The Charlie Foundation’s commentary on The American Heart Associations’ recent criticism of dietary fats

Author: Beth Zupec-Kania RDN, CD Consultant for The Charlie Foundation.

Dietary fat has endured a long history of controversy in its role in health. Saturated fat, found predominately in animal products (butter, cheese, cream, meat fats), and, in coconut oil, have been villainized as “bad” fats. Newer research is turning the tide on this old way of thinking.  A 2015 systematic review found no association between saturated fat consumption and risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or death (1). An even more recent review of randomized controlled trials concluded that replacing saturated fats with mostly polyunsaturated fats is unlikely to reduce coronary heart disease. This 2017 review showed that inadequately controlled trials that were included in earlier meta-analyses explain the prior results (2). Despite these recent findings, the American Heart Association continues to tout the old data. It’s important, however, to understand that their reference to fat is in the context of a high-carbohydrate diet. Ketogenic and modified ketogenic diets have a completely different effect on metabolism. Emerging data from several sources reveal that low-carb, high-fat diets are effective in improving metabolic syndrome (3-5). Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. Coconut oil is a safe fat to include in low-carb, high-fat diets. Its shorter chain length makes it easier to digest then long chain animal and vegetable oils. It also contains antibacterial properties which is helpful for the digestive tract. While coconut and palm oils found in processed snack foods are undoubtedly unhealthy, pure coconut oil has been used for decades in epilepsy. The MCT oil diet, originated at The Mayo Clinic consists of 60% MCT oil – a concentrated form of coconut oil. Not only has this oil been helpful in treating epilepsy, it has recently shown to be beneficial for brain health (6.7).

The Charlie Foundation encourages you to have regular cholesterol and lipid testing, including particle size, during ketogenic diet therapy. The particle size is important in understanding cardiovascular risk. Ketogenic diets often increase the large-sized LDL which is thought to be protective against heart disease. We also advise including monounsaturated fats such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil daily in the diet. These unique monounsaturated oils contain several vitamins plus the essential omega-3 and 6 fats.

Note- This commentary was written in response to this advisory from the AHA.


1. de Souza RJ et al. (2015). "Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies". BMJ. 351 (h3978).

2.Hamley, S. (2017). "The effect of replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat on coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials". Nutrition Journal. 16 (1): 30. PMID28526025. doi:10.1186/s12937-017-0254-5.

3. Volek JS et al. (2009)“Carbohydrate restriction has a more favorable impact on the metabolic syndrome than a low fat diet.” Lipids. 44: 297–309. 

4. Sharman MJ. (2002). A ketogenic diet favorably affects serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease in normal-weight men. J Nutr 2002; 132: 1879–1885. 

5. Volek JS, et al. (2005) “Modification of lipoproteins by very low-carbohydrate diets”. Journal of Nutrition; 135: 1339–1342. 

6. Chang P. (2015) “Seizure control by decanoic acid through direct AMPA receptor inhibition.” BRAIN. doi:10.1093/brain/awv325.

7. Fernando W.M.A.D et al. (2015) “The role of dietary coconut for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: potential mechanisms of action.“ British Journal of Nutrition. doi:10.1017/S0007114515001452. 

Reviewed 6/28/2017, Dawn Martenz

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The Keto Pantry - Hemp Seeds

Welcome to our new *virtual* Keto Pantry! Each post will feature a healthy, ketogenic diet therapy friendly ingredient. We want to encourage you to include these ingredients in your diet to help promote overall health and well-being. Please let us know how you like this new feature and what we can add to make it as effective and helpful as possible. Proudly brought to you by:

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What are they?

Commercial hemp seeds, often called “hemp hearts” are the inner (shelled) part of the seed from hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Although the seeds come form the same species of plant that includes marijuana, hemp seeds contain only trace to non-detectable amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance in marijuana that produces a “high”.  Most of the THC is found in the shell of the seed which is removed before packaging. They are safe to eat! seed texture 1625183

Photo: whole hemp seeds with outer shell

Nutrition (Derived from the USDA Food Database)

Hemp seeds are mostly protein and fat with very little carbohydrate.  They are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio (unsaturated to saturated fat) of linoleic acid (omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) which is consider to be an idea balance. Since they contain these fatty acids, they keep best stored in the refrigerator and should not be used for high heat cooking.

3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provides over 9 grams of plant based protein. They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids.

Hemp seeds are also high in iron, vitamin E and magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, as well as blood pressure.

NutritionLabel hempseeds

What do they taste like?

Shelled hemp seeds have a very mild flavor similar to pine nuts. They are soft and easy to chew with a creamy texture when blended or pureed.hempseeds


Photo: Shelled hemp seeds


How to use them:

The easiest way to include hemp seeds in your diet is to simply sprinkle them on a salad or in yogurt. However, since they are a great plant based protein, you can use them as an “all natural” protein powder replacement. Simply add them to your smoothie in place of your current protein powder and blend away.

Think of them in applications where grains, nuts or beans would be used. Use in place of chickpeas for a low carb hummus or a replacement for beans in a veggie burger. Try them in pesto instead of pine nuts. Puree them and use along with or instead of macadamia nuts in keto pancakes, waffles and other baked goods.

Click the recipes below for a few Charlie Foundation created recipes to try!

Flax-Hemp Crackers

Flax-Hemp Crackers


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Keto Pantry - Olive Oil

Welcome to our new *virtual* Keto Pantry! Each post will feature a healthy, ketogenic diet therapy friendly ingredient. We want to encourage you to include these ingredients in your diet to help promote overall health and well-being. Please let us know how you like this new feature and what we can add to make it as effective and helpful as possible. Proudly brought to you by:

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What is it?

Olive oil is simply the oil that is pressed from olive fruit and is 100% fat.  However, it is worth mentioning that many brands of olive oil, including olive oils labeled with words such as “light”, “mild flavor”, “salad” and “cooking” have been cut or diluted with lesser quality (non-olive) oils.

It is best to buy olive oil labeled, “extra virgin” from reputable brands and resources. The oil should be in a dark glass bottle to protect it form going rancid. You can also look for a “harvest date” and make sure you will consume it within 2 years of that date. A indication of a reputable brand may have the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) Seal of Certification. This applies only to California derived olive oil.  You can also review this report form UC Davis regarding brands found NOT supporting their labeled claims.  If you have ever noticed oilive oil solidifying in the refigerator, this means that you have a very good quality olive oil! As soon as the olive oil has warmed to room temperature, it will return to a liquid state. 7353 olive oil

Nutrition (Derived from the USDA Food Database)

Extra Virgin olive oil is very high in the monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Oleic acid can help decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol and possibly help lower blood pressure.

Oleocanthal is one of the powerful antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil. It works as an anti-inflammatory. Some researchers believe chronic inflammation may be responsible for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and arthritis.  It also contains vitamin E, another antioxidant and vitamin K which helps blood clot properly.

Extra virgin olive oil Nutrition dervived from the USDA


What does it taste like?

Extra Virgin Olive oil should be any color ranging from a bright green to a light straw yellow color. It should have a “fruity”  and fresh taste that is light, not heavy. Most freshly pressed olive oils will have a “peppery” flavor that goes away quickly. 7233 olive oil

How to use it

Olive oil is best used with no heat or low heat applications. Homemade salad dressings are at the top of the list. Drizzle the oil over hot entrees after they have finished cooking to preserve both the flavors of the oil and its healthy antioxidants.

Click the recipes below for a few Charlie Foundation created recipes to try!

Almond Crackers

Basil Pesto

Chia Balsamic Dressing

Chicken Nuggets

Coconut Oil Mayonnaise

Flax-Hemp Crackers

High Fiber Rolls

No-Matzo Ball Soup

Olive, Basil & Almond Tapenade

Spinach & Flax Microwave Muffin

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The Keto Pantry - Cabbage

Welcome to our new *virtual* Keto Pantry! Each post will feature a healthy, ketogenic diet therapy friendly ingredient. We want to encourage you to include these ingredients in your diet to help promote overall health and well-being. Please let us know how you like this new feature and what we can add to make it as effective and helpful as possible. Proudly brought to you by:

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What is it?

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable closely related to kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. There are several varieties easily found in grocery stores including green cabbage, the most common with tightly layered smooth leaves, savoy, which has crinkled leaves, red, Napa and bock choy.

Since cabbage is low in carbohydrate, and high in fiber and water, its an excellent choice for ketogenic diet therapies. This means that you get to enjoy a large serving of cabbage compared to other vegetables.

green cabbage


Nutrition (Derived from the USDA Food Database)

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. It is also a very good source of manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B1, folate and copper. The red cabbage variety offers much higher level of polyphenols than any of the green varieties.

Nutrition Facts for “green cabbage, raw”

NutritionLabel Cabbage copy

What does it taste like?

Raw green cabbage has a strong peppery or bitter flavor with tough, rubbery leaves. When it is steamed or roasted, it becomes much more tender and sweet. When green cabbage is combined with other ingredients, it takes on the additional flavorings and is almost indistinguishable. Red cabbage has a similar flavor and texture to green, but it is deeper and earthier. Savoy, Napa, and bock choy are all sweeter with much more tender leaves.

red cabbage

How to use it

Green and red cabbage is best used when it is sliced thinly and cooked quickly. Steaming and roasting will retain more of the vitamins and minerals than boiling.  A simple sauté of thinly sliced cabbage is a great substitution for carbohydrate based ingredients such and rice and noodles.  It is also helpful in “bulking up” meals. When cabbage is included in soups, stir fry’s,  and casseroles, portions will be larger and more filling.

For the savoy, Napa and bock choy varieties, their softer leaves are especially good for adding to salads and other raw dishes. They can be cooked as well, but again, should only be cooked as quickly as possible. The leaves on these varieties will virtually “disappear” when cooked too long.

Click the recipes below for a few Charlie Foundation created recipes to try!

Cabbage Patties 

Brussels Sprouts 

Chicken and Cabbage Puree 

Chicken Vegetable Soup 

Peanut Noodle Salad

Stir Fry with Noodles

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Mrs. Kelly

Mrs. Kelly

Mrs. Kelly

Ironically, though the Ketogenic Diet is underutilized due largely to a dearth of keto dietitians, the argument could well be made that none of us would be reading this blog, and perhaps today the diet itself may have faded into extinction, were it not for one  particular dietitian, Millicent Kelly RD.  Along with Dr. John Freeman and Dr. Samuel Livingston, she became the dietitian at Johns Hopkins that quietly put so many hundreds of children on the ketogenic diet and kept the diet afloat while fighting a near perfect Western medicine storm of modern drugs, their simplicity of use, and their enormous profit margins.

Mrs. Kelly, as her patients came to call her, enrolled at Johns Hopkins after college graduation in 1948 to take a one-year course as a student dietitian.  She formally retired in 1999. She learned the diet from Dr. Samuel Livingston, a Johns Hopkins pediatrician and a passionate advocate for the diet. In 1953 he published that of 304 patents he had put on the diet, 43% had complete seizure control and another 34% were markedly improved.  (As a measure of how times have changed, Livingston not only would make follow-up house calls on his keto patients, he would frequently take a week at a time and travel from Baltimore to Texas, Florida, or Wyoming to see how they were doing).  It was in this positive environment that Mrs. Kelly learned and then helped perfect the diet, one child at a time. 

Two decades later, in 1973, though the keto dietary staff at Hopkins had shrunk to Mrs. Kelly and just a few other dietitians, Livingston wrote, “Since 1958 we have treated an additional 575 patients with the ketogenic diet regimen and the results with regard to seizure control were essentially the same as those reported earlier.”  Yet the patient lists dwindled as new, easily prescribed drugs came along and overwhelmed the work intensive ketogenic diet.

It was about this time that Livingston retired and handed over the reins of the ketogenic diet program to John Freeman who, equally impressed with the diet’s success and challenged by the absence of medical acceptance in the face of modern drugs, found a way to keep the diet afloat--found a way within the Hopkins machinations to keep Mrs. Kelly helping fifteen to twenty sick kids per year stop having seizures with a diet and her gentle tenacity. 

Decades passed.  More new drugs were introduced.  Other ketogenic diet centers began to fall by the wayside.  One by one, the dietitians dropped out of the keto program leaving Dr. Freeman and Mrs. Kelly, along with Diana Pillas coordinator-counselor at Hopkins Pediatric Epilepsy Center, the lone slender threads that kept the ketogenic diet helping kids at Hopkins.  By 1990, contract food services took over the keto nutrition at Hopkins complicating her work even more acutely.   Later that year when Mrs. Kelly was demoted within the nutrition department, she went to Dr. Freeman to announce her retirement.  Freeman, whose rebellious, persistent spirit is loved by all who know him, fully understood Mrs. Kelly’s importance to the very existence of the diet, and would have none of it.  He found a way to keep her on board as Pediatric Dietary Consultant to Pediatric Neurology.  Mercifully, she stayed. 

In 1994 the ketogenic diet dramatically circumvented traditional medical information distribution routes, and awareness of its success went straight to millions of families through mainstream media focus.  Public demand fueled an enormous resurgence of interest in the diet within the scientific and medical communities.  It began to achieve a new foothold in epilepsy treatment and has begun to restore its rightful focus within the neurology community.  Today, with over 200 ketogenic diet centers world wide, it is once again becoming a priority in the treatment of children and adults with difficult to control seizures, other neurological disorders, and certain cancers.

But one has to wonder where this story might have ended were it not for the Livingston/Kelly/ Freeman connection.  What might have happened if Mrs. Kelly had simply gone away?  So I asked her recently what kept her going through all those years of hard work, little pay, and even less recognition.  “I thought it was my job,” she said.  “I met some of the nicest people.  Some of those mothers and fathers and families--what they had to endure.  If I could do something, I had to.”  

Jim Abrahams

The Charlie Foundation

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Drug Trials?

Drug Trials?

The criteria for the FDA to approve a new anti-epileptic drug is merely that a medication must reduce seizures by 50% in 50% of the people who don’t drop out of the trial because of intolerance, non compliance, adverse affects, or other reasons.  So lets crunch the numbers.  Let’s say a new drug is tested on 100 people.  Of that number lets say 20 people drop out of the study for whatever reason.  That means that for the drug to get FDA approval there has to be seizure reduction of at least 50% in only 40 of the original 100 people who started the trial.  There is no requirement for anything more than 50% reduction.

Compare that to Ketogenic  Diets.    For ninety plus years 66% of the people who try them, including those who stop because of non-compliance, adverse affects, etc.  have seizure reduction of greater than 50% -- not to mention fewer drugs, improved cognition, and seizure freedom.  In other words, of 100 new people who try a ketogenic therapy, 66 will improve. 

That’s right.  75% better outcomes with ketogenic therapies than the next drug the FDA can approve.

Maybe that's why our logo has a smile!

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*Photo at left is of Charlie Abrahams and Tim Indermittee - 2 seizure free kids, circa 1996.

When Charlie started the Ketogenic Diet and his seizures went away so dramatically at the end of 1993, I asked Dr. Freeman from Johns Hopkins three questions.

1) Why did we have to find the diet on our own?

2) Why didn't any of the pediatric neurologists we saw tell us about the diet?

3) Why, even when we learned of the diet as a treatment option, did they try to talk us out of it?

Although I didn't fully grasp the dark implications of his answer at the time, here's what Dr. Freeman said, "The Ketogenic Diet will never become popular again if you try raise awareness through traditional means of medical communication (meetings, papers, etc.).  If you want to help restore the diet's rightful place as an early treatment option for children with seizures you need to circumvent the medical community and go straight to the public with this information." 

Dateline NBC found out about Charlie as we were making our introductory video to the ketogenic diet and came to film his story.

In anticipation of what Dr. Freeman called "the deluge" from the huge public demand that would occur when the diet was revealed to the world on a national level, he and the Charlie Foundation held a conference at which directors from seven other epilepsy centers from around the country came to Hopkins with their dietitians to learn about the diet.  Nonetheless, the public demand from the broadcast caught the medical community largely flat footed.  Dr. Freeman said that his clinic alone got over 5,000 calls during the week following the broadcast.

I also tried to read as many of the thousands of letters and requests for information we received at The Charlie Foundation.  They were incredible: grateful for hope, angry about lost years, heartbroken over potential unnecessarily damaged lives.  

But one letter stood out as a new direction to reach the public.  It was dated 10/27/94 and was kind of a stream of consciousness from Connie Indermittee, a Chicago area mom who had seen Dateline the previous night.  The program had triggered memories of her experiences and feelings from the mid 1970's when she found the ketogenic diet for her son, Tim.  Though in many details it was uniquely dramatic, in essence it was the story of all the families who have had to battle through epilepsy's costs, stigma, medical resistance, and ineffective and debilitating drug treatments to find diet therapy.

I read her letter and made three phone calls.

The first was to Connie to ask if I could come visit.

The second was to Dr. Freeman to share the story.  (Tim had started the diet at Hopkins also).

The third was to Meryl Streep, who had helped us with the introductory video,  to ask, "What  do you think?

Please take the time to read the letter below from Connie Indermittee which ultimately provided the plot for the movie "First Do No Harm", written and directed by Jim Abrahams. We wanted to share this very special letter beacuse Connie's story represents the story of EVERYONE who at one point, may of felt helpless as a parent to find a treatment that works for their child or loved one.  Thank you Connie and the entire Indermittee family for continuing to inspire everyone to never give up.


See transcribed letter below handwritten letter.

 connie 1

 connie 2

 connie 3

 connie 4

 connie 5

 connie 6


"Dear Sir,

In April 1978 my 3 year old son had 1 gran mal seizure. We took him to the hospital and all the tests proved nothing. In the next 7 months, we took him to 6 other hospitals, 21 doctors, and 38 drugs. He had between 150 and 200 seizures a DAY. He spent the last 2 1/2 months at Pres-St. Lukes in Chic (Chicago) in intensive care. He was scheduled for exploratory brain surgery. I was almost praying Tom would die instead of living the rest of his life as a grossly retarded person with this problem.

I must stop for a minute and tell you, as I write this chills run down my spine. This was a nightmare that you relived for me on Dateline. I was going crazy trying to (self) cure my son. I went to the U of I Library and read - for weeks - from the time they opened to closing.

I got a copy of Sam Livingston's book. I read the Ketogenic Diet. I called Baltimore, They told me to come right away -

I tried to take Tim out of the hospital. I realized I'd LOST the custody of him. They would not let me transfer him from Pres-St. Lukes to John Hopkins. I stole him from the hospital. I had the help of 2 others to pull it off. He was on Valium IV 24 hour plus 8 other drugs.

I knew he could die. They knew he could die. He was seizing every 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

We had an ambulance come in the middle of the night. (at shift change) Took him to a commercial flight to Baltimore. Pulled the IV so we could board- wasn’t sure if he'd live to see Baltimore. We arrived - went to Livingston clinic - went to J.H. Hos. - 3 days starvation - went on the Ketogenic diet. A pure miracle -.

Tim is 19. He has not seized since that trip to Baltimore. He is a smart beautiful boy. He attended 1 year of college. He's a lucky kid, like yours.

Since, I tried to tell people about this method of treatment. The doctors here in the Midwest would not even consider its use. They would not admit that this is the cure for children with multi seizure.

If I had to do this all over again - I don’t know if I could. It financially devastated us. My husband lost his job. My other 2 children were virtually abandoned by my husband and I. We begged Fed Land Bank not to take the farm from us. The neighbors helped by taking the other kids, filling the freezer with food and most of all their prayers.

I stayed at Notre Dame Convent in Baltimore, as I had not any money for a motel. I stayed in the cloister as that was the only place there was to stay. All the sisters prayed a miracle would happen. It did. The Ketogenic diet saved my son.

The hospital taught me how to administer the diet. They were great. they wrote all the costs off as they knew we were totally financially broke.

For 2 years I followed the diet with Tim. We found that to be very hard, but we did it.

I have shopping bags full of medical records that would blow your mind showing the various treatments. I had doctors telling me they exhausted every treatment known, so just take him home and live with him seizuring - with no hope for any future for Tim.

As I write this, my heart is skipping. I remember like yesterday the ordeal we went through. I wish that NO ONE, ever. I tried so hard to tell my story to Readers Digest, local and larger news - media, and they weren't interested. Think how many children could have been saved.

Please write me. I may be of help to you and the awareness of this treatment. Keep it in mind that no doctor ever - in Chicago- had ever "tried" this diet. I begged them. They would not. When the tribune writer realized that I was bashing some of the most thought of doctors in the Midwest - they canned the whole story. To this day the pediatrician who first took care of Tim does not believe that is what cured Tim's seizure problem.

I almost hate all doctors now. They almost killed my son.

By the way - how we got to fly to Baltimore - My neighbor was a doctor and a pilot. He arranged the flight - the ambulance - the escape from Pres. St. Luke's. He could have been fired from his airline and lost his license to practice medicine. The risk he took was huge - the results were worth it.

Again please let me know you received this. I now realize someone else went thru the ordeal of this size.

Please excuse this poorly written letter. I shake when I think of those days - I forgot to slow down while writing - but it's readable, so I'm sending it. I kept a daily journal during those days and you relived them last night.

Please send me the video. thxs-"

Connie Indermittee



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The Charlie Foundation's Position on Marijuana Derivatives for Epilepsy Treatment

The Charlie Foundation was founded on the principle that the medical standard of care needs to be be a process of informed, joint decision making between a patient or caregiver, and his/her health care provider. We have the highest regard for the value and necessity of science. We have much less sympathy for the intervention of government in this process. What's more, science doesn't always lead the way. Frequently there is a painstaking period while science takes a great deal of time to substantiate or rule out what may be fact. Many don't have the luxury of that time. That's when factors such as anecdotal evidence and risk/benefit ratio need to be considered without government interference. That's where it appears we are with CBD today. If we had waited for a randomized controlled study to be published on the efficacy the ketogenic diet, Charlie would have been seventeen years, rather than 20 months old before he started the diet, and I don't know that we would still have him today. What's more, to paraphrase "first do no harm": "To pretend that multiple drug treatments for children with difficult to control epilepsy are science and then argue against CBD is the cruelest of double standards."

Jim Abrahams, The Charlie Foundation

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Frozen Yogurt Tubes (keto Go-Gurts or Yo-Sqeezers) ***UPDATED 5/23/13***

Frozen Yogurt Tubes (keto Go-Gurts or Yo-Sqeezers) ***UPDATED 5/23/13***

Making home-made yogurt tubes is not the quickest process, however I can think of numerous occasions where I would have LOVED to have a keto meal ready-made, in a tube, frozen and ready to eat.  I can't think of a better meal to send with a keto kid to school, camp, grandparents houses, birthday parties, picnics, the beach, you name it.  After these are made, you can throw them in a cooler with ice packs and hit the road (just remember a small pair of scissors to open it!)

Here is the process broken down step by step.  It took a little trial and error to get the right size tube for my particular recipe, and there is definitely a little more waste of the food saver bags than I care for... but to have this in the freezer and be able to travel with it is worth it in my opinion.

***UPDATE***  A new, MUCH EASIER way of making these pops is now available! Please click here to order Zipzicle bags (pictured above).  OR you can continue with the original method ;)


Step 1

Make the yogurt. The recipe I am using is my fruit yogurt.  This is a peach version.  Please not that this has changed slightly since our move since my brand of cream is different.  I was using Organic Valley Cream, but now I'm using Trader Joe's which is 40%.  The entire serving of the recipe is 118 grams, the how much needs to fit inside the yogurt tube, WITH room to spare for it to seal properly.

3.5:1 Ratio

about 290 calories

21g peaches

15g 40% heavy cream

62g Stonyfield Yogurt, Plain Whole Milk

10g walnut oil

10g coconut oil

Again, total weight is 118g per serving. This is how much you need to fit into the tube.

I use a blender to make a large batch of yogurt.  You will lose a few grams of it in the process, if this concerns you, you will have to puree the peaches separately then mix each serving separately as well.

I make 6 serving at a time.  Multiply each ingredient by 6 and blend it all together in the blender until it is completely smooth.  It helps to have the coconut oil melted when you first mix the batch of yogurt.  This will help it incorporate completely.

Step 2

Make the yogurt tubes. Make a tube bigger than you think the first time, so you get an idea of how much space your recipe needs.

To held enough for this recipe, you will need a roll of 11 inch FoodSaver plastic.  For each tube, you need about 4.5 inches.  Once you have cut the first length, seal the first side. When the Foodsaver starts to "suck" to remove any moisture or air, hit the stop button to by-pass this and go straight to the heat sealing step.  You should have this...

Next seal the other side.  Again, hit the stop button to stop the air removal.  Now you have an empty tube that is sealed on all 4 sides. The middle portion is where the yogurt will go and it as about 2 inches across.

Trim one of the short ends (factory sealed edges) to make the top opening.

Put the empty tube in a tall cup on your scale and ZERO the scale. Use a funnel or just hold the tube open with one hand and carefully pour in the yogurt mixture (whoops, first tube I made was too small! Do you see it only weighs 86g?)  If you over fill, use a syringe to remove any extra.

This is why you need at least 2 inches extra room at the top.  Now you have to seal the top opening.  I had no problem sliding in the extra and getting it to seal. Make sure you hit the stop button to prevent it from sucking out the yogurt!!!! Now you should have this...

Trim the extra off the sides and put it in the freezer.

You could put anything in here, it doesn't have to be yogurt..., pudding, applesauce, ice creams, really anything that is pureed.  After eating the frozen pop, if there is anything remaining in the plastic I would recommend adding a small amount of water and swishing it around.  You would have to then drink the water... or cut it open and let the kids lick it out ( I know my kids would not have a problem with that!)

Also... did you know, you can re-seal store-bought yogurt tubes!  The only downside it that they are much smaller and only hold 56g. After cutting off the top and taking into consideration the room needed to re-seal, your recipe could only be about 30g total weight.  If you have a fruit puree or need small 50 or 100 calorie snacks, these might work for you!


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Sprinkle Birthday Cake

Sprinkle Birthday Cake

I wanted to re-create "Funfetti" boxed cake mix... It was always one of my favorite mixes in the cake section! I really did not want to include nuts so it could be considered "school friendly", so I included xanthum gum in this recipe.  Some people may not be familiar with xanthan gum, however, it is an indigestible fiber, and does not need to be calculated into a ketogenic recipe. It is what makes the cake spongy and retain the rise from baking.  It also helps hold all of the oil and keep the ingredients emulsified.  It is not an ingredient I would choose to use on a daily basis, but sometimes you need to eat cake! I have never seen any adverse reaction to xanthan gum, but please run it by your dietitian just to be sure.

India Tree makes a great 100% all natural vegetable based food coloring, but if you prefer to avoid food coloring or just want a plain white cake,  just leave the sprinkles out and use all plain coconut flour.  I frosted the cake with about 50g of Buttercream Frosting flavored with almond and lemon extract.  I sincerely hope this recipe helps make a keto birthday special!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake
256 Calories

3:1 Ratio

5.2g Protein

3.0g Carbohydrate

Makes one single serve birthday cake

For the sprinkles:
Combine 1 tablespoon of coconut flour with equal parts water. Stir to combine. Add 1 drop of food coloring (natural food coloring is preferred) to the coconut flour andwater. Make sure the color is evenly distributed. Spread the colored coconut flouron a piece of parchment paper until it is very thin. Allow it to air-dry overnight. When it is thoroughly dried, break it into very small pieces and store in an airtight jar. Each color is made separately using the same process.*Please note: for the following recipe, only 2g of the colored coconut flour sprinkles are used. Continue to use “coconut flour” in recipe calculations
to include the sprinkles. Since the amount of food coloring in the cake recipe is so minimal, the food coloring can be counted as a “free food” item.

For the cake:Ingredients:
23g oil, use a plain flavor such as sunflower, safflower, canola
12g coconut flour, Bob’s Red Mill (10g from the bag, 2g of the colored sprinkles)
1g xanthan gum (*Optional & does not need to be calculated)0.5g baking powder0.5g vanilla extract (an additional 0.5g almond extract adds a gre
at “cake” flavor)
32g egg whites, whipped into soft peaks½ tablespoon waterPinch of salt Sweetener of choice (5g of Truvia was used for testing)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix 10g of plain coconut flour with the oil. Stir until smooth. Add the xanthan gun, baking powder, extract, water, salt and sweetener. Stir again until all of the ingredients are very well combined.

Add about 10g of the egg whites plus the additional 2g of colored coconut flour. Stir until the egg whites are incorporated and the batter has “loosened” slightly.
Add the remaining egg whites and carefully fold them into the cake batter. Continue folding the egg whites into the batter until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into a greased baking dish or silicone mold (a 1-cup glass Pyrex container was used for testing).

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Continue to bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. The cake should spring back when the center is pressed lightly with your finger.

Allow to cool before slicing or frosting. 

If possible let the cake cool upside down (similar to an angel food cake), this will help prevent it from collapsing. It will sink slightly as it cools, however it you find it is going flat, it may have been slightly undercooked.

Xanthan gum is a stabilizer and emulsifier that gives the cooked cake a spongy texture and helps hold all of the oil. It allows it to rise and hold the tiny bubbles created by the baking powder. If the xanthan gum is not used, the texture of thecake will be denser. Xanthan gum does not contribute to the overall flavor it only helps improve the texture.

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