Decorating "Sanding Sugar"

Decorating "Sanding Sugar"

Did you know... you can color Truvia?  The result is nearly identical to traditional Sanding Sugars.   I have never seen any "sugar-free", "carb free" sprinkles so this DIY version seems to be the only option!

All you do is add 1 (one) drop of food coloring to 1 tablespoon of Truvia and mix it around with a fork or small whisk until it is completely combined.  You can even use your fingers to break up the small clumps and distribute the color evenly. It is ready to use immediately or can be stores in a sealed container for future use.  I used traditional food colorings and natural food coloring (India Tree) in the pictures, there was no difference in the quality of the colors.  Some keto centers do not allow artificial food coloring, so ask about using a natural version.  (I personally would recommend the natural colors over the artificial anyway).  The India Tree colors are vegetable based food colorings and should be accounted for in ketogenic recipes.

One tablespoon of the colored Truvia is enough to decorate an entire batch of cupcakes or cookies.  You only need a tiny pinch to put on the top of each to make a VERY happy keto kid.  You should calculate Truvia into a meal plan if needed.

A few notes...

Truvia contains Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol... some people are very sensitive to sugar alcohols on the diet. Do not use Truvia if you are told to avoid sugar alcohols!

You can also color powdered Splenda!  It is not as "crystal-like", more of a powdery look to it, but I think it would work just as well.  You can see the comparison of Truvia and Splenda in this picture (Truvia on the bottom, Splenda on the top). I have not tried baking with this, so I'm not sure if it would last...


Like regular sanding sugars, the sprinkles will melt into very wet icing.  It sits on top of ketogenic buttercream icing wonderfully, however it will melt into whipped cream pretty quickly, so put the sprinkles on at the last-minute before serving.

Read more about Truvia from their site, click here

Don't go crazy with this, save it for really special occasions!  I hope this helps make keto birthdays and holidays a little more special.

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Go Bag

Go Bag

Do you have "Go Bag"? I have had a bag like this fully packed and stored near my front door since 2012 when this post was originally written. There have been some minor changes to the contents helping to make it lighter and more efficient, but the basics are still the same.

This particular bag is a small brief case size rolling carry-on bag.  It holds 3 days worth of supplies for my two kids and myself. This includes food, clothing, personal care items, medications and keto supplies.  The only item not actually in the bag is water, we keep a few 2.5 gallon jugs right next to the bag in the closet.  Here is the breakdown of what is included in the bag.

*UPDATE - We now use an ultra-lightweight hiking backpack that weighs about 2 pounds decreasing the weight considerably. Also, we have added cash! This is probably one of the more important items to have on hand. Small bills are recommended.


The front section includes:

Tissues, wipes for surfaces, baby wipes, plastic silverware, small bottles of dish soap, a bag of instant coffee, powdered cream & sugar.  A baggie containing a scraper, 10ml syringes, a can opener and an extra spoon. The zippered pouch contains personal care items: shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a hairbrush, hair ties, Tylenol & Advil for kids and adults, prescription medications and lotion.


The next section includes a scale (and extra batteries) and *printed* recipes for the ketogenic meals (the ingredients are worthless if you don't have ketogenic meal calculations printed!) made from food that is included in the bag. There is also coconut oil, peanut butter, mayo, green beans, tuna, squeezable fruit, Lara Bars, pecans, macadamia nuts and my sons clothing.

*UPDATE - The full size scale in the picture has been swapped out for a very small travel scale about the size of a credit card. More convenient packaging is now available for many keto friendly food items including nut butters, coconut oil, olives, meat sticks etc. Consider looking for single serve squeeze packets whenever possible. 


The last section includes: microwavable ravioli (this was for my son who was 5 years old at the time. It is no longer in our bag), mushrooms, green beans, chicken, olive oil, Cliff Bars, apple sauce, baby food sweet potatoes, and clothing for my daughter and myself. All of the food in the bag can be eaten without being rehydrated, heated or cooked.  It might not taste the greatest, but it would do in an emergency with no power or cooking source.

 


The ketogenic meals are calculated using only the ingredients contained in the bag.  There is more than 3 days worth of oil, but it's always a good idea to have extra!  Things like the Cliff Bars are good options for non-keto meals since they are high in calories but only take up a small amount of space. Every 6 months or so, take the food and medications out and replace with new ones so they do not expire.

*UPDATE - Prescription Medications and Medical Supplies

This is usually one of the most important items that is most often forgotten or not supplied well enough to last. Fill prescription medications on the day they are approved for refill by your insurance company! For most insurance companies, this is about 1 week to 5 days prior to the medication running out. If you do this every month, you will end up with a small excess of medication. Having a few weeks of extra medication could be lifesaving in an disaster situation where supplies are limited or even cut off completely. For medical supplies, such as glucose and ketone test strips, feeding tube supplies (including a power source), oxygen tanks and other essentials, think through how you would function in an environment with no power or water (even if it's your own home) and make a plan!  Never rely on shelters or aid organizations to have the medication or supplies you will need.


 

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Traveling With Oil, My Favorite Method

Traveling With Oil, My Favorite Method

This is my favorite way to travel with oil.  I can weigh the oil in the syringe and know it is safe being bounced around in a bag. The idea to put the syringe in a toothbrush holder came to me a long time ago, however, finding a holder that fit the syringe was no easy task! I finally found this one at Bed Bath & Beyond.  Here are a few pictures of my system which has worked out wonderfully while on the road!

A slight modification is needed to make it fit.  I just snipped the edges of the plunger with scissors.


You have to put the plunger end into the shorter end of the holder, otherwise it will not close completely.


All safe and snug!


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3-Day Cooler Bag & TSA Info

3-Day Cooler Bag & TSA Info

Flying and travel with a keto, takes a lot of preparation, organization, and work!  I'm taking 3-days worth of food with us for a 5-hour flight.  Not only do I not have to worry about delays, I don't have to worry about cooking ketogenic meals for 2 days following our arrival.  I'm already planning on this being a busy, hectic time for us. From past experiences, I have learned that busy+hectic+not at home = mistakes while cooking keto meals!  This allows me to have one less thing to worry about.

First, here is some information that obtained directly from the TSA regarding bringing food for medical reasons on-board an airplane.

    • A cooler containing medically necessary food does NOT count as a carry-on.
    • You need to "declare" that you have food or liquids greater than 3.4oz while in the TSA security line. This means that you just have to tell the TSA agent that you have these items.
    • Coolers are recommended to be no larger than 9" high x 14" wide x 22" long.  They are supposed to be placed under the seats, not in the overhead compartments.
    • Ice packs are preferred over loose ice or ice in plastic baggies.  If the ice melts, you need to keep removing the liquid.
    • You are not required to bring a letter from a physician regarding medical diets, however, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to make the process go smoothly.
    • Here is a phone # for TSA so you can call them yourself! 1-866-289-9673


This is what I am bringing...

The meals are all the same for each of the 3 days.  It was a lot easier to prep that way.  Also, they contain most of the needed fat within the meal so I do not have to worry about weighing extra oil on the side.

Strawberry yogurt + 10g coconut oil

macadamia nut doughnuts

crunchy chicken salad + 10g coconut oil

spinach bites + Walden Farms Ranch for dipping

applesauce


I write on the lids of some containers (it does not work on all plastics) with a wet-erase marker so I don't forget to give extra oil.


This is the bag all packed up!  Also included in the bag in the front pocket is a scale, jar of coconut oil, 10ml syringes for giving the oil (already filled with oil), spoon, and scraper.  The plan is to ask for a cup of hot water to melt the syringes of oil.  I also have a letter from our doctors explaining why we need all of this, just in case.

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Creamy Vegetables (a method of serving fat)

Creamy Vegetables (a method of serving fat)

When we were at the 4:1 ratio, this was a method that I came up with to combine a large portion of fat with a vegetable,  the goal was to visually "bulk up" a meal.  The amount of vegetables can sometimes look incredibly small sitting on a plate, trying to serve 15g of carrots in 11g of butter has resulted in meal refusal on more than one occasion in our house.  This is intended to be a side dish to be served alongside a protein.  This recipe is very flexible, you can use any vegetable or seasonings you like.  You will have to enter (into the ketocalculator) the needed ingredients of this recipe + a protein and possibly extra fat to meet individual needs.  I almost always used this on nights when the oven was already on, I have cooked it at many different temperatures, it has always turned out ok!  Don't be afraid to change the proportions of cream, egg and butter.  As long as the egg is included, it will cook up just fine.


171 Calories

6.23:1 Ratio

 

Ingredients

20g heavy cream, 40%

11g butter, melted

15g steamed carrots, mashed very smooth

7g raw egg, mixed well

pinch of baking powder

salt/pepper

Directions

In a small oven safe bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.  Cook this in a water bath, this will prevent the cream from burning.  Find a second oven safe dish (like a 2 cup Pyrex dish), set the vegetable custard dish inside the larger dish.  Fill the space between the two dishes with very hot water.  Carefully place both dishes in the oven and bake until the top has puffed up.  For the amounts listed above, the quantity will be about 1/4 cup serving.  This should take about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Notes

I usually serve some type of vegetable with dinner so I would cook a small portion plain to use for this dish.  Chop the cooked veggies very small and mash them with the back of a spoon in the dish you would cook them in.  I never have a large quantity of pureed vegetables on hand to make this.

I would save the extra eggs from scrambled eggs in the morning for a dish like this.  I keep extra egg in a small cup like this.  If I start to build up a supply of extra egg, I'll stick it in the freezer!

You could use pureed baby food vegetables if you prefer.  You would have to change the calculation to include pre-made baby food.

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