Smoothies Without Carb Countdown
Sharon Zimberoff writes:
Hi Dana, I found a copy of your Low Carb Smoothies. I am so anxious to get started on the lower carb smoothies first. I found the "Designer Whey." However, Keto products are no longer available (Keto Milk, Keto Milk Powder) in stores or on-line. I looked for Calorie Countdown but found that it is not available anywhere in Michigan (I live in Kalamazoo). I detest the taste of soy milk (also not low in carbs). I found a product called Lactalose (not low in carbs). Powdered milk is high in carbs. I found unsweetened Almond Milk (1 gram carb per 8 ounces). I looked at everything available in my 3 health food stores including GNC) and all my grocery stores and megamarts. Half and Half is high in carbs as is everything but the unsweetened Almond Milk but I don't know how this will taste. I know cream would taste good but it is high in fat. What would you suggest?
Thanks for your help. Sharon Zimberoff
PS I have "How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds" and most of your cookbooks. I did lose some weight using your techniques but fell off the wagon, so to speak.
Hey, Sharon --
First of all, thanks for buying my books! And remember, you can always get back on the wagon. Every day is a great day to decide to be healthy.
I'm really sorry about the smoothies book, and this problem is the exact reason why I rarely write about it or link to it: The most-used ingredient is now hard or impossible for most people to get. I know I can't buy it around here. If my publisher were willing, I'd love to rewrite the entire thing, to use available ingredients. But that ambition doesn't help you now.
I can't recommend soy milk, and I'm glad you don't like it. I've never heard of Lactalose, and google seems to think it's a sugar that acts as a laxative. Doesn't sound like a great breakfast to me.
Unsweetened almond milk seems like an okay choice from the nutrition label I found (for the Silk version of the stuff), but with this caveat: I couldn't find the ingredient list. Still, with only 1 gram of carbohydrate per cup, even if it has added sugar, it's not enough that I'd panic about it. I was a little worried about the omega-6 fatty acid content, but it's only 0.5 grams of polyunsaturates per cup, so that's not awful, either. Only way to know if you'll like it is to try it, of course. Both the Silk almond milk and the Blue Diamond Almond Breeze get rave reviews online, however.
Personally, I wouldn't worry about the fat in cream; I deliberately aim for 70% or more of my calories from fat. I think too many people try to weight their low carb diets toward protein, when really a low carb diet should be adequate protein/high fat. If you can get -- and afford -- raw cream from grass-fed cows, you'd be getting a huge nutritional bonus of vitamin A and other antioxidants, plus some seriously healthful fats. You'd need to water the cream, though -- perhaps half cream, half water -- to avoid getting butter if you ran the blender a second too long!
Believe it or not, my favorite choice for smoothies is now cottage cheese. 1 cup of creamed cottage cheese has 6 grams of carb -- that's according to MasterCook, but read labels, as brands may vary. I find that about 3/4 cup of cottage cheese with 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar-free syrup (whatever goes with the flavor I'm aiming for) makes a creamy and satisfying smoothie. I had a comment a while back from someone who -- not having tried this -- was concerned about the smoothies coming out salty; all I can say is I have not had this problem. Again, probably depends some on your brand of cottage cheese; I've generally used my grocery store's house brand.
Back last summer, I published the recipe for the best cottage cheese smoothie I've come up with yet. Another favorite is made with 1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate syrup and a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee crystals, for a mocha latte smoothie.
As the weather warms up, I'll make a point of adapting some of the recipes from the smoothies book to cottage cheese, and posting the recipes here.