plain, and I could taste the Stevia used as a sweetener too strongly. I have been weaning myself off of sugars in general, so I think I would have preferred just a plain coconut yogurt without any sweetener, even a healthy one like Stevia. However, if you are used to the Stevia taste or enjoy it, I would recommend it. It’s smooth and the texture is good, just too sweet for me. Even though I didn’t enjoy it plain, I did make some killer smoothies out of it, which diluted the sweetness. I made one green smoothie with it including Spinach, Strawberries, Water/Ice, and CocoYo. This is perfect because it’s vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and allergen friendly (unless you’re allergic to strawberries or coconuts, then you’re out of luck!). I didn’t write down the exact amounts that I put in the smoothie, but it was 2 handfuls of spinach, 3-4 strawberries, probably 1 cups of ice, 1 cup of water, and about 6 tablespoons of the CocoYo. It tasted amazing and it was the perfect amount of sweet.

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I emailed CocoKefir, LLC because I’ve been wanting to try the CocoKefir when I heard of it, and they offered to not only send me one for free, but send one of YOU one for free, too! This is one of my favorite things about blogging! Just fill out the rafflecopter below, and you will be entered in to win a FREE 4-pack of CocoKefir/CocoYo, shipped straight to your door! They even put a nice little “black ice” pack in there to keep it cold, and that’s reusable! Here are a couple of rules:

1. Open to USA only.

2. Winner must respond within 48 hours and provide address and phone number so that he/she can be contacted to send the prize. If winner does not respond, another winner may be picked.

If you just can’t wait for the giveaway to end to try CocoKefir, click here to buy it now!

Rafflecopter:

 

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Good luck everyone! 

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Salisbury Steak With Mushrooms Recipe

Salisbury steak is one of my favorite things to make for several reasons. First of all, I can get this recipe finished completely in less than 30 minutes. Secondly, if I forgot to thaw out the ground beef, I can easily thaw it out using the microwave or cold water method in 3 minutes or less than an hour, respectively. Even I, the meal-planning ultimate advocate, don’t always plan my meals out as I should. When I don’t, this is my go-to recipe. Best of all? It’s gluten-free. That’s right, no bread crumbs here. It’s low carb as well since I am using coconut flour. It is Paleo friendly, Diabetes friendly, Low-carb friendly, Ketogenic friendly. The only thing it is NOT is vegetarian friendly. I’ll work on that ;).

First I take a pound (ish) of ground beef, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon of italian seasonings and put them in a bowl.

First I take a pound (ish) of ground beef, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon of italian seasonings and put them in a bowl.

This lovely stuff is going to be my binding agent. You need about 1/4 cup. Add that to the bowl as well.

This lovely stuff is going to be my binding agent. You need about 1/4 cup. Add that to the bowl as well.

I use the dough hook attachment on my kitchenaid, but you can mix this together by hand (messy) or with a spoon (takes a while).

I use the dough hook attachment on my kitchenaid, but you can mix this together by hand (messy) or with a spoon (takes a while).

Here it is, mixing....

Here it is, mixing….

And mixing up some more.

And mixing up some more.

I have a cast iron pan that is heating on the stove at medium-high heat. Make sure it's heated thoroughly so you get that nice browning action on your meat. Also, it needs to be well seasoned so your meat won't stick.

I have a cast iron pan that is heating on the stove at medium-high heat. Make sure it’s heated thoroughly so you get that nice browning action on your meat. Also, it needs to be well seasoned so your meat won’t stick.

I form the meat into 4 equal patties.

I form the meat into 4 equal patties.

I then place the equal sized patties on the cast iron pan. It should sizzle. If it doesn't, your pan isn't hot enough.

I then place the equal sized patties on the cast iron pan. It should sizzle. If it doesn’t, your pan isn’t hot enough.

This is when I chop up some crimini mushrooms, but you can use any type of mushrooms really.

This is when I chop up some crimini mushrooms, but you can use any type of mushrooms really.

My beef is getting pretty close to done!

My beef is getting pretty close to done!

Now you just need some stock. This is chicken stock, but you probably should use beef stock for continuity of flavor. By the way, notice how this stock looks like Jello? Yes. That is what it's SUPPOSED to look like. IF your stock doesn't gel most of the time, you are not simmering it long enough OR you are boiling it too hard and breaking down the gelatin. Gelatin is good for you, so this is what we're going for!

Now you just need some stock. This is chicken stock, but you probably should use beef stock for continuity of flavor. By the way, notice how this stock looks like Jello? Yes. That is what it’s SUPPOSED to look like. IF your stock doesn’t gel most of the time, you are not simmering it long enough OR you are boiling it too hard and breaking down the gelatin. Gelatin is good for you, so this is what we’re going for!

So not shown, I took about 2 tbsp of cassava flour and mixed it with a little bit of the fat from the top of the stock. You could also use butter if your stock is lean or from a carton. I cook that until it's a "roux", nice and pasty and starting to darken a bit, then I add the stock. Then I add the mushrooms and cook those until they're done.

So not shown, I took about 2 tbsp of beef fat from the stock and cooked the mushrooms until they were soft. Then I added the cassave flour until that and the beef fat makes a paste. If the mushrooms suck up all the fat, you may need to add a little bit more – use your judgment – just make sure a paste forms. Then I add the stock slowly and cook over medium heat until it thickens. This is the gravy that you pour over the beef patties to make salisbury steak.

I can’t seem to get a good picture of the finished product, but just pour the mushroom gravy over the steak (and maybe some mashed potatoes) and serve with a green vegetable, like broccoli. You can also cut the mushrooms into smaller sizes if you prefer. Recipe card is below! I will update this with a better picture at some point.

 

Salisbury steak with mushrooms
Serves 4
This is an easy weeknight dinner that takes less than 30 minutes to make!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
For beef patties
  1. 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  2. 1 tsp italian seasoning
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/4 cup coconut flour
For gravy
  1. 6-8 mushrooms, sliced
  2. 2 tbsp cassava flour or other starch (corn starch, potato starch)
  3. 1 cup homemade beef stock
  4. 2 tbsp homemade butter or beef fat skimmed from stock
Instructions
  1. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Cast iron preferable. Combine ingredients for beef patties in electric mixer using paddle or dough hook, or by hand. Mix until ingredients homogeneously combined. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts, then form into patties. Place patties on preheated skillet. You should hear a sizzle. Cook for about 6-7 minutes per side, until meat is thoroughly cooked and no pink remains (or until meat reaches 160 degrees to ensure food safety).
  2. While meat is cooking, melt butter or beef fat in pan, then add mushrooms and cook until soft. Add cassava or other starchy flour (e.g., corn starch, potato starch) and stir until a paste forms. Cook paste until bubbly. Then, add beef stock slowly. Stir until thickened. Pour over beef patty. Serve meal with mashed potatoes and broccoli.
Nutrition To Fruition http://www.nutritiontofruition.com/
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Recipe: Peanut Butter Cups

I hardly ever make even “healthy” desserts because I know myself and I know my small amount of self control that I have. If I make a dessert I have a hard time not eating the whole thing. Because of this, lately I just stay away. These peanut butter cups are no different. They are TOO AMAZING. I might have to hide the rest of them. I’m sitting here staring at 7 of them (cause I definitely ate 2) wanting them to disappear so I don’t eat them.

PBCUPS

 

These are gluten-free and if you use dairy-free chocolate they are dairy-free. They are not Paleo. Sadly peanuts are a legume and not a nut, but if you soak your peanuts for 24 hours and then dehydrate before roasting to make peanut butter, you may tolerate them even if you don’t usually do well with legumes.

Instructions

Grab a bag of chocolate chips.

Grab a bag of chocolate chips. This one was 10 ounces. Add approximately a tablespoon of coconut oil. No, this is not a local NC recipe ;). Put it on the stove to melt.

Meanwhile, mix the following ingredients in a kitchen aid mixer with the dough paddle: 3 tbsp butter, ghee, coconut oil or palm shortening, 1 cup prepared smooth peanut butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup or less of powdered sugar.

Meanwhile, mix the following ingredients in a kitchen aid mixer with the dough paddle: 3 tbsp butter, ghee, coconut oil or palm shortening, 1 cup prepared smooth peanut butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup or less of powdered sugar.

Mix that up until it's nice and creamy. Scrape the sides as necessary.

Mix that up until it’s nice and creamy. Scrape the sides as necessary.

You should be stirring your chocolate every now and then while you're doing the whole peanut butter part. When it's melted it should look something like this.

You should be stirring your chocolate every now and then while you’re doing the whole peanut butter part. When it’s melted it should look something like this.

 

You can add more coconut oil to make the chocolate thinner if needed. Do not add water or milk. (learned this the hard way!) Pour chocolate into bottom of a regular sized muffin liner, and as it cools slightly press it against the sides. This is optional, but it will make the finished product more uniform looking.

You can add more coconut oil to make the chocolate thinner if needed. Do not add water or milk. (learned this the hard way!) Pour chocolate into bottom of a regular sized muffin liner, and as it cools slightly press it against the sides. This is optional, but it will make the finished product more uniform looking.

After filling around 9 cups (you will have leftover chocolate - this is necessary), put them in the freezer to harden slightly, for only a minute or two. Then grab your little ice cream/cookie dough scoop, or a spoon if you don't have one, and start scooping our your creamy peanut butter batter. Scoop it onto the hardened chocolate, and press down slightly until flat. Then pour the melted chocolate (you may have to reheat) over the peanut butter scoop until completely covered.

After filling around 9 cups (you will have leftover chocolate – this is necessary), put them in the freezer to harden slightly, for only a minute or two. Then grab your little ice cream/cookie dough scoop, or a spoon if you don’t have one, and start scooping our your creamy peanut butter batter. Scoop it onto the hardened chocolate, and press down slightly until flat. Then pour the melted chocolate (you may have to reheat) over the peanut butter scoop until completely covered.

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Piazza Oval Ice Cream Scoop / Decoration Scoop

Stick 'em in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes until they harden. I didn't have any issues with chocolate bloom, but if you do struggle with that, just temper the chocolate by throwing in a reserved chocolate chip from the bag after you get done melting it and right before you're about to pour it in. That should do the trick.

Stick ‘em in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes until they harden. I didn’t have any issues with chocolate bloom, but if you do struggle with that, just temper the chocolate by throwing in a reserved chocolate chip from the bag after you get done melting it and right before you’re about to pour it in. That should do the trick.

Yummmmmmmy....

Yummmmmmmy….

These were so delicious!

These were so delicious!

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12 Cup Muffin Pan

Ghee (Original Cooking Variety), 12 oz, Vadik Herbs (Bazaar of India)

  

 

Peanut Butter Cups
Serves 12
These delicious and somewhat healthy peanut butter cups are great for a gluten-free dessert when you're craving candy and want to avoid the preservatives in most commercial PB cups!
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 (10 oz) bag chocolate chips, bittersweet preferably to decrease sugar
  2. 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  3. 1 cup peanut butter
  4. 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or less if trying to cut back!)
  5. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  6. 3 tbsp butter
  7. 9 full sized muffin liners in muffin tin
Instructions
  1. Put chocolate chips in double boiler or on very low heat on stove to melt with coconut oil. Make sure to stir consistently, at least every minute or two. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients to a mixer and mix until creamy, scraping sides with spatula as necessary.
  2. When chocolate is melted, stir and make sure it's creamy and liquid, adding more coconut oil to make it more liquid-y. then, take a spoon and cover bottom of muffin liners, pressing into sides so chocolate goes slightly up side. After completing 9, put in freezer until hardened, about 2 minutes.
  3. After the chocolate is hardened, take a small cookie dough or ice cream scoop, and scoop peanut butter on top of hardened ice cream, pressing down until flat, but leaving some space between peanut butter and sides of muffin tin. Then, pour the rest of the chocolate over top until covered (may have to reheat). Put in freezer for another 10-15 minutes until fully hardened. At this point the cups should be able to easily be peeled from the wrappers for pretty presentation. Enjoy!
Adapted from Food 52
Adapted from Food 52
Nutrition To Fruition http://www.nutritiontofruition.com/
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