All posts by GF Down Home

The Best Way to Make Low Carb Hot Chocolate

Make Low Carb Hot ChocolateI Just Want to Make Low Carb Hot Chocolate Taste Good!

Hot chocolate is my all-time favorite hot beverage. I’m not talking about the stuff you get in packets. I’m talking good, old fashioned homemade hot chocolate.

It’s almost Christmas, and I’m starting to get the warm and fuzzies. I’ve been craving a good cup of hot cocoa, and I literally have tried every low carb hot chocolate recipe and low sugar hot chocolate recipe I’ve come across. I ended up throwing them all out because they’ve been too weak, not sweet enough, or just have had an off taste.

My favorite recipe used to be the one that was on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa box, so at first I just tried to adapt it a bit to make it carb friendly. I tried to use alternative sweeteners in place of the sugar, but it was a no-go. It just didn’t taste like hot cocoa is supposed to taste, ya know? It is really hard to make low carb hot chocolate taste good!

There were elements to each low carb hot chocolate recipe that I liked, so I kind of put them all together and made my own recipe. The results? OMG. Best low carb hot chocolate ever!


How to Make Low Carb Hot Chocolate Taste Amazing!

I really hate the way that cocoa clumps when you put it in a liquid. In one recipe I tried, they mixed Torani sugar free syrup with the cocoa before adding the coconut milk. It turned into a type of chocolate syrup and mixed right up into the milk. Another bonus, it’s sugar free and I didn’t have to use an additional sweetener.

To top off my homemade low carb hot chocolate recipe, I made whipped cream, sweetened with more Torani, with my immersion blender. But you could also add low carb and sugar free LaNouba marshmallows!

My Favorite Low Carb Hot Chocolate Recipe:

gluten free hot chocolate recipe

To make low carb hot chocolate, first I added 2 tbsp cocoa to a small coffee mug. You can use a fork to break up any clumps.

Keto Hot Chocolate

Since cocoa never gets quite mixed in with a liquid, I decided to eliminate that problem by adding 3 tbsp Torani vanilla syrup. This stuff is awesome! I’ve heard of Torani, but never tried them until now. I really don’t know how I’ve lived life in my low carb journey before now.

low sugar hot chocolate recipe

Now stir the cocoa and vanilla syrup together until it forms a smooth paste. It should be almost the consistency of melted chocolate. Be sure to break up all clumps and incorporate the cocoa fully. Set aside.

Low Carb Hot Chocolate Recipe

Now add one cup of coconut milk to a saucepan and heat on low. You can use almond milk, or even regular milk if you like, just keep in mind this will change the carb count a bit.

low carb hot cocoa recipe

Pour hot milk into the cup with the chocolate mixture and stir well. Top with low carb LaNouba marshmallows, or you can try my homemade whip cream recipe.

Homemade Whip Cream Recipe:

homemade whip cream recipe

Add 1 tbsp Torani vanilla syrup to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream in a small, high sided cup.

heavy whipping cream recipe

Use your immersion mixer (it’s a low carb cook’s best friend!) and blend until thick and creamy, about 30 seconds.

sugar free hot chocolate recipe

This is how it should look when you’ve beat it enough: Thick and creamy and luxurious homemade whipped cream! It is heavenly on your hot cocoa. Now you know how to make low carb hot chocolate!

How to Make a Deliciously Easy Low Carb Crock Pot Roast

Best Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe

Thanks to Alice for the Best Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe!

One of the things I love most about food, it’s the relationships it can represent. Just like certain foods can remind you of a certain family member or moment in time, recipes can also represent a bond between friends.

Low Carb Crock Pot Roast

Alice and I have been friends since I was about four I think. I was probably more of an annoying kid sister when she used to babysit me, but we’ve managed to stay friends through various moves, marriages, a three-hour distance gap, and 30 plus years. She even came up for my wedding last year two days in advance to help me get ready. On the right there is Alice helping me get ready for my wedding and being, well, Alice. 🙂

More than likely I’m probably still that annoying little sister when we’re able to get together, but we love every minute of it!

A few years ago when she was coming up to get her mother’s house ready for sale,  my son was over helping her out. One day she made him her famous pot roast. He came home raving about it. It’s been years, but my son still talks about that dang roast.

I went looking not too long ago for a really good low carb crock pot roast recipe. I remembered a conversation we’d had a few weeks before and she had told me she was making roast for dinner that night, so I sent her a text asking her for her recipe. It literally was the easiest beef roast recipe for a crock pot I had seen in a while. I had to tweak her recipe a little bit to make it a gluten free beef roast, but it still tastes just as yummy and comforting as her best slow cooker pot roast recipe. (per my son!)


The Anatomy of a Gluten Free Beef Roast

Alice’s original recipe was one packet ranch dressing, one packet Italian dressing, and one packet brown gravy mix. Hidden Valley Ranch packets are gluten free and low carb, so I was able to keep that. However, the Italian and brown gravy mixes are not gluten free. I realize you can buy gluten free brown gravy, but they can be higher in carbs.

I know the purpose of the gravy mix is to thicken the roast juices into a yummy beefy tasting gravy. But in low carb cooking, the easiest way to thicken a gravy is to use an immersion blender. (My go-to appliance in the kitchen!) To add the extra beefy taste, I used beef base.

After slow cooking in my crock pot for seven hours, I tasted the most tender, scrumptious roast I’ve had since my mother stopped cooking.

Make your Low Carb Crock Pot Roast: Step by Step

gluten free round roast recipe

First, the basics. Place a one to two pound roast into your crock pot. The cut doesn’t really matter. Today, I used a chuck roast because it was on sale.

beef roast recipe crock pot (1)

Dissolve the beef base in one cup boiling water. Add the ranch dressing packet, salt, pepper, and spices.

gluten free beef roast

Whisk well and pour over the roast. Add another cup of boiling water to the crock pot.

gluten free beef roast recipe (1)

Now it’s veggie time! Add your favorite vegetables to the top of the roast. Yeah, I know carrots aren’t exactly low carb, but sometimes I just want a carrot, okay?

crock pot pot roast recipes (1)

Cook on low for six to eight hours. If you want to thicken the juices and make a low carb gravy, remove the roast and most of the vegetables.

beef chuck roast recipes (1)

Use your immersion blender and blend in the remaining vegetables until the broth is thickened. Return the roast and vegetables and serve your family the best gluten free beef roast they’ll ever eat!

Quick and Easy Low Carb Gluten Free Rolls Recipe

 Low Carb Gluten Free Rolls Recipe

I Love Bread!

I’ve had a life long love affair with bread. Something that’s not good for someone who is low carb and gluten free unless you can find a good low carb gluten free rolls recipe. The good recipes are few and far between, and being low carb hasn’t hampered my love for buttery fluffy goodness. But I have to say, I came by my love for bread honestly.

My next door neighbor growing up was an old lady named Mrs. Wentz. She was sort of my surrogate grandma since mine lived so far away. Hers is the first homemade bread I ever tasted, and when I was old enough she taught me how to make my very own loaf. As a teenager, I became the resident bread baker at my house.

I was not and never have been picky when it comes to bread. Slop it with a Paula Deen amount of butter on it and I was in hog heaven. My favorite to make, of course, used to be yeast breads, but back then on days when I decided I wanted rolls for dinner. say. at 4pm, my favorite recipe was a quick no-yeast bread recipe that used mayo. I had all but forgotten about that recipe until a few weeks ago when it came across my Facebook feed.

Oh, my gosh, I could taste those rolls looking at that pic. But then I wondered, would I be able to turn it into a gluten free low carb bread recipe?


No Yeast Dinner Roll Recipe Transformed to Low Carb Gluten Free Rolls 

I know it’s harder than heck to bake low carb bread that tastes more like bread and less like cardboard, but I wanted to try to remake that recipe so I could enjoy easy, more importantly tasty, last minute low carb gluten free rolls.

I decided the wet ingredients were pretty standard for both a regular bread recipes and a homemade low carb bread recipe, so I kept them the same. The hard thing to do was how to handle the type and quantity of the flour.  A lot of gluten free low carb bread recipes end up tasting more like cardboard and less like bread. But I decided to go for it anyway. You never know unless you try, right?

Once I tried a homemade low carb bread recipe that used a blend of almond flour and protein powder that was really successful, so I decided to try that method. I got lucky, and got the right ratio on my first try.

Now I’m not going to lie and say it has the same texture and taste as the easy no yeast dinner roll recipe I made when I was a teenager. Its consistency is a cross between a biscuit and a yeast roll. It’s a moist bread, and I believe that comes from the mayo. It is the best tasting gluten free low carb bread recipe I’ve made in a really long time. 

What I think sets this recipe apart from other gluten free low carb bread recipes is that it’s not a complicated recipe and there’s no steps. You just throw all the ingredients in the bowl, mix, and put in a silicone muffin pan.  (Which I love btw!) It’s simple. I love simple.

How to Make an Easy Gluten Free Dinner Roll Recipe

homemade low carb bread recipe

Grease a six muffin tin. I used a silicone muffin pan, so I was able to skip this step. I love me some silicon bakeware! Next, in a small bowl, mix 1 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup unflavored protein powder. I used Jay Robb.

gluten free low carb bread recipe

Add 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 2 tbsp mayo. Mix it up really well, until it’s forms a wet, sticky dough and looks like this…

keto dinner rolls

Finally, divide dough evenly in the muffin pan. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until brown. Butter and enjoy!

Low Carb Gluten Free Rolls

GF Bacon Onion Rings Recipe with Low Carb Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

I’ve been cooking my way through Maria Emmerich’s new cookbook, The Ketogenic Cookbook. I’ve been eyeing her paleo onion rings recipe for a while, but there’s so many great recipes in there I just never got around to trying it out. But last weekend, my husband, myself, and my three furry children went camping in the RV. I figured that the bacon onion rings recipe would go great with the steaks we were planning on grilling.

In Maria’s recipe, she bakes the rings, but I thought it could be adapted to grilling. I will not grill on a public grill (or any grill for that matter) without using my Kona mat. I don’t have to worry about cleaning the grill, stuff won’t stick, and nothing small falls through the cracks. Since I had the mat, I knew I’d be able to cook my bacon wrapped onion rings without them falling apart and falling in the fire.

Maria suggested serving the bacon onion rings with a hollandaise sauce, but I wanted something a little more Southern. I decided to make a low carb honey mustard dipping sauce to go along with it. When the bacon onion rings were cooked and I dipped one into the honey mustard sauce, oh my gosh! I was in heaven.

I have to admit, one of the reasons I’d been putting off making this bacon onion rings recipe was because I thought it was going to be tedious to make. It turned out to be easier than I thought!


Super Easy Bacon Wrapped Onion Recipe

bacon wrapped onion ring recipe (1)

First, I started my slicing the onions in really thick slices. Then I poked out the middles, leaving about two to three rings per onion ring. Don’t throw away the middles! You can use them in other recipes later.

bacon onion rings recipe

Next, wrap each onion slice with bacon. It takes about two bacon slices to cover a large onion slice. It looks labor intensive, but it’s really not. I was done in about 10 minutes. At this point, though, my husband was really thinking I was wasting a pound of bacon.

Paleo onion ring recipe

Place them on your grill and cook until crispy, then flip. If you’re cooking your bacon onion rings in the oven, bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until crispy. My hubby was still thinking this wasn’t a great use of bacon.

Gluten Free Onion Ring Recipe

The peanut gallery, though, knows a good thing when they smell it.

Low Carb Onion Rings

It took about 20 minutes to get all the bacon wrapped onion rings to my desired crispness. I served them with my grilled steak and low carb honey mustard dipping sauce.

Best Gluten Free Gifts Christmas 2016

Top Gluten Free Gifts Christmas 2016: A GF Foodie’s List

Looking for a gift for a gluten free foodie on your list? Gluten free gifts for Christmas can be hard to find. And if you’re not gluten free yourself, it’s hard to know what food options there are, or even what they might want.

I’ve been gluten free for about three years now, and I want basically what everyone else wants as gifts. I want to be able to eat great tasting food, and have products that make my life easier. Consider this an insider’s gluten free gifts Christmas list if you will. I’ve put together a gift guide that will hopefully take out the guesswork and make gluten free shopping a little bit easier for you.

Best Gluten Free Gifts for Christmas? Gluten Free Christmas Gift Baskets Of Course!

I am so glad that gluten free Christmas gift baskets are becoming more available now, and I wish more people knew they were an option. Last year I started working for a new company, and they sent all of the employees gift baskets full of yummy Christmas treats. It was a beautiful box and a nice surprise, but I couldn’t eat any of it because it wasn’t gluten free. I made the best of it, though, and my friends got really nice baked gifts last year. But I would have enjoyed getting to eat my gift basket myself rather than give it away. Hopefully my bosses are reading this, and I’ll get a nice surprise this Christmas!

Gluten Free Gifts ChristmasGreat Arrivals Gluten Free Gourmet Gift BasketGluten Free Gifts ChristmasHoliday Delight Gluten Free Gift TowerGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Snack Gift Basket


Best Gluten Free Cookbooks for the Gluten Free Foodie

If you love to cook, you can never have enough cookbooks. It doesn’t matter if the same recipe is in three books, someone else always adds their own twist to a recipe. I know, because I have my fair share of gluten free cookbooks. Gluten free desserts, gluten free dinners, gluten free comfort food. You name it, there’s a cookbook for it. And if you love cooking, you’re going to want one of these top gluten free cookbooks.

 The Gluten-Free Almond Flour CookbookGluten Free Gifts Christmas

I actually own this cookbook, and love it. Almond flour is the go to flour for gluten free and low carb baking. But it can be hard to work with if you’ve never baked with it before.

If you’re new to the gluten free way of eating, this is a perfect starter gluten free cookbook. It has recipes for desserts, breakfasts, breads, and pretty much everything else us GF folks want to eat but can’t. This healthy gluten free cookbook shows us how.




Gluten free cooking is completely different than traditional baking. That’s why giving a gluten free cookbook as a Christmas gift is so thoughtful and useful, especially for those on your list that become gluten free later in life. I know I had to basically learn how to cook all over again because gluten free cooking can be so tricky to make it taste good.

Gluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the CheapGluten Free Gifts ChristmasDeliciously G-Free: Food So Flavorful They’ll Never Believe It’s Gluten-FreeGluten Free Gifts Christmas width=The Healthy Gluten-Free Life: 200 Delicious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Egg-Free Recipes!


Gifts for Gluten Free Cooks

Gluten free cooking requires a lot of specialty ingredients, most of which can be hard to find depending on what you’re making. Buy a bag of almond flour, a sweetener, and a pretty baking dish. Put them all together and make your own gluten free baker’s gift basket. Now, those would be great gluten free gifts for Christmas a GF foodie would love!


Gluten Free Gifts ChristmasHoneyville Farms Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 lbGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasBakers Bundle, 16Oz Granular and ConfectionersGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasAnthony’s USDA Organic Coconut Flour (5 lb)Gluten Free Gifts Christmas


Best Gluten Free Bread Makers for the GF Baker

The holy grail for gluten free cooks is for a bread that actually tastes like, well, bread. It’s all but impossible to find a really good bread recipe, let alone a mix to make the whole process easier. Manufacturer’s are catching up with the demand, and there are bread mixes and even bread machines that have gluten free settings. A bread machine isn’t something I’d really buy for myself because I’d consider it such a splurge, but if you gave me a bread machine, along with gluten free bread mixes, trust me, you’d have a friend for life.


Gluten Free Gifts ChristmasZojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu settingGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasT-fal PF311E ActiBread Programmable Bread Machine Stainless Steel Housing Nonstick Coating Automatic Bread Maker with LCD Display, 2-Pound, SilverGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasCuisinart CBK-100 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker w/ Kamenstein Mini Spatula Spice Set & Gluten-Free Baking ClassicsGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasBob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix, 16-Ounce (Pack of 4)Gluten Free Gifts Christmas

Gluten Free Gifts: Christmas Candy!

Did you know that gluten is an ingredient in most candies? I never knew that. I was shocked to find out that wheat was a main ingredient in candies like licorice and some caramels. A lot of times, people assume it’s safe to give candy to someone who is gluten sensitive or a celiac, but it’s not.

But there are gluten free versions of Christmas favorites, which is great because I’d be a scrooge if I couldn’t eat my chocolate covered vanilla creme drops every year!


Gluten Free Gifts ChristmasNomNom Delights Caramel Candy Great Gourmet Gift of 24 PiecesGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasOld Fashioned Vanilla Creme DropsGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasHammond’s Christmas Ribbon Candy 3oz – CloveGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGimbal’s Sour Lovers Chewy Candy, 2 lb Bag in a Gift BoxGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasCandy Tree Organic Wheat-Free Strawberry Licorice Vines 2.5 OzGluten Free Gifts ChristmasGluten Free Gifts ChristmasVegan Christmas Peppermint Bark Chocolate Bar Pack (3 Pack) – Gluten Free, Nu…Gluten Free Gifts Christmas

Vegetable Spiral Slicers For Gluten Free Cooks

I think pasta ranks right up there with bread when it comes to what you want to eat when you’re gluten free but can’t. A great gluten free alternative for wheat spaghetti is vegetable noodles. I remember the first time I tried vegetable pasta, I used a vegetable peeler. It got the job done, but it took forever and a day. Now that there’s veggie twister spiral slicers, it makes the job so much easier and faster.

There are handheld veggie spiralizers which are great if you have limited countertop space or you’re not a big pasta eater. If you’re a major pasta lover,  I’d go with a veggie slicer machine. When you have to make a lot of spaghetti for a crowd, they are really a time saver. A veggie spiral machine is definitely at the top of my Christmas list this year.

Complete Bundle with Vegetable Peeler and Cleaning BrushComplete Bundle with Vegetable Peeler and Cleaning BrushKitchen Supply Paderno Spiral Vegetable SlicerKitchen Supply Paderno Spiral Vegetable SlicerSpiralizer with Peeler and Knife and CookbookSpiralizer with Peeler and Knife and Cookbook