Monday, August 19, 2013

90 Day Weight Loss Challenge Before and After Photo

So we just finished up the 90 day weight loss challenge yesterday! I can't believe we're already done!  I have to share the results because I'm totally excited by the pictures! 

Here I am at the beginning of the 90 day challenge. I'm actually pretty embarrassed to even share this...

Here I am today. I'm down 22 lbs and 29 inches! Waaa Whoooo!!

Obviously, I'm still a work in progress, but I'm motivated more than ever to keep on the path of good health and continuing to make great healthy recipes here on the blog! How did you do? 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, August 5, 2013

Salted Caramel Almond Flour Bars...Low Carb

The Original Post on Salted Caramel Butter Bars was loaded with a pound of unhealthy butter fat,  over a pound of unhealthy caramel and sugar, and crazy blood-sugar freakin' white flour carbs. Since I started the 90 day weight loss challenge here and have lost close to 35 lbs this year, I've been really focusing on trying to "healthify" the recipes I love and make them better.  I know. That's got to be frustrating for those who really just want the crazy-delicious bars. I promise that 90% of my adventure has been still enjoying the recipes I love, never compromising on amazing flavor, but making things remarkable to eat as well as healthy.  Anyone can add a ton of sugar and fat to a recipe and make it taste good. I'm holding to the fact that it takes a really outstanding chef to make things healthy and still taste amazing!! So here it is...

I'm making these bars today with my  favorite Almond Flour.  I've got a lot of classes coming up this month (see the Class Schedule) and I'm using this flour a lot.  Why? Because it is amazing!One of the things I love about almond flour is that it is loaded with vitamin E.  Vitamin E Keeps Your Brain and Body Razor Sharp! It can keep your mind almost a decade younger and has reportedly helped prevent dementia.  Just isn't just for the kids!   Keep in mind, that even though almond flour is lower in impact carbohydrates, it is still pretty high in calories and fat. Even thought they are "good fats", they still add calories. I use these cookies as an occasional treat. Don't let them be the only source of goodness in the lunchbox.
Gluten Free Almond Flour Salted Caramel Butter Bars
3 cups  Almond Flour
3/4cup granular erythritol (truvia will work)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp  vanilla powder flavor
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (natural gluten replacement) 
3/4  tsp sea salt (to taste, but I use about 3/4 tsp)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 8 ingredients well with 1/2 cup water to form a thick dough. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Pat 2/3 of the dough into a 9 inch by 9 inch square baking pan and bake 15 minutes.  Combine coconut sugar with 1T hot water and stir until dissolved. Remove pan from oven. Spread the coconut sugar mixture over the crust in a thin layer. Sprinkle with salt. Crumble remaining third of dough over the top of the bars in an even layer. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before cutting. Cut into 30 squares.

Nutritional information :  Each cookie: 77 calories, 5 g fat, 0 g cholesterol, 1.25 g fiber, 2.76 g protein, 5.8 carbohydrates (3.5 Net carbs).

There you go darlings! Make some delicious and healthy nibbles! Enjoy!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess