Your browser is not utilizing JavaScript, used to open some windows. The Low Carb Luxury site utilizes JavaScript for some functions, and you may miss some features by not enabling JavaScript.
Low Carb LuxuryLow Carb Luxury
Welcome to Low Carb Luxury Low Carb Luxury Magazine Shop in the Low Carb Luxury Online Store! Contact Us
The Low Carb Luxury Store

Donate to Low Carb Luxury
Read LCL Magazine
Product Spotlight
Beginner's Guide
Low Carb Recipes
Lora's Story
Shows and Events
LCL Panel of Experts
Tips, Hints, & Ideas
Site F.A.Q.
Feature Articles
Suggested Reading
Recommended Links

Sign up for the
Low Carb Luxury
Online Magazine

Browse the
LCL CafePress Shop

B2B Areas:

Press and Media
Design & Marketing
Photography Services
Product Submission
Link to Our Site
Advertise With Us
Online Media Kit

Sign Up FREE:
Low Carb Luxury Weekly Recipe Newsletter!

Enter your e-mail below:

Product Spotlight: Bread and Baking Ingredients

Back to Product Review Main 

03.14.06 :: Product Recommendation & Review:


Ever tried Plugrá? It's a European-style butter that's remarkably smooth and satiny. Its lower melting point causes it to melt immediately in your mouth. In fact, taste it next to unsalted supermarket butter and you'll immediately notice the bigger flavor, nice finish, and increased richness. One taste of Plugrá butter and you will never go back to standard brand butters. Because it is a low-moisture, high fat butter, it's ideal for baking, frying, sautéing, etc. Plugra

Obviously, since Plugrá is real butter, it contains no trans-fats, making it a healthy choice for most low carb diet plans. Plugrá has become the favorite of chefs everywhere. The butterfat content of Plugrá is 82% versus 80% for standard American butter, and that 2% difference makes a world of difference for creaminess, richness, flavor, smoothness and plain old-fashioned deliciousness.

It's available salted or unsalted (though unsalted is more versatile and more traditional), and comes in 8 oz or 16 oz packages. At Low Carb Luxury, we've been total Plugrá converts for years now. Once you've tried it, you'll be hooked! We have a superb Béarnaise Sauce recipe at the site that uses Plugrá. Click Here to check it out! You can find it near butters in finer groceries, or in gourmet areas. But don't worry... it's not overly pricey like imported butters. Plugrá is a domestic product.

10.17.05 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Xanthan Gum
If you've been wishing you had a way to get better thickening of everything from Shakes, to sauces, puddings and gravies but you don't want to expend the extra carbs that using flour or cornstarch will cost, the answer is to look into the products the food industry's been using for years. Utilizing Gums (like
Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum) can give you amazing thickening power with such tiny quantities that carbs are not an issue. And they don't alter the taste or properties of the item other than offering thickening. One great manufacturer of these products is NOW Nutrition. Purchase Guar Gum, or Xanthan Gum from Netrition.

05.02.05 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Expert Foods Cake-ability The people at Expert Foods are (pardon the pun) experts at innovative ideas for cooking and baking. And with the introduction of their new "Cake-ability", they've hit on another winner. This amazing mix allows you to mix 1/2 cup of their product with your favorite nut flour, eggs, sweetener, and liquid (water, soda, DaVinci, etc), and voila — you have a cake with a texture that very closely resembles commercial cake-mix textures for an exceptionally low carb cake! And if the liquid you use is DaVinci Sugarfree Syrup, you may not need to add the carbs from granulated sweeteners.

The package back label contains recipes for a standard (any flavor) cake, a basic chocolate cake, a chocolate torte, banana bread, or muffins. Plus hints and tips for make other flavors and varieties. And guess what? They're all easy and they all work!

Cakes We tried making the cakes with three different nut flours — almond (we used a very fine ground blanched almond flour), which gives the most traditional texture and taste; pecan flour, which gives a rich praline flavor to cakes and is super with spices like cinnamon, cloves, etc.; and with macadamia nut flour, which gave us the most moist results, and a sweet nutty taste. You can always mix your nut flours, too.

The possibilities are nearly endless, and they can be made in loaf pans, round pans, cupcakes, etc. Top with flavored whipped cream, cream cheese frostings, etc. Or just cut in squares and eat as a snack cake.

A 6-oz pouch makes three 1.5 pound cakes (48 servings!)  I can't imagine not using it in my nut-flour cakes anymore! You can order online from Netrition.

12.03.05 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Flax-Z-Snax Pancake & Waffle Mix When I was a kid, we always knew we'd been very good when Mom made us waffles. It was more effort than simply pouring pancakes, and while griddle cakes are great, there's something so "Home Sweet Home" about waffles. Soft and hot on the inside, and hints of crispness at the edges of those golden little squares. They hold melting rich butter in their rows of small pockets and stand up to syrups, whipped creams, and fruits.

In short, they're a classic comfort food — and not exactly low carb friendly. We think that's changed with
Flax-Z-Snax Pancake & Waffle Mix from Flax-Z-Snax (formerly Low Carb Success). Flax-Z-Snax Pancake & Waffle Mix

Made with Golden Flax (rich with Omega 3 essential fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, and more), as well as wheat bran, high protein wheat gluten, non-GMO soy protein and other safe, healthy ingredients, these are waffles (and pancakes) you can feel good about eating. They come in at only 3 effective grams of carbs for 2 pancakes and each 12-oz bag gets you 10 big pancakes! They are sweetened with a mix of sucralose (Splenda), erythritol, and lo han fruit extract (a low glycemic sweetener.) Kudos to the smart folks at Flax-Z-Snax for making a great product.

Flax-Z-Snax Pancake & Waffle Mix comes in two yummy varieties, each with a wholesome, "rustic" flavor:
Blueberry, and Buttermilk. Each one is good, and we were unable to get a concensus of which is "best." No one could agree. But then, that's a good sign...

Each is made by adding oil, eggs, and either water alone, or water mixed with cream. We definitely like them better with cream, but also found they were great mixed with other creative additions. For instance, the Buttermilk benefits from a dollop of sour cream in the mix. And it's good with DaVinci's Vanilla and Cinnamon syrups. When making them as pancakes, you'll have hearty stacks — like the sort I used to get in the Pacific Northwest. But I still prefer the waffles. Makes me feel like I did something great to deserve them.

Flax-Z-Snax Pancake & Waffle Mixes are available from Netrition.

05.05.03 :: Product Recommendation & Review: Steels Sugarfree Fruit Pie Fillings
Wow.. I really love fruit pies. And fruit on cheesecakes, and as fillings in my low carb cakes.. and well, I just love fruit pie fillings. Considering that they are the number one pie filling ingredient in the world, I'd say I'm not alone. But for the most part, they're not a common option for low carbers.

I am really excited about the new line of
Steels Sugarfree Fruit Pie Fillings! They're now Splenda sweetened, and come in four varieties: Apple, Peach, Cherry, and Blueberry! Steels Sugarfree Fruit Pie Fillings

They contain no sugar alcohols, and are mainly just fruit and Splenda (they also contain water, xanthan gum, and pectin.) They come in at 4 1/2 to 6 carbs per 1/3 cup serving (or what you'd get in a slice of deep dish pie.) And boy are they ever worth it. The fruits are high quality and pretty much indistinguishable from their high carb/sugar counterparts.

Bake them into your favorite low carb pie crusts, or make cobblers, or even fruit topped cakes, cheesecakes, and pancakes. For a treat to die for, try swirling them into your low carb ice cream recipes. Yummmm!  They're available from Netrition.

02-10-04 - Product Recommendation & Review: Rudi's Organic Low Carb Bread
There have been a lot of low carb breads that have come to market in the last few months (and we'll be spotlighting more of them here soon), but the new
Rudi's Organic Low Carb Bread is definitely one of the best.

It's a soft, natural tasting bread without an odd, "off", or soy taste. It looks, feels, and tastes like a deli-style bread loaf.

It comes in at 4 net carbs per slice, so for 8 grams of carbohydrate, you can make a killer sandwich. And it comes in two varieties. There's the regular Organic Low Carb Bread, and their unique tasting Organic Low Carb Herb Bread enhanced with the flavors of rosemary, olive oil and whole wheat flour. The herb bread is wonderful for grilled Swiss Cheese and Pastrami, or any other spicy type sandwich. And the regular makes a superb french toast dipped in a Splenda-sweetened egg batter.

Rudi's Organic Low Carb Bread Rudi's breads use no hydrogenated oils. They use instead organic high oleic expeller-pressed sunflower oil which is cold pressed without the use of chemical solvents.

Each one-pound loaf nets about 20 uniform slices. Fresh and delicious, you definitely want to try Rudi's Organic Low Carb Breads!

They are available at most health food stores and in the organic aisles of some groceries. (We've found them at Meijer and at our local health food store chains.) Go to their website to see where they're available in your area.

04.02.03 :: Product Recommendation & Review: Nature's Own Reduced Carb Bread
Everytime a new low carbohydrate bread hits the shelves, I have cause to celebrate. It means that more and more bakers and food makers are accepting low carb as a viable market with staying power. It also means we keep getting lots of sandwich making choices! Our latest to try was
Nature's Own Reduced Carb Bread, and we think you'll find it to be soft, delicious, and "normal" tasting. It makes a great grilled cheese (one of our telling tests) and has a realistic "crumb."

I know that right about now, you're wondering whether it contains soy, and if so, does it taste like it? Okay, yes, it does contain some soy flour, though it's a pretty small amount. Here's the basics of this bread's make up: Whole Wheat Flour, Wheat Protein, Wheat Gluten, Soy Flour, Corn Starch, and some Wheat Bran. It tastes completely delicious. And that's understandable since its first ingredient is wheat flour, but it's true whole wheat flour, so it's not inherently unhealthy like high carb white breads. This best of both worlds comes at a cost of 5 effective grams of carbohydrate per slice. Not the lowest you'll find, but if you can afford the tiny bit of extra carbs, you'll find it's pretty worth it. It freezes well, holds up to spreads, toasts AND grills well. And did I mention it's delicious?

Product Discontinued
03.25.03 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Adios Carbs Tortillas
Yes! More choices for Mexican Food! There's a new low carb soft tortilla on the scene, and it's a winner! If you haven't tried the new
Adios Carbs Tortillas, you have a treat in store for you.

Soft without being gummy, overly chewy, or prone to dampness, these tortillas are nearly indistinguishable from regular flour tortillas. They're great any way you'd use high carb flour tortillas, in any Mexican venue you can think up. It goes without saying that they just cry out to be made into fajitas. But they're also great just to make wraps (from ham to peanut butter to egg salad!), or to wrap around a hot dog.
Adios Carbs Tortillas
They're made with a combination of flours: wheat gluten, soy flour, almond meal, whole wheat flour, oat flour, and sesame flour. Then they add olive oil, and sucralose to create an outstanding tortilla.

They come in three varieties: Regular size, Burrito size, and Garlic & Herb. Both the regular size and the Garlic & Herb come in at 6 grams of effective carbs (after fiber) and come ten tortillas to a package. The Burrito size come in at 7.5 grams of effective carbs (after fiber) and come eight tortillas to a package.

Packaged in plastic paks, Adios Carbs Tortillas are available from Synergy Diet.

Product Discontinued
06.28.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Aunt Paula's Fudge Brownie Mix Hey! More great low carb brownies on the market. This time, it's the
Low Carb Chef's own Aunt Paula's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix! Easy to mix, and very low carb were the first things that attracted us to these. So when we found they bake up very chewy and gooey (our favorite way to make brownies), we knew they were going to make this product spotlight.

Aunt Paula's Fudge Brownie Mix We liked them best with nuts added (both walnuts and pecans were good!) They come in at 1.64 effective carb per brownie (and that's for a pretty big brownie!) They're sweetened with an effective mix of low glycemic whey sweetener, Lo Han fruit concentrate, and maltitol.

So get baking! And here's a hint — you'll adore them with a scoop of low carb vanilla ice cream on top!

As always, Low Carb Chef products are available from The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
06.13.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Decadent Desserts Bake Mixes We just love it that there are more and more quick-and-easy mixes for the low carber who spent their "learning to cook" years using Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines. It's great to be able to grab a quick mix when we need to make quick desserts and don't have time to make them all from scratch.

One of the most versatile new kids on the block are Fran Gare's new
Decadent Desserts Bake Mixes. Made from an almond flour base, and sweetened with Xylitol (only a 7 on the glycemic index), and sucralose, these are very low carb, high fiber, and easy to work with. Add the flavors you want with a variety of recipes to make an unlimited number of desserts (cakes, pies, cookies, and more.) They're available in Chocolate, and Plain Almond.  

The Chocolate is great as-is, or add mint extract or peanut butter! And it goes without saying that the Almond base can be made into virtually any flavor. With extracts, oils, DaVinci Syrups, or low carb add-ins, go for your favorites!
Decadent Desserts Chocolate Cake
We made a luscious chocolate torte with a buttercream topping and pecan sprinkles. Very good indeed. Recipes are included, but don't be limited to just them. Both varieties are soy free, grain free, and sugar free.

Decadent Desserts Bake Mixes are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

Product Discontinued
06.03.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Atkins Fudge Brownie Mix Okay, with the first product up in this review, let's not mince words... You need to buy, make, and completely enjoy these delicious brownies. The new Atkins Fudge Brownie Mix are simply out of this world.

Depending on whether you like gooey-fudge-like brownies, or a more cake like brownie, you decide what sort of pan and bake-time to get your desired result. A larger pan (and shorter cook time) makes fudgy brownies. A longer bake time in a smaller pan gives you a more cake-y brownie. And add walnuts (our favorite) or pecans if you like. In short, it's hard to make a mistake with these brownies, and non-lowcarbers at our home were asking for more. No kidding... these are terrific. Twenty two people here tried them and all twenty two gave their highest recommendation.

Atkins Corn Muffin & Bread Mix Next up, we tried the
Atkins Corn Muffin & Bread Mix. We were anxious to try them because most of us grew up on cornbread, corn muffins.. corn everything. We've had some decent luck making cornbread-like substitutes which aren't bad, but my goodness, this was nearly impossible to tell from the real thing. With a true corn taste and a rich buttery flavor, these are delectable with warm butter.

Atkins Corn Muffin & Bread Mix I couldn't resist having one with my favorite Yoder's Sugarfree Apple Butter and I sure felt like I was cheating. Again, we highly recommend them. One note, they suggest a bake temp of 400°F, but we found 375°F for 5 minutes less worked better. We also found they worked better with foil muffin cups than paper ones.

Atkins Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffin & Bread Mix By now, we were in a baking frenzy [grin], and went for the yummy sounding
Atkins Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffin & Bread Mix. We weren't disappointed, and they are a chocolate lover's dream. Rich with a dutch-style chocolate flavor, these are light, sweet muffins that don't need any dressing up.

They contain maltitol-sweetened chocolate chips that get gooey as they bake. When making this mix as a loaf, be sure it gets completely done in the center (check with toothpick), and it will make a denser loaf than the texture they make as muffins.
Atkins Lemon Poppyseed Muffin
Lastly, we enjoyed the refreshingly light sweet
Atkins Lemon Poppyseed Muffin & Bread Mix. Even though these rated as the least favorite of the four mixes (something had to be last), it still rated very high and there was no one that didn't like them.

The Atkins Mixes (like all the new products) list all legally mandated carbohydrates on the nutrition label (including fiber, polyols, etc), but are broken down to show effective carbs for those low carbing (aren't all the people buying Atkins mixes pretty much on low carb? [smile] ). So these run between 3 and 6 grams of effective carbs per serving. All require the addition of eggs and oil to the mixes (we used macadamia nut oils, and sweet almond oils.) None contain soy.

Atkins mixes are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

Product Discontinued
05.07.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Pleasantville Cookie Company Bake Mix Last month we discovered the wonderful little Low Carb Cookies from Pleasantville Cookie Company, and recently we got the chance to take their bake mix out for a spin.

Obviously you can make fresh cookies just like the pre-baked ones (they include the recipes) in Chocolate, Vanilla, Almond, or Maple, but you can also use extracts, favorings, and add-ins to make any other flavor you like. Add broken pecans and coconut along with cocoa to get a fabulous German Chocolate Cookie! Or add in two tablespoons of Keto Orange Marmalade to get great orange cookies! You can either make them as "scoop" cookies (like the pre-baked ones), or flatten a bit and add a cream cheese frosting. Just have fun experimenting!

Sweet Fried Chicken In their included recipes, they suggest making "Sweet Fried Chicken" with the bake mix. At first, I questioned how good that could be. But my husband reminded me that in our high carb days we used to make a crunchy sweet chicken with crushed Frosted Flakes. So we tried it... and wow, it was unique and delicious.

We altered their recipe a bit by using an egg wash made with egg whites and coconut milk (instead of whole eggs and cream), and it's something we plan to have often now! Bake Mix Bags You can also add some thinly sliced almond to the coating if you make "oven-fried chicken!"

Each package of bake mix contains two resealable plastic pouches of bake mix. You'll want to try this versatile bake mix! You can get it through Pleasantville Cookie Company. A small portion of the revenue from sales of these cookies will help to support our site.

Product Discontinued
05.06.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Carbsense Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix And now, a new set of pancake and waffle mixes hit the low carb scene! From Carbsense comes two new mixes: Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix and Buckwheat Pancake & Waffle Mix, both in traditional box packaging.

Carbsense is a relative newcomer to the low carb product world, but have burst in with a bang with many products we'll be looking at over the coming weeks.

We started with the Buttermilk pancake mix, which made surprisingly light and fluffy pancakes. One thought one of our members had was that these would make great bookends for homemade Egg McMuffins. (Yes, we tried them, and yes, they were pretty darned good.)

Carbsense Buckwheat Pancake & Waffle Mix Our favorite way of making these pancakes was to add small curd cottage cheese, a bit of Splenda, and some vanilla extract to the mix's recipe to make Cheesecake Pancakes. Top 'em with strawberries and they're divine! Our youngest (honorary) member, 11 year old Julie, had a suggestion that worked so well, we have to share it... When making waffles with them, we added club soda instead of water (and a bit of almond oil) for great Club Soda Waffles (aka "Angel Waffles".)

Carbsense Buckwheat Pancake & Waffles Then we broke open the Buckwheat Pancake & Waffle Mix... They made a faintly sweet, lightly nutty tasting pancake which we enjoyed, but they shine best as waffles. Our favorite waffle variety we made that day was by far, our Gingerbread Waffles made with DaVinci Sugarfree Gingerbread Syrup in place of water. (If you can't find the Gingerbread flavor, try using English Toffee flavor with 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger... you can find DaVinci Syrups at netrition. )

At 3 effective carbs per 2-pancake serving, we recommend these mixes! You can get them online at netrition.

Product Discontinued
05.02.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Low Carb Chef Bread Mix This month, The Low Carb Chef introduced their new low carb Superb Wheat Bread Machine Mix. So of course we got to work trying it. When using their recipe (on back of pouch), we got a nicely sized loaf of light wheat bread with a crisp crust and medium-soft texture. We liked our results even better when we used 3/4 cup water (rather than 1 cup) mixed with 1 well-beaten room temperature egg, and almond or walnut oil rather than vegetable oil. This resulted in a softer, higher loaf. (Always remember to follow your machine's instructions for adding ingredients, but never allow low carb breads multiple knead or rise cycles.) This bread does not come with yeast packet (hence its lower price), so you'll want to have a good fresh rapid rise yeast on hand.

We found The Low Carb Chef's bread to respond well to "add-ins"; especially sweetener and cinnamon for a nice "dessert" bread to have with cream cheese or soft butter. And the dough makes good rolls and buns as well. Just let the machine do the mixing and kneading, then make rolls in the shapes you prefer, allow to rise, and bake in the oven.
Low Carb Chef Bread Sandwich
The standard loaf makes between 14 and 16 slices (they count 14) for a carb count of 3 grams per slice after fiber reduction. It toasts well with even browning, but browns more quickly than some breads, so be careful not to burn it. Now go make a sandwich and enjoy!

The Low Carb Chef Wheat Bread Machine Mix comes in 9-oz plastic pouches (each makes 1 loaf) and is available from The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
05.01.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:

Low Carb Chef Pancake Mix
There's a new
Buttermilk Pancake mix out from The Low Carb Chef, and our group just loved how rich it is! It is reminiscient of that made-from-scratch taste like many of our Moms and Grandmothers made years ago with real Buttermilk. And at only 1 gram of carbohydrate per pancake, you can eat enough to feel nicely satisfied!

Low Carb Chef Pancakes They're good with any of your favorite low carb syrups, of course, but we also found that with a spritz of sweetener and cinnamon in the batter, they are very good alone, or with a handful of berries. And they're a good batter base as well... Put some finely diced cooked cauliflower and onion in the mix with a shake of black pepper, fry the cakes in butter and top them with sour cream for a great side dish.

The Low Carb Chef Buttermilk Pancake Mix comes in resealable plastic pouches and is available from The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
04.12.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
The Low Carb Chef Cookies Great news in the world of cookies!!
The Low Carb Chef now brings us mix-bake-and-eat cookie mixes that are a snap to make and yummy too! This week we got to try their new Aunt Paula's Cookie Mixes.

They currently offer two varieties —
Chewy Chocolate Chip, and Chewy Peanut Butter (America's two favorite cookie varieties.) Here's how it works:

For the Chocolate Chip variety, you mix with shortening (or Smart Balance, lard, or coconut oil — we discovered the last two on our own), softened butter, and egg. That's it. Same for the peanut butter except you add your own (chunky or smooth) peanut butter.

Mix with your hands (this is DEFINITELY the best way to mix and form these cookies), then bake slightly flattened on ungreased cookie sheets. They only bake about 5 minutes (you want them still soft so they retain their chewiness) and you have hot low carb cookies with very little fuss!! And yes, they're delicious.

Aunt Paula's You can, if you have the time and want to, play with the mix a bit. For instance, we made a batch of the Chocolate Chip cookies with coconut added (and used the coconut oil — which is semi-solid like shortening.) These were very scrumptious. We also found the Peanut Butter cookies were just as good with Almond or Pecan butter (we added broken pecans to the latter.)

Aunt Paula's Cookies We highly recommend these cookie mixes and think they're a great idea to keep (several bags!) on hand in your pantry for when that warm cookie urge hits. Directions are included and we do recommend using a non trans-fat shortening. And just so you know they're easy... the 9 year old son of one of our members made a batch by himself (way to go, Jason!!) and they came out great. (I promised him his name would appear!)    They're available from The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
03.08.02 :: Product Recommendation & Review: Atkins Machine Bread Mixes
I'd bet that as the next two years march by, we'll be seeing an ever increasing number of bread options for low carbers. The reason is simple, and two-fold... first, as a people, we universally love the taste and versatility of bread. And second, you can't beat the convenience of a sandwich.

Atkins Machine Bread Mixes So we keep baking and testing here to give you our feedback on the good ones. The latest entry we had the chance to try are the new Bread Machine Mixes from diet originator,
Atkins Nutritionals. They've introduced three new mixes for bread machine use (though like most, you can make them without a machine, but we suggest you have a strong arm for the kneading!)

The varieties are
Caraway Rye Flavor, Country White, and Sourdough. Without hesitation, our favorite is the Sourdough variety — especially if you really like the little kick from classic sour dough. All were good, and all rose nicely, if sometimes unevenly, in our bread machines.

They come in at 3 net grams of carbohydrate per slice (when sliced into 15 slices), and the best virtue of these breads is that they are soy free. So if you cannot tolerate soy, these might be your best option. Atkins blends low glycemic corn starch with his wheat gluten, as well as both casein and whey proteins, to get a classic bread taste and consistency. This also means it browns more evenly when toasted.
Reuben sandwich
It can go bad quickly (within 48 hours) if not refrigerated, so remember to keep in cold. If you want, and you eat a loaf slowly, slice ahead of time; then freeze half-loaves.

The Caraway Rye makes for a very good Reuben sandwich when grilled in butter and the "White" bread can be made into a light wheat bread by adding 1/4 cup unprocessed wheat bread to the mix (blend thoroughly) and an extra Tablespoon of water.   All three varieties are available from
The Low Carb Connoisseur.

Product Discontinued
12.22.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Low Carb Chef Sugarfree Chocolate Chips Love Chocolate Morsels? If you're looking for a great Chocolate Chips to make your favorite low carb baked goods, you'll want to try the Sugar Free Chocolate Chips from The Low Carb Chef ... They're the semi-sweet variety just like the famous Toll-House brand in mini-chips. And they bake beautifully.

We tried them in our Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, as well as adding them to the popular low carb mixes to make chocolate chip brownies, chocolate chip muffins, and more. We also love 'em in our Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! Sweetened with Mannitol, they bake up nearly identically to the "real thing". Discounting mannitol, they're less than 1/2 carb per serving, but most of us will want to allow more like 2 carbs per serving... still a bargain and so delicious!

As always, Low Carb Chef Sugar free products are available at The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
12.03.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Keto Banana Muffin & Pancake Mix It's certainly been a season rich with one of my favorite flavors -- Banana. First DaVinci introduces their Banana Syrup, then Flax-O-Meal's fiber-rich Banana Walnut mix (see review below), and now it's Keto Banana Muffin & Pancake Mix! Make sure you make them both — both the muffins and the pancakes. First, let's talk muffins: These make very light (lady finger/sponge cake consistency) muffins. If you like an airy muffin, these are for you. I personally like a very sweet muffin, so I add a smidge of extra sweetener (use a liquid if you don't want to add any carbs.) And a couple of tablespoons of your favorite low-carb fruit spread (like Keto marmalade or Keto Pineapple Fruit Spread) make for a fabulous mixed fruit taste. Or add walnuts or flax for extra fiber. Sprinkle a little Keto Sweet or Diabetisweet on the tops of muffins for a "sugary" crown. As we always say, the best way to keep it interesting is to be creative when you cook and bake — even with mixes.

Keto Banana Muffin & Pancake Mix As for pancakes, we think these make those great pastry types with a French crepe-like feel. (And they come in at less than 2 carbs per pancake.) Drizzle with spiced butters, whipped creams, and flavored syrups. And if you can spare a few extra carbs, some thin slices of real banana make an indulgent accent.

Keto Banana Muffin & Pancake Mix is available at Keto Foods - Life Services and soon from The Low Carb Connoisseur, netrition, and The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
09.03.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Atkins' Blueberry Muffin Mix Ready for more options in muffin mixes? The new Atkins' Blueberry Muffin Mix is a winner. Baking up dense, hearty muffins with a sweet (but not too sweet) taste, they hungrily eat up butter or cream cheese and can provide quick breakfasts on the go for a week if you want to microwave a fresh one each morning.

Each 12oz box makes 18 muffins and requires the addition of water, eggs, oil and butter. (By the way, we got the best results using a light olive oil or a nut oil like almond or peanut.) The blueberries are freeze-dried natural without sugar and bake into moist bits. The box contains two additional recipes — one for scones (that comes out only "fair"), and one for Blueberry Lemon Poundcake. The later is worth the price of the mix (though we suggest adding additional Splenda or other sweetener.)

Easy and fast... the muffins come in at 3 grams each (after fiber) and the cake comes in at 4.5 to 5.5 per slice (depending on added sweetener.) It's available online from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

Product Discontinued
09.03.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Atkins Pancake & Waffle mix This weekend we also had the chance to try the new Atkins Pancake & Waffle mix. Like the muffins, the pancake box contains recipes for additional options — in this case, two varieties of crepes. The recipe for the "sweet crepes" is better than either the "savory crepes" or the default recipe, and they're really exceptional. But we have found another great use for this mix — mix it half and half with parmesan cheese, add italian spices (and maybe a bit of garlic), and dip your chicken in beaten egg and then this mix before frying. It's excellent.

As the standard mix, we liked the crisp edges you get with waffles better than pancakes, but we were generally pleased with all variations.

Pancakes work out to 3 grams each (after fiber) but the mix is 3 grams per 1/4 cup for those of you determining carbs for using the mix to fry with. It's available online from The Low Carb Connoisseur or CarbSmart.

04.19.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Irene's Health Bread - Spicy Vegetable If you're a veggie fan, or better yet, a fan of classic ranch dressing, you're probably going to simply love the new Spicy Vegetable Irene's Health Bread — we did.

It was super soft and fresh with cream cheese type spreads (as well as pimiento cheese topped!), but it shines brightest when toasted or grilled.

It makes a better garlic bread than their "garlic flavored bread" and it's yummy grilled in butter to make a club sandwich or grilled cheese. The veggie flavor truly is a cross between a ranch type dressing taste and Good Seasonings mix. Add to that, the bread boasts a subtle sweetness from the whey that plays tantilizingly off the hint of vinegar. We really loved this bread and if spicy veggies call your name, you probably will too. They come in at 4 carbs per slice, so don't go overboard (though you might want to.) No bleaches, conditioners or preservatives are used in Irene's Breads, and they contain no soy.

All varieties of Irene's bread are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur Bakery.

Product Discontinued
04.05.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Soy Creations Bake Mixes This past weekend, we made pancakes, cookies, and cupcakes with the new Soy Creations High Protein Baking Mixes, and after a little experimenting to get the right mix, we really liked the outcome. They come in four varieties: Blueberry, Strawberry, Banana, and Apple Cinnamon ! And the best news is that they are all zero carb!

They are made with SUPRO Brand Isolated Soy Protein which means that while they are soy, they don't taste like soy. (It goes without saying that those who are allergic or sensitive to soy should not use this product.) They're sweetened with ace-k, but since you'll be adding Splenda to most recipes using it, you'll get that nice sweetener synergy that comes from the sucralose/ace-k mix. But the big plus here are the flavors. They're very bold, so what you make with them will come out tasting like Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, etc.

First up, we made Cinnamon Apple Cookies. We started with the recipe on the can but weren't happy with it. We felt they were dry and lacked texture. So we came up with this one that was really good! For pancakes, the recipe on the can is a good one. We made the blueberry ones and added some fresh blueberries to them (and topped it with Estee Blueberry syrup.)

All four flavors are available online at CarbSmart.

04.02.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Atkins Bake Mix Yes, it's true — we're actually doing a spotlight recommendation of Atkins Bake Mix !  First, let's get a few things out of the way — this is not the original formula, and secondly, ignore the recipes on the can. You won't like the bread you make with it. But unless you have a sensitivity to soy (this contains it), you'll benefit from having it onhand in your low-carb kitchen.

Where Atkins Baking Mix shines brightest is as an "extender" to other flours. It gets you great baked goods while keeping the carbs low. Here's an example. We recently began work on a showy low-carb dessert for a dinner party. What we came up with is our Cherry Springer! (A very cherry cake with a Zzzing!) Adding the Atkins Mix to the almond flour it calls for makes it all come together beautifully. At only 3 carbs per 1/4 cup, it's a great carb bargain! The current formula is completely wheat and gluten free for those who have sensitivity to these. We also find it works very well in many pancake and waffle type recipes such as our Sweet French Waffles. Beat a couple of Tablespoons into a couple eggs, a little parmesan and your favorite spices Biscuits and you have a really good batter for frying meats or veggies. I use it several times a month for our all-time favorite, Herb 'n Garlic Cheese Biscuits (people always ask if they're the recipe from Red Lobster.) All in all, Atkins Bake Mix is a really valuable tool in low-carb cooking and baking.

It's available online from The Low Carb Connoisseur or CarbSmart.

Product Discontinued
03.29.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Ketogenics Breads As the low-carb bread machine mixes continue to add to their ranks, our selections and choices continue to grow. And while we may have to put in a bit more effort than those that can simply stop at 7-Eleven for a loaf of bread, we now have rich, delicious choices — many of them far better tasting than those nutritionally striped high carb versions. This past week we baked up the two newest entries from Ketogenics — their Honey Wheat and their Pumpernickel Rye.

We thought both breads passed our tests nicely, but we all had a preference for the honey wheat. Maybe it's simply that we've missed that honey-like taste quite a bit. In addition to honey, it also boasts a rich buttermilk and brown sugar taste. Yes, the flavors are artificial — no real brown sugar OR honey here — but you'd never guess it. The crumb is softer than the rye and the bread eats up butter. It's a great bread to serve with a meal. Try it sliced with warm butter along side your Easter ham.
Ketogenics Breads The pumpernickel rye has a more rustic appeal, but still offers up a slightly sweet flavor that it gets from non-other than a raisin flavor. This bread is at its best slightly warm (not toasted) with cream cheese. It's also great grilled with butter and topped with mounds of lean corned beef and swiss cheese. Don't forget the pickle!

Lastly, we liked very much the even-rise we got from both of these breads. They came out looking perfectly bread-like with no shrinking or high-on-one-sides. If you get 16 slices from a loaf, your carbs are
7 per slice, 5 of that fiber (so 2 net carbs per slice), but we found it was easier and more satisfying to get about 12 slices per loaf. If you do too, count on 2.7 net grams per slice.

Ketogenics bread mixes are available online from The Low Carb Connoisseur, CarbSmart or The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

03.27.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Lora Brody Dough Products
When I first held these products in my hands, the first thought I had was, "Bet they never figured they'd be marketing to low-carbers..." Bread products. I bet we use more of them than your average non-dieter. Baking our own breads and bread-products is something very few Americans seem to do much anymore. It's just easier to pick something up at the bakery or the grocery. Well, since most of us don't have that option now (and we're all rediscovering baking!), we need some specialty products that let us get around some of the limitations of low-carb baking. And
Lora Brody Products come to the rescue nicely!

Soft Pretzels First up (and the one I consider most valuable), there's
Lora Brody's Dough Relaxer. If you've ever used the low-carb dough recipes (or specialty bread mixes) to make pizza crusts, desserts, or breadsticks, you know that the elasticity from our extra gluten can get out of hand. That's where the Dough Relaxer really shines. You can put an end to dough that fights you back! It's so versatile, we tackled a project we'd been working on for awhile. We made a heavenly batch of very low-carb warm soft pretzels with Lora Brody's Dough Relaxer and a can of Keto French Bread Machine mix. (Yes, we posted the recipe — it's right here.)

Next up are the
Bread Dough Enhancer and the Sourdough Bread Enhancer. If you've been having problems getting your doughs to rise (or they shrivel afterward), then these are the products for you. They can significantly improve the rise, texture, crumb, crust, flavor and shelf life of lower carbohydrate breads. The sourdough version can turn any dough into sourdough to get that great, unique taste. We loved the results we got and even added some to waffles and pancakes for a super "zing".

All three varieties come in 10-oz cans, have a shelf-life of 18 months, and should not be refrigerated (Store tightly sealed in a dry place.) They are available online from The Low Carb Connoisseur, or CarbSmart.

03.12.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Expert Foods Mixes Next on the "It's about time we reviewed these" list is the plethora of products from Expert Foods ! Many of you are already familiar with them (or at least with some of them) and will need no introduction to these little silver pouches. But for the hundreds of you who have written to ask "What's not/Starch?" when they see it in one of our recipes, let's give you a quick run down. The most popular products from Expert Foods (makers of specialty baking ingredients with our low-carb kitchen needs in mind) are not/Starch, not/Cereal, and not/Sugar.

So, what are these products? They're just what their titles seem to imply — the not/Starch takes the place of cornstarch (and sometimes flour) in applications where thickening is required — such as with gravies and sauces. It takes a little experimentation at first to find the right ratio to get your desired thickness (for example, although one teaspoon thickens much like one teaspoon of cornstarch, one Tablespoon of not/Starch thickens like two Tablespoons of cornstarch.) It's all fiber, so there are no carbs to add to the finished dish.

Expert Foods Mixes Next comes not/Cereal, and that's one we use more often than any other around here. It's easy to mix — add a Tablespoon to a small amount of warm water and whisk to mix out lumps. Then add the remainder of liquid (usually about 1/2 cup depending on how thick you like your cereal) and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Whisk again. Then for an almost zero carb bowl, add your sweetener (perhaps a Tablespoon of DaVinci syrup?) and a splash of heavy cream if you like and enjoy.   (A 1/2 cup serving works out to be 1.6g carbohtydrates — of which 1.3g is fiber.) When you can handle a few extra carbs, you can "add in" some goodies. The lowest carb add-in is ground nuts. Add 1/4 cup ground walnuts or pecans (favorites here!) for a nutty, rich cereal. Or add a small amount of regular high-carb cereal. You can add just a teaspoon of quick-oats, cream-of-wheat, or baby cereal to get a whole bowl that tastes very much like it was all the high carb stuff. Just remember, with both the not/Starch and the not/Cereal, the secret's in the whisking.

The third most popular product is the not/Sugar. It offers up the richer "mouthfeel" that sugarless products sometimes lack. Remember, sugar doesn't just add sweetness to dishes, it also adds texture and thickening. You just have to keep in mind that not/Sugar is not a sweetener — it has no sweetening power of its own. Think of it as the "other half" of artificial sweeteners. Mix with Splenda and you get a more realistic feel in your baked goods, shakes, etc.

We also evaluated the
Expert Foods Grits Mix. Much like the not/Cereal, it works best as an extender. Mix it with a small amount of REAL grits to get a whole bowl of realistic tasting grits for a tiny fraction of the carbs. So if you're a Southerner that loves their grits, you don't have to miss out anymore. Again, it's nearly all fiber.
Expert Foods products are available online at Netrition.

Product Discontinued
03.09.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Low Carb Chef Bake Mix
If you're looking for a bake mix that's more like traditional flour than Atkins, but with lower carbs than say oat flour, then the new
Low Carb Chef Bake Mix might be for you. It comes in a simple white box-pak (as with all their products packed generic style to keep costs down.)

But at approximately 12 carbs per cup of bake-mix, it's pretty useful for making biscuits, pie crusts, etc. We tried the biscuit recipe that comes with the mix, but found that using buttermilk or sour cream made for better biscuits. We also discovered it was best to whisk eggs thoroughly with the sour cream (or buttermilk) before proceeding with recipe instructions.

Biscuits But best of all, it made great cinnamon raisin biscuits. Remember those from Burger King? Follow their regular recipe but add 1/2 cup Splenda (or the equivalent in liquid sweetener to keep carbs down) and a full teaspoon of cinnamon. Raisins can be carby, so buy the unsweetened variety (I get mine at the health food store) and cut raisins into halves. Add 1/8 cup of chopped raisins to the entire mix and you'll be surprised how great an impact that tiny amount of raisins can have. (Of course to keep 'em very low-carb, just make cinnamon biscuits.) Once done, spread with cream cheese/Splenda mix for a breakfast pastry you'll really like.

You'll want to use the Low Carb Chef Bake Mix for "dusting" too. From a pale powdery coating on meats (great on a buttery piece of veal!) to dusting your work surface when making your favorite low-carb breads and crusts. It's so reasonably priced, you won't feel like you're wasting the mix.

The Low Carb Chef Bake Mix is available online at The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
02.12.01 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Keto Crumbs Breaded and Fried. Sound good? It's kind of the American way, isn't it? When we were low-fat dieting, fried anything was definitely out. And when we started low-carbing, "breaded" fell somewhere between prohibited and "tried-but-soggy." Well, if your hot button is a plate of super-crispy Southern Fried Chicken, or Georgia-style pork chops, or just about anything else dropped in hot grease and fried to decadent perfection, the new Keto Crumbs fry mix are just for you! At only 3 carbs per ounce, they deliver an outstanding crisp with unique flavor that we promise not a single non-dieting guest will think twice about indulging in! The crumbs come in three varieties — Original, Italian Style, and Cajun Style!

It won't surprise you that our first foray into Keto Crumbs was for classic fried chicken! We made regular chicken pieces in original flavor, and chicken breast tenders in both Italian and Cajun. Fried Catfish with Keto Crumbs All were completely delicious and all fry up without a drop of sogginess. They brown evenly and cook in sync with the chicken.

Do you have a Popeye's Chicken in your area? If so, you'll have a good idea what the Cajun tastes like. It's spicy, folks, and really does pack a punch. With this in mind, our next dish was fried catfish! We mixed 1/2 Italian Crumbs and 1/2 Cajun to get a lot of spice and a little heat. What a winner! Paired with a spicy tartar sauce and our own Cole Slaw, it was... well, Wow!

Ya gotta try these, folks! Get out your skillets and deep fryers and go to town. You can order online from The Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, CarbSmart, or from Life Services.

Product Discontinued
12.11.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie mix There's something inherently comforting about Chocolate Chip Cookies, isn't there? Especially when they are warm out of the oven. While we've come across a few recipes for a low-carb version of them (the best we've found is here at our site), there's still been nothing overly convenient. Some of have wished for a quick-mix that fits into our busy lives. In the "old" days (the dark sugar-laden days before low-carbing), we could just pick up a mix in the baking aisle at the grocery and bake up a batch likety-split. But until now, there's been no option for that in the low-carb world.

Now there's
Keto Brand Chocolate Chip Cookie mix in a convenient can. This 7 1/2 oz can makes a batch of 36 cookies. The chips? They're real mini chips and therefore melt as you'd expect. By neccessity, there are less chips than you probably added in the past since these contain sugar, but the sugar amount is small enough as to not cause an insulin hit. (The cookies themselves are sucralose sweetened. Only the chips contain the small amount of sugar.)

The label directions call for addng oil, melted butter, and water, which produces a pretty good cookie - especially if you're a purist. About half the group fell into this category and liked them as-is. I don't fall into that category and I liked the batch better that we made a few changes to. The changes? I poured vanilla extract, 6 drops of liquid Splenda, 1/2 teaspoon Brown Sugar Twin, 2 Tablespoons heavy cream, 1 teaspoon glycerin, and 1 egg yolk into a measuring cup and stirred well. I then added enough water to make 1/2 cup, and this replaced the standard 1/2 cup of water. These came out with a richer, more Tollhouse type taste, but some found them too sweet. You'll know how you like your cookies. Either way, these will fix your Chocolate Chip Cookie Jones. They're great packed in a lunch or take a few to the movies with you!

Keto Brand products are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, CarbSmart, and of course Keto Foods - Life Services.

11.29.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Irene's Health Bread We reviewed Irene's Health Bakery Bread last Summer when we had a chance to try only a small amount of it. But we felt this review was worth renewing because we recently had a chance to use it in a few Stuffing recipes we cooked up (it works in any traditional recipe you've come to love — just substitute it for the high carb kind) and we made an excellent bread pudding with it as well. Here's a repeat of our original review:

For a diet for which the media says we eat no bread, we surely do find lots of ways to prove them wrong. We've reviewed bread mixes — both quick breads and yeast raised, and we've brought you some great bread recipes to make yourself. But the convenience of having a pre-sliced loaf of bread on hand to grab for a quick sandwich is something many of us miss. Most of the supermarket breads are very high in carbs — some are as much as 12-17 carb grams per slice ! That's where
Irene's Health Bakery Bread comes in. We found this bread — baked in Northern Ohio — available online (see link below) — and enjoyed trying out the three varieties Irene's Health Bread offered. It comes in White (very like a traditional "Italian" white), German Rye, and Garlic. Each comes in at 4 carbs per slice (18 slices to a loaf) and make great sandwiches! The white bread made an unsurpassed grilled cheese and a tuna melt because it's strong enough to hold the browning in a buttered skillet. We loved the German Rye made into a Reuben (corned beef, swiss and sauerkraut), and the garlic was great with melted jack cheese. We suggest you package 4-6 slice paks in Ziploc bags for the freezer and thaw a package as needed to keep your bread very fresh.

Irene's Health Bakery Breads are available online from
The Low Carb Connoisseur Bakery.

Product Discontinued
11.21.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Better Croutons Been missing croutons on your caesar salad? That crunch is hard to replace, isn't it? Been wishing you could still make crouton-based stuffing for that holiday turkey? Well, you can stop wishing. The new Better Croutons from Synergy Diet's Bakery comes in at only 6 carb grams per ounce (an ounce is a lot of croutons!)

They come in several varieties —
Plain , Italian, Garlic, and Parmesan. We made a sample batch of Turkey stuffing with a mixture of the Plain and the Italian with plenty of sage and other traditional stuffing fare and we thought the result was hard to tell from the high-carb variety! Salad with Better Croutons And the Parmesan are superb on a Steak Caesar Salad. The Garlic variety are just garlic-y enough to offer a real 'kick' without being overpowering and we enjoyed these on grilled chicken salads.

Synergy has also formulated easy to use packaged
Bread Crumbs. Better Bread Crumbs These are offered in Plain, Italian, and Chicken flavors and offer the same carb count as the croutons. Their fine crumb makes for a great coating for meats. We mixed 2 parts oat flour with 1 part Plain and 1 part Chicken bread crumbs for dusting lean boneless pork chops. What we got were nutty, buttery, crispy chops that everyone enjoyed. The bread crumbs (especially the Italian) also make a really great meatloaf add-in, as well as a "filler" (use the Plain) for salmon patties and crab cakes!

To get these very versatile Better Croutons and Better Bread Crumbs, Visit Synergy's Low Carb Bakery to order!

Product Discontinued
11.09.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Keto Cinnamon Raisin Bread Just in time for the holidays — Keto Brand introduces their newest variety of yeast-raised machine bread mix — Cinnamon Raisin! Over the last year, we've learned to improvise and experiment with many of the new mixes and have made a pretty good Cinnamon Bread, but this one tops them all without skipping a beat.

We made three loaves at our last meeting, and here are the results. The first we made using the directions on the back of the can — word for word. It made a very good loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and everyone was pleased.

With the second, we took a cue from a few folks that commented they liked their bread sweeter and we added 1/4 cup granulated Splenda to the dry mix. For those wishing more cinnamon, we added an extra teaspoon of that as well. We also altered the wet ingredients as follows: Instead of using 2 teaspoons of oil or melted butter, we added 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil to the bottom of the bread machine pan. Then we beat 1 egg in a small bowl, added it to 9 ounces of 105° water (instead of no egg and 12 oz water.) We mixed it together well and added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon butter extract. We then poured it over the oil in the pan and added the dry mix to the pan (floating on top of the water/egg mixture.) We sprinkled the included yeast on top and put it through our usual bread process in the machine.

Keto Cinnamon Raisin Bread Everyone agreed that while the "original" loaf was very good, the second version was phenomenal. The egg in the mix gives rise to a bread so large that if our machine had had a cycle for a 2-pounder, we would have used it. The bread top smacked the top of the bread machine window / top. (We use West Bend Deluxes, but check your bread machine's manual to adjust your settings and your ingredient addition order as is proper for your particular machine.)

The third loaf, we decided to make "bakery style". We made the mix according to directions through the kneading cycle. Then we removed the bread and laid it out on a counter (lightly oat-floured and covered with waxed paper.) We flattened it to a long rectangle about an inch thick. We brushed melted butter across it, sprinkled it liberally with Splenda and Cinnamon and then rolled it up to re-form a loaf shape. We put it back into the machine to rise and bake, but I believe it would have worked just as well to have finished it in a traditional oven too.

The final version came out moist and decadent and reacted like a true bakery style "swirl" bread. It takes more work this way, and Keto Cinnamon Raisin Bread will cost you a few additional carbs because of the added Splenda, but it's so worth it. This is another product so exceptional, we've added it to our Thanksgiving Menu recommendations

The first two loaves both made superb French Toast with a cinnamony twist. The second loaf made the best toast with butter. The third was the best soft and warm and was great with cream cheese.

Keto Brand products are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and of course Life Services.

10.31.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Vegetable Glycerin
Pick up an Atkins Advantage Bar and look at the ingredients. Near the top of the list, you'll find "glycerin." Then check your other bars. From Doctor's Diet to Protein Revolution, you'll note that glycerin is a useful and oft-used ingredient. In baking, it can keep cookies and brownies moist and even gooey. And while it's used often in the food industry, many home-cooks don't know about it, or understand how to use it. In fact, when I first pulled the bottle out of the bag at a review panel meeting, someone asked me, "are we making soap?!"

Because baking while keeping things very low carb requires a little 'magic' in the kitchen, we want you to be able to use all the tools at your disposal to this end.

Glycerin — derived from vegetables or coconut, is not actually a carbohydrate and is not classed as one. For the majority of people, it causes little or no insulin reaction, making it a useful tool in our low-carb kitchens. Taste a little on your tongue and you'll see it seems a cross between a light vegetable oil and a sweetener (and it is moderately sweet.) However, we do advise you to use it judiciously, as we do with sugar alcohols. In appreciable quantities it can cause some people to stall their weight loss (one of the reasons why the protein bars stall some people — especially if you over-indulge.) However, since in recipes, a small quantity gives great results, you'll probably be able to use it to great advantage.

We've posted a few new recipes to get you started and give you an idea of how and where to use vegetable glycerin. These are the ones we made — and really enjoyed — at the meeting. They are: Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies, and Pineapple Bars!

Vegetable Glycerin can be found in most health food stores. If you can't locate it, it can be ordered online from Miss Roben's (do a search for "glycerin".)

Product Discontinued
10.05.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Ultimate LoCarb Whey
There's barely a day that goes by that someone doesn't write and ask me for substitutions for flour in this recipe or that. Many people believe there's one magic low-carb product that is a universal substitute in all cases, but most of you know that's not the case. In reality, different options net different results. We use nut flours, alternate grain flours (from oat flour to soy flour) and then there's the "protein powders." They are a varied group indeed and can be egg-based, dairy-based (milk protein), whey-based, or soy-based — or any combination thereof. They can also be playing fast and loose with the title, and the ingredients, so you'll want to be a dilligent label-checker!

I've gotten the best results in the widest variety of recipes by using either whey protein, or soy protein isolate. They are usually between 1 carb and 0 carbs per 1/3 cup measure.

Several of the people I cook for often cannot tolerate soy, so I was looking for a good quality whey protein powder whose ingredients and carb counts I could trust. I found the
Ultimate LoCarb Whey from Biochem. (the "Natural" flavor) and brought in a couple of cans for the group to bake and cook with. We were pretty pleased with it and felt we got good consistent results. It contains 99% pure whey protein isolate, plus a faint vanilla flavor (not sweet, just smooth), plus xanthan gum and beta carotene. It contains no lactose, so those with an intolerance need not worry.

We found it works best in a mixture with most things — as we expected — and had good results the following ways: When dredging meats, we mixed 4 parts whey protein with 1 part oat flour and got good browning and flavor. It was good mixed half and half with crushed pork rinds for breading meats and vegetables alike for frying. But our favorite use of it was in making bread. In the Multi-Grain Bread Machine Bread recipe at the site, it worked exceedingly well. We also found it to lend a firm "German style" to the Gabi's World-Famous Bread recipe when we used it in place of the soy flour (and it lowers the carb count too!)   It also made a tasty and crumbly version of the Basic Low Carb Pie Crust. And for the holidays, try it in our Christmas Cookies recipe.

Biochem's Ultimate Lo Carb Whey comes in at approximately 2.5 grams per full cup and is available from The Low Carb Connoisseur.

Product Discontinued
09.17.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Carbolite Bread Mix Yes, it's true ... we're reviewing another bread machine bread. (new-to-the-diet visitors often comment that we eat a lot of bread for people that don't eat bread.) This time it's the Carbolite Bread Mix. We've been waiting a bit on this one to get some additional testing done before publishing the review, but now that we're done, we can give it a pretty good review.

What we discovered is that this mix makes a pretty good "white" bread, but that it works even better if you add a tablespoon or two of something "extra" (a little wheat bran, a little oat flour, some seeds, some sun-dried tomatoes, etc.) It tends to taste a bit sweet (we think they likely add a little too much Splenda to their mix), but that one of these additions seems to neutralize it and makes for a very interesting and different bread.

Their package directions list the addition of yeast (not included) as "optional". It's not optional. You need the yeast. So remember to add a packet of rapid rise/highly active yeast. (In every case we used the SAF Perfect Rise Gourmet yeast (see review here for it), but I think any good yeast would do.)

Bake the same as all other low-carb bread machine mixes and you should get between 14 and 18 good slices from the loaf, netting a 3 to 4 grams per slice count depending on what extras you add. (The package lists 2 carbs per slice, but you have to slice them very thin for that count and add no extras — adjust your counts accordingly.) Each box contains two polybags each making one loaf.

The best thing about this bread is that it holds a very elastic shape after initial kneading, so if you wanted to make hamburger buns or cinnamon rolls, it would shape nicely (and its natural sweetness would make it ideal for the later.)

Carbolite Bread Mix is available from The Low Carb Connoisseur or from The Low Carb Dieter's Page.

Product Discontinued
08.21.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Keto Bread Machine Mixes I wonder how many of us would still count bread among our favorite items even though we're low-carbing... Doesn't the whole world seem to revolve around it? In much of the world, lunch means a sandwich ! So as evidenced by our entire category of bread recipes and large quantity of low carb bread mixes (most of which we've reviewed), it's apparent that steering clear of most carbs doesn't have to mean giving up bread! And finding the perfect loaf that still meets our very low carb requirements is a continual pursuit. The latest entry is now one of my favorites, and most of the group's Keto Rye Bread number one favorite (including my husband's.)

The kitchen magicians at
Keto Brand have come up with two amazing yeast-rasied mixes made for your bread machine! They offer a classic French Loaf (which is absolutely a true french bread!), and Sourdough Rye - just what my Reuben sandwich craving has been needing. We had no problems at all making these loaves high and perfect. In fact, the French Loaf rose so high, we were worried it might smack the top of the bread machine top. (It didn't — but we're talking really high, folks!)

A little experimenting proved Keto Bread with Fondue these breads were quite versatile for adding additional ingredients such as cheese, or Splenda and cinnamon. An herb mix was great in the sourdough. We also found them to toast nicely and to make great breadcrumbs. Haven't had fondue in a while? Get out the old fondue pot because this bread held onto the cheese like a pro. Now I'll have the challenge of finding some new fondue recipes! Let me know if you have a low-carb favorite!

Don't have a bread machine? While I'd say if anything will get you to buy one, this will — you'll be pleased to know they include instructions for making it with conventional oven directions. Each loaf makes 16 slices and comes in at only 2 grams of carb per slice. The yeast is included — tucked inside. These breads are so good, we bet they'll have a hard time keeping them in stock!

Keto Brand products are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and of course Life Services.

07.14.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Nestle Choco-Bake We love chocolate. We love to bake with it; we love it in shakes, we love to flavor with it. But many of our "old-days" chocolate options are not options anymore because they come packed with plenty of sugar. I've found that Nestlé Choco Bake (pre-melted unsweetened chocolate) is really a great solution. I don't have to worry about melting squares of chocolate and trying to get ingredients mixed before it cools or while it's too hot.

At 4 grams per packet (after fiber reduction), it's a great carb bargain too, and since one packet equals 1 ounce (1 square) baking chocolate, it's foolproof for measuring as well. It doesn't need refrigeration and has a long shelf-life.

It's available in the baking aisle of most groceries.

07.11.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
SAF Brand Yeast Well, with all the bread making we're now doing (Imagine that! Making lots of breads on a low-carb diet!!) we've had to experiment with a lot of different yeast brands and varieties. We've worked with Fleishmann's, Red Star, Hodgson's Mill, and many others and we find that we consistently get a better product and better rising when we use the SAF Perfect Rise Gourmet Yeast in our baking. Made by LeSaffre, the yeast comes in Two-Strip Packets, Vacuum Packed Yeast Bricks, and resealable zip closure Zip Packs. For measuring convenience, we prefer the 2-strip packets. In or out of the bread machine, this is the best yeast we've used, so we give it a strong recommendation.

If you can't find it in your store, visit their website. They even offer a form to print and give your grocer so they'll know you want them to carry it.

Product Discontinued
07.11.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Ketogenics Low Carb Bread Everyone that reads our entries here on a regular basis knows that I am a fan of the Gabi's Bread Recipe and make it often. But I was pleased to discover that the Ketogenics Low Carb Bread Machine Mixes come in a close second, and since they sit on your shelf in ready to make boxes, there's a real plus there. We made several loaves and did a little experimenting. We added cheddar cheese to the mix and foccacia topping 15 minutes before end of bread cycle. We liked this cheese bread the best. We also made a loaf with added sweetener (we used liquid sweetener as part of the water) and swirled a cinnamon/Splenda mix through it. For the cinnamon bread we finished by adding melted butter and sprinkled splenda on top of the hot, finished bread. In all its incarnations, it was pretty good.

Our favorite result was when we sliced the cheese bread version, buttered it with softened butter, a little garlic powder, and freshly grated parmesan - then under the broiler for 30 seconds or so. This bread is at its best as a base for getting creative. Slices run between 2 and 5 grams each depending on how you make it, and are well worth it.

To order online, visit The Low Carb Connoisseur.

05.23.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
(Review written by Richard):
La Tortilla low carb wraps With the third iteration of their tortilla, La Tortilla Factory has gotten it exactly right. Very tasty and low-carb, their Whole Wheat Tortilla is really versatile! I wrap all sorts of stuff in these. Peanut butter and sugar-free jelly, tuna salad, and many other items can be rolled up to make a great snack or meal. My son (with much boldness!) takes these into Taco Bell; tells them "he has a wheat allergy" and can't use their tortillas; and asks them to make him burittos and wraps from these. They oblige and he gets his food prepared in their steamers — cheese melted and all! Whether you have the nerve to do this as well is your call, but even if you take home their steak gorditas etc and transfer the contents to your LC tortilla, you still have a terrific treat! Each Tortilla contains 12g carbs and 9g fiber for a net carb count of 3g.

To order online, visit The Low Carb Connoisseur.

Product Discontinued
05.19.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
They did it! They made a Blueberry Pancake (and muffin) mix that is sweet, scrumptious and full of real bits of blueberries. Wow. Keto Brand has outdone Keto Blueberry Pancake Mix themselves this time! Blueberry was the flavor of pancakes that were always my favorite and that what I missed most, and these are not only super-easy to make, but they taste like a trip to IHOP!

We made the entire can worth and did half as pancakes (on which we tried several flavors of syrup), and the rest as muffins. We decided to make both standard size muffins as well as the new popular (bite-size) mini-muffins. While both were great, most of us preferred the mini-muffins. These will make it into a lot of fast-pack lunches! Spread with sweet creamy butter for a great treat. Yum!

Keto Brand products are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and of course Life Services.

Product Discontinued
05.14.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
This weekend, the Low Carb Luxury test kitchen baked cookies... lots and lots of cookies. We started with the newest entry from Keto Brand called Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Keto Oatmeal Raisin Cookies It's a spicy mix that includes just enough oatmeal to offer the suggestion of old fashioned oatmeal goodness without the starchy carbs. We made two batches. One — made according to package directions — came out like soft little English tea cakes. They were very tasty, but less cookie-like than what you'd traditionally expect. The next batch we made with a few modifications. We added an extra teaspoon of spice (we used Pumpkin Pie Spice), and a bit of extra sweetener (we used Keto Sweet), plus a tablespoon of real butter to offer a bit more crispness. These were more cookie-like and we preferred them, but both batches were gobbled down by the group. We took several of the cookies and spread the underside with sweetened cream cheese, then pressed two cookies together to make oatmeal cream pies. Tasty!

Keto Chocolate Cookie and Brownie Mix Next, we made two batches of the
Keto Chocolate Cookies. I'd had them before — I love them as cookies, brownies, or mixed with their bread mix to make chocolate cake (see recipe section), but the group had not had them to review, so away we went. One batch of cookies was made as-is. The other we added 2 Tbsp of DaVinci Chocolate Syrup and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. The later were more like a fudgy nut cookie and real good.

Of course, while we were at it, we also made a double-batch of the Keto-Sweet "Sugar" Cookies. (The recipe is here.) All in all, we were real pleased with our cookie treats, and we do recommend these mixes.

Keto Brand products are available from The Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and of course Life Services.

03.22.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
Love the taste of real butter but hate that it's hard to spread and hard to cook with? Using Plugrá (European butter - see Ghee our review at the bottom of this page) solves the burning while cooking problem, but I still wished there was a way to get great butter taste (that really IS butter — not the silly margarine claims that pretend to "taste like butter") in an easy to use and cook with form. The answer is Ghee! Ghee, a "fat" used extensively in Indian cooking for years, is simply melted butter with the milk solids removed (also known as "clarified butter.") Professional chefs love it, and with good reason. It contains no oxidized cholesterol or hydrogenated fat (trans-fatty acids). It has a very high smoking point (unlike plain butter); and will give delicious flavor to all kinds of baked goods and sautéed foods. One note — there is a school of thought that considers Ghee to have especially healthful properties and others that consider this to be quackery. We're only interested in it as a low-carb friendly (and really tasty!) food, folks. Anything else, we'll let them fight it out. (By the way — Dr. Atkins uses ghee in his Atkins Bars and other products.)

It's carb free of course and comes in glass jars that don't need refrigeration. It's very concentrated so one 13 oz jar will last a good long time.

To order online, visit The Low Carb Connoisseur.

Product Discontinued
03.20.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
The latest entry in the mix-and-bake breads from Keto Brand is Pumpernickel with a rich molasses flavor that mimics the "real" thing with flair and flavor! Keto Pumpernickel Bread I'm already a fan of their breads — they mix with tremendous speed and ease — a big benefit for someone who has to budget their time wisely! But don't feel you're compromising. These breads are just great.

It comes in at just 3 grams of carb per slice. Keto Brand products are available both from The Low Carb Connoisseur,
The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and of course Life Services.

Product Discontinued
02.10.00 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
I've already recommended the mix-and-bake bread from Keto Brand (see review of 10/20/99), but now those creative folks have made two new entries too wonderful not to mention. Their latest specialty breads are here! First, there's the Old World Rye that reminds you of the soft, mellow flavor brought to your restaurant table sliced Keto Bread — Rye and Banana in baskets. Right out of the oven with fresh sweet butter, this is an experience not to be missed.

Then for something you never thought you'd have again on a low-carb plan, it's
Banana Bread! This little jewel bakes up with a rich banana aroma and color and is even "glossy" on top like traditional banana bread. And no, they didn't just use artificial flavor to get the taste. They've used real banana flakes in the mix. So far, we've tried this with warm butter and with cream cheese; and it's also super with almond butter! You can add walnuts or pecans to the mix before baking if you like, too. They are 3 and 4 grams of carb per slice. Keto Brand products are available both from The Low Carb Connoisseur, The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and of course Life Services.

Product Discontinued
10.20.99 :: Product Recommendation & Review:
If you are still missing bread - despite the Low-Carb crackers and tortilla shells currently available - but you find the Atkins Bread and most others to be Keto Bread Mix sadly lacking (in taste AND the ability to rise up!), you'll want to try Keto Bread Mix! It's very easy to make - just add melted butter and water to the mix and stir with a fork, pour in loaf pan and bake 35 minutes! It raises, folks! And it has a luscious buttery crispy crust. The center is very like the sort of bread restaurants serve sliced in the little bread baskets they bring to your table. The heavy French bread type consistency. And it's very good. Especially with rich butter or cream cheese. It can be sliced and dipped in egg and cream to make French Toast. And you can add Splenda and Cinnamon before baking for a great Cinnamon Bread! It's 3 grams of carb per slice... quite a bargain!

Keto Brand products are available both from The Low Carb Connoisseur,
The Low Carb Dieter's Page, and of course Life Services.

Contents copyright © 1999 — 2008 Low Carb Luxury, Inc.   All rights reserved.  Photography by Neil Beaty.
Use of this site constitutes your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions.   See our Privacy Statement.
No reproduction without written consent.  Site Development by:  LNS Design & Marketing.   Site Map.