Low Carb “Keto” Hot Chocolate

Yes, you can have hot chocolate while eating low carb/keto!  Since trying out a low carb diet over a year ago, this recipe has become one of my go-t0’s and often serves as my breakfast.

The original recipe is from a pin on Pinterest, but I have tweaked it to my liking.  I make this in my  Back to Basics Cocoa-Latte maker.  I’m on my second one now  (the first one died and this one could at any minute) so I would love any recommendations for good cocoa makers!

cocoa latte maker

If you know of a good quality cocoa-mixing machine, drop a comment!

I have to also mention my very favorite Thermos mug.  I believe I grabbed this one at Target, and it’s been fantastic at keeping my hot chocolate warm for a loooooong time.  I mean hours!   

I have two favorite sweeteners/flavorings for this recipe.  I always use a sugar-free Torani syrup as well as 12-15 drops of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia.  You can sometimes find sugar-free Torani at Walmart, but I have also seen it at World Market and, of course, Amazon.  My favorite flavors are Salted Caramel and Vanilla.  The vanilla stevia I order on Amazon.

nunaturals vanilla stevia

I’ve also experimented with leaving out the cocoa altogether and using fruit flavored sugar free Torani.  It’s fun to experiment!

low carb hot chocolate

Low Carb Hot Chocolate
Serves 1
Going low carb doesn't have to mean missing out on this cozy treat.
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Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces almond or coconut milk
  2. 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  3. 2 Tbsp. butter
  4. 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 2-4 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  6. 12-15 drops stevia
  7. 1-2 Tbsp. sugar free flavored syrup
Instructions
  1. Add all but the stevia and syrup to a cocoa maker or to a saucepan. If using a saucepan, whisk well to keep cocoa powder from burning around the edges onto the pan. (This is a pain and hard to clean up, so that's why I prefer my cocoa machine.)
  2. Add the stevia and syrup to your mug of choice.
  3. When the hot chocolate mixture is heated through, pour it carefully into your mug.
Notes
  1. If I'm drinking this right away, I wait and add the heavy whipping cream at the very end after I've poured the mixture into my mug. Helps cool it down a bit so it's ready to drink!
  2. Using the sugar-free Torani syrups gives you a chance to tweak the flavors. You can also try leaving the cocoa powder out altogether. I did this once with the Salted Caramel syrup and it was "hot caramel" instead of hot chocolate. Delicious!
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Iced Herbal Tea

iced-herbal-tea

 

You probably think I’m crazy for posting an iced beverage recipe when, in most places, it is CLEARLY an Autumn day.  But here in the south, Summer is still trying to hold on. Heck, it was 84 degrees here at 7:00 last night.  I found this recipe online while searching for soft drink substitutes.  Seriously, Coke is my drink of choice right now and I know that is not healthy.  Working on it.  It’s a process.  

Anyway, this is my 2nd or 3rd attempt at finding something that actually tastes good and, face it, herbal tea can take some getting used to, especially if you are used to soft drinks and all that sugar–because I will NOT drink diet soda.  Don’t even get me started on that one.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.  It’s really simple and cheap in case you don’t end up liking the combination of teas that you use.  I couldn’t find the Red Zinger at the 2 grocery stores I went to, so I substituted a Zinger that was red, but probably wasn’t the intended flavor in the original recipe.  It’s still good though!  I know it will grow on me.  Try this recipe after an invigorating leaf-raking session!

Iced Herbal Tea
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
  2. 4 Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger tea bags (Red Zinger was the original flavor)
  3. 4 cups pure apple juice
Instructions
  1. Steep the 8 tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Discard tea bags; combine the tea with the apple juice.
  3. Refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice
Notes
  1. I think serving this in a pint--or quart if you're really thirsty-mason jar is awesome. Something about those jars just really makes a cold drink even more refreshing!
  2. I found (big surprise) that I needed to add a little sweetener to this recipe, so I just used some Agave nectar. Experiment with your favorite one.
Adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Morning Orange Drink

 

morningorangedrink-2

 

Here’s an oldie but goodie.  I promise some newer recipes in the upcoming days, but lately I have been way to busy to even think about cooking.  Ever had a few weeks like that?  Yeah.  I retired from a 10-year part time job a couple of weeks ago, but had to come out of “retirement” to do some more training for my replacement, and I just got back from a week-long trip to visit my daughter in Idaho–great trip, by the way.

So rather than not post a recipe today, I am bringing back one of the first recipes I posted, like probably my second one from 5 years ago! The source?  A recipe that I had taped to the blank pages in our Brew Family Cook Book that I had always wanted to try, but had never gotten around to.  Oh come on.  You know you do the same thing!  This recipe looked yummy and so I tried it and yeah, it was good.  Somewhat like an Orange Julius, so enjoy.

Morning Orange Drink
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate
  2. 1 cup cold water
  3. 1 cup cold milk
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  6. 10 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender; process at high speed.
  2. Add ice cubes, a few at a time, blending until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately (probably because it will separate if it sits a while).
Adapted from Country Woman Magazine
Adapted from Country Woman Magazine
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

 

Guava Punch

guava punch 2One of the great things about moving around a lot is that you get to collect awesome recipes from new friends across the country.  Our 6 1/2 year stint in El Paso, Texas brought me some amazing recipes, collected from many bridal/baby showers, church functions and meals with friends.  This punch recipe was from a baby shower (I think) at my friend Connie’s house.  I could not stop drinking it and finally asked her for the recipe.  There is not an easier recipe on the planet, let me tell you.  And I have served this punch at many functions–like both of my daughters’ wedding receptions!  

Guava Punch
Versatile, tasty punch recipe.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 carton (half gallon) Welch's Guava Juice (Guava Pineapple also works), chilled
  2. 2 liter bottle of Sierra Mist (really, that little taste of grapefruit makes a difference), chilled
  3. ice
Instructions
  1. Pour the guava juice into a punch bowl.
  2. Add Sierra Mist to taste, but it is usually the whole bottle.
  3. Add crushed ice (if you have a Sonic Restaurant nearby, go get a bag of that ice!)
Notes
  1. One cool thing I did for the wedding receptions was to get extra Guava juice and pour into molds and freeze them. They make great "ice rings" and keep the punch cold. Do this in place of the crushed ice. I put the frozen punch in individual gallon or quart size zip top bags and store in freezer until needed.
Adapted from Connie Chesshire, El Paso, Texas
Adapted from Connie Chesshire, El Paso, Texas
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Kristen’s Lime Punch

 
 
kristen's lime punch
This recipe was originally published on December 4, 2014.

 

It’s party planning time and you know what that means–scrambling for the fave recipes that will wow your crowds. If you need a super easy, incredibly tasty punch, this is your lucky day. It goes well with any venue you can throw at it. Do you wonder about the name?  I first tried this at a Pampered Chef party given by my friend, Kristen, in Horizon City, Texas back in the late 90s.  Kristen, if you are out there in the blogosphere and happen to see this recipe, say hello!  Last time I got a Christmas card you guys were still in the Midwest and your husband was working at…hmmm…Indiana University?

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6-oz. can of frozen  limeade concentrate
Juice of 2 limes
2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda


Boil sugar and water together until sugar dissolves.  Chill.  Squeeze juice of 2 limes and add to chilled sugar water.  Make the limeade according to directions on can.  Add to sugar-lime water.  Add lemon-lime soda to taste–don’t use the whole 2 liter bottle.  Just taste as you go.

Toast to America! (my family will totally get this.)

TIPs: 

  • I like to add crushed ice (Sonic ice is the best, if you can get it!) or make a decorative ice ring ahead of time from the punch before adding the soda.
  • Just googled this great tip from Chowhound.com for rimming glasses with sugar (or salt)–get a section of a tangerine or clementine, cut a small slit in it and then run it around the rim of your glass.  Dip glass in sugar and viola!

Kristen's Lime Punch
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 6-oz. can of frozen limeade concentrate
  4. Juice of 2 limes
  5. 2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda
Instructions
  1. Boil sugar and water together until sugar dissolves. Chill.
  2. Squeeze juice of 2 limes and add to chilled sugar water.
  3. Make the limeade according to directions on can. Add to sugar-lime water.
  4. Add lemon-lime soda to taste–don’t use the whole 2 liter bottle. Just taste as you go.
Notes
  1. I like to add crushed ice (Sonic ice is the best, if you can get it!) or make a decorative ice ring ahead of time from the punch before adding the soda.
  2. Just googled this great tip from Chowhound.com for rimming glasses with sugar (or salt)–get a section of a tangerine or clementine, cut a small slit in it and then run it around the rim of your glass. Dip glass in sugar and viola!
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Mango Lemonade

mango lemonade
 
 
Over the past several days I have had the opportunity to taste two different versions of Mango Lemonade–one at Outback Steakhouse, and one at Applebee’s.  They were both good, but the Outback version was OUTstanding!  I tried to replicate that at home.
 

Ingredients:

Mango syrup, nectar or fresh puree
Lemonade, tangy

Pour desired amount of lemonade in glass.  Add mango to taste.  Add ice.
 
The quantities you use are according to your taste.  Make sure your lemonade is tart, and if you have carbonated water try using that.  I didn’t have any and I think that would be closer to the Outback version.  So good.  And you get more than one free refill if you make it at home!
Mango Lemonade
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Ingredients
  1. Mango syrup, nectar or fresh puree
  2. Lemonade, tangy
Instructions
  1. Pour desired amount of lemonade in glass. Add mango to taste. Add ice.
Notes
  1. The quantities you use are according to your taste. Make sure your lemonade is tart, and if you have carbonated water try using that. I didn’t have any and I think that would be closer to the Outback version. So good. And you get more than one free refill if you make it at home!
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Cranberry Punch

I recently threw a baby shower for a dear friend of mine and wanted to try a new punch recipe for it.  After stumbling across this one, I decided to give it a try but I have to admit to you that I really didn’t expect much.  I mean, punch is punch, right?  WRONG!  One sip of this punch and I was in love….this, this would be my new go-to punch recipe!!  And I got so many compliments on it that I just knew I had to share it with you.  Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
4 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. almond extract
2 quarts ginger ale, chilled

1.  Combine all ingredients except the ginger ale.  Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2.  Combine juice mixture and ginger ale in punch bowl or beverage dispenser.  Garnish with orange slices if desired (you could freeze these in advance to keep the punch cold).  Serve and get ready for the compliments!

Source:   adapted from the recipe I got on Pinterest (but I think it linked to DrinkedIn)

Pink Grapefruit Smoothie

Ingredients:

pink or ruby red grapefruit, peeled, membrane removed
1 banana
1 c. frozen strawberries
1/2 c. orange juice, chilled

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.   You may find a whole grapefruit is too sour for your taste buds so add half first and do a taste test to see if it needs more.

Source:  craftylittlegnome.com

Apple Cider Punch


Ingredients:
6 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 cups orange juice, cranberry-raspberry juice, or orange-mango juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 750-milliliter bottle sparkling white grape juice

1.  Combine the apple cider, orange juice, and lemon juice.  Store in fridge until ready to serve.
2.  Just before serving pour juice mixture into punch bowl or beverage dispenser.  Add sparkling grape juice and stir well.

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens

Green Smoothie [For Beginners]

So… have you fallen into the Green Smoothie craze yet? If not, you really should. My husband and  I have been doing green smoothies for about a year now. I can honestly say that it’s been the best “eating” decision we’ve made as a couple.

I know that if I have this smoothie for either breakfast or lunch, I instantly have 4 (1/2 cup) servings of fruit and 2 servings of veggies (if you use 2 cups of spinach).

Don’t let the ingredients or color of the drink shy you away. This is a GREAT beginners recipe. I PROMISE you won’t be able to taste the spinach! This makes a 32 ounce serving. It’ll be really filling, and really tasty!

Beginner’s Green Smoothie
Ingredients:

1 cup water (you could also use juice, I just don’t want the extra calories)
1 cup light vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. unsweetend natural apple sauce
1 frozen banana
1 heaping cup of frozen strawberries
1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach

Directions:
– Put the ingredients in the blender in the order they are listed.
– Blend!
– Enjoy!

If you are doing Weight Watchers (like I am!) this whole drink is 4 points. You may be able to find a yogurt with less points… if you notice the only points in this drink is from the yogurt.

Want more of my smoothie ideas?
Blueberry Banana Smoothie
Jamba Juice’s Strawberries Wild Knock Off