When reconstituted, this product has pretty close to the same number of carbs per tablespoon as regular peanut butter but has only about 1/4 the amount of fat. If watching your fat intake is more important to you than worrying about a little bit of sugar, this might be just the thing for recipes that call for peanut butter. I've only used the product in one recipe so far but I mixed up a tiny bit with some water so that I could taste is on its own. It does taste quite a bit like regular peanut butter but not nearly as sweet or salty as brands such as JIF. One way that I'd like to try this sometime is in a small batch of Thai peanut sauce. I rarely use peanut butter so for me it's more convenient to keep something like this powder on hand when I need just a tiny bit of peanut butter for a recipe. I received this in my Christmas package from a good friend and I think I'll have some fun playing around with it. You can order PB2 from
Netrition for $3.99.

Ingredients: Peanuts, sugar, salt

2 tablespoons (reconstituted) = 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbs
Recipe: Peanut Butter 3 Minute Cake

Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. I usually find them where they sell Mexican products and spices. I use the unsalted ones, but the salted kind will do in a pinch in the recipe below and they won't need to be toasted. You can also order them through
Netrition if you can't find them locally.

1/4 cup = 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 5g Net Carbs
Recipe: Cilantro Pepita Dressing & Dip

I don't use these often but they do provide a unique flavoring in certain dishes like the recipe below. Fresh jalapeņos would not be a good substitute because the pickled flavor would be missing.

Ingredients: sliced green jalapeņo peppers, water, distilled vinegar, carrots, iodized salt, onions, cottonseed oil, garlic, bay leaves and oregano

1/4 cup = 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carbs
Spicy Chicken & Spinach Casserole

I've found two brands of pizza sauce that taste very good and have no added sugar or other bad ingredients. Ragu Homemade Style is my favorite, but Wal-Mart's Great Value brand is good too and a bit cheaper.

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), vegetable oil, salt, spices, parsley, natural flavor

1/4 cup (63 grams) = 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carb
Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust

There is a description at the
Cook's Thesaurus site. These dark green chiles are usually about 6 inches long and have almost no heat.
Recipe: Stuffed Poblano Chiles

Polaner sweetens their sugar free jams with Splenda and they come in these flavors: Strawberry, Apricot, Concord Grape Jelly, Orange Marmalade, Seedless Raspberry & Seedless Blackberry. I use it very rarely because I think that 5 carbs per tablespoon is still quite high. However, a little bit goes a long way in the coffee cake recipe below.

Ingredients (Strawberry Jam): water, strawberries, polydextrose, maltodextrin, fruit pectin, locust bean gum, citric acid, natural flavor, sucralose (Splenda brand), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (to preserve freshness), calcium chloride, Red #40

1 tablespoon = 5g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 5g Net Carbs
Recipe: Raspberry-Almond Crumb Cake

Polydextrose is a sweetener that is almost completely fiber. It's quite often used along with Splenda in baked goods to help provide the moist, chewy texture you would normally get using granulated sugar. It is a bit tricky to work with because of its tendency to clump when added to liquids. It's best to blend it with the dry ingredients of your recipe first. I don't have a lot of experience using PolyD so I can't give you a good ratio of PolyD to Splenda. At this point, I've had to stop eating anything that contains polydextrose because I react to it about the same as I would to sugar alcohols. All of the Atkins bars are full of PolyD so I've had to give them up. You can order polydextrose through

1/4 cup = 52g Carbohydrate; 46g Dietary Fiber; 6g Net Carbs
Recipe: Peanut Butter Bars

You can order poppy seeds from
Penzeys. The Cook's Thesaurus website recommends storing them in the freezer to keep them from going rancid.

1 tablespoon = 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Recipes: Poppy Seed Dressing - Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I discovered this yummy treat at Walmart. I've never seen it anywhere else and they don't even mention it on the Smithfield website. It's very smoky bacon that hasn't been sliced. They do sell a sliced version but it's more expensive and seems to have more sugar added. I slice it and bake it in the oven until it's crispy. I call it "bacon candy" because it's so tasty. It's a lot smokier than any other brand of regular bacon that I've tried and I love bacon to be very smoky. The price seems to be comparable to most other brands of sliced bacon but you do have a little waste. There is a tough rind on the bottom that needs to be trimmed off. It's not really a waste though because I save the trimmings and put them in the freezer to use for flavoring recipes. It's just the thing for giving a smoky bacon flavor to soups.

Ingredients: Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphates, Sugar, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite

2 ounces = 0 carbs

Also known as pork skins and pork cracklings. They are probably about the only zero carb snack food on the market. Some of the flavored ones may have a carb or two per serving from the sugar they put in the seasoning, but the plain ones are carb free. For many years, I couldn't tolerate pork rinds at all. I couldn't get past the smell of them. I've recently come to enjoy them occasionally and I do use them in a few recipes. They really aren't as high in fat as you'd think since most of the fat has been rendered out. They can be quite high in sodium though. If you want to use pork rinds in recipes, but don't have a kitchen scale, 4 ounces of finely ground pork rinds measure out to about 1 cup. Figure 1/4 cup for each ounce called for in the recipe.

1/2 ounce (about 1 1/2 cups) = 0g Carbohydrate; 80 Calories; 5g Fat
Mock Cinnamon Toast Crunch

When my recipes call for pork sausage, I mean the bulk kind that comes in a roll (such as the kind in the photo), not links. It's also sometimes available by the pound in some meat departments. Most pork sausage does contain a little sugar, but the carbs are minimal per serving. You could certainly substitute bulk turkey breakfast sausage. Many of my recipes call for Italian sausage, which is another kind of pork sausage made with Italian seasonings. Owens makes a good bulk Italian sausage that also comes in a roll. However, you can buy the link kind and just remove the sausage from the casings before cooking when crumbled sausage is called for. I do have one or two recipes that call for Italian sausage links. In that case you would keep them intact or slice them.

Ingredients (Owens Hot Pork Sausage): pork (including fresh hams and pork tenderloins), water, salt, natural spices, sugar, monosodium glutamate

1 pound = 4.5g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 4.5g Net Carbs
Sausage Quiche - Italian Casserole - Italian Sausages with Onions, Peppers, Tomato Sauce & Cheese

Poultry seasoning is commonly used in making homemade stuffing and other chicken and turkey dishes. The ingredients can vary, but the ones below are pretty common.

Ingredients (will vary by brand): thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black, nutmeg

1 teaspoon = 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; .5g Net Carb
Low Carb Stuffing

Pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. You can buy this pre-mixed in the spice department or make your own from the recipe below.

1 teaspoon = 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Pumpkin Pie Spice

QuestBars contain very few ingredients and there's no long list of chemicals like you'll find in most protein bars. I love the chewy texture and that they're not sticky or coated with anything. They're also not sickly sweet like some low carb bars. They're just sweet enough. They come in two flavors: Vanilla Almond Crunch and Peanut Butter Supreme. I'm not sure which flavor I like the best. The peanut butter one reminds me of Bit-O-Honey candy. The almond bar has almost no flavor but I still like it. Unfortunately they're only available from the
QuestBar website at this time.

UPDATE 7/28/11: They've recently added three new flavors: Mixed Berry Bliss, Chocolate Brownie and Apple Pie.

UPDATE 8/30/11: Quest Bars are now available at Netrition.

Vanilla Almond Crunch Ingredients: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Chicory Root Fiber, Almond Butter, Dry Roasted Almonds, Raw Almonds, Water, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Lo Han Guo, Sucralose

1 bar = 19g Carbohydrate; 15g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carb

Peanut Butter Supreme Ingredients: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate), Chicory Root Fiber, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Dry Roasted Almonds, Raw Almonds, Water, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Lo Han Guo, Sucralose

1 bar = 20g Carbohydrate; 15g Dietary Fiber; 5g Net Carb

This is a smooth, thick and spicy sauce. Unfortunately, most brands add sugar and starch. Pace seems to be the best that I've found because it contains no cornstarch or flour. It does have a little sugar added though. I have a good homemade alternative (see recipe link below) but I'm not sure if you'll save much carb-wise with homemade, but you'll have control over what goes into it.

Ingredients (Pace): water, crushed tomatoes (water, concentrated crushed tomatoes), french onions, fresh jalapeno peppers, salt, sugar, spice, dehydrated onions, paprika, chili powder (chili pepper, spice, salt, garlic powder), dehydrated garlic, distilled vinegar and xantham gum

1/4 cup = 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs (will vary by brand)
Red Enchilada Sauce, Enchilada Bake

I don't know if Ro*Tel is available nationwide, but it is readily available down here in the south. The most popular use is for making a
dip using Ro*Tel tomatoes and Velveeta cheese. Sometimes hamburger or pork sausage is also added. Velveeta is not low carb but you can make a similar dip using real cheddar or American cheese. Check out the Ro*Tel website for some recipe ideas. If you can't find Ro*Tel where you shop, there are similar products on the market. Just look for canned diced tomatoes with hot peppers added. You may need to adjust the liquid in the recipe to account for a larger can or more tomatoes and less liquid. The standard size can of Ro*Tel is 10 ounces with maybe 70-80% of what's in the can being liquid.

Ingredients: tomatoes with juice, water, chopped green chili peppers, salt, citric acid, calcium chloride, spice

10 ounce can = 10g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 9g Net Carbs
Recipe: Like Velveeta Ro*Tel Main Dish

Rutabagas are similar to turnips, but tend to be quite a bit larger and are usually coated with wax. They are called swedes in England. For more information, check out the
Cook's Thesaurus.

1 pound = 37g Carbohydrate; 11g Dietary Fiber; 26g Net Carbs
Recipe: Mashed Rutabaga

These chiles have a little more heat than jalapeņos and are generally a bit smaller and thinner.

1 chile = trace carbs
Mexican Hot Sauce

Sesame oil isn't used for cooking or frying but is used as a flavoring in many Asian dishes. A tiny bit goes a long way. You should be able to find sesame oil in most supermarkets near the soy sauce.

1 tablespoon = 0g Carbohydrate
Seoul Chicken

Rather than pay a small fortune for a tiny jar of sesame seeds in the spice department, check in the part of the store that sells either Mexican foods or health foods. You can sometimes find good-size bags for a very reasonable price. I pay about $2.00 for an 11-ounce bag of untoasted seeds.

1 tablespoon = 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Sesame Almond Crackers

I found them at Kroger at the sushi bar. An 8-ounce package was $2.45. The package directions say to parboil the noodles before using but I'd heard that cooking makes them too chewy. Even without cooking they are quite chewy and I didn't care for them much. I don't miss pasta enough to put up with the texture. I had also heard that they have a strong smell when you first open the package. I didn't smell them until after I'd rinsed them very well and I didn't find the odor unpleasant at all. They have a slight seafood smell, sort of like scallops. For more information and recipes, visit
House Foods.

Ingredients: Filtered water, tofu (soybeans, calcium sulfate, glucono delta lactone), yam flour, calcium hydroxide

4 ounce serving = 3g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Recipe: Sesame "Noodles"

I've only used silken tofu in smoothies and it makes them thick and creamy while adding a lot of protein and very few carbs. Only the soft or silken kind will work. The other types are too firm for blending well in drinks.

4 ounces = 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Ultimate Strawberry Silken Smoothie

Almonds come in several forms; whole blanched, whole natural, sliced and slivered. Sliced almonds usually have their brown skins intact and I think they have a stronger almond flavor than slivered almonds.

1 ounce = 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs
Laurie's Spinach Salad

Slivered almonds have been blanched, which means that the brown skins have been removed.

1 ounce = 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs
Green Beans Almondine

I bought smoked paprika specificially to try in
Rachael Ray's recipes. She uses it fairly often. I think it would make a good substitute for chipotle chili powder if you don't like things really hot. You can order smoked paprika from Penzeys.

1 tablespoon = 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs
Recipe: Smoky Chicken Patties

I prefer the kind of smoked salmon that comes in chunks and can be flaked like the kind in the photo above. I like the texture better than the kind called lox, which usually comes in thin slices. Either kind should work fine in most of my recipes, but I think that the chunk kind would be more suitable for the recipe below. Smoked salmon is cured with sugar so there are a few carbs.

1 ounce = 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Cajun Smoked Salmon Dip

When I buy sour cream, I always get the "natural" kind that isn't full of gums and additives. Daisy is a very good brand and Kroger makes their own natural kind as well. The ingredient list below is for Kroger's All Natural Sour Cream.

Ingredients (Kroger brand): cultured cream, nonfat milk, enzymes
Ingredients (Daisy brand): Grade A cultured cream

1/4 cup = 2g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Nancy's French Onion Dip

I didn't know much about soy sauce until I did a bit of research. I'd been unsuccessfully searching for a soy sauce that didn't contain sugar or wheat. There is an interesting article at
Wikipedia. It turns out that there are Japanese, Chinese, Korean and other types of soy sauces. The kind most commonly found in the supermarket is Japanese soy sauce and is made from wheat. A similar sauce, called tamari, is also made from wheat but doesn't contain quite as much as soy sauce. I haven't seen a tamari without added sugar though so I've avoided buying it. In fact, the only soy sauce that I've found without added sugar is Kikkoman brand so that's what I use. Chinese soy sauce is made primarily from soy with very little wheat and Korean soy sauce has no wheat. I plan to look for some Chinese and Korean soy sauces at the Asian market and see how they compare to the Japanese kind. Low carbers should be cautious of the dark-type soy sauces as they use molasses to make them dark. Another interesting thing about soy sauce is that it contains naturally occurring monosodium glutamate (MSG). The ingredients below are for Kikkoman brand soy sauce.

Ingredients: water, wheat, soybeans, salt, sodium benzoate

1 tablespoon = 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Recipe: Bulkogi

The only thing I've used them in so far is in a mock cornbread which is excellent. While the hazelnut flour provides the "corn" flavor, the soy grits provide the right gritty texture. I was amazed at how much it tasted like my old high carb cornbread recipe. I found mine at
Whole Foods Market in their bulk foods department, but you can also order some from Netrition. It's a bit pricier at Netrition. I paid $1.69 pound at Whole Foods vs. $2.28 pound at Netrition.

UPDATE 5/3/11: This product is no longer available at Netrition.

1/4 cup = 14g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 7g Net Carbs
Recipe: Mock Cornbread

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash and therefore has more carbs than summer squashes, such as zucchini. The unique thing about it is that, once it's cooked, it forms long strands that can be used as a sort of mock pasta. Of course it doesn't taste anything like pasta, but it makes a good base for all kinds of pasta sauces. Unlike real pasta, it actually has some nutritional value. For more information, visit the
Cook's Thesaurus

1/2 cup cooked = 7g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 5g Net Carbs
Recipe: How to cook spaghetti squash

If you'd like to order some high quality spices, check out
Spice Barn and Penzeys. I bought many of the more unusual spices, dried herbs and seasonings that I use in my recipes are from Penzeys. If there is a Penzeys store in your area, by all means check it out. They have samples of EVERY kind of spice for you to test. It's an amazing place!

I would only use granular
Splenda when a recipe calls for such a small amount of sweetener that it would take less than a drop of liquid Splenda. That's because the granular kind, that's sold in supermarkets, has maltodextrin added to give it bulk. Maltodextrin is a form of sugar and is the reason that Splenda has so many carbs. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of Splenda have yet to come out with a zero carb liquid version. Until they do, there are only a couple of sources of the liquid kind as you'll read below. If granular Splenda was the only sweetener available, I'd probably just give up low carb desserts to avoid all those carbs. If you can't get the liquid kind, you can do a lot with sugar free syrups, such as Da Vinci and Torani. I've got a conversion chart to help you measure the various forms of Splenda here.

1 cup = 24 carbs and 96 calories
Recipe: Bavarian Apple Cheesecake

The best source that I know of for liquid Splenda is
Sweetzfree. I've used it and like it. Sweetzfree is now available all the time. No more waiting for ordering "windows". The price seems pretty high, but a little goes a very long way. If you need help converting your recipes from granular Splenda to Sweetzfree, I have a conversion chart on my site.

I needed to calculate how much Sweetzfree costs per drop once so I thought I'd post it here in case anyone is wondering what it costs to use it. This is based on the 2 ounce bottle at $34.00 per bottle:

1 drop Sweetzfree = $.0275
1 cup's worth of sweetness - $.68 (25 drops)

There is also a product called Fiberfit that's not as concentrated as the Sweetzfree that I use. I've never tried Fiberfit, but here's the link. Or, visit the Fiberfit website here.

I just heard about a new brand of liquid Splenda called Pure Liquid Sweetness. It's the same as Sweetzfree as far as the concentraton as well as the price. I have not tried this product so I can't give my opinion.
UPDATE: I've recently heard that people are not receiving their orders for this product and then not getting full credit back from PayPal. I've removed them from my Links page for this reason and not from personal experience.
UPDATE 5/28/11: I've removed the link to this product. The site is gone and has been replaced by a malicious advertisement that wouldn't allow the browser to exit the page.

Netrition now sells liquid Splenda called EZ-Sweetz. A 1/2 ounce bottle sells for $6.99 and contains the equivalent of almost 6 pounds of sugar. Netrition also sells a 2 ounce bottle that is only half the concentration of the 1/2 ounce bottle and costs $13.99. Neither the bottle nor the box it comes in give any indication of how much to use per serving but there is a conversion chart on the Netrition site. Or, you can use my sweetener chart which I linked to above.

UPDATE 5/28/11: I just bought a 1/2-ounce bottle of EZ-Sweetz to try. So, I did an experiment to see how EZ-Sweetz compares with Sweetzfree and granular Splenda per serving (2 teaspoons worth of sweetness). I mixed each of them with 6 tablespoons of cold water and 1/8 teaspoon of True Lime. In one sample, I used 2 teaspoons of granular Splenda, in the second and third samples I used 1 drop each of Sweetzfree and EZ-Sweetz. Neither the Sweetzfree or the EZ-Sweetz were as sweet as the granular Splenda sample. I'd say they were approximately half as sweet or just slightly sweeter than that. So, I added a second drop of each liquid sweetener to the samples. That made both of the samples with liquid sweetener sweeter than the sample with granular. The sample with EZ-Sweetz wasn't quite as sweet as the sample with Sweetzfree but pretty close. I think that the concentration of the two products is close enough that you could use the same conversion chart for both. I would start with the amount called for in a recipe in place of granular Splenda (using the conversion chart) but you might need to add 1/4 again as much depending on how it tastes to you. I can't say how any of them compares with the sweetness of real sugar because I didn't want to try that test.

UPDATE 6/24/12: I've had a couple of months to try Tasty-Free and I'm not all that pleased with it. It tastes fine but the concentration is too different from what I'm used to with Sweetzfree or EZ-Sweetz. It's a lot more concentrated, maybe twice as sweet, as Sweetzfree even though their site says it should be the same. I'm constantly having to guess at how much I should use. I've also had some trouble with the bottle nozzle crusting and I've never had that happen with Sweetzfree. I keep finding myself reaching for my bottle of Sweetzfree if I'm making something where a precise amount is required. If you're willing to experiment with the amount to use in your recipes, Tasty-Free comes in two sizes and shipping is included in the price. It is cheaper than Sweetzfree especially since it is much sweeter. A 1.25 ounce bottle is $18.00 and a 2.5 ounce bottle is $30.

UPDATE 7/18/12: I definitely don't recommend Tasty-Free. The bottle keeps crusting up so badly that I can't squeeze anything out. It's even crystalizing inside the bottle and not just the nozzle.

1 cup equivalent liquid Splenda = 0 Net Carbs
1 teaspoon Fiberfit = 1g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0g Net Carbs

Steak-Umms, and products like them, are wafer-thin slices of 100% beef. They fry up in no time for a quick meal. For more information, visit the
Steak-Umm site.

1 serving = 0 carbs
Recipe: Philly Cheesesteak Melt

I ordered two of Steele's sauces to try from
Netrition, the Rocky Mountain Sweet & Sour Sauce and the Raspberry Jalapeņo Sauce. I don't care for the sweet and sour sauce much. The only flavor is very strong ginger and not much else. Also the consistency is a little thin. The flavor of the Raspberry Jalapeņo Sauce is ok, but I was hoping that it would taste more like the raspberry chipotle sauce that I love. It tastes more like raspberry flavored Worcestershire sauce. It would be fine as a dipping sauce, but I don't think it would work well in a stir-fry. The consistency is more like pureed raspberries than a sauce or glaze. I was hoping to use it in my Pork & Bell Pepper Stir-Fry with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce recipe, but I'm not sure if I'd like it in that.

Raspberry Jalapeņo Sauce
Ingredients: Raspberry puree, cider vinegar, jalapeņo peppers, salt, water, pectin, spices, natural flavoring, sucralose
1 Tablespoon = 1.9g Carbohydrate; .25g Dietary Fiber; 1.65g Net Carbs

Rocky Mountain Sweet & Sour Sauce
Ingredients: Cider vinegar, pineapple juice, Steel's sugar-free ketchup (tomato paste, water, onions, cider vinegar, kosher salt, cloves, cinnamon, mustard, celery, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sucralose), soy sauce, ginger, garlic, xanathan gum, sucralose
1 Tablespoon = 1g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carbs

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