Low-Carb Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned

pumpkinby Karen Frazier

My hubby, Jim, loves a good old fashioned. And he loves pumpkin spice stuff. This is the time of the year he starts asking me to make my low-carb pumpkin bourbon cheesecake. So why not combine the two?

Before you can make a low-carb pumpkin spice old fashioned, you first need to make low-carb pumpkin butter. It’s quick and easy in the slow cooker.

Low-Carb Pumpkin Butter

  • 1 (14-15 ounce) can organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup hard apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)

In a small slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook on high for three hours – stirring every 30 minutes to an hour. Remove the lid and continue to cook on high, stirring occasionally, for an additional 30 minutes or until you achieve the desired consistency. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed container for up to one week, or freeze for up to one year.

Basic Low-Carb Old Fashioned

  • 1/2 packet stevia (or a few drops of liquid stevia)
  • 3 dashes bitters (we love using orange-flavored bitters for this)
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Splash of water
  • Ice
  1. In a short glass, combine the stevia and bitters, stirring to mix well.
  2. Add the bourbon, water, and ice. Stir gently.
  3. Garnish with an orange wedge (you can also muddle the orange with the bitters and stevia, if you wish).

Low-Carb Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned

  • 1/2 packet stevia (or a few drops of liquid stevia)
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • 1 teaspoon low-carb pumpkin butter
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Splash of water
  • Ice
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  1. In a short glass, muddle together the stevia, bitters, and pumpkin butter.
  2. Add the bourbon, water, and ice. Stir gently to combine.
  3. Garnish with a fresh grating of nutmeg.

photo credit: garlandcannon Pumpkin Person via photopin (license)

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Peanut Butter Fudge Pie

pieby Karen Frazier

If you’re on a low-carb or gluten-free diet, you can still enjoy sweets from time to time. This peanut butter fudge pie is easy to make, low in carbs, and it has a chocolatey nut crust, so it’s gluten-free and dairy-free, as well. To make it paleo (but not low-carb), you can replace the sweetener in the crust and the filling with pure maple syrup or honey to taste. I don’t like things to be super sweet, so I recommend doing the add a little sweetener and taste until you get to your desired level of sweetness, or the pie might not be sweet enough for you as written.

  • 1  1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated Truvia (in the green plastic jar) or Swerve sweetener
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk (full-fat), refrigerated overnight until the liquid separates from the cream (discard the liquid), or 2 cups coconut cream, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 15 to 20 drops of liquid stevia or liquid sucralose (or to taste – you may want more)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a pie plate with coconut oil.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the pecans, cocoa powder, and Truvia or Swerve until well chopped, about 15 one-second pulses.
  4. Add the melted coconut oil and continue processing for 30 seconds.
  5. Press into the prepared pie plate. Bake the crust in the oven until browned and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  6. In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), melt the chocolate and peanut butter, stirring to combine.
  7. In a large bowl, combine two of the cans of the coconut cream (just the thick part with the water poured off – about one and a half cups) with one teaspoon of the vanilla and the liquid stevia or sucralose.
  8. Add the melted chocolate and peanut butter. Beat until well combined.
  9. Pour into the cooled crust. Refrigerate until the filling hardens.
  10. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining one can of coconut cream (or a half cup of the cream without the liquid), the remaining teaspoon of vanilla, and stevia or sucralose drops to taste. Beat with an electric beater on high until fluffy, three to four minutes. Spread on the chilled pie. Return to the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

photo credit: “Squared” Coconut Pie via photopin (license)

Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

pork bellyby Karen Frazier

I love pork belly. I order ours online at Tenderbelly and cut it into one-pound slabs, which I freeze and use as needed. This tender meat is tasty and versatile. It’s also very rich, so I typically serve it with a side of something that is crispy and acidic, such as a slaw. The acidity and crispiness of the slaw cuts through the unctuous fattiness of the pork. The slaw here is a typical Asian slaw, but you can also try the recipe with a slaw made from julienned jicama or apples, which would taste delicious with an Asian vinaigrette.

Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

For the pork belly:

  • 1 to 2 pounds of pork belly
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

For the slaw:

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Cilantro leaves to taste
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginggeroot
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the pork belly:

  1. Slice the pork belly into slices that are slightly thicker than thick-cut bacon. Put the slices in a large zipper bag.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, stevia, sriracha, sesame oil, and gingerroot.
  3. Pour the marinade in the bag with the pork belly, sealing the bag and squishing it around to distribute the marinade and coat all of the meat.
  4. Refrigerate for one to two hours.
  5. Heat a large saute pan on medium high. Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, cook the pork belly until it is crisp on both sides, three to five minutes per side.
  6. Serve the pork belly on top of the slaw with the scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

For the slaw:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and scallions. Toss to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, ginger, garlic, sriracha, mustard powder, and salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the slaw.

photo credit: umi nom pork belly adobo via photopin (license)