This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

My family makes fun of my low-carb foods. I told them they can make snide remarks but only after they taste them, since they're really good. I happened to have a batch of these cookies around at the time. My husband and both kids had to admit that these were good, so good that they could serve them to their friends and no one would be the wiser. My point exactly. Eating low-carb isn't a chore as long as you do a little preparation. I freeze these cookies, or other things I make, and eat them if I want a convenient snack.

My family still thinks my attention to carbs is a little silly, but let 'em. I feel great.

Here's a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I adapted closely from Dana Carpender's book, 500 LOW-CARB RECIPES: 500 RECIPES, FROM SNACKS TO DESSERT, THAT THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL LOVE. This woman is a magician.

Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup extra-light olive oil
1 cup Splenda
1/2 cup xylitol
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses (gives that brown-sugar taste)
2 eggs
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup vanilla-flavored whey protein powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces sugar-free chocolate chips
(1 cup chopped walnuts, optional)

Oven 350F. Blend together the butter, oil, sweeteners, and molasses. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well. In a separate bowl stir together the almonds, protein powder, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt. Blend the dry and wet mixes together well. Stir in the chocolate chips and the nuts. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets (I use parchment paper). Bake for about 10 minutes or until light golden. Cool and remove.


You can buy the exotic ingredients at a health food store or on the internet. walmart.com sells bags of sugar-free chocolate chips for $3 each, with free shipping for a certain minimum spending limit.

If you read my previous article on artificial sweeteners, you know that I really like xylitol (a sugar alcohol) because it measures and tastes like sugar, with no aftertaste. There are no known long-term side effects. However, CAUTION SHOULD BE EXERCISED WITH SUGAR ALCOHOLS. Not only do these cookies have xylitol as a sweetener, but the sugar-free chocolate uses maltilol (another sugar alcohol) to sweeten the chocolate. These alcohols act as an osmotic in the GI tract since they're not digested. In other words, as the bag on the chocolate chips politely warns: "individuals sensitive to sugar substitutes may experience a laxative effect."

Don't panic and say never never. Just make sure that you only eat a few cookies at a time until you figure out your tolerance for this stuff. The "laxative" effects kick in about 4 hours later, so if you react that will be the time. Likely you won't have any sort of problem even if you eat a dozen cookies. Here's some more good news: as you regularly consume sugar alcohols, you develop a tolerance that eliminates GI symptoms, meaning you can eat even more cookies at once :-)))

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