Thursday, September 7, 2017

My Ketogenic Life Episode 5: 10 Myths About A Ketogenic Lifestyle

Today we are going to be looking at 10 common myths that are often associated with a LCHF / Ketogenic diet. This is episode 5, of the 'My Ketogenic Life' video series that I am producing on YouTube as a video diary of my low carbohydrate lifestyle.

So I hope you will check out the video. If you wnjoy the information or find it informative, then please share it with your friends, especially if you know someone who is a diabetic.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Is YooHoo Keto? It Can Be...

So I was walking around my local supermarket the other day and I turned the corner and saw a large display for the bright yellow YooHoo chocolate drinks. I remember enjoying these sweet chocolaty drinks as a kid on hot summer days growing up in Texas. Instantly the keto part of my brain just had to know how many grams of sugar (carbohydrates) were inside one serving of these 16 ounces bottles. I could guess, but the only real way to find out was to look at the nutritional label on the bottle. I must admit I was floored at the amount of sugar that was in a single 8 ounce serving of original chocolate Yoohoo (29 grams), heck, even original Coke only has 26.8 grams of sugar in an 8 ounce serving.

So if you are following a LCHF / Ketogenic diet and you just need to fufill that chocolate craving, or if you have young kids in the house that love YooHoo chocolate drinks then this is the recipe for you. My keto YooHoo drink only has 2.75 grams of carbohydrates for a 9 ounce serving versus 29 grams of carbohydrates in an 8 ounces serving of the original chocolate YooHoo. Just for giggles, the keto YooHoo has 95% less carbohydrates than the original YooHoo, and it tastes great! Anyway, in today's article, I will sharing with you my version of a ketogenic YooHoo drink that my family and I think is delicious, satisfying, and best of all contains a minimal amount of carbohydrates (2.75 grams per 9 ounce serving).

The Recipe

There are a lot of DIY YooHoo recipes out there on the Internet, and most of them are a combination of milk, cold water, and either Hershey's chocolate syrup and Nestle Quick chocolate flavored powdered drink mix. The carbohydrates in these drinks comes not only from the natural sugar in milk (lactose) 13 grams per cup, but from the chocolate syrup and chocolate powdered drink mixes which are loaded with sugar. The simple solution to make a keto version of YooHoo was to look at these recipes and do a few experimentation's to come up with a basic recipe, and that is exactly what I did. Amazingly, this was actually a simple process.

Keto Yoohoo (Two servings)

16 ounces almond milk, unsweetened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
8 drops liquid sucralose
1 drop of vanilla

Combine all the ingredients in a quart mason jar and mix thoroughly with a stick (immersion) blender.

Chef's Note: You can omit the vanilla and substitute vanilla flavored almond milk for the unflavored almond milk, just remember to get unsweetened variety or your carbohydrate count will be different.

Total Recipe (18 ounces)
Calories 121, fat 12 grams, protein 3 grams, carbohydrates 5.5 grams

Per Serving (9 ounces)
Calories 60.5, fat 6 grams, protein 1.5 grams, carbohydrates 2.75 grams

Original Chocolate YooHoo (15.5 ounce bottle)
Calories 260, fat 2 grams, protein 4 grams, carbohydrates 58 grams

Original Chocolate YooHoo (8 ounces)
Calories 130, fat 1 gram, protein 2 grams, carbohydrates 29 grams

Bulk Keto YooHoo Recipe (70 ounces)

64 ounces almond milk, unsweetened
4 ounces heavy cream
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
32 drops liquid sucralose
2 – 3 drops of vanilla

Combine all the ingredients in your stand mixer and combine thoroughly. I divide it into two batches and then combine them in a large picture and then place the mix into individual serving jars and/or containers.

Chef's Note: When it comes to liquid sucralose (25% concentration), 32 drops is equivalent to 2/3 cup of granulated sugar. There is no straight forward measuring spoon measurement to get you to 32 drops. The closest conversion I can give you is ¼ teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon which is equal to ¾ cup (75%) of a cup of sugar which is slightly more than 2/3rds (66%) of a cup of sugar. Since liquid sucralose is a calorie free sweetener, the amount of sucralose used does not alter the nutritional value of the recipe, just the sweetness.


If you have read any of my articles on our blog, then you know I am a big proponent of using liquid sucralose. It is my sweetener of choice and we buy it in bulk from Amazon. You can use any sweetener you wish in this recipe, although you may have to adjust the amount used to get the sweetness that you and your family enjoy. You can find out more information regarding liquid sucralose in my article 'Liquid Sucralose: The Liquid Calorie That's Made From Sugar.' As for the sweetness factor, 1 drop of liquid sucralose is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar. So in the two serving recipe, 8 drops of sucralose is equal to 8 teaspoons of sugar. Therefore, if you are using another sweetener such as Stevia, Splenda, Swerve (erythritol) etc... You will have to figure out the volume of sweetener of the particular product you are using to equal 8 teaspoons of sugar for the two recipe version, and 2/3 cup of sugar for the bulk recipe. Keep in mind that all sweeteners do not sweeten the same so if you do not use liquid sucralose (25% concentration) you will have to experiment a little. I would advise that you use less at first and then add additional sweetener a little at a time until you get to the sweetness level that you and your family like.


YooHoo is still a refreshing summer drink, especially if you have a sweet tooth or have a hankering for something chocolate, however, it still has way to many carbohydrates for those of us on a LCHF / Keto way of eating (WOE). My simple to make and delicious keto version of YooHoo hits the spot and it only has 2.75 grams per 9 ounce serving compared to 29 grams of carbohydrates in 8 ounces of the original chocolate YooHoo. In addition, this recipe has 6 grams of fat compared to YooHoo's 1 gram of fat. Remember, fat is good, especially when it comes from good sources such as the heavy whipping cream used in this recipe. So whether your still a kid a heart, or you need a good LCHF / Keto drink for your kids, this keto YooHoo is an excellent choice that both you and your family will enjoy. As always, we ask that if you have found the information in this article informative and or enjoyable that you share it with your friends and family on Facebook, Google+ and or Pintrest. Don't forget to send us a friend request at CulinaryYouLCHF on Facebook, or add us to your circle of Friends on Google+.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

LCHF / Keto Lasagna

If you have been following a Low Carbohydrate High Fat (LCHF) / Ketogenic (Keto) way of eating (WOE), then you have probably seen or made many recipes that substitute zucchini noodles (zoodles) in place of pasta. One recipe in particular that I think that zucchini works well in is lasagna, but I must admit it took me a couple of times until I figured out exactly how to prepare it the way that I liked it. At first there was something about the texture that I just could not get right, and the flat style zoodles were difficult to cut with a fork when eating. After two tries I figured it out that the simple trick was to peel the zucchini before slicing it on the mandolin slicer.

Leaving the peel on the zucchini would make the zoodles difficult to cut with a fork, and you would pull out the whole slice of zucchini when taking a bite. While this is not a major catastrophe, it really bothered me for some reason. Anyway, to solve this problem, I started to peel my zucchini with a standard potato peeler before slicing them with the thin blade attachment on my mandolin slicer.

Now there are several caveats to doing it this way that you must keep in mind. First, because of it's high water content, once the zucchini is peeled, it is slightly difficult to control when using the slicer. So you must be very careful not to cut yourself when using the mandolin. Second, a lot of the benefits of the vegetable (vitamins and minerals) are often found in the peeling. However, because I am such a texture eater, I choose to peel my zucchini, which makes the meal a lot more pleasurable for me. The bottom line is that you can leave the peel on if you like, but for me, once the zucchini is peeled and sliced thin, it is a better representation of a traditional lasagna noodle. Anyway, let's get on to making a delicious LCHF / Keto lasagna that I am sure that both you and your family will enjoy.

The Recipe

24 ounces pasta / marinara sauce (see below)
1 pound hamburger (73/27), cooked and drained
1 large zucchini, peeled
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper

Cook ground beef in a a medium sized saucepan until no longer pink, drain and set aside. If you like you may rinse with warm water to remove some of the grease, but this will decrease the fat content.

Peel, and using the thin blade of your mandolin slicer, slice the zucchini lengthwise.

Chef's Note: Care must be taken when slicing peeled zucchini as it is very slippery and can be hard to control and you can easily cut yourself if you are not careful. You can leave the peel on the zucchini, but I think it acts more like pasta if you feel the vegetable before slicing. This is however my personal preference.

Next, combine the ricotta, egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix with a spoon until will combined. Now you are ready to layer the ingredients to make the lasagna.
Using a 9 ½ x 7 ¼-inch (11 cup) pan layer the ingredients starting with a small amount of sauce, then about one-third of the ground hamburger meat, a layer of zucchini, then the ricotta mixture, then one-third cup of the mozzarella cheese. Continue layering until you use all of the ingredients. Usually for this recipe it is two layers of each, finishing with the remaining sauce, ground hamburger and cheese as the top layer. Sprinkle a little Italian seasoning on top if you wish and then it is ready for the oven or the freezer. There is no right or wrong way to layer your lasagna so you can do it in whatever order you prefer.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 90 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes after removing from the oven before serving.

Chef's Note: One thing you may notice is that lasagna made with zucchini is slightly more watery than a traditional lasagna. Because zucchini contains a lot of water, a fair amount will leech out into the sauce as it cooks. This is not a problem for us, and it keeps the lasagna from drying out when reheating leftovers.

The following nutritional information for this recipe is as follows. When compared to a traditional lasagna that you would buy at your local supermarket you can see how the elimination of pasta really reduces the amount of carbohydrates in the meal. The Keto lasagna has 75% less carbohydrates than the Stouffers, and Great Value traditional frozen lasagnas with meat sauce.

Keto Lasagna (about 59 ounces, 6 servings)
Total Recipe – Calories 2480, fat 186.3 grams, protein 139.9 grams, carbohydrates 48.7 grams
Per Serving – Calories 413, fat 31 grams, protein 23.3 grams, carbohydrates 8.1 grams

Stouffers Lasagna Family Size (57 ounces, 7 servings)
Total Recipe – Calories 2240, fat 84 grams, protein 140 grams, carbohydrates 224 grams
Per serving – Calories 320, fat 12 grams, protein 20 grams, carbohydrates 32 grams

Great Value Lasagna Party Size (90 ounces, 12 servings)
Total Recipe – Calories 3000, fat 108 grams, protein 156 grams, carbohydrates 360 grams
Per serving – Calories 250, fat 9 grams, protein 13 grams, carbohydrates 30 grams

The Sauce

There is one thing you cannot avoid when making a lasagna and that is the fact that tomatoes have carbohydrates, generally in the form of natural sugars. You can choose to make your own marinara sauce for your lasagna, or simply use plain tomato sauce. For this recipe, I grabbed a jar of 'Classico' pasta sauce from my pantry because I was in a hurry, but most of the time I make my own. Putting aside the fact that pre-made pasta sauces have some preservatives etc that many people may not like, from a purely nutritional standpoint, the Classico has added fat (10 grams), and the protein and carbohydrate counts are about the same as regular tomato sauce.

Classico (24oz Jar)
Calories – 300, fat 10 grams, protein 10 grams, carbohydrates 30 grams

Tomato Sauce (8 ounces)
Calories 70, fat 0 grams, protein 3 grams, carbohydrates 10.5 grams

Tomato Sauce (24 ounces)
Calories 210, fat 0 grams, protein 9 grams, carbohydrates 31.5 grams

Having said all of that, making your own marina sauce is usually cheaper (especially if you buy tomato sauce on sale, and in bulk) and you can eliminate or reduce the number of preservatives in your families meal buy making your own. If you want to make your own pasta/marinara sauce, then check out my article 'Mastering Marinara: One Sauce To Rule Them All' on our blog.

Meatless Keto Lasagna

If you want you could go all vegetable with this recipe by omitting the ground beef, using two cups of ricotta, two eggs, and small container (10 ounces) of frozen spinach (thawed). I may write another article on making my spinach lasagna with fresh ingredients, but this is a quick way to make this recipe meatless, just in case you need too. Thaw and rinse the frozen spinach and squeeze with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. Then add the spinach to the ricotta mixture and follow the directions as listed previously in this article.

Spinach Keto Lasagna (about 50 ounces, 6 servings)
Total Recipe – Calories 1740, fat 115.6 grams, protein 96 grams, carbohydrates 58 grams
Per Serving – Calories 290, fat 19.2 grams, protein 16 grams, carbohydrates 9.6 grams

This meatless lasagna actually contains less good fat, protein, and more carbohydrates than the regular keto lasagna made with ground beef, however the carbohydrate count is still less than 10 grams per serving. It should be noted that the extra carbohydrates come from the additional cup of ricotta cheese (8 grams of carbohydrates per cup), that is used to replace the ground beef as a protein source.

Fresh Or Frozen

This recipe can be made fresh as in this article, or you can make it in a foil pan and freeze it for another day. If you wish to freeze the uncooked lasagna, make it in a foil pan and place in the freezer overnight. Then, after 4 hours, or the next day place a thin sheet of plastic wrap over the surface of the lasagna and cover with foil.

To cook the frozen lasagna, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees, remove the plastic wrap and replace the foil. Then place the frozen lasagna on baking sheet and bake for approximately 2 hours or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Be careful when removing the foil to check the lasagna as you can easily get burned by steam when removing the foil covering.


There you have it, a quick, easy, and tasty lasagna made with zoodles (zucchini noodles) cut on a mandolin slicer. This is an easy dish to make and either freeze for later and or bake and serve right away. The leftovers freeze and reheat well which is especially nice when you are on a budget. We freeze, then vacuum seal leftovers for me to take to work and they always taste fantastic.

So if you and you family are lasagna fans and have missing one of your favorite dishes since you have started the LCHF / Keto WOE, then I am sure you will enjoy this recipe. As always we ask that if you find the information in this article informative and enjoyable that you share it with your friends family. Don't forget to send us a friend request on our Facebook page 'CulinaryyouLCHF' by clicking on the link, or add us to your circle on Google+ Culinary You.

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