Latte Cubes; Snack of Champions

25 03 2014

People think I am slightly crazed about jello. I eat it maybe 4 times a week. Whether people call it jello or panna cotta, it is all delicious to me. I have always eaten sugarfree jello but recently started to make versions of it for my nephew Sam. sam's birthday

Sammy loves texture in foods, and while he wasnt fussed about cake on his birthday and really preferred the paper plate, we made him tropical juice flavoured gummies for his birthday that he sucked them back. I have since tried a chocolate-banana-almond milk smoothie gummy that was a huge hit, and raspberry-coconut milk gummy. He is teething and so these are one of the only things he eats when his mouth is off.
The last batch of raspberry-coconut milk gummy cubes were fantastic, and Ken and I ate a bunch before I brought them over to my nephews-niece. I said to Ken, “I should make some adult versions of these for snacks.” and so the espresso latte gummy was born.

You could do green tea, or chai or whatever fruit you have in the freezer. My creative wheels are turning. Cool refreshing snacks that have a whack of side benefits.. WIN WIN! I just recently found unflavoured gelatin at Bulk Barn. I have included the measurements for whatever you end up using below.

Gelatin is fantastic for you.. no lie. I grabbed the list below from Wellness Mama. Tell me these aren’t good reasons to eat gelatin especially since a lot of WLS patients experience these things?

Why Gelatin?
– Supports skin, hair and nail growth
– Good for joints and can help joint recovery
– Can help tighten loose skin
– Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track
– Great source of dietary collagen
– Source of protein (though not a spectacular one) but its specific amino acids can help build muscle.”

Gelatin is largely composed of the amino acids glycine and proline, which many people don’t consume in adequate amounts as they are found in the bones, fibrous tissues and organs of animals and as a population, we don’t consume these parts as much anymore. These amino acids are needed not only for proper skin, hair and nail growth, but for optimal immune function and weight regulation!

Glycine, which makes up about 1/3 of the amino acids in gelatin powder is anti-inflammatory and evidence is finding that it can help speed wound healing. Glycine in gelatin can also help improve sleep ease and quality.

PSA for gelatin – over

Latte Gummies

2 cups of strongly brewed coffee (or any hot liquid of choice)
2 packages of KNOX gelatin (or 2 tbsp of bulk gelatin)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup of Splenda

1 can of coconut milk
2 packages of KNOX gelatin (or 2 tbsp of bulk gelatin)
1/4 cup of Splenda OR 8 drops stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract

If you make this with hot coffee or green tea, then you dont have to boil anything! What you do need to start with is a hot liquid. Add the 1/4 cup of splenda to the hot liquid, and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the gelatin over the hot liquid and really whisk it in. Gelatin likes to sink to the bottom, so really make an effort and give it a good stir for at least a minute. Prep a 8 x 8 pan (or whatever shape you want to make) and wipe a the bottom and sides with a paper towel that has a slosh of oil on it. This will help with the set jello popping out from the pan and not creating a mess.

Pop into the fridge for a couple of hours. Once the first layer is gelled, open the coconut milk, heat it up to almost boiling on the stove, add the Splenda and stire until dissolved, add the stevia, vanilla and unflavoured gelatin and give it a good stir.
jello coffee and milk
The only difference on technique from above is THAT YOU NEED THIS TO COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE before you pour it over the set espresso layer. If it is too hot, then it will start to re-melt the bottom layer and you will have mixing. Which isnt really a big deal because it will taste the same going down mixed or unmixed.
Pop back into the fridge for a couple of hours. Once everything is set, run a knife along the outside edges of the pan, and invert on a cutting tray. It should just slip right out of the pan. Mine stuck a little bit in the middle.. which Ken used as an opportunity to say “those are for me. You can’t eat ugly food!” and gobbled them up.
jello flipped out of pan

I got 54 squares out of a batch in an 8 x 8 pan. I calculated a per square nut so you can eat lots or some… up to you. On average, I can squish 6 cubes into a half cup container for work.
Calories 17, Carbs 1g, Fat 1g, Protein 1g
jello finale


Cha-Cha-Chia Breakfast Pudding

16 09 2013

So my life right now is full of sickness. Both Ken and I have had a summer colds, and it keeps hanging on. As I type this I feel fine but my left ear is completely clogged and clicking. This cold is a juicy one. I also had a massive skin infection, probably some transfer from dealing with cat pee-poo. We are dealing with a sick cat who is on a downward slide to kitty heaven. Ken and I are cat nurses, administering pills and IV fluids to make her more comfy until it’s time to put her down.
When life presents a “re-occurring theme” I tend to wonder whether someone is trying to tell me something. Maybe Ken and I need to up our game with respect to our healthy lifestyle OR to celebrate the day-to-day given it could be taken from us at any time.

So as I was reading Paleomg I paused on her recipe post about breaking up with her bf and just wanting to eat her sorrows away with chocolate and caffeine. I can relate! So I decided to try her chia-chocolate-coffee pudding and morph it a bit for my rearranged gut. Almost 4and a half years after surgery and still have to start my day with protein. It has and will be my morning go to and I can’t fathom eating cereal or toast. The thought of it makes me a bit queasy. Oh how things have changed!

Protein Chia Pudding
Adapted from Paleomg

1/2 cup of cold coffee
1/2 cup of coconut milk (or whatever milk you use)
2 servings of any sweetener your choose
2 scoops protein – chocolate or vanilla
2 tsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp Chia seeds

Grab two 1 cup containers. Add to each 1/4 cup of coffee and 1/4 cup of milk of choice. Add sweetener and protein and mix thoroughly. Add 2 tbsp of Chia per container, stir and then give it a good shake after you secure the lid. Pop into the fridge overnight.
Consume at will the next morning. Both Ken and I think this stuff really keeps you full for a long time, and the carb-protein mix is really good for him to get him started in the mornings. This tastes incredibly decadent in the morning, which given the BS factor in our lives right now, seems to make things a little easier.

Caffeine Jello = Solid Coffee = Delicious

21 05 2013

I don’t know why, but I am really liking jello right now. Of course I want to branch out of the “normal” flavours in the store and do my own thing. Maybe it is because some of the people I know are on their pre-surgery fast, so I feel for them? I am partly gravitating to lighter snack options as I am up 2 pounds from Cuba and my body isn’t really letting those two pounds go.

Enter coffee jello. I have made coffee jello in the past, but felt it wasn’t as easy as it should be, so I was playing around with unflavored gelatin and leftover morning coffee last night and re-worked my original coffee jello to make it much easier to make. This recipe is as easy as making jello… which is pretty darn easy even for the baking impaired.

Coffee Jello
by me

1 1/4 cup of cold coffee
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt
12 drops of vanilla stevia
2 pkgs of Splenda (it could have used one or two more)

1/4 cup of very hot water
1 pkg of Knox unfavoured gelatin

Assemble the ingredients. Essentially I used the cold coffee from that morning and grabbed a small ramekin. I poured 1/4 cup of ultra hot water in the ramekin and floated/stirred in the unflavoured gelatin. This is called blooming the gelatin.. not a blooming onion from Outback, which use to be a good time until they published it has 8 billion calories in it. I digress.

Heat coffee and sweetener until just before boiling and add bloomed gelatin and stir until it is dissolved.

Whisk in greek yogurt and pour into 4 half cup cups and refrigerate until gelled up… at least overnight.
While the coffee did layer out a bit from the mixture, these taste really good. Some might find that they would like them a bit sweeter, so adding a bit more Splenda would fix that. Each serving has 4grams of protein and 30 calories.. more or less dependent solely on the Greek yogurt you use, and whether it is 2%, full fat or 0% milk fat. Totally your call.

Cold Coffee Concentrate: The Answer to World Peace?

26 08 2012

I ask you, ‘What can’t a good cup of coffee solve?’

Well in our house it definitely eases us into the morning, or winds us down at night. For YEARS I could never figure out why pre-brewed refrigerated coffee tasted not so wonderful. I wanted it to be better than it was.

I should have known the answer is in chemistry! Science really has ALL the answers.

When you brew coffee, there are something like 47 different bitters that are released into the brewed coffee and when it is served hot, it tastes okay. When it is served cold, all you get is a mouth full of acid…BLEECH! Essentially you are infusing water with fine ground coffee to give you a light, bold tasting coffee concentrate. Even better is that you can save this precious coffee concentrate in your fridge for a month.. so make up an uber batch and throw it in smoothies in the morning, splash a bit of cream in it for an afternoon treat, throw some into your niece and nephew’s sippy cup on the car ride back to mom and dad.. endless possibilities.

Cold Coffee Concentrate
aka Elixir of the Gods

So this is a REALLY REALLY super easy recipe.
1 pkg of vaccum sealed Italian fine ground coffee (I used Lavazza)

Italian coffee has a finer grind and a bold flavour that many don’t love hot brewed but would be surprised cold brewed!! $3.99 at your grocery store

a container that holds a gallon of water (so 16 cups of cold water)
a colander
paper coffee filters
a bunch of large glass jars (to store the world peace elixir)

So grab your large container and empty the entire contents of the coffee into the bottom. Add half the water (so 8 cups) and use a whisk to give it a good stir making sure all the grounds get mixed into the water. Add the remaining 8 cups of water.

So far, so good. So now comes the hard part.. pop on a lid and neglect for 12 hours, either in the fridge or out of the fridge.. your choice.

I usually make this up after dinner and mess with the “extracting” part the next morning after I have had breakfast and a coffee.

Time lapse 12 hours. I grab my colander and some paper filters. You will need to change your filters out a couple of times as they slow down from all the coffee grounds. Pour 2 cups at a time into you filter and let it slowly strain into an awaiting bowl. Decant the elixir into containers and pop into the fridge for up to one month.

To make an iced coffee from this, add 1.5 cups of coffee to a glass, add some ice (which if you want to be all funky, made out of coffee as well) and I add 1/4 cup of 5% cream (which is the half and half light) OR coconut milk 🙂 I won’t bother with nuts on this stuff because it is variable, but 5% cream add 60 calories, and half and half (10%) adds 80 calories… and yes, those ARE coffee ice cubes:)

Once You Go Primal, You Can’t Go Back…

21 03 2012

SO the last 3 weeks have been the most stressful 3 weeks of my entire work year coupled with the loft-building being sold, and having another call from Women’s College Hospital to say they found more cervical cancer cells. So upsetting that I am the most fit of adult life and I am constantly being sent to Sunnybrook Hospital Cancer ward, the most depressing place on earth.

SO… my eating has slide a bit the last couple of weeks… been throwing back some inappropriate snacks on occasion, an occasional diet pop all in the name of “rewarding” myself, which at the end of the day wasnt really a reward because it made me feel like garbage. Couple the above with an occasional non-primal dinner. Ken loves this Nova Scotia fish casserole I make and asked me to make it in this two week rotation. I got all the fish, and prepared it with milk and cheese, and was sorely disappointed. I should have used coconut milk. Ken wrinkled his nose when he ate it and said “I remember this being better”. Agreed… our palates have changed during this 3 months of Primal and you really can’t go back.

While it is was an interesting couple of weeks, I have been ON PLAN since the weekend and am starting to feel so much better. My workouts are even better when I eat primal and thankfully I kept on my four workouts a week track …I can’t go back knowing how I feel when I eat this way. It is easy for those who havent given this a go to fully understand the HUGE difference in how you feel.

I must tip my hat to Megan Keatley at Health Bent..whenever I start to waiver I head over to her website and pluck off a new recipe to try. This weekend we tried her Cowboy Breakfast Skillet (below) and this week we are going to try her Philly Cheesesteak in a Bowl with a flank steak I have in the freezer… sounds good, doesnt it??
I will say her Breakfast skillet coupled with the awesome breakfast sausage we get at the Sausage King, had me ohhhing and ahhing the whole night. I love eating primal!!

Cowboy Breakfast Skillet.. Breakfast for Dinner!

by Megan Keatley, Health-Bent

1 lb breakfast sausage *breakfast sausage from Sausage King
just rocked this dish
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
5 eggs
1 avocado, diced
handful cilantro
hot sauce
raw cheese, optional
s & p

Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

In an oven safe skillet, we used cast iron, crumble and brown the sausage.

Once it’s brown, use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage and let it hang out while we cook the sweet potatoes. Try to reserve as much of the grease as possible.

Toss the sweet potatoes into the sausage grease and let them get crispy and cooked through.

Add the sausage back into the pan.
Make a few wells in the pan–one well for each egg. Crack your eggs into the wells.

Place the skillet in the oven. We’re just baking the skillet long enough for the eggs to set, about 5 minutes.

Now, turn the oven to broil and hit up the top side of the eggs for a few minutes, but don’t let the yolk cook all the way through–unless you don’t like runny yolks. But man, oh man, the runny yolks go down really nicely with the crispy sweet potatoes. Just sayin’.
Remove the pan from the oven and douse the whole thing with avocado, cilantro and hot sauce.

The end result!!! SO SO SO long fish casserole, you have been replaced!

thank you thank you thank you Megan!!

Pumpkin Protein Un-Bread

7 12 2011

So I am going to start off with what I ate today…some days I could get EVERYTHING, and other days I can get very little into the system. I have made a commitment to myself this holiday to plan in my treats and make sure I hit the gym almost every day. I am finding it stressful over the holidays and the running-spinning-elliptical-combat classes allow me to sleep like a rock without my head spinning too much.

SO today.. I am hot and cold on soup in general, as it is really a slider food but I made Jess’ Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup but jacked up the protein content (up to 24g per cup) by adding a half a package of silken tofu to the mix. It was a good time.
Protein coffee for breakfast, a medium 10oz cappucino for mid-morning snack, and 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt with some sf jam for afternoon snack. A turkey pepperoni before I hit the gym, and frijoles charros for dinner. Snack for tonight will be pumpkin un-bread. Before snack tonight I have close to 970 calories and 97g of protein in.. not too shabby.

This pumpkin un-bread is delicious, and loaf-like without using flour, which drives the carbs WAY down. Un-bread is like bread, but not, and it feels different enough that this doesn’t feel like old habits. I have full control when this is in our house.. an ACE Bakery baguette may be more of an issue. I can only eat half a slice of this un-bread, but Ken can eat a whole slice. This recipe makes 12 slices of bread (24 if it is all WLS sized). While the half of a square will LOOK small, this feels pretty heavy in the system… just a word of caution, don’t overdue it the first time eating it.

Kat’s Pumpkin Pepitas Un-Bread

1/2 cup almond meal(flour)
1 1/2 cups Splenda
3/4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder
6 tbsp vital wheat gluten
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

2 extra large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of sour cream, low fat
1 container ~ 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
4 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup of pepitas, optional

Set the oven for 350 degrees and line a loaf pan with some parchment paper. This stuff wants to stick to everything, so spray won’t cut it for this recipe.

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients and set aside (first half of ingredients above)

Grab another medium sized bowl and crack the eggs, beat until scrambled, combine the pumpkin, sour cream, apple sauce, oil and vanilla extract.

Mix until combined..

Pour into your prepped loaf pan and again, don’t spray the pan and think this is going to come out clean. I have tried it, you need parchment paper to lift this out once it is cooled. Sprinkle pepitas on the top of the loaf, and pop into the oven to bake for 55 minutes, checking with a toothpick for done-ness.

TADA! Delicious, nutritious and like devil bread, BUT NOT!

Nuts on this are as follows (quoted with pepitas) per slice (12 slices per loaf). If you can only finish HALF a slice, adjust accordingly.
Calories 181, Carbs 10g (NET 8g), Fat 11g, Protein 12g, Sugar 3g

Lime-Basil Biscotti & Packing Priorities

6 08 2011

Ken and I make our way back to Nova Scotia every year to visit his family but to have some cottage beach time. We had for many years done the Northern Ontario pilgrimage to the cottage when we started to realize that we could rent a cottage on the ocean, fly to Halifax and see family for the same price. It was a three for one deal !

We look forward to our cottage on the ocean, we have a view of a back bay and the pelicans eating in low tide, and the deck out of the back of the cottage has a big beach of red sand, and no one in sight.

The one thing that Nova Scotia doesnt have on the North Shore is good coffee. I am not sure if you have noticed, but we do like coffee… ALOT. So the priorities list when we are getting ready for a trip is as follows:

Cat sitter
Clothes etc.

This is the hoard of coffee we have ready for the cottage next week. Others who I have traveled with know that I am always packing some good roast, and I can McGyver any hotel set up to get the coffee made.

Because we are going to be sitting around, looking at the water and drinking coffee, I made a couple of batches of travel biscotti. I have a massive basil plant ready to be harvested and thought it would be a good savoury flavour for biscotti. This is a fledgling recipe, and it needs a bit of work. The lime-basil work well together, but it needs something to elevate it to OMG status. Note that I prefer biscotti recipes with minimal added fat, so it may be that these biscotti need a dunk in some white chocolate to give them good mouth feel.

Lime-Basil Biscotti

1 1/2 cups unbleached wheat flour
1 cup soy flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

3 large eggs
2/3 cup of Splenda
10 drops of Stevia
1 tsp lime extract

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet basil
2 tbsp. lime zest
2 tbsp. coconut sap and 1 tsp. lime zest ( for sprinkling on top before baking)

Preheat oven to 350, and parchment up a baking sheet. In the KA mixer whip the eggs, splenda and stevia until you get a frothy yellow sunshine look to the mixture.
In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients with the exception of the basil and lime zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until you get a dough. Pop in the basil and zest and work it into the dough.

Shape dough into a log and sprinkle the top with a lime zest-sap mixture and pop into the oven for 25 minutes or until the top just starts to brown.

Let rest, cut on a diagonal and pop back into the oven at 275 for 15 minutes, watching they dont burn.

Cutting them before re-baking them.

These were good, and I definitely dunked them into some white chocolate after to sweeten them up a bit. I like that they have a fresh taste, almost reminds me of a mojito in a way.
I decided to make one large log, and this could easily be two smaller logs, making twice as many cookies.
Serving size on these is one large biscotti (or two small ones)
61 calories, 10 carbs (8 net), 1 g fat, 5g protein