Cocoa powder is the pulverized cocoa solids left after extracting almost all the cocoa butter. It is used to add chocolate flavor in baking, and for making chocolate drinks. There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural cocoa produced by the Broma process, with no additives, and Dutch process cocoa, which is additionally processed with alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Natural cocoa is light in colour and somewhat, and is commonly used in recipes that also use baking soda; as baking soda is an alkali, combining it with natural cocoa creates a leavening action that allows the batter to rise during baking. Dutch cocoa is slightly milder in taste, with a darker colour. It is frequently used for chocolate drinks such as hot chocolate due to its ease in blending with liquids. However, Dutch processing destroys most of the flavonoids present in cocoa.[8]

Yes, it will work and you should store them in an airtight container (probably a ziploc bag) in your freezer. Try to get as much air out as possible. The vanilla is liquid and chocolate does have a tendency to seize with added liquid. It can depend on the quality of the chocolate and the vanilla. Can you find vanilla bean paste or powdered vanilla? That might help. If not, try adding the vanilla in with the cocoa butter so it’s in the recipe earlier. Or leave it out altogether although I really like the flavour better with vanilla.
I made this over the weekend and YUM! The only thing is that it didn’t set very well and I got more of a pudding consistency than anything. As soon as I cut into it it became a pudding/soup. It was still very good. I did use lactose free cream cheese and arrowroot powder…could that have been my downfall? Or did I not let things chill long enough. It didn’t specifiy how long to let the cream cheese filling chill so I only did about 30 min. And I chilled the whole thing overnight. Still very tasty!
Thanks Brenda for your feedback. I was not aware of the bitterness of stevia in relationship to how much or how little is used. I will keep that in mind next time I use the KAL brand. I usually use Sweetleaf but was out and had the KAL in the pantry. I too love dark chocolate so that was not the bitterness I was tasting. Next shopping trip I will get more Sweetleaf, and try the recipe again. Thanks for your help.
Chocolate may be a factor for heartburn in some people because one of its constituents, theobromine, may affect the esophageal sphincter muscle in a way that permits stomach acids to enter the esophagus.[76] Theobromine poisoning is an overdosage reaction to the bitter alkaloid, which happens more frequently in domestic animals than humans. However, daily intake of 50–100 g cocoa (0.8–1.5 g theobromine) by humans has been associated with sweating, trembling and severe headache.[77] Chocolate contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects in humans, but the presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats.[78]
The base of this recipe is cacao butter (also known as cocoa butter), which is a creamy fat that is solid at room temperature. It may be available at a health food store, but I get mine on Amazon. If you can’t find cacao butter, you can use coconut oil. However, if you do use oil, you must keep the chocolates chilled, even once they are set. Coconut oil will be too soft at room temperature.

If you would like to have a good low sugar recipe book on your kitchen, I can recommend you The 21 day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo. It’s a complete book with nutritions information, meal planner and more than one hundred of recipes. All low sugar, perfect to lose weight and get your energy levels back to normal. My complete review about the book can be found here.

To do the new study, Dr. Ludwig and his colleagues collaborated with Framingham State University, about 20 miles outside Boston, where they recruited overweight students, staff members and faculty members. Each participant went through two phases of the study. First, they were put on strict diets that lowered their body weight by about 12 percent, which was designed to stress their metabolisms.
What are the soft food and mechanical soft food diets? There are many reasons why someone may need to go on a soft food diet. Reasons might include surgery, cancer, difficulty swallowing, or dental problems. The diet should consist of a variety of foods that can be mashed or pureed. Read on find out which types of food to include, and tips for following this diet. Read now
The American Academy of Family Physicians defines low-carbohydrate diets as diets that restrict carbohydrate intake to 20 to 60 grams per day, typically less than 20% of caloric intake.[2] A 2016 review of low-carbohydrate diets classified diets with 50g of carbohydrate per day (less than 10% of total calories) as "very low" and diets with 40% of calories from carbohydrates as "mild" low-carbohydrate diets.[18] In a 2015 review Richard D. Feinman and colleagues proposed that a very low carbohydrate diet had less that 10% caloric intake from carbohydrate, a low carbohydrate diet less than 26%, a medium carbohydrate diet less than 45%, and a high carbohydrate diet more than 45%.[16]
Low-carb diets usually begin with an “induction” phase that eliminates nearly every source of carbohydrate. Often, you’ll consume as few as 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. That’s less than 100 calories’ worth—about what’s in a small dinner roll. On a 1,200-calorie diet, that’s only about 8 percent of your daily calories. By contrast, health experts recommend that we get between 45 and 65 percent of our calories from carbs.
In a 2005 study published in The Upsala Journal of Medical Science, for two groups of obese patients with type 2 diabetes, the effects of two different diet compositions were tested with regard to glycemic control and body weight. A group of 16 obese patients with type 2 diabetes was put on a low-carb diet (1,800 calories for men and 1,600 calories for women) that consisted of 20 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 50 percent fat.
What the researchers found was striking. The roughly 250 extra calories that the subjects in the low-carb group burned each day could potentially produce a 20-pound weight loss after three years on the diet, Dr. Ludwig said. People who tended to secrete higher levels of insulin did the best on the low-carb diet, burning about 400 extra calories a day.
Christy, I love this dessert and am so happy you liked it, too. I have found that the xanthan gum stabilizes the whipped cream enough to be good for about 5 days. It does make it stiff and it’s a little tricky smoothing it over the pudding layer. I just go slowly and gently. Just so you know, my recipe card has a recipe scale function. Hover over the serving size and slide it to how many servings you would like to make. It is very handy. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and let me know how much you liked the recipe. -Kim
But experts like Dr. Ludwig argue that the obesity epidemic is driven by refined carbohydrates such as sugar, juices, bagels, white bread, pasta and heavily processed cereals. These foods tend to spike blood sugar and insulin, a hormone that promotes fat storage, and they can increase appetite. Dr. Ludwig and his colleague Dr. Cara Ebbeling have published studies suggesting that diets with different ratios of carbs and fat but identical amounts of calories have very different effects on hormones, hunger and metabolism. He has also written a best-selling book on lower-carb diets.
Example 1: The first time we went sugar free, the challenge overlapped with a once-in-a-lifetime big family vacation. There was one really special night in particular that we were celebrating three golden birthdays (including mine!) and even though it was hard, Bjork and I decided to do our best to stay away from the treats. It was important to us that year to have a completely sugar-free experience. We focused on enjoying all the other foods and spending time with family playing games and laughing, and we still had a great time.

Wow 2 kg in only 16 days is fabulous. The rate of weight loss can depend on any things but mainly how much you have to lose and what your eating habits were like before starting LCHF. Steady weight loss is the key and more importantly remember all the amazing health benefits that LCHF brings. That is the real long term goal.I know it can be frustrating not to lose weight as quickly as you would like, but you are losing and you should feel proud of yourself. Baby steps, you’re doing incredibly well Arlene. 🙂
When researchers from the Discipline of Psychiatry and School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide compared the hormonal and psychological effects of a low-protein, high-carbohydrate (LPHC) diet and a high-protein, low-carbohydrate (HPLC) diet in women with a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) over the course of 16 weeks, they found a significant reduction in depression and improvement in self-esteem in those on the low-carb diet. (16)
If you look around the web, you’ll see that many people have taken on the challenge of a zero-carb diet, which involves eating only meat and fat. The downside of this diet is that it can be exceptionally high in saturated fat and contains no fiber, something that helps digestion, and no vegetables or fruit, which provide critical vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Considering that experts recommend talking to your doctor even before going on a ketogenic diet — and this is a much more severe form — you need to consult a medical professional before attempting the zero-carb diet!
Then don’t give up the fruit! Go for it. You sound like a fit and active person within the normal weight range. Generally the advice is to stay off excessive fruit, and high sugar fruit especially if people are overweight or have other health issues, then in that case fruit is not your friend. But with everything, eat within your personal carb limitations and eat to what is appropriate to you. Whole fruit is somewhat self limiting due to the fibre and water anyhow. You obviously have worked out a fabulous routine and it is working, so why change, stick with it Tom and enjoy 🙂
An extreme form of low-carbohydrate diet – the ketogenic diet – is established as a medical diet for treating epilepsy.[14] Through celebrity endorsement it has become a popular weight-loss fad diet, but there is no evidence of any distinctive benefit for this purpose, and it risks causing a number of side effects.[14] The British Dietetic Association named it one of the "top 5 worst celeb diets to avoid in 2018".[14]
I give 4 stars for the effort to make something good for the diabetes patients.The only thing I did not like at this product is that the sweetness is way TOO strong. These is a problem with most of the American sweet products. I just want to remind to the Americans that the sweet products should have more taste/flavor and less of an avalanche of sugar. This product is a dedicated diabetic friendly product , so, in my opinion, the sugary taste must be diluted/suggested. We need to re-learn from other cultures, particularly from Europeans, how the sweets suppose to be; not aggressive, more like suggested/guessed sweet, and , evidently , much more healthier.The big scale producers might use a scale of sweetness, lets say from 1 to 10 (lets say scale 10 for over 25g sugar per serving), so the customers could make their choice also! Anyway , thanks diabeticfriendly.com.
Absolutely, Janae. You can use more of your favorite sweetener. I do want to mention that erythritol based sweeteners tend to crystallize in wetter recipes (puddings, lemon curd) and adding more may result in crystals forming and a little crunch here and there. That only happens after a few days, though. This is a delicious recipe and I hope you enjoy it. -Kim
In addition to keeping you adequately hydrated -- which can also help alleviate constipation -- drinking lots of water can also help offset still another low-carb diet problem: bad breath. The ketones produced during the diet can lead to what is sometimes described as a fruity odor although it is often described as having an almost "chemical" odor similar to acetone or nail polish remover.
Hi Arti! Great question. It depends on where you are, but the answer is probably yes. If you’re not in the US, the substance you call essence is what we call extract: it’s a liquid that is made from vanilla beans and alcohol. If that’s what you have, regardless of the name, go for it! Just don’t use anything that is made using imitation flavors. Hope this helps!

In 2009, Salvation Army International Development (SAID) UK stated that 12,000 children have been trafficked on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast of Africa, where half of the world's chocolate is made.[114] SAID UK states that it is these child slaves who are likely to be working in "harsh and abusive"[115] conditions for the production of chocolate,[114] and an increasing number of health-food[116] and anti-slavery[117] organisations are highlighting and campaigning against the use of trafficking in the chocolate industry.
The base of this recipe is cacao butter (also known as cocoa butter), which is a creamy fat that is solid at room temperature. It may be available at a health food store, but I get mine on Amazon. If you can’t find cacao butter, you can use coconut oil. However, if you do use oil, you must keep the chocolates chilled, even once they are set. Coconut oil will be too soft at room temperature.
These low carb pumpkin spice cupcakes are the softest and crumbliest cupcakes you'll ever have. Made egg free, sugar free and gluten free,  they're also topped with some decadent sugar free cream cheese frosting.  They can also easily be made dairy free.  I'm warning you, you may not be able to stop … [Read more...] about Keto Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes Recipe
Hi Kristy, that is great that you have discovered us and you have a LCHF nutritionist on board. You are ahead of the game already! This will be an exciting time ahead for you as you will really learn so much about nutrition and your health. You will discover new ways to cook, which will eventually become your new favourites. You will lose weight and gain so much energy. You will also lose that constant feeling of guilt associated with eating, which is what I had. Eat too much, feel guilty, eat less, then overeat because you’re starving, feel guilty, and so the cycle continues. My weight has remained below my weight watchers goal for 2 years now without counting a single thing, how refreshing and healthy. You will gain control of your appetite and actually want to eat nutritious foods. Wheat and sugary foods no longer appeal (this is from me who used to buy 5kg bags of flour for my baking). 

In certain studies, improvement have been observed in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients fed a ketogenic diet, marked by factors including improved mitochondrial function. (7) A European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study pointed to emerging data that suggested the therapeutic use of ketogenic diets for multiple neurological disorders beyond epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, including headaches, neurotrauma, Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, brain cancer, autism and multiple sclerosis. (14)
I am trying to get back into keto. I did it before and I was so happy when I lost 10lbs (I did the keto for a month). I am ready to go back to this lifestyle. All this information is very helpful, I have written it all down so it can be easier for me to remember what is allowed and what is not. Looking forward to get back on this keto journey. Thank you for all the great info.
These amazing low carb gluten free pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are the best pumpkin treat one can ask for. Filled with sweet sugar free chocolate chips, chopped nuts and pumpkin seeds, you'll want to make this pumpkin snack all year long! This recipe can easily be customized to be dairy … [Read more...] about Low Carb Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
As low-carb dietitian Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE, who’s based in Orange County, California, points out, when you cut back on carbs, blood sugar and insulin levels generally go down, which can be a good thing for some people. “Carbs are broken down into glucose, which raises your blood sugar and prompts your pancreas to produce insulin to drive sugar into your cells,” says Spritzler. “When you’re overweight or obese, your blood sugar goes up and your pancreas sends out insulin, but your cells may not be responsive, leading your pancreas to overproduce insulin,” she says. High insulin increases hunger and prompts fat storage, she explains.
Well I remelted my chocolate and tweeked it a bit and I was happy with the results. Yesterday I made a batch of your chocolate chip cookies and I have to say they were so good, even my husband who would rather have dental work done over eating my low carb experiments said they were good. Thanks for all you do in making low carbing easier for us all.
Why are low-carb diets, especially the keto diet, so effective for shedding excess pounds, even in people who normally struggle to lose weight? When we eat foods with sugar and carbohydrates, the hormone insulin is released as a reaction in order to elevate blood glucose (sugar). Insulin is often called a “fat-storage hormone” because one of its jobs is to signal cells to store as much available energy as possible. This energy is initially stored as glycogen from the glucose found in carbohydrates, since glycogen is our “primary” energy.
If you can't have candy with real sugar then these are passable, but not much better, if at all, than say a Hershey sugar-free dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is usually more dense (so not soft, right?) and not as sweet as milk chocolate. These need a firm bite and the overall taste is just ok (but at least there is no chemical after taste as with some sugar free stuff), but they served the purpose. Main gripe is, at least with this seller, you have to order enough candy bars to supply a neighborhood of diabetes patients (like me). So, still searching, but in the meantime munching away at second of 24 bars!
Known as "Dutch cocoa", this machine-pressed chocolate was instrumental in the transformation of chocolate to its solid form when, in 1847, English chocolatier Joseph Fry discovered a way to make chocolate moldable when he mixed the ingredients of cocoa powder and sugar with melted cocoa butter.[23] Subsequently, his chocolate factory, Fry's of Bristol, England, began mass-producing chocolate bars, Fry's Chocolate Cream, launched in 1866, and they became very popular.[26] Milk had sometimes been used as an addition to chocolate beverages since the mid-17th century, but in 1875 Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate by mixing a powdered milk developed by Henri Nestlé with the liquor.[14][20] In 1879, the texture and taste of chocolate was further improved when Rudolphe Lindt invented the conching machine.[29]
The base of this recipe is cacao butter (also known as cocoa butter), which is a creamy fat that is solid at room temperature. It may be available at a health food store, but I get mine on Amazon. If you can't find cacao butter, you can use coconut oil. However, if you do use oil, you must keep the chocolates chilled, even once they are set. Coconut oil will be too soft at room temperature.  
Turns out, what’s low carbohydrate for one person isn’t for another. “There’s no medical definition of what low carb is,” says Columbus, Ohio–based Kelly Schmidt, RD. Basically, it’s reducing the number of carbs you eat from your norm. In general, however, a low-carb diet may include 50 to 100 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day, she says. Below that is considered a ketogenic diet, while 100 to 200 g of carbohydrates per day is a moderate-carb diet.
That approach provides the benefits of a drastically low-carb diet with none of the hazards. You’ll get the blood sugar advantages, including lower insulin levels. By eating plenty of lean protein, you’ll feel satisfied and less hungry. And by choosing “good” fats and limiting “bad” ones, you’ll keep LDL cholesterol from rising and protect your heart in the process. You’ll also discover a way of eating that you can enjoy—rather than endure—for the rest of your life.
Hi! Love this post and concept. I am currently in the midst of a refined grains/sugar-free December. While it was a little bit difficult at first to not indulge in all the holiday treats, I am feeling really good + loving the REAL food + down several pounds. Feeling so good that I think I’m going to continue into January + look forward to following along your journey/getting more yummy recipes! 🙂
While Columbus had taken cacao beans with him back to Spain,[20] chocolate made no impact until Spanish friars introduced it to the Spanish court.[14] After the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, chocolate was imported to Europe. There, it quickly became a court favorite. It was still served as a beverage, but the Spanish added sugar, as well as honey, to counteract the natural bitterness.[23] Vanilla, another indigenous American introduction, was also a popular additive, with pepper and other spices sometimes used to give the illusion of a more potent vanilla flavor. Unfortunately, these spices had the tendency to unsettle the European constitution; the Encyclopédie states, "The pleasant scent and sublime taste it imparts to chocolate have made it highly recommended; but a long experience having shown that it could potentially upset one's stomach", which is why chocolate without vanilla was sometimes referred to as "healthy chocolate".[24] By 1602, chocolate had made its way from Spain to Austria.[25] By 1662, Pope Alexander VII had declared that religious fasts were not broken by consuming chocolate drinks. Within about a hundred years, chocolate established a foothold throughout Europe.[14]
As a solid piece of chocolate, the cocoa butter fat particles are in a crystalline rigid structure that gives the chocolate its solid appearance. Once heated, the crystals of the polymorphic cocoa butter are able to break apart from the rigid structure and allow the chocolate to obtain a more fluid consistency as the temperature increases – the melting process. When the heat is removed, the cocoa butter crystals become rigid again and come closer together, allowing the chocolate to solidify.[66]

The final process is called tempering. Uncontrolled crystallization of cocoa butter typically results in crystals of varying size, some or all large enough to be clearly seen with the naked eye. This causes the surface of the chocolate to appear mottled and matte, and causes the chocolate to crumble rather than snap when broken.[63][64] The uniform sheen and crisp bite of properly processed chocolate are the result of consistently small cocoa butter crystals produced by the tempering process.
As of 2016 it was unclear whether low-carbohydrate dieting had any beneficial effect on cardiovascular health, though such diets can cause high LDL cholesterol levels, which carry a risk of atherosclerosis in the long term.[9] Potential favorable changes in triglyceride and HDL cholesterol values should be weighed against potential unfavorable changes in LDL and total cholesterol values.[31]
"Your body will often shift metabolism when you do something different to it -- but it equalizes -- you see a rapid shift and a return to normal -- and the longer-term studies show normal results in this area," says Sondike. Still, he tells WebMD it's a "smart idea" to take a calcium supplement beginning at the start of your low-carb diet to safeguard against a possible deficiency. Tofu can also be a good source of calcium.
The most extreme kind of low-carb diet was pioneered by the late Robert Atkins, M.D., whose first book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, came out in 1972. It promised quick and long-lasting weight loss and prevention of chronic disease, all while allowing high-fat steak and ice cream. Since then, other, more moderate low-carb diets have allowed small amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods, but they still cut out most grains as well as starchy vegetables and even fruit.
Good question. Because although you could melt plain unsweetened chocolate and stir in some sweetener, it would likely seize like crazy. There’s no way, with something like erythritol, that you could get it to mix in, without getting a goopy, thick mess. If you wanted to use a liquid sweetener, like sucralose, maybe but I don’t like sucralose. And if you have to use a significant amount of the liquid sweetener, your chocolate will again seize. It’s very tempermental stuff. An additional oil, like cocoa butter, helps it smooth out and allows it to mix nicely with the sweeteners. And cocoa butter is so hard at room temp, it’s a good choice because it will firm up properly, rather than need to be refrigerated.
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