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Wednesday, January 27, 2016


You could be eating ooey, gooey, chocolatey cake in a matter of minutes!

2 tablespoons almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Natural Mate,* equal to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter or coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar-free chocolate chips
2 tablespoons additional sugar-free chocolate chips for topping
Whipped cream or ice cream and berries for garnish, optional

Combine almond and coconut flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk until well blended.

Place egg in a 2-cup mug or small bowl and beat with a whisk or fork to blend. Beat in Natural Mate. Add melted butter and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and beat to make a smooth batter. Fold two tablespoons chocolate chips into batter.

Place cup with batter in microwave oven and cook on high. Check after one minute and continue to cook only until there is no wet spot in the center. It usually takes about 1½ to 2 minutes total. The cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the cup or bowl and the power of the microwave oven.

Remove cup or bowl from oven and scatter remaining two tablespoons chocolate chips over cake while still hot. Let stand until melted. Top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or yogurt or a scoop of sugar-free ice cream and garnish with fresh berries, if desired. Serve in the cup to be eaten with a spoon. Alternately, cake can be unmolded onto a plate while hot and topped with the remaining chocolate chips. 

Divide to make two servings.

Makes two regular servings or one large serving.

Nutrition data per each of 2 servings:
Calories: 167; Fat: 14.7g; Carbohydrate: 11.8g; Fiber: 9.2g, Sugar: 0.4g; Protein: 3.2g; Net Carbohydrate: 2.6g
Count excludes 1 gram of sugar alcohol (erythritol).

Baking Note: To bake in a conventional oven rather than a microwave, grease two 6- to 7-ounce ramekins. Divide batter between them and bake at 350 degrees F for about 12 to 15 minutes or until centers are set.

½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1 drop EZ-Sweetz liquid sweetener to equal 2 teaspoons of sugar

Chill a small bowl and a whisk or the beaters from an electric mixer. Put the cream, sweetener, and vanilla in the bowl and whisk or beat until cream holds peaks when beater is lifted. Be careful not to over beat or you will have butter.

Makes 8 Servings.
Nutrition Data Per Serving:
Calories: 52; Fat: 5.5; Protein: 0.3g; Total Carbohydrates 0.6; Fiber: 0g; Sugar Alcohols (erythritol): 1g; Net Carbohydrates: 0.47g        

*Natural Mate is a combination of erythritol and either stevia or sucralose. A third version contains extracts of okra and pumpkin, natural supplements that have been shown to help with blood sugar control. 

Natural Mate is twice as sweet as sugar so you should use half as much as the normal amount of sugar called for in a similar recipe. 

Low-carb chocolate chips:

Lily’s and LC-Foods chocolate chips are made with stevia and erythritol. Carb Smart chips are made with polydextrose and sucralose. Brands made with maltitol are also available but not recommended. Other options are to use chopped, sugar-free chocolate bars, like Choco-perfection, or to make your own sugar-free chocolate chips with this recipe: 

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Disclaimer: I received sample products to use for recipe testing. 

(c) Judy Barnes Baker,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Even Ancel Keys, the father of fat phobia and inventor of the "Mediterranean" diet (1.), advised eating liver once a week because the Cretans, one of the two most healthy groups in his Seven Countries Study, were very fond of organ meats. (Contrary to the common belief that his diet was largely vegetarian, Keys and his wife ate chicken, Canadian bacon, and fish regularly and they ate beef, pork, and lamb three times a week in addition to their weekly liver.) (2.) 

Organ meats are a vital part of most traditional diets. A trip to an ethnic grocery or foreign marketplace (Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, French—anywhere but here) will let you see how important organ meats are in the diets of most societies. (The Silver Spoon, the Bible of Italian cooking, devotes 28 pages to variety meats.) Liver heads the list of nutrient dense foods, but it is also one that most Americans never eat. It can be bitter, dry, and tough, but when cooked properly, it is moist, tender, and delicious as well as nutritious.

Whole chickens and turkeys used to come with a waxed-paper bag holding the giblets stuffed into the cavity (and cooked there too, by a lot of novice cooks preparing their first holiday meal, including yours truly!). Now the spare bits are normally removed before it reaches the shelf. Alas, liver has become almost as scarce as hens's teeth.

This Fall, I discovered that there is an abundant supply of fresh turkey livers around Thanksgiving and it is super cheap. The stash in the top picture cost me $1.99 per pound! The butcher at my local Whole Foods told me they usually have it starting on November 15th. I stocked my freezer with what I thought would be enough to last for months, but I find it is going much too quickly because we love it so much!

1. Ancel and Margaret Keys, authors of Eat Well, Stay Well the Mediterranean Way, Doubleday, 1975
2. “The Fat of the Land,” Time Magazine, January 13, 1961, Vol. LXXVII No.3.

Exact measurements are not crucial to the recipe. I only needed them as a basis for figuring the nutrition data.

1 pound turkey or chicken* livers
1 cup full-fat kefir, yogurt, or milk
8 bacon slices, quartered crosswise
1 medium onion, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Separate liver lobes and remove connective tissue. Slice each lobe into 2 or 3 slices depending on size. Place liver in a bowl and cover with kefir or yogurt, thinned with water if necessary to the consistency of cream, or use any kind of milk. Let soak 20 minutes to remove bitterness.
Cut onion in half around the equator then slice pole to pole into 1/2-inch slices.

While liver is soaking, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning over occasionally, until slightly crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Drain off some of the bacon fat from the skillet, if desired, and reserve for another use. Cook onions with salt and pepper in fat in skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer onions to a serving bowl and add drained bacon. Cover and keep warm,

Drain liver and blot dry on paper towels to prevent splattering. Discard kefir or yogurt.

Heat pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté liver on one side until brown; turn over and brown second side, about four minutes total. Remove pan from heat, cover with a lid, and let sit for a few minutes until it is evenly pink inside. Do not over-cook!  Spoon liver over bacon and onions and serve hot.

Serves 4.

Nutrition Data:
Calories: 236; Protein: 25.5g; Fat: 12.2g; Total carbs: 4.5g; Fiber 0.6, Net carbs: 3.9  

*You can use chicken liver for this recipe, but I like turkey better. The lobes are bigger so they make nicer slices and there is less connective tissue.

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(c) 2016, Judy Barnes Baker

Thursday, January 14, 2016


If you think hot, crisp waffles, topped with butter and thick, sweet maple syrup are off the table on a low-carb diet, I've got good news for you!

This simple, no-cook maple syrup adds the final touch for my new waffles. The syrup becomes thicker and clearer after it stands; make it first so you will have it on hand when you get the urge to indulge. 

1/3 cup Natural Mate,* equal to 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum Use less to make thinner syrup, more for thicker.
A pinch of salt
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar-free maple extract
1/2 teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark molasses or yacon syrup for color, optional

Mix Natural Mate with salt and xanthan gum in a blender or food processor. Press down tightly on the lid to prevent the dust from escaping and process until mixture is powdered. Don't remove the lid until the contents have settled.

Add maple extract, vanilla extract, and molasses or yacon, if using, to the warm water. Stir. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and process for 2 or 3 minutes until blended and smooth. Pour into a small pitcher or syrup dispenser and refrigerate for several hours. The mixture will be thin at first, but will thicken on standing. It will continue to become darker and clearer for a few days as the foam dissipates. Store syrup in the refrigerator and heat just before serving.

Recipe makes 1¼ cups or 5 servings of ¼ cup each.
Calories: 0; Fat: 0g; Protein: 0g; Carbs: 0.3g; Fiber 0.3g; Net Carbs: 0g
Count excludes 1 gram of sugar alcohol (erythritol). 

The optional molasses will add 19 calories, 0.8 gram of total carbs, and 0.2 grams of fiber for a net carb count of 0.6 grams.

*Yacon syrup is made from a South American root that is high in fiber. It has a fruity taste and a very low glycemic index. It is usually counted as having zero carbs or calories since it is mostly indigestible fiber. (The labels say 1 teaspoon has 6.8 calories, 3.7 grams of carbs, and zero fiber. That is clearly incorrect and must just be a glitch in the rules for the info shown on labels.)

These waffles may "waffle" a bit when they first come off the iron, but they quickly crisp up quite nicely. Reheating in a toaster makes them even crispier.

The nutrition data for this recipe is for classic, not Belgian-style waffles, which are twice as thick. Thinner waffles will be crisper.

¾ cup (60g) plain whey protein Powder, such as Bob’s Red Mill Whey Concentrate
1/2 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons Natural Mate, equal to 6 tablespoons sugar.* Use more or less to taste.
2 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup coconut milk**  
1½ tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled but still liquid
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 to 4 tablespoons water, as needed
Softened butter and Low-Carb Maple Syrup, above, for serving.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until blended.
Whisk egg in a second bowl until smooth. Whisk in coconut milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of water.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat with a rubber spatula until well blended and smooth. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get a thick, but pourable batter.

Let batter rest while heating waffle iron. A ½-cup ladle, measuring cup, or ice cream scoop can be used to dip and pour batter.  Start with a little less than 1/2 cup to see how much to use in your waffle iron or use the amount specified for your waffle maker.

When iron is hot, pour batter onto the center of the hot griddle. Close lid and cook according to manufacturer’s directions, it will probably take 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t lift the top too soon or waffles may break. If they are not brown enough, reclose iron and cook a little longer. Make note of cooking time and amount of batter needed for perfect waffles in your waffle iron.

When well browned, tease up edges of waffles with a spatula or tongs and lift out. Remove to a rack or plate. Serve hot, on heated plates, with warm Maple Syrup.
To freeze, let cool, separate with parchment paper, and wrap air tight. Freeze until needed. Heat in toaster or oven to re-crisp.

The All Clad brand waffle maker shown makes four, 7-inch-diameter, round waffles with this recipe. Each waffle can be one large serving or 4 wedge-shaped, smaller servings. (This amount of batter made eight 5½- by 3½-inch waffles when tested in a rectangular waffle iron.)

Nutrition data per serving of 1 large, round waffle (1/4 of recipe):
Calories: 221; Fat: 17.2g; Protein:14.6; Total Carbs: 4.7g; Fiber: 1.8g; Net Carbs: 2.9g
Count excludes 3g of sugar alcohol (erythritol).

Nutrition data per each 1/4 segment of one large, round waffle (1/16 of recipe):  
Calories: 5.5; Fat: 1.8g; Protein:3.7g; Total Carbohydrates: 1.2g; Fiber: .0.45g; Net Carbohydrates: 0.7g
Count excludes 3g of sugar alcohol (erythritol).

Don’t get the waffles so thick that they ooze out on the sides when the lid is closed. If your waffle iron makes only thick, Belgian waffles, they may require more batter and the nutrition counts will be different.

The waffles usually take 3 to 5 minutes to cook, but time may vary depending on your waffle iron.

**Use 100 percent coconut milk, the kind in tetra packs or cans, in this recipe rather than the thin coconut beverages sold from the dairy case, which have additives to keep it homogenized. Natural coconut milk will separate on standing, so shake the can or carton well before opening and stir each time before using to get smooth coconut milk. It will be easier to emulsify it if is transferred from the carton or can to a jar with a lid before storing in the refrigerator.

Those who wish to avoid dairy products can use coconut cream as a substitute for dairy cream. To make coconut cream from coconut milk, refrigerate it overnight and skim off the thick cream to use.

*Natural Mate is twice as sweet as sugar so you should use half as much as the normal amount of sugar called for in similar recipes. (Double the amount if using another brand.) My syrup and waffle recipes were featured in the video above for the Sweet Solutions Company, the makers of Natural Mate, which is a blend of erythritol and either sucralose or stevia. 

Photos by Judy Barnes Baker.

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Disclaimer: I recieved free products to use for recipe testing. 

(c) 2016, Judy Barnes Baker

Saturday, January 2, 2016


The original version of this recipe called for a whole cup of sugar! This reincarnation brings an old favorite back as a healthful, delicious, sweet salad for parties, cookouts, and family meals.  

1½ pounds green cabbage, about half a medium head, shredded
1 medium white onion, about 8 ounces, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup light olive oil 
½ cup Natural Mate, equal to 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped, optional

Place shredded cabbage in a large, heat-resistant bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Toss and let stand while making dressing.

Combine the vinegar, olive oil, Natural Mate, mustard, and celery seed in a small saucepan and bring to a full boil. Stir until sweetener is dissolved.

Pour hot liquid over cabbage mixture and stir until wilted. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, drain slaw, add parsley, and toss. Reserve liquid and return any leftover cole slaw to bowl with reserved dressing and refrigerate. Cole slaw will be even better after a day or two and can be kept for up to a week.

Recipe makes 7 cups or 14 servings of ½ cup each.
Nutrition data: Nutrition data per each of 14 servings:
Calories: 155; Fat: 15.6g; Carbohydrate: 3.4g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 8.6g; Net Carbohydrate: 2.4g 

This recipe, along with my BABY BACK RIBS WITH MUSTARD VINEGAR BARBECUE SAUCE, was featured in a video for the Sweet Solutions Company. the makers of Natural Mate sweeteners. Natural Mate is a blend of erythritol and either stevia or sucralose. It is twice as sweet as sugar, so you can use half as much. A third version includes extracts of pumpkin and okra, which have been shown to help with blood sugar control. 

The recipes for the ribs and barbecue sauce are here:

 Watch the video here:

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Cole Slaw photo by Justin Marchert, 2015

Disclaimer: I received free samples of Natural Mate sweeteners for recipe development. 

(c) 2016, Judy Barnes Baker,

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Perfect Last Minute Gift! Under $3.00 and Instant Delivery

If you didn't get all your shopping done or if you just want to add a little something extra for everyone on your list, here's a great way to do it! Eight authors have joined forces to offer our Kindle books for less than $2.99 each! Today and tomorrow only.

Here's the list:
1. Cristian Vlad Zot – Persistent Fat Loss
2. William Lagakos – The Poor, Misunderstood Calorie
3. Ben Greenfield – The Low-Carb Athlete
4. Patricia Daly – Practical Keto Meal Plans for Endurance Athletes
5. Richard David Feinman – The World Turned Upside Down
6. Judy Baker – Nourished; A Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance
7. Cristian Vlad Zot – Periodic Fasting
8. Jennifer Matthews – Water Fasting for Wellness
9. Kelly Peterson – The Asian Low Carb Secret
10. Jennifer Matthews – Keto Blocks
11. Cristian Vlad Zot – Ketone Power
If you are interested, please follow this link.

(c) Judy Barnes Baker

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Just a little reminder about how time flies! My husband started making gingerbread houses with the grandchildren when they very small and the tradition has endured. Brandon is 19 now and home from college. They stayed to help decorate our tree after finishing their creations.

Yes, that's an octopus on top of Brandon's house. And no, they are not low-carb. Dean loves to play Santa and I try not to be too much of a Grinch.

Wishing you the very best for the season and the coming year!

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker

Saturday, December 12, 2015


For over 30 years, our government and health agencies have told us that the solution to obesity is to eat less, mostly plants, and move more. Anytime the subject of nutrition comes up, someone is sure to quote Michael Pollen's meme, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." The message has spread around the world and most people have come to believe that the traditional foods that nourished previous generations throughout most of human history are guilty pleasures that will damage their health and lead to weakness, heart disease, and an early demise.

The proposed 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) is due out in a matter of days. The DGA Advisory Committee's report, if accepted as expected, will endorse three so called, healthy diets, all plant-based with lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains, some fat-free and low-fat dairy, no red meat, and 10% or less of calories from saturated fat. One of the three is a healthy vegetarian plan. The other two allow a small, optional amount of fish or chicken. 

The new guidelines will include a few changes, for example, dietary cholesterol has been declared to be "no longer of concern," and the upper limit on fat consumption has been quietly removed, but the message is still basically, "Eat, less, mostly plants, and move more."  

The defenders of the status quo, including the American Heart Association, are trying to get the report published before a deadline that may require that the guidelines be based on the "best scientific evidence available," a standard none of the old versions nor the proposed new ones can remotely satisfy.

Since the first set of DGAs were released in 1980, we have experienced the greatest epidemic in human history. Two-thirds of Americans are now obese, diabetic, or pre-diabetic and that number is projected to affect a total of 366 million people by 2030.(1) Cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, auto-immune problems, explosive rage disorder, and many other diseases and conditions have also exploded in spite of the dramatic decline in smoking, the proliferation of new drugs, and faster, better emergency care.

And yet, our health agencies still insist the fault is not with their recommendations but that Americans are fat and sick because we are lazy gluttons who don't have the will-power to follow their excellent guidelines. If we would all just eat less, mostly plants, and get more exercise, we would no longer be fat and sick. If only someone would conduct a study in which people actually followed their advice, then we could all see how well it works. But you would have to lock people up and carefully control what they ate, which would be impossible...oh, wait...that study has already been done.

A group of volunteers did exactly that, and unlike the rest of us, they could not cheat--at all. In 1991a group of eight men and women agreed to live for two years in a self-contained biosphere. The dome was sealed so they could get nothing from the outside. The inhabitants planted, grew, and harvested all their own food. Their so-called healthy starvation diet consisted of fruits, a long list of vegetables, and nuts and legumes, plus a few eggs, some dairy from their goats, and a very small amount of fish and chicken. Only 10 percent of their calories came from fat and they ate meat only on Sundays. In order to keep the project running, each of them had to spend eighty hours per week in heavy, manual labor. The medical officer of the project, Roy Lee Walford, believed that calorie restriction was the key to longevity and he welcomed the chance to test his theory with a group of fellow lab rats. Walford said he hoped his low-fat, low-calorie diet would enable him to live to the age of 110.

Life in the bubble was far from idyllic. The Terranauts reported constant hunger and became bitter and quarrelsome. (The experiment became the inspiration for the reality show called, Big Brother.) The pictures of Walford before and after his two years in the dome show a fit, healthy man who looks much younger than his 67 years when he entered and one who looks emaciated, haggard, and close to death when he emerged. He died of Lou Gehrig's disease at the age of 79.
From the book, Spring Chicken, Stay Young or Die Trying, by Bill Gifford.(2) Read more here.

The status quo is no longer defensible. Too many people have discovered that they can lose weight, normalize blood lipids, reduce or eliminate medications, reverse diabetes, and improve their health by doing the exact opposite of what they have been told to do and they are happily spreading the good news. (The 2010 guidelines received 2,000 public comments; the 2015 report had 29.000.)

Adding fuel to the controversy, a scathing article questioning whether the guidelines are based on science was published in the prestigious British Medical Journal. It was written by Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise. Click here to read the whole report, titled, The scientific report guiding the US dietary guidelines: is it scientific? 

Below are two excerpts from the BMJ article:

"...The BMJ has also found that the committee's report used weak scientific standards, reversing recent efforts by the government to strengthen the scientific review process. This backsliding seems to have made the report vulnerable to internal bias as well as outside agendas...."

"...Moreover, although the NEL conducted eight reviews on fruits and vegetables, non found strong (grade 1) evidence to support the assertion that tese foods can provide health benefits..." (The NEL is the Nutrition Evidence Library, set up by the USDA--JBB.)

Nutrition expert, Professor Arne Astrup, had this to say about the DGA Advisory Committee:

”…the committee seems to be completely dissociated from the top level scientific community, and unaware of the most updated evidence. There are now several new meta-analyses of both observational studies and also of randomized controlled trials clearly showing that there is no benefit of reducing saturated fat in the diet....”

Equally important, he wrote,

“ that the scientific studies that were the basis for the ‘cut down on saturated fat’ recommendations have been re-evaluated, and it is quite clear that today we would have concluded that there is no robust evidence to substantiate the advice....The same applies to the importance of carbohydrate amount and source. Reducing total carbs or selecting the low glycemic index carbohydrates are well documented tools to produce weight loss and treat type 2 diabetes, and there is quite good evidence for efficacy and safety.

So, will this be the year everything changes? Or will the defenders of the lipid hypothesis continue to drag its sorry carcass on for another five years to allow those who are profiting from the scams that surround it to find a new plan? 
1. Wild S, Roglic G, Green A, Sicree R, King H. Global prevalence of diabetes: estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care, 2004 May: 27(5):1047-53

2. Spring Chicken, How to Stay Young Forever or Die Trying, by Bill Gifford, Copyright (c) 2015

Post Script: Victory! 
This just in: "...lawmakers included language in the spending bill that bars the departments from finalizing the guidelines (DGAs) until they’ve ensured that each recommendation is based on significant scientific agreement and limited in scope to nutritional and dietary information." Read it here: 

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker,

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Anything you can do with ground beef you can do with pork and it will be juicier and more tender as well as less expensive. Ground, pasture-raised and heiritage pork make great burgers, meatloaf, and this fantastic meatball dish that tastes like Stroganoff. I served it over tender shreaded cabbage "noodles" with sour cream gravy that needs no thickener or starch.

2 tablespoons high-heat cooking fat, such as lard, bacon fat, light olive oil
3/4 cup of chopped onion
1 pound ground pork
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
2 tablespoons almond or cashew flour
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken or beef bone broth
1 cup full-fat sour cream, yogurt, or kefir
1/2 teaspoon coconut aminos or tamari sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Snipped fresh parsley to garnish
2 cups shredded cabbage, simmered in water or broth until soft

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a shallow roasting pan.

Saute onions in fat in large skillet until softened and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Divide into two batches if necessary.

In a medium bowl, mix cooked onion, pork, egg, Parmesan cheese, sage, nut flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Shape meat mixture into balls using about 2 tablespoons for each. Recipe will make about 12 meatballs.

Reheat skillet used for onions and cook meatballs for about 3 minutes per side until brown. Transfer meatballs to a shallow roasting pan and place in preheated oven.for 20 minutes.

Make gravy while meatballs cook. Remove any burned bits of onion amd pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from skillet without disturbing the browned fond on the bottom. Add wine and cook and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Add the bone broth and cook for 5 minutes. Add coconut aminos or tamari sauce. Remove from heat.

Skim the fat off the drippings in the roasting pan used to cook the meatballs and add the remaining drippings to the gravy, if desired. When ready to serve, stir sour cream or yogurt into gravy until smooth. Reheat gently and add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Place meatballs on bed of cabbage "pasta'. Pour gravy over meatballs and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4
Calories: 550; Fat: 45.6g; Protein: 25.6g;, Carbs: 10g; Fiber: 2.3g. Net Carbs: 7.7

Photo, Judy Barnes Baker, (c) 2015

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker

Thursday, December 3, 2015


I saw this coming. I hate to say, "I told you so," but I've been warning about this for a long time. Low-carb and Paleo diets are taking the blame for a problem caused by eating too much flax.

Naturopath, Dr. Lara Briden, gave a presentation at The Ancestral Health Society of New Zealand symposium on women's reproductive health. She reported that she was concerned about the number of young women who have lost their periods on a low-carb diet. "It is real and it is happening," she says on her blog. She surmises that it may be due to "inadequate starch that signals the hypothalamus that there is not enough food to reproduce," or it may be an "adaptive starvation response," or it may be via leptin or the microbiome.

Eating a low-carb diet with lots of good, natural fats enhances fertility; vegetarian and vegan diets have the opposite effect but many people following low-carb and Paleo diet plans are eating huge amounts of flax. It is used in low-carb breads, snacks, and baked goods to replace wheat and gluten. Because it is one of the few plant sources for the precursor of omega-3 fats, many doctors recommend it as a health food, some even set minimum daily requirements for it!

Plants mimic the hormones of mammals as a way to defend themselves against predators. These hormone disruptors can have serious side effects, but the biggest danger from flax is to pregnant women who may miscarry or have children with birth defects in their reproductive systems. Plant estrogens are the plant's revenge--we kill their babies, they kill ours. As Thor Hanson said, "A seed is a baby plant, in a box, with its lunch."

I recently had a Tweet from a young woman who had suffered seven miscarriages (that information was part of her ID). The same Tweet included a link to her favorite recipe. It was a bread recipe that called for two cups of flax. Another woman reported having three miscarriages in one year after starting a Paleo diet with lots of flax. She switched to a new doctor who told her to cut out the flax and subsequently became pregnant and delivered a healthy child.

It is common knowledge that soy contains estrogen. It is routinely used as a hormone replacement for treating menopause symptoms, but many people may not realize that flax contains a lot more of these hormone-like chemicals than soy. According to Web MD, flax contains 800 times as many phyto-estrogens as soy, more than any other plant food. The Weston A. Price Foundation warns that a baby given soy formula gets the equivalent of five birth control pills a day; that means a baby fed on flax formula would get an amount equal to 4,000 birth control pills a day!

There may be a place for flax when used as a treatment for a medical condition, but as with any potent medicine, the dose is important and we need to be aware of its side effects before we eat it or give it to our children.

Call to Action:
The World Health Organization is now pushing us toward a plant-based diet and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, due out soon, are going to echo that advice. In South Africa, a country that has experienced a ten-fold increase in diabetes in one generation, fitness expert, Prof. Tim Noakes, is on trial and the Health Professions Council of South Africa is going to extraordinary lengths to discredit him. (His "crime?" He sent a Tweet to a new mother suggesting that she wean her baby on low-carb, natural-fat foods rather than cereal.) Nutritionist, Jennifer Elliott, was expelled from the Dietitians Association of Australia and lost her right to practice her profession in New South Wales for recommending a low-carb diet for a diabetic patient. Anyone who questions traditional dietary advice can expect the same kind of persecution. Let's not give them any more ammunition.

Please share a warning about the over-consumption of flax with your contacts and post a comment on any site that sells it or advocates it as a "super food." You can also send a message to any company that sells products that contain high levels of flax suggesting that they add a warning to their label.

For more about flax, read my review of Wheat Belly

Photo of flax featured above from Wikipedia. 

(c) Judy Barnes Baker,

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


The anti-meat activists are having a heyday with the new study from the World Health Organization that states unequivocally that, hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats cause cancer. I'm sure you have seen it everywhere, even though the study has not even been officially released! Here is a link to the story in yesterday's Washington Post if you need a refresher:

Below is my response. I've posted on every news story I could find that gave me a comment box! Also check out Zoe Harcombe's in-depth rebbutal here:  See more responses to the WHO recommendations at the end of this post.


Nitrates are actually used to treat heart patients. They open the arteries. I haven’t seen any solid science that supports their link to cancer. Green vegetables have hundreds of times more nitrates than cured meats, yet we are encouraged to eat lots of them! I posted about how we came to believe nitrates were harmful here: 

We already know that the fat in pork is good for us; even those who vilify saturated fat surely are aware that pork fat is mostly mono-unsaturated, like olive oil. One of the main kinds of fat found in beef is quickly converted to mono-unsaturated fat as soon as it is ingested, so if there is any problem with eating cured meat (other than the fact that it is most often eaten as a sandwich with a side of fries cooked in a toxic vegetable oil sludge and served with a sugary soft drink), it is most likely due to the way it is raised and processed in this country. Factory-farmed meat, fattened on GMO corn and soy, injected with hormones and anti-biotics, mixed with starches, sugars, and preservatives (like BHA and BHT), and usually cooked and packaged in plastic, might contribute to cancer. But we can opt out on the nasty stuff. If we buy fresh or naturally cured, pastured pork and grass-fed beef and lamb, we can still enjoy the benefits of the world's most nutrient dense foods, the ones that have nourished mankind throughout all of human history.

It is interesting to note that most of those who responded in the media to the WHO study buy into the myths about the dangers of cured meat and red meat. The real Mediterranean diet was full of cured meat; that’s why a lot of it is called by Italian names, like salami, prosciutto, pancetta, pepperoni, etc.

PS: Dr. Eenfeldt’s blog post reminded me that I forgot to mention that the way meat is cooked affects its carcinogenic content. So don’t blacken your steak or if you do, trim away the burnt parts and keep your bacon wobbly. Marinating meats or cooking in liquid helps reduce the harmful compounds too. See my recipe for cooking bacon under water. (He points out that cooking any food at high temperatures produces carcinogins but charred vegetables will have many more of them than charred meat!)

The experts weigh in on the WHO study:

A great article on the WHO study from Prof. Schofield:

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker

Sunday, October 25, 2015


You may not be familiar with lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), a relative of cranberries, unless you've had lunch at an IKEA store. They grow wild in cold climates and are popular for jams and sauces in Scandinavia. I planted some as a groundcover in my front yard and developed a profound respect for anyone who harvests these tiny, tart berries. No wonder we seldom see them in places where there are alternatives like big fat strawberries, raspberries, and cherries! (I picked a sprig to garnish my sorbet in the photo but I bought the berries to make it at the grocery store.) Their low sugar content makes them a perfect choice for a low-carb fruit dessert.

Keep frozen berries on hand and you will never be more than five minutes away from a fabulous dessert! I called this "sophisticated sorbet" because the lingonberries are distinctively tart and the Chambord makes this an adults only recipe. You can leave out the liqueur and use all raspberries for a less sophisticated version. 

8 ounces frozen raspberries
8 ounces frozen lingonberries (or use all raspberries)
Erythritol-based granular sweetener, such as Swerve, equal to ½ cup sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon Great Lakes powdered gelatin
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Chambord or other raspberry-flavored liqueur

A high-speed blender works best for this, but it can be made in a food processor. Have ready a chilled container for the finished sorbet.

Let frozen berries thaw for 5 minutes at room temperature. 

Meanwhile, place sweetener, gelatin, and salt into blender and pulse until powdered. Don't remove the lid until the dust settles. Add berries, water, and Chambord. Blend according to the directions for frozen desserts for your blender until it forms a smooth puree. Taste and adjust sweetener if necessary.  

Scrape sorbet out of blender directly into serving dishes and serve at once or place in a container to firm up, stirring occasionally.

Sorbet may need to warm up for 20 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator if it has been frozen for more than 2 or 3 hours. Break into chunks and blend or process again for soft serve, if desired.

Once sorbet is firm enough to scoop, use an ice cream dipper to portion it out into flexible silicone muffin pans to make individual servings that can be popped out when ready to use. 

Makes about 7 servings.

Cal: 305; Fat: 0g; Protein: 0.9g; Total Carbs; 8.1, Fiber: 3g, Net Carbs: 5.1g
Without Liqueur: Cal: 291; Fat: 0g; Protein: 0.9g; Total Carbs: 7.4g, Fiber: 3; Net Carbs: 4.4g
Sugar alcohols are not included in nutrition data.
Nutrition data will be about the same if recipe is made with all raspberries. 

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(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I've eaten more real, honest-to-goodness sandwiches in the last month than I have in the last 15 years! My last post featured the recipe for the low-carb, gluten-free, flax-free buns that brought back the good ole days of quick, convenient lunches without cheating!

The obvious thing to do with a bun is to put a burger on it and I've certainly done that, but I've also used them for other sandwiches like grilled cheese, BLTs, and the one in the picture above, made with deli meats, cheeses, and nutrient-packed, micro-greens.*(See note at end of post about Rainbow Mix Micro-greens.)

The trick to making a grilled sandwich out of one of my buns is to cut it into three pieces. All the bakers among you probably already know how to get thin, even slices, the way you do for making multi-layer cakes, but for the rest of you, here's how to do it. 

Make the buns using the recipe here:

Take several wooden picks and place them around the outside of a bun about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. Rest a serrated knife on the picks to keep it level as you carefully saw though the bread.

Next, place wooden picks halfway up around the outside of the top half of the bun. Rest the knife on the picks as before and slice off the rounded top. Save the top for another use. Now you have two unifrom peices of bread that will brown nicely on both sides. (To cut the buns into even slices without a knife: Wrap a length of thread around the bun under the wooden picks. Cross the ends and pull them sideways to quickly cut bun in two.)

Preheat a skillet and grill the slices on both sides in lots of butter or bacon fat until brown. Watch carefully, as bread made with nut flour will burn faster than regular bread.

You may add whatever fillings you like, but to replicate the sandwich in the top picture, spread one slice of the grilled bread with a thick layer of soft goat cheese. Pile it high with pastrami, sliced turkey, and Swiss cheese or your choice of deli meats and cheeses. Add a big handful of micro-greens and put the second slice of grilled bread on top. Serve it with a dill pickle on the side,

What kind of sandwich do you want to make? A Reuben with corned beef, Swiss cheese, saur kraut, dill pickles, and Russian dressing (or mustard) would be terrific. Caraway seeds can be used as an add-in when making the buns or sprinkled in the pan before grilling the bread for an authentic taste. For a grilled cheese, grill the bread slices in butter and add Cheddar cheese to one. Top with the second slice, turn sandwich, and heat until cheese is melted. Serve with sugar-free sweet pickles.

Nutrition Data for buns minus top slice:
I'm estimating that slicing off the domed top of the bun will reduce the nutrition counts by about one fourth, since the top is smaller than the other two slices. So the bread for each sandwich would have  7.5 grams of Total Carbs and 4.5 grams of Fiber for 3.2 grams of Net Carbohydrates instead of the 4.1 in the whole bun. It would be half that if you make open-face sandwiches.

Nutrition Data for micro-greens:
14 grams have 4 Calories and no carbs, fat, or protein.

Nutrition Data for sandwich will vary with filling choices.

DisRAINBOW MIX MICRO-GREENS Photo from: www.brightfresh.
About Micro-greens: 
Micro-greens are young seedlings of vegetables and herbs harvested soon after germination while they still contain all the nutrients they need to grow. In a recent study, researchers were astonished to find that micro-greens like red cabbage, cilantro, and radish contain up to 40 times the levels of nutrients found in their mature counterparts. Qin Wang, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland in College Park, said, "When we first got the results we had to rush to double and triple check them."

Many grocers and produce stands now sell mixtures of sprouts and tiny leaves like the Micro Rainbow Mix shown below. This one is from BrightFresh™ and it contains: arugula, broccoli, amaranth, beet tops, parsley, radish, and others. They are grown in bright natural sunshine in San Marcos, CA, not factory-farmed with unnatural, artificial lighting in a warehouse.

They can be used in soups, salads, and sandwiches, and they make a beautiful edible garnish. More info:

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Disclaimer: I have not recieved free products or compensation from the company mentioned in this post. 

(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker

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