Valentine's Day is nearly here... and it will come as no surprise that a great deal of requests for Valentine ideas for the low carber have been plentiful the last couple of weeks. So we are devoting much of this issue to that very subject.
Do you know the history of St. Valentine's Day?
In 5th Century Rome, mid-February was traditionally the time of the Lupercian festival, an ode to the God of fertility and a celebration of sensual pleasure, a time to meet and court a prospective mate.
But in 496 AD, Pope Gelasius outlawed the festival, choosing instead a "lovers" saint to replace Lupercus. The martyred Bishop Valentine was chosen as the patron saint of the new festival. Before his death, Saint Valentine had signed his final note to his true love, "From Your Valentine", a phrase that has lasted through the centuries. Eventually the concept of celebrating true love became known as Valentine's Day.
In modern times the most common gesture has been for the gentleman to bring his lady flowers and sugary chocolates. Well, the sugary part may be "out" for us low-carbers, but the fun of the holiday doesn't have to be... From beautiful flowers, to elegant meals, to romantic travel plans, make sure Valentine's Day remains special to you. This issue will have some recipes and tips to help you out!
Our product review team will feature 2 (two) "Products Of The Month" — one in each issue of our newsletter. These products will be the group consensus of those we find to be the most innovative, tasty, or helpful to the low-carber's daily dietary regime.
not/Starch, not/Cereal, and not/Sugar...
These unassuming little foil-paks are worth their weight in gold in our kitchens. Taking on high-carb-style roles, while being nearly zero carb themselves. They're made mostly of ingenious blends of gums and other fibers and allow us some pretty great flexibility with our foods.
The most-called-for, not/Starch does just what it sounds like. It allows you to quickly thicken soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and more with just a small amount. In most cases it's best to sprinkle in a small amount (I do so from a salt shaker filled with not/Starch) until desired thickness is achieved for each particular dish. Remember, a little goes a long way so don't use it in the quantities you'd use for flour or cornstarch. It adds no flavor or color to the product, just texture.
Next comes not/Cereal, a quick-to-make hot cereal base that has only a small trace of carbs on its own. To keep it simple, just mix according to directions and add a little flavor (perhaps an extract or some sugar free syrup?) and sweeten to taste. Or, make a more traditional style cereal by adding a little nut flour, a tiny amount of oatmeal, or some bran or flaxseed. Or a mixture. The point is, it's a base from which you can make a myriad of textured hot cereals limited only by your imagination.
By adding cream, or sour cream, or cinnamon, or even cottage cheese, you can continue to get varied results and will undoubtedly end up with a number of favorites! Even a dollop of sugarless jam (I love it with Keto Pineapple fruit spread!) makes for a super breakfast. Add a smidge of cream, almond or soy milk, or a little half-n-half. If you're in a more liberal stage of your plan, you might add a bit of whole milk. Just remember, with both the not/Starch and the not/Cereal, the secret's in the whisking... you don't stir, you whisk and you'll get success.
Lastly, a must-have in our kitchens is not/Sugar. It helps to replace the consistency and "mouthfeel" of sugar in products in which you'll be substituting artificial sweeteners. It can make a big difference in fruit/dessert sauces, meringues, etc.
If you haven't used these gems from Expert Foods, you'll find low carb cooking a lot easier with them onhand! You can purchase them online from The Low Carb Connoisseur.
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