The Keto Pantry - Hemp Seeds

Welcome to our new *virtual* Keto Pantry! Each post will feature a healthy, ketogenic diet therapy friendly ingredient. We want to encourage you to include these ingredients in your diet to help promote overall health and well-being. Please let us know how you like this new feature and what we can add to make it as effective and helpful as possible. Proudly brought to you by:

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What are they?

Commercial hemp seeds, often called “hemp hearts” are the inner (shelled) part of the seed from hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Although the seeds come form the same species of plant that includes marijuana, hemp seeds contain only trace to non-detectable amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance in marijuana that produces a “high”.  Most of the THC is found in the shell of the seed which is removed before packaging. They are safe to eat!

https://charliefoundation.org/hemp seed texture 1625183

Photo: whole hemp seeds with outer shell

Nutrition (Derived from the USDA Food Database)

Hemp seeds are mostly protein and fat with very little carbohydrate.  They are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio (unsaturated to saturated fat) of linoleic acid (omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) which is consider to be an idea balance. Since they contain these fatty acids, they keep best stored in the refrigerator and should not be used for high heat cooking.

3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provides over 9 grams of plant based protein. They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids.

Hemp seeds are also high in iron, vitamin E and magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, as well as blood pressure.

NutritionLabel hempseeds

What do they taste like?

Shelled hemp seeds have a very mild flavor similar to pine nuts. They are soft and easy to chew with a creamy texture when blended or pureed.hempseeds

 

Photo: Shelled hemp seeds

 

How to use them:

The easiest way to include hemp seeds in your diet is to simply sprinkle them on a salad or in yogurt. However, since they are a great plant based protein, you can use them as an “all natural” protein powder replacement. Simply add them to your smoothie in place of your current protein powder and blend away.

Think of them in applications where grains, nuts or beans would be used. Use in place of chickpeas for a low carb hummus or a replacement for beans in a veggie burger. Try them in pesto instead of pine nuts. Puree them and use along with or instead of macadamia nuts in keto pancakes, waffles and other baked goods.

Click the recipes below for a few Charlie Foundation created recipes to try!

Flax-Hemp Crackers

Flax-Hemp Crackers

 

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Keto Pantry - Olive Oil

Welcome to our new *virtual* Keto Pantry! Each post will feature a healthy, ketogenic diet therapy friendly ingredient. We want to encourage you to include these ingredients in your diet to help promote overall health and well-being. Please let us know how you like this new feature and what we can add to make it as effective and helpful as possible. Proudly brought to you by:

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What is it?

Olive oil is simply the oil that is pressed from olive fruit and is 100% fat.  However, it is worth mentioning that many brands of olive oil, including olive oils labeled with words such as “light”, “mild flavor”, “salad” and “cooking” have been cut or diluted with lesser quality (non-olive) oils.

It is best to buy olive oil labeled, “extra virgin” from reputable brands and resources. The oil should be in a dark glass bottle to protect it form going rancid. You can also look for a “harvest date” and make sure you will consume it within 2 years of that date. A indication of a reputable brand may have the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) Seal of Certification. This applies only to California derived olive oil.  You can also review this report form UC Davis regarding brands found NOT supporting their labeled claims.  If you have ever noticed oilive oil solidifying in the refigerator, this means that you have a very good quality olive oil! As soon as the olive oil has warmed to room temperature, it will return to a liquid state.

FreeGreatPicture.com 7353 olive oil

Nutrition (Derived from the USDA Food Database)

Extra Virgin olive oil is very high in the monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Oleic acid can help decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol and possibly help lower blood pressure.

Oleocanthal is one of the powerful antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil. It works as an anti-inflammatory. Some researchers believe chronic inflammation may be responsible for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and arthritis.  It also contains vitamin E, another antioxidant and vitamin K which helps blood clot properly.

Extra virgin olive oil Nutrition dervived from the USDA

NutritionLabel

What does it taste like?

Extra Virgin Olive oil should be any color ranging from a bright green to a light straw yellow color. It should have a “fruity”  and fresh taste that is light, not heavy. Most freshly pressed olive oils will have a “peppery” flavor that goes away quickly.

FreeGreatPicture.com 7233 olive oil

How to use it

Olive oil is best used with no heat or low heat applications. Homemade salad dressings are at the top of the list. Drizzle the oil over hot entrees after they have finished cooking to preserve both the flavors of the oil and its healthy antioxidants.

Click the recipes below for a few Charlie Foundation created recipes to try!

Almond Crackers

Basil Pesto

Chia Balsamic Dressing

Chicken Nuggets

Coconut Oil Mayonnaise

Flax-Hemp Crackers

High Fiber Rolls

No-Matzo Ball Soup

Olive, Basil & Almond Tapenade

Spinach & Flax Microwave Muffin

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The Keto Pantry - Cabbage

Welcome to our new *virtual* Keto Pantry! Each post will feature a healthy, ketogenic diet therapy friendly ingredient. We want to encourage you to include these ingredients in your diet to help promote overall health and well-being. Please let us know how you like this new feature and what we can add to make it as effective and helpful as possible. Proudly brought to you by:

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What is it?

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable closely related to kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. There are several varieties easily found in grocery stores including green cabbage, the most common with tightly layered smooth leaves, savoy, which has crinkled leaves, red, Napa and bock choy.

Since cabbage is low in carbohydrate, and high in fiber and water, its an excellent choice for ketogenic diet therapies. This means that you get to enjoy a large serving of cabbage compared to other vegetables.

green cabbage

 

Nutrition (Derived from the USDA Food Database)

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. It is also a very good source of manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B1, folate and copper. The red cabbage variety offers much higher level of polyphenols than any of the green varieties.

Nutrition Facts for “green cabbage, raw”

NutritionLabel Cabbage copy

What does it taste like?

Raw green cabbage has a strong peppery or bitter flavor with tough, rubbery leaves. When it is steamed or roasted, it becomes much more tender and sweet. When green cabbage is combined with other ingredients, it takes on the additional flavorings and is almost indistinguishable. Red cabbage has a similar flavor and texture to green, but it is deeper and earthier. Savoy, Napa, and bock choy are all sweeter with much more tender leaves.

red cabbage

How to use it

Green and red cabbage is best used when it is sliced thinly and cooked quickly. Steaming and roasting will retain more of the vitamins and minerals than boiling.  A simple sauté of thinly sliced cabbage is a great substitution for carbohydrate based ingredients such and rice and noodles.  It is also helpful in “bulking up” meals. When cabbage is included in soups, stir fry’s,  and casseroles, portions will be larger and more filling.

For the savoy, Napa and bock choy varieties, their softer leaves are especially good for adding to salads and other raw dishes. They can be cooked as well, but again, should only be cooked as quickly as possible. The leaves on these varieties will virtually “disappear” when cooked too long.

Click the recipes below for a few Charlie Foundation created recipes to try!

Cabbage Patties 

Brussels Sprouts 

Chicken and Cabbage Puree 

Chicken Vegetable Soup 

Peanut Noodle Salad

Stir Fry with Noodles

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Cooking Chicken

Cooking Chicken

Having pre-prepped ingredients stored in the freezer is a major time and sanity saver! This is a great way to cook chicken so the flavor and texture after thawing do not taste like leftovers.  By cooking chicken using this method, it will remain soft, you can avoid using added fat during the cooking process, it will not dry out, and once frozen, it is ready to pull out of the freezer one piece at a time.  It is also ready to process further for other recipes that require shredded or pureed chicken.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Boneless, skinless chicken breast, a clean knife and plastic cutting board.   Fill a pot with enough water to cover the amount of chicken you have. Put the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil.

Raw Chicken Package

Step 2: Slice the Chicken

I slice the chicken into small bite size pieces. The are wider than they are thick, about 0.5 - 1 inch in size. I choose to wear disposable gloves when handling raw meat, it is a great way to help prevent cross contamination with other ingredients.

Cut Chicken

Step 3: Cook the Chicken

Once the water has boiled, put all of the sliced chicken into the water and stir to prevent the pieces of meat from clumping to each other. For the size pieces that I cut, 60 SECONDS is all it takes to cook. The water will not come back to a boil after adding the chicken.  Before removing all of the chicken, check a larger piece to see if it is cooked through. The internal temperature of the meat should be 165 degrees and no longer look pink.  I use a strainer to scoop it out into a clean bowl.

If you would like to freeze the chicken, cover the cooked bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator. I use gallon size zip top bags and lay them flat on a freezer shelf, making sure the chicken pieces inside are relatively spread apart.  Once they are frozen, shake the bag to break them apart and squeeze the air from the bag.  They will thaw in only a few minutes when I need them.

Chicken in pot

Step 4: Shredding

For recipes like chicken salad or chicken nuggets, I use shredded chicken. To shred the chicken,  use a standard food processor.  Just put the warm chicken into the processor and pulse it a few times.  That's it!

shredded chicken

Step 5: Pureeing

Once you have shredded the chicken, you can move onto pureeing.  After it reaches the shredded state, just keep the food processor running. It will take about about 5 minutes total.  The chicken will never turn into a puree, it will begin to look very dry and clump together.  Once you start to see it clumping together, it is ready.  Take a piece out and rub it between your fingers. It should be very fine, with no large pieces interspersed.  DO NOT add any water while pureeing! The water will add weight to the chicken and when added to a ketogenic meal, you will end up with less chicken than you should.  It is best to puree while the chicken in still warm. Once it has cooled, it never seems to get a fine of a texture. Once the chicken is blended with other ingredients such as cooked vegetables and fat, it will thin in consistency from the added moisture from other ingredients. At this point, you have cooked, pureed chicken breast that is ready to be added to a keto recipe or freeze!

ground chicken

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Updated Keto Pantry List & Printable!

New printable format of the Keto Pantry!

Use the keto pantry to determine food preferences prior to starting the diet OR use it to expand your current diet.

CLICK HERE: Keto pantry printable PDF

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How to Freeze Avocado

How to Freeze Avocado

If you are avocado lovers, this is a great tip! Avocados are great for the ketogenic diet.  It's one of the few foods that can be eaten "straight up"with nothing added and still remains balanced at a 4:1 ratio with the fiber subtracted.  The instructions are super simple...

1. Peal and remove the pit from the avocado.

2. Keep the entire halves intact, cut into cubs or mash into a puree.

3. Place into freezer zip top bags or use a Foodsaver.  If you want individual portions, use the snack size baggies.  The most important part is that you remove all the air from the bag.  This is what prevents the avocado from turning brown.

4. Thaw in the refrigerator and use as soon as it is soft.  The consistency will be different than a fresh avocado, but it works very well for including into other recipes such as guacamole or smoothies.

Here is a link to the Hass Avocado Board for more instructions, tips and information.

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Decorating "Sanding Sugar"

Decorating "Sanding Sugar"

Did you know... you can color Truvia?  The result is nearly identical to traditional Sanding Sugars.   I have never seen any "sugar-free", "carb free" sprinkles so this DIY version seems to be the only option!

All you do is add 1 (one) drop of food coloring to 1 tablespoon of Truvia and mix it around with a fork or small whisk until it is completely combined.  You can even use your fingers to break up the small clumps and distribute the color evenly. It is ready to use immediately or can be stores in a sealed container for future use.  I used traditional food colorings and natural food coloring (India Tree) in the pictures, there was no difference in the quality of the colors.  Some keto centers do not allow artificial food coloring, so ask about using a natural version.  (I personally would recommend the natural colors over the artificial anyway).  The India Tree colors are vegetable based food colorings and should be accounted for in ketogenic recipes.

One tablespoon of the colored Truvia is enough to decorate an entire batch of cupcakes or cookies.  You only need a tiny pinch to put on the top of each to make a VERY happy keto kid.  You should calculate Truvia into a meal plan if needed.

A few notes...

Truvia contains Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol... some people are very sensitive to sugar alcohols on the diet. Do not use Truvia if you are told to avoid sugar alcohols!

You can also color powdered Splenda!  It is not as "crystal-like", more of a powdery look to it, but I think it would work just as well.  You can see the comparison of Truvia and Splenda in this picture (Truvia on the bottom, Splenda on the top). I have not tried baking with this, so I'm not sure if it would last...


Like regular sanding sugars, the sprinkles will melt into very wet icing.  It sits on top of ketogenic buttercream icing wonderfully, however it will melt into whipped cream pretty quickly, so put the sprinkles on at the last-minute before serving.

Read more about Truvia from their site, click here

Don't go crazy with this, save it for really special occasions!  I hope this helps make keto birthdays and holidays a little more special.

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