Low Carb Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Layered or blended, this Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake is perfect for Thanksgiving!

Layered or blended, this Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake is perfect for Thanksgiving!

Low Carb Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Recipe


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or hazelnut flour)
  • 2 tablespoons oat fiber (or coconut flour)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie seasoning (optional)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sweetener
  • liquid sweetener to taste (4-5 drops)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until coarsely ground. Press into a 9 inch spring form pan. Set aside.

Cheese cake filling

  • 2, 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sweetener
  • 5-7 drops of liquid sweetener (stevia or liquid sucralose)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp lemon juice

Mix cream cheese, heavy cream, eggs, and sweetener until creamy and well blended. Add vanilla extract and lemon juice. Pour cheesecake filling on top of the crust OR blend with the pumpkin pie filling.

Pumpkin pie filling

  • 1, 15 ounce can of pumpkin (just pumpkin, not pie filling)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 8 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • ¾ cup of heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sweetener
  • 8 drops of liquid sweetener
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Mix pumpkin, eggs, melted butter, heavy cream. Mixture should be smooth. Add sweeteners, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix well. Add vanilla extract last. Pour mixture on top of the cheesecake filling or blend it with the cheesecake filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and 10 minutes. It should be slightly browned and mostly set. It will be just a little “jiggly” when you remove it from the oven, but will firm up as it cools. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. It is much better overnight.

Other options

  1. You can mix the cheese cake mixture with the pumpkin pie mixture instead of layering. It is fantastic!! The pumpkin flavor is more muted, so it depends on your preference.
  2. The pumpkin pie filling is my favorite. It can be baked into a pie using the same crust or making a different low carb pie crust. You will bake it for about 25-30 minutes at 350.

Either way, just know the cheese cake filling provides more substance and lower carbs. In other words, the majority of carbs are in the pumpkin pie filling, not in the cheesecake portion.

Enjoy and please let me know whether it’s any good!  Here’s the link to the video for this recipe:  https://youtu.be/i6zUcJSLKsE

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Low Carb Sausage Gravy: Good Morning!

If you saw the post about low carb biscuits, you may be wondering where’s the gravy?!  It’s here, and its an incredibly versatile recipe.  As written below and as prepared in my YouTube video, sausage gravy is the ultimate breakfast comfort food, and can fit nicely with a ketogenic or low carb high fat way of eating.

Biscuits with gravy on a

Sausage gravy is almost as good as getting to stay in bed with a warm blanket!

Sausage Gravy Recipe
1 lb sausage cooked and crumbled
1 8 ounce cream cheese (may use to limit dairy or to make a thinner gravy)
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp instant coffee
1/4 tsp salt

Brown sausage in a skillet.  After it’s browned, add the cream cheese and heavy cream and stir on low heat until melted and well mixed.  Add the remaining ingredients.  May need to thin with additional cream or broth.  Serve with low carb biscuits or eggs.

For more about the biscuits, watch my video!

By the way, this gravy is only the beginning!  It’s creamy and rich and filling and you can pair it with most any meat with just a few tweaks.  Using cream cheese and heavy cream as a base, the combinations are endless.  For another breakfast idea, use bacon instead of sausage.  Country ham or chipped beef would also work well.  And, if you can’t make the biscuits, this gravy would be scrumptious with eggs.

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Chicken Pot Pie: More Low Carb “Diet” Food!

Did you ever think you could enjoy chicken pot pie on a low carb diet?  Well you can!  Use my basic biscuit recipe to top off a skillet or baking dish with yummy chicken and veggies bathed in a thick, luscious creamy sauce.  Dinner time!

Hope to die! It's Low Carb Chicken Pot Pie!!!

Hope to die! It’s Low Carb Chicken Pot Pie!!!

1 TBSP ghee

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped carrots (omit if too carby for you)

1/2 cup chopped broccoli stems (avoid the “florets)

3/4 cup chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped zucchini

1 can green beans, drained

2 stalks chopped celery

1/3 cup sliced and chopped mushrooms

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups chicken bone broth

4 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp Bell’s poultry seasoning

3 cups of cooked chicken

One batch of Bell’s biscuits Recipe for Belle’s LC Biscuits

Saute the vegetables (first 8 ingredients) in ghee in a large cast iron skillet under the vegetables are tender.  Add 3 tablespoons butter and chicken bone broth.  Simmer until the bone broth is reduced (about 10 minutes).  Add cream cheese and heavy cream and simmer until thickened.  Add the remaining seasonings and mix well. Add the chicken and mix into the vegetables and sauce.

While the chicken pot pie filling is simmering, prepare the biscuit recipe.  Once the filling is ready, drop the biscuit dough on top, covering the filling.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-22 minutes until biscuits are browned and not doughy underneath.

If you really want to make this decadent add one cup of cheddar cheese and 1/3 cups chopped bacon to the biscuit dough.  Enjoy!

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Faux Apples for Fall Y’all: Low Carb Apple Danish

wpid-20150829_111833.jpgApples have way too many carbs for those of us who follow a low carb way of eating.  Still, you don’t have to miss out on the classic taste of fall.  This recipe uses jicama instead of apples to make a delicious low carb treat or breakfast.  This, my friends, is a game changer!  While I’ve tried to capture enough photos to explain this recipe, you might get a better understanding of what I did by watching the cooking video  Cooking Keto With Kristie.
If you can’t find jicama, feel free to use zucchini.  Jicama has 11 total carbs per cup and about 5 net carbs. Zuchinni has 3.5 total carbs and 2.3 net carbs per cup.  Jicama has a better apple texture and you will divide this into 12 servings so just use whatever fits your lifestyle or macros best.  You can’t go wrong with either!
There are quite a few steps to this recipe, but don’t let that scare you off.  It’s so absolutely worth it!  We will make the apples first, then the cream cheese filling, next the icing, and last the dough.  Also, I made this in three different ways.  I made a large single Danish to slice into pieces.  Then I used a muffin top or Whoopie pan to make individual Danish.  Last, I mixed the dough, cream cheese filling, and “apples” together to make a bread pudding type dessert.  Each was simply dreamy!  Let’s get started.  Fall will be over way too soon!

Jicama “apples”! Who knew?

First, the faux apples.  You need to chop 1 to 2 cups of jicama or zucchini for the “apples”.  In the video, I use jicama. I also double the recipe so you will need 1 cup for one batch and 2 cups for 2 batches.
To make one batch of the faux apples you will need:
1 cup chopped jicama (or zucchini), raw
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 tsp  cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup equivalent sweetener
2 tablespoons butter
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on the stovetop until warm and well mixed or use a microwave safe bowl to warm and mix.  Set aside.  These can made ahead of time.
 Since you are making four different recipes within this one recipe, my video might be helpful.
For one batch of the cream cheese mixture:
6 ounces of cream cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
1 /2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar equivalent
1 egg yolk
For the icing:
3 tablespoons of powdered sweetener
2 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix well and set aside in refrigerator.
For one batch of the pastry dough (using oat fiber):
5 TBSP almond flour
2 TBSP coconut flour
3 TBSP oat fiber
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (try to use lower fat cheese).  Melt in a microwave safe dish
4 TBSP sugar equivalent
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBSP butter
1 egg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.  Melt the cheese in a microwave and then add it to the rest of the mixture.  Mix well until dough forms.
To make the dough without oat fiber, use the following:
6 TBSP almond flour
3 TBSP coconut flour
4 TBSP sugar equivalent
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cup mozzarella
1 egg
1 tsp apple pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients and then add melted mozzarella.  Mix well to form dough.
Now….let’s put these Danish together.  You can use

Press some of the dough into a greased muffin top pan. Fill with the cream cheese filling and top with “apples”. Ice after baking.

parchment paper and a jellyroll pan or use a Whoopie or muffin top pan.  Follow the instructions as I did in the video.

Made as Danish in the muffin top pan

Made as Danish in the muffin top pan

If you’re using the muffin top pan, bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes  It will be brown and set.  After the Danishes cool for a few minutes, remove them to a wire rack.  Drizzle with icing after they have cooled.  It resembles a bread pudding when made this way.

You can also mix it all together (the dough, cream cheese mix, and apples) and bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.  It makes a wonderful “bread pudding” dish.  Add the icing after it cools.

Mixed all together as

Mixed all together as “bread” pudding.

If you’re making a larger Danish in the jelly roll pan, bake the crust for 5-7 minutes at 375.   Then add the cream cheese and “apples”  fold each side over on the other.  Return to the oven for another 12-15 minutes.  Let cool.  Drizzle with icing and enjoy!!!

Cover the partially baked crust with cream cheese filling and top with

Cover the partially baked crust with cream cheese filling and top with “apples”.

Fold each side over on the other.

Fold each side over on the other.

Made as one larger Danish

Made as one larger Danish

Store any leftovers (hahahahahahaha!!!!) in the refrigerator.  🙂

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Low Carb High Fat Resources

Fortunately there are several fantastic resources both online and in books that can either help you learn more about this way of eating or learn how to cook wonderful low carb foods.  Whether you want to find recipes, review sample eating plans, learn more about the science, or hear from real people who have had success, it’s generally there online or in print.  Here are just a few of my favorites in each of those categories.  Please see also http://lifewithbutter.com/resources/

Information for beginners or how to:

All about the science:

There are so many others that I simply adore!  I’m very grateful to each of these bloggers, doctors, nutritionists, etc. for providing free information that helps so many people every day.  I’ll try to update this list a I remember (or discover) other wonderful resources.

If you’re looking for recipes, don’t forget the list I have posted on the page Favorite LCHF Foodies.

Also, I post nearly daily on my Facebook page, Simply Keto.

Last, I add new videos about once per week on my YouTube Channel,


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Better Keto BBQ Sauce

wpid-20150802_174105.jpgIf you’re looking for a great versatile BBQ sauce that’s perfect for helping you enjoy the last grilling weekends of summer and fall, this is it!  The addition of the cloves and cinnamon are what really make this BBQ sauce special so don’t skip those two spices.  We use it on pulled pork, ribs, and wings.  Be sure to make plenty for a dipping sauce for the table.  Our non low carb family members and friends always ask for the recipe and that’s high praise!

8 ounces tomato sauce (no sugar added)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground mustard

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp salt

Sweetener to taste

1 tablespoon bacon fat

¼ tsp liquid smoke (if you like)

¼ tsp cayenne (if you like)

Melt bacon fat in a small saucepan, add tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and heat to a low simmer.  Simmer for 4-5 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.

This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.

This recipe is also on a video that includes a lc recipe for faux tato salad and coleslaw.  Enjoy!


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Perfect Keto Pancakes

I know, you’ve been making cream cheese pancakes or almond flour pancakes already or you’ve tried several recipes and you’re really not all that impressed.  And, if you do a Pinterest search, there are no fewer than upteen hundred low carb pancake recipes.  I get it.  We’ve all been there and done that.  But…if you’ll just hear me out.  These are different. Pull up a chair and blend up a BPC…there’s a little story that goes with these…


These were fluffy and sweet and a perfect low carb solution for those missing “real” pancakes.

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved pancakes.  She loved their fluffiness–the spongy airiness that held the savory butter and thick maple syrup.  She loved whipping up a batch for her kids and even used fruit to make funny pancake faces.  She loved that her kids gobbled them up as fast as they came out of the pan, but she always waited until she had at least a warm stack of four (two a piece) before she called them to the table.  And then one day the girl and her children, and her husband went low carb.

And the girl missed the fluffiness of the pancakes and making the silly pancake faces, but she was determined to succeed at a ketogenic diet. So she sought out low carb recipes and she whipped up cream cheese and almond flour and pulverized coconut and she was so hopeful that each recipe she tried would be the perfect substitute for the high carbage pancakes of her past.  And each time she was a little disappointed, even when she whipped the egg whites and crushed the pork rinds.  Those pancakes were okay, but she knew the texture wasn’t quite right.

One morning her kids asked for pancakes.  They wanted the fluffy kind.  The girl admitted that she could not make fluffy pancakes low carb.  And the children, who were smarter than the girl, asked her why she didn’t use buttermilk.  And on that day the girl remembered that the high carb pancakes of her past started with adding vinegar to milk to make buttermilk and maybe if she did that with heavy cream and used baking soda and….

and she made what she thought was an excellent recipe.  Now….I’ll share that recipe with you because it is good, but just last Saturday that same girl was making a video to explain low carb recipe ingredients and she made up a new pancake recipe and she videotaped the whole thing! And it was really THE perfect low carb pancake recipe.  Her picky husband said so himself.  Her little carb monkey son asked her why she was eating “real” pancakes, and her finicky daughter ate the last of those she managed to refrigerate.  What further evidence could you need to know that these are as close to the real deal high carbage version that you will ever make low carb?


Just add butter…..because ‘butter makes it better’!

Here’s the recipe along with the link to the YouTube video to walk you through the process.  Let me know what you think after you try them! Perfect Pancake Video

Oh, and for what to eat with them?  Try my low carb fruit sauce:    https://youtu.be/HeMH49awBOM

Or add some peanut butter and sugar free jelly or eat them plain as I often do.  You will love them any way!

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour
  • 1/3 cup crushed pork rinds

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons protein powder (whey, egg white, or pea protein work fine. use vanilla or unflavored)
  • 1 tablespoon oat fiber (use 1 tablespoon coconut flour if you don’t have oat fiber)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream (or full fat Greek yogurt no sugars added)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup granulated sweetener (erythritol or xylitol are preferable)
  • 10 drops liquid sweetener (adjust to your preferred sweetness by starting at 5 drops)

First, add the vinegar to the heavy cream and set it aside to make “buttermilk”.  In a large bowl or blender mix all ingredients except the buttermilk.  Add the heavy cream and vinegar “buttermilk” last.

Fry batter on medium high heat in three inch diameter pancakes in your favorite oil such as butter, ghee, or coconut oil.  Enjoy!  These pancakes can be refrigerated and warmed in the toaster or in a pan.  They also freeze well.

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Using Alternative Ingredients Grain Free Low Carb Recipes

As someone who cooks by smell, taste, and feel it wasn’t easy for me to learn how to cook low carb high fat. I was especially challenged when it came to using alternative flours and oils in baking. While using traditional flours was somewhat intuitive, using nut flours or coconut flour was not. For the first six to nine months on keto, I followed each recipe to the letter—something I had rarely done before!

Slowly I gained some confidence and took a few risks and learned some hard lessons! If you’ve ever wondered what ingredients to use in low carb baked goods or why an ingredient is used or what ingredients combine well with others then this post is for you. Also, if you’ve ever found a recipe that looks and sounds fantastic, but you’re missing an obscure ingredient and you’ve wondered if you could make a substitution so that you don’t have to buy more strange ingredients that seem available only online, then this post may help you out.

Alternate flours. What helps texture and what adds bulk or substance?

  • Almond flour–although it can be pricey, it’s a good standard nut flour.  It burns easily, so if you’re baking with it, keep temps at 350 or lower (I tend to use 325 degrees when baking with almond flour.  It’s dense and heavy and needs to be paired with other flours or agents that provide some volume or rise.  Almond flour doesn’t absorb moisture like other more “thirsty” options.  It’s versatile and a good staple to keep on hand for a keto kitchen.  You can use it in cookies, brownies, cakes, biscuits, breads, muffins, pie crusts, etc.  It’s generally available at Wal-Mart, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s, Big Lots, and local grocers.  Please know that almond meal is thicker and more coarse and will give you a more dense baked good than a finer almond flour (which I prefer).  You can also buy almond flour online at Honeyville (my favorite), Netrition, or Amazon.  There are likely other sites as that list is not exhaustive.
  • Coconut flour–another great staple to keep on hand.  It plays well with almond flour, but it isn’t as easygoing.  It’s qualities can vary somewhat by brand and can be impacted by humidity in storage and when baking with it.  Coconut flour is “thirsty” and it needs more eggs and liquid to give it structure. For all it’s finickiness, it gives a great texture to LC baked goods.  It gives a lighter texture and finer crumb than almond flour.  Unlike almond flour, a little goes a long way.  Two tablespoons of coconut flour combined with a cup or cup and a half of almond flour is a common base you’ll see in a lot of baked goods.  Coconut flour retains it’s grit–it cannot be used as a creamy thickener for soups, casseroles, or LC gravies.  It’s wonderful in cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, etc., but is usually paired with almond flour or another nut flour to give it bulk.  It can be found in some local grocers or national chains.  It also is available at the online stores I listed above for almond flour.
  • Pork rinds–you thought those were just for snacks or nachos or dipping in guacamole?  Or maybe you’ve wrinkled your nose in disdain for them when you brushed by them in the gas station.  Either way, if you’re not cooking with them you’re missing out!  I have a video tape dedicated to my love of pork rinds and all of the useful ways you can use them for LCHF.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQqpTiVlEwg     When finely crushed, pork rinds make a great flour.  They can be used in sweet or savory dishes, and are surprisingly flavor neutral for the most part as long as you buy unflavored and stick to the fluffier skins rather than the crunchier craklin’ versions.  I have used pork rind dust in pancakes, casseroles, and as breading for chicken, fish, and country style steak  Pork rinds provide a gelatinous texture and are slightly thirsty.  They are good for texture.  Most grocery stores have them, but my favorite place to buy them is convenience stores in rural areas.  I’ve discovered my favorite brands by  stopping   at independently owned service stations in the middle of nowhere.  No, I’m not obsessed. Why do you ask?
  • Hazelnut, walnut, pecan flour–these behave much like almond flour in terms of baked goods, providing volume, but are also dense and heavy and not “thirsty”.  They can generally be easily interchanged with almond flour in recipes.  They have a stronger flavor profile especially when you pair them with their corresponding nut oil.  For example, hazelnut pairs well with chocolate for a “Nutella” flavor.  Using hazelnut oil in the batter enhances the subtle flavor.  The same is true for walnuts.  These flours are not as easy to find in local stores or national grocers, but can be ordered online from the websites I mentioned as sources for almond flour.
  • Nut butters–these can be used for making cookies, brownies, fudge, or “fat bombs”.   Nut butters are thick and dense and not typically used in cakes.You can make your own from grinding nuts or you can buy them.  The very first LC treat I ever made was a very simple recipe that used 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of granulated sweetener, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt.  You mix all of that, scoop batter into cookies and place onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes.  Don’t overbake and don’t burn your mouth!  You can also add LC chocolate chips or a LC chocolate bar chopped up.  Those cookies literally saved my life by keeping me on plan.  I remember thinking, “If I can eat these and lose weight, I can do this!”
  • Oat fiber–yes, I have a little bit of a crush on this obscure ingredient.  It’s a fiber and does not impact blood glucose.  It gives baked goods a wonderful, floury taste and texture.  It makes LC treats so much more like the “real thing”.  As for texture, it’s very thirsty and behaves similar to coconut flour but has a softer texture.  But, and you knew there was a but, right?  It is derived from a grain.  While it is gluten free, it is often processed in facilities such that cross contamination can occur.  I’ve only been able to find it online and some vendors do reportedly sell a gluten free version.  You can buy it at Amazon, Netrition, Honeyville, or Trim Healthy Momma.  Like coconut flour, you pair oat fiber with other flours and wouldn’t use it alone.  If you don’t have it or can’t find it, coconut flour makes a good substitute.
  • Psyllium fiber–yes, it’s just what you’re thinking, a common fiber supplement.  You can find it not in the baking aisles, but nearer the pharmacy section.  It’s very thirsty and can also add a gelatinous texture.  I use it to make a LC flatbread that my daughter and I love!  It’s the closest thing to LC pita bread that I’ve ever had.  Other folks use it to make basic bread or wraps.  It’s another good staple to have on hand.

Additions that add volume, rise, or texture.

  • Baking powder–look for baking powder that is aluminum free.  Trader Joe’s has a good brand.  It’s a common ingredient in most kitchens, so I won’t say much about it other than 1 to 2 teaspoons is a pretty standard amount to use in baked goods.
  • Baking soda–unlike baking powder, baking soda needs an agent to activate it.  An acid like vinegar or lemon juice is perfect.  Generally you add baking soda to your dry ingredients and the acid gets added at the end of mixing, typically with the wet ingredients.  If you’re like me and you like to taste test the batter before baking, please know that baking soda can give batter an “odd” taste.  Don’t let it discourage you as that flavor disappears in the chemical process of baking.
  • Gelatin–unflavored gelatin is great for providing some of the structure that’s missing when you don’t use gluten.  You can order grass fed beef or porcine gelatin online or find unflavored gelatin in any grocers.  Knox is a common brand.  Just be sure that it’s unflavored.
  • Xanthan gum–what to say about this stuff.  It can help texture in baked goods and is generally listed as “optional”.  I have used it and been grateful at times and have also used it and wished I hadn’t.  The line between just enough and too much is hard for me to find.  It can give baked goods a gummy texture if overdone.  I keep it on hand and try to err on the side of using too little.  A small bag is about $10.00, but it will last for more than a year.
  • Eggs–specifically egg whites help with volume and texture.  Before LCHF I dutifully avoided ANY recipe that called for egg whites.  For some reason I was super intimidated.  Let me assure you that if you have a clean bowl and a hand mixer, you can do this!  You don’t want any oily residue on the bowl or the beaters, but other than that, just beat until the egg whites are stiff.  Generally, you beat them long enough that you can turn the bowl upside down and see no movement from egg whites.  Also, you will typically fold them into the batter at the end. Folding means you GENTLY incorporate the egg whites into the batter.  A rubber spatula works well for this and you simply keep running the spatula around the sides of the bowl and then thru the middle.  If you stir egg whites in too roughly, they will deflate or lose volume.


  • Butter–we all know butter makes it better, right?  butter is my absolutely favorite fat to use in baking.  Salted or unsalted, butter just reigns supreme in my kitchen.
  • Coconut oil–another LC staple.  If you’re dairy free, coconut oil is a great option.  It behaves similarly to butter in baked goods and can be used interchangeably.
  • MCT oil–as long as you need a liquid fat, this is another good option, but not a necessity.  MCT is medium chain triglycerides.  It’s a good fat.
  • Ghee–clarified butter.  It’s a good option for folks who are dairy free, but want the taste of butter.  Since the milk solids are removed when the butter is clarified most lactose intolerant folks can enjoy ghee.  I’m not sure about those with milk allergies.
  • Bacon fat–for savory baked goods such as LC biscuits, breads, rolls, etc. it’s a fantastic option!  I save my bacon fat from cooking bacon in the oven and pouring the drippings into a recycled pickle jar by the stove.  Liquid gold!


There are so many opinions about which sweeteners are safe and which ones are evil.  For the purpose of this post I’ll stick to describing their use by texture, form (liquid, powder, granulated, etc.) and intensity.  You can decide what you want to use, and we’ll just stick with a don’t ask, don’t tell policy.  Okay?

  • Liquid sweeteners–besides taste, the form sweeteners take can be important.  Most liquid sweeteners are very intense with just a few drops providing the equivalent of 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar.  The liquid sweeteners with which I am most familiar are liquid sucralose and liquid stevia. The intensity of liquid stevia seems greater than liquid sucralose and varies widely by brand.  Start with just a drop or two of either and add only a drop at a time until the batter tastes sweet enough.  Liquid sweeteners can usually be interchanged without getting different results.
  • Granulated sweeteners–in addition to taste, these can add bulk.  Bulk or substance is often an important contribution.  Erythritol, Xylitol, Splenda are examples of bulk sweeteners.  Erythritol is lightly less sweet than Xylitol or Splenda.  I do not use Splenda as it has been bulked with maltodextrin which behaves like sugar in our bodies.  It raises my blood glucose, but some people can use it without any ill effects.  Pure sucralose and powdered stevia are other non-liquid options, but they do not provide the bulk or substance that the others add.  When I need bulk, I’ll often use some erythritol or xylitol and then add powdered pure sucralose or stevia (a small pinch at a time) to achieve the desired sweetness.
  • Powdered sweeteners–sometimes recipes call for powdered sweeteners.  This can be important when you need a smooth texture as in a ganache, “buttercream” frosting, or sauce.  If a recipe calls for powdered sweetener, simply run your preferred granulated sweetener through a blender, ninja, bullet, etc.  Some folks have reported that a regular blender doesn’t work well and that they have purchased a cheap coffee grinder just for that purpose.

Liquids or fats.

  • Sour cream–This is a great inexpensive LC option.  Be sure to buy the full-fat version and check the ingredients to make sure no food starches are added.
  • Greek yogurt–when a recipe calls for Greek yogurt I generally cringe because it can be extremely difficult to find full fat yogurt with no added sugars.  When I do find it, it’s expensive.  Most of the time I simply use sour cream instead, and that’s okay.
  • Heavy cream–if you’ve watched any of my videos, you’ve likely heard me explain that heavy cream has a higher fat content than heavy whipping cream.  It’s true and I prefer heavy cream.  If you can’t find heavy cream, heavy whipping cream is a fine substitute.  It adds a rich and creamy texture to recipes.  Like butter, it’s my preferred ingredient.
  • Coconut milk–a good dairy free option.  Can be substituted for cream, but if you need more thickness use coconut cream.  It does add a slight coconut flavor, so keep that in mind.  Also, be persnickety when choosing a brand of coconut milk or coconut cream.  Companies are notorious for adding sugars, stabilizers, thickeners, and flavors.  You don’t want any of that.  Native Forest or Arroy-D are my preferred brands.  I order both online.
  • Coconut cream–another good dairy free option.  It can be whipped just like heavy cream.  Don’t forget to be picky about ingredients.
  • Almond milk–another dairy free option, but much thinner than heavy cream.  Sometimes the thinner texture is exactly what you need.  Just as with coconut milk and coconut cream, take care when purchasing almond milk.  Food companies love to add sugars and thickeners and flavors.  You want the ingredients to be very simple–almond milk.

Obviously, those are just the basics, and I’ve likely omitted someone’s favorite ingredient, but I wanted to share just an overview of some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the time that I’ve been cooking keto.

You can also watch me discuss using alterative ingredients on my YouTube channel, Cooking Keto with Kristie. In this video I give a very basic review of what ingredients I keep on hand and how I combine alternative ingredients to make low carb recipes.

Please feel free to leave any tips, comments, or questions.  I covet your feedback.  Happy low carb cooking!

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Southern Summer Low Carb Tomato Pie


Low Carb Southern Tomato Pie

Tomato pie, ahhh!!!  It’s a Southern summer thang.  It’s rich and decadent and it tastes like summer the way June bugs and lightning bugs and bare feet make us feel summer.  I fell in love with tomato pie back when I was a carb eater. There’s likely a little of the high fat version still padding my thighs!!  Lol!  When I went low carb, I figured that tomato pie was just a part of my sordid past.  Our pasts have a way of catching up with us, and so that’s exactly how I came to create a low carb version of this delicious Southern classic.

The filling or pie innards are all low carb friendly, but it was the crust that presented the challenge.  I needed a savory crust that would hold up to the moisture of the tomatoes.  What to do?  Hmm…cheese? A “thirsty” flour alternative?  Yes to both and an egg for good measure.  And then the innards…savory, creamy…a tomato sandwhich filling without bread.

I could go on about the thought process for putting this recipe together, but you and I both know the real reason you’re here.  Yep. No need to pretend.  Here’s the recipe!

Southern Summer Low Carb Tomato Pie

1 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon oat fiber (or coconut flour)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon bacon fat (or coconut oil, ghee or butter)

Filling (innards)
5-6 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup mayo (homemade or Duke’s)
1/3 cup chopped bacon or real bacon pieces
3/4 cup shredded cheese (I mixed cheddar and asiago. Parm, cheddar, gouda–lots of things would work)
1/3 cup finely slivered onion

Using a pie plate mix parmesan cheese, almond flour, oat fiber, egg, bacon fat, and salt.  Press into the pie plate and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Place sliced tomatoes over the crust. It will be about two slices deep.


Sprinkle bacon pieces over tomato slices and add onion slices.


Mix mayonnaise and cheese together. Spread mayo mixture over the sliced tomatoes sealing by spreading to the edges of the crust.


Sprinkle dried oregano and dried basil over the top.
Bake at 350 to 375 for about 30 minutes.  Crust will be browned and bubbly.  Let set for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy warm or cold!!

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Meal Planning: What’s For Dinner?

Meal planning is definitely a love/hate thing for me.  While I love having a plan, I hate having to take the time to stop and thing about each day of the week in advance.  What I’ve found is that if I look at what’s in my freezer, what’s on sale, and consider my family’s schedule, then meal planning keeps us on plan without my losing my mind during the week.  Meal planning also helps me stretch our food dollars.

One of the primary reasons why I meal plan is to keep a variety of delicious low carb meals available for my family.  I can’t have them getting bored and sneaking out for carbs!  Like most families, we tend to have very hectic schedules.  Meal planning keeps me from throwing up my hands at the last minute and hitting a drive thru.  By looking at our schedule ahead of time, I know which nights I’ll have time to cook and which nights we all just need to have something to warm up.  Leftovers are welcome at our house and often become lunches taken to work or school.

You can access this week’s meal plan here:  https://youtu.be/DwilrH1t2J8

This week’s meal planning includes chicken quarters, lamb burgers, pork belly, beef roast, and seafood.
For sides, I’ll make Trader Joe’s roast cauliflower, shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon, squash casserole (see video for recipe), roasted green beans, marinated mushrooms, and broccoli salad.

The squash casserole video is here:
Grain-Free Low carb Squash Casserole: 
It’s a low carb feast!

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