How to Prep Berries Before Freezing For Smoothies

Hoang Van for Unsplash (fresh strawberries)

How and why should you prep fruit before freezing to make smoothies and/or desserts? Because fruit and berries from the grocery store may not have been properly washed, plus who knows how long it might have been on the shelf.

Prep is easy and takes only minutes to do, it prevents your berries from spoiling and freezing maintains them for weeks.

The first step is to get a bowl of cold water and add about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar. This will kill any mold spores and other germs that may be on the fruit. Let the fruit sit in the solution for 20 minutes and then strain and rinse.

Next, line a cookie sheet with wax or freezer paper and arrange your berries in a single layer for freezing. Remove tops from strawberries and stems from blueberries. Freeze for an hour or so and transfer to quart sized freezer bag.

This step keeps your berries separated so the don’t freeze in clumps and makes them easier to work with. Now your berries are ready for recipes!

Great smoothie recipes are everywhere, from Pinterest to personal websites. I like simplicity and speed, so I opt for the easy-to-toss-together varieties!

Just this morning I made myself a quick strawberry smoothie because I am feeling under the weather and have not much of an appetite.

All I needed was a handful of frozen strawberries, a 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream, a 1/2 cup of almond milk, and 1T of MCT or coconut oil.

Imagine smoothie with no banana, Pineapple, or oranges next to it. 🙂

A few ice cubes, some sweetener, and a dash of cinnamon later and I had whipped up a delicious, nutricious, low-carb, keto smoothie!!

Of course, you could add anything you like into your smoothie, as long as it won’t add to the carb count and/or ups the fat content. I added about a tsp of chia seeds thinking they would give me energy, but I just feel so rotten, nothing really helped.

I’m sure it’s allergies or an upper respiratory infection, strawberries will help add some vitamin C!! I got my recipe from the KetoDietApp, a great place for all kinds of keto recipes.

It was actually from NXT Modern website which compiled several smoothie recipes from other websites together in one post. Check it out here.

Alternatively, you could make a smoothie bowl like I did back in April. Start with a basic chia pudding, add frozen fruit, nuts, and coconut flakes and BOOM! Easy, delicious breakfast bowl that is low carb, keto, and high fiber.

Coconut berry smoothie bowl

Check out these recipes after prepping your fruit and let me know how you liked them!

Why You Should Taste Test Your Recipes

Do you always taste your cooking? Of course you do, and you should! Especially, if you are sharing said recipes for the public to try! Always taste test your recipes!!

This morning I tried a recipe for “Best Low Carb Chocolate Cookies” that were anything but! Now, in all fairness, we could have used different products, I slightly altered the recipe, and maybe she didn’t taste the end product to make sure they were palatable.

My results-looked better than they tasted

I did taste them however, and they were horrible! Even frosted, or iced, I don’t think these cookies were salvageable. I felt like it was an expensive waste of precious ingredients and I have to wonder if she even bothered to taste them herself.

Another admission is that this was my first time to try Swerve sweetener, I always use Pyure brand stevia for my baking. The internet is full of great recipes using Swerve, so I thought it must be all the rage. Maybe the amount called for just was too little.

The result was like eating chocolate flavored sand.

I found the recipe on Pinterest by Ditch the Carbs and from the get go, I thought 2 cups of almond flour would be excessive, so I only used one cup. I had read the reviews and many people were complaining they were too dry.

The results were skewed because the recommended time for cooking was too long, and the first 7 cookies burned, I tasted them anyway and they tasted like a dry popcorn fart.

The dough was plentiful, so I added 1/2 cup of coconut flour, mixed it in very well and cooked 7 more. (I also added a few Lilies chocolate chips to add some sweetness because they were so bitter.) The result? Like eating chocolate flavored sand!

So, at this point, I had dough with 1C almond flour and 1/2C coconut flour, still not the recommended 2C almond flour!

To the last bit of dough left I added 1 T more butter and there was no improvement at all. Dry, bitter, tasteless. I was so bummed. I kept them thinking that maybe I could use them as a crumbly topping for Keto pudding or ice cream. Ten it wouldn’t be a total loss.

Please, people, taste your recipes!! All I’m saying is, had I made them with the originally called for 2 Cups of almond flour, they would have been even drier!! I will go back to the drawing board with these, once I get over wasting so many expensive ingredients.

Check out the recipe for yourself, and let me know how they worked out for you. One other note here: I used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa, Kerrygold butter, and Swerve granulated sweetener.

Next time I might try with the 2 cups of almond flour but add an extra egg, or some nut butter (or both), and definitely more sweetener! I’ll keep you posted! For the original recipe, click on the link here.

Finally, A Porridge I Can Love!

Baby, it’s cold outside and that calls for a nice, hot bowl of tasty, low-carb porridge to warm you from the inside out! Finally, I have stumbled on one that I can love, made from almond flour, flax, egg, butter, and cream, with the texture I’ve been missing from cream of wheat.

Photo credit: Deryn Macey for Unsplash

I was searching through my Pinterest board, looking for a warm bowl of something tasty to make for breakfast, since it’s 29 degrees here in Texas this morning, when I saw it. A post from The Low Carb Maven about a porridge that’s simple, quick, and tastes just like the cream of wheat I used to eat back in the pre-Paleo, pre-Keto days.

She calls it just what it is, Almond Flour Porridge Breakfast Cereal (Low Carb, Keto, Paleo) and I was in such a rush to eat it, I totally forgot to take a picture of it! I’m a terrible blogger! (Just click the link for a photo.)

Since I can no longer eat oatmeal (and never was a fan anyway), I love the thought of a warm, buttery bowl of goodness like this here porridge provides. It is also important that it has the same mouth feel as cream of wheat, or malt-o-meal like I used to eat as a kid.

The recipe comes together quick, I opted for a mix it-microwave it til it’s ready version, but you can make it on the stove as well. I was in a rush. It still turned out perfect! It looked a little different in the bowl, yet tasted perfectly fine on my tongue.

Photo credit: Pixabay

My sweeteners were the only change to her recipe, as I don’t have any of the kind she mentioned. I always use Pyure brand Stevia and/or coconut sugar, in this case I used a little of both. She didn’t say, but I use Kerrygold grass-fed butter also. (Always!)

The link above will take you to the recipe, or my Pinterest board would, but if you’re in a rush and want it now, here it is:

Almond Flour Porridge

Ingredients:

3 T Sukrin Defatted Almond Flour

1T ground golden flax

pinch salt

3/4 C water

1 lg beaten egg

1T Sukrin Gold (or your favorite sweetener to taste)

1T heavy cream

(She added berries but I did not, totally up to you, just figure in the added carbs)

She also gives on the stove instructions, but I mixed everything into the beaten egg except the cream which I added later as the cereal started to thicken in the microwave. I cooked it in 45 second bursts until it was thick and hot.

Let me know your thoughts if you try it, oh, and one more thing of note; I used the almond flour I had on hand, and the flax too, which was brown…it turned out just as good. 😉

Food Poisoning Blows! 🤮

Ugh!! I guess I contracted food poisoning somewhere over the last few days, and food poisoning ( otherwise known as foodborne illness) really blows y’all!! 🤮

I spent all night in one or the other of our two bathrooms…vomiting, and then suffering the watery diarrhea, over and over. Now I’m writing from my bed, too weak to want to do much at all.

There is no telling where I picked it up, Tuesday I ate at a salad bar, Wednesday I ate at a Chinese buffet, and last night I made my first attempt at Keto Green Curry.

See the Asian eggplant in the Green Curry I made last night?

I was a bit worried that the frozen chicken had been on the counter thawing for 7 hours, yet it still felt cool when I stuck it back in the fridge til Dave got home to cut it up for me.

Then it cooked hard for 15 minutes and simmered about 20 more as I made the    “Miracle Rice”. All of t tasted good, I just didn’t feel that hungry, as the night went on, my stomach hurt worse and worse til all heck broke loose around 10:30 pm.

Miracle rice boiling in the pot

Besides, if it was the chicken, wouldn’t Dave be sick too?

Now I’m sipping water and nibbling on crackers, laying in bed feeling gross and all I can think about is what needs to be cleaned. With Clorox! Ugh!

signs and symptoms of food poisoning

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • watery or bloody diarrhea
  • abdominal pain and cramps
  • fever

I had every single one of those, and a throbbing head-that part is still hanging on.

According to the mayo clinic, “signs and symptoms may start with an hours after eating the contaminated food or they may begin days or even weeks later sickness caused by food poisoning generally last for a few hours to several days.”

I don’t know what to do first,  eat something like soup, clean up all the messes I made, or take a shower, but all I FEEL like doing is laying here.

And to think, I was trying to remain Keto compliant. Eating salad one day for lunch,then meats off the buffet the next…only to catch some kind of virus or food poisoning. Not the way I’d go about losing a pound or two! 🤮

Stay vigilant y’all! Wash your hands and be careful of your food choices when out…better yet, cook your own as much as possible. I normally cook at home but dad and I go out once a week at least for lunch.

Have any of you every had food poisoning?

When to see a doctor

  •  Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep liquids down
  •  Bloody vomit or stools
  •  Diarrhea for more than three days
  •  Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
  •  An oral temperature higher than 100.4 F
  •  Signs or symptoms of dehydration excessive thirst, dry mouth, little to no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  •  Neurological symptoms such as blurry vision muscle weakness and tingling in the arms

Luckily I’m over the worst of it!

I had it the worst one time in Korea. what was weird about that time was, I used to eat food from the village in Oijonbu all the time, yet I got this horrible case of food poisoning ON BASE!

I had eaten lasagna from what I remember at the officers club.

Since I started this post I managed to eat some soup and a few more crackers clean up the mess I made and now I’m about ready to go lay back down. I’m sorry that I’m out of it today, I tried to catch up on my email, but my eyes even hurt.

I hope everyone is having a way better Thursday and feeling great! I’ll be back as soon as I recover. 😊

 

 

 

Why It’s Good to “Eat the Rainbow”

Morning everyone, do you know why it’s important to “eat the rainbow”?

Because we cannot make our own Vitamin C, it is essential we get it from our diet. We need this important vitamin to help provide antioxidant protection, enhance wound healing, help synthesize collagen and more.

Living the Keto lifestyle means eating all types of low-carb foods, yet you could be missing your recommended amounts of Vitamin C and other nutrients.

Since fruits typically high in Vitamin C are not normally consumed on a Keto diet, it may be handy to have a list of the top ten foods that do. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to symptoms like these:

  • Dry hair
  • Slow wound healing
  • Rough, scaly skin
  • Increased bruising
  • Frequent illness or infections

So, oranges and other citrus may be out, what foods are in?

Top Ten High Vitamin C, Low-Carb Foods

  1. Bell Peppers-higher in Vitamin C than any citrus fruit
  2. Kale-also protects against 4 kinds of cancer
  3. Broccoli-provides more than 100% of your daily Vit C requirement
  4. Sugar Snap Peas-one serving exceeds recommended daily value of Vit C
  5. Brussel Sprouts-Low calorie, cruciferous veggie, helps meet daily goal
  6. Strawberries-can be consumed on keto since they contain less sugar
  7. Kohlrabi-a type of cabbage best eaten in soups or stews
  8. Cauliflower-rich in Vit C, delicious raw or cooked
  9. Red Cabbage-a veggie in the Brassica family
  10. Chicken liver-one of the only animal foods considered a good source of Vit C

Following a Keto diet doesn’t mean getting suboptimal levels of Vitamin C if you “eat the rainbow”. Try to incorporate some or all of these foods on a daily basis to maintain healthy skin, bones, and prevent certain cancers.