Showing posts with label low carb recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label low carb recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

In my previous post in this series about my successful keto diet weight loss journey, I shared some of my favorite baking mixes and recipes for low carb keto muffins and cupcakes. I’ve decided to continue the theme of low carb, keto-friendly treats with my quick and easy, no-cook recipe for a scrumptious chocolate pudding that’s high in protein, dietary fiber, and calcium, and fairly low in net carbs.

Photo collage main image - Keto / Low Carb / Sugar Free Chocolate Yogurt Pudding with Granola and White Chocolate Chips
My no-cook keto chocolate yogurt pudding or parfait recipe
is luscious, healthy, and high in protein, fiber, and calcium

A Rich, Decadent Chocolate Yogurt Pudding That's Nutritious as Well as Delicious!

I've always enjoyed cooking for other people. But since our household consists of just my husband and me, and he doesn't follow a low carb diet, I'd rather spend time doing things other than cooking meals just for myself. Like most people who follow a ketogenic diet, I'm always looking for more quick and easy, tasty, healthy, low carb breakfasts and lunches to add variety to my meals. And, since I don't eat fish or seafood, and trying to get enough protein just from meat, poultry and eggs can get boring pretty quickly. 

When I was researching keto-friendly foods, I had discovered that many of the sources of protein I used to eat frequently, such as Gardein plant-based crispy "chicken" tenders, are too high in carbohydrates and/or contain wheat or other grains that aren't compatible with a ketogenic eating framework. 

One important exception was plain, full-fat yogurt, with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. (Reduced-fat yogurt tends to have more sugar and/or other ingredients added to make them thicker and creamier, to compensate for the reduced fat content.) After a bit more online research, the consensus seemed to be that Fage (pronounced "Fah-Yay") Total 5% Milkfat plain Greek yogurt had the least tangy taste, creamiest texture, and best nutritional profile in terms of keto macros (low carb, high protein, high fat). 

I bought a container and found it had a much milder taste and smoother, creamier mouthfeel than the low-fat and no-fat plain Greek yogurts I used to buy to use as a lower-calorie, lower-fat, higher-protein alternative to sour cream before I switched to keto. In fact, I was surprised to discover that, unlike the reduced-fat varieties or even plain full-fat Greek yogurt from other popular brands, the Fage Total 5% Milkfat Greek yogurt was good enough to eat straight from the container, if I wanted to toss some into a lunch bag for a quick, on-the-go snack or light meal and didn't have time to add anything to it. But, since I much prefer flavored to unflavored yogurt, I started experimenting with different low carb mix-ins to make it more interesting.

Luckily, one of my first experiments turned out to be my favorite (so far): mixing the full-fat, plain Greek yogurt with my favorite unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli Majestic Premium) and keto-friendly sweetener (Bocha Sweet), plus a touch of pink Himalayan salt and pure vanilla extract to enhance the flavor of the cocoa. 

The first time I made this cocoa-flavored yogurt dish, I couldn't believe how luscious it was. It tasted like a rich, creamy, delectable chocolate pudding. In fact, if I hadn't known that the main ingredient was Greek yogurt, I never would have guessed. 

In addition to the fabulous taste and texture, it was high in protein, fat, and calcium, and low in net carbs and calories—a low carb or keto dieter's dream!

Making This Indulgent, Low Carb Chocolate Pudding Recipe Even Yummier and Healthier

After a few months, it occurred to me that a crunchy topping might provide a nice contrast to the creamy consistency of this chocolate yogurt pudding. I decided to try sprinkling it with my favorite Livlo chocolate hazelnut keto granola, which did, indeed, make this heavenly sweet treat even better.

Delighted as I was with this new twist, however, I still hadn't quite finished tinkering with the recipe. For most of us who follow a ketogenic diet, one of the challenges is how to get enough dietary fiber from the food we eat while staying within our net carbs macro limit. So, I wanted to increase the dietary fiber in my chocolate yogurt pudding, preferably in a way that would further enhance its deliciousness.

I decided that topping it with some ChocZero sugar free white chocolate chips as well as the chocolate hazelnut granola not only would boost the fiber content significantly, but would also add another layer of texture and flavor.

One taste, and I was in heaven. I could just hear an announcer's voice in my head, preceded by three rings of the bell: (ding, ding, ding) "We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen!"

Sometimes, I layer one-third of the cocoa-flavored Greek yogurt, one-third of the chocolate hazelnut granola, and one-third of the sugar free white chocolate chips in a small drinking glass, then repeat those layers two more times for an elegant pudding parfait.  

A Nutrition Profile That Fits Easily Within My Daily Keto Macros

Even though this rich, creamy pudding/parfait tastes positively sinful, it's actually a nutritious, guilt-free indulgence. In fact, this healthy, filling, protein-rich dish makes a great breakfast, lunch, dessert, or snack!

Even after reaching my goal weight a few months ago, I still track everything I eat or drink in the Carb Manager app. So, before I prepare a new recipe—my own or someone else's—I always enter it into the app so it can calculate the keto macros and other nutrients I track, such as dietary fiber. According to Carb Manager's calculations, each serving of this sumptuous, low carb chocolate yogurt pudding or parfait contains just under 15 grams of fat, roughly 13 grams of high quality protein, 6.4 grams of dietary fiber (a little less than 25% of the FDA's daily value (DV), based on a 2,000-calorie diet), 5.5 grams of net carbs, and 236 calories, if it's made with the ingredient brands and amounts specified in the recipe. It also provides 137.1 mg of calcium, or 10% of the FDA's 1300 mg DV.

As you can see from this iPhone screenshot after I entered it into the app, Carb Manager gave this recipe a "Keto Grade: A" rating. 
Image: screenshot of keto macros for recipe on Carb Manager app
Carb Manager calculates the macros for this low carb keto pudding

Note: Substituting different brands or amounts of the ingredients for those specified in recipe will alter both the taste and the nutrition of this chocolate yogurt pudding.

Eating a bowl of rich, creamy, chocolate yogurt pudding topped with chocolate hazelnut granola and white chocolate chips for breakfast is an incredibly luxurious treat!


Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding or Parfait (No-Cook Recipe)

Prep Time:

5 minutes

Cook Time:

0 minutes

Makes:

1 serving


Ingredients


Directions

  1. Measure and set out all the ingredients. (I like to lay them out on a sheet of wax paper.)
Photo of Livlo keto granola, pink Himalayan salt, Bocha Sweet sugar replacement, Ghirardelli Majestic Premium cocoa powder, Penzeys vanilla extract, ChocZero sugar free white chocolate chips, and Fage Total 5% Milkfat plain Greek yogurt
Keto chocolate yogurt granola chip pudding/parfait
ingredients measured? Check!
  1. Add the Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, Bocha Sweet, pink Himalayan salt, and vanilla extract to a small bowl. 
Photo: bowl with chocolate yogurt pudding ingredients before mixing, with granola and white chocolate chips to be added later
Chocolate yogurt pudding ingredients, ready to stir together
before adding the granola and white chocolate chip toppings
  1. Stir well until the mixture is smooth and creamy, and the color is a uniform, medium cocoa brown.
  1. To serve as a pudding: Spoon the chocolate yogurt into a small serving dish. Sprinkle the top with the Livlo Granolō keto granola and ChocZero sugar free white chocolate chips.
image - bowl of prepared keto chocolate yogurt pudding topped with sugar free granola and white chocolate chips
My delicious, nutritious keto chocolate yogurt pudding recipe
is high in protein and fiber, and low in net carbs and calories
  1. To serve as a parfait: Spread 1/3 of the chocolate mixture into an even layer in the bottom of a clear juice glass (or similar small, narrow glass). Top with 1/3 of the granola and 1/3 of the white chocolate chips. Repeat these layers twice more. Garnish with an organic fresh raspberry or blueberry, if desired.

    Note: We don't own any juice glasses, so I had to make my pudding parfait in an 11-ounce Old Fashioned whiskey glass. If you layer the parfait components in a smaller, narrower, 5- to 6-ounce glass, the banding layers will be more distinct and result in a more attractive presentation.
Photo of prepared keto chocolate yogurt granola chip parfait recipe, served in a small glass
Layer the chocolate yogurt, granola, and
white chocolate chips in a small glass
to turn this pudding into a parfait

Optional Additional Toppings 

Organic Fresh Raspberries

I adore organic fresh raspberries, and I try to include them in my daily menus as often as possible. As you can see, I garnished the pudding and parfait in the recipe photographs with a ripe, red raspberry for a pop of bright color. And one of my favorite ways to enjoy my low carb keto chocolate yogurt granola white chocolate chip pudding is topped with 1/4 cup of fresh raspberries, which adds 0.2 grams of fat, 0.3 grams of protein, 1.8 grams of dietary fiber, 1.3 grams of net carbs, and just 13 calories.

Freshly Whipped Heavy Cream

Whether you're eating a bowl of freshly-picked berries or a slice of sugar-free, grain-free, low carb pie or cake, nearly everything sweet tastes better with a dollop of homemade, freshly whipped cream! Fortunately, heavy cream is very low in carbohydrates, so those of us who eat keto can enjoy a spoonful or two.

Look for organic heavy cream with the highest butterfat content you can find, preferably from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows that have never been given antibiotics or synthetic hormones. In the US, this usually means heavy cream, also called heavy whipping cream (aka HWC), which typically has a 36-38% butterfat content. If you can find it, double cream (48% butterfat), sometimes sold at gourmet food shops, is even better. (Avoid regular "whipping cream," which has a butterfat content of only around 30%.) Cream with a higher butterfat content whips more easily, usually has less lactose (natural milk sugar), and is extremely low in carbohydrates.

For the best results, make sure the cream is very cold, and chill a small mixing bowl by putting it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes. Pour the cold cream into the chilled bowl and stir in a little pure vanilla extract. If you wish, sweeten the vanilla cream lightly with a little powdered aka confectioner's style keto-friendly sweetener. My favorite by far is Bocha Sweet Powdered Sugar Replacement. Using an electric mixer with a metal whisk attachment, whip the flavored cream on medium-high speed until it forms soft, billowing, medium peaks.

The Ultimate Keto Chocolate Yogurt Pudding Parfait

For an ultra-decadent dessert, top your serving of chocolate yogurt granola white chocolate chip pudding or parfait with fresh raspberries and whipped cream, if it fits within your macros or you want a small splurge to celebrate your birthday, anniversary, Valentine's Day, or another special occasion.

How Much Is a Pinch, Dash, Tad, Smidgen, or Drop of a Recipe Ingredient?

Even though I'm an experienced home cook and baker, I learned only recently that "tad," "dash," "pinch," "smidgen," and "drop" weren't simply vague approximations for ingredient quantities used by lazy recipe writers or people like my Russian grandmother, who learned to cook and bake at the knee of her own mother and grandmother as they showed her how to make their family's traditional recipes. These delicious, old-world recipes, passed down through the generations from mother to daughter, were rarely, if ever, written down, and the ingredients were measured by eye or, in some cases, by the feel of the dough, rather than with measuring cups or spoons.

 For modern cooks and bakers, each of those old-fashioned recipe measurements has become associated with a specific fraction of a teaspoon. A tad is 1/4 teaspoon, a dash is 1/8 teaspoon, a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon, a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon, and a drop is 1/64 teaspoon. (Who knew?)

Image of set of five mini measuring spoons
These mini measuring spoons take the guesswork
out of measuring small amounts of seasonings
Unfortunately, knowing that you need 1/32 teaspoon of salt isn't much help if your smallest measuring spoon is 1/4 of a teaspoon (or even 1/8 teaspoon, depending on the set you have). I've run into this problem when often I've tried to cut down a recipe to make only half, a third, or a quarter of the original amount. 

Is it a big deal? It depends on what you're making. 

Guesstimating very small quantities of salt, pepper, herbs or spices may be fine if you're making a stew, for example, since you can easily adjust the seasoning to taste. But if you're baking, which is based on creating and controlling chemical reactions to product the desired result, measuring small amounts ingredients like baking powder, baking soda, yeast, and salt precisely can be essential to ensure a successful outcome. 

So, when I found a well designed, well made set of mini measuring spoons to complement (and supplement) my conventional-size measuring spoon sets, I didn't hesitate to order it. 

I looked at several different sets of mini measuring spoons before ultimately choosing the New Star Foodservice 42924 Stainless Steel Mini Measuring Spoons Set, for several reasons:

  • It has more than 6,000 5-star ratings and glowing reviews on Amazon.
  • The handles are stamped with measurements in both words and fractions of a teaspoon, and these permanent markings are large and easy to read, even for my aging eyes. 
    • Most of the other mini measuring spoon sets I found were marked with word measurements (tad, dash, pinch, smidgen, drop) only.
  • The spoons have oval bowls that fit easily into even the narrowest herb and spice container openings.
  • These sturdy stainless steel mini measuring spoons are dishwasher safe.
I've been using them for several months and couldn't be happier with my choice.

The Right Ingredients Make a Big Difference 

This quick and easy, low carb chocolate yogurt pudding recipe consists simply of plain Greek yogurt, stirred together with unsweetened cocoa, sweetener, salt, and vanilla extract, and then sprinkled with keto granola and sugar free white chocolate chips. And, because none of these components is transformed through cooking or baking, the flavor of each ingredient really comes through.

Of course, you certainly can use alternatives to the brands and products I recommend for this recipe, if you wish. However, they may not be as keto-friendly, and may have a negative affect on the pudding's taste, nutrition, or both. If you do choose to make any ingredient substitutions or other changes, I highly recommend that you use Carb Manager or a similar app to calculate the recipe's nutrition based on your changes, so you can track your macros and other nutrients accurately.

Full-Fat, Plain Greek Yogurt

Fage Total 5% Milkfat Plain Greek Yogurt has a mild flavor, a smooth, rich, creamy texture, and fewer carbs than most other full-fat Greek yogurt brands. The 1/2 cup of Fage Total 5% Milkfat Plain Greek Yogurt used in this recipe has only 3.5 grams of net carbs, 0 grams of fiber, 5.5 grams of fat, 10 grams of protein, and 105 calories.

Pink Himalayan Salt

Pink Himalayan salt is mined from massive salt beds that formed in a region of Pakistan where large seas dried up during the Jurassic era, more than 250,000,000 years ago. Through the ages, the salt flats became embedded deep in what is now the Himalayan Mountains, where over time, local weather events, erosion, and water leached minerals into the buried salt, giving this highly prized salt its characteristic taste and pink color. 

I've been enjoying The Spice Lab's Fine Pink Himalayan Salt, which has a deeper pink color than many of its competitors, indicating its superior quality and high mineral content. It's also available in finer and coarser grinds.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

As a chocolate lover and avid baker, I've tried many brands of high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder over the years, and keep both natural (non-alkalized) and Dutch-processed (alkalized) varieties on hand for different uses. A couple of years ago, I tried a canister of Ghirardelli Majestic Premium Cocoa Powder and was instantly wowed! This high-quality, nib-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder imparts a deep, rich flavor unlike any other unsweetened cocoa powder I've used, including those from much more expensive brands, including high-end chocolatiers such as Valrhona. 

The biggest surprise was discovering how versatile it is! I love using it for baking, in recipes that call for Dutch-processed rather than natural cocoa powder. It dissolves well in hot almond, cashew, or macadamia milk to make low-carb hot cocoa. And in a recipe like this one, where it isn't being heated, it mixes into the Greek yogurt beautifully and tastes amazing!

Keto-Friendly, Plant-Derived Sweetener

Since May 2019, when I started my weight loss journey and committed to a very low carb lifestyle, I've purchased nearly every type of keto-friendly sweetener or sweetener blend on the market. Allulose is excellent, but Bocha Sweet Sugar Replacement is far-and-away my favorite. Bocha Sweet sugar replacement is a zero-calorie, zero-glycemic sweetener derived from organically grown, non-GMO kabocha, a Japanese variety of winter squash similar to pumpkin. Unlike most keto-friendly sweeteners, it tastes almost exactly like cane sugar and can replace it spoon-for-spoon and cup-for-cup when baking, cooking, or sweetening beverages such as coffee, tea, or cocoa. Like most high-quality, keto-friendly counterparts to inexpensive, nutrient-poor, highly processed ingredients, Bocha Sweet costs significantly more than white table sugar. But since even my husband, who loves addictive, high carb, nutritionally bankrupt sweet treats, agrees that the way it looks, acts, and tastes is virtually identical to regular cane sugar with none of the drawbacks, the higher price is well worth it to us.

Pure Vanilla Extract

I'm definitely a purist when it comes to vanilla extract, and have always try to buy the best I can afford. When the price of vanilla started to skyrocket a few years ago, I stocked up several large bottles of Penzeys delicious pure double strength vanilla extract. Unfortunately, the Penzeys vanilla extract contains a little added sugar, and since I'm now trying to minimize foods with added sugar in my diet, when I eventually finish going through my current "inventory," I'll probably be replacing it with another high-quality pure vanilla extract that has no sugar added, such as Nielsen-Massey No Sugar Added Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract or Rodelle Gourmet Pure Vanilla Extract.

Low Carb Granola

I've purchased several different brands and flavors of low-carb granola over the past few months. So far, my favorites are Livlo Granolō Chocolate Hazelnut Keto Granola and Livlo Granolō Cinnamon Almond Pecan Keto Granola. Either flavor, or a 50/50 mix of both, is wonderful in this chocolate Greek yogurt pudding or parfait recipe. I also like putting one to two tablespoons in a small custard cup or saucer and nibbling them very slowly, which makes a sweet, satisfying, high-protein snack. And a small topped with nut milk or heavy cream stays crunchy as you eat it. 

Keto-Friendly White Chocolate Chips

I love ChocZero No Sugar Added White Chocolate Baking Chips, which not only taste great but also are high in fiber, so I use them often in many different ways. Unfortunately, the demand for these creamy white chocolate chips is so high that they're often out of stock. I've learned to order multiple bags at a time and keep some in the freezer so I don't run out.

Lily's Stevia Sweetened White Chocolate Baking Chips, while not as tasty in my opinion, can be used instead in this recipe if you can't get hold of the ChocZero white chocolate chips.

If You Could Have Any Greek Yogurt Pudding or Parfait, Which Flavor(s) Would You Choose? 

I hope this post has helped to spark your imagination and interest you in experimenting with other ingredients and your own flavor combinations for transforming plain-Jane, full-fat Greek Yogurt into a tasty, low carb, high protein, sweet or savory pudding, dip, topping or spread. If so, please come back and share your favorite discoveries in the comments.

Also, if I've inspired you to try making my recipe for this healthy, nutritious and sinfully delicious Keto Chocolate Yogurt Pudding Parfait topped with chocolate hazelnut granola and white chocolate chips, I'd love to know what you think, and whether you love it as much as I do. 


Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding or Parfait Recipe by Margaret Schindel


Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

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

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

My First Year on The Keto Diet


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 Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Contributors




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