All posts by Jeff Fidler

Introduction to Low Carb Sweets

Introduction to Low Carb Sweets

Sweet treats and candy aren’t exactly things that spring to mind when we talk about healthy living and the low carb lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you need to say ‘goodbye’ to your favourite sweet flavours. Going low carb means you need to carefully track what you’re eating and understand how it all adds up in carbs, and that includes sugary snacks.

The simple sugars found in candies, chocolates, and other sweets are one of the types of carbs that need to be carefully tracked and moderated as part of a low carb diet. Consuming too many sweets can easily set a low carb diet off track, so it’s important to make sure that the sweets we do eat are either low-sugar or sugar-free, and make sure that we don’t get carried away with portion sizes. Sometimes even a small handful of candy can contain a lot more sugar than you’d expect.

The basic ingredient in candy that contributes to its carb count is, as you’d expect, sugar. Simple sugars are the most basic form of carbohydrates found in our foods. These types of sugars are also found in many fruits, but the kinds typically used in candy and sweets have been refined, and are usually much more concentrated. Fortunately, there are several sugar-alternatives available that provide the same sweet flavours, but without the same effects on the body as they are digested.

Some alternative sweeteners that are common in low-sugar and sugar-free sweets and candy are malitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. These belong to a family of chemical compounds known as ‘sugar alcohols’, and despite their name, they do not contain any actual alcohol. Sugar alcohols act in a similar way to sugars, in that they produce a sweet taste, but at a much lower calorie count. This is what makes them ideal ingredients for sweets that are much more suitable as part of a low carb diet.

Sugar alcohols are very common ingredients, and are not limited only to products made specifically for low carb or other special diets. You can find them everywhere, such as in the most popular low-calories colas and sugar-free chewing gums. For low carb dieters, this is good news, as many of the sweets and sugary treats that we crave are already available in reduced-calorie varieties, like candy bars, gummies, hard candies, chocolates, and even marshmallows!

If you’re interested in getting creative and making your own sweets for your next Halloween party or birthday party, this collection of low carb candy recipes from AllDayIDreamAboutFood.com has a wide variety of chocolatey and sweet tastes to explore.

Whatever your sweet tooth happens to crave, you can find a huge selection of sweets and candy at The Low Carb Grocery. In the meantime, here are some of the most popular low-sugar and sugar-free products that our customers simply love, and we’re sure that you will too!

Jelly Belly Sugar Free Jelly Beans – As the biggest name in gourmet jelly beans, you can be sure that Jelly Belly sugar free candies will taste spectacular. This pack of assorted flavours brings a different taste combination in each handful.

Smart Sweets Gummy Bears – This unique twist on gummy bears turns a sweet treat sour for an unusual taste sensation that you’ll love! Smart Sweets sour gummy bears are made using stevia, and they really crank up the sour flavour for those of us who enjoy a different kind of gummy snack.

Atkins Indulge Chocolate Peanut Candies – One handful of these crunchy chocolate bites and you’ll be hooked, just like the rest of us. Atkins Indulge treats are very low in sugar, and are sweetened with malitol. If you enjoy the classic taste of peanuts and chocolate, these are the sweet snacks for you!

So, if your sweet tooth is starting to crave something new, give one of these treats a try, or explore all the other low carb sweets available at The Low Carb Grocery. We’re sure that you’ll really enjoy trying a variety of new sweet treats, in moderation of course, as a part of your low carb lifestyle!

Fast and Easy Low Carb Appetizers

Fast and Easy Low Carb Appetizers

Aside from simply being delicious, the right appetizers can go a long way in setting the tone for a special occasion. There are countless recipes for appetizers, both hot and cold, that you can choose from to complement your meal, but it can be difficult to sort through them all and find the ones that fit best. In this article, we’ll take a look at what factors can determine what appetizer best suits an occasion, as well as some tips for great hot and cold recipes to try. Let’s take a look at some general tips you can use to plan what to cook up for appetizers at your next special occasion.

General Appetizer Tips

The foods we eat are closely related to the emotions we feel and our moods, so it should come as no surprise that different kinds of appetizers can help set the mood for a meal or special occasion.

For example, one type of event that typically has lots of appetizers on the menu is sporting event parties. When you’re watching the big game, it’s common to serve a wide variety of chips, dips, chicken wings, and other warm, savory appetizers. These types of appetizers can be considered types of comfort food, as they usually accompany exciting, fun events with family and friends. In addition, they are also pretty safe bets for anyone who may not be as adventurous in their cuisine exploration, but always love a nice spicy wing or crunchy chip and salsa.

On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re planning on hosting a sophisticated cocktail party complete with champagne and caviar, the mood you’re after probably won’t come from a plate of spicy chicken wings. This kind of event would be better served with a charcuterie plate of specialty cheeses, fresh fruit, and a variety of cured meats. Perhaps some antipasto, marinated olives, baked brie, or mini quiche might appear on the menu, too. These are all less common than things like chips and dip, and tend to cause conversation about them.

While we’re not trying to typecast certain appetizers in to only being suitable for a very particular type of event, we believe that choosing the appetizers based on the mood you want to set it a good way to start planning your menu. When you combine the nature of the event with the tastes and preferences of the guests, you can usually pick out at least a handful of appetizer options that really make sense and would be a big hit.

Types of Appetizers

While there are dozens of types of appetizers based on ingredients, the two high-level categories that are commonly used to sort them out is hot vs. cold. This way, you can get a general idea of what will be needed in order to prepare them, and know involved the process might be. Hot appetizers commonly feature meat, dairy, and sauces, while cold appetizers often include fruits, vegetables, cured meats and cheeses. Of course, these ingredients are certainly not limited to one or the other. Appetizers rarely follow strict rules, and can easily be customized for any individual taste or style.

Tips for Hot Appetizers

Hot appetizers come in many forms. They include items as simple as meatballs and chicken wings, to more complicated items such as phyllo pastries and mini quiches. One of the most important things about serving hot appetizers is timing. Many hot appetizers have very short cooking times, and if you’re not paying very close attention you could end up with burnt pastries. Be sure to plan your cooking times carefully, and take advantage of the alarm app on your smartphone. In just a few minutes, you can set up multiple alarms and use subtle notification settings to keep your appetizers on-track and perfectly prepared.

Even though many hot appetizers use pastry or other types of flour-based dough, there are plenty of low carb alternative ingredients you can use to keep the carb count low. For starters, research some pastry and dough recipes that use alternative flours like almond flour. For example, here’s a great recipe for a low carb pie crust from Kim at LowCarbMaven.com using almond flour that is great for any appetizer recipe that calls for a pie crust.

For appetizers that use sauces like chicken wings or meatballs, make sure you either choose a low sugar sauce like this sugar-free Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce from Wing Time, or if you’re creating your own sauce from scratch make sure you go with low-sugar or no-sugar ingredients.

Hot Appetizer Recipe

If you enjoy hot appetizers that have a bit of a spicy kick, then you simply have to try these Low Carb Cheesy Spicy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms from Brenda over at SugarFreeMom.com. These tasty little bites are perfect appetizers for a holiday party or big family get-together, and they are amazingly easy to make. With just a handful of ingredients, these can even be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated for even more convenience. Give these a try this holiday season, and you’ll love them!

Tips for Cold Appetizers

Even though there are countless options for hot appetizers, there are even more for cold appetizers! Lots of cold appetizer recipes don’t even require any cooking or complex steps to prepare, and there are recipes for any occasion that will suit a wide variety of tastes and dietary needs.

Because cold appetizers don’t need to stay warm or risk getting burnt, many of them can be prepared well in advance of the event to save time and add convenience. However, there are some ingredients that you may find in a cold appetizer recipe that don’t refrigerate well. For example, avocado-based dips like guacamole will unfortunately turn brown if left exposed to the air for too long, making them look much less appealing. In those kinds of situations, you can still measure out or prepare the rest of the ingredients in advance and simply perform the final when the time is right.

For sweeter appetizers that may use whipped cream, you may find that the whipped cream will lose its shape and consistency if prepared too early, so this is another instance where freshness and timing are important. In addition, to better suit the low carb diet, sweet ingredients like whipped cream or chocolate should be swapped out for sugar-free alternatives to help keep the carb count low. These sugar-free dark chocolate chips from LC Foods are a great alternative that have plenty of uses including making amazing chocolate-dipped strawberries, which are always a delicious treat.

Since lots of cold appetizers require some type of cracker on which to be served, low carb dieters may want to consider an alternative method, like these melba toasts from Paskesz, which are very low in carbs. As another option, cucumber slices make a perfect little platform for a variety of cold appetizers, and they’re also great for using with lots of dips in place of chips.

Cold Appetizer Recipe

This amazing recipe for Smoked Salmon & Cucumber appetizers from Dara at CookinCanuck.com is the perfect example of how you can use simple ingredients to create something truly special. It uses a clever combination of capers, non-fat Greek yogurt, and dill to make a wonderful, creamy accompaniment for the smoked salmon. Placed on top of a fresh cucumber slice, these tasty bites won’t last long on any appetizer table!

Conclusion

Whether you’re planning a big holiday party or a simple dinner for two, we’re sure that these tips will help you put together a fantastic appetizer selection that everyone will love. Appetizers are a lot of fun to make, and even more fun to eat, especially the low carb way! We hope that you’ve found these tips helpful, and that the recipe ideas have given you some inspiration to try something new. Happy cooking!

Low Carb Thanksgiving Meal Ideas

Low Carb Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition that Canadians from coast-to-coast enjoy every year with their loved ones. It’s an experience that is full of warmth, happiness, and delicious food that makes us truly thankful for all we have. Of course, as with most big holiday meals, this can be quite a conundrum for low carb dieters. Traditional Thanksgiving meals are not exactly light on carbs, but with a little help and some smart adjustments, you can prepare all the classic foods the low carb way!

In this article, we will go through the best tips and tricks for planning a delicious and satisfying Thanksgiving dinner, while reducing carbs and providing healthy options. By making a few smart adjustments, and putting a new spin on some old classics, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to pull off a low carb Thanksgiving dinner, without sacrificing taste.

Starters

It’s always a good idea to have some things prepared for everyone to nibble on while the main course is cooking. Preparing a few simple, delicious low carb appetizers is simple. Here are a couple of suggestions!

Cheese & Fruit Assortment

Appetizers don’t get much easier than this! Simply select and arrange a selection of unique and flavourful cheeses, such as a bold blue cheese, a sharp cheddar, and creamy brie. Try choosing some options that are a bit more unusual, and pair them with a nice low carb cracker assortment, a few different nuts like almonds or pecans, as well as some fresh fruit like grapes or strawberries to complete the colourful presentation.

Veggies & Hummus

Keeping things simple and light, why not spread out an assortment of fresh veggies like carrot sticks, celery, mushrooms and cucumbers to dip in your favourite hummus? Hummus is a great low carb dip, and you can get a variety of different types, like red pepper or sun-dried tomato, if you want to try something unusual.

Main Dishes

Let’s be honest – these are the foods that make us love Thanksgiving so much! Here, we will breakdown how to prepare your turkey, stuffing, and other sides with a low carb twist.

Turkey & Other Meats

Preparing your turkey is pretty much the same as it always is, but why not opt for a new poultry rub or seasoning to add a different kind of flavour to the bird this year? There are plenty of options available, like the no-salt spice rubs from Summer Kitchen. Try Rosemary Rush or Twisted Tarragon to give your turkey a lot of character!

Also, be sure to use the correct up-to-date roasting times for turkey, and not those listed in an old or outdated cookbook that will either dry out your bird or leave it raw in the middle. This reference for turkey roasting times from CanadianTurkey.ca will ensure that you’re using the correct times and temperatures to produce a perfectly roasted turkey this Thanksgiving.

Of course, you can always go a different route and roast up a different meat if turkey isn’t your style. If you’re hosting a smaller crowd, you might opt for a roast chicken instead, as they are easier to prepare and take less time due to their smaller size.

Another crowd-pleasing main meat dish you might opt for is a nice ham, which is a great choice for a large holiday meal. We recommend choosing a bone-in ham, as they tend to come out of the oven a bit more moist and tender than boneless hams.

Keep the carbs low by using a sugar-free approach to your ham this holiday, like this recipe from BariatricEating.com for a No-Sugar Pineapple Glazed Ham. Simply delicious!

Gravy

For the turkey gravy, you’ll want to swap out any flour that may be called for in a gravy recipe with a different thickener. Cornstarch or arrowroot mixed with spices such as pepper and salt, are popular options that work well to thicken up gravies and sauces. Just be careful that you don’t add too much, as they will thicken the gravy much faster than a flour based thickener.

Alternatively, you could always choose to serve your gravy ‘au jus’, and skip the thickener altogether.

Whatever approach you choose for your gravy, you can always boost your gravy with a prepared gravy mix. This way, even if your meat doesn’t produce enough gravy to go around, you can simply mix up some more and make sure that all your dinner guests get some.

Stuffing

This is where things can get a bit tricky. The main ingredient in stuffing is bread, of course, so the easiest way to reduce the carbs in your stuffing mixture is to use low carb bread crumbs, or if you prefer using fresh bread, by using something like Bakers Deluxe Dream low carb Bread, but there are even better ways to cut the carbs from this Thanksgiving staple.

For example, we recently discovered a totally different method for a Low Carb Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing that sounds way too delicious to pass up! Check out this amazing turkey stuffing recipe on sheknows.com.

Vegetable Side Dishes

Potatoes aren’t going to make the cut for a low carb Thanksgiving meal, but there are plenty of other side dishes that you can serve up that are hearty and delicious alongside your turkey and stuffing.

Green beans are always a favourite vegetable to prepare for a big family meal, and they taste great when sautéed with ribbons of finely sliced prosciutto and a light squirt of lemon juice when they are cooking.

Brussels sprouts are making a big comeback as a popular vegetable, and with good reason. They are extremely healthy, tasty and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Try pan frying them with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste – mmm!

Cauliflower is a really useful vegetable and works amazingly well as a mashed side dish. Simply boil and mash cauliflower the same way you would potatoes, and serve with a bit of butter and a light dusting of salt.

Desserts

It simply wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie for dessert, now would it? Fortunately, there are a lot of options for making low carb pie crusts. This low carb pie crust flour from LC Foods works really well. For the filling, substitute the sugar for an alternative sweetener such as Sukrin Fiber Syrup, which works wonderfully in desserts like pumpkin pie. Finish it off with a dollop of sugar-free whipped cream on top, and you’re all set!

Conclusion

Thanksgiving is the time of year where we should be thinking about all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for, and not worrying about missing out on all the traditional foods that we know and love.

As you can see, there are plenty of alternative recipes to ensure low carb dieters can enjoy Thanksgiving as much as anyone else. Of course, you’ll still want to moderate your overall carb intake and keep an eye on your portion sizes. Keeping count of your carbs will help you make sure that you get to try a bit of everything, but not have too much of anything. For more info on keeping track of your carb intake, read our article about counting carbs the right way.

We hope that you find these tips and advice helpful, and that you and your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving meal once again this year.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Decoding Low Carb Nutrition and Ingredient Labels

Decoding Low Carb Nutrition and Ingredient Labels

One of the first things you learn as you start the transition to the low carb diet, is just how important proper monitoring of your food intake is. By accurately measuring the food you eat, you will be able to effectively stay on track with your daily carb allowance and make it much easier to meet your goals. When first starting the process of carb counting, it is essential to know how to read and decode ingredient and nutrition labels on the food products you buy. This way, you’ll know exactly what to look for, and how it all adds up at the end of the day.

Basics of Carb Counting

Learning how to count carbs is not difficult, but there is some learning required to do it properly. Essentially, you are looking for three main pieces of information on any nutrition label to tell you how many carbs are in it, and what the number of digestible carbs (also known as ‘net carbs’) that will be in one serving – these three components are:

1 – Total Carbohydrates
2 – Sugar Alcohols
3 – Fibre

For a complete breakdown on carb counting, please refer to our article on carb counting. Fibre and sugar alcohols are not the kinds of carbs that are of concern on a low carb diet, and so can be subtracted from the total carbs to obtain the net carb value. This is the number of carbs that your body will digest and that will impact blood sugar levels most significantly. In a nutshell, the total number of carbs is determined with this formula:

Total Carbohydrates – (Sugar Alcohols + Fibre) = Net Carbs
Or, using a specific product example, such as Atkins Advantage Coconut Almond Delight bars:
Each bar has 18g total carbs, 6g fibre, and 9g of sugar alcohols. Therefore,
18g Total Carbs – (6g Fibre + 9g Sugar Alcohols) = 3g Net Carbs

Once you pull together this quick formula, counting carbs is actually quite simple. But how do you find these bits of critical information on the nutrition and ingredient labels found on food products in Canada? Let’s take a look!

Typical Nutrition Label Information

The Government of Canada has implemented a much more standardized format for nutrition labels than what was available in the past. In fact, nutrition labeling became mandatory for all prepackaged foods in Canada in December of 2007, which has had a significant impact on the ability for consumers to educate themselves effectively regarding the nutritional value of the foods they purchase. By using a standard format and layout for nutrition labels, it is now much easier to decode the potential health impacts of the foods we eat, regardless of the brand or manufacturer. Click here to visit the Government of Canada website page pertaining to nutrition label standards.

Here, we can see a typical nutrition label that follows the format required in Canada. This particular label is from a popular national brand of yogurt.

label

On this label, we can see that this yogurt contains 6g of carbohydrates, 0g of fibre, and 3g of sugars. Using the method we described earlier, we can see that the net carbs that you should count as part of your low carb meal plan is 6g, since there are no sugar alcohols or fibre to subtract from the total.

Of course, you should also pay close attention to the other nutrients found on the label, such as sodium and cholesterol. In addition, keeping an eye on the % daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals is also beneficial to understanding the total value of all the foods we eat.

Review the Ingredients

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to scan through the actual ingredients list on the product as well. This way, you’ll be able to determine exactly which ingredients are contributing to the carb counts listed on the nutrition label. For example, while that yogurt we showed above listed 3g of sugars, the specific type of sugar contained in that yogurt was fructose. There are other common sugars that you may find on the ingredient list including corn syrup, glucose, lactose, and sucrose.

If there are sugar alcohols listed on the nutrient label, they will be found in the ingredient list with such names as xylitol, sorbitol or malitol.

Other artificial sweeteners can be identified in the ingredients list by their brand or trade names, or even by spotting their logos on the packaging, and include such brands as Splenda, NutraSweet, or Equal.

About Serving Sizes

Aside from the nutrient facts and the ingredient list, one last thing that you should pay close attention to is the serving size that is used to determine all those values. Be aware that it is extremely common for a single serving, as defined by the manufacturer, to actually be less than what consumers would consider a single serving based on the packaging method or their typical eating habits.

To become accustomed to thinking in ‘grams’ or ‘ounces’ for portion sizes, instead of just eyeballing it, invest in a small electronic kitchen scale and actually measure out the serving sizes listed on the packages of some common foods that you have at home. Once you see how much of the product is actually used to calculate the values on the nutrition labels, you can get a much more accurate view of how much you are actually consuming. The more you do this, the better you’ll get at estimating by sight and by weight, which will help you during those times when you don’t have a scale at the ready.

A Note on Medical Conditions

If you are on the low carb diet for specific medical reasons, such as diabetes or other health conditions that require a carefully structured diet plan, the importance of properly understanding ingredient and nutrition labels is even greater. Be sure to consult your doctor for specific recommendations related to your health, and research using trusted and authoritative resources. For example, this helpful article from EatRightOntario.com contains a wealth of information for diabetics and what they should look for on the food products they buy.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you start down the path to a better understanding of carb counting, nutrition facts, and ingredient lists. However, you can take comfort in knowing that the knowledge you gain from these experiences will make it much easier to achieve your short-term and long-term health goals, and will definitely help you get the most from your low carb lifestyle.

We hope that this information has proven to be helpful, and wish you all the best with your low carb diet!

Healthy Crockpot Cooking, The Low Carb Way

Healthy Crockpot Cooking, The Low Carb Way

Cooking with a crockpot, also known as a slow cooker, is a great way to prepare a very wide variety of hearty, healthy meals. They’re perfect for making sure that dinner is ready and waiting when a busy family heads home after work and school. Crockpot recipes are generally very easy, and utilize many fresh foods and healthy ingredients that are ideal for the low carb lifestyle. Slow cooker recipes make a great meal choice in the winter months when it’s cold and having something hot and hearty is appealing.

We’ve put this article together to help you get the most from your slow cooker with some handy tips and healthy recipes for delicious and nutritious low carb meals.

Low Carb Crockpot Tips

Not all crockpot recipes are low in carbs, however. Many common slow cooker recipes include ingredients like potatoes, which are not desirable as part of a low carb diet. In addition, many sauces used in these recipes can be high in carbs and sugars, so it’s important to make sure that the recipes you choose for your crockpot hit all the right points for a low carb meal. When choosing a recipe, be on the lookout for common carb sources like potatoes, noodles, and flour, as well as in the sauces where you’d want to avoid high levels of sugars.

Fortunately, most crockpot recipes that contain higher levels of carbs can be easily altered to reduce or remove carbs in order to make them healthier. For example, potatoes can easily be left out of stews and soups without impacting the taste, and substituted with any of your other favourite vegetables. If a recipe calls for flour as a thickener, switch it with cornstarch or another alternative thickener that will do the same job without the carbs. Prepared sauces can easily be swapped for low-sugar or sugar-free versions, or you can even make your own sauces from scratch in order to suit your tastes and fit your diet plan.

Low Carb Crockpot Recipe Ideas

We’ve got a couple of amazing low carb slow cooker recipes for you that we just have to share. These are easy and delicious, with only a few ingredients needed, and are sure to satisfy the hunger of any family.

Pulled Pork Wraps with Colourful Coleslaw

Pulled pork is a favourite of ours, and this recipe is simple to prepare, but big on flavour. We like to combine the savoury pork with a light, fresh coleslaw and serve on low carb tortilla wraps, or use large lettuce leaves for an even lower carb count. Simply delicious!

For the Pulled Pork:

  • Ingredients:

o   1 pork tenderloin

o   1 bottle of your favourite low carb barbecue sauce

  • Try one of Crazy Mooskie’s No Added Sugar BBQ Sauces
  • Preparation & Cooking:

o   Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker and set to low heat for 6-8 hours

o   Pour barbecue sauce over entire pork tenderloin

o   With 1 hour remaining, remove pork from slow cooker and pull apart with two forks on a plastic cutting board

o   Put shredded pork back in the slow cooker & mix with the sauce

  • If the sauce has become too thick or too thin for your preference, simply add a bit more sauce or some water to thin it, or a small amount of cornstarch to thicken

o   Simmer for remaining time

For the Colourful Coleslaw:

  • Ingredients:

o   1 cup shredded red cabbage

o   1 cup shredded green cabbage

o   1 cup shredded carrots

o   ½ cup mayonnaise

o   2 tbsp sour cream

o   2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

o   1 dash of salt

o   1 dash of black pepper

  • Preparation:

o   Simply mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined

  • We suggest adding the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and salt and pepper slowly and tasting every so often to make sure you end up with your preferred consistency and taste of coleslaw.

Once you’ve got the pork and the coleslaw ready to go, simply serve on your favourite low carb tortilla wrap and enjoy. We suggest these low carb Whole Wheat Tortillas from La Tortilla Factory. Alternatively, you might choose to use large fresh lettuce leaves as a wrap to bring the carb count down even more.


Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli on Noodles

This Asian-inspired slow cooker recipe is so tasty, you’ll be wishing for leftovers so you can have it again the next day! You can easily customize this recipe however you’d like, adding your choice of vegetables in the mix, and serving over your favourite style of noodles.

  • Ingredients:

o   1lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs

o   2 cups broccoli florets

o   1 cup of chopped mushrooms

o   1 cup bean sprouts

o   1 bottle of Seal Sama Sugar-free Teriyaki Sauce

o   1 package of low carb noodles of your preferred style

  • Preparation:

o   Put chicken thighs in the slow cooker and set to high heat for 4-6 hours

o   Pour teriyaki sauce over chicken and mix to ensure chicken is fully coated and simmer

o   With 1 hour remaining, place broccoli florets in the slow cooker and mix up, coating thoroughly with the sauce

o   With 30 minutes remaining, place mushrooms and bean sprouts in the slow cooker and mix up, coating thoroughly with the sauce

o   Prepare your chosen style of noodles as the chicken and vegetables simmer for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Once your noodles are ready, simply serve the chicken and vegetables on top of a bed of noodles, and enjoy. We recommend Miracle Noodles Angel Hair Pasta for those who like a longer noodle, or you can always go a different route and serve your meal on top of Miracle Noodles Miracle Rice. Either way, we’re sure you’ll love this dish!

Conclusion

Once you start experimenting with all the different things you can do with your slow cooker, you’ll wonder why you don’t use it more often! We’re sure that with these tips, that is about to change. Crockpot meals are simple to prepare, convenient, and definitely satisfying, especially for low carb dieters.

If these recipes have got you excited for some more ideas, this collection of 27 low carb crockpot recipes from the blog at LowCarbYum.com is sure to be a great resource for you. We hope that we’ve been able to provide some inspiration, and have encouraged you to fire up your crockpot sometime soon. Happy cooking!

The Guide to Low Carb Snacking

Low Carb Snack Foods – Snacks You’ll Love (and are low in carbohydrates!)

Whether you’re settling in for a TV marathon of your favourite show, or packing up the car for a long summer road trip, you’ve simply got to have the right snacks on hand. Let’s face it, sometimes the time between meals winds up being way too long, and having a good snack on hand to help bridge the gap is important. But how do you make sure that you keep your low carb diet on track, while satisfying the cravings you prefer?

This article will help guide you through the world of low carb snacks, and give you a few new low carb snack ideas that you might want to try.

Low carb dieters can sometimes struggle with finding the right snack foods, since so many of them are inherently high in carbs and high in sugars. Salty snacks like crackers and chips have lots of carbs in them in the form of starches, while sweets like chocolate and hard candy are loaded with sugars. Reading the ingredient labels will give you the info you need to quickly determine whether a snack is a good choice, or if it should be left on the shelf. Counting those carbs is the only way to be sure that you’re not negatively affecting your low carb diet.

When examining any snack food label, you’re going to want to look for the total carb count, as well as the amount of sugars, sugar alcohols, and fibre that makes up the total carb number. Based on your individual diet plan, and your daily target for carbs, you can determine what impact those snacks will have on your daily goals.

For more info on counting carbs, read our article on how to count carbs here.

Fortunately for low carb dieters, there are countless healthy options for snacks available that are perfect for the low carb lifestyle. You can find something suitable for every kind of taste and craving that you might have. Let’s have a closer look at the different kinds of snacks most of us crave, and review a few popular low carb snacks that our customers love!

Snack Categories

Most snacks can be easily categorized in to a few main groups based on their characteristics. Here’s a list of the main groups:

Salty Snacks – Typically crunchy and sprinkled with salt or some type of a salty seasoning, these snacks include things like chips, peanuts, popcorn and crackers. Salty snacks are extremely popular, and are great for a wide variety of snacking situations, since they are usually dry snacks and can be eaten in small batches at a time, which makes it easy to moderate your intake. You just need to watch your sodium intake. These snacks can easily be made from ingredients that are lower in carbs than the traditional versions, and the taste and texture are virtually identical.

If you love salty snacks, we recommend you try Kay’s Naturals Protein Pretzel Sticks. Made from non-GMO lean soy protein and whole grains, these deliciously crunchy pretzel sticks are perfect anytime.

Sweet Snacks – This snack category is usually dominated by one thing: chocolate! However, it also includes things like hard candies, soft candies, licorice, and toffee. Sweet snacks are often viewed as a ‘guilty pleasure’ that we are careful to avoid indulging in too often. We tend to view sweet snacks with a much stricter eye than we do some other types of snacks. Fortunately, there are plenty of sweet snacks available that are low in carbs, low in sugar, and even completely free of sugar. Even peanut butter cups and gummies are available in sugar-free versions!

If sweet snacks are what you crave, we recommend you try Atkins Endulge Peanut Butter Cups They have all the taste of world-famous peanut butter cups, but none of the guilt! These are simply delicious, and very hard to resist.

Savoury Snacks – These snacks run right down the middle between salty and sweet and include cheesy snacks, as well as muffins, cookies, and other baked goods. While cheese is already a common component of most low carb diets, many of the other foods in this category would need to have their ingredients adjusted in favour of low-carb versions. Luckily, there are many different types of low carb flours and bake mixes for virtually any kind of savoury snack you can think of. Whether you choose to bake them yourself, or choose pre-made snacks from popular low carb brands, savoury snacks are filling and satisfying.

If savoury snacks are what you prefer, we recommend trying ThinSlim Cinnamon Muffins. These tasty muffins are free of sugar, and very low in carbs. A great choice for a quick snack to satisfy your cravings.

Chewy Snacks – Granola bars and fruit leathers are typical examples of snacks that fit the chewy category, as are dried fruits like raisins, dates and apricots. While at first glance, these kinds of chewy snacks may seem like perfect options for a low carb dieter, they can be loaded with high levels of sugar. Fruits contain varying amounts of natural sugars, so it’s a good idea to do a bit of research first on what fruits are lower in natural sugars and more suited to a low carb diet. For example, raisins and dried mangoes are very high in sugar, but dried berries and plums have lower amounts of sugar. Be cautious when choosing fruit-based snacks and make sure you opt for products that are low in sugar, or sugar free.

If you’re hunting for a new chewy snack, try Extend Anytime Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars. These delicious chewy snack bars have a great chocolatey-peanut flavour and contain zero grams of sugar.

Fresh Snacks – Fresh fruit and vegetables are great snacks and very healthy. This includes things like carrot and celery sticks, as well as apples, berries, and melon. While vegetables are generally safe for any low carb dieter, there are certain fruits that contain higher levels of natural sugars, as we mentioned in the previous snack category. These fruits should be carefully moderated, or swapped for a fruit with lower natural sugar content. Some examples of fresh snacks include celery sticks with peanut butter, carrot sticks with hummus, or peaches with yogurt. These are simple and tasty snacks that are fresh and filling.

If fresh snacks are your style, then you’ve got to try Wild Garden Jalapeno Hummus along with your carrot and celery sticks. It’s got a great spicy kick to it!

Conclusion

Choosing snacks can be a fun experience, especially if you like to explore new taste experiences. Low carb brands are coming up with new and exciting flavour combinations all the time, so trust us when we say that low carb snacking is definitely not boring!

If you prefer to prepare your snacks yourself from fresh ingredients, check out this handy low carb snack reference article from http://www.dietdoctor.com that lists lots of options for low carb snacking, and many links to recipes you can try today.

However, like anything else you eat on the low carb diet, it’s very important to track your intake and count those carbs, so make sure that all of your snacks are factored in to your daily tally.

We hope that you’ve found this information helpful. Happy snacking – get started with the full selection of low carb snacks.