Monique’s Delicious Holiday Treats

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The best LCHF gingerbread cookies

The holiday season is upon us and we want to enjoy it and have a good time with our loved ones. We invited four interesting LCHF celebrities to share their best tips and recipes for treats without excessive amounts of bad carbohydrates.

Our third holiday-season hostess is the popular Swedish cookbook author and blogger Monique Forslund, who among other things includes the best LCHF gingerbread cookie:

MoniqueThe holiday really means family, candles, a warm fire and good food. I appreciate the Swedish holiday season with all the traditions and the December darkness that we warm with our candles and holiday lights. Unbeatable!

The holiday spirit is about caring and memories, and often the two are associated with food. You can make many wonderful and delicious LCHF meals for the holiday season. Gingerbread spices may be varied indefinitely, as may saffron.

It’s all about thinking outside the box – outside the “usual”. I make some recipes a little more liberal to fit others, but always avoid sugar and wheat flour.

I wish all of you a warm and loving holiday season with lots of laughs and memories, and of course, sugar-free ;)

Big hug, Monique

To the recipes and pictures:

Monique’s LCHF Mulled Wine

Glögg

– the very first LCHF mulled wine (Swedish glögg) that was spread on the internet!

  • 1 bottle (75 cl) red wine (you can use water instead)
  • 2 cups (5 dl) water
  • 1 blood orange (a clementine or orange works), halved and squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup (2 dl) blackberries
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl) black currants or blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl) raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup (2 dl) hard liquor, such as lemon vodka – optional

1. Put everything in a pot (not the liquor) and heat.

2. Bring to a boil, remove from heat.

3. Remove the orange after 20 minutes.

4. Let the rest remain in the pot and “rest” for 1–3 hours, or even better, overnight.

5. Pour in liquor if you want a strong mulled wine – optional.

6. Strain and pour into a bottle!

7. Serve with peeled almonds!

 

Gingerbread Biscotti

biscotti

  • 3 ounces (75 g) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (5 dl) almond flour
  • 1 cup (2 dl) coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl) shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

1. The butter should be at room temperature.

2. Whip the butter with a mixer and stir in vanilla.

3. Add the eggs one at a time during whipping.

4. Mix together almond flour, coconut flour, shredded coconut, gingerbread spices and baking powder and stir into the batter.

5. Form two lengths and place on parchment paper on a baking tray.

6. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 20–30 minutes at 400°F (200°C).

7. Remove the baking tray and let cool for a while, then cut crosswise and put back on the baking tray (cut surface facing up).

8. Set the oven to 250°F (120°C) and continue baking until the cookies are dry, about 1–2 hours…

 

Saffron Biscotti

Saffransbiscotti

  • 3 ounces (75 g) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1.5 ounces (50 g) almond flakes
  • 2 cups (5 dl) almond flour
  • 1 cup (2 dl) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

1. The butter should be at room temperature.

2. Whip butter with a mixer and blend in saffron and vanilla.

3. Add the eggs one at a time during whipping.

4. Mix together almond flour, coconut flour, shredded coconut, gingerbread spices and baking powder and stir into the batter.

5. Form two lengths and put on parchment paper on a baking tray.

6. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 20–30 minutes at 400°F (200°C).

7. Remove the baking tray and let cool for a while, then cut crosswise and put back on the baking tray (cut surface facing up).

8. Set the oven to 250°F (120°C) and bake further until the cookies are dry, about 1–2 hours…

 

Gingerbread Cheese Balls

Pepparkaksostbollar

  • 7 ounces (200 g) blue cheese (I used one with 36% fat content)
  • 7 ounces (200 g) cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Mash the cheeses together.

2. Roll into balls.

3. Mix together the spices in a small bowl.

4. Roll the cheese balls in the spice mixture.

Really tasty and festive!
You can use goat cheese instead of blue cheese. You can roll the balls in anything, if you tolerate berries – it’s good with dried cranberries. Or roll in chili pepper, chives or nuts…

 

Saffron Mini Pancakes

Saffransplättar
8 mini pancakes

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 ounces (100 g) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl) coconut cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 1–2 pinches saffron
  • 1.5 tablespoons psyllium husk
  • 1.5 ounces (50 g) butter

1. Mix the eggs with cream cheese and coconut cream, preferably using a hand blender.

2. Mix in saffron and psyllium husks.

3. Melt the butter in a frying pan and drop in little piles of batter (made in several installments).

4. Fry on low heat for a few minutes before turning. Serve as is, with butter, or with cream and berries. They’re also good cold.

 

Gingerbread Balls

Pepparkaksbollar

(Liberal LCHF as dates are pretty sweet)

  • 1 2/3 cups (4 dl) walnuts
  • 1 pound (400 g) pitted dates
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves

1. Mix nuts in a food processor or a hand blender until crumbly.

2. Mix in dates, oil, vanilla, salt, spices.

3. Take a heaping spoonful of the batter in your hand.

4. Form into balls and then roll them in shredded coconut.

5. Place in muffin forms for a more festive appearance.
Refrigerate or freeze.

 

Tomato Soup with Saffron and Shrimp

Tomatsoppa med saffran

2 servings

  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1.5 ounces (50 g) butter
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cauliflower florets
  • 2 pressed garlics cloves
  • 1 cup (2 dl) tomato juice (as low-carb as you can find)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 orange, the juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 3/4 cups (4 dl) heavy whipping cream
  • 1–2 pinches saffron
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1 table spoon paprika powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) peeled, cooked shrimp (optional)

1. Boil the tomatoes for a few minutes, remove from the water and peel, divide the tomatoes into pieces.

2. Chop the onion and fry it in butter in a saucepan.

3. Cut the cauliflower and add to the pan with the garlic and tomatoes.

4. Pour in the water and tomato juice.

5. Grate the orange zest and add to the pan, squeeze out the orange juice and pour into the soup.

6. Add spices and saffron.

7. Let simmer for about 40 minutes.

8. Pour in the cream, bring to a boil and mix with a hand blender or food processor until the soup is smooth.

9. Bring to a boil again.

10. Remove from heat and mix in the peeled shrimp.

11. Warm the soup but don’t boil with the shrimps.

 

The Best LCHF Gingerbread Cookies

pepparkaka

  • 4 ounces (100 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons liquid stevia (optional)
  • 1 egg white (lightly beaten with a fork in a cup)
  • 1 cup (2 dl) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 dl) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Melt the butter in a saucepan and mix in the spices.
Pour in the cream and let simmer for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool a little.
Whisk the egg white lightly with a fork and pour into the butter mixture while stirring.
Mix in the vanilla and, if you want, stevia.
Add almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and psyllium husk.
Mix and put the dough in a freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.
Work the dough together.
Flatten the dough and roll it gently.
Use cookie cutters to form cookies and place the cookies on a baking sheet in the oven.
Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 7 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy.

I’m usually not much in favor of sweetening as I want to avoid all sweet tastes. BUT in order to get the rest of the family to eat (and yes, it does taste more “normal”), I use a minimal amount of sweetening.

These are AMAZINGLY delicious! Best LCHF gingersnaps so far!

Hug, Monique

More

Thank you to our third holiday-season hostess!

What do you think about the tips? Please feel free to leave a comment here or at Monique Forslund’s blog.

Holiday Gift

Monique’s cookbook is a great holiday gift:

Low-Carb Living

Previously

Recipes for a Healthy Holiday Season

More Delicious Ideas For a Healthy Holiday Season

14 Comments

  1. Gretchen
    For those with diabetes, it would help if the recipes had carb counts.
  2. erdoke
    It never stops amazing me how little clue I have, as a European, about what a cup means. Different spoons we could figure out, but instead of volumes (what I guess a cup means) weight is more often used over here for stuffs like flours. It's the age of Internet, so I went ahead hoping that there is a simple conversion rate and checked, but it turned out that not only US cup exists as a measurement unit, but also a metric cup? OMG, I rather give up helping my wife with cooking/baking. :)
  3. Murray
    @Paul the rat,

    Have you seen this video by Dr. Cynthia Kenyon on insulin/IGF-1 receptors (regulated by the daf-2 gene) and aging?
    http://www.ibiology.org/ibioseminars/development-stem-cells/cynthia-k...

    In a nutshell, eating carbs accelerates aging; minimizing carbs activates genes to enhance repair, maintenance and stress resistance. This is consistent with my experience and that of others with keto-LCHF. A lot of older athletes adopt this precisely because it enhances recovery time.

    One take-away I got from this is that the down-regulation of insulin/IGF-1 receptor activity (through daf-2 or by eating less insulin/IGF-1 stimulating food types), stops de-activation of the daf-16 activity, which allows the repair, maintain and stress resisting suite of genes to up-regulate. No mention of ketones as a signalling mechanism in this process. Thus it seems there are benefits to LCHF apart and in addition to the ketone signalling. This means there should be added benefit to keto-LCHF as opposed to a more common diet supplemented with ketone esters and MCT oil to get ketones up without necessarily lowering insulin. I wondered whether you had seen anything on these as distinct pathways.

    Another take-away is that in the animal models, the stop-aging effect from down-regulating insulin/IGF-1 reception only had effect once the animal reaches adulthood. I am ruminating on the implications for children, but it would seem keto-LCHF would not be so important for them and that the priority should just be to keep insulin from getting excessive, so as to promote obesity, diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease starting early. With 12 year olds getting "late onset" "adult" diabetes, plainly there is far too much insulin in diets featuring processed breakfast cereals, orange juice and soda pop.

    Reply: #5
  4. Wren
    what is psyllium husk? and is there a substitute for it?
  5. Paul the rat
    @ Murray,
    I follow the work of prof. Kenyon closely, I did see the video, thank you for posting it anyway. As you know, prof. Kenyon is one of the original modern (if we can put it this way) LCHFer. I always recommend her interview with the New Scientist (2003) to everyone who embarks on LCHF. Her work and that of prof. Richard Strochman add immensely to the understanding of LCHF at the molecular and theoretical level. I think I posted several papers on the subject - we should have subject indexed library here, so these papers could be accessed at will.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10...

  6. Paul the rat
    I misspelled prof. STROHMAN's surname, sorry. This is an excellent commentary, sorry again for not be able to provide whole pdf.

    Nature Biotechnology 21, 477 - 479 (2003)
    doi:10.1038/nbt0503-477

    Richard Strohman
    Thermodynamics—old laws in medicine and complex disease

    Richard Strohman

    Richard Strohman is emeritus professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, 237 Hildebrand Hall MC 3206, Berkeley, CA 94720-3206 e-mail: Strohman@uclimk4.berkeley.edu

    The search for new laws in biology is associated with the beginnings of molecular biology and with Max Delbruck who brought the idea from physics that living systems, although ultimately reducible to universal physical laws, displayed qualities not shared by nonliving matter, and might harbor new laws unique to life itself. The rich history of twentieth century molecular biology has included a failure to find such laws1, 2, and that failure is seen as the major force driving biological research to find so-called genetic laws from which would come understanding of life and of our many diseases, inherited or otherwise.

  7. Pauline
    Yum! Baked goodies thai don't call for half a cup of artificial sweetener or lots of honey or dates. I just ordered the book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Now I need to download these recipes. I'm also looking forward to finding inspiration for what to bring to potlucks.
  8. nahid hotchkiss
    I love your newsletter!
    Would you kindly include the calorie count and the carbohydrates mgs in the recipes you offer?
    Kind Regards, Nahid
  9. Tije
    Is there butter in the 'Gingerbread Balls'? Because it's not mentioned in the list but the description says: "3. Take a heaping spoonful of the batter in your hand."

    Greetings from The Netherlands!

    Replies: #11, #12
  10. Zepp
    Its the batterd ingredients that one take a spoon full of and forms to a ball!
  11. Marijke
    Batter is called 'deeg' in Dutch.
    Reply: #13
  12. Zepp
    Dutch and Swedish is very similar, deg i swedish is dough in english.

    Deg, deeg, dough is probably the same word?

    Batter is smet in swedish.. could it be smeet in dutch?

  13. Angela
    I'm going to try these spice biscuits today as they look delicious and are a favourite of mine over Christmas

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