One of my favourite pages on Facebook is Ditch the Carbs – they post daily Youtube videos and interesting articles, provide tips and tricks, and best of all, publish really awesome recipes. A while ago, one in particular caught my eye, entitled, “Nut-free Keto brownie: flourless, no nuts, no sugar, no coconut.” This seriously appealed to me because low-carb baking with nut and coconut flours often tends to be a bit on the dry side – plus nut flours are friken expensive! So I thought I would give it a try.
I worked out the carb content of each of the ingredients I used, and the total net carbs comes to just under 30g per batch. Obviously the ingredients you choose will influence the carb content, so it’s best to be diligent when shopping. One example of this is cocoa powder. I have no idea how or why, but cocoa has loads of carbs in it! This is shocking considering it is (or at least, should be) a natural product with no additives. Therefore I can definitely recommend the Woolworths unsweetened cocoa powder as it only contains 4g net carbs per 100g. Something else to consider is the butter you use: the only butter we had in the fridge was salted, and I’m almost sure that has a higher carb count than unsalted – plus unsalted is better for you anyway.
An important factor that really makes a difference with carb content is the sweetener you use, and how much you prefer. My mom and I use the sweetener called Suki which is a blend of xylitol, the sugar alcohol isomalt, and steviol. We prefer this one because it is extremely sweet compared to xylitol on its own, and it has the same carb content: Suki and xylitol both have 100g of carbs per 100g – but because Suki is sweeter, you use less, thus resulting in a lower total carbs. The first time I tried this recipe, I only used 12g of Suki. This was fine for me because my taste buds have long since gotten used to not eating sweet sugary things. For the rest of the world to be able to stomach them though, I put in 15g this time. When it comes to sweetness in recipes, it’s always best to add little bit little bit and keep testing it – everyone enjoys different levels of sweetness. You can use any sweetening method you prefer, from Stevia to honey, it’s completely up to you and what you prefer. As long as you taste-test, you should be good to go.
The original recipe calls for vanilla essence, but we don’t keep it at home because it’s basically a bottle of processed nonsense that’s very far from the real thing, so I added espresso instead. But, in hindsight, last time I only put in one shot of espresso and this time I put two, so I think the bitterness of the coffee might have taken away some of the sweetness anyway (great job, Rox.)
As I said, I have now baked these brownies twice and they came out great both times. They are lovely and moist, and the texture isn’t grainy at all. If you’re not too worried about carb content, you could even break up some blocks of 80% or more Lindt chocolate to add, or add some pecan nuts or blueberries. If you are strictly counting carbs though, just remember that one brownie comes to 2,5g of carbs – which is more than 100g of avo; it’s easy to over-indulge on sweet yummy brownies that have a much lower nutritional value so just be aware!
6 eggs (3g net carbs)
160g melted butter (4g net carbs)
60g cocoa (2,4g net carbs)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-2 shots of espresso (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
120g cream cheese (NOT LOW FAT) (4,8g net carbs)
15g Suki sweetener (15g net carbs)
30g per batch if you follow the recipe exactly. If you can manage 12 brownies, they will thus contain 2,5g net carbs per serving.
Heat the oven at 180 degrees. Make sure that you have enough eggs and don’t need to race down to Granny in your pyjamas to get more. Mix everything together with a stick blender. Grease your baking dish with a good coat of coconut oil. Pour mixture (don’t be alarmed if it’s quite runny) into dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once it comes out, it’s quite huge and puffy, but after you allow it to cool it goes down to normal size.
My mom froze brownies two by two in airtight tupperware – mostly just so we didn’t eat them all in one day (lol.) This was actually perfect because after supper or after a long day at work you often feel like something sweet, and to pop one or two of these in the microwave for a few ticks is a much better option than having a chocolate or something bad! I’m not sure how long they can be frozen for though – they didn’t last longer than a week in our house!