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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Margaret Schindel keto. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

Today, I'm delighted to share my review of my luscious new hot chocolate recipe, just in time for Christmas and other winter holiday celebrations and the long, chilly weather during the months that follow them. 

Once you taste this decadent cold-weather treat, you'll never want to settle for ordinary hot cocoa again! It's so rich, thick, intensely chocolaty, and indulgent, no one who tastes it will ever guess—or even believe—that this fabulous beverage is also sugar-free and very low in carbohydrates. That means you can enjoy it with your family and friends, even if some of are following a low carb or ketogenic diet.

My carb-loving husband and I, both serious hot chocolate snobs, agree that it's The Ultimate Hot Chocolate Recipe, keto or not! 

Main image - mug of cocoa against snowy background, overlaid with text "The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe"
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Any Chocolate Connoisseur Will Love (Just Don't Tell Them It's Keto!)

'Tis the season for hot chocolate! During Christmas and other winter holidays, and straight through the cold weather months, hot cocoa a welcome indulgence, warming us from the inside out after we come in from the cold (and especially after we've been playing outside in the snow...or shoveling it!). Unfortunately, for those of us who follow a low carb or ketogenic diet, most keto recipes for low carb hot chocolate just aren't all that tasty or satisfying.

After trying and being disappointed by five or six different keto recipes for hot cocoa and a couple of low carb hot chocolate mixes, I finally realized the only way to find a keto hot chocolate recipe that would live up to my very high expectations standards would be to develop one myself. 

It took a lot of experimentation, but the final result definitely has been worth all the time and effort I invested into the process. In fact, this is the closest thing I've ever sipped to the gold-standard chocolat chaud L'Africain at the world-famous Angelina café in the Rue de Rivoli in Paris (where I had the good fortunate to enjoy a cup once, many years ago). 

That's why I'm confident that my recipe truly is worthy of the title, The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe. In fact, second only to Angelina's iconic L'Africain, I think this may well be The Ultimate Hot Chocolate Recipe, period.


Photo of two large mugs of keto hot chocolate, sitting on a pink and ivory flowered cloth placemat
©2020 Margaret Schindel, all rights reserved
High carb or keto, hot chocolate doesn't get any more sumptuous than this recipe!

Hot Chocolate or Cocoa? Both!

As my fellow Review This Reviews contributor Wednesday Elf explained in her recent review of National Cocoa Day (which is just five days away, on December 13), although both terms for this beloved beverage are often used interchangeably, the main difference is whether they are made with real chocolate (often ground) or with cocoa powder. 

As I experimented with different combinations and proportions of ingredients for my recipe, I found that mixing my favorite Dutched cocoa powder, sugar-free chocolate chips, and Good Dee's Sipping Chocolate low carb hot cocoa mix resulted in the perfect, intense, dark chocolate flavor I wanted.

Combining the cocoa and dark chocolate with macadamia milk (instead of the more commonly used almond milk), heavy cream, and 1/8 teaspoon per serving of xanthan gum, and then using a handheld immersion blender (aka stick blender) to emulsify all the ingredients and thicken the mixture, worked synergistically  provided the rich, creamy taste and smooth, luxurious consistency that other low carb hot chocolate recipes and mixes I had tried lacked. Salt and pure vanilla extract to complement the dark chocolate flavor that, together with the smoothness and creaminess  rounded out the flavor profile, smoothing out the intense, dark chocolate flavor with to create The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate. 

Regular, Mint, and Salted Caramel Keto Hot Chocolate

Once I had perfected the recipe, I decided to take this challenge to the next level, creating low carb versions of my husband's favorite hot cocoa flavors that we could both could enjoy: keto mint hot chocolate and keto salted caramel hot chocolate. 

I hadn't thought this recipe could get any better, but I was mistaken. The mint and salted caramel variations turned out to be even more delicious than the original version!


The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

You Don't Have to Follow a Low Carb Diet to Love It!

Years ago, I developed a fabulous sugar, fat, and calorie-laden hot chocolate recipe for my husband, and it spoiled us both for any other hot cocoa. I never wrote down the recipe or measured the ingredients; it was all in my head, and I just tasted and adjusted the amounts and proportions as I went along each time I made it.
©2020 Margaret Schindel,
all rights reserved

Unfortunately, after I made the decision for medical reasons to follow a ketogenic diet, I stopped making my husband's favorite winter treat because I could no longer taste and adjust the flavor during the process (because of the sugar). And we both missed it a lot. 

So, I challenged myself to come up with a new low carb hot chocolate recipe that would taste as rich and decadent as my original recipe, and could meet or exceed my husband's extremely high standards for his favorite beverage. 

I succeeded beyond either of our wildest dreams. Now, I'm sharing the recipe so you and those you love can enjoy it, too, whether or not they are watching their sugar or carbohydrate intake. 

Prep Time:  
10 minutes

Cook Time:
10 minutes

Total Time:
20 minutes

Recipe Yield:
Four servings
(approximately 6 fluid ounces per serving)

Calories:
136 kcal
per serving

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Measure the dry ingredients (Good Dee's Sipping Chocolate, Ghirardelli Majestic Premium unsweetened cocoa powder, granulated BochaSweet sugar replacement, xanthan gum, and salt) into a small bowl. Mix well (pressing out any lumps of cocoa) and set aside. 

  2. Pour the Milkadamia unsweetened vanilla macadamia milk into a 2-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup and microwave for 60 seconds or until hot. Remove from microwave.

  3. Place the sugar-free chocolate chips and ghee or butter into a 4-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 45–60 seconds, depending on how powerful your microwave is. Stir the mixture well to melt as much of the chocolate as possible, then repeat, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

  4. Stir the hot macadamia milk into the melted chocolate mixture in the 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup until well incorporated. Then, microwave for another 60 seconds. 

  5. Stir in the dry ingredients, and then use an immersion blender (without any attachments) to blend the contents of the measuring cup. (I find it helpful to glide the immersion blender slowly over the bottom of the cup and tilt it slightly in different directions.) 

  6. Add the heavy cream, then blend with the immersion blender for 20–30 seconds, until the mixture thickens slightly. 

  7. Microwave on high for 30–60 seconds, or until very hot, and stir in the vanilla extract.

  8. Divide evenly among four small mugs or two large mugs. Top with optional whipped cream, if desired. Serve immediately. 

Keto Mint Hot Chocolate Recipe Variation

For the best peppermint or mint hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted:
  • Replace the vanilla extract with 3/8 to 1/2 teaspoon (to taste) of pure peppermint extract or pure mint extract. 
I highly recommend using either Watkins Pure Peppermint Extract or Watkins Pure Mint Extract (which contains a blend of spearmint and peppermint oils). Either one will let you enjoy the fresh, minty flavor of a traditional candy can stirrer in your hot cocoa, but without all the sugar, corn syrup, and artificial flavoring and food coloring. 

Keto Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe Variation

Transform this beverage into a keto salted caramel hot chocolate so divine, it will make you close your eyes and purr with pleasure when you take your first sip! Just make these simple tweaks to my original recipe:

  • Increase the amount of salt to 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Increase the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • At the end of step 4, blend in 4 tablespoons of ChocZero Caramel Sugar-Free Syrup to the hot chocolate mixture.

Optional Whipped Cream Topping

This sumptuous hot chocolate is even better topped with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Here's how to make a delicious low carb version. 
  1. At least 30–60 minutes before you plan to make this Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe, put some heavy whipping cream in a mixing bowl, stir in a few drops of vanilla, mint, or peppermint extract, and sweeten to taste with your favorite keto-friendly, natural, powdered sweetener (confectioner's sugar replacement), such as powdered BochaSweet, powdered monkfruit allulose blend sweetener, or powdered allulose. Place the mixing bowl with the flavored cream in the refrigerator to chill, along with a wire balloon whisk or the whisk attachment of your electric mixer. 

  2. After making the hot chocolate recipe through step 6 (before you heat the hot chocolate mixture for the last time and stir in the extract), whip the cold, flavored, lightly sweetened cream in the chilled bowl with the chilled whisk.

  3. Finish preparing the hot chocolate recipe (steps 7 and 8), topping each mug with a cloud of freshly whipped cream. Finish the whipped cream topping with a light dusting of unsweetened cocoa, if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Good Dee’s Sipping Chocolate is a key ingredient in this recipe! You can order it, as well as the Good Dee’s Dark Chocolate Chips, either on Amazon or on the Good Dee’s website. Consider adding some of the delicious Good Dee’s keto cookie mix flavors I’ve reviewed previously to your cart while you’re at it. After all, what’s better than cookies and hot cocoa on a chilly day, especially around the holidays?

    Note: If you don't get Amazon Prime free shipping, or the Good Dee's products you want are out of stock on Amazon, or you'd prefer to shop the full selection of Good Dee's products, you can save 15% off your total purchase price any time you use my Good Dee's website affiliate shopping link and enter my unique discount coupon code GOODDEES15MRS during checkout. 
  • Using Ghirardelli Majestic Premium Cocoa makes a big difference in the taste of this decadent hot chocolate. The more expensive nib-alkalization process gives it a richer, smoother, better flavor. Even though the generous 2-pound (32-ounce) canister looks as though it would be a lifetime supply, I use this extraordinary cocoa powder so often in this and other recipes, such as my luscious low carb keto chocolate yogurt chip pudding parfait recipe (my favorite quick and easy breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack when I’m in the mood for something sweet), that I have to replenish my supply a few times a year.

    If you are unable to get the Ghirardelli Majestic Premium and need to substitute a different brand or formula, please make sure to choose a high-quality, unsweetened, alkalized or Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Although your hot chocolate won't taste the same as my original recipe, if you use a different brand of alkalized or Dutch-processed (aka Dutched or "Dutch"), it should still be delicious!

  • Making this hot beverage in a large, flat-bottomed Pyrex glass 4-cup measuring cup lets you can see what's at the bottom of the hot mixture, so you know whether the chocolate chips have melted completely and, if so, whether all the melted chocolate has been incorporated into the hot macadamia milk and melted butter mixture. 

  • Using an immersion blender on medium speed creates the perfect consistency. If you don't own one, you can use a regular blender, and use a slim silicone scraper to make sure you get all of your delicious hot beverage out of the container. My decades-old stick blender was a gift from someone who knew how much I enjoy cooking and baking, and that model was discontinued long ago. However, if you're looking for a good one, the powerful Müeller Austria Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Stainless Steel Immersion Blender has more than 20,000 5-star ratings on Amazon.

Nutrition Facts

I entered this recipe and its variations into Carb Manager to help me calculate and track the calories, macros, and other nutrition data, based on the specific ingredients and brands I used. I usually drink one-quarter of the recipe, while my husband prefers to indulge in a larger portion. So, here are the nutrition facts for both the smaller, typical serving size (6 fluid ounces) and a double-size serving (12 fluid ounces).

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe (Original, Mint, or Peppermint) Nutrition Facts

One quarter of this recipe (6 fluid ounce serving) contains 1 net carb, 136 calories, 4.7 grams of dietary fiber, 2.8 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat. 

Half the recipe (12 fluid ounce serving) contains 2 net carbs, 272 calories, 9.4 grams of dietary fiber, 5.7 grams of protein, and 26.1 grams of fat. 

The Ultimate Keto Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe Nutrition Facts

One quarter of this recipe (6 fluid ounce serving) contains 1 net carb, 136 calories, 4.7 grams of dietary fiber, 2.8 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat. 

Half the recipe (12 fluid ounce serving) contains 2 net carbs, 272 calories, 9.4 grams of dietary fiber, 5.7 grams of protein, and 26.1 grams of fat. 

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate 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, June 1, 2022

Dieting is Hard Work, But Health and Wellness is So Important! A Product Review

 Dieting is never easy.  Putting on the pounds happens when we aren't looking and unless you are blessed with an amazing  metabolism that burns everything (all the calories) you will probably gain some weight over the years.

                                                             Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay


It seems that women in particular have a much harder time to loose the extra pounds than our counterparts.  Why?  Well let's just say that hormones have a lot to do with that excess and why we can't seem to drop those pounds as easily.

Now I know that if you have been reading Review This Reviews, you will have come across some really good articles about a diet that seems to work for just about everyone.  Margaret Schindel and Barbara Cipak Tremblay have written about their journey with weight loss using the Keto Diet!  These two ladies are good friends of mine and while I was sceptical, I did trust that their journeys using this new way of eating were in fact the truth!

Well two years ago, I made the decision that it was high time that I took on a weight loss program again.  I had done many stints with Weight Watchers and Crash Dieting (of all kinds) and had limited success!  The problem was that none of that weight loss was sustainable for me.

I was at a point in my life where my knees hurt so badly and the excess weight that I had on my frame was not at all helping me feel better.  So after looking at this "new" weight loss system, I decided to jump on board and give it my best effort.

I am happy to say that in the last 2 years I have lost over 80 pounds and the amazing part of this is that I have kept that weight off and not regressed!  Has it been easy?  NO!  Dieting is never easy but I must say that this has been the best way for me to lose these pounds and not feel like I was missing out on life.  In my opinion, this is where many diets fail.  You feel so deprived that you break down and over indulge.  The slope is slippery once you start down that road, as I'm sure many of you are already aware.

Barbara and Margaret have done a great job in making me aware of ways to cook, bake, and all the great ways to enjoy food even in company.  No feeling like you have to watch others enjoy their meals while you nibble on a plate of greens that even Mr. Bunny might turn his nose up at.

My own personal downfall is the need for sweets.  Any diet will definitely cut most of the sweets right out of the picture.  Sugar is after all one of the biggest reasons we have a weight problem to begin with.  Enter what I have found to be a life saver in my diet lifestyle!  They are called "Love Good Fats".  




These bars are full of nuts and good things that are on the Keto Diet.  They are Keto Certified, Gluten Free, Kosher, and non-GMO!  Made in Canada, these bars are delicious to say the least!  When I am feeling like I'm deprived of those sweet wonders that my friends are all indulging in, I make sure I have one of my Love Good Fats Bars with me!  (I actually take two or three because my friends all want to try them too).  Now I have a special treat just for me and my feelings of deprivation are not weighing me down (pardon the pun).

I would highly recommend these bars if you are on a Keto type diet, they are tasty, full of good fats, low in sugars and other hidden calorie boosters too.  

Right now in the US, you can get some of these Love Good Fats bars on Amazon, but in Canada, you can order them directly from the company! 


 

 I am checking into the ability for our American friends to order directly from the company as well and will update this when I have an answer for you.  I have looked into the bars available in the States and it seems that you only have the Mint Chocolate bars available.  In Canada, we have many more options.  I will update and hopefully you too can enjoy the nutty ones we are able to purchase.   

UPDATE!!!!! You can go to the Store Locator page and see where Love Good Fats are available closer to your own State!  Just follow this link:Store Locator

Just one caveat, with Keto dieting and these Love Good Fats bars, it's very hard to stop at one!  But, if you are having success with the Keto Lifestyle, then you know how to tell yourself that one is enough or to plan your meals so that your Carb counts can be within the range you need for your own personal dieting style.

I hope this Review helps you on your journey to a healthier and more sustainable way of life and that you do take the time to read some of Barbara's or Margaret\s Keto Reviews.  They are both full of excellent information that will help you on this journey through life. 





These are just a few of the many articles that I'm sure you will find interesting and very easy to follow and make yourself.   ReviewThisReviews.com and look for articles by Barbara (Brite-Ideas) or Margaret Schindel  you will come up with more information to help you become a successful Weight Loss Warrior!







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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Thursday, June 4, 2020

My First Year on the Keto Diet

When I began my keto journey a year ago, on May 25, 2019, I could never have imagined how profoundly the ketogenic diet would transform my health and day-to-day life.

©2020 Margaret Schindel. All rights reserved.

Introducing My New Keto Review Series (By Popular Demand)

During the past 12 months, I've occasionally shared photos, progress updates, milestones, or musings about my new and evolving low carb lifestyle with family members, friends, and colleagues. I have been surprised and touched by the outpouring of encouragement, support, recognition and interest they have expressed regarding my ongoing keto journey

I have also received, and continue to get, numerous requests to share my advice, insights and tips for learning about, getting started with, and losing weight by following a ketogenic diet.

Last week, I celebrated my first “keto-versary,” and it seems a fitting time to launch my new series of posts in response to those requests. This first post is mostly designed to provide some context about how and why I made the commitment to completely change the way I eat for the foreseeable future. Future posts will get into more detail about the what, why and how of my experiences to day on the ketogenic diet.

What a Difference a Year Makes!

When I began this journey last May, I was an extremely sedentary, obese, 65-year-old, life-long carbohydrate junkie with the world's biggest sweet tooth.

Image of obese, middle aged woman
©2020 Margaret Schindel. All rights reserved.
I had less and less energy or enthusiasm for the activities, places and experiences that used to bring me joy. I had gained around 40 pounds in the 20 years since my wedding, and every time I looked in the mirror, all I could focus on seemed to be my disappearing waistline, softening jawline, and growing double chin.

When I walked for more than a couple of blocks, my feet became painfully swollen. The chronic lower back pain I had lived with since my early 20s was now joined by chronic joint pain in my right hip, knees and shoulders, and my doctors were increasingly concerned about my high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol level.

Now, one year later, I and am one year later, looking so much better, being so much healthier, and feeling more alive than I have in a very long time.

Switching From a Low Fat, High Carbohydrate Diet to a Keto Diet Has Improved My Appearance, Health, and Quality of Life

©2020 Margaret Schindel. All rights reserved.

The benefits I've experienced, thanks to my commitment to embrace this radically different approach to eating, have been nothing short of amazing.

When I look in the mirror, I see "the real me" again.

  • I have lost 56 pounds (to date).
  • I am leaner than I would have been if I had lost the same amount of weight on a higher-carb diet.
  • One of the key goals of the keto approach is becoming "fat-adapted," a metabolic adjustment that, among other things, makes your body very efficient at converting fat into ketones and using them as its preferred source of fuel (i.e., energy), and no longer defaulting to converting carbohydrates into glucose for quick access to fuel. (The article "What Does It Mean to Be Fat-Adapted" does a nice job of explaining this process and its significance in greater detail, in a way that's easy to understand.)
  • When someone becomes fat-adapted, the body uses more of the dietary fat they consume for short-term fuel, and there is less left over to be stored long-term as adipose tissue (i.e., body fat).
  • I have gone from wearing size 16-18 clothing to size 8.
  • I'm able to fit into (again) the handful of special outfits I've kept (for sentimental reasons) that date back to my 20s and early 30s, when I lived in New York City and work in retail fashion. Seeing myself wearing them again felt a bit surreal. Fortunately, my taste in clothing favors classic styles and fabrics. No one would guess they weren't new!
  • My hips are proportionally slimmer, so I no longer need go up a size when buying pants or slim skirts.
  • I'm able to wear leggings and a T-shirt out in public without feeling embarrassed.
  • Although I have always been fortunate to look significantly younger than my chronological age, several people have commented recently that I look significantly younger than I did a year ago.

I'm healthier, happier, and virtually pain-free.

  • I no longer have high blood pressure.
  • For the first time in my life, I’m actually looking forward to having a routine physical exam and getting my blood work done, so I can quantify other improvements in my health, such as lower cholesterol levels.
  • My chronic lower back, hip, knee and hip pain are gone, and my feet no longer become swollen and painful are a few short minutes of standing or walking.
  • This has begun to expand my horizons significantly, and allowed me to start being less sedentary, which has been one of my goals for a number of years.
  • Two months ago , my husband surprised me with a pair of Segway Ninebot MiniPRO personal transporters that he had bought as our birthday gifts to each other this year. Now that the weather is finally becoming more spring-like here in New England, he and I have been having a blast riding them around our quiet and very pretty neighborhood for 20 to 25 minutes, two or three days a week. A year ago, my foot and knee pain would have prevented me from riding one for more than 3 or 4 minutes.


I feel wonderful!

  • I have much more energy and enthusiasm.
  • I am once again finding joy, satisfaction and inspiration in the beauty of nature and in creative pursuits, such as designing and making one-of-a-kind jewelry making and new skills and techniques.
  • I am filled with more optimism and gratitude than I have felt in decades.
  • I am feeling proud of this major accomplishment, and have a newfound confidence in my ability to fully commit to, and follow through on, making positive, sustainable behavioral and lifestyle changes if I'm not happy with the way things are.

The Medical Scare That Motivated Me to Get Serious About Losing Weight and Fat

Last April, shortly after celebrating my 65th birthday, I experienced abnormal vaginal bleeding, the primary symptom of endometrial cancer. My doctors found several uterine polyps that my OB-GYN would need to remove surgically, in an operating room. After the operation, the polyps would be sent out for biopsy so she could determine whether they were benign, precancerous or cancerous.

After asking a lot of questions and doing a lot of follow-up research online, I learned that I had several of the known risk factors for uterine cancer. I was over 50, had never been pregnant, was clinically obese, and had high blood pressure. My husband and I were terrified (especially since his older brother had passed away in his early 50s from colon cancer, which his primary care doctor had failed to diagnose correctly until my brother-in-law was in the late stages of the disease).

Although I couldn’t do anything about the first two risk factors, my obesity and elevated blood pressure were within my control. I got serious about developing the habit of practicing meditation daily and committed myself to lose weight and, more importantly, body fat as quickly as possible, since fat tissues tend to produce excess estrogen, especially after menopause, increasing the risk of endometrial cancer for older, overweight women.

Challenging My Outdated Preconceptions and Misinformed Prejudice Against Keto

I’m old enough to have been around when Dr. Atkins launched The Atkins Diet. At the time, the program focused primarily on rapid weight loss rather than health. It promoted excessive consumption of red meat, including bacon cured with nitrates and other heavily processed foods, which caused kidney damage in many of the diet's early adopters. Vegetables were not emphasized in the early days, and the diet was so restrictive that it was unsustainable. Most people who followed it lost weight rapidly but also gained it back – and more. That had been my first – and only – introduction to a diet grounded in achieving and maintaining ketosis, and the original version of The Atkins Diet was met with universally critical reviews and warnings from medical and nutrition experts.

When a couple of our family members decided to start following keto a few years ago, I was very concerned for their health and was extremely surprised when they not only lost a substantial amount of weight, but also lowered their blood pressure and bad cholesterol. After a bit of online research, I found out that although the Atkins Diet shares some similarities, it is by no means the same as the actual ketogenic diet, an eating strategy originally developed in the early 20th Century as a treatment for epilepsy that, more recently, has emerged as a potential treatment for autism spectrum disorder.

Even so, I likely never would have considered trying the keto diet myself if I hadn’t discovered that that my excess fat had put me at significant risk for endometrial or uterine cancer, and been scared and desperate enough to look at all my options for getting rid of that dangerous blubber fast.

Rethinking the Conventional Wisdom Around Healthy Approaches to Weight Loss

My previous efforts at eating healthier and losing weight had been shaped by doctors’, nurses’ and nutritionists’ typical advice to eat a diet low in fat and high in nutritious complex carbohydrates, including whole, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and consume significantly fewer calories than you burn. It wasn’t until I had been eating keto for several months that I understood that my mostly low-fat, high-carb diet was contributing to my weight gain, joint pain and high blood pressure, among other problems.

Even after hearing my friends talk about the improvements to their health after following a keto diet for an extended period, I was still skeptical. Wishful thinking can have a powerful placebo effect. 

But after my conversations with my doctors about my elevated risk for endometrial or uterine cancer, my friends’ reports made me cautiously optimistic. But after reading, watching, and listening to reliable sources discussing the potential benefits and risks of following a ketogenic diet for certain individuals, but not for everyone, and supporting their claims and perspectives with scientific explanations and credible proof points, I finally decided that committing to this approach for 4–6 months might well be my best shot at getting rid of my dangerous, excess fat as quickly as possible. 

At that point, I could decide on a more nutritionally balanced and varied diet to maintain that weight loss long-term.

It Wasn't Easy...

I understood in advance that easing into this radically different way of eating a little at a time wasn't an option for someone with a longstanding addiction to sugar and refined carbohydrates. It would also be self-sabotaging, since my goal was to become fat-adapted as quickly as possible, which meant starting the process of severely restricting my carbohydrate consumption over a sustained period of time on Day One.
The prospect of making a decisive, clean break from carbs was daunting, and preparing myself for this dramatic change—mentally, emotionally, environmentally and socially—was one of the keys to making that transition successfully.

The first few months were certainly challenging, as I knew they would be. There was a huge learning curve and a lot of contradictory information and passionate opinions about the "right" or "wrong" ways to follow the keto diet. I was confused by jargon like "macros" and "net carbs," didn't understand the concept of the three primary macros as targets, levers or limits, and had no idea how to calculate them initially or adjust them as I lost weight. (If all this sounds like a foreign language—or even advanced calculus—never fear. I'll explain them as simply and straightforwardly as I can in a future post in this series.)

Curbing my cravings for bread, rolls, pasta, cookies, cakes, and other favorite foods that were high in carbs or otherwise incompatible with my new keto lifestyle took time and effort. So did finding healthy, low-carb, keto-friendly alternatives for some of my favorite baked goods that also tasted good, and safe, healthier, low-carb alternatives to artificial sweeteners like Splenda (sucralose) and Equal (aspartame) that didn't leave a bad aftertaste or cause gastric distress. (I had used these sweeteners for decades, unaware of their potential effects on insulin levels, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, among other things.)

But It Was Absolutely Worth It.

Making a commitment to following a ketogenic diet turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. The dramatic, positive improvements to my health, happiness and overall sense of well-being have been been so profound that for me, keto has become a long-term lifestyle choice, rather than a diet.

Paying It Forward

Although the initial impetus for starting this new series was the ongoing requests for me to write in greater detail about my experiences to date on the ketogenic diet, I also wanted to express my gratitude to the friends who inspired and encouraged me to join them on this journey of transformation by paying it forward.

One of the people who ultimately inspired me to take the plunge, and who continues to be my biggest cheerleader, is my very dear friend and fellow Review This Reviews contributor Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas). Barbara's keto journey began on May 4, 2019, three weeks before mine. As of her one-year keto anniversary four weeks ago, she had lost approximately 60 pounds, virtually eliminated the formerly frequent, extremely painful flare-ups triggered by Rheumatoid Arthritis, and won her "mind-over-body battle" to remain committed to the ketogenic way of eating. 

I highly recommend Barbara's first annual review of her weight loss progress on keto as well as her personal keto testimonial from two months earlier to anyone who is interested in reading an inspiring weight loss success story.

Your Mileage May Vary

This new series of posts about my keto diet and healthy lifestyle journey will reflect my personal experience, which has been extremely positive. It is not necessarily typical or indicative of how this dietary approach will work for, or affect, anyone else. 

Similarly, I will be sharing some of the strategies and techniques that have helped me lose a significant amount of weight and remain committed to a healthy, low-carb approach to eating for the long term. It is my hope that others may find this information helpful. It is being offered with the caveat that what has worked well for me may not necessarily work well for someone else.

Anything I write in this or future posts is not intended, nor should it be construed, as a substitute for medical advice or medical treatment or an attempt to persuade other individuals to follow a low carb or ketogenic lifestyle. 

I disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission, wholly or in part, in reliance on anything contained in this and future posts about the keto diet.

I have neither medical or nutritional education, training, professional experience, credentials or other qualifications to offer advice or opinions regarding the safety or advisability of following a ketogenic diet for any individual. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

My First Year on the Keto Diet 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 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 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

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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