Paleo

One of the questions that is asked over and over on low carb websites and forums of all persuasions is “what sweeteners can I use”?

Well, I was going to write this blog post all by myself, but I have come across three incredibly useful resources recently, so I will bow to them.

Top 10 Natural Low-carb Sweeteners

First comes a handy list of low-carb sweeteners from the Keto Diet App (I have just bought this and will review it soon).

The list isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the Sugar and Sweetener Guide, below, but covers most of the sweeteners that we get asked about:

  1. Stevia
  2. Erythritol
  3. Xylitol
  4. Mannitol
  5. Chicory root inulin
  6. Raw honey
  7. Coconut palm sugar
  8. Maple syrup
  9. Date syrup
  10. Blackstrap molasses

There are some there that anyone into low-carb would bristle at, never mind if you’re on a ketogenic diet.  However, their “get out of jail free card” as far as I am concerned is this, from that blog post:

Sugar is sugar – no matter how healthy it is, it will impair your weight loss.

Hear, hear!  And probably kick you out of ketosis, and wreck your blood glucose numbers if you’re a diabetic.  The article describes each one, with pros and cons, and lists them in terms of sweetness, net carbs, glycemic index and do on.

Shame it doesn’t mention Luo Han Guo, which should be in there as sweetness index 300, 0 carbs, 0 GI, and a pro of not having the bitter aftertaste that some find stevia has.

Sugar and Sweetener GuideThe Sugar and Sweetener Guide

Next is an amazing website: The Sugar and Sweetener Guide.  It is a positive encyclopedia of all things sweet, both natural and artificial.

Probably the place to start is the “Comprehensive All Sweetener List” and then look at the “Sweetener Values including Calories and Glycemic Index“.  It list sweeteners by “Sweetness Index”.  Given that sucrose has a sweetness index of 1 (and fructose of 1.7, which explains why sucrose tastes less sweet than ordinary table sugar, which is a mixture of sucrose and fructose, and powdered glucose, sweetness index 0.75, tastes even less sweet), I was amazed to discover that there is a natural sweetener, Thaumatin, with a sweetness index of 2000, and an artificial sweetener, Neotame, with a sweetness index of 8000!  The mind boggles.

The Sweetener Book

Lastly there is The Sweetener Book by D. Eric Walters, Ph.D.  If the other two resources haven’t answered all your questions, then this might do it!  You can buy a paperback: [simpleazon-link asin="0989109208" locale="us"]The Sweetener Book (US Edition)[/simpleazon-link], or [simpleazon-link asin="0989109208" locale="uk"]The Sweetener Book (UK Edition)[/simpleazon-link] or the US Kindle Edition, or the UK Kindle Edition.

Again, it covers an encyclopaedic amount of information about sweeteners that everyone is discussing, and many you’ll only have heard of if you’re a food scientist.

You can review the contents of the book on the website: http://www.sweetenerbook.com/

Food Babe Investigates Stevia: Good or Bad?

At the head of this post I said I had three important links.  SInce then, I have discovered this article by the Food Babe in which she looks critically at the way some (most?) commercial brands of stevia re made.  In particular, some of the (“Stevia in the Raw”, for instance) has more erythritol than stevia, and the erythritol is made from GMO corn).

I don’t agree with 100% of what she says.  At the bottom of the post she says

And when all else fails, choose a suitable alternative and forget stevia altogether. Lisa uses honey and pure maple syrup, and I personally prefer coconut palm sugar, since it is low glycemic (making it more diabetic friendly)

Well, if you’ve followed some of the links above, especially the “Sweetener Values including Calories and Glycemic Index“, you will have formed your own opinion about honey, maple syrup and coconut palm sugar.  All depends whether you are T2 diabetic and/or if you’re trying to stay in ketosis.

When you’re following the ketogenic diet one of the most often asked questions is, “How can I increase my fat intake?”  Well, if you have a good-quality mayonnaise, made from keto-friendly ingredients, that’s a very tasty and healthy way.

But the rumour has it that making mayo is difficult.

No it’s not!

This is the easiest recipe we have ever come across, and here’s my first attempt at a new way of presenting recipes, to make them as easy as possible, even for people for whom cooking is a challenge.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2q9otbAMkE

Nutrition Information

Grams /100 mls Grams / Tablespoon Serving Hellmann’s Grams / 100 mls
Fat 84.84 12.73 79.0
Carbohydrate 0.92 0.14 1.5
Protein 3.77 0.57 1.0

This recipe has 7% more fat than Hellmann’s, only 61% of the carbs of Hellmann’s, and 377% more protein!

Printer Friendly Version

You can download a printer-friendly version of the recipe, complete with nutrition information, by clicking here: Keto Mayo Recipe

The mainstay of our Keto life are the amazing keto rolls.  When people ask “what is keto?”, rather than tell them what we don’t eat, we give them some crispy bacon in a keto roll, and tell them that this is what we do eat (plenty of butter on the roll, too).

Then we tell them that there’s no flour or sugar in the roll.  It tends to go easily after that!Keto Rolls 01 Keto Rolls 02 Keto Rolls 03

To get our version of the recipe, right click here: Keto Rolls, and select “Save As” (or whatever your browser says).  There are many other versions!

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Update!

It turns out that Susan has a new preferred keto roll recipe from nutritional blogger Maria Emmerich.  Susan says that the recipe above is good, but not reliable.  Sometimes the rolls are fine (just look at them in those pictures!) and sometimes they come out looking like … well, sort of flattened pancakes.  And solid!

Here’s Maria, making keto bread:

[vimeo clip_id="68001848"]

And you can find more details of Maria’s recipe on her blog page “Toasted Sub Sandwich and Panini” (Scroll down until you get to: “HEALTHIFIED” SUB (June 2013 update!)).

Here’s a PDF of our version of Maria’s recipe (right click and “save as” here).

… and my ultimate in gastro-gasmic gustatory heaven is to slice a keto roll and put the two pieces, cut side down in the frying pan while cooking the bacon!

I have been doing some cooking (and so has Susan).

The mayo recipe is derived from someone else, but we’ve lost track of who–if you recognise it, please say and we’ll acknowledge you.

The Frittata and the salsa are all mine!

Quick and Easy Mayo

Designed to look and taste like Hellman’s, but without the canola oil and other nasty stuff, and without putting money in Monsanto’s pocket (yes, they own Hellman’s, it seems).

Also, this recipe doesn’t call for that “pour the oil very slowly” stuff.  Just pour all the ingredients in a tall cup and blend with a stick blender. Success every time!

Click here (or right click and click “Save As”) for the Quick and Easy Paleo Mayo recipe.

James’ Frittata

Clothilde Ermintrude

Clothilde and Ermintrude

Harriet and Juanita

Sort of like a cross between a quiche (but without the pastry), a Spanish tortilla (but no potato), or an omelette (but much easier).

Especially good if you have lots of eggs (we do: we have our own chickens.  Thank you girls!)

This recipe is for experimenting: learn the basics, and then experiment with the optional ingredients.

Click here (or right click and click “Save As”) for the James Paleo Keto Frittata recipe.

 James’ Salsa Recipe

If you don’t like sharp and hot flavours, then this isn’t for you.  But if you, like me, hanker after vinegary, chilli flavours, then this will accompany almost anything!  And as tomatoes come into season, substitute the canned tomatoes with fresh ones: preferably home grown.

Click here (or right click and click “Save As”) for the James Salsa Recipe recipe.

There is a lot of advice on the Internet in general, and Facebook in particular, for people wanting to go Low Carb, Paleo, Primal or Ketogenic.

But if you can’t find the answer to your particular problem, especially if you have a very particular medical concern, where do you turn?

For general advice, check out my list of Facebook pages I must update it: the number of FB pages on this subject grows daily!) “Paleo/Primal/Low-Carb/Weight Loss/Fitness Facebook Pages

Otherwise, try these:

Primal Docs

http://primaldocs.com/

Primal Docs is a network of over 400 physicians, healthcare practitioners, and independent businesses with a practical and evolutionary approach to health and nutrition. We are at the forefront of what is “Real Healthcare Reform”.

Paleo Physicians Network

http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/

The Mission:
The purpose of the Paleo Physicians Network (PPN) is to provide a simple interface between health conscious consumers and the medical professionals who practice Darwinian/Evolutionary Medicine.

Health practitioners in the PPN share these values:
For non-emergent (life threatening) situations the first intervention for most issues should derive from an Evolutionarily consistent framework including, Paleo Nutrition, sleep patterns, socialization, and exercise which is consistent with the processes which formed the H. Sapien genome.

Jimmy Moore’s Low Carb Doctors

http://lowcarbdoctors.blogspot.co.uk/

Jimmy says:

A list of all the low-carb doctors across the United States and around the world so that people who want to learn more about this miraculous way of eating and how it can change their life like it did for me and so many more can find a friendly, caring physician ready to help them do it the right way. Too often we are left to our own devices without any medical assistance when we start on a diet. Use this resource to find doctors who will SUPPORT you, not BLAME you for your obesity and disease.

Everyone is talking about ketogenic diets (including me):

Ketogenic What is a Ketogenic Diet, in a nutshell?
Ketogenic A Guide to Ketosis
Ketogenic What is the Ketogenic Diet Good For?
Ketogenic Tips for Starting and Restarting Ketosis
Ketogenic On Ketogenic Diets
Ketogenic How to Use the Keto Calculator
Ketogenic Ketone Testing
Ketogenic A one-page intro to Ketogenic Diets, to hand to medical sceptics
Ketogenic 203 Comments on Mark Maunder’s “Basic Ketogenic Diet”

and a number of people want to know, in the simplest sense, what it is.

The human body is defined as “dual fuel”.  Just as my mate JP’s car can run on petrol or LPG (gasoline or Liquid Petroleum Gas), so the human body can run on glucose or fat.

When the body is burning fat to get energy it does it by converting the fat to ketones, and burns those.

Many of us in the west, eating a typical western 21st century diet have damaged our bodies so that they rarely burn fat, they just store it.  That’s because we eat too many carbohydrates.  Some get used for energy: the rest get stored as fat.

If we cut way down (and I do mean WAY down) on eating carbohydrates our bodies are forced to start using our stored fat as fuel, converting the fat to ketones.  A way of eating that achieves this is called a Ketogenic Diet.

Ketogenic Diets were first used therapeutically in the early part of the 20th century, to help people with epilepsy.  Those diets were not very pleasant.

In the 21st century we know much more and eating a keto diet is more delicious, and much more healthy.

By the way: “in a nutshell” is apposite: nuts are allowed on a ketogenic diet”!

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That’s the end of the quick answer.  Read on if you want to know a bit more.

To the casual observer a ketogenic diet looks like a paleo or primal diet looks like a low-carb diet.  They do all roughly live in the same box.

Firstly, what do we mean by paleo/primal?  The “rough” idea is that it turns out that paleolithic man (from roughly 2,0000,000 years ago up to roughly 10,000 years ag0) was pretty healthy: those folk weren’t obese, didn’t die of heart attacks, obesity, etc.  So we wonder what they ate.  Some folk get a bit “religious” about this, saying that those folks didn’t have (say) butter, so we shouldn’t eat butter.  Others say that butter fits right in (it certainly does in a keto diet).

Here’s Kurt Harris, MD, who describes himself as an “Archevore”

An Archevore is someone who eats based on essential principles, and also someone who hungers for essential principles. Take your pick.

I think Kurt’s blog post “The Only Reasonable Paleo Principle” makes a huge amount of sense, so I’ll leave you to read that.

There are a million other things that you can read, but I am working on a study guide, and I’ll put all those things in there, so hang on: they will appear soon!

[simpleazon-image align="left" asin="0983490708" locale="uk" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OSaAmDQJL._SL160_.jpg" width="107"][simpleazon-image align="right" asin="0983490708" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OSaAmDQJL._SL160_.jpg" width="107"]If you can’t wait, this is probably the best book on the subject (UK version on the left, USA version on the right).

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Haas or Fuerte Avocado

REALLY dark Haas

REALLY dark Haas

This is the first of a series of post that I will be doing which are more about micro-nutrients than continuing to push the macro-nutrient wars (HFLC vs LFHC).

There doesn’t seem to be much warring going on in the area of micro-nutrients, and I think it’s vital that all of us who care about our health to understand the importance of nutrition, as opposed to just where do the calories come from. Anyway, much more of that in the future, but for now I am hunting down foods that are nutrient dense and which fit right in with eating well (whether you’re eating paleo or trying to stick to the “official” food pyramid).

And my food of choice today is the avocado, which is healthy in more ways than several!  In particular, you should be eating avocado with your salads and veggies! Why?  Because a lot vitamins and antioxidants in your veg are fat-soluble.  That means, if there’s no fat in your diet those vital nutrients go in your mouth and straight out the other end, without touching the sides!  But if you have some slices of avocado in the same meal, you not only get all the incredible nutrients in the avocado, but the heart-healthy fats in the avocado (similar to those in olive oil) will carry the nutrients from the salad or veggies into your system, where they can be used.

Florida Avocado

But there are two main types of avocado (well, actually there are loads … for a complete rundown check out this post from Food Republic: “Know Your Avocado Varieties And When They’re In Season“).  The two main types that people know about are the larger, smooth-skinned “Florida” (picture courtesy of The Witchy Kitchen) and the smaller, dark and bumpy-skinned Haas or “California” avocado (what we buy looks more like the picture up right).

But which is better?

Well, each has their fans, Floridians saying that the California is oily, Californians saying that the Florida is watery.  As I live part of every year in Florida I set out hopefully to show that the Florida avocado is more nutritious, but I’m afraid I bombed on my mission.  Using the USDA Nutritional database, the Haas scores higher on just about every nutrient:

 Units

Florida

California

Difference

Water

g

78.81

72.33

-8.22%

Energy

kcal

120

167

39.17%

Protein

g

2.23

1.96

-12.11%

Total lipid (fat)

g

10.06

15.41

53.18%

Carbohydrate, by difference

g

7.82

8.64

10.49%

Fiber, total dietary

g

5.6

6.8

21.43%

Sugars, total

g

2.42

0.3

-87.60%

Calcium, Ca

mg

10

13

30.00%

Iron, Fe

mg

0.17

0.61

258.82%

Magnesium, Mg

mg

24

29

20.83%

Phosphorus, P

mg

40

54

35.00%

Potassium, K

mg

351

507

44.44%

Sodium, Na

mg

2

8

300.00%

Zinc, Zn

mg

0.4

0.68

70.00%

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid

mg

17.4

8.8

-49.43%

Thiamin

mg

0.021

0.075

257.14%

Riboflavin

mg

0.053

0.143

169.81%

Niacin

mg

0.672

1.912

184.52%

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.078

0.287

267.95%

Folate, DFE

µg

35

89

154.29%

Vitamin A, RAE

µg

7

7

0.00%

Vitamin A, IU

IU

140

147

5.00%

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

mg

2.66

1.97

-25.94%

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

21

100.00%

Fatty acids, total saturated

g

1.96

2.126

8.47%

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated

g

5.513

9.799

77.74%

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated

g

1.676

1.816

8.35%

You can see from the numbers that  those who describe Florida avocados as watery are right (their water content is higher) and those who describe Haas as “oily” are also right: their fat content is 50% higher!

So, if all you care about is low fat and low calorie, you will choose the Florida avocado (but, be aware these figures are “per 100 grams”.  A Florida avocado is much bigger than a Haas, so you will probably end up with more calories anyway).  And notice that the Florida might be lower in calories, but it is much higher in sugars, so if carbs are your concern, rather than calories, you will choose the Haas every time.

And if you want those good, heart-healthy fats to help carry all the vitamins and minerals to where they can be used, Haas scores again, as well as the significantly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.  So, sorry Florida!  I wish I could be promoting my home state.  Maybe some Florida farmers can start producing Haas; here’s someone whose granny has grown a Haas tree in Florida.

Personally, I turn most of my avocados into guacamole, add some of my special high-fat home-made mayo, and often add some other nutrient dense favourites.  My current batch of guac is a slightly strange colour because I added turmeric!  Tastes OK though, and turmeric is a master spice.  More on that later.

My life has been turned upside down the last couple of days.  Normally each day brings doom and gloom as we learn of yet another indication of global warming, yet another GMO crop, yet another US state passing a law that says someone can fiddle with our food without telling us.

And then I came across a TED-talk that I think is the most inspiring and exciting thing I ever heard.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

This man has developed a management method which he calls Holistic Management:

Holistic management describes a systems thinking approach to managing resources that builds biodiversity, improves production, generates financial strength, enhances sustainability, and improves the quality of life for those who use it.

Wikipedia

At the same time it saves failing farms financially, it reverses “desertification”, it improves the soil, increases bio-diversity, improves rivers and streams, and sequesters (stores) carbon from the atmosphere into the ground!

On this next video at 1’55″ an Australian farmer describes how her farm was around $750,000 in debt.  She says:

Since we started holistic management we have increased our profitability by 20-30% per year.

They are now out of debt.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zavLvBU9iwI

If we still have your attention, take 45 minutes to watch this next video: it gives a whole series of case studies:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtQBoMoqc9U

If you’re like me you’ll want to know more.  Have a look at two relevant websites:

There is a whole bunch of free material that you can download from HMI’s downloads page.

And if you really get excited, you can order the two books from Amazon!

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[simpleazon-image align="left" asin="155963488X" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kAjMGZ3yL._SL160_.jpg" width="106"][simpleazon-image align="right" asin="1559638850" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51EWqIL3qBL._SL160_.jpg" width="124"]

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My mind is spinning with ways to get involved: to help.  There are thousands of people concerned with ancestral / primal / paleo / low-carb nutrition.  Here’s a man saying that the way to save the world from global warming is to produce grass-fed beef.  What’s not to like?

You comments, please, below.

IFWe are not suggesting that as our ancestors ran across the plains of Africa they were nibbling on chunks of chocolate!

While the basic ingredients in good chocolate are real food, and really good for you, it is difficult to find commercial chocolate that doesn’t contain stuff that paleo people wouldn’t want to eat, like high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, various preservatives, etc.

So here’s a recipe that you can use to make your own, “real food” chocolate.  This is another “n=1″ piece of research (or n=x, where x is the number of people in your family!) in that the taste is very much down to personal preference.  It’s a case of “suck it and see” (sorry!)

It is also ketogenic chocolate (see the section on nutritional information at the bottom of the page).

In the equipment list and the ingredients lists below, if you click any of the pictures it will take you to Amazon where you can buy these things if you don’t have them.  We are making this chocolate while we are in Florida; availability of equipment and ingredients may vary in other countries.  When Susan talks in volumetric measurements, she’s talking American cups, spoons, etc.

You can download a printable version of Susan Courtneys Healthy Dark Chocolate here (right click and choose Save As).

In the video Susan mentions her Sweetener equivalents chart.  Right click the link and choose Save As to download.

There are six videos taking you through making paleo chocolate.  Here’s the first (the others are spaced down the page).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umbDYDjY6V0

Equipment

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B0014CZ594" locale="us" height="96" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51APSfuwBrL._SL160_.jpg" width="160"]Double boiler.

There are dozens on Amazon; this is one of the cheapest but has good customer reviews. You can spend up to $300 on a beautiful, traditional copper “bain marie”, but that isn’t necessary!

You can also pop a basin on top of a saucepan of hot water!

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B000PSB5VU" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21bmJVYBElL._SL160_.jpg" width="160"]Pouring Funnel

If you are going to put your chocolate into forms or moulds (molds) then this is essential.

If you are making “bark” by just tipping the chocolate into a baking try lined with parchment (greaseproof) paper, then it’s not necessary (but you get big, hard lumps of chocolate: I broke a tooth on a piece!)

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B0013IDHTO" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QpH2onrWL._SL160_.jpg" width="160"]Scales

There is no need to get this sophisticated: however it is a good idea to have some scales in your kitchen to measure ingredients.  Americans: this may be radical for you, as you are used to working in “cups and spoons”.  The rest of the world is used to working in weight: I’ll translate from ounces (oz) to grams as we go.

However, these are brilliant: they will analyse and weigh all your ingredients so that you can have the equivalent of a professional “nutrition label” for your chocolate.

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B003VIIQJ0" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VUv8zJKgL._SL110_.jpg" width="110"]Moulds or Forms

… or “molds” if you’re in America!  There are lots of different ones on Amazon.

We used to make “bark”: Susan would line a baking tray with grease-proof (parchment) paper and just tip the molten chocolate in it, and put it in the freezer.  When it was solid we’d break it into lumps and put it in zip-lock bags, back in the freezer.  You do tend to get BIG lumps that way!

In addition to the above you will need some sort of mixer or beater, some measuring cups and spoons and a spatula.

And quite a lot of dish-washing liquid and cloths: it does have a tendency to get everywhere!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fiLq6-P0fw

Ingredients

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B009XEANGU" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4110hzoGSyL._SL110_.jpg" width="110"]Organic Cocoa Butter

Whether or not you use organic or inorganic is, of course, up to you.

But you are making high-quality chocolate here, so why not go for the best ingredients?!  The brand shown here is Kakosi, which is what you see Susan using in the video.

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B000GAT6NG" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Iy4KB3ODL._SL160_.jpg" width="109"]Coconut Oil

We use Nutiva coconut oil.  It seems to be a reasonable price for the quality: again, we are looking for organic.

On Amazon there are all sorts of brands and all sorts of “qualities”: Certified Organic, Extra Virgin. etc., and they all seem to have pretty good customer ratings and comments.

Another “suck it and see” area, I think.

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B007QR6A7C" locale="us" height="160" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51x47kuvRcL._SL160_.jpg" width="157"]Organic Baking Cocoa

Equal Exchange seems to come with a version that says “vegan” in the title, and cost a lot more.  But ours says “vegan” on the tin, so I don’t understand the difference.  This is also fair-traded, so your chocolate is not only healthy, but also ethical!

Susan used to use a mixture of cocoa powder and carob powder, and it’s certainly true that the chocolate that had carob in it felt slightly gritty in the mouth.  Now we just use cocoa powder, and it tastes fine.

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B003BHZ71G" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21%2B6N1PhpBL._SL110_.jpg" width="54"]Sunflower Lecithin

The brand that Susan is using in the video is currently (March 3 2013) out of stock at Amazon, so I searched for “Sunflower Lecithin Organic” and it came up with soy lecithin granules, not organic, so beware!

The brand here is liquid, is sunflower, has no GMOs, and no soy, so I think that Susan would approve.

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B003IO20T4" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/11AKx5je5gL._SL110_.jpg" width="70"]Sweeteners and Flavourings

Susan uses a mixture of stevia powder (which she gets at our local whole food store, Hoovers Market) and Luo Han Guo (Chinese Monk Fruit!).  If we were back in the UK, we would probably use liquid stevia from our medical herbalist, Alan Hopking.  If you haven’t come across stevia before, check out what Alan says about it, here.

In the video Susan mentions her Sweetener equivalents chart.  Right click the link and choose Save As to download.

When looking for stevia, you can get the powdered leaves, and that powder is green.  I know that Alan would tell you that it’s one of the purest forms, and I’m sure that as a medication it’s the best.  But I tried it, and to me it tastes of grass (not “grass”, but that green stuff on your lawn!) and I don’t want my chocolate to taste like it’s just been mowed!

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="B002LIGPR6" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FjhpuK7oL._SL110_.jpg" width="57"]Once upon a time stevia was hard to come by, because it hadn’t been approved by the FDA as a food stuff.  Now it has, and everyone is in on the game, and it’s harder to get good stevia.  We know that the major soda drinks manufacturers are starting to use stevia, and the suspicion is that, at least in the USA, they are producing GMO stevia, so we avoid Truvia and PureVia.  Vanessa Romero has a good article about it here.  The picture on that page, of  NuNaturals stevia is what I use in my coffee: but it’s not as sweet as the pure stevia that Susan is using in the video (it has bulking agents so that the contents of the little packet are about the same sweetness as in any other packeted sweetener).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng0t1nKTtR4

Process

  1. Melt 4oz (115 g) of cocoa butter and 4-5 ozs (115g – 140g) of coconut oil and 1 tsp (5ml) lecithin in the double boiler.  Stir until it is all melted.
  2. Add a cup (250ml) of cocoa powder and mix with your mixer until it is all mixed in.
  3. Add a quarter teaspoon (1.25ml) of stevia powder and a couple of teaspoons (10ml) of luo han guo powder.
  4. Stir, taste, and add more cocoa powder, stevia and luo han guo to taste.  This really is an experiment.  You won’t produce anything inedible, but it may take several goes to get the feel for what is your favourite.
  5. If adding orange flavouring (or vanilla, or any other) add that last, just a little at a time.
  6. Pour the mixture into your pouring funnel and fill the molds.
  7. MAKE SURE YOU ALREADY HAVE A FLAT AREA, BIG ENOUGH, IN YOUR FREEZER!  (I can’t tell you how long it takes to clean once runny, now frozen solid chocolate off of the inside of your fridge or freezer.  We went off chocolate for quite a while after that incident!)
  8. Put it in the freezer for a couple of hours, until it’s hard.
  9. Remove from the molds, pop into zip-lock bags, and continue to store in the freezer.

Are you old enough to remember “melts in your mouth, not in your hands”?  This melts in your mouth, your hands, on the plate you serve it on, on the rug, your mother’s pure white carpet, the sofa, your clothes … (’nuff said?)

You can download a printable version of Susan Courtneys Healthy Dark Chocolate here (right click and choose Save As).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXbcGj7xBM

[simpleazon-image align="right" asin="1591203198" locale="us" height="110" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51w6FncNM7L._SL110_.jpg" width="74"]Alzheimer’s Syndrome

[simpleazon-image align="left" asin="B0019LRY8A" locale="us" height="150" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21royfiStHL._SL160_.jpg" width="85"]We don’t know that this chocolate will cure, prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s, but that’s what got us looking, as Susan says on the video. She was inspired by Dr Mary Newport and her website, www.coconutketones.com. Check out Dr Newport’s book and website: in particular, watch the latest video from CBN news.

Susan also talks about MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides).

We use it a lot, but haven’t tried it in the chocolate: it would probably make it even meltier at room temperature!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8-9XoQA4cw

Nutritional Information

I was so keen to get the videos made that we didn’t stop to use our fancy scales properly, so I will have to do these calculations by hand (well, spreadsheet!)  I am only going to consider the fats and the cocoa powder; everything else is present only in vanishingly small quantities.

Main Ingredients

 Cocoa Butter  Coconut Oil  Cocoa Powder
 IF  IF  IF
Fat 108g, Carbs 0g, Protein 0g Fat 140g, Carbs 0g, Protein 0g Fat 255g, Carbs 32g, Protein 16g

These figures are for all of the ingredients.  Note that the carbs in the cocoa powder are all dietary fibre, so most people would ignore them.

However, given that we got 45 chocolates out of this mixture, it shows that each chocolate is almost 6g of fat, 0.7 gm of carbs (of which 100% is dietary fibre), and 0.35 gm of protein.

I therefore declare that these chocolates are ketogenic chocolates!  If you restrict yourself to 20gm of carbs a day, and include fibre in that (which is being very strict), you could still eat 28 chocolates a day and stay within your limit.  That assumes you eat no other carbs, but I reckon if you eat 28 of these a day you wouldn’t want to eat anything else!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPqDXe0cvco

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