All posts by Jeff Fidler

Where to Buy Monk Fruit Sweeteners

The Best Selling Monk Fruit Sweeteners are Here!

Over the last few years, researchers have shown us that sugar is not necessarily a safe sweetener. It can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, it converts to carbohydrates in the body, which can lead to weight gain, it can cause energy crashes throughout the day, it affects those with diabetes and it can even be a risk factor for heart disease – just to name a few. But if this is the case, then why is sugar in so many products, and why do we fall for its tricks? Well, the truth is, the sugar industry is a lot bigger than you may think. It’s so powerful that it can actually create laws to ban other sweeteners (sugar substitutes and alternatives) from even entering certain countries!

We have to credit early researchers who found issues with sugar and began to find alternative natural sweeteners like erythritol, which comes from fruits and vegetables likes corn and watermelon, Xylitol, which comes from birch bark, and Monk Fruit, which comes from a native plant in Southeast Asia called lo han guo. (See photo below).

With the widespread information of sugar’s bad reputation, it’s no wonder that we Canadians are looking for ways to cut sugar out of our diet – but it’s not so easy when most of our sweet foods and beverages still carry sugar – and we don’t want to give them up! But luckily, there is a wide selection of all-natural sweeteners available in Canada, if you’re looking in the right place. At The Low Carb Grocery (with Canada-wide shipping), we offer a variety of sugar alternatives, and today we want to discuss monk fruit sweetener specifically because it’s one of the best and safest alternatives due to its sugar-like sweetness, zero calories, zero net carbs, low-to-zero glycemic level and no known negative side effects.

You can trust The Low Carb Grocery because we are experts on natural sugar substitutes and have helped customers achieve their health and weight loss goals for years. It’s even in our slogan, “Canada’s Widest Selection of Low-Carb and Sugar-Free Products.” So, let us help you with your hunt for the best natural sweetener, today!


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What is a Monk Fruit Sweetener?

Monk fruit is a small sweet melon native to Southeast Asia, where it is also known as lo han guo. It has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and has recently made its way into Western markets as a natural zero-calorie, low glycemic sugar substitute.

Monk fruit sweeteners are made from the extract of this fruit, which is about 150-200 times sweeter than table sugar. To make it more useable in food and beverages, monk fruit extract is usually combined with other less powerful sugar substitutes, such as erythritol (a natural sweetener made by fermenting the natural sugars in certain fruits and vegetables – commonly corn and sometimes watermelon and/or pairs) or a dietary fibre. This dilutes the sweetness making it more comparable to regular table sugar.

Monk fruit extract has a glycemic index of zero, meaning it has no impact on your blood sugar levels. You’ll get all the sweetness of regular sugar, but it passes through your digestive system with no effect on your body. Plus, it’s not as addictive as sugar because it doesn’t create those spikes in energy that the brain can become reliant upon. This is great news for diabetics and can also be a good option for those looking to lose weight or reduce their risk for diseases related to the consumption of sugar.

At The Low Carb Grocery, we carry a wide variety of monk fruit sweeteners for different uses. Below, we’ve compiled a list with some of our favourite brands.

SugarLike Zero Calorie Sweetener with Monk Fruit

The Canadian food scientists at NutraEx Food Inc. set out to create a natural sweetener that behaved like sugar, but without the negative health effects. The goal was to provide a sugar replacement that could measure like sugar, taste like sugar and behave similarly when cooked or baked. After many years and hundreds of batches of sweeteners, they finally created one that checked all of their boxes. This product is branded and sold as SugarLike Zero Calorie Sweetener with Monk Fruit.

The secret behind SugarLike is the encapsulation technique they used to produce perfect, consistent granules that look and taste just like sugar. This is the only monk fruit sweetener made with this technique that encapsulates each granule of monk fruit extract with an even coating of erythritol. This ensures perfectly consistent sweetness with every spoonful, no dusting or powdering, and a mouthfeel that is indistinguishable from sugar.

SugarLike is a 100% natural sweetener with zero calories and a glycemic index of zero. This is one of the more premium choices that The Low Carb Grocery has to offer, because of its unique and patented formula and quality that speaks for itself. Available in convenient 227g pouches (0.5lbs) and 700g pouches (1.5lbs), which is perfect when using larger quantities in cooking and baking.

Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweeteners

The Lakanto brand celebrates the heritage of monk fruit, rooted in the mountain highlands of East Asia, where a sector of Buddhist monks called the Luohan first discovered this rare fruit. Lakanto is proud to still grow and harvest monk fruit from these areas, following traditional and sustainable methods.

Lakanto’s monk fruit sweeteners are made from a proprietary mixture of high-purity monk fruit extract and non-GMO erythritol. This makes for a zero calorie and non-glycemic blend with delicious sweetness replicating real sugar. Lakanto has created an extensive and innovative line of monk fruit sweeteners – we invite you to explore all of their products here!

Here are some recipes that use Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener:

If you like these or want to try other recipes using Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener, you can browse the recipe page on their website!

Krisda Monk Fruit Sweetener

Krisda has a mission to give the world great tasting, all-natural, sugar-free ingredients that can be used to make food taste sweeter without having negative health effects. They support people who want to lose weight, enjoy physical activity, manage their blood-sugar levels, or simply lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Krista Monk Fruit Sweetener is made with naturally-sourced monk fruit extract and erythritol to make a granular sweetener that measures and tastes like sugar. This sweetener offers many of the same health benefits as the other brands mentioned in this article, including being zero calorie and low glycemic, but it comes with a lower price tag.

Krisda also produces other natural sweeteners, such as Stevia, Organic Erythritol, Xylitol and Sugar-Free Chocolatey Chips! Try this recipe for perfect Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Krisda Monk Fruit Sweetener and Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (this recipe is keto-friendly)!

Dixie Diner Spoonable Monk Fruit Sugar Replacement

Dixie Diner’s mission is to fulfil your sweet tooth with healthy treats. They support various lifestyle choices, including vegan, low-carb, dairy-free, gluten-free, and diabetic friendly. To contribute to a healthy lifestyle, Dixie Diner offers a unique monk fruit sweetener.

Dixie Diner Spoonable Monk Fruit Sugar Replacement is made with monk fruit extract and vegetable fibre as a carrier. It is made with all-natural ingredients and does not contain any sugar alcohols (such as xylitol and erythritol), which can cause digestive issues for some individuals in excessive amounts or leave an aftertaste for those with sensitive palettes. Plus, the addition of vegetable fibre is a great way to boost the nutrients in your baked goods and even your morning cup of coffee! This sweetener measures just like sugar, making it an easy replacement.

Baking with Monk Fruit

Monk fruit sweeteners are perfect for baking because they are stable at high temperatures. However, it is worth noting that foods made with monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar will differ slightly in texture, appearance and taste. Although monk fruit is sweet like sugar, sometimes it can give a lightly fruity taste. In addition, most monk fruit sweeteners are mixed with erythritol which has a slight “cooling” effect when eaten, due to an endothermic reaction that occurs which absorbs some of the heat from your mouth. This is similar to when you eat a piece of mint-flavoured gum and your mouth instantly feels cold! Keep reading to learn some of our favourite low carb baked goods recipes that incorporate monk fruit!

Coconutty Monk Fruit Brownies

Brownies seem to be the most popular item to bake with monk fruit sweetener. Although we’re still not sure how the monk fruit brownie trend started, we’ve put together what we think is a winning recipe for this low carb favourite!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with a little bit of coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.
  3. Melt your chocolate chips over a pot of boiling water together with the coconut oil or butter. Let cool for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, monk fruit sweetener and vanilla extract to the melted chocolate mixture.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until a thick batter forms.
  6. Fold in the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut slowly to avoid over mixing the batter.
  7. Pour the brownie mix into the baking pan and spread evenly. Top with leftover chocolate chips and sea salt to taste.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Here are some more sweet recipes we found on the web that use monk fruit sweetener:

 

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Don’t forget to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And please leave us a Google Reviewwith your Low Carb Grocery experiences!


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Great Sugar-Free Summer Drink Ideas

Stay Cool with these Fun Sugar-Free Summertime Drinks!

As the weather starts to warm up, you may be feeling a craving for fruity, refreshing summertime drinks. While we all love to sip on something cool and delicious, it can be hard to find drinks that aren’t loaded with sugars. So, we have come up with a list of recipes and tips for low carb dieters on how to stay quenched during the summer months.

Even if you are not following a low carb diet, sugar-free drinks are a great way to help manage your health and your weight. Avoid drinking your calories and instead enjoy refreshing and naturally sweetened drinks that won’t rot your teeth and your gut! Ditch the soda and sugar-y drink mixes and say hello to a new way to maintain that summer bod.


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Simple and Easy

Infused Water

It’s no secret that the healthiest drink you can choose when you’re thirsty is water. But if you want a bit more flavour, try infusing your water with fresh ingredients for a more satisfying sip. The best part is, infused water is perfectly low carb – fresh fruit and herbs impart a subtle flavour without jacking up the calories and sugars in your water. Here are some great flavour combinations:

  • Cucumber and mint
  • Orange, lemon, and lime
  • Grapefruit, pomegranate and rosemary
  • Strawberry, basil and lemon
  • Blackberries, orange and ginger
  • Pineapple, coconut water and lime

The combinations are truly endless! Get creative with any fresh fruits and herbs you have at home or from the garden.

Sugar Free Sodas from Zevia

This one requires no work at all! For those of us who like something fun and fizzy to sip on in the heat, Zevia makes a wide variety of carbonated sugar-free sodas, mixers, iced teas and energy drinks. Choose from classic soda flavours like root beer, ginger ale, and grape, or try something new with taste sensations like black cherry, cucumber lemon, and mandarin orange.

Check out the full range of Zevia Naturally Flavoured Sugar-Free Drinks available at The Low Carb Grocery.

Caffeine Lovers

Iced Matcha Latte (recipe)

Matcha has been gaining popularity around the world for its fantastic health benefits. Matcha powder is loaded with antioxidants, boosts your metabolism and it can help regulate blood sugar levels. Although the caffeine content is about ¼ that of coffee, the release is slower and more sustained, helping you feel energized for hours without the caffeine crash you get from coffee. This recipe is blended with coconut oil, vanilla bean (you could use vanilla extract instead), and cashew milk – a perfect sip for keto dieters!

Iced Coffee 

For coffee-lovers, iced coffee is the way to go during those hot summer months. There are many ways to make your iced coffee keto-friendly. Just skip the sugar and opt for a sweetener instead, and use a high-fat milk or creamer. You could also blend your coffee with MCT oil for extra healthy fats. Try adding a little flavour with vanilla extract, cinnamon or flavoured liquid stevia. You could also use one of these Keto Coffee Boosters for an added dose of vitamins and minerals to your morning brew!

If you want to practice your barista skills, try this recipe for Cold Brew Coffee or this Keto Coffee Frappuccino.

Fruity and Delicious

Strawberry Lemon Iced Tea (recipe)

Iced tea is pretty much synonymous with summertime and hot weather. This recipe adds some extra fruity flavours to classic iced tea, and it is sweetened with stevia. Plus, it is packed with antioxidants! This recipe uses hot brewed tea that can be chilled afterwards, but you could also cold brew your tea. This takes a little bit longer (steep 2-3 tea bags in a pitcher of water in the fridge overnight) but you get 2-3 times the amount of antioxidants from brewing the tea this way!

Keto Strawberry Colada Milkshake (recipe)

This recipe might just bring you back to childhood memories of chasing down the ice cream truck! Plus, it’s another great way to incorporate fresh strawberries at the peak of their growing season in the summer months. If you like this, there are tons of other keto smoothie and milkshake recipes online. These are a great choice for breakfast or as a snack because you can load them with nutrients and get the right macros for a low carb high fat diet. Blend them with a little ice for a cool and refreshing sip!

Oh, and if you’re not a fan of strawberry milkshakes, try one of these other classic flavours: Chocolate or Vanilla! Or, mix a few ingredients from each for a fantastic Neapolitan milkshake!

Alcoholic Beverages

Low Carb Margarita (recipe)

What drink goes better with a hot summer patio than a tasty, fresh margarita? The only problem is that traditional margarita recipes can contain a lot of sugar – but not this version! It is sweetened with Powdered Swerve Sweetener, which contains zero calories and zero sugars. For a fast and easy margarita alternative, check out Baja Bob’s Sugar Free Margarita Mix to make a great margarita in minutes (plus other fun, sugar-free drink mixes in this product line!).

Sugar-Free Sangria

Sangria is a classic summertime beverage that’s great for sharing with friends. However, most sangrias tend to be overly sweet. All you’ll need to make your own sangria at home is the following simple ingredients:

  • Dry red or white wine
  • Citrus flavoured vodka
  • Tonic water, unsweetened
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Handful of berries (low carb)
  • A few slices of peaches or mangoes for flavour
  • Fresh mint leaves

You could leave it at that, but if you want a little extra sweetness you could add a couple tablespoons of monk fruit sweetener, liquid stevia or a sugar-free syrup.

Functional Beverages

Keto Electrolyte Drink (recipe)

If you follow a keto diet, it is especially important to make sure you are getting enough electrolytes. Ketosis can cause frequent urination that removes a lot of important minerals such as sodium, potassium and magnesium from your body – so always make sure you are getting enough of these in your diet, especially in warmer summer months when we tend to sweat more. This drink is also great if you are active but want to avoid store-bought electrolyte drinks that can be loaded with sugars. Making this drink at home is an easy, health-conscious and cost-effective way to support your body.

Keto Kombucha Alternative

Kombucha is a fruity beverage made from fermented tea. However, sugar is required for the fermentation process to happen so this is often a no-go for keto-dieters! If you tried kombucha before you started a low carb diet and are wondering how to get it back into your daily regimen, try out the recipe below for a beverage alternative that comes very close to kombucha! Plus, you don’t have to grow a scoby, and it still offers many functional benefits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of fruit-flavoured tea of your choice, brewed and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon of grated ginger or 1 tablespoon of juiced ginger root
  • 1 ½ tablespoons monk fruit sweetener
  • ¼ cup of berry puree
  • ½ cup sparkling water, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice

You could buy berry puree from the store or make it at home to avoid any sugars or other additives. Simply heat ½ cup of fresh or frozen berries on the stove with a bit of lemon juice and 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener. Stir and mash the berries until the mixtures becomes like a thick paste. Let it cool and it’s ready to use!

Mix all of the ingredients together in a shaker bottle. Pour through a fine strainer to get rid of any chunks or berry seeds and serve over ice!

For the Kids (and Adults, too!)

Naturally Sweetened Sugar-Free Lemonade (recipe)

What list of summer drinks would be complete without a lemonade recipe? This fantastic version of lemonade that is naturally sweetened with Stevia and contains no added sugars. You could use pure liquid stevia or choose one that’s naturally flavoured to elevate the flavours in your drink. Flavorall carries a wide range of naturally flavoured liquid stevia drops. Here are some options that would work great in your lemonade:

For an even cooler version of this drink, you could blend this recipe with ice and make frosted lemonade! You could also add vodka to a separate batch to make homemade hard lemonade – perfect for backyard barbecues with friends.

Homemade Sugar-Free Kool-Aid (recipe)

This recipe only requires three simple ingredients! It’s a clever blend of fruity teas and flavoured stevia sweeteners that really tastes like Kool-Aid. You can choose from different flavours of liquid stevia to customize this recipe according to your kids’ preferences. You could even freeze the mixture to make popsicles or freezies. Just be sure to make lots of it because this stuff goes fast!

Start Experimenting with New Drink Ideas!

If you tried any of the recipes featured in this article, we’d love to know! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram with your photos and let us know what you liked (and what you didn’t).

We love to stay connected with fellow low carbers with our Weekly Newsletters – sharing updates on the latest products and current specials and sales.

Please leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences!


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Low Carb, Sugar-Free Snacks You’ll Fall in Love With

Moon Cheese has revolutionized the way we snack, turning a perishable item like cheese into fun, crunchy finger food.

Cheese doesn’t have to be reserved for charcuterie boards or a topping on sandwiches and pizza – it is now available as a light, crunchy snack that won’t go bad in your lunch bag. Moon Cheese was one of the first to do it: turn cheese into a shelf stable crunchy snack that can be enjoyed whenever, wherever. Plus, it is low in carbs and naturally high in protein!


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How is Moon Cheese Different?

Although its concept is similar to other snack foods you may have eaten in the past – cheese puffs and cheesy potato chips – Moon Cheese is not loaded with unhealthy fats, excessive sodium or hidden sugars. Each serving contains 0-1g of net carbs, 5g of protein and 14% of the daily recommended intake of calcium, making it a great choice for low carb or keto dieters. Still, this crunchy cheese snack is just as satisfying and crave-worthy as non-diet foods!

The Story Behind Moon Cheese

Created by NutraDried Food Company, a leader in food innovation committed to providing healthy snack solutions, Moon Cheese was made by experimenting with a new proprietary technology that would help them meet the evolving dietary needs of consumers. Moon Cheese is not baked, fried, or freeze dried and the result is neither a crisp nor an air-filled puff. Instead, you get little chunks of real cheese that have been removed of almost all of their moisture content but still retain their true flavour and nutrients.

Moon Cheese’s texture and flavour doesn’t feel like your typical boring, bland diet snack food. This is because it is crafted through this special process that adds crunchiness and intensifies the naturally delicious flavour of cheese. Plus, it accommodates a variety of allergen and dietary needs because it is made from a single ingredient: cheese!

How Moon Cheese is Made

Moon Cheese is made using a patented dehydrating process that combines radiant heat and vacuum drying technology – which can be best described as “crunchifying”! It works by placing fresh cheese into a large cylinder that slowly rotates and dries the cheese at a low temperature for 90 minutes. During this time, close to 100% of the moisture is removed – this is what makes Moon Cheese shelf stable. Plus, most of the nutrients remain intact, which is what makes Moon Cheese a great source of protein and essential nutrients such as potassium and calcium. Other methods of dehydrating require food to be dried at such a high temperature that the process ends up removing more than half the nutrients while also retaining much more moisture that can cause it to spoil more easily.

As a result of removing the moisture, this process completely changes the texture of the cheese – turning it into something you never imagined cheese could be! Moon Cheese is crunchy and light, and it resembles little pieces of the moon (hence the name). However, you still get the true flavour of the cheese due to the gentle drying process and lack of unnecessary chemical preservatives that can alter the flavour.

Nutrition and Ingredients

Moon Cheese is a nutritious snack that is gluten-free, high in protein and fats and low in carbs.  The only ingredient is 100% natural cheese! There are no additives or preservatives, because they are simply not necessary. The “crunchifying” technique does not require these or any other added chemicals or sugars. Moon Cheese is completely shelf stable on its own and it already tastes great from the natural flavour of cheese. Plus, it is naturally high in a number of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, potassium and calcium. You get all of these benefits and none of the garbage from these delicious, crunchy bite-size pieces!

Moon Cheese is available at The Low Carb Grocery in three classic flavours:

Let us know if you would like to see any of these new flavours at The Low Carb Grocery:

  • White Cheddar and Black Pepper
  • Cheddar Bacon
  • Garlic Parmesan

Other Uses for Moon Cheese

Moon Cheese is not only great on its own, but it can also be incorporated into other dishes to elevate the flavours and textures!

Moon Cheese Breadcrumbs

Moon Cheese makes the perfect breadcrumbs that can be added to pastas, casseroles, meat and anything else you would normally add breadcrumbs to! All you have to do is put Moon Cheese in a sealable plastic bag and break down into crumb-size pieces. You could use them on their own as a breading or add them to a pre-made low carb bread crumb mix!

Here is a recipe for making your own cheese-y low carb breadcrumbs at home with things you might already have on hand.

What you’ll need:

Preparation:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the dry ingredients and the egg together. You should get a dough-like consistency.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it with safe cooking oil.
  3. Lay the dough (this might have to be done in 2 batches) onto the baking sheet and cover with another piece of parchment paper.
  4. Roll out the dough underneath the parchment paper until it is very thin.
  5. Remove the top layer of parchment paper and place in the oven to bake at 350˚F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Let the cooked dough rest for 10 minutes before popping it back into the food processor or blender. Blend until you get breadcrumb consistency.

Moon Cheese Croutons

Sprinkle Moon Cheese on top of salads to add a bit more protein, fat and crunchy texture that feels just like a crouton – minus the carbs!

Moon Cheese Party Mix

Moon Cheese is great for sharing with friends and family. Next time you have a get together, put out a bowl of this party mix and watch how quickly it disappears!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, combine the mixed nuts, coconut chips and pork rinds with the spice seasoning, coconut oil and sweetener. Add salt to taste if desired. Mix everything together until the flavours are evenly distributed.
  2. Lay the mixture on a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350˚F for 10-15 minutes to lightly roast and let the flavours settle.
  4. Let the mixture cool down for 10 minutes then transfer to a large bowl. Add in 1 package of Moon Cheese and mix everything together.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Here are some other recipes we found on the web that use Moon Cheese or can be made with Moon Cheese:

 

Stay Connected

If you want to share your thoughts on Moon Cheese, let us know on Facebook. Or, if you tried any of the recipes we suggested, tag us in your post on Instagram! We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And please leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences!


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Make Great Low Carb French Cuisine

Recipes & Tips for Delicious Low Carb French Foods

French cuisine is highly regarded around the world for having some of the most delicious flavours and precise techniques. For low carb dieters, French cooking is definitely something to explore. The main ingredients in French cooking, such as meats, cheeses, butter, eggs and vegetables are perfect for a low carb diet. Just skip the baguettes, croissants and pastries! And don’t worry about having to master your culinary skills – there are several classic French dishes that are perfect for home cooks!


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History of French Cuisine

Since the middle ages, one of the hallmarks of French cuisine has been visual presentation. This is why a lot of famous chefs go to culinary school in France to learn the intricate plating techniques practiced by esteemed chefs. We eat not only with our mouths, but also with our eyes. Challenge yourself to plate your low carb French meals beautifully to capture the true essence of this country’s cuisine.

A lot of French dishes were born out of the availability of resources to the different social classes in France. A few hundred years ago, the elite class would display their wealth by roasting a swan or a peacock! Game-y meats such as venison, rabbit, and wild boar were also very rare and prized by the upper classes. Meanwhile, the diets of the peasants and lower-class members of society consisted mainly of bread, soups and stews and gave birth to French countryside style of cuisine.

The French Revolution in the 18th century brought an end of the guild system which meant that anyone could produce and sell culinary items as they desired. More people all over the country gained access to a variety of foods that were once only available to the ruling class. This opened the door for innovation and new styles of cooking. Still today we see a range of French dishes that have their roots in different social classes and regions but are now available not only all over France but all over the world!

Common French Ingredients

French cuisine is very seasonal, using only the freshest ingredients available during a given time of year. Mushrooms, green beans (haricots verts), zucchini, eggplant, leeks, carrots, and turnips are just a few fresh vegetables that you will commonly see in French recipes. Most of these are safe for low carb cooking. If cooking with green beans, carrots or eggplant, use more sparingly.

French meals are traditionally seasoned with a variety of herbs grown in the French countryside to add depth of flavour and freshness. Some of the most popular seasoning used in French cooking is a medley of different herbs and spices, known as herbes de Provence. Typically, this blend consists of basil, fennel, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme and can sometimes include lavender, too! Fleur de sel, seawater salt crystals from Brittany, France, is also usually sprinkled on top of finished dishes.

French food is highly centred around meats. Recipes often call for poultry such as chicken, pheasant, duck, or squab. Other meats that are common in French cooking include beef, veal, lamb and pork. Seafood from the Mediterranean can also be found in more coastal regions of France. Typical catches include fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines, as well as shrimp, mussels, and other shellfish. And who could forget about the infamous frog legs and snails? (We’re trying.)

Eggs are another very popular ingredient in French cooking, but unlike Western cultures, they are mostly eaten for lunch and dinner and rarely for breakfast! They can be poached, hard boiled, scrambled or made into omelettes. They are also a staple ingredient in classic French sauces such as Mousseline, Hollandaise, and Béarnaise.

French Cooking Techniques

Many recipes that originate from France are so unique because they involve the use of regionally developed cooking techniques. Here are a few common French techniques that do not require a fancy culinary degree!

Sautéing

The name of this method comes from the French sauter which means to jump. It involves cooking meat or vegetables in a shallow saucepan on high heat with a bit of olive oil or butter. By quickly moving the food around the pan, this method is similar to making the food “jump”, which explains the name.

Poaching

Poaching involves submerging food in hot but not quite boiling water, which produces a very delicate result. Eggs and fish are the most common ingredients prepared this way.

Read our guide to making the perfect poached eggs.

Braising

This method of cooking meat involves a few steps:

  1. First sear the meat in a deep cooking dish on the stove with a bit of oil
  2. Remove the meat and add chopped vegetables to the juices left over in the pot.
  3. Deglaze the pot with wine.
  4. Add the meat back to the pot with stock or water and let it finish cooking on low heat for 1-3 hours.
  5. Enjoy your juicy, tender meat!

Broiling

This simply involves cooking oiled food over medium heat on either a stove or grill. Cooking at too high of a temperature will burn the food since there is direct contact with the hot surface.

Now that we’ve explored some of the common ingredients and methods that are used to prepare French dishes, let’s dive into some delicious recipes that you can cook at home. These are all low carb versions of classic French meals that will definitely be great additions to your weekly meal plan and will certainly get rave reviews from your family and friends!

Low Carb Crepes

Crepes are thin pancakes that are served with either sweet or savoury fillings. These low carb crepes are made with coconut flour instead of traditional wheat flour.

Some low carb fillings for your crepes could include:

Low Carb French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is served all over the world, and for good reason. It’s a hearty, comforting soup that tastes great, especially when it’s colder outside. Choose from one of our low carb buns to use in this recipe instead of traditional French bread.

Low Carb Pistachio Macarons

Here’s a signature French dessert that is light and delicate, although hard to master. Challenge yourself to make these classic French cookies when you are craving something light and sweet, but oh, so satisfying! Serve these with coffee or tea and imagine yourself sitting in a little Parisian café.

Ratatouille

This traditional veggie casserole was once considered food for peasants – but everyone needs their fibre! You can eat it on its own, served over a rice substitute or with a toasty piece of low carb bread. It’s also great for serving family-style along with braised lamb shanks for an all-around French meal.

Quiche

Quiche is a delicious and filling choice for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! Whether you decide to go crust-less or not, we have two recipes here that will blow your taste buds away:

Salad Niçoise

Salad Niçoise is perfect for low carb dieters. It is packed with protein, healthy fats and low carb veggies. Plus, salads are super easy to make! Try this recipe if you are bored of your usual greens.

Coq au Vin

Coq au vin literally means chicken in wine – and that’s what it is: chicken braised in red wine (traditionally) with some kind of fat, such as pig lardon, and vegetables. If you have a slow cooker at home, this is super easy to make. Here’s a recipe for Slow Cooker Coq au Vin. Additionally, if you want to take the fat up a notch in this dish, try this Creamy Keto Coq au Vin. Perfect for a weeknight or a homecooked date night meal!

Boeuf Bourguignon

This dish is also known as Beef Burgundy, due to its inclusion of red Burgundy wine from the Burgundy region of eastern France. Once again, it uses the technique of braising in red wine, but this dish resembles more of a beef stew. Here is a recipe we found for Boeuf Bourguinon with Cauliflower Mash – a perfect low carb pairing for this heart stew.

Tips for Cooking with Wine on a Low Carb Diet

You may have noticed that a lot of these French recipes involve the use of wine – and you may be wondering if this is okay for a low carb diet. One thing to know is that cooking with wine is very different from drinking wine. Most of the alcohol – which is what affects blood sugar levels – gets cooked off during the process. This is especially true if you are using the wine as a braising liquid for several hours. You should opt for a less sweet wine to avoid excessive sugars (we definitely don’t recommend cooking with a bottle of Moscato), and most recipes don’t call for too much, anyways.

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If you tried any of the classic French recipes mentioned in this article, we’d love to know!

Share your photos and experiences with us on Facebook or Instagram. We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales.

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Guide to Keto-Friendly Cocktails

2020 Guide to Keto-Friendly Alcohol Drinks

Learn how you can still enjoy your favourite cocktails while maintaining a ketogenic or low carb diet.

Many people wonder if they can still drink alcohol once they start a ketogenic diet. If you only look at it from the standpoint of the carb and fat content of alcoholic drinks, there are definitely alcoholic beverages out there that can safely be consumed if you are on a low carb or keto diet. However, there are other things to be consider when it comes to alcohol and maintaining your progress towards your weight loss goals.

One thing to keep in mind throughout this article, is that everyone has a different biological reaction to alcohol. Finding what works for you and your body is important. The number of enzymes in your body that break down alcohol largely affects your tolerance, and this is mainly determined by genetics. However, other factors such as the amount of sleep you’ve had in a day and the food you eat can also contribute to your response to alcohol. Before you take trial and error matters into your own hands, we’ll point out a few tips and guaranteed ways that you can manage your alcohol intake and stay on track of your low carb or ketogenic diet.


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Here are some things to be aware of when consuming alcohol if you follow a low carb diet:

  1. Ketosis lowers your tolerance for alcohol and worsens your hangovers.

These two side effects go hand in hand; a lower tolerance results in a worse hangover. This is mainly due to the fact that less carbs are consumed on a keto, which help absorb alcohol when it enters the body. With less stores of carbohydrates, alcohol can reach your bloodstream quicker and have a more intoxicating effect. The good news is you don’t have to drink as much to get a buzz and this can save you a lot of money! Just be sure to stay hydrated. Consuming electrolytes or an anti-hangover supplement is also a good idea when you drink to prevent a terrible hangover, as ketosis often causes loss of body fluids (more frequent urination) that flushes out important minerals.

  1. It stops the actual process of ketosis.

The liver is the main producer of ketones, the body’s primary energy source when in ketosis. However, when you consume alcohol, the liver must stop producing ketones and switch gears to metabolize the alcohol instead. If you are frequently causing this halt in the system, your weight loss progress can suffer as the body is not using its full resources to help you achieve your goals. If weight loss is your primary goal for starting a keto diet, don’t ruin your progress by consuming alcohol too frequently as this only means you will be on the diet for longer!

  1. Drinking can cause you to crave foods that are not keto compliant.

This is one of the big worries with consuming alcohol on a keto diet, especially if you have a habit of ordering pizza after a late night out! If alcohol is not the problem, the 3 A.M. munchies may be the real culprit of slowed weight loss progress. Be sure to either have a stash of keto-friendly snacks in your cupboard for late night cravings, or use some willpower and drink a tall glass of water before bed. Rehydrating can sometimes combat those feelings of hunger that result from dehydration after drinking. Plus, it always makes the morning after a little bit better.

Now, these precautions don’t mean that you need to go cold turkey on alcohol. If you enjoy having a drink from time to time, there are ways that you can ensure it won’t affect your weight loss progress or throw you out of ketosis.

The first rule of thumb is to consume alcohol in moderation. Stick to one to two drinks (this should be enough, anyways!). If the second drink has you wanting another one, make sure to have a back-up plan. You can switch to tonic water with lime or lemon juice after your second drink, and still feel like you are drinking a cocktail. Plus, no one can try to shove another drink in your empty hands! Another great tip is to ask the bartender to add a few drops of non-sweetened bitters to your tonic water. This is like a pseudo-cocktail that will allow you to rehydrate while still enjoying the essence of a cocktail.

If you know that you have a hard time limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, then avoid it altogether. If not addressed properly, the pleasure-seeking regions of the brain can cause us to engage behaviours that are not only detrimental to weight loss progress, but also our overall health. If you know you are prone to over-doing it, take the time that you are on a ketogenic diet to abstain from alcohol and rewire your brain. Often when people have reached a point where they can comfortably abstain from something, they are more careful when they re-approach that thing again in the future. You can learn to socialize or enjoy a relaxing night for yourself without the use of something as a crutch, knowing that you are doing something good for your body and your mind. Have a friend or spouse support you in your efforts by also abstaining from alcohol. This will make you feel less alienated in social situations and you can talk about it with someone experiencing the same feelings as you.

If you are going to consume alcohol on a ketogenic diet, stick to its purest form to avoid excessive sugars and calories. While this may not be the easiest thing in the world to drink, it can sure help you avoid excessive consumption! Get to know which kind of spirits you like – most of them have very few or no carbs at all. Gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and whiskey are all safe choices. Light beers also tend to be safe as they contain less carbs (typically 3g per 12 oz) and calories compared to darker ales. Some options here include Miller Lite, Budweiser Select 55, Michelob ULTRA and Coors Light. Finding low carb wines can be a little bit trickier, as they often don’t advertise attributes like this in the name or on the bottle. Some liquor stores will tell you the sugar content per litre on the shelf tag – which is very handy. Avoid sweet wines such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Ice Wine, Moscato, White Zinfandel and very cheap brands of wine (they usually make up for the poor quality of the grapes with excessive sugar). You can always ask a store employee for help finding a dry wine that you will enjoy.

Cocktails are often made to camouflage the taste of alcohol so you can drink a lot of them. This is what makes it tricky for low carbers when you are not your own bartender. When ordering drinks at a restaurant or bar, avoid notoriously sweet cocktails such as margaritas, martinis, bellinis, mimosas, Long Island iced teas, piña coladas, prosecco, sangria – the list really goes on. Your best bet is to ask the bartender if they can make a drink for you from spirits and tonic water and if they leave out any juices or sugar-y syrups. Instead, you can ask for lemon, lime, or fresh mint to add some flavour.

Here are some of our favourite cocktail mixers from The Low Carb Grocery that you can use to make delicious low carb drinks at home:

Chase Cocktail Mixers

With these zero-calorie, zero-carb, zero-sugar (stevia sweetened) liquid flavour drops, you can safely welcome back the classic combination of Rum & Coke into your low carb diet! Using Chase’s cola-flavoured cocktail mixer, all you have to do is add a few drops to sparkling water plus a shot of rum and you have yourself a perfectly satisfying, sugar-free low carb beverage. Plus, Chase Mixers are enhanced with 9 essential B Vitamins that can help prevent an unpleasant hangover the next day. These are a great item to bring to social gatherings when you know you may not have access to sugar-free options. Also available in Tropical Thunder flavour!

Sugar-free syrups

The Low Carb Grocery carries a number of sugar-free syrups in a wide range of flavours to satisfy any of your cravings. Get crafty with a mix of flavours and create your own signature low carb cocktail!

Zevia Sugar-Free Natural Diet Soda

These bubbly drinks are sweetened with stevia, meaning they contain zero carbs and zero sugar. They are available in a variety of flavours, all naturally derived. Some of our favourite flavours include Black Cherry, Ginger Ale and Orange. Zevia is also available in sugar-free energy drinks, iced teas and ginger beer and tonic water mixers!

True Citrus Crystallized Beverage Packets

Unlike most other comparable products on the market, True Citrus is made with real citrus! With only 0.5g of net carbs per packet, they are perfect for making classic low carb drinks.

The Low Carb Mojito

To make this delicious cocktail, you’ll need:

Preparation:

  1. Use either a mortar and pestle or a small bowl and a spoon and mash together the mint leaves and monk fruit sweetener.
  2. Add the crushed mint to the bottom of a glass. Pour in the tonic water and one packet of True Citrus Crystallized Lime. Mix everything together and add a few cubes of ice.
  3. Finally, pour in a shot (or two) of white rum. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and enjoy!

You can also use fresh lime juice in this recipe for a subtler taste. Limes are naturally low in carbs and safe for keto dieters!

Here are some other recipes we found online for great keto cocktails:

 

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SmartCake & SmartBun – Low Carb Cakes and Buns

Upgrade your Buns & Cakes to Gluten-free & Low Carb Alternatives!

Cakes and buns aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when you think low carb food, but the bakers at the Smart Baking Company have made it their mission to change that! They have created two amazing lines of baked products that shatter every stereotype of boring diet food. Read on to learn more about why we love the Smart Baking Company and two of their featured products: SmartCake and SmartBun!


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About the Smart Baking Company

The Smart Baking Company was founded to prove to the world that healthy and fun can go hand in hand. Whether you are gluten free, diabetic, on a keto diet, eating for weight loss or just trying to be more mindful, they want to make sure you enjoy the food you eat!

The company has quickly risen to the top as one of the most popular low carb brands, thanks to their consistently delicious products and dedication to using only the finest healthy ingredients. You can be sure that when you buy their products, you are getting the best quality ingredients and amazing flavours in every bite!

Here are some of the ways the Smart Baking Company differentiates its products:

  1. All of their products are certified Gluten-Free by the National Celiac Foundation.

Gluten is great for baking because it holds dough together and gives the end product a chewy texture, but it is not so great for consumers who are gluten intolerant. Instead of traditional wheat flour, the Smart Baking Company’s products are made with a blend of oat fibre, rice fibre, corn fibre and flaxseed meal. This blend adds a healthy dose of fibre to their products and ensures that they are safe to consume for all! Plus, flaxseed meal provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that make these an even smarter choice.

  1. Everything has zero carbs, zero sugar and zero starches!

The Smart Baking Company’s products are safe for low carb and keto dieters! When the founders learned that the average American consumes 130 lbs of added sugars a year, or 22 teaspoons a day – they knew that something wasn’t right. Research has shown that a diet high in sugar can affect the body in a multitude of negative ways. The good news is that once you eliminate sugar from your diet, the cravings tend to subside. This is also great news for low carb and keto dieters, or those suffering from diabetes. There is a way to manage your diet, the first step is to eliminate things that are damaging to your body, such as sugar. It’s a big step, but it will help rewire your brain and change your habits, making it easier over the long term.

  1. They never use artificial flavours, colours or dyes.

Food dyes found in highly processed foods have been shown to have many negative side effects. Did you know that these dyes are made from petroleum or crude oil? Save that for your car, not your food! You never have to worry about the Smart Baking Company’s products containing these harmful chemicals, as they use only naturally-derived flavours and do not add any synthetic colours.

  1. All of their ingredients are naturally sourced and non-GMO.

Enough said! Many consumers look for these qualities in the food they buy, so the Smart Baking Company is committed to only using natural and non-genetically modified ingredients.

  1. Their products contain protein in each serving!

Proteins are the building blocks of just about everything – bones, muscles, skin, blood cells and cartilage. They are also used in the synthesis of enzymes, hormones and other bodily chemicals. As you can tell, protein serves many vital functions and that’s why it’s so great that the Smart Baking Company’s products contain healthy sources of protein.

So, what are these sources? One of the ingredients that the Smart Baking Company uses is whey protein isolate. This complete protein is derived from dairy and contains all ten essential amino acids. It is more easily digested and absorbed by the gut compared to other sources of protein. In addition, the Smart Baking Company uses eggs to add a boost of protein as well as other nutrients to their products. Eggs also contain essential amino acids which promote healthy liver function, normal cell activity and efficient transportation of nutrients throughout the body.

  1. They even care about their water sources!

The Smart Baking Company has partnered with Cool Blue® water purification systems to ensure that the water they use in their baking is of the best tasting and purest sort. It does not contain any added chemicals and retains several naturally occurring beneficial minerals, taking the quality of their products one step even further.

Now that we’ve covered some of the reasons why we love the Smart Baking Company, let’s get into the delicious products they make!

About SmartCake

Finding delicious and healthy snack or dessert foods can be a challenge for many dieters, especially if you have a notoriously powerful sweet tooth. SmartCake brings cake back into the dessert options for low carb dieters! Fans of SmartCake can’t stop raving about the taste and texture of these delicious desserts. Plus, the fact that they contain zero net carbs and a myriad of healthy nutrients makes them even more satisfying!

Each SmartCake contains 9g of carbohydrates, 5g of which are dietary fibre and 4g of which come from erythritol, a sugar alcohol that is not processed by the body like regular carbohydrates. This means that there are 0g net carbs in each SmartCake, making them a safe and delicious snack for low carb and keto dieters. They are not only delicious, but nutritious, too. Packed with vitamins and minerals, SmartCakes are part of a healthy diet that promotes good eyesight, healthy skin and bones, proper immune function and several other benefits! Each serving also contains 4g of protein – the icing on theSmartCake”!

SmartCakes are available in a variety of flavours to satisfy any craving, including Chocolate, Lemon, Raspberry, Cinnamon and Vanilla Latte. 

Similar to SmartCake

If you like SmartCake, check out these other brands offering similar nutritious, low carb solutions to your favourite sweet snacks!

Thin Slim Foods 

Thin Slim Foods makes sugar and gluten free brownies, muffins and signature baked goods. Their products are naturally sweetened with erythritol, making them safe for keto dieters and diabetics. Hand crafted from one-of-a-kind recipes using simple, high quality ingredients, Thin Slim Foods products not only taste moist and decadent, but are also low in carbohydrates, fat, and calories.

All of these products are ready-made and ready to be enjoyed! They are a great snack on the go or when you are short on time. Plus, they are high in protein and fibre so you can get the most nutritional value out of your snack or dessert.

HoldTheCarbs

HoldTheCarbs was born when the founder, Viktoria Brown (now an avid marathon runner and ironman triathlete!), was looking for a solution to her boring diet food. She wanted to enjoy her favourite foods again, such as pizza, pancakes, brownies and muffins, but ensure she could do so while sticking to her low carb, high protein diet. After experimenting in her home kitchen, she came up with recipes that are all gluten-free, keto-friendly, high in protein and fibre and – most importantly – taste great!

These baking mixes are easy to prepare; simply add liquid and eggs (or vegan substitute) and follow the cooking instructions. They are also highly versatile so you can customize them with additional ingredients to your liking. Now you can enjoy your favourite indulgences guilt-free while nourishing your body with important nutrients.

About SmartBun

Burger and sandwich lovers rejoice! No longer are you forced to skip the bun or resort to dry, tasteless bread alternatives. Developed specifically to address the needs to low carb and gluten free diets, SmartBun still allows you to enjoy your favourite foods but in a safer and more nutritious way. SmartBuns have a light and flaky texture, just like traditional hamburger buns and unlike any other low carb bun on the market today. They are available in two classic flavours: Plain and Sesame.

Once again, they are completely carb, sugar and starch free! With 12g of dietary fibre and 4g of erythritol, your net carb intake won’t budge an inch. Plus, you’ll be getting a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, 10g of protein and other essential nutrients in every SmartBun. Use them for any kind of sandwich, from burgers to BLTs to breakfast sandwiches. SmartBuns are also great for making low carb stuffing, low carb bread pudding, croutons, breadcrumbs, and much more!

Similar to SmartBun

The Low Carb Grocery carries several low carb bread and bun alternatives. There is no need to say goodbye to your favourite sandwiches with these nutritious and various diet-friendly options.

Bakers Deluxe

Bakers Deluxe Dream Buns are soft and light and contain only 1g net carbs per bun! Each bun also contains 14g of protein and 17g of fibre – truly a dream! Made with high quality ingredients such as oat fibre, golden flaxseed meal, olive oil and almond meal, these buns are naturally packed with nutrients. Available in Dinner Roll, Hamburger Bun and Hot Dog Bun formats. Note that these buns are not gluten-free, and contain protein and fibre from wheat sources, as well.

Unbun 

Unbun Keto-Friendly Buns are gluten-free, grain-free and high in fibre and protein. With just 5g net carbs per bun, they can be enjoyed whenever cravings for bread strike. These buns freeze well and thaw perfectly, allowing you to store them to maintain freshness for up to 3 months. They are available in two delicious versions: original and plant-based! By removing eggs from the original recipe and replacing them with pumpkin seed protein powder, the plant-based buns are vegan-friendly and still packed with nutrients! Plus, they do not fall apart and can be loaded with all of your favourite toppings. Also try Unbun Mini Baguettes – great for deli-style sandwiches!

Stay Connected

We are sure that the products mentioned in this article will change the way you think about low carb and gluten-free foods! If you have tried any of these products, let us know on Facebook or tag us on Instagram. We also love to stay connected with our Weekly Newsletters for updates on the latest products and special sales. And please leave us a Google Review with your Low Carb Grocery experiences!


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