Low Carb Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Banana Cranberry Cookies {Recipe}

low carb coconut flour chocolate chip cranberry cookie banting cookie recipe

Another thing I have really missed while following the Banting eating plan (Banting is a form of Low Carb, High Fat lifestyle which you can find out more about by clicking here) is cookies. So many of the low card cookie variations are bland, leaving me feeling unsatisfied and still craving a soft cookie! These on the other hand have been a wonderful new addition to the sweet dessert section of my recipe collection. I have had success with two batches of these cookies, and I have enjoyed not just the softer, more crumbly version but also the more crunchy/a little burnt version which resulted when I forgot about them in my oven over night. 

If you've never baked anything Banting/Low Carb before, you need to keep in mind that you aren't baking traditional sweet treats. As you're not using regular wheat flour and processed sugar, what you make isn't going to taste like what you are used to. I've gotten used to the taste of Banting baked goods and have been just happy to be able to eat treats while still maintaining my figure. I just wanted to mention that as some people get all antsy about Banting baked good because they don't taste like the real thing. Of course they don't silly, but they also have none of the carbs that regular baked goods have and they still taste great and will satisfy your cravings! What's not to like?!

Chocolate isn't exactly Banting approved unless you are using dark chocolate (the darker the better so anything over 70% cocoa is best). I only had the Kirkland brand of chocolate chips which I bought from Costco and these are only 51% cocoa. But it's what I had on hand, so depending on how strict you want to be try and find very dark chocolate or omit completely. Again, with cranberries, these aren't actually on the 'allowed' eating list (which you can find here) but blueberries, cherries & strawberries are in small amounts. As I only had cranberries on hand, that's what went into these cookies. So please do feel free to adjust these cookies, adding/taking away any extra yummy things you like. I can imagine these would be really good with chopped up almonds & cherries!

Coconut flour is an incredible dense flour to work with and is very absorbent! Much more than you would think just by looking at it. Because of this, start slowly when adding the coconut flour and judge by your mixture how much you need to add in. I substituted a few things as I didn't have cream of tarter on hand and I think they still came out just fine. I substituted baking powder for both the tarter & baking soda (see measurements below).

Ingredients (makes about 20 cookies)

  • 2 fresh ripe large banana, (400 grams)
  • 2 large egg
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, (slightly warmed for easier mixing. Room temperature)
  • 5-6 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar (this is what the original recipe called for but as I didn't have these on hand I substituted 1 tsp Baking Powder for the tarter & baking soda) 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup cranberries

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking pan with greaseproof paper or make sure to grease your pan well.
  • Using a mixer, combine the banana and the egg. Slowly add the coconut oil (coconut oil must not be hot or it will cook the egg. You just need to the warm the coconut oil slightly warmed enough to mix in smoothly). Add the coconut flour, vanilla, cream of tartar, baking soda (or baking powder) and sea salt. Mix until smooth. Lastly add the chocolate chips & any other things you want to add.
  • Using a spoon, drop 1 your desired size balls of batter onto the baking tray leaving space between each cookie. Use the back of the spoon or your fingers to smooth the cookies to a flat cookie shape. The cookies will not naturally flatten, you must do this yourself unless you want to eat balls of cookies
  • Bake for 20 - 40 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. I have a very small convection oven which heats up incredible fast and is very hard to gauge the temperature with the temperature controller. I set the timer for 20 minutes and then keep checking on them to make sure they don't burn. Leave in longer for more of a crispier cookie, or take out before they go brown for a softer, more crumbly cookie.

Do you have any low carb cookie recipes that you love to make? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below as I'm always on the look out for new cookie recipes!

Zucchini Noodles: Low Carb Banting Pasta Recipe

Banting Pasta Zucchini Noodles

One thing I really miss since I started Banting is PASTA! I used to eat a lot of pasta, mostly because it was an easy meal to put together no matter how domestically challenged I may be in the kitchen. My friend and fellow blogger, Komodoness, made these noodles for me one night and I was shocked at just how 'pasta' like they tasted. I mean, they don't taste exactly like pasta, but with zero calories they are as good to your hips as your taste buds and will most certainly satisfy those carb cravings.

You could use these noodles with any pasta sauce (they would taste just as good with the lasagna and cream cheese mince from my Banting Lasagna recipe). 

Banting Zucchini Noodles

This recipe is super easy and can be modified in so many ways. Once you have your zucchini noodles (or zoodles!) you can chop and change with whatever toppings you have available in your fridge or pantry. For this particular recipe I made a white sauce (adapted from The Keto Diet Blog), added bacon and some chopped up dried garlic and onion flakes.

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How to make Zucchini Noodles

You need:

2-3 large zucchini's

Peeler/Grater (you can either use a regular cheese grate and hold the zucchini on it's side to create longer noodles, or you can use a Julienne peeler. I use the Verimark Shogun Peeler which I brought over with my from South Africa)

Directions

Simply peel your zucchinis, placing the 'noodles' in a large bowl. Depending on how crunchy you like your noodles you can either add them as they are now to your sauce, or if you want them softer you can steam/microwave them for a few minutes. Keep in mind that Zucchinis hold a lot of water which will be released when cooking/steaming. 

How to make zucchini noodles

Banting White Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup cream cheese or soft goat cheese 
  • ½ cup grated cheddar or hard goat cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp water or more cream if you need to thin it down

Directions

  1. Place the cream and butter into a small sauce pan and gently heat up. Grate the cheddar cheese and keep aside
  2. Once heated, add the cream cheese into the sauce pan
  3. Stir until melted and bring to a simmer. Once you see bubbles, take off the heat
  4. Add grated cheddar cheese and mix until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a thicker sauce, cook for 3-5 more minutes while stirring. If too thick, add a splash of water or cream.
  5. The sauce should be eaten immediately or kept at room temperature before serving. Once refrigerated and reheated, the butter separates and the cheese clumps which you want to avoid.
Banting Pasta Bacon White Cream Sauce Zucchini Noodles

Bacon & Cream Sauce Zucchini Noodles

  1. Prepare your Zucchini noodles following the recipe above
  2. Fry your bacon in a large pan big enough to hold all your noodles
  3. With the bacon fat, prepare your sauce with the cooked bacon, stirring to ensure the bacon doesn't burn
  4. Add noodles and stir on high hight for a few minutes until your noodles are coated in sauce. For crunchier noodles serve right away with a sprinkle of parmesan, salt & pepper. If you want softer noodles, leave noodles on the heat and keep stirring for a few more minutes before serving.

Happy cooking!

Low Carb Banting Crackers

LowCarbBantingCrackers

After Banting for a while, I have to be honest and say that I still get carb cravings. It's usually in the afternoon when I feel like I could devour a pizza/muffin/whole loaf of bread. If this sounds like you, then these crackers will be your new best friend. They are salty, crunchy and full of anti-oxidants thanks to all the seeds they contain plus they are super easy to whip together. There really is no reason to reach for that packet of chips anymore!

You can customise these crackers is so many different ways...add more or less seeds/parmesan, cheddar/onion/garlic or spices and adjust according to taste. I am also constantly changing this recipe depending on how I feel on the day; it's that easy to omit things that you don't like. I have included images of different batches of crackers that I have made so far to show you that you really can go wild with different ingredients until you create the perfect cracker.

Serve with a Banting friendly dip, home made pesto or just as they are. These crackers rarely last longer than 3 days in my house because I just can't.get.enough!

Low Carb Banting Crackers

Base Ingredients 

  • 1 medium onion, grated (or 1 TBS onion powder)
  • 1 TBS psyllium husk (you can order psyllium husk here in Korea through Iherb...click here)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal (you can make your own flax meal by grinding flax seeds in a blender...you can buy flax seeds on Gmarket or through Iherb here in Korea). You can also try substituting flax seed flour for almond flour.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or fresh garlic finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBS water

Extra goodies that will make these crackers even better:

  • 2 TBS grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (you can buy pumpkin seeds on Gmarket)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (you can buy sunflower seeds on Gmarket)
  • Sprinkles of your favourite Herbs & Spices (I usually use rosemary, roasted paprika & basil)
Carb Free Banting Crackers

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300C (you will lower the temperature when your crackers are ready to bake).
  2. In a large bowl combine all your ingredients.
  3. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet /non stick mat & grease with coconut oil or use baking wax paper.
  5. Spread out the mixture onto your tray as thin as possible. A helpful trick is to lay a piece of wax paper over your crackers and then use a rolling pin to roll out the crackers. Roll the mixture out as thin as possible. The thinner the mixture, the crunchier your crackers will be.
  6. Lower the temperature of the oven and pop the crackers into for for 25 - 50 minutes (keep checking on them to make sure they don't burn). The reason I put such a large time gap is that my oven here in Korea is like a dragon and heats up so fast that most baked goods are done in 15 minutes, including bread. Turn then around to bake evenly at around the 15 minute mark. You may need to leave them in for as long as an hour, hour and a half depending on your oven. You want them to dehydrate and go as crunchy as possible without burning.
  7. Remove from the oven and slice into squares/rectangles/other cool shapes and serve. Store in an airtight container. 
LowCarbBantingCrackers

If your mixture is too gooey/wet, try adding in more pysillium husk. The psyllium is what binds the mixture and holds everything together. If you don't have any psyllium on hand you can add more flax meal or even ground chia seeds. If you are really in a pinch and your mixture is really wet try adding in a tablespoon of almond flour. 

Have you ever made low carb crackers before? Did you like them? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Banting Low Carb Coconut Flour Pancakes Recipe #BantingInKorea

LowCarbBantingPancakes

The weekend is the time to break away from the quick and easy but boring weekday breakfasts and treat yourself to some spoiling. These Banting friendly pancakes (click here to read more about the Banting High Fat Low Carb lifestyle) are light and fluffy while being incredibly filling, satisfying those carb cravings in seconds. Top with your favourite fruit or a smidgen of honey (remember your 1 TBS a day honey allowance when Banting).

These pancakes are wheat, grain & refined sugar free meaning they are as kind to your hips as they are to your tastebuds....enjoy!

LowCarbBantingCoconutFlourPancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 Whole eggs and 2 egg whites
  • 3 TBSs melted coconut oil (or melted butter)
  • 3 TBS coconut milk (or full cream milk)
  • 1 TBS xylitol (can be purchased on Gmarket)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 TBS coconut flour (can be purchased here in Korea through >>> iHerb)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/3 cup flax meal (flax seeds can be purchased here in Korea through >>> Iherb...simply grind the seeds in a blender to make your own flax meal)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (also purchased through >>> Iherb if here in Korea)

**Iherb has a flat $4 delivery rate to Korea for orders up to 7kg...use this code on checkout LCP131 to get $5 off your first iHerb order, or $10 if your order is over $40

LowCarbBantingCoconutFlourPancakes

Directions

  • Using a whisk, mix together eggs, coconut oil (or melted butter), milk, honey and sea salt.
  • Continuing to whisk, add the baking powder and coconut flour until thoroughly mixed. Add the cinnamon, all spice, flax and vanilla. Stir to combine. Coconut flour is incredibly absorbent so you might find the batter gets stiff too quickly. Simply add some milk, a little at a time to get the batter back to a smooth consistency.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of butter (or coconut oil) in a pan on medium flame heat. Then wipe down the pan with a paper towel and put aside. This keeps the oil and heat consistent so your pancakes cook through evenly (re-use the paper towel, adding more coconut oil when needed).
  • Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto a pan and leave for a couple of minutes (making sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn)
  • Turn over to make sure each side is thoroughly cooked.

Enjoy!

Low Carb Lemon & Cranberry Muffins #BantingInKorea

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Sometimes you just need a little something to fill that cupcake sized gap in your tummy and if you are Banting (click here to find out more about this Low Carb High Fat eating lifestyle), then these little muffins will help you loose weight while still filling that gap! They were very quick to make and the lemon & cranberry flavours really balance each other out resulting in mouthfuls of soft & fluffy deliciousness. 

I had planned to have at least half of the batch on hand for the next day, but they didn't even last one sitting. Even Farmboy, who usually scoffs at my Banting baked goods, was impressed with them. 

LemonCranberryBantingMuffins

Dried fruit is not exactly Banting friendly, so if you can find fresh cranberries/blueberries/strawberries then these would indeed be much better for your Low Carb High fat diet. Being in Korea means I often have to make do with what I have on hand, and so dried cranberries went into these muffins. I buy all my nuts (almonds, almond flour & walnuts) and dried cranberries/blueberries online through Gmarket through this seller

Ingredients

2 eggs

1/4 cup yogurt (or the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk)

2 TBS melted butter or coconut oil

1 TBS lemon juice

1/4 tsp vanilla extract (bought online through Iherb)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp apple cider vinegar (you can find this in all marts here in Korea)

2 TBS xylitol (you can buy it online here in Korea through Gmarket)

1/2 cup cranberries chopped (I used dried cranberries)

1/4 cup coconut flour (you can buy coconut flour here in Korea on Iherb). 

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix together all ingredients except cranberries and coconut flour.
  3. Thoroughly mix in coconut flour.
  4. Chop the cranberries if using fresh berries and then fold them into the mixture.
  5. Grease a mini-muffin pan well (I used coconut oil).
  6. Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.
  7. Let the muffins cool off. It's very tempting to eat them straight out of the oven too but resist the urge! These muffins need to cool off to develop their full flavour! 

And that's it...Try not to eat them all in one go...although I totally understand if you can't resist!

Recipe adapted from Intoxicated Life 

Orange Chocolate Cheesecake Fat Bombs #BantingInKorea

OrangeChocolateCheesecakeFatBombsBantingRecipe

Welcome to my latest sweet treat recipe for those following the Banting eating lifestyle (click here to read more about this Low Carb High Fat lifestyle).

With Banting, your main source of energy should come from fat. I'm not talking about the bad kind, I'm talking about the good kind (What? You didn't know that certain fats are actually good for your body and will help you to loose weight while combating your cravings for all those sugary carbs?? Click the link above to read more about good fat). Good fats are things like butter, bacon & animal fat, olive oil, almonds, coconut oil, cream cheese, full cream milk & yogurt....the list goes on! But while your energy should come from fat, you need to remember that eating lots of vegetables is just as important to keep that body of yours lean and clean.

A lot of people, myself included, go through dips as soon as the afternoon arrives, when the craving for something sweet and sugary is often the hardest to resist. This is your body's way of saying it needs more energy, and for Banters, this means fat. A great way to quickly satisfy those cravings is with fat bombs. Fat bombs are just that, bombs of fat that fill you up fast, while delivering your body exactly what it wants when it wants it. There are loads of different fat bomb recipes, but this one is my absolute favourite so far. Chocolate and cheesecake, what's not to like? And another great thing about this recipe is that there is no oven required. As long as you have a fridge/freezer you are on your way to one happy tummy.

Happy eating!

x

BantingChocolateCheesecakeFatBombsREcipe

Ingredients

For the Chocolate

  • 6 TBSP Coconut Oil 
  • 6 TBSP Butter
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract or use the juice of fresh orange
  • 1/2 -1 tsp sweetener of choice (I used Xylitol which you can buy in Korea here)

For the Cheesecake Centre

  • 1/4 Cup Butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest 
  • 1-2 TBSP juice from zested orange
  • dash sea salt
  • optional sweetener to taste (I used a small amount of sweetener as the slight sweetness of the orange juice was enough for me)
BantingChocolateCheesecakeFatBombsREcipe

Directions

  • Set up an ice tray or silicone candy mold/mini paper cups. 
  • Use a double boiler or a heavy bottomed saucepan to melt your coconut oil and butter for your chocolate.
  • Once melted remove from the heat and whisk in cocoa powder and sea salt. Add orange juice and sweetener to taste (you need to taste here to make sure you aren't going overboard with the sweetness).
  • In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip together your cheesecake filling; butter, cream cheese, zest, orange juice and salt. Make it as fluffy as possible.
  • Pour a thin layer of your chocolate mix into the bottom of your ice tray/ silicone mould/paper cups. You can put the chocolate bottoms into the freezer to firm up so there is no chance of cheesecake peeking through or you could just start adding your dollops of cheesecake.
  • Add the cheesecake filling to shape and place on top of the chocolate.
  • Once done, pour the rest of the chocolate on top of your moulds.
  • Place your chocolates in the freezer and in 30-60 minutes they will be ready to munch! Place in a a reusable container for to store (if you have any left!).

This recipe filled a regular 12 cube ice tray.

BantingChocolateCheesecakeFatBombsREcipe

Carb Free Banting Breakfast Muffins {#BantingInKorea}

CarbFreeBantingBreakfastMuffinsBantingInKorea

Are you looking for an easy alternative to fried eggs when following a Low Carb, High Fat diet? These breakfast muffins are simple to make and can be spiced up in so many ways. They are filling, while still being super easy to whip together. If you have been Banting and have been enjoying my Cream Cheese pancake recipe, these muffins will be another great addition to your breakfast menu. 

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Ingredients

These ingredients made enough to fill one muffin tray (6 large muffins)

-4 large eggs

-dash of milk (this depends on the size of your eggs and how 'eggy' you like your muffins to be. I have made these muffins using milk and not using milk and they have tasted the best with just a dash of milk)

-Your choice of filling:

  • 1/3 cup chopped/grated cheese (I usually just chop my cheddar cheese into small blocks)
  • handful of chopped baby tomatoes/sun-dried tomatoes
  • handful of chopped raw zucchini 
  • dash of smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt & pepper
CarbFreeBantingBreakfastMuffinsBantingInKorea

Directions

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C

2. Grease a muffin tin (I always use coconut oil)

3. Beat eggs and milk together, then adding your filling ingredients. Finish off with your seasoning of choice and pop in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Don't get be alarmed, your muffins will puff up while cooking but once removed from the oven they will sink, this is completely normal and doesn't mean you have flopped the recipe. They taste amazing either way.

4. Eat alone or with your choice of sugar free tomato sauce/pesto.

Yum!

    CarbFreeBantingBreakfastMuffinsBantingInKorea

    Banting Low Carb Cheese Cake Recipe #BantingInKorea

    BantingLowCarbCheesecakeRecipe

    I've been on the hunt for a cheesecake recipe that I can eat while still following the Banting lifestyle (click here for more info on Banting which is a form of Low Carb High Fat diet). When I came across this Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars recipe by All Day I Dream about Food I though there had to be a way to adapt it to some kind of cheesecake recipe. I am super happy to report that it worked! Be warned though, this cheesecake won't last very long at all, because if you're anything like me you'll eat it all in just a few days!

    Just a note, after taking it out of the oven I was very upset by how 'uncooked' it looked. I was rather disappointed and felt totally despondent, shoved it in the fridge and forgot about it until the next morning. I'm not sure what kind of magic happens to this cheesecake when it's in the fridge, but the next day it was amazing. So much better than the day I made it. So if you're also disappointed with how yours turns out, have no fear and pop it in the fridge over night.

    If you've never baked anything Banting before, you need to keep in mind that you aren't baking traditional sweet treats. As you're not using regular wheat flour and processed sugar, what you make isn't going to taste like what you are used to. I've gotten used to the taste of Banting baked goods and have been just happy to be able to eat treats while still maintaining my figure. I just wanted to mention that as some people get all antsy about Banting baked good because they don't taste like the real thing. Of course they don't silly, but they also have none of the carbs that regular baked goods have and they still taste great and will satisfy your cravings! What's not to like?!

    Also, I added some white baking chocolate & dried cranberries to my cheesecake. These are not Banting friendly, so you might want to omit them if you are being very strict with your Banting (go you!).

    BantingCheesecakeRecipe

    Ingredients

    Crust:

    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 1 cup shredded coconut
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup butter/coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup Xylitol sweetener 
    • 1 large egg, room temperature
    • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
    • Optional extras (1/3 cup of cranberries & 1/3 cup baking chocolate)

    Cheesecake Filling:

    • 2 tubs cream cheese (I used the standard 220g round tubs of Philadelphia)
    • Optional & depending on your tastebuds: 1/4 cup powdered Xylitol (you can make it powdered by blitzing it in a blender)
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    This recipe made an awful lot of cookie crust as per the original recipe which was formulated for a base and a layer of cookie dough crumbled over the cheesecake layer. I liked how thick this base was, but you might prefer a thinner base so you could try halving the crust layer ingredients above or use half of your mixture to create a cream cheesecake sandwich by grating the dough on top after your cheesecake layer.

    BantingCheeseCakeRecipe

    Directions

    Crust:

    • Preheat oven to 180C and grease your dish/pan well.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, shredded coconut, baking powder and salt.
    • In a large bowl, beat coconut oil/butter with Xylitol until well-combined and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
    • Beat together almond flour mixture & butter mixture until the dough comes together, then stir in chocolate and cranberries if using. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool (it will not be fully baked at this point).

    Filling:

    • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with sweetener until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
    • Pour filling over the cooled crust.
    • Bake 25 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is just a little jiggly in the centre.
    • Remove from oven and let cool, then refrigerate until set, ideally over night

    And there you go.

    Remember that your cheese cake WILL taste better the next day, the wait will be worth it, I promise. Please let me know if you do give this a try as I would love to know how it works out for you. Happy baking!

    x

    Adapted from LowCarb Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars by All Day I Dream About Food

    You might also like these:

    Banting Zucchini Lasagna #BantingInKorea

    BAntingZucchiniLasagan

    A recipe for lasagna that uses ZERO pasta? And still tastes out of this world?! I kid you not, this is one yummy meal. Packed with loads of protein (thanks to the delicious mountains of melted cheese and mince) this is a great meal for the cold winter months.

    *Banting is a form of Low Carb High Fat diet (similar in essence to Paleo except that allows dairy). It's much more than a diet though, and followers should be prepared for the lifestyle changes that will follow. You're body will love you for it, I know mine does! To find out more about it click here to read my interview with The Banting Blondes 

    I used a store bought pasta sauce for convenience sake (as canned tomatoes are not that easy to come by here in South Korea). You can substitute a lot of things in this recipe (like I did with using dried basil instead of fresh, coconut oil instead of olive oil, cream cheese instead of ricotta as called for by the original recipe by Skinny Taste). Just bear in mind that these things will change the taste of your lasagna slightly. Also, I've just found out you can buy cheese from Gmarket instead of having to trek all the way to your nearest Costco (and it's only a tiny bit more expensive than Costco too!). Click here for the link to the 1kg block. 

    Ingredients:  

    • 500g lean mince (pork is the cheapest mince here in Korea but you can substitute for beef or even chicken)
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 onion
    • 1 tsp coconut oil
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 can crushed tomatoes (to make my life easier I used a store bought pasta sauce...one of the 'meat variety')
    • 2 Tbsp chopped basil (fresh is best but I can only get hold of the dried kind)
    • 3 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
    • 1/2 tub cream cheese
    • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1 cup cheddar/mozzarella  cheese 
    • 1 large egg


    Directions:

    1. In a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt. When cooked, drain in colander to remove any fat. Add coconut oil to a pan and saute garlic and onions for about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes/pasta sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40minutes, covered. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.

    2. Meanwhile, slice the zucchini into thin slices, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Zucchini has a lot of water when cooked, salting it takes out a lot of that moisture. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel. This step took me the most amount of time as I have very little space to spread out in my kitchen.

    3. On a gas grill or grill pan, grill zucchini on each side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture.

    Preheat oven to 350°.

    4. In a medium bowl mix cream cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well. 

    5. In a glass casserole dish spread some sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Then place some of the ricotta/cream cheese mixture, then top with the mozzarella/cheddar cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. Top with sauce and cheddar/mozzarella and cover with foil.

    6. Bake for 45 minutes covered at 180°C, then uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand about 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

    Enjoy!

    *Adapted from the original recipe by Skinny Taste

    Low Carb Chocolate Coconut Brownies {#BantingInKorea}

    LowCarbCoconutBrownies

    I'm mad about chocolate brownies, as I'm sure you are too if you're reading this post, and so I have been on a mission to make brownies in a way that lines up with the Banting diet I am currently on. I'm sure you're wondering what bulks up these brownies if they are Banting (click here to read more about this low carb/high fat lifestyle). These brownies contain no wheat or gluten as the secret bulking ingredient is SWEET POTATOES!.

    I was pretty shocked when I found out that sweet potatoes (much better than regular potatoes as they have more fibre and less carbohydrates) can be used to bake sweet tasting treats. Sweet potatoes are a fantastic bulking agent to use in cakes and brownies BUT they do still contain quite a few carbohydrates and so they are 'allowed' on the Banting Diet, but in moderation. The recommended allowance of sweet potatoes per day is 1/2 cup, so that would be about 3 of these brownies. So you can still have your cake (or brownie!) and eat it.

    I adapted the recipe slightly from one of my favourite South African food bloggers, Lexi from Whisking It and changed up a few small things to suit my grocery cupboard here in Korea.

    I also really like what Lexi says about the fact that we should forget about following a diet like it's a religion. There are so many branches of Banting/Paleo/LowCarb HighFat diets (some allow this and not that etc) and so you need to rather listen to your body when it comes to following an eating plan. Following the Banting Diet strictly has REALLY worked for me, but I know people that have struggled with it and found they aren't losing any weight. You just need to find something that works for you (including drinking plenty of water and of course exercising).

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    Ingredients

    2 cups of grated sweet potato (Thanks to Lexi for the tip to use the SMALL holes of the grater - not the normal ones - to get a finer batter)

    2 eggs

    1 tsp vanilla essence

    1/2 cup of raw honey (I can only find very syrupy honey here in Korea so mine was already a very thin consistency, you can just heat in microwave to thin it a bit if yours is very thick)

    1 tsp stevia ( I used Xylitol)

    1/2 cup olive oil (I used coconut oil)

    1 tbsp baking powder

    ½ tbsp of bicarbonate of soda

    1 cup cocoa powder

    2 tbsp coconut flour

    1/2 cup desiccated coconut

    *not entirely Banting but I added a few crumbs of dark baking chocolate to the mix 

    Directions

    Preheat your oven to 180 °C

    Mix the grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and olive oil/coconut oil in a large mixing bow. It will be a sticky mess, keep going. 

    Add baking powder and baking soda.

    Add cocoa powder, and finally add the coconut flour, coconut and stevia/xylitol and any chocolate chips you may want to add.

    Finally pour the mixture into a baking tray. Make sure to grease your pan tray well (I used coconut oil, and didn't quite use enough and so lost quite a bit of brownie to the bottom of the pan!).

    Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you're here in Korea and have a small, fiery hot oven like we do, watch your brownies like a hawk! I burned to bottom of mine when I got distracted by something or other in Instagram (note to self...when baking, stop trying to do a million other things at once!)

    Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownie cake from the tin. 

    These brownies freeze very well! I found mine were very crumbly, but they firmed up well after freezing. Freezing also ensure you don't eat the whole lot in one go!

    LowCarbChocolateCoconutBrownies

    Banting Broccoli Burgers #BantingInKorea

    BantingBroccoliBurgerRecipe

    These broccoli burgers are one of my absolute favourite meals to make for dinner .  They are quick and easy to make, filling, delicious and packed full of goodness for your body. These burgers are the second Banting recipe I've posted here on the blog (click here to read more about the Banting diet & lifestyle plan) and as with all Banting recipes are Low Carb High Fat. Click here to see the other #BantingInKorea recipes I've posted here on the blog.

    Some people wouldn't go so far as to call them burgers, as technically there's no bun or toppings, but trust me when I say you won't need to have anything to accompany these (except for your favourite sauce). Both Farmboy and I are completely stuffed every time I make them and there are always a few left over for lunch the next day.

    If you do try these let me know what you think of them in the comments below!

    Ingredients

    2 heads of broccoli (pulsed until fine in a blender or food processor)

    1 pack of bacon

    1 onion

    2 or 3 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)

    ginger (optional...I used a small thumb sized amount)

    tablespoon coconut oil (optional, depending on whether you like to cook in bacon fat or not)

    1/2 cup almond/coconut flour (we have tried both and they work equally as well, the almond flour makes the patties a little more dense)

    2 eggs

    salt & pepper

    1/3 cup grated cheese

    makes 12 patties

    Directions

    Heat your oven to 180C. Fry your bacon. Then finely chop the onions and garlic and fry them in your bacon fat (or coconut oil) until brown. Leave to cool.

    In a large bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients (broccoli, almond/coconut flour, cheese, salt and pepper). Add the garlic and onion mixture and finally add the eggs. 

    Oil a baking tray (with coconut oil) and spoon balls of the mixture onto the tray. I used foil in the pictures below but it was an absolute nightmare removing the foil from the burgers.  Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, keep checking on them to make sure they don't burn.

    Remove when they are slightly golden on top.

    Serve with your choice of sauce (or even salad) and enjoy!

    3 Ingredient Carb-Free Banting Pancakes #BantingInKorea

    CarbFreePancakesBanting

    I have been on the Banting diet (along with the rest of South Africa it seems!) for the past 5 weeks and nothing I have ever done, exercise or diet wise, has done for my body what this eating plan has done for me. I can't believe how my body has changed and responded to it. BUT as with any eating plan, it may not be right for you so please don't feel like this is the only way to loose a little bot of jiggle around your middle. Also I would like to note that I have been exercising very little so far, and my now confirmed 4kg loss has been all due to this eating plan and not from going crazy at the gym. If you want to find out more about  Banting, click here to read an interview I did with The Banting Blondes.

    3 Ingredient Pancakes (especially for the Banting Diet)

    Here is one of my favourite Banting breakfasts. It's super quick and easy and tastes heavenly (even better than the 'real' flour filled pancakes). Today Farmboy changed things up and added a flaxseeds to our mixture which helped them hold together better, as they tend to be quite fragile in the pan. But that's up to you.

    Also, cream cheese is quite expensive not only here in Korea but all over the world. But once you try these you won't want to eat anything else.

    BantingPancakes

    Ingredients

    Makes 4 medium sized pancakes

    -1/2 tub of standard cream cheese

    -3 eggs

    -dash of cinnamon

    optional: teaspoon of Xylitol sweetner (I found mine online through iHerb...$11 for 450g)

    Directions

    Simply mix all your ingredient together in a blender (or by hand if you have the muscle power). One everything is well mixed, grease up a pan with coconut oil and start cooking!

    I find my mixture can be very hard to work with as it is very fragile in the pan. Make sure to use lots of coconut oil (I ordered mine off iHerb) to make your life easier when it comes to flipping your pancakes.

    Top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder if you need something chocolatey, or with a teeny bit of honey (remember your honey allowance for the day is only 1 teaspoon).

    Banting Pancakes

    Introducing the Banting Blondes...What is the Banting Diet and why should you be following it too.

    For the past few months I have been following this seemingly odd diet/eating program called the Banting Diet. The bottom line is high fat, Low carbs.  This way of thinking isn't new, with past diet trends like the Atkins and the Paleo Diet.

    I am guilty of the 'eat all the fat' mindset that most people enter into when they first hear about this eating plan. I went cream cheese crazy for the first week, but have since been trying to increase my veggie intake so that I can keep the 4kg's I have lost so far. And I am happy to report that I have had no problems keeping the weight off, even when I slip off track every now and again. 

    I am not working out as nearly as hard as I used to (it's  terribly cold and dark here in Korea) but I am amazed at the changes in my body that have come about from this eating plan. I have never been one to diet, and in the past have simply upped my exercise to combat flabbier areas, but the changes I have seen and felt so far in my body have been so dramatic that I am going to be 'Banting' for a long time to come! 

    So for those of you who have yet to hear about the latest diet craze to hit South Africa, let me introduce to you two ladies (one of them being my sister) who are taking South Africa by storm. Don't they make Banting look sexy?!

    1. Who are the Banting Blondes?

    We are! Two girls who have been friends since high school and have always been a massive part of each others lives while still pursuing our individual goals and dreams - together every step of the way! Roxane Hayward is a proudly South African actress, model and singer working in South Africa and London, and Julia Pietersma is a passionate pilates instructor currently working in London - both physically demanding careers where being in shape and healthy is a top priority! This Banting journey of ours started when we both moved to London in May 2014 - inspired by the incredible Tim Noakes book 'Real Meal Revolution' and all the success stories we had heard. We became super creative with our meals and treats in order to make this lifestyle change a bit of an easier transition, and through doing this, created some incredibly delicious recipes that we thought we just HAD to share with other banters out there! Pancakes, Nutella, cinnamon buns, low carb bread, but to name a few. It started as an Instagram page and then grew to a Facebook page with nearly 5000 followers in just over a month! It's growing everyday and we are loving the journey.

    TheBantingBlondes

    2. What exactly is Banting/The Banting diet?

    We like to look at Banting as a change in lifestyle rather then a 'diet' - ewww, we hate that word! Banting is known to be a Low Carbohydrate, High Fat eating plan - but we stress wherever we can that it is, in fact, a 'No Sugar, Low Carbohydrate, Moderate Protein, High Fat and SUPER High Vegetable' eating regime. Yip! You heard right! NO sugar. Sounds impossible, but it is not! There are so many delicious meals and treats you can make using healthier, lower carbohydrate substitutes - and that is what we share with you on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Banting also cancels out any processed, synthetic or refined foods from your diet, leaving you healthy and glowing from the inside out!

    TheBantingBlondes

    3. What makes it different from Paleo?

    They are actually very similar in theory and both extremely healthy ways of eating. Differences would be that Paleo says absolutely no dairy, whereas Banting you are allowed dairy in moderation. Paleo doesn't limit you on your daily fruit intake, but Banting does. Other differences would be that with Paleo you are still allowed sweeteners such as agave, coconut sap, honey and maple syrup - all sweeteners which are not allowed while Banting (honey in moderation). Reason being, these foods are still relatively high in carbs and therefore going to spike up your sugar levels, causing your pancreas to release insulin - insulin being the fat producing hormone; no thanks! Banting is also safe for diabetics whereas we wouldn't recommend Paleo if your sugar levels are already high.

    TheBantingBlondes

    4. What can I eat? What can’t I eat?

    That is quite an extensive question, haha. Simple answer and without going into too much detail would be that you have to avoid anything and everything that is toxic to your body (processed, refined or synthetic) which includes sugar, margarine, artificial sweeteners, soya etc. You'll also have to cut out anything that is high in carbohydrates which includes all grains, legumes, fruit juices and starchy vegetables like potatoes, peanuts and peas. Instead, you would want to fill your plate with food that nourishes your beautiful body. This includes green leafy vegetables and other vegetables grown above the ground. You can also eat 80g of protein with each meal. And lets not forget the fat! Mmmm...nuts, seeds, animal fats, coconut oil, butter and olive oil are all things that will help keep your body, tummy and mind fully and satisfied. Sweet tooth? You are allowed fruit in moderation as well as natural sweeteners such as xylitol, stivia and erythritol. If you want the full list, we recommend going to www.realmealrevolution.com/real-food-lists

    TheBantingBlondesRecipe

    5. Why is it good for me?

    Where do we begin! Firstly, lets not forget that your body is a machine and in order for it to run smoothly, you need to give it the correct fuel. i.e. don't fill your diesel 4X4 with petrol and wonder why it breaks. Blondes talking cars hey? Yip, we're that cool. But seriously, with Banting you are only filling your body with nutritious basic foods that our bodies were designed to process. You are eating actual FOOD, no more 'food like products' and the benefits that go with doing that are insane! Hold onto your seats cause here is a list of just a FEW of those benefits (if you want to find out the rest, you'll have to start Banting!) - increased energy levels, clear skin, healthy nails and hair, stronger immune system, no carb or sugar cravings, and of course (the one everyone wants to hear about) weight loss!

    TheBantingBlondesRecipe

    6. So what you’re saying is I can stuff myself silly with cream cheese and still loose weight?

    Haha, well not exactly. That is where a lot of people go wrong with banting. They read 'Low Carb, High Fat' but all they see is 'HIGH FAT! HIGH FAT! HIGH FAT!'. They forget that this eating plan includes tons of vegetables and moderate protein. The fat is permitted and included in order to keep you satisfied and sustained for longer until your next meal. So yes, eat your cream cheese, but have some steamed spinach or broccoli with it. Don't overeat, don't snack, only eat when hungry and focus on the nutrition that is going into your body.

    TheBantingBlondesRecipe

    7. And eggs? I see that you're allowed to eat as many as you like. Wouldn't that increase my cholesterol?

    This is actually a really interesting question, which calls for a super interesting answer. Time to put our brunette wigs on... haha. Firstly, cholesterol isn't all bad. Our bodies naturally produce it, because without cholesterol, we would die - gasp! There are two types of cholesterol in your body - the bad kind known as LDL (which can clog your arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes) and the good kind known as HDL (which actually removes LDL and sends to back to the liver to be processed). BUT, there are two subtypes of LDL:Small, Dense LDL (ewww) and Large LDL (yay). 

    Recent studies have shown that it is the Small, Dense LDL that you want to watch out for and try lower. Saturated fats (such as eggs, coconut oil, animal fats and butter - all which are 100% from nature and 100% yay while banting) increase the Large LDL and HDL cholesterol and decrease the Small, Dense LDL. So eat your eggs, make sure they are free range and organic, but also don't get stuck in a pattern of eating the same thing every day (seperate from the cholesterol issue).

    You're body is designed to be a hunter gatherer and graze on different food types that it can find for that season. So mix things up a little and give your body a change up every now and then. This is a very concise answer on quite a detailed subject, so if you'd like some more info and would like to do your own research, make sure you do this by searching 'Small Dence LDL Cholesterol, Saturated Fats'.

    TheBantingBlondesRecipe

    8. Isn’t it expensive? What if I live somewhere that I can’t get hold of the ‘good’ foods easily? Are there things I can substitute?

    You'll definitely be able to get hold of the correct food easily. That's because they are all food types that are in their most basic form - no processing and no specific commercial products. So no need to stress about that! It can be expensive if you are eating tons of the expensive fats such as avocados, nuts, cheeses and coconut oil, but you shouldn't be eating TONS of these in any case - only enough to satisfy you. Another tip is when you go to your local butcher to buy your grass-fed meat, ask for the fattier off-cuts - these will be cheaper and are perfect for your high fat banting meals! Also, don't forget the most important ingredient - vegetables! If you are banting correctly, this should be a large part of your eating plan; something which is relatively inexpensive. As you body goes into ketosis you will find that you don't need to eat as much as you used too. The fat helps you body feel sustained for long periods of time, so we find that we're only having to eat two meals a day - another factor that saves on money (and time) big time!

    8. Do I need to exercise too?

    Definitely! Exercise is a must if you are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It starts in the kitchen, but it ends in your sweat pants! And you'll want to show off your sexy new banting bum in those yoga tights you've been hiding at the back of your cupboard. Exercise is the cheapest, most underused anti-depressant, so get moving! Find something you enjoy like yoga, pilates, kickboxing, surfing, dancing, or even ping-pong!

    TheBantingBlondesRecipe

    9.  Where can I find recipes and inspiration so I don’t get bored?

    You came to the right place! Follow us on our Instagram page @thebantingblondes and our Facebook page 'The Banting Blondes'. We post tasty and delicious Banting friendly recipes, meal ideas, health tips and motivational quotes. We also answer any questions you might have whenever we know the answer! 

    ***TheBantingBlondes have recently launched an incredible E-Book packed full of all their recipes posted on their Facebook page, as well as loads more! Click here to order one for yourself!

    10. What is your favourite thing about Banting?

    Oooo, we have so many favourite things! But if we had to pick just one it would be this - because you are having to cook your meals, treats and yummy eats from scratch, rather than just buy already-made, store-bought products, it forces you to become more creative and experiment cooking with ingredients that you would never normally look twice at, like coconut flour and flaxseeds for example. Therefore, you create and try out recipes that are delicious, guilt-free and packed with nutrients and goodness. So come and join us on this Banting journey! We have a cheesecake in the oven and it serves 8 people - who's joining us for tea? ;)

    You can find The BantingBlondes at the following places:

    Facebook

    Instagram 

    Buy their E-Book

    And for those of you here in South Korea, I am going to be using the #BantingInKorea hashtag when I post recipes that I have made right here in Korea, using local ingredients that I have been able to find here. I hope you'll join me in this journey to a healthier you!