Lemon Meringue Cookies

Lemon Meringue Cookies

Why buy your cookies when you can very easily make your own? It’s super easy to make these sugar-free lemon meringue cookies! This recipe uses a powdered sugar substitute (see recommendation in recipe notes). It’s important for it to be powdered, otherwise the end result will be gritty. It may work to just powder a different sweetener in a food processor, as long as you can get it to a very fine consistency.

In comparison to the regular, sugar-filled version, the end result is only slightly different with sugar-free meringue cookies. They are almost indistinguishable.  The only difference you may notice is that it’s a little more difficult for the beaten egg whites to hold their stiff peaks without that sugar. Basically, that means you get less definition in your meringue design when piping. But, hey–it’s worth it to have the low-carb, sugar-free version, right?

If lemon flavor is not your thing and you prefer vanilla, you can modify this recipe by simply skipping the lemon zest and folding in about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  You’ll want to keep the lemon juice as a stabilizer, or you can use cream of tartar instead. Either way, they will not taste lemon-y without the zest in there.

As far as storage, just place them in an airtight container and keep them in the pantry or cupboard. Room temperature works best.  The only caveat is that the cookies can soften by absorbing water vapor from the air. You want to keep them away from heat and moisture.  If they get soft on you anyway, you can crisp them up again. Just place them in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

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Lemon Meringue Cookies
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
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Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Hours
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the egg whites into a large bowl. Beat using a hand mixer at medium speed, until the whites get opaque and frothy.
  3. Add the lemon juice. Increase mixer speed to high. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gradually add the powdered sweetener, a tablespoon at a time, beating more as you go.
  5. Gently fold in the lemon zest.
  6. Carefully transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe cookies onto the lined baking sheet, about a teaspoon each, spaced about an inch apart.
  7. Bake for 1-2 hours. (Time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your meringues.) The meringues are done when they are firm and release easily from the parchment paper, but before they turn brown.
  8. When they are done, turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the meringues in the oven this way for at least an hour, until dry and crisp.
Recipe Notes

Powdered sugar substitute. Click on image for purchase link.

Swerve Sugar Replacement


 

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

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Banana Bread
Diet Level:4
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 50 Minutes or 2-4 Hours (depending on method used)
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Thick Slices
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 50 Minutes or 2-4 Hours (depending on method used)
Servings
Thick Slices
Ingredients
Diet Level:4
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Instructions
Oven Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl (or if you are starting with whole oats instead of oat flour, you could throw everything in a blender to mix, blending until mixture is smooth).
  4. Pour mixture into prepared bread pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool and slice into 8 slices.
  6. Enjoy, or store leftovers in fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to one month.
Slow Cooker Method
  1. Start by finding a loaf pan that fits inside your slow cooker. It may not sit perfectly in the bottom, but you may prop it up on some balls of foil, and it will fit just snuggly at the top. If you don't have a loaf pan you may pour the batter directly into the bottom of your slow cooker. Spray either the loaf pan, or the bottom of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl (or if you are starting with whole oats instead of oat flour, you could throw everything in a blender to mix, blending until mixture is smooth).
  3. Pour mixture into prepared bread pan and place bread pan in slow cooker. (If you are not using a pan, pour batter directly into slow cooker.) Place a dish cloth or 2 thick paper towels over the top of the slow cooker. Place lid snugly on top of towel, (the towel helps prevent moisture from forming on the lid, and making the bread wet).
  4. Cook for 3-4 hours on HIGH heat (depending on your slow cooker, and if you are cooking it in a loaf pan versus the bottom of the slow cooker, which would take less time). Cook just until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool and slice into 8 slices.
  6. Enjoy, or store leftovers in fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to one month.
Recipe Notes

NOTE ON BAKING BLENDS:

JoJo Erythritol Stevia Baking Blend (click on name to go to Amazon purchase link) is a good one to use in recipes. The reviews on Amazon are great as well.  It only has the two ingredients listed in the name: Erythritol and Stevia. It is non-GMO and organic. While erythritol IS a sugar alcohol, it does not cause the digestive issues of other sugar alcohols and has been approved by the FDA. Also, when purchasing, be sure to watch labels for non-GMO and organic erythritol.

SweetLeaf SugarLeaf Sugar Mix (click on name to go to Amazon purchase link) is great for recipes as well. It has stevia and raw organic cane sugar as its ingredients. This brand is non-GMO and contains no sugar alcohols. Organic cane sugar is unrefined sugar, minus the cancer-causing and environmentally damaging pesticides present in conventionally grown sugarcane. Compared to white sugar, organic cane sugar has the full-bodied taste of sugarcane and is much less processed, retaining a lot of the nutrients present in cane juice. 

Both erythritol and stevia (by itself) are sugar-free and neither raises blood sugar at all. However, the biggest difference comes in the form of taste. Stevia is super sweet. It’s 250 to 300 times as sweet as sugar. That’s why it has a bit of that artificial sweetener aftertaste, even though it comes from a natural source. Erythritol is much less sweet, coming in at 60 to 80 percent as sweet as sugar.

Sooooo, if you process ALL the information out there regarding sugar substitutes...and, believe me, there is A LOT of information out there...here is the bottom line---QUANTITY MATTERS!  It always does, right?

If you are going to have a treat once a week, then either one of the above baking blends is a great choice for you. Neither one of them is going to send you into a diabetic coma! They both taste great substituted in recipes. They are BOTH a much better choice than table sugar!

NOTE ON DIET LEVELS:
This recipe is marked as a "Diet Level 4" recipe and is also marked as "sugar-free." However, if you are going to use the SweetLeaf SugarLeaf Sugar Mix, then you would, technically, NOT be within a "sugar-free" diet level. Only utilizing the JoJo Erythritol Stevia Baking Blend would keep you within the sugar-free boundaries.

Oatless Oatmeal

Oatless Oatmeal

I’m always on the lookout for breakfast recipes that don’t involve eggs. So, here’s one for you! Can’t wait until you try it! You won’t believe what the secret ingredient is!!!

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Oatless Oatmeal
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
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Serving
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Serving
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Combine mashed banana and zucchini in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine egg whites and almond milk in a small saucepan and stir with a spatula over medium heat. Add flax seed and continue stirring until mixture begins to slightly thicken. Make sure to use the spatula to continually scrape the sides of the saucepan so mixture doesn’t adhere to the pan.
  3. Add banana-zucchini mixture and stir constantly as oatless oatmeal begins to thicken. (Do not walk away!) Add cinnamon, reduce heat and continue to stir until oatless oatmeal reaches desired level of thickness.
  4. Top with desired toppings (berries, nuts, nut butter, unsweetened coconut) and enjoy!
Omelet in a Mug

Omelet in a Mug

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Omelet in a Mug
Diet Level:5
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Prep Time 2 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Minutes
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Serving
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Prep Time 2 Minutes
Cook Time 2 Minutes
Servings
Serving
Ingredients
Diet Level:5
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Instructions
  1. Spray a microwave-safe mug with cooking spray. Beat together egg, egg whites, almond milk, seasoning, and tomato in the mug.
  2. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute. Remove mug and stir. Cook for an additional 1 minute, or until eggs are completely set.
  3. Remove from microwave. Let sit for a few minutes before enjoying, or take with you on the go!
Recipe Notes

Optional mix-ins:

2 tbsp lean turkey or ham, cubed; 2 tbsp red bell pepper, diced; 5 spinach leaves, chopped; 2 tsp chives, chopped; 2 tbsp vegetable of choice.

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