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Old 12-21-2009, 05:06 PM   #1
ravenrose
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Report from the front: low carb fruitcake

The sweets most associated with Christmas in my family are cookies, and slices of fruitcake are my favorite on that platter.

For Christmas this year I've decided to make low carb cookies rather than something like pumpkin pie. I was actually able to put together a good list without too much effort, covering the basic "Christmas cookie" flavors I miss. - chocolate brandy balls - little peanut butter fudge rounds, flattened with fork criss-crosses
- green peppermint meringues
- pink raspberry meringues
- a basic almond flour cookie recipe divided into four types as
vanilla with a pecan pressed in the middle
coconut
orange walnut
spice cookies

These things are all between a half and one gram of carbs each. So OK, I only eat a couple of them after Christmas dinner to keep the total carbs down, but I can have them all weekend then. They are actually pretty healthy for our WOE, as long as sucralose is OK!

But fruitcake? I was thinking the spice cookies would have to suffice, but then I started riffing on what could substitute for the fruit--really low carb, easy to make today, and good tasting. I'm not shooting for "no one could tell it was low carb" here... I'm not mad. LOL

So I diced up two slices of jicama, for a total of 4.7 net grams of carbs. I diced one slice finely and the other in about 1/4" squares.

The fine ones were to be the "citron" ingredients. I divided them in two batches:

- "orange peel"
toss with 2 drops of EZ-Sweetz liquid sucralose, two drops of Boyajian natural orange oil, a bit of red coloring and a bit more yellow coloring and just enough drops of water to make sure it coated them evenly. Put them in a saucer. (they ended too bright colored, not a big deal, but if I did it again, I would mix the red, yellow, and water separately and use less of the mixture just till it looked sort of orange-y and not like diced emergency cones...)

-"lime/citron peel"
the same drill with Boyajian lime oil and green color. (the green actually emulates that green pineapple color well if anyone was trying to make it look like that)

I microwaved the two saucers for two minutes, stopping and tossing them halfway through. They really are pretty good! They lack the bitterness of real candied peel, but I think in a heavily spiced cookie that will actually be a good thing.

The larger dice I divided to make "pineapple" and "cherries."

-"pineapple"
I used a teaspoon of pineapple extract with 3 drops of the sucralose. I didn't dye these and they came out looking like natural pineapple would. It would look more fruitcakey with just a LITTLE bit of yellow or green. The microwave didn't like this mixture and sparked a couple of times before I could get there to stop it. I believe diluting the extract with a bit of water would have prevented this. It was also really sweet, but not pineappley enough, so I tossed with more extract and left to cool.

"cherry"
I ran out of the sensational Boyajian natural cherry flavor the other day, so I used Torani Black Cherry syrup with a little extra sucrolose and a drop of red. This was the least successful batch. The black cherry really doesn't taste at all like fruitcake cherries, but they are good.

So I am going to make almond flour cookies, heavy on the fruitcake spices, and stir in these "candied fruit bits," chopped pecans and a bit of brandy. I think they will be lovely. Again, not a ringer for the high carb thing, but quite a soothing substitute for my mother and me who miss fruitcake.

I guess I will just skip the molasses... a tiny bit doesn't flavor much and it's very high carb.

I'm hoping for some clever suggestions before it's showtime to bake the fruitcake cookies tomorrow.

THANK YOU all you creative people!
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:21 AM   #2
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Hi ravenrose, I am impressed with your ingenuity! (talk about creative people ;-) Thought I'd add my lower carb fruitcake recipe for consideration...if I replace the high carb diced fruit with your creations, I'll save about 3 carbs per piece, have my fruitcake, and eat it too... ;-)

Lower Carb Fruitcake (Carbquik)

Batter Ingredients:
1 stick Butter (¼ pound, unsalted, softened, 0 carbs)
1 cup Brown Sugar (Steel’s, maltitol, 0 carbs)
2 Eggs (large, 1.2 carbs)
1T Molasses (blackstrap, 11 carbs)
1 cup Honey (Steel’s, honey flavor Nature Sweet, 0 carbs)
1t Liquid Splenda (= 4 cups sugar, 0 carbs)
12T Diced Mixed Fruit (Betty Crocker, 84 net carbs)
Sub-total 96.2 net carbs

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup Carbquik (10 carbs)
½ cup Wheat Protein Isolate (0 carbs)
1 cup Splenda (granular, 24 carbs)
1t Baking Soda (0 carbs)
1t Vanilla (powder, 1 carb)
½ t Xanthan Gum (0 carbs)
1t Cinnamon (1 carb)
1t Ginger (ground, 1 carb)
¼ cup Pecan Bits (1 net carb)
¼ cup Walnuts (chopped, 2 net carbs)
Sub-total 40 net carbs

18 Maraschino Cherries (18 carbs)

Cream butter and brown sugar, mix in eggs, honey, molasses, liquid splenda, and mixed fruit. Whisk together Carbquik, wheat protein isolate, granular Splenda, baking soda, xanthan gum, spices, and nuts. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture, pour into baking pans (I used 1/3 batter in 3 8X8” foil cake pans, made it easy to cut into 9, brownie sized, pieces). If you use bread pans, I wouldn’t fill higher than ½ pan full as this stuff really rises ;-). I purchased a small jar of maraschino cherries (18 cherries), poured off the juice and refilled the jar with Honey to soak them in. Place them on top where you will get some with each piece. They will sink into the batter while baking. Bake at 350 degrees until done (I baked mine for ~45 minutes), refrigerate. Results were very tasty, sweet, moist (gooey ;-), fruitcakes…hard to stop at just 2 pieces… lol!!! You may wish to use other sweeteners, spices, etc..

Total - 154.2 net carbs, 27 pieces for 5.7 carbs per piece … ;-)

Thought I might add a fruitcake poem I found a few years back as well...

The Fruitcake (Sorry Mr. Poe)

The Fruitcake
Once upon a late December, cold and dark as I remember,
Yule log now to coals diminished casts dim shadows on the floor.
Several hours after blessing, stuffed with turkey pie and dressing,
Tender abdomen caressing, I lay supine on the floor.
Yet one package to be opened, left this morning at my door;
Left mysteriously at the door.

Should have known, she always sends one. She cares not if she offends some,
Sent the same stale fruitcake that she always sent before.
Soddon lump so misbegotten, red and green bits nearly rotton,
Crust like bark and dry as cotton, weevils couldn't through it bore.
God knows when she baked it or how long she kept it stored.
Mable's fruitcake I abhor.

Why does Mabel always send it? She knows well it will offend. It
Must be punishment for some imagined slight from days before.
I recalled that wicked maven, somber countenance and craven,
Voice and visage like raven, semblance to that bird she bore.
Since then gastronomic punishment at Christmas I foreswore.
Mable's fruitcake--nevermore.

Yet again as season's greeting, comes this thing I won't be eating.
Won't be eating this concoction that old Mable labored o'er.
Get away thou foul confection! Here's my ultimate rejection-
Throwing arm is bent in flexion, now extended briskly fore.
Take thy stench from out my house and feed the ravens evermore.
Give me fruitcake--nevermore.

(Sorry Mr. Poe)

Wish you well with your fruitcake cookies...locarbman... ;-)

Last edited by locarbman; 12-22-2009 at 05:19 AM..
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:36 AM   #3
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This is an amazing thread and a great poem, LCM..

Hey, this is just a thought...What about using the jicama and plain koolaid with a bit of water and sweetener to soak the jicama in? They have pineapple, cherry, and orange koolaid..LOL..Just a thought.

I'm anxious to see how the cookies turn out and we all love pics..
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:51 AM   #4
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I have made real candied orange peel. You boil it and drain it 3 times. The last time boil it in a sweetened syrup. You could use orange Davincis if you have it. Then drain it and roll in granular erythritol. Almost no carbs, and tastes close to the real thing.
I agree with locarbman on your ingenuity. Your methods open up a lot of possibilities. I have never tried jicama as a substitute for other fruit except for apples.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Wow, locarbman, that sounds wonderful! I would need to buy most of those ingredients though, so maybe next year...

And yes, CarolynF, that sounds like a good way to flavor it too. Would have to experiment to see how real they ended up tasting. Scratch that--would have to experiment to see how much they please you! That's the important thing, isn't it?

Soobee, were you actually able to flavor the jicama like apple? I've never found a plausible apple flavor, but I would love to make a lc waldorf salad! somehow with just celery it doesn't quite make it...

I actually have a bowl of oranges and tangerines in the kitchen. I think of them like cut flowers, as something beautiful to look at, but I wouldn't EAT them, you know? LOL I didn't use the real peel because I've been uncomfortable with the conflicting carb counts I see for the raw peel. Mostly they just talk about the zest, not the pith too... how do people count the carbs in orange peel?

I did bake the fruitcake cookies last night, I couldn't wait. They are pretty good, but I was too timid with the sucralose and spices... I thought 2.5 teaspoons of spices in a batter based on 1.5 cups of almond flour was pushing it, but they could be spicier. I would add ginger too, next time, along with the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Also, the "candied fruit" isn't too sweet at all. The texture is good, but there should be a higher percentage fruit in the batter. I had a scant half cup of the stuff in its partially dried state, and it could have used twice as much, I think.

I wish there were a way to get that concentrated "iron" flavor raisins have, but I can't think of one.

I think I will mix EZSweetz with a bit of brandy and put a couple of drops on the bottom of each cookie to sweeten them up some for this batch.

I'm afraid if I photographed them I would be forced to sample some, so that will have to wait, ok? You know how strong willed cookies are!

Is there a way to send private messages to people here?
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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LoCarbMan, is there a sub for WPI? I don't have that and have never used it. I do have VWG, are they similar?
I also haven't tried the fake honey. How is the taste? I have noticed that some of the SF syrups have a pretty bad artificial taste (and are not carb free).
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlp2009 View Post
LoCarbMan, is there a sub for WPI? I don't have that and have never used it. I do have VWG, are they similar?
I also haven't tried the fake honey. How is the taste? I have noticed that some of the SF syrups have a pretty bad artificial taste (and are not carb free).
Yes, you may sub Vital Wheat Gluten, however, be sure to add 12g Carbohydrate for 1/2 cup to the recipe carb count. I used VWG prior to the availability of Wheat Protein Isolate... ;-)

I am quite satisfied with both Steel's and Honeytree SF Honey (maltitol based, 0 carbs) and have used them continuously for years. They taste like real honey and perform just like real honey in my recipes, and, 1 Tablespoon SF honey mixed with 1 Tablespoon Adams Crunchy Peanut Butter is great for a quick snack... ;-)

Last edited by locarbman; 12-22-2009 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:23 PM   #8
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I use apple drink mix in my salad. It doesn't flavor the jicama, but it gives the whole salad an apple-like flavor. I've been using Apple Go Lightly, but I don't think it is available any longer. My friend uses a sf apple mix from Walmart, Great Value brand. She has served it to guests many times with nobody suspecting that there weren't apples in the salad.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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I am wondering if tamarind paste could be used instead of raisins. You can get some that are more low carb. It's very sour. You would only need a little, and you would have to sweeten it mightily. But it does have that dark, sticky, fruity flavor.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Ask Kevin--

Sev years ago, Kevin came up with using red and green peppers for making some of the "fruits" for a fruitcake. I used his suggestions at the time and they were really neat and worked well. Can't remember the particulars now. Ask Kevin.
HTH, helper
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:18 PM   #11
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I also use sugar-free hot apple cider mix for seasoning when I need an apple flavor. Alpine makes it, my local Kroger/Food4Less also carries a house brand. It's really good in hot cereals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soobee View Post
I use apple drink mix in my salad. It doesn't flavor the jicama, but it gives the whole salad an apple-like flavor. I've been using Apple Go Lightly, but I don't think it is available any longer. My friend uses a sf apple mix from Walmart, Great Value brand. She has served it to guests many times with nobody suspecting that there weren't apples in the salad.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:34 PM   #12
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Holiday Eating Tips...

Be sure to check tip #9 ;-)

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all costs. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party , you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

;-)
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:54 AM   #13
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locarbman--

BWAHAHAHAHA!!! GOOD ONE! THANKS,

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Old 12-27-2009, 07:19 AM   #14
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What about boiling some jicama in a sugar free apple cider mix as in that faux apple crumb recipe. That would be a good apple flavor.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Determinedtolose View Post
What about boiling some jicama in a sugar free apple cider mix as in that faux apple crumb recipe. That would be a good apple flavor.
Hi Diana,

Here are a couple of 'old posts' of mine that you may find interesting... ;-)

"Crockpot Apple Pie Filling:

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 24 hours (overnight ;-)

1 large jicama (30oz, 32 net carbs)
6pkts Alpine Low Cal Apple Cider Mix (24 carbs-maltodextrin, aspartame, alpinecider.com)
3t Liquid Splenda (equals 12 cups sugar, 0 carbs)
3t Cinnamon (4 carbs)
dash Allspice (0 carbs)
dash Salt (0 carbs)
1T Lemon Juice (1 carb)
1-2t Xanthan Gum (to desired consistency, 0 carbs)
4c Water

Total of 61 net carbs or 7.5 carbs / cup

I used scissors to cut the jicama slices into bite sized pieces. Heat the water, cider mix, lemon juice, Liquid Splenda, cinnamon, allspice, salt. Add xanthan gum with a stick mixer and pour over jicama in crockpot. Cook overnight on low setting or until satisfied with texture. Makes about 8 cups...
Last edited by locarbman; 04-05-2003 at 01:03 PM..

Pressure Cooker Apples ;-)
I decided to try making Apple (jicama) pie filling in a pressure cooker rather than to cook overnight in a crockpot. I have read that a crockpot takes up to 24 hours to cook an item that takes 1-3 hours in an oven and that pressure cookers will cook in 1/3 the time it takes to cook in an oven. I therefore decided to use my pressure cooker for 1 hour (crockpot 24 hours = oven 3 hours = pressure cooker 1 hour)...and it worked! ;-)

All you need to do is add an additional 2 cups of water to the basic recipe (to account for the steam lost in cooking), heat the cooker until a steady release of steam occurs for about 5 minutes, then place the pressure weight on the steam release port and begin your 1 hour cooking when it begins to jiggle. Let the cooker cool, fill your jars, cap and replace them in the pressure cooker with 8 cups of water (didn't even wash out the pressure cooker lol...it cleaned itself ;-). Heat until the pressure weight begins to jiggle and remove from heat. When cool, you can store the jars in your pantry. I filled 4 wide mouth pint jars (8 cups)...took about 3 hours for the whole process and they taste just like apples... ;-)
Last edited by locarbman on 04-07-2003 at 02:49"

I still have several jars in the pantry that I am going to use in my next fruitcake...also excellent for low carb Apple Pies...or as a sweet snack right from the jar... ;-)

Last edited by locarbman; 12-27-2009 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:55 PM   #16
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Hey LCM, that recipe sounds good! I did the recipe where it calls for cucumber and thought it was fine. I may try your recipe now, thanks!!
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:53 AM   #17
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LCM you are brilliant! I love apples and did try making apple butter using a combination of apples, jicama, and chayote. It was an experiment but tastes good.
I would think it would work also but one would have to take into consideration the aditional carbs from the real apples. Chayote is bland by itself and thus might work for the candied fruit if one was willing to experiment with it and it softens up easier than jicama. (I don't know the carb count for chayote)
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:38 PM   #18
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Could you use Kevin's new cake & flour mix instead of Carbquick & wheat protein isolate????
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:51 PM   #19
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Could you use Kevin's new cake & flour mix instead of Carbquick & wheat protein isolate????
Why, sure! Carbquick & Wheat Protein Isolate were just the lowest carb products I could find...back then... ;-) Give it a try and let us know how it turns out...
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:38 PM   #20
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I need to try this again for 24 hours in my CP..I've used chayote squash for apples this week, but those things are expensive..$1.88 a piece..
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:10 PM   #21
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Bump for Christmas, and the Holiday Eating Tips!
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:57 PM   #22
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Love this thread. Great ideas here. We paid $2 for four Chayote yesterday here on the Coast but the next week is going to be in the twenties so they will no doubt die off around here and go up in price.
Love the Holiday tips. LOL...that might show up on my facebook page. : )
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:12 PM   #23
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:13 AM   #24
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