Apples are another no-no on the Keto diet. So how am I supposed to make my apple fritters? How about my cranberry chutney? I love cranberry chutney with diced apples and chopped dried apricots, but both fruits are a Keto no-no. As in NO!
Well, I haven’t figured out an alternative to the dried apricots, but the chayote squash is a success on the apple replacement. I had read about using chayote in Keto “apple” pies so I had to try it out. Score! You would never know that you were eating squash in the “apple pie” filling if no one clued you in.
When you cut into chayote it looks like it has the texture of a cross between apples and pears. It is firm like apples and when you eat it raw, it has a very, very mild squash taste. This is what makes the squash perfect for soaking up the taste of whatever you spice the dish with. In this case, I used McCormick’s apple pie spice. To the mixture I also added brown sugar flavor extract. That worked out perfectly in place of regular brown sugar.
2 large chayote squash, (I chopped the squash into small pieces so that I could use some of it in my cranberry chutney also)
1/3 cup Xylitol sweetener (or sweetener of your choice)
1 cup water
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar flavor extract
1 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tsp apple pie spice
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1/2 tsp salt
1. Add all ingredients except the chayote and butter to a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk to combine.
2. Add the squash and butter and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling and stirring for about ten minutes.
3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cook until the squash comes to your desired consistency for apple pie filling. My chayote pieces were fairly small so this step took an additional 30 minutes of simmering.
4. Taste and add sweetener or pie spice if you like.
You can use the faked apple compote over or in whatever you like. Try it over cakes, cottage cheese, yogurt or your keto ice cream. Whirl it into your Keto smoothies for an additional flavor layer to the shakes.
For years, my cranberry chutney has been a sweet and tangy mix made with whole cranberries, diced apples and dried apricots. Now that I’m on Keto, I wondered what the heck I could use instead of the apples and apricots. Let me tell you, chayote squash fit the bill. Chayote is a very mild flavored squash that looks like Granny Smith apples when you slice or dice it.
Instead of apricots I also added a cup of frozen 3 berry mix (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) to the chutney just for a little added flavor and visual texture.
1 (12 oz) pkg cranberries
1 large chayote, diced with the skin left on
1 cup frozen 3 berry mix (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
i cup water
3/4 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit classic granulated (or sweetener of your choice)
3/4 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit Brown (or sweetener of your choice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground dry mustard
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1. In a saucepan, boil the water and sweeteners, stirring until no granules remain.
2. Whisk in the dried spices.
3. Add the diced chayote and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to cook the chayote for15 minutes to soften it up.
4. Add the cranberries and bring back to a slow boil. Stir the mixture occasionally, cooking until the cranberries are popping and the chutney is reducing in liquid – about another 10 minutes.
5. Add the frozen mixed berries and return to a boil. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the chutney has a texture that you like.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
This chutney is excellent over buttered toast too. Additionally, it can be spooned over cottage cheese, yogurt, mousse, whatever you can dream up. Oh! And all of the ingredients are healthy so whirl some up into your smoothies as well.
Nothing speaks “Fall!” to me like cooling temperatures, cozy sweaters and throws, color changing foliage, the smell of crackling fire places and hot drinks with PUMPKIN spice. Most often (I would say daily actually) pumpkin spice or just plain old cinnamon, chocolate and caramel or maple extract will be found in my giant mug of hot coffee. Oh! And, of course, heavy cream.
Go ahead- treat yourself to a dish that is just as yummy and loaded as baked potatoes. Does it taste like potatoes? No, but I promise you, this version is just as delicious and satisfying, but without the high carb count. Add a simple salad and you will have a beautiful, complete meal with very little fuss.
One note before I share the recipe- I have seen this done as mashed cauliflower, but I prefer chunky, hearty foods and not those that have been pureed to within an inch of their life. If you would rather mash for a creamy casserole, then by all means, go ahead. This casserole will still be just as delicious.
OK, one more note- if you do not have an oven, just use your microwave to first cook the cauliflower, as per instructions, and then proceed to cook all of the ingredients together after you have combined them. No oven? No reason not to enjoy a good meal.
6 slices bacon cooked to a crisp and broken into small pieces ( you can substitute a good brand of
bacon bits if you don’t have fresh bacon on hand)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream and cut chives for topping
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a baking dish with Ghee or you can use a nonstick, non-aerosol spray if you like. Pure avocado oil has a neutral taste and works well.
Chop cauliflower into small pieces. Place it along with 1/4 cup water into a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for about 6 minutes. Remove and drain cauliflower. Pat with a towel to get rid of excess water.
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl to combine.
Bake in a prepared oven safe casserole dish for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Top with sour cream, chives and more bacon bits if you like. Serve warm.
I LOVE just about any tomato dish with pasta in it. This ziti has no pasta in it, so it was a surprise to me that it is just as delicious with only meat, cheese and veggies. And it is, like any ziti, easy to whip up, perfect for a Keto meal.
My mom used to make lasagna with cottage cheese rather than ricotta. I still like that down-home taste of Mama’s cooking so that is what my recipe calls for. If you like ricotta better, use that instead.