Wednesday, October 23, 2013

RECIPE: Low Carb Pumpkin Clafoutis

Well, my pumpkin craving extends through all parts of the day and I vowed to only make the muffins for breakfast, so it was time to once again make a Pumpkin Clafoutis! I have altered my Paleo version just a little. I used butter rather than coconut oil to reduce the calories ... I used almond milk and pecans rather than coconut milk and walnuts, due to availability ... And, I used Splenda and a little water rather than honey to reduce the calories, and most importantly ... The Carbs. 

1/2 cup  butter
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cup Splenda
4 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons grated unsweetened coconut
(I prefer to use Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie Spices, so I just put 2+ teaspoons rather than the individual spices. You may prefer less spices, but I prefer experiencing their flavors mixed with the pumpkin!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt butter in the microwave.
3. Blend together all ingredients with the exception of the walnuts and coconut. I use my blender to make sure everything blends well. Taste for sweetness and add more Splenda, if you feel it needs it. I also added 2 tablespoons of water to offset the moisture loss from using Splenda instead of honey. Add the chopped walnuts and coconut then pulse a few times to mix.
4. Pour into a well greased 9" deep dish pie plate and bake for roughly 45 minutes - until center is set. 
5. Allow clafoutis to cool before placing it in the refrigerator. It's tasty warm, but it is AMAZING cold!

I mentioned above that this recipe is altered from my original posted recipe from some time ago. (The differences per serving ... Calories: 186 vs 219 and the net carbs: 2 vs 14!!)
Below you will find the nutritional data as per MyFitnessPal:

The Low Carb Version ...

The Paleo Version ...

RECIPE: Carol's Low Carb Pumpkin Nut Muffin

The leaves show the slightest hint of color change and I start craving pumpkin! I've been sticking to low carb lifestyle for a while now, and so I've been working on some low carb (net 4 carbs!) pumpkin recipes to help pacify my cravings. 
2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
1 egg
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2+ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons Splenda
A handful of chopped pecans (optional)


In a coffee mug stir the egg and the pumpkin purée together. Add almond flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and Splenda then stir well. Add pecan pieces, if desired. 

Place coffee mug in microwave and cook on high for a minimum of one minute. Because of the extra moistness of the pumpkin purée it takes about two minutes in my microwave. (The muffin in the photo has been cut in half and put in a toaster for a crunchier texture.)

I altered the basic recipe to include pumpkin. If you want to delete the pumpkin add 1 tablespoon of butter instead. This recipe can also be made as a savory muffin by eliminating the Pumpkin, nuts and Splenda and adding herbs of your choosing.

Here's the breakdown from the recipe I added on MyFitness Pal ...

RECIPE: Carol's Famous Coffee Drink

For a while now everyone has seen me carrying around one of those Tervis-type insulated acrylic cups (with a straw) filled with creamy-brownish liquid goodness. Everyone who has tasted it says it tastes WAY better that "That Famous Coffee House" drink! Little do they know it's got a lot less calories and carbs that just about anything else on the market ... Well, that's I've found, anyway!

I tried many combinations over a few weeks and finally fell head over heels for this one.

1 cup dark roasted coffee (Conrad drinks Sumatra, so that's what I use. I don't know how to make coffee!)
2 ounces of Torani Sugar-Free French Vanilla syrup
2 ounces of Half and Half (for a creamier, fuller texture)
8 ounces of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

The options of flavors are endless since Torani has lots of yummy flavors in sugar free, plus you can use other coffees, as well. This is what works best for me.

I'm a firm believer in logging foods and exercise on MyFitnessPal as it helps me stay accountable. Here is the recipe I added there. After adding each ingredient daily I decided making my own recipe entry would save me lots of time and improve accuracy in my daily logging meals.

Friday, October 18, 2013

HIKING - Echo Lake - October 18, 2013

Gail and I were itching to go hiking the other day. We had signed up to go on a hike to Lake Margaret, but the hike leader suffered an injury and had to cancel the hike. We had already decided we wanted to go to Echo Lake before it snows, so the change in plans was fine with us!
The water level is quite low compared to when Conrad and I were there earlier this summer ... 

Crystal clear water! I wonder if we can take dive gear and jump in ...

The view from atop the mountain as we started along the trail. You can see Lake Tahoe off in the distance. That's Highway 50 winding along between the mountains down below.
Then there was the trail along Echo Lake ... Stunning!!

Such interesting flora and fauna ...

We had one of those days where everything is crisp and clean, crystal clear and every color pops. It's like the entire day was in high dynamic range!

I can't help it ... I like interesting shapes and textures!

Gail. Enjoying a quick break as we stop to take some panoramic shots.


The water taxi dock at the north end of the lake. our stopping place for lunch.

I guess a few quarters thrown into your backpack wouldn't be a bad idea ... Just in case ...
Can you believe the colors?


Shapes and shadows ...

More textures ...
And angles ...

Amazing trees!

And, yes, we will be going back there ... More than a few times! I've scheduled a hike for 12 ladies on November 5th, weather permitting. Let's keep our fingers crossed for another awesome day!