Showing posts with label ketogenic diet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ketogenic diet. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Best Quick & Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

In the heat of summer, most of us enjoy eating lighter desserts featuring sweet, fresh summer fruit and would rather spend as little time as possible cooking or baking in a hot kitchen. Some of us also may be trying to get or stay slim to look our best in lightweight, more revealing summer clothing. 

In this review, I'm sharing my yummy, quick & easy low carb keto shortcake cupcakes recipe, which can be whipped up fast thanks to a keto baking mix, is bursting with sweet, ripe berries and topped with a luscious sugar-free buttercream frosting.

Quick & Easy Low Carb Mixed-Berry Shortcake Cupcakes - Keto-Friendly, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free

A Fun Cupcake Twist on Traditional Biscuit-Based Berry Shortcake

I have made delicious keto-friendly strawberry shortcake with biscuits from a low carb baking mix topped with fresh whipped cream and berries. However, since there are only two of us in our household, that means whipping just a few tablespoons of heavy cream and assembling two shortcakes after dinner every time I want to serve them.

Recently, I got the idea to try making shortcake cupcakes, substituting cupcakes for the biscuits and low carb buttercream frosting for the whipped cream, which would let me assemble and refrigerate them in advance. While I'm making dinner, I can just take out two of the refrigerated shortcake cupcakes and set them on the counter so they will be at room temperature when we are ready for dessert.

A Delicious, Quick & Easy, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free* Summer Dessert

The cake portion of these cupcakes is made with Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix. This healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free and nut-free boxed keto cupcake mix is a real time-saver that minimizes time in a hot kitchen during the summer months.

The baked cupcakes are paired with juicy, fresh berries, keto berry jam and a super simple sugar-free buttercream that takes just a few minutes.

Scotty's Keto Cupcake Mix + Low Carb Buttercream Frosting + Sugar-Free Berry Jam + Fresh Berries = The Best Quick & Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes

*Important food allergy note: Although Scotty's Everyday baking mixes are made with no nut flours, their website does not state that their mixes are made in a nut-free processing facility. It is important to contact the company to find out that information if you are thinking about serving these treats to anyone who has a severe nut allergy.

low carb keto shortcake cupcakes batter in silicone muffin pan liners
Just add melted butter, eggs, water and vanilla extract to Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix for the base of these quick & easy low carb shortcake cupcakes, then split, fill, frost and decorate them with sugar-free jam, keto buttercream frosting and fresh berries.

Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix Makes an Ideal Biscuit Alternative for This Low Carb Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

I have used several keto baking mixes from Scotty's Everyday and like them a lot. Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix is sweetened very lightly, and the baked cupcakes taste a bit like the drop biscuits I sometimes make for shortcake. They are also less crumbly than traditional cupcakes using sugar and wheat flour, which makes them perfect for this recipe.

In addition to the biscuit-like flavor and sturdy structure, each cupcake prepared according to the directions on the Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix package have several other benefits:

  • 0 net carbs (22g total carbs - 14g dietary fiber - 8g erythritol = 0 net carbs)
  • No added sugars
  • Sweetened with erythritol and monk fruit extract
  • 14g dietary fiber
  • 90 calories

This sugar-free, gluten-free, nut-free, low carb keto baking mix is also a cinch to prepare. Just add melted butter, eggs, water and vanilla extract. My product review rating for Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix is 5 stars!

My Favorite Keto Buttercream Frosting Recipes

The Best Quick & Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe needs a fast, simple frosting to live up to its name. I recommend the Keto Buttercream Frosting Recipe from Wholesome Yum, which has 205 calories, 16.4g of fat and 0g net carbs per serving (3 tablespoons).

If you want to significantly cut the calories and fat and are willing to spend a bit more time and effort, I highly recommend the luscious Sugar-Free Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting recipe from All Day I Dream About Food, which lends itself beautifully to piping and tastes out of this world. A 1/4-cup serving (4 tablespoons) has only 109 calories, 10.7g of fat and and almost zero (0.1g) net carbs.

Use Your Favorite Keto Friendly Berries

Berries are the only fruits low enough in carbohydrates to fit a ketogenic diet. The berries with the fewest net carbs are raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Blueberries have more than twice the net carbs and half the dietary fiber of raspberries or blackberries, but are still low enough in carbs for you to enjoy a few on one of these keto shortcake cupcakes.

For the keto shortcake cupcakes I photographed for this post, I used fresh raspberries and blueberries. I also added a taste of strawberries by pairing my favorite sugar-free strawberry jam with the buttercream frosting for the filling.

cupcakes being split, filled, frosted and decorated
ChocZero Keto Strawberry Jam is delicious, spreads easily and, like the buttercream frosting, helps hold the fresh rasbperries and blueberries in place while reassembling the filled shortcake cupcakes.

The Best Low Carb Keto Strawberry Jam

I have tried several brands and flavors of sugar-free jams. Most were fairly disappointing. Some were sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which I try to avoid for health reasons. Some were too thin and loose or had big chunks of berries that made them hard to spread in a thin layer.

ChocZero is one of my favorite brands of low carb and keto-friendly products. Recently, they launched a keto strawberry jam, which I ordered immediately. Based on my experience with other sugar-free jam products, I was only cautiously optimistic. (I didn't want to get my hopes up only to be disappointed again.)

I was pleasantly surprised by the new ChocZero Keto Strawberry Jam. It has a thick, "jammy" consistency, spreads easily in as thick or thin a layer as you wish, is sweetened with monk fruit, has no added sugars, and has a delicious flavor from real strawberries. Each serving (1 tablespoon) provides a whopping 10g of dietary fiber and has just 15 calories and 1 net carb.

Unlike the other low carb, sugar-free jams and preserves I have tried, ChocZero Keto Strawberry Jam is also sticky enough to help keep the raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or blueberries in place when sandwiching them between the halves of the split shortcake cupcakes.

Five filled, frosted and decorated low carb keto shortcake cupcakes
Don't these keto-friendly shortcake cupcakes filled with jam, frosting and fresh berries look yummy, despite my messy piping of my melting buttercream? They're one of the best keto desserts to make for summer holiday gatherings including the 4th of July (especially if you use red and blue berries!).

How to Make the Best Quick & Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes

Recommended Kitchen Tools and Supplies for This Recipe

  • Silicone Muffin or Cupcake Liners
    The Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix package instructions say to "Line one 12-cup standard muffin tin" without specifying the type of cupcake liners to use, I highly recommend Pantry Elements Silicone Baking Muffin Cups. They are made from BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free, food grade platinum silicone and sturdy enough to use on their own on top of a flat baking sheet, if desired, or you can use them as liners for cupcake or muffin tins. They also come in a clear, reusable screw-top container for storage, which keeps them clean and dust-free and lets you enjoy the rainbow of bright, happy colors even when these nonstick silicone baking cups are not in use. I have used mine frequently for several years for both muffins and cupcakes and can attest to their high quality and durability.

  • Stainless Steel Scoop With Trigger or Spring Action Handle
    I have a large assortment of these stainless steel scoops in different sizes and found that my Norpro 50mm stainless steel scoop (3 Tablespoons) was a bit too small and my Norpro 56mm stainless steel scoop (4 Tablespoons) was a bit too large. You can use a rounded 3 Tablespoon scoop of cupcake batter or, if you make a lot of cupcakes or muffins, you might want to get the Solula 18/8 Stainless Steel Ice Cream Cupcake Muffin Scoop (3.4 Tablespoons), which is just the right size and capacity to portion out nicely rounded scoops of batter into standard size muffin or cupcake pans.

  • Cake Decorating Set or Piping Bags With Decorating Tips
    These low carb keto shortcake cupcakes will be just as delicious if you use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting on the tops, but piping the buttercream into decorative swirls makes for a more festive presentation. As you can see in the photos, I had a hard time piping the frosting onto my cupcakes, partly because I'm decades out of practice and partly because my kitchen was so hot that the buttercream quickly softened too much. Even so, I like the look of the buttercream swirls, messy though they turned out! If you are new to cake decorating and would like to give it a try, I recommend starting with a small, inexpensive, basic set, such as the Wilton Beginning Buttercream 20-Piece Cake Decorating Kit to see whether you enjoy using a piping bag and decorative tips.

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 package Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Optional but recommended: Avocado oil, clarified butter or coconut oil for greasing the cupcake liners

For the Keto Buttercream Frosting (Wholesome Yum recipe):

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (Wholesome Yum's recipe recommends Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter, which isn't available where I live; I use Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, a high-quality Irish butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows that are free of growth hormones)
  • 1 cup Wholesome Yum Besti Keto Monk Fruit Sweetener With Allulose 1:1 Natural Powdered Sugar Replacement
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream (approximately)

For the Filling:

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉ / 180 ℃. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper, foil or silicone cupcake liners or place 12 sturdy silicone baking cups on a baking sheet. Although not specified on the cupcake mix package directions, I recommend greasing the liners lightly with a thin film of avocado oil, clarified butter or coconut oil.
  2. Prepare the Scotty's Everyday Keto Cupcake & Cake Mix batter according to the package directions. Use a trigger or spring action scoop to portion the batter evenly among the 12 lined muffin tin wells or silicone baking cups, using approximately 3.5 tablespoons of batter for each cupcake.
  3. Bake for 20–22 minutes, just until they test done according to the standard "toothpick test" (i.e., insert a clean, dry toothpick into to center of one of the cupcakes and pull it back out; if it remains clean and dry, the baked goods are done). Do not overbake! Cool them on a baking rack for 20 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the muffin pan or silicone baking cups.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream according to the Keto Buttercream Frosting Recipe on the Wholesome Yum website.
  5. Rinse the berries and lay them on two thicknesses of paper towel to dry. Set aside the best looking ones to decorate the tops of the cakes.
  6. Slice the cooled keto shorctcake cupcakes in half horizontally and turn the halves cut side up. Spread a layer of ChocZero Keto Strawberry Jam on one half and a thin layer of the prepared buttercream frosting on the other half. Arrange the berries on the bottom half of the cupcake and cover them with the top half.
  7. Frost the tops of the cupcakes with the remaining buttercream frosting. You can either spread it on with an offset spatula or put it into a piping bag fitted with a star tip (or your favorite cake decorating tip) and piping it on in swirls or rosettes. Top each frosted shortcake cupcake with one of the reserved fresh berries.
  8. Serve on dessert plates with knives and forks, like traditional berry shortcakes. (These towering, berry-filled cupcakes are too tall to bite into directly!)

A Perfect 4th of July Dessert

Make these shortcakes with fresh raspberries (or sliced or diced strawberries) and blueberries for a festive red, white and blue 4th of July dessert that everyone at your holiday gathering can enjoy, even if they are on a gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free, low carb or ketogenic diet.


The Best Quick & Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe by Margaret Schindel

Posts About My Keto Diet Journey

My First Year on The Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit Review & Success Tips

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Good Chocolate 100% Organic No Sugar Dark Chocolate Review

The Best Advice to Maintain Your Keto Diet Weight Loss

My New Irresistibly Delicious Keto Cheese Crackers Recipe

Luscious Low Carb Keto Triple Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Quick & Easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix Review

Snack Better With The Best Healthy Keto Cookie Dough Bites

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

Comparing the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads - No Added Sugars

The Best Low Carb Keto Sandwich and Burger Buns Mix

Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe

The Best Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs

Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

My Personal Keto Testimonial

How I Stayed Committed to the Ketogenic Way of Eating

Read More Recipe Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Snack Better With The Best Healthy Keto Cookie Dough Bites

Is raw cookie dough a guilty pleasure that you try not to indulge in, either because of the health risks associated with eating raw eggs or because you are trying to eat better? 

Whether you are trying to cut down on sugar or highly processed foods, follow a vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, low carb or ketogenic diet, or just want some healthy treats to satisfy your sweet tooth and curb your afternoon hunger pangs, you will love Bhu Keto Bites from Bhu Foods.

Today I'm reviewing these mini protein bars that come in five delicious cookie dough flavors, have a rich taste and smooth, creamy texture, are high in fiber and healthy fats, and contain no added sugars or artificial sweeteners, just minimally processed, non-GMO, organic ingredients.

Best of all, Bhu Keto Protein Bites taste just like cookie dough (yum!), but unlike that forbidden treat, they are not only safe to eat but also good for you!

Photo of Bhu Keto Bites - Delicious, High Protein, No Added Sugar Keto Cookie Dough Bites
Four of the five delicious flavors of Bhu Keto Bites mini protein bars.
Not shown: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor

For several years before before I began my successful low carb keto diet journey, I had been searching for delicious, healthy protein bars or snacks that would taste good and be good for me. Unfortunately, most of the protein bars I tried either tasted like cardboard and had a dry, unpleasant texture or tasted good because they contained a lot of natural or added sugars or contained highly processed ingredients, even though they marketed themselves as healthy food.

Then, in 2019, I switched my focus from a traditional low-fat, low-calorie diet to a nutritious, low carb approach to eating that focused on healthy fats, proteins and dietary fiber with little to no added sugars and minimally processed ingredients. That's when I discovered Bhu Keto Bites (and their big brothers, Bhu Keto Bars).

10 Reasons to Love Bhu Keto Bites

How do I love Bhu Keto Bites? Let me count the ways!

1. A Healthy Treat That Tastes Like Raw Cookie Dough

  • These bite-sized mini protein bars are absolutely delicious and have a rich, creamy texture and luscious mouthfeel.

2. High in Protein, Healthy Fats and Fiber

Depending on the cookie dough flavor, these Bhu Keto Bites contain:

  • 6-7g protein
  • 10-12g fat
  • 4-6g dietary fiber

3. Low Carb and Keto Friendly

Depending on the cookie dough flavor, these Bhu Keto Bites contain:

  • 5-7g total carbs
  • 0-1g net carbs

4. Healthy, High Quality, Nutritious Ingredients

  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Minimally processed

"We are committed to 100% organic, clean, ingredients. Our pricing may be slightly higher than the competition, but we believe the investment to your health and towards our planet is well worth it."
— Bhu Foods

5. No Added Sugars

  • 100% free cane sugar. 

"Our mission is to help wean people off of sugar so we wouldn’t think of adding sugar to our bars."
— Bhu Foods

6. Sweetened With Pure Monk Fruit

  • Sweetened with pure monk fruit (aka monk fruit sugar), which has numerous health benefits.
    • Monk fruit sugar is made by infusing the juice of the small, melon-like fruit in hot water and drying it to a powder.
    • It is metabolized differently than regular sugar, has a zero glycemic index and does not affect blood sugar levels or spike insulin, making it a great sugar alternative for diabetics.
    • Monk fruit has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to treat digestive problems and colds. So, unlike sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, monk fruit sweetener can help with, rather than cause, intestinal distress.
    • The compounds that give monk fruit sugar its sweetness (mogrosides) have anti-inflammatory effects and can help your body fight cancer.
    • Unlike regular sugar, monk fruit sweetener will not cause cavities. 
    • It's 150-200 times sweeter than cane sugar, so only a small amount is needed to achieve the desired sweetness.

Source: "What to Know About Monk Fruit Sugar," WebMD

Bhu Foods even has the chocolate chips in these Bhu Bites manufactured to their own specifications and sweetened with pure monk fruit!

7. No Sugar Alcohols

  • Bhu Bites also contain no erythritol or other sugar alcohols that can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea in some people, or if too much is consumed.

8. Supports a Variety of Dietary Requirements

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • 100% grain-free
  • 100% soy-free
  • Diabetic-friendly

Allergy warnings: Bhu Bites are manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and possibly whey and may contain an occasional shell fragment. They also contain cashews and MCT oil (from coconuts). The White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Dough flavor also contains macadamia nuts, and the 

10. Small But Satisfying

  • Bhu Keto Bites are small but also dense, rich and very satisfying, thanks to the significant amounts of high quality protein, healthy fats and dietary fiber.
  • They're the perfect size to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of milk (dairy or plant-based), as a snack, a taste of something sweet after dinner, or any time you're in the mood for "a little something," as Winnie the Pooh would say.
  • I recommend nibbling them slowly to make them last longer so you can savor every bite and prolong the deliciousness!

9. No Refrigeration Needed

  • Unlike their equally delicious and nutritious big brothers, Bhu Keto Bars, Bhu Keto Bites are shelf stable and require no refrigeration. 
  • The manufacturer recommends storing them at 72° F or cooler. During the summer, or if you live in a warmer climate, they also taste great straight from the fridge. 

Key Nutrition Data Comparison for Bhu Keto Bites Flavors

Bhu Keto Bites
Serving size: 1 piece
Calories Protein Total
Fat
Total
Carbs
Fiber Total
Sugars
Added
Sugars
Net
Carbs
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 130 6g 11g 7g 6g 1g 0g 1g
White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Dough 130 6g 10g 6g 5g 1g 0g 0g
Double Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough 140 6g 12g 5g 4g 1g 0g 1g
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 140 7g 10g 7g 6g 1g 0g 1g
Chocolate Mint Cookie Dough 140 6g 12g 5g 4g 0g 0g 1g

Which Bhu Keto Bites Cookie Dough Flavor Is Your Favorite?

Honestly, I have a hard time deciding. Usually, it's whichever flavor I'm eating at the moment! All five flavors are wonderful. 

I highly recommend starting with:

  • a Bhu Keto Bites Variety Pack, which includes one bag each of:
    • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough,
    • White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie Dough,
    • Double Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough 
    • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

  • Chocolate Mint Cookie Dough Bhu Bites, the newest flavor, which is not included in the Variety Pack assortment. 

After you sample them all, you can reorder your favorite flavors. (If you're like me, that's all five!)

Enjoy!

Note: In addition to ordering Bhu Keto Bites on Amazon, you also may be able to find them at some branches of Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, The Vitamin Shoppe, and other retail stores, depending on where you live.


Snack Better With The Best Healthy Keto Cookie Dough Bites by Margaret Schindel

Posts About My Keto Diet Journey

My First Year on The Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit Review & Success Tips

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Good Chocolate 100% Organic No Sugar Dark Chocolate Review

The Best Advice to Maintain Your Keto Diet Weight Loss

My New Irresistibly Delicious Keto Cheese Crackers Recipe

Luscious Low Carb Keto Triple Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Quick & Easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix Review

Snack Better With The Best Healthy Keto Cookie Dough Bites

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe

The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

Comparing the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads - No Added Sugars

The Best Low Carb Keto Sandwich and Burger Buns Mix

Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe

The Best Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs

Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

My Personal Keto Testimonial

How I Stayed Committed to the Ketogenic Way of Eating

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Best Affordable Programmable Large- and Small-Batch Coffee Maker

One of my husband's holiday gift wish list items this year was a coffee maker that he could use to brew just one or two cups of really good java. He had been looking online at small-batch coffee makers that brew and hadn't found a reasonably priced one that had mostly good reviews. After doing my own due diligence on his behalf, I chose to buy him a Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with a 12-cup carafe and a small batch setting.

It makes delicious coffee in a choice of two brew strengths, brews at an appropriately hot water temperature for great flavor without bitterness, can be programmed the night before (so you wake up to the smell and taste of freshly brewed coffee!) and comes with a permanent gold-tone filter that you can use instead of disposable paper filters, if you prefer. It's also easy to fill and clean.

Most importantly, unlike most of the other coffee brewers I reviewed during my research, this Ninja programmable coffee maker with a superior-performing small batch function makes just one to four ups of Joe that's just as rich, hot and flavorful as when you're brewing a full carafe for up to 12 cups. 

Whether you want to brew a full pot for several people or a party crowd, or prefer to brew just one or two (or three or four) cups for yourself and maybe someone else, you'll love this Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with small batch settings. 

Image of Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with text "Program & Brew Delicious Coffee for one person or a crowd!"
Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer

You Don't Need to Be a Gourmet to Appreciate Good Quality, Hot, Freshly Brewed Coffee

I grew up with a dad who was a coffee connoisseur (dare I say coffee snob?). He was fussy about his beans, insisted on buying them freshly roasted and grinding them just before brewing them in a drip coffeemaker (although, late in life, he eventually replaced his classic Chemex drip carafe with a programmable coffee maker) and refused to drink coffee that had been brewed more than 30 minutes earlier and wasn't practically scalding hot.

To dad's dismay, for most of my life I drank coffee only with sugar and cream. Even with that dilution, it tended to upset my stomach, so I became primarily a tea drinker. Even so, however, dad did instill in me an appreciation for freshly brewed coffee made from freshly ground beans over coffee that was made with lesser-quality, stale beans or has been sitting in the carafe on a warmer for an extended period of time. 

Then, in 2019, after I adopted a ketogenic diet that helped me lose nearly 60 pounds, my husband and I read "biohacker" Dave Asprey's bestselling book The Bulletproof Diet and I started drinking "bulletproof coffee" most weekday mornings, using Asprey's official Bulletproof coffee recipe made with freshly brewed Bulletproof brand coffee frothed in a blender with grass-fed ghee (clarified butter) and Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT oil. The fat keeps me full and satisfied for hours, and the C8 MCT oil not only helps burn fat as part of a very low carb or ketogenic diet but also helps keep my brain and attention more sharp and focused while I'm working, while the caffeine helps keep me awake and alert. This mixture is so smooth and creamy and the low acidity of the Bulletproof coffee beans agrees with my digestive system far better than ordinary coffee beans, so I no longer need to add cream. Instead of sugar, I sweeten it with one of my favorite keto diet-friendly sugar replacements, such as BochaSweet granulated or Besti monk fruit and allulose blend granulated sweetener.

My husband also has been drinking bulletproof coffee twice a day, a cup first thing in the morning and a second cup mid-afternoon. He finds that it helps tremendously with maintaining his mental acuity, focus and energy during his long and stressful workdays without making him feel wired and jittery, which regular coffee always does but Bulletproof brand coffee does not.

Integrated coffee measuring scoop on side of Ninja CE251 Programmable Coffee Brewer
The Ninja CE251 Programmable Coffee Maker has an integrated coffee measuring scoop

Don't Brew More Coffee Than You Need

Before I bought my husband his new Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer, we were using my dad's 20-year-old coffee maker, which also had a 12-cup glass carafe but no small batch settings. Using it to make a small batch of coffee (4 cups or less) produced terrible coffee, so he would brew a full carafe's worth. Unfortunately, that was also the case for most of the coffee makers with small-batch settings I looked at that didn't cost a fortune, as well as the single-serve coffee makers that weren't inordinately expensive and didn't use K-cups or other coffee pods, which he have stopped using as we are trying try to minimize our consumption of single-use plastic disposable items.

Good Coffee Is Too Expensive to Waste

Good quality coffee, including sustainably grown, Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans that have been tested for mycotoxins (harmful mold toxins), like those in Bulletproof brand coffee, is expensive and a shame to waste. 

So, after brewing a carafe of it, my husband would pour out a cup of the fresh brew for himself (and one for me, if I was having some that morning), then let the rest cool in the carafe to room temperature, pour it into a couple of large hydration bottles and refrigerate them. In the early afternoon, he would decant and reheat a cup of the refrigerated Joe in the microwave it before blending it with grass-fed ghee and MCT oil to make his second Bulletproof coffee of the day.

Coffee Should Be Consumed as Soon as Possible After Brewing

Unfortunately, the coffee oils that give the brew its rich flavor and aroma oxidize when they are exposed to oxygen, both in the air and in the water used to brew it, especially when heated. So, the longer the coffee sits after you brew it, the more the oils oxidize, making the beverage taste more bitter and smell stale. So, the sooner you drink your coffee after brewing it, the better!

That's another reason not to make more coffee than you plan to drink in the next 30-60 minutes. 

Photo of Ninja CE251 programmable coffee brewer with 60-oz. removable water reservoir
The 60-oz. removable water reservoir is easy to bring to the sink to fill

Why the Versatile, Affordable, Programmable Ninja CE251 Is the Best Small Batch Coffee Maker Option

Here are the features and benefits that make the Ninja CE251 the best programable coffee maker for brewing both large and small batches without breaking the bank.

Delicious, Rich Flavor and Aroma, Whether You Make a Single Cup or a Full Carafe

Unlike most other 12-cup carafe programmable coffee makers with a small batch option, this versatile Ninja model delivers the same excellent, flavorful, piping hot brew when you use the small batch settings (for 1–4 cups) as when you make a larger 6–, 8– 10– or 12–cup batch.

Note: Virtually all electric coffee makers consider a "cup" of coffee to be 5 fluid ounces, not the 8 fluid ounces in a standard US measuring cup.  

Affordable

The Ninja CE251 Programmable Coffee Brewer was available on Amazon for less than $80 at the time this post was published, a great price for a coffee maker with such thoughtful design, excellent performance and consistent brew quality for both large and small batch brewing.

Two Custom Brew Strengths

A choice of Classic or Rich strengths and Ninja's Thermal Flavor Extraction® Technology produce hot, flavorful coffee with no bitterness. The Rich strength setting provides a darker, more robust brew and maintains its smooth flavor when you add milk or cream.

Removable Water Reservoir 

One of the things my husband and I really disliked about my dad's 20-year-old coffee maker that we had been using was the fact that the water reservoir was permanently attached to the machine, so we had to use the carafe to measure the water and then pour it into the reservoir, which was hard to do without spilling any. The water reservoir was also black opaque plastic with a window, which made it inconvenient to see the water level.

The water reservoir on the Ninja CE251 large and small batch coffee maker is see through, BPA-free plastic with clear, easy-to-read markings and indentations that make it easy for even small hands like mine to hold it securely when pulling it out to fill at the sink and carrying it back to reattach to the coffee maker.

24-Hour Programmable Delay Brew

You can program your brewer as much as a day in advance, so you can set it up at night to wake you with the aroma of fresh coffee. One of my favorite childhood memories waking up to the smell of Dad's strong, freshly ground and brewed coffee in the morning!

Flavor Straw and Mid-Brew Pause

The "flavor straw" keeps the coffee circulating as it's brewing so the heat and flavor are uniform throughout the batch, while the mid-brew pause lets you remove the carafe briefly to pour a cup or two while waiting for the rest of the batch to brew.

Adjustable Warming Plate

Although I highly recommend drinking your coffee within an hour of brewing it for the best flavor and aroma, the Ninja CE251 gives you the option of programming the warming plate to stay on for up to 4 hours.

Permanent Gold-Tone Filter

A permanent gold-tone metal coffee filter is included with this Ninja coffee brewer. You have the choice to use either the permanent metal mesh filter or disposable #4 cone paper coffee filters; do not use a paper coffee filter inside the permanent metal mesh filter.

If you use the permanent metal mesh filter, you will retain more of the coffee oils for a more flavorful, aromatic brew. If you fill it with ground coffee with a medium grind in the permanent metal filter, as recommended, there should be minimal sediment from the "fines" (finely-ground, powdered coffee too small to be filtered out by the metal mesh). 

Alternatively, you can remove the gold-tone filter and use #4 disposable paper filters instead, which will absorb a lot of the coffee oils and make the brew less flavorful and aromatic but also filter out more of the fines, if having even a small amount of sediment bothers you. I highly recommend using natural, unbleached #4 cone paper filters for both flavor and health and safety reasons. 

Twist-Lock Carafe Lid

Unlike the lid to the glass carafe of my dad's old coffee maker that we had been using, the lid to this Ninja programmable coffee brewer easily locks and unlocks with a simple twist. Now I don't have to risk breaking a nail to attach or detach the carafe lid!

Easy to Clean and Maintain

One of the things my husband hated about our old coffee maker was that, because the water reservoir was not removable, in order to clean it he had to put the entire machine into the sink, even though the built-in electronics needed to be kept dry. In addition, the opaque black plastic made it almost impossible to see whether it was properly cleaned or needed descaling.

The Ninja CE251’s see-through removable plastic reservoir can be carried to the sink for filling or cleaning while keeping the electronics well away from any water. 

Although it is preferable to hand-wash the permanent gold-tone coffee filter, the removable water reservoir and the glass carafe, all three are top-rack dishwasher safe. The manufacturer recommends using a ball-shaped, soft foam brush for thoroughly cleaning the inside of the glass carafe.

As with any electric coffee maker, periodic descaling is recommended to remove buildup from the heating element inside the machine. Although you can use a special descaling solution made specifically for cleaning coffeemakers, 16 ounces of ordinary white vinegar works fine and is significantly cheaper. Follow the simple instructions in the Ninja CE200 series product manual and quick start guide for pouring the descaling solution or vinegar into the removable water reservoir and pressing the Clean button on the control panel on the front of the coffee maker, followed by running a Classic brew cycle with just clean, fresh water. 

You Don’t Have to Be a Coffee Connoisseur to Appreciate the Difference in Taste!

My husband doesn’t consider himself a serious coffee enthusiast like my dad by any means, which is why he was surprised and delighted at how much better the same freshly-ground Bulletproof coffee “The Mentalist” medium dark roast beans tasted after being brewed in his new Ninja CE251 Programmable Coffee Brewer compared to the previous batches brewed in our old coffee maker.

A Great Gift for Any Coffee Lover

Although we haven't had our Ninja CE251 Programmable that long yet, so far we are both thrilled with this purchase. My husband couldn't be happier! It would make a great gift for yourself or someone else who enjoys a great-tasting cup of coffee, needs to brew small amounts most days but also appreciates the ability to brew a full 12-cup carafe when company comes, as well as ease of use and easy cleaning and maintenance. 

Close-up photo of Ninja CE251 Programmable Coffee Maker control panel
The control panel on this programmable large- and small-batch coffee maker is simple, intuitive and easy to read

For those of us who work from home, it's also a treat to be able to brew a small quantity fresh throughout the day.

The Best Affordable Programmable Large- and Small-Batch Coffee Maker by Margaret Schindel

Posts About My Keto Diet Journey

My First Year on The Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit Review & Success Tips

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The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

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Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Good Chocolate 100% Organic No Sugar Dark Chocolate Review

The Best Advice to Maintain Your Keto Diet Weight Loss

My New Irresistibly Delicious Keto Cheese Crackers Recipe

Luscious Low Carb Keto Triple Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Quick & Easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix Review

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The Best Quick and Easy Low Carb Keto Shortcake Cupcakes Recipe

Comparing the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads - No Added Sugars

The Best Low Carb Keto Sandwich and Burger Buns Mix

Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe

The Best Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs

Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Quick & Easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix Review

Ever since I lost nearly 60 pounds last year by following a healthy ketogenic diet, I have continued eating a very low carb diet to maintain that weight loss. As a lifelong lover of baked goods, I love to bake and did a lot of low carb baking while I was on my keto weight loss diet, which helped me stick to my plan. Although I continue to bake keto recipes from scratch when I have the time and inclination, I also appreciate the convenience of a low carb baking mix with clean ingredients when I am short on time or energy. 

I have already shared several keto recipes and low carb baking mix reviews here on Review This Reviews. Today, I am reviewing my newest high quality, low carb baking mix find, Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix.

Main image: Low carb, gluten free mix Keto Blueberry Scones
Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix contains real blueberries! Just add butter and eggs.

I love being able to throw together a batch of delicious keto blueberry scones in just a few minutes with this low carb baking mix, with minimal time, effort and kitchen cleanup. They're a lovely breakfast treat as well as the perfect "little something" to enjoy during an afternoon tea or coffee break. My husband and I enjoy eating them as is, but they're even better split, toasted and buttered.

Since this Livlo keto baking mix is gluten free and grain free and has no added sugars, it's a great choice for anyone who follows a paleo, diabetic, LCHF (low carb, high fat) or keto diet (as long as they don't have a tree nut allergy, since it contains almond flour). But you don't have to be watching your carbs, sugar, gluten or grain to enjoy these yummy treats.

Note: The official company spelling of this brand is Livlō, ending with a lowercase "o" with a macron (a straight bar over the letter "o" indicating that it should be pronounced as a long vowel).

Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix vs. My Favorite Keto Blueberry Scones Recipes

When I want to make low carb keto blueberry scones from scratch, I use one of two good low carb baking recipes. One is this Keto Blueberry Scones recipe from Carolyn Ketchum at All Day I Dream About Food, whose Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking cookbook is my keto baking bible. The other is this glazed Almond Flour Keto Blueberry Scones recipe from Maya Krampf at Wholesome Yum, whose Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook is another of my favorites and whose second cookbook, The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Carboholics' Cookbook: 100 Low Carb Comfort Food Recipes. 10 Ingredients Or Less, is available for preorder. (I preordered mine the day it became available!)

However, when I just want to spend a few minutes making fresh-baked keto blueberry scones without having to measure out all the dry ingredients, wash a bunch of measuring cups and spoons or running out to the store for fresh blueberries, this quick and easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix is a great option.

All the ingredients are keto diet friendly and are ones I often use when I make keto baking recipes from scratch: Almond flour, erythritol and monk fruit extract sweeteners, blueberries, corn-free baking powder and fine sea salt. You won't find any unpronounceable preservatives in this keto baking mix!

The Livlo low carb baking mix contains real blueberries, which you can definitely taste in the baked scones, which are buttery, tender and delicious! The blueberry scones I make using this Livlo keto baking mix and ones I make from scratch using the two recipes I mentioned are quite similar, although the texture of each is slightly different. Honestly, the main difference is that the mix uses dried blueberries instead of fresh ones. 

Bake Fresh, Hot Scones in Minutes With This Quick & Easy Livlo Keto Blueberry Scones Mix

Making low carb blueberry scones with this Livlo low carb baking mix is so easy, it would be a fun activity to do with a young helper. 

Ingredients

1 bag Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix

1/4 cup (2 oz. or 1/2 stick) butter, very cold

2 eggs, beaten

Tools, Supplies and Equipment

Baking sheet

Parchment paper (I highly recommend these pre-cut unbleached baking parchment sheets, which are packaged flat and stay that way)

Mixing bowl (I use the 3-quart bowl from my favorite OXO 3-piece stainless steel mixing bowl set with non-skid bottoms)

Chef's knife (I love my 8-inch Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, which was highly recommended by Cook's Illustrated and cuts as well as knives that cost twice as much!)

Pastry cutter (although the package directions say you can use a fork instead, I don't recommend it; if you don't want to use a pastry cutter, I recommend using two knives instead to "cut in" the butter)

Mixing spoon, fork or seamless silicone spoon spatula

Cookie scoop or tablespoon (I use my comfortable, versatile Norpro 50mm/3 Tbsp stainless steel scoop)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

Open the bag of Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix and pour the contents into a mixing bowl. 

Cut the very cold butter into 1/4" or smaller cubes and stir them into the dry mix in the bowl. Then, use a pastry blender to "cut in" the butter until it is in smaller bits and evenly incorporated. 

photo of Livlo blueberry scones mix in bowl with butter bits cut in and the beaten eggs nearby

Stir in the beaten eggs and mix well to form a soft but thick dough.

Prepared Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix dough in mixing bowl

Use the cookie scoop to portion the dough evenly into 10 well-spaced mounds on the parchment lined baking sheet. Since I have only a tabletop oven currently, I baked mine in two batches on two smaller baking sheets.

Mounds of prepared Livlo keto blueberry scones mix dough on parchment lined baking pans

Bake the keto blueberry scones in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5–10 minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. (If you don't let them cool before trying to move them or pick them up, they will fall apart.)

Baked keto blueberry scones on a cooling rack

Drizzling them with a glaze is optional. There is a simple recipe on the package (powdered sugar alternative/sweetener mixed with low carb, unsweetened non-dairy milk, plus a drop of vanilla or lemon extract, if desired). However, these keto blueberry scones are also lovely without any glaze, which is how we usually have them.

Freshly baked keto blueberry scones on a serving plate

Optional Add-Ins

Sometimes I'll add a little almond extract along with the eggs when I prepare the dough. I love the flavor combination of almond and blueberry!

Occasionally, I'll amp up the berry flavor even more by adding some fresh or dried blueberries into the dough, which makes these scones even yummier and more nutritious  with very little increase in net carbs per scone. 

If you want to try this variation, I highly recommend adding only fresh or dried blueberries, not frozen ones. The chemistry of keto baking is different from that of conventional baking and the extra moisture from the thawed frozen berries can negatively affect the texture of your scones. 

Fresh, tiny wild blueberries from Maine or Canada, if you can find them where you live, have the best flavor and their small size allows you to distribute them more evenly through the dough. Alternatively, you can uses organic dried wild blueberries with no added sugars or oils. They can be a bit pricey, but fortunately even a small amount packs a big flavor punch.

Quick & Easy Livlo Blueberry Scones Keto Baking Mix Review by Margaret Schindel

Posts About My Keto Diet Journey

My First Year on The Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

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The Best Low Carb Keto Sandwich and Burger Buns Mix

Blueberry Biscuit Scones — New, Easy, Low Carb Keto Recipe

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Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

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Read More Recipe Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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