I tried some of the unsweetened vanilla mixed with Da Vinci syrup and it tasted pretty good. It was also good with just a little liquid Splenda. When I mixed in a little black cherry Torani syrup, the milk curdled a bit. I plan to try using some in a protein shake. I don't know if I'd care for it in coffee though, because I prefer the richness of heavy cream. Almond Breeze is thin like milk, but don't expect this to look like regular milk. It's not white, but sort of a beige color. I like the taste much better than Calorie Countdown milk though and the carbs are a bit lower as well. Almond Breeze is also available in unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened original. I found it at Kroger for $2.39 for a quart box, but you can also order it from Netrition for $3.49.
Ingredients: Purified water, almonds, tapioca starch, natural vanilla flavor with other natural flavors, calcium carbonate, sea salt. potassium citrate, carrageenan, soy lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, D-Alpha-Tocopherol (natural vitamin E)
8 ounces = 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
ALMOND FLOUR - ALMOND MEAL
Almond flour and almond meal are basically the same thing - ground almonds. Almond flour works great in low carb baked goods, but isn't necessarily a one-for-one substitute for regular wheat flour. Almond flour is available in blanched and unblanched. Blanched almond flour has the dark skins removed and produces nicer-looking, better-tasting baked goods. That's the kind that I use. I used unblanched almond flour once to make some Sesame Almond Crackers, and I wasn't happy with the results at all. The texture was fine, and was kind of like a whole grain cracker, but the flavor of the almonds overpowered the seasonings and gave them a bitter taste. I buy my blanched almond flour at Kroger for $10.99 per one pound bag, or you can order it from Netrition for $9.49. If you have a Whole Foods store near you, I've found it there quite a bit cheaper in their bulk food department.
Here's a tip from Low Carb Cooking for making your own almond meal: If you have a coffee grinder or food processor you may grind almonds yourself, the flour you get will not be as fine as the commercially ground flours though. Be careful when grinding though, if you over-grind you could end up with almond butter.
UPDATE 8/22/11: I recently ordered a 5-pound bag of blanched almond flour from Honeyville and the price was very good. They have a flat shipping rate of $4.49 and my order came to $34.48. That works out to just $6.89 pound. I compared the Honeyville almond flour with Bob's Red Mill and they seem identical as far as consistency.
1 cup or 4 ounces = 23g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber; 10g Net Carbs (see my update below)
Recipe: Pound Cake
UPDATE 8/16/12: I bought some of Trader Joe's unblanched almond meal last week and I'm pleased to report that it tastes just as good as the blanched kind. A couple years ago I tried another brand of unblanched almond flour and it was terrible. It tasted so bitter that I threw it out, as well as the crackers that I made with it, and I was afraid to try unblanched again until now. The Trader Joe's brand is not bitter at all but it will make your baked goods look a little ugly because of the dark specs of almond skin. If you can ignore the appearance, you'll save a lot of money using it compared to blanched almond flour. It's $3.99 per pound vs. at least $11.00 per pound for Bob's Red Mill and about $6.89 per pound for Honeyville's.
1 cup or 3 1/2 ounces Trader Joe's = 20g Carbohydrate; 12g Dietary Fiber; 8g Net Carbs
UPDATE 2/22/13: In the past year or so, I've switched from primarily using Bob's Red Mill almond flour in my recipes to using Honeyville's. I previously thought that the two brands were pretty much identical but I've come to find out that they don't measure the same and this is causing some confusion in regard to my recipes. It turns out that 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill almond flour weighs approximately 4 ounces but 1 cup of Honeyville's only weighs 3 1/8 ounces. This discrepancey might cause you to get poor results if you use the cup measurements listed in some of my recipes. To add to the confusion, if you are using Trader Joe's unblanched almond flour, 1 cup of that weighs 3 1/2 ounces.
Until I can come up with some sort of conversion chart, I suggest that you go by the weight listed in my recipes for the most accurate results. There's no way that I can remember anymore what brand I was using at the time I made some of my recipes. But, whenever I list the weight, that is how I actually measured the almond flour in that recipe. The cup amount that I listed for some recipes was usually based on the standard "1 cup = 4 ounces" that I thought all almond flour followed. I see now that's not actually accurate but I have no way to go back and adjust them now.
Here is the break-down:
- 1 cup Honeyville almond flour = 3 1/8 ounces
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill almond flour = 4 ounces
- 1 cup Trader Joe's unblanched almond flour = 3 1/2 ounces
ALPINE SUGAR FREE SPICED CIDER MIX
This tastes like tart, crisp apples with just a hint of cinnamon. I bought mine at Walmart, near the hot cocoa mixes, but it's also available at Netrition. Although it's sweetened with Aspartame, it's not really very sweet at all.
Ingredients: Maltodextrin, malic acid, apple juice solids, caramel color, aspartame, sodium citrate, tricalcium phosphate, ascorbic acid, natural and artificial flavors, spice extractive.
1 serving = 4g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs
Click here for a description. On my Tips page, I have instructions for roasting chiles.
Recipe: Cilantro Pepita Dressing & Dip
APPLE DRINK MIX
This is Wal-Mart's version of Crystal Light drink mix. The price is $1.76 for 6 little tubs that each make 2 quarts. I thought it tasted surprisingly good. The flavor is a bit of a cross between apple juice and cider. I'm hoping to try it in recipes that call for apple juice, such as the recipe below. I haven't tried it yet, but I would replace the water in the sauce with some prepared apple drink.
UPDATE 7/28/11: This flavor is apparently no longer available at Walmart.
UPDATE 1/31/13: Walmart is selling this flavor again.
Ingredients: citric acid, malic acid, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, natural flavor, maltodextrin, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), caramel color, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, cellulose gum, calcium silicate, magnesium oxide
1 cup prepared = 0g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0g Net Carb
Recipe: Delicious Apple Glazed Pork Chops Variation
ATKINS ADVANTAGE BARS
I find that Wal-Mart generally has the best prices on Atkins bars, but you can order them by the box from Netrition. If you would like to see the nutritional information for each kind of bar that they make, visit the Atkins website. My favorite bars are the Caramel Chocolate Peanut Nougat, Caramel Double Chocolate Crunch, Caramel Cookie Dough and Morning Peanut Butter Crisp. I find that I have to go easy on them though because they are loaded with polydextrose which can cause bloating and gas. Some of their other bars also contain sugar alcohols so be sure to read the labels carefully. I find that Atkins products generally contain fewer grams of sugar alcohols than other brands.
UPDATE 7/28/11: I noticed today that they've changed the way that they calculate the nutritional counts for these bars. They are now listing glycerine as a sugar alcohol. Now that all of their bars list sugar alcohols in the counts, you'll have to carefully read the ingredient lists to see if they also contain maltitol or not. For example, the chocolate peanut butter bars show 10g of sugar alcohols, all of which are from glycerine. Another flavor that I looked at also had some maltitol but if you look down below the counts, they say how many grams of the sugar alcohols are from glycerine.
BETTER THAN BOUILLON
I've yet to find any kind of bouillon that doesn't contain some questionable ingredients such as sugar and starch. So, I figured that if I'm going to use a bouillon product for a little flavoring anyway, I might as well get the best bang for the buck. Better Than Bouillon is better tasting than any powdered bouillon that I've used. I wasn't crazy about the mushroom flavor one, but the chicken and beef flavors are very good. I also tried the turkey flavor and it's not bad but would have limited uses. It tastes a bit like turkey, stuffing and gravy all rolled into one. Better Than Bouillon isn't cheap. Around here it goes for anywhere from $3.99-4.99 per jar but one jar is the equivalent of 38 bouillon cubes. For more information, visit the Superior Touch website.
Ingredients (chicken): chicken meat, including natural chicken juices, salt, sugar, corn syrup solids, chicken fat, hydrolyzed soy protein, dried whey, flavoring, disodium inosinate and guanylate, turmeric
Ingredients (beef): roasted beef with concentrated beef stock, salt, hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup solids, sugar, flavoring (dried onion, dried garlic and spice extractives) autolyzed yeast extract, dried whey, caramel color
1 teaspoon = 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carbs
Recipe: Sautéed Mushrooms for Steak
BLACK SOY BEANS
I found these once in Kroger's health food section, but haven't seen them since. There is some controversy over the actual net carb count but all I can do is go by what is listed on the can. If you can't find them locally, they sell them at Netrition.
1/2 cup = 8g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Recipe: Texican-Lime Chicken Skillet
I don't know if blackstrap molasses is lower in carbs that regular molasses, but you can use a lot less of it because the flavor is much stronger. Just a tiny bit will give your dish a hint of brown sugar flavor. I use Brer Rabbit brand. Sometimes I can find it near the pancake syrups and some stores only sell it in their health food department. Because it can be difficult to measure out just a tiny bit of molasses without making a mess, I bought a little squeeze bottle for that purpose. You can see it on my Gadgets page.
1/2 teaspoon = 2g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Recipe: Fried "Apples"
You can read a description here.
1 cup or 70 grams shredded = 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Recipe: Stir-Fried Basil Chicken
This has a consistency similar to cream cheese but is flavored with garlic and herbs. The commercial kind can be cooked in recipes, but I haven't tried that yet with my homemade version, which you can find here: Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread. If you're going to use it cold as a spread, I recommend my recipe. It tastes just as good and costs a fraction of the price. Both kinds can be frozen. The store-bought kind typically runs about $4-5 but I occasionally see it on sale for $3.00. Here's the link to the official Boursin website where you can find all kinds of info and recipes.
Ingredients: Pasteurized Cultured Milk and Cream, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Parsley, Chives
2 tablespoons = 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Recipe: Boursin Chicken
CANNED CHICKEN & BEEF BROTH
I very rarely buy canned chicken broth because they put sugar and starch in it. It's also easy to make my own broth that actually has some chicken flavor. On the other hand, homemade beef broth isn't that easy to make yourself and I don't often have beef bones to make it from. So, I buy Kroger's brand of beef broth, which is the only one I've seen that doesn't have sugar added. If you live in the UK, they don't sell canned broth, only powdered bouillon. Most bouillon is also loaded with sugar and starch so check the labels carefully or make your own broth if you can. Knorr's chicken stock granules in the little tin are quite good and the ingredients aren't too bad. I've never seen that kind here in the states though.
How to make homemade chicken broth: No-Carb Chicken Broth
CANNED CORNED BEEF
I generally try to avoid using overly-processed meats like this, but I enjoy the corned beef and cabbage recipe below so much that I occasionally indulge in it. You can find canned corned beef near the canned tuna.
Ingredients: cooked beef, beef, water, salt, sugar, sodium nitrite
2 ounces = 0g Carbohydrate
Recipe: Easy Corned Beef & Cabbage
UPDATE 6/1/12: It had been quite a while since I last bought some of this. I wanted to make the Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe next week so I was going to buy some at Walmart yesterday. What a shock it was to find that they've more than doubled the price of it. I used to pay just $1.98 per 12 ounce can and now it's almost $5.00! I'm sorry but canned meat isn't worth that much money. I can buy a really nice steak or a couple pounds of ground beef for less than $6.50 per pound which is what the corned beef works out to.
According to the Cook's Thesaurus site, capers are pickled flower buds. They are sold in small jars near the other pickles. The flavor reminds me a little of Dijon mustard. They should be rinsed before using.
Ingredients: capers, water, white vinegar, salt
1 tablespoon = trace Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; trace Net Carbs
Recipe: Chicken Piccata with Spinach
CARB OPTIONS BBQ SAUCE
Although this was really tasty, this product is no longer being made.
Ingredients: tomato puree (water, tomato paste), lime juice, vinegar, salt, modified food starch, spices, caramel color, natural smoke and grill flavors, soybean oil, dried onion, chipotle chili peppers, garlic powder, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sucralose
2 tablespoons = 3g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs
CARB COUNTDOWN MILK - CALORIE COUNTDOWN MILK
Although I don't care for the taste of this much, many people love it and it can be useful in recipes where you don't want the richness and high fat of heavy cream. They no longer make a whole milk version, which is a shame because it was the most useful for cooking. You can visit the Hood website here. They've recently changed the name from Carb Countdown to Calorie Countdown. The milk itself hasn't changed or the carb counts.
1 cup 2% = 3g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs
1 cup chocolate = 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs
Recipe: Chocolate Pudding with Carb Countdown Milk
Carbalose flour is made from real wheat flour but most of the carbs have been removed and the amount of fiber has been increased. In many cases it can be used just like regular flour with a few adjustments. It tends to be very salty so you'll need to reduce the salt called for in your recipes. Carbalose flour is the main ingredient in Carbquik baking mix. Carbalose flour is only available through Netrition.
Ingredients: Enzyme enhanced wheat and wheat protein, vital wheat gluten, wheat fiber, high-protein wheat flour, vegetable fiber, canola oil, salt, emulsifiers, enzymes, ascorbic acid, sucralose, calcium propionate (a preservative).
1 cup = 48g Carbohydrate; 29g Dietary Fiber; 19g Net Carbs
Recipe: Mom's Fudge Brownies
Carbquik is a low carb alternative to Bisquick baking mix. In fact, it can often be used in recipes that normally call for Bisquick with only a few adjustments. It has a salty taste so you'll need to reduce the salt in most recipes. It also tends to make dry baked goods so you may need to increase the amount of fat and/or liquid. Some additional baking powder can often be helpful to make your baked goods rise more. In some parts of the country you can buy Carbquik in select stores. Everyone else can order it through Netrition. If you visit the Tova Industries website, they have more info about Carbquik as well as a ton of recipes.
Ingredients: Carbalose Flour (Enzyme-Enriched Wheat & Wheat Protein, Wheat Gluten, Wheat and Vegetable Fiber, High-Protein Wheat Flour, Canola Oil, Salt, Emulsifiers, Enzymes, Ascorbic Acid, Sucralose, Calcium Propionate), Palm Oil, Buttermilk Powder, Baking Powder, Egg White Solids, Lecithin, Salt, Natural & Artificial Flavors.
1 cup = 37g Carbohydrate; 27g Dietary Fiber; 10g Net Carbs
Recipe: Carbquik Cheddar Buns
Chayote is similar to a crunchy apple or pear in texture but has almost no flavor. It peels and dices easily. The seed in the center is soft and you can cut through it. Chayote can be eaten raw in salads or added to soups and stews in place of potatoes although the texture isn't quite the same.
One chayote = 9g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbs
Recipe: Fried "Apples"
CHILI PASTE/SAMBAL OELEK
This is like fire in a little jar. A little bit goes a very long way. The main ingredient is fresh ground hot chiles. Unless you like things really hot, start with about 1/8 teaspoon and go from there. You can find this in the Asian section of most supermarkets. There are other brands on the market, but Huy Fong's seems to be the most popular. Don't confuse this with the Asian chili sauce that also has a rooster on the label. That's not quite the same thing and it has sugar added.
Ingredients: chili, salt, vinegar, preservatives
1 teaspoon = less than 1g carbohydrate
Recipe: George's General Tso's Chicken
CHINESE LONG BEANS
You can read a description on the Cook's Thesaurus site. They serve these beans at the Chinese restaurant we used to eat at quite often before low carb. They were covered with a sweet brown sauce that was very good. Sherrie's recipe below is somewhat similar. It calls for regular green beans, but long beans would make the dish even more authentic. I've seen long beans at the Asian supermarket and also at the local HEB store.
Recipe: Chinese Stir Fried Green Beans
CHIPOTLE CHILE POWDER
Chipotle chile powder is made from ground dried smoked jalapeños. It has a strong flavor and intense heat so use it carefully. If your store sells McCormick spices, they may have this. Otherwise you can order it from Penzeys Spices
Recipe: Chipotle Mayo
CHOCOLATE MALT MILK MIX STICKS
I just happened to spot this on a special display at Kroger last week. Malt is a flavor that I haven't been able to find a low carb version of and I missed having that flavor now and then. The full name of the product is Disney Magic Sugar Free in An Instant Chocolate Malt Milk Mix Sticks. It was a bit pricy at $2.19 for a box of 10 packets but I thought I'd give it a try. Of course I couldn't mix it with milk as directed so I used part water and part heavy cream. It tasted OK, but not great but it did have the malt flavor I'd been missing. You could add this to some Calorie Countdown milk. I had better luck making some yummy malted milk flavored whipped cream which I served over a 3-Minute Flourless Chocolate Cake. I would also like to try making some chocolate malt flavored Panna Cotta sometime. I would omit the Splenda called for in the recipe since the malt packets are sweetened. Unfortunately, these are sweetened with aspartame so I will only use these occasionally.
UPDATE: Kroger is now selling their own brand of this product instead of the Disney brand. The carb count per serving is a little higher than the Disney brand but the packets contain a little more powder. I've tried both brands side by side and I think that the Kroger brand has a better malt flavor. I like to add them to my protein shakes because it makes them taste like malted milk.
UPDATE 8/18/11: It looks like Kroger has discontinued this product. They had it marked down for closeout today for half price. I bought six boxes because I really like the malted milk flavor and no one else sells anything like it.
Disney brand ingredients: Maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavors, cocoa, aspartame, calcium carbonate, red 40, acesulfame potassium, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), silicon dioxide, palm oil, soy lecithin, magnesium oxide, yellow 5, ferric orthophoshate, vitamin E acetate, niacinamide, yellow 6, blue 1, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, vitamin D3, vitamin B12
1 packet = 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Kroger brand ingredients: Maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavors, cocoa, calcium carbonate, aspartame, yellow 5, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), acesulfame potassium, silicon dioxide, palm oil, soy lecithin, magnesium oxide, yellow 6, red 40, ferric orthophoshate, vitamin E acetate, vitamin A palmitate, niacinamide, blue 1, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, vitamin D3, vitamin B12
1 packet = 2g Carbohydrates; 0g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Recipe: Add two packs to 1 cup heavy cream and whip until stiff. Makes about 2 cups malted milk flavored whipped cream.
CHOCOPERFECTION CHOCOLATE BARS
I haven't tried their milk chocolate but the dark chocolate is very good. If you like raspberry with dark chocolate then try Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb Bar. Some people have no trouble with erythritol causing them stomach distress but I'm not one of them. However, I do fine if I only eat one or two squares or about one third of a bar. All three flavors are available at Netrition.
Ingredients (dark chocolate): Dry cocoa solids: 60%, oligofructose, erythritol, cocoa butter, lecithin and natural flavors
1 bar = 16g Carbohydrate; 14g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs *
Ingredients (raspberry dark chocolate): Dry cocoa solids: 60%, oligofructose, erythritol, cocoa butter, coconut oil, natural flavors, soy lecithin
1 bar = 22g Carbohydrate; 12g Dietary Fiber; 8g Sugar Alcohols; 2g Net Carbs
* It appears they've already subtracted the sugar alcohols from the total carbs. Based on the 8 grams of erythritol in the raspberry chocolate bar, there are probably about the same number of grams in the dark and milk chocolate bars. There are most likely between 20-22 total carbs per bar. If you don't subtract sugar alcohols then count about 10 net carbs per bar.
CHOPPED OR WHOLE GREEN CHILES
These are roasted and peeled mild chiles. You can substitute you own freshly roasted Anaheim or other mild chiles. One large or two small would be about the equivalent of one little can of the chopped kind. You'll need about four to equal a small can of the whole ones.
4 ounce can = 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs
Recipes: Tijuana Quiche - Chile Relleno Casserole
Cilantro is very common in Mexican and Thai dishes. It looks a bit like flat leaf parsley but tastes very different. I don't recommend using dried cilantro. It tastes nothing like fresh. If you haven't cooked with cilantro before, start with only a tiny bit to see if you like it. It took me a while to acquire a taste for it, but now I especially love it in the recipe below.
1 cup = 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Recipe: Cilantro Pepita Dressing & Dip
This is pure ground cocoa powder that's used for baking, not a mix for hot chocolate. I've been using Penzeys brand cocoa for many years because it tastes so much better than Nestle's or Hershey's. I like both their Natural and their Dutch cocoa and I can't decide which is my favorite. Although I haven't tried it yet, I'm going to buy some cocoa from Trader Joe's this week and give it a test. It's less than half the price of Penzeys at $2.49 for 9 ounces.
UPDATE 7/21/12: I did try the Trader Joe's cocoa. I did a little taste test by making three small batches of my Coconut Chocolate Cups using each of the three types of cocoa powder that I have: Trader Joe's, Penzeys Dutch cocoa and Penzeys Natural cocoa. I could see just by looking at the Trader Joe's cocoa that it wouldn't be able to compete with either of the Penzeys. It also had almost no chocolate aroma, unlike the Penzeys. Tasting confirmed my suspicion that Penzeys is still the best and worth paying more for. I still don't know which of the Penzeys cocoas I prefer. The natural seems to have the richest chocolate flavor but the Dutch cocoa is also very good, just a different sort of flavor. Both are very chocolaty.
Ingredients: 100% cocoa
1 cup = 47g Carbohydrate; 29g Dietary Fiber; 18g Net Carbs
Recipe: Coconut Chocolate Bar or Cups
I haven't really found a good use for these, but they caught my eye on a trip to Whole Foods a while back. If nothing else, they're nice to snack on and they taste wonderful toasted. I found them in the bulk foods department for $1.49 pound.
1 cup = 13g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs
Here's how they describe it at Netrition: "Coconut Flour, the new low-carb, high-fiber, gluten-free alternative to wheat flour for baking and cooking. Coconut Flour is made from fresh organic coconut meat. The meat is dried and defatted and then finely ground into a powder very similar in consistency to wheat flour." I've only used it a couple times so far and I didn't have much luck using it in a muffin recipe. They came out extremely dry and went into the trash. It did work quite well for breading chicken.
UPDATE: I finally came across a recipe that came out quite well. See the Coconut Bread link below. Also, the Aloha Nu company has changed the nutritional counts on their package and there are quite a few more carbs per serving than originally stated. I've adjusted the numbers below to reflect the new counts. By the way, these new counts are more in line with what other brands have listed on their labels. Also, the higher carb count doesn't affect recipes all that much per serving.
UPDATE 11/2/11: Netrition has discontinued the Aloha Nu brand but they do have Sensato brand coconut flour.
1 cup (110 grams) = 66.5g Carbohydrate; 43g Dietary Fiber; 23g Net Carbs
Recipes: Coconut Breaded Chicken Tenders and Coconut Bread
Coconut milk is frequently used in Asian dishes. It's not the same thing as cream of coconut, which has been sweetened and is used to make piña coladas. You should be able to find it in the Asian food section and sometimes with the Mexican foods. The brand in the picture is just one of several brands that they sell where I usually shop. It just happens to be the cheapest at around a dollar per can. You can expect to pay anywhere from .59 to $2.00. The best price I've found was at an Asian supermarket for .59. Don't try freezing leftover coconut milk because it separates when you thaw it. The peanut sauce recipe below is delicious and easy to make.
1/4 cup = 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Recipe: Chutatip's Peanut Sauce
I found this at Wal-Mart where they sell the vitamins. It's made by Rexall and it's called Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. I paid $9.96 for 16 ounces. It's very tasty and has a wonderful coconut aroma. It's solid at room temperature and pure white. I ate a couple of spoonfuls and I like how it melts in my mouth. I love the flavor of coconut so I could easily eat this by the spoonful. The price is a little cheaper per ounce than the smallest container of Nutiva Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil at Netrition but more expensive per ounce than the larger containers of Nutiva. If you factor in shipping, the Wal-Mart coconut oil is a pretty good deal. Nutiva coconut oil is very good too and tastes about the same as the Rexall brand from Wal-Mart. You can read about some of the health benefits of coconut oil on the Netrition site.
UPDATE 5/19/11: I noticed that Walmart is selling a different brand of coconut oil in the pharmacy now. It's Spring Valley extra virgin coconut oil. The price is $10 for a 12 ounce jar.
UPDATE 7/11/12: We just got a Trader Joe's store in our area last month and they've got the best price on coconut oil that I've seen anywhere. A 16 ounce jar is only $5.99 vs. $10.00 for a smaller jar everywhere else.
Ingredients: coconut oil
1 tablespoon = 0g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0g Net Carb 0g
Recipe: Coconut Fudge
COLD CUTS/LUNCH MEATS - NO SUGAR ADDED
Most brands of lunch meats are loaded with sugar. So far, I've only found one brand that doesn't add sugar to all of their processed meats - Boar's Head. Some of their meats do have sugar so you'll have to read the labels, but most don't. They also have sausages and hot dogs without sugar. Boar's Head products are pricy, but they taste very good.
Most everyone knows what cream cheese is, but what you may not be aware of is that most brands other than Kraft have nearly twice the carbs of Kraft's. It's sometimes tempting to go with a cheaper brand, but I can often find Kraft on sale.
Ingredients: pasteurized nonfat milk and milkfat, cheese culture, salt, stabilizers (xanthan and/or carob bean and/or guar gums)
8 ounces = 6g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbs
Recipe: Raspberry Fool
CRYSTAL LIGHT DRINK MIX
A powdered drink mix sweetened with Aspartame. My favorite flavor is the Ruby Red Grapefruit and I just tried the new Tangerine Strawberry and it's pretty good too. I prefer to make mine by the glass instead of by the pitcher so I empty all of the little tubs into a container. For 8 ounces of water, stir in about 3/4 teaspoon of drink mix or to taste.
UPDATE: I recently tried the Ruby Red Grapefruit flavor in the new updated canister and they've greatly improved the flavor. It tastes a lot more like real grapefruit juice now. I liked the old version but it lacked the tartness of real grapefruit juice. It's now pleasantly tangy and has a more realistic flavor.
UPDATE 3/7/12: Neither of the flavors that I mentioned are available any more and I don't care for any of their other flavors. I usually buy either Walmart or Kroger brand lemon or peach iced tea flavors.
UPDATE 7/6/12: If you live in Texas, HEB has their own brand of drink mix. The other day I bought the Passion Fruit flavor and it's very good. I've never seen that flavor in any other brand.
Ingredients: citric acid (provides tartness), calcium citrate, maltodextrin, aspartame (sweetener), ascorbic acid (vitamin c), magnesium oxide (prevents caking), contains less than 2% of natural and artificial flavor, calcium carbonate, acesulfame potassium (sweetener), xanthan and cellulose gums (provides body), artificial color, red 40 lake, yellow 5, blue 1, bha (to help protect flavor)
3/4 cup serving = 1.25 Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 1.25 Net Carbs
Recipe: Raspberry Truffle Smoothie
Here's a description from the Cook's Thesaurus site. I found some very cheap at an Asian market and decided to give it a try as a potato substitute. It worked pretty well, but doesn't really have the same starchy consistency of potatoes and tends to be a little fibrous. Cooking the radish removes its "bite".
1 pound = 19g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 12g Net Carbs
Recipe: Daikon Radish Salad
DA VINCI SUGAR FREE SYRUPS (see Sugar Free Syrups)
DELUXE AMERICAN CHEESE
There is a big difference between real American cheese (the photo on the left) and the cheese food that comes individually wrapped like in the "Singles" photo on the right. Real American cheese is a processed cheese, as is cheese food, but cheese food can contain ingredients other than cheese. It is also higher in carbs than American cheese. Here are some descriptions that I found on the USDA website that explain the differences:
Pasteurized process cheese is a blend of fresh and aged natural cheeses that have been shredded, mixed and heated (pasteurized), after which no further ripening occurs. It melts easily when reheated. The blend may consist of one or more varieties of natural cheese and may contain pimentos, fruits, vegetables, or meats. Smoked cheese or smoke flavor may also be added.
Cheese food also contains ingredients other than cheese and therefore is labeled as "pasteurized process cheese food." Cheese spreads have a different composition from cheese foods and are labeled as "pasteurized process cheese spread." All the ingredients used in the preparation of these products are listed on the respective labels along with the kinds or varieties of cheese used in the mixture. Also, the milkfat and moisture content may be shown.
UPDATE: What was formerly called "pasteurized process cheese food" is now called "American pasteurized prepared cheese product". Also, the Kraft real American cheese is now called Deli Deluxe American.
UPDATE 3/11/11: I noticed recently that Kroger and Kraft have changed the formula for their Deluxe American Cheese slices. Lately when I use it to make Crispy Cheese Crackers, they don't turn out the same as they used to. For one thing, the cheese doesn't always puff up in the microwave like it used to. For another, they often came out very flat and thin. They also don't get as crisp as they used to without getting them quite brown. My suspicion is that they're somehow bulking the cheese up with water.
So, I compared the nutritional counts that I had in MasterCook for Kroger's Deluxe American cheese with the information on the current label and the numbers are very different. I'm sure that it's a case of them adding water because there are still 24 slices per pound and each slice still weighs 19 grams even though there are now fewer calories, fat grams and protein grams. The carb count stayed the same. Here's a comparison of the old counts vs. the new ones for one slice of cheese:
OLD COUNT: 105 Calories; 9g Fat; 6g Protein; .5g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber
NEW COUNT: 70 Calories; 6g Fat; 4g Protein; .5g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber
As you can see, the calories, fat and protein dropped significantly and the carbs stayed the same. That means that something has to be replacing those nutrients and it has to be something that doesn't have calories, fat, protein or carbs and that would be water. What really stinks about this new formula they're using is that you're actually getting 1/3 less actual cheese per slice than you used to. When I compared the old and new numbers is came out to exactly out to exactly 33% less actual "food" which is being replaced by water. Note: If you buy the smaller packages of American cheese with 16 slices vs. 24 slices, the slices are slightly larger than what you get in the 16-ounce package. They weigh 21 grams vs. 19 grams.
Kraft Deli Deluxe American Cheese Ingredients:
American Cheese (Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Water, Milkfat, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid As A Preservative, Oleoresin Paprika (Color), Annatto (Color) With Starch Added For Slice Separation
Kroger Deluxe American Cheese Ingredients:
American Cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), water, cream, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, salt, sorbic acid (preservative), annatto and B-APO-8-carotenal (for color)
1 ounce American cheese = trace Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; trace Net Carb
1 ounce process cheese food = 2g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Recipe: Crispy Cheese Crackers
DESIGNER WHEY PROTEIN POWDER
I mainly use whey protein powder for making smoothies but it can be handy for other kinds of low carb recipes as well. I like the chocolate and vanilla flavors, but the strawberry leaves a funny aftertaste in my mouth. I've seen Designer brand in stores locally, but Netrition has a good price on it. If you'd like more information about whey protein powder, visit the Designer Whey website. The amount of carbs per serving varies by flavor.
1 scoop (about 1/3 cup) = 2-4g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 2-4g Net Carbs
Recipe: Chocolate-Almond Protein Smoothie
DIXIE DINER ANGEL FOOD PUFFS MIX
The mix makes soft meringue-type cookies. You add the mix to stiffly beaten egg whites then bake them. Although I baked mine as long as the instructions stated, mine were still not done on the inside by the time the outside had gotten very brown. Perhaps they would have baked more evenly at a lower temperature for a longer baking time. I took my friend Nancy's advice and baked mine on nonstick foil. A Silpat liner would probably work well too to keep them from sticking to the baking sheet. They tasted pretty good but were a tad salty. I think that the salty taste is due to a reaction between the Splenda and the egg whites because I've experienced the same thing before when making from-scratch meringues with Splenda (see the recipe links below). The Splenda also causes them to have a slightly yellowish color that you don't get with sugar meringues. You can order the mix from Netrition for $5.69. It comes with 6 packets of mix that each make 6 good-size puffs. Click the thumbnail photo above to see the whole batch of puffs that I made with this mix.
UPDATE: I've discovered a better way to make these. I thought it was odd that they'd say to sprinkle in a dry powder at the end which wouldn't be dissolved into the egg whites. Well, the mixture came out a lot nicer with it blended in right away. I beat the egg whites just until they were a bit foamy and then I gradually beat in the powder on low speed. After that I beat them on high speed until they were stiff.
I don't know if it's because I blended the mix in better, but they came out much more evenly browned this last time and I think they look much nicer. If you look at my photo from the first time, you can see that they look pretty white near the bottom with browning mostly on the peaks. This time they were pretty browned all over. They do still have a slight yellowish cast to them but that's from the Splenda. The texture was also much different than I remember them from the last time. They were almost bread-like this time. They were still a little salty but wasn't quite as noticeable since the dry mix was more evenly distributed in the batter. They were still a little underbaked in the center though even though I baked them about 8 minutes longer than the directions said. At least they weren't almost raw like the last time.
Ingredients: Cereal fiber, corn starch, low glycemic monosaccharide cream of tartar, sea salt, bicarbonate of soda, sucralose (splenda) vanilla powder
Per Puff = 2g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0g Net Carbs
Recipes: Lisa's Coconut Meringue Cookies - Meringue Surprises - Angel Food Souffles
DIXIE DINER CHOCOLATE SUGAR NOT COOKIES
My friend, Nancy, sent me some of these in my Christmas package and they're really quite good. They remind me of chocolate crinkles with a slightly more crumbly texture. You can find them at Netrition for $6.29.
Ingredients: Almond meal, corn starch, whey protein concentrate, cocoa powder, low glycemic monosaccharides, egg whites, soluble vegetable fiber, fractionated palm kernel oil, water, heavy cream, baking powder (calcium acid phosphate, bicarbonate of soda), maltodextrin, milk protein concentrate, soy lecithin, dehulled soybeans, calcium sulfate, low glycemic fruit concentrate, natural flavor, sodium caseinate, sea salt, carrageenan
Per 3 cookies = 5g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
DIXIE DINER CARB COUNTERS MARSHMALLOW MIX
These are very similar to the Handmade Marshmallows that I make but all you have to do is add water to the mix and beat it until stiff and fluffy. I didn't care for the taste of them at all. I think they have a slightly odd salty, chemical taste that I don't get with the homemade version. If you'd like to make your own, see the recipe link below or you can order the mix from Netrition for $3.89.
UPDATE 11/2/11: This product has been discontinued.
Ingredients: Egg white, gelatin, low glycemic monosaccharide, sucralose, vanilla powder
Per Serving: 0 Carbohydrates
Recipe: Handmade Marshmallows
I can't explain the "magic" behind Dreamfields pasta and, frankly, I'm not totally convinced that it's really low carb. Some people say that they can eat it and still lose weight and others say it stalls them. I don't miss eating pasta at all so I've only tried it a couple of times. It tastes just like regular pasta but it's a little more gummy. My local Kroger store carries most of the pasta shapes including the new lasagna. You can order Dreamfields pasta from Netrition if you can't find it locally. Read more about Dreamfields here.
Ingredients: Enriched semolina, [semolina, iron (ferrous sulfate), and B vitamins (niacin, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)], fiber blend (inulin, guar gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan, pectin), sorbitol, wheat gluten, potassium chloride.
Dreamfields has changed the formula for their pasta. Here is the current ingredient list:
Ingredients: Enriched semolina, [semolina, iron (ferrous sulfate), and B vitamins (niacin, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)], inulin(vegetable fiber), wheat gluten(plant protein), xanthan gum(food fiber), pectin(fruit fiber), potassium chloride.
2 ounces uncooked = 5 net carbs
2 ounces regular pasta = 39 net carbs
Recipe: Garden Tuna-Macaroni Salad
EAT WELL BE WELL CHOCOLATE CHIPS
MiniCarb chocolate chips have been discontinued and the Carbsense company has changed its name to Eat Well Be Well. They recently came out with a new version of their chocolate chips. They've added more Polydextrose (fiber) to the new formula so the net carb count is lower than the old MiniCarb chocolate chips. I've heard that the new chips taste a little sweeter than the old ones, but more Polydextrose means that they'll cause me more gastric distress than the old ones so I doubt if I'll ever try them. Although the chocolate contains no sugar alcohols, Polydextrose can have the same affect as sugar alcohols if you're as sensitive to it as I am. Another intersting thing that I've heard about the new formula chips is that they are mini chocolate chips. At this time they are only available through Netrition. Also see MiniCarb Chocolate Chips.
UPDATE: Eat Well Be Well has gone out of business so this product is no longer available.
Ingredients: Chocolate liquor, polydextrose (soluble fiber), cocoa butter, cocoa powder, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), sodium bicarbonate, vanilla, sweeteners (acesulfame potassium, sucralose).
8 ounce bag = 121g Carbohydrate; 106g Fiber; 15g Net Carbs
Recipe: Pots de Crème au Chocolat
Edamame (ed-duh-MAH-may) are soy beans. I saw them in the freezer department at Kroger and decided to give them a try. I bought the kind that are already shelled. They remind me little of peas in flavor and texture but they have less than half the carbs of peas. I haven't tried them in a recipe yet, but I think they might be good in my Tuna "Rice" Casserole or in a vegetable soup. They are easy to cook. You can boil them or microwave them. I microwaved mine and they were done in minutes. I wouldn't eat these often since they are a soy product, but the carbs are low enough to enjoy them occasionally.
Ingredients: soy beans
1/2 cup = 6g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 3g net carbs
EMERALD COCOA ROAST ALMONDS
After Jimmy Moore mentioned these on his YouTube video, I decided to hunt them down. I found some at Randall's here in the Houston area. They were expensive at $6.99 for an 11 ounce canister but I decided to splurge and give them a try. They're pretty good and somewhat addictive. They don't taste like dark chocolate as it says on the label though. They taste like they're coated with sweetened cocoa and remind me of CoCo Wheats or Cocoa Puffs cereal. I don't like that they put food starch on them but it doesn't seem to impact the carb count much compared to plain roasted almonds.
Ingredients: Dry roasted almonds, modified food starch (potato), natural & artificial flavors, cocoa powder, salt, acesulfame potassium, sucralose.
1 ounce = 6g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carb
Sometimes called seedless cucumbers. They are generally much longer and thinner than regular cucumbers and their skin isn't quite as tough. Although I like them in certain dishes, I don't think they have the refreshing, summery flavor of American cucumbers.
1 cucumber (about 11 ounces) = 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbs
Recipe: Chutatip's Cucumber Salad
EXTRACTS & FLAVORINGS
There are so many wonderful flavorings available to jazz up your low carb desserts. Just be sure to read the labels to check for added sugar. Some of my favorites are orange, lemon, peppermint and maple. The only way to know if you'll like a particular brand and flavor is to try them and they're not cheap. I've tried so many that I decided to put together a chart so you can see what I thought of each one. You may want to check out Spice Barn for extracts. I got a nice coconut extract from them.
1 teaspoon = .5-1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; .5-1g Net Carb
Recipe: Poppy Seed Dressing
FIBERFIT (see Splenda Liquid)
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