These keto chocolate thumbprint cookies are delicious and even have a little crunch to them! They’re perfect to prepare now that its baking season or you can serve them at the coffee table on Christmas day. Just like the keto chocolate cupcakes, I posted earlier, these also give me a Christmassy feeling with the shredded coconut that reminds me of snow.
One cookie has a total of 3 grams net carbs.
The ingredients for these keto thumbprint keto cookies
Almond flour: The main flour for this keto soft-baked cookie is almond flour which makes these cookies gluten-free and keto-friendly. Almond flour is a great substitute for regular flour.
Brown erythritol: to make these cookies nice and sweet, I used brown erythritol which is a keto-friendly sugar substitute with a glycemic index of zero. This means this sugar will not cause a spike in your blood sugar or knock you out of ketosis. I used brown erythritol, but you can also use regular white erythritol.
Baking powder: Some say baking powder is not keto-friendly because it’s high in carbs. But I don’t mind using it in a small amount. As it does not affect the total amount of carbs that much. I do recommend using a gluten-free one. You can choose to leave this ingredient out, but then you higher the chances of the cupcakes not rising when you bake them.
Himalayan salt: or Celtic salt.
Vanilla powder:Vanilla powder is purer than vanilla extract and I think it tastes better than vanilla extract. But you can also use vanilla extract. In that case, you’ll need 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you want to replace the vanilla powder.
Keto dark chocolate: When choosing chocolate, I like to use pure, at least 70% cacao dark chocolate because the darker the cacao content, the higher anti-oxidants. Also, I want the first ingredient in the list to be chocolate and not a sweetener. My favorite keto chocolate to use is the one from Funky Fat Choc. I love this brand so much because it makes chocolate with clean ingredients that are healthy and taste delicious. (Get 10% off your order when you buy from them with code “EVY”) This brand is only available in Europe.
How do I store these keto chocolate thumbprint cookies?
I keep them in a closed-off glass container in the fridge because when you leave them out, the chocolate tends to melt. After all, it’s mixed with coconut oil that keeps the chocolate soft.
What is a double boiler?
A double boiler also called ‘bain Marie is a pot of water filled with water heated on the stove, with a smaller pot inserted in the water in which you’ll add the chocolate to melt. This prevents the chocolate from burning.
These keto chocolate cupcakes are an absolute treat! They’re perfect for the Holidays or even on birthdays or any other occasion for that matter. I believe the parchment paper cups around these cupcakes decide which event they will suit. But for the ones I made, they reminded me of snowy Christmas trees, hence the name of this recipe.
These Keto Christmas chocolate cupcakes are sugar-free, made with only natural ingredients, and have a total of 7 grams of net carbs per cupcake.
If you liked the keto chocolate birthday cake I posted before, you will love these cupcakes because the recipe is almost the same. So if you want this recipe as a big cake, know that that is also possible. But if a cake is just too big to handle, these keto Christmas chocolate cupcakes are the next best thing.
The ingredients for these keto chocolate cupcakes
Almond flour: Almond flour is a great alternative to replace regular flour on a ketogenic diet and give these cupcakes a nice soft texture.
Raw cacao powder: Raw cacao powder is unsweetened and in the purest form. This way, you can avoid any extra additives that are often found in most chocolate.
Baking powder: Some say baking powder is not keto-friendly because it’s high in carbs. But for me personally, I don’t mind using it in a small amount. As it does not affect the total amount of carbs that much. I do recommend using a gluten-free one. You can choose to leave this ingredient out, but then you higher the chances of the cupcakes not rising when you bake them.
Himalayan salt: I used Himalayan salt or a Celtic salt is also a good option.
Erythritol: To give these cupcakes their nice sweet taste without using regular refined sugar, I used erythritol which is a keto-friendly sugar substitute with a glycemic index of zero. This means this sugar will not cause a spike in your blood sugar or knock you out of ketosis. I used granulated erythritol in the flour mix and confectioners erythritol in the frosting mix.
Vanilla powder: Vanilla powder is purer than vanilla extract and I personally think it tastes better than vanilla extract. But you can also use vanilla extract. In that case, you’ll need 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you want to replace the vanilla powder.
Heavy cream: When choosing a heavy cream make sure it’s unsweetened, organic, and preferably from grass-fed, grass-finished cows. This way you avoid the added sugars, antibiotics, and GMO crops that are fed to these animals which in turn can harm your health.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that help keep this content free.
How about the calories?
Now, these cupcakes are pretty high in calories because the frosting is mainly made with butter. If you want to lower the calorie count, you can replace the butter frosting with the easy keto chocolate mousse recipe or you can leave the cupcakes without the frosting if you really want to cut down on the calories. But honestly, this is a nice sugar-free treat that won’t have a big impact on your blood sugar, will keep you in ketosis, and is still a better option than the full-blown sugary cupcakes sold in the grocery store with unhealthy additives.
On my blog I post a lot of recipes that are healthy and help restore or maintain a balance in your metabolism but also in your hormones. And I believe it’s important to have a little understanding on how our body works with hormones, which I will do my best in explaining here.
When you think of hormones, you often think of the hormones of the reproductive system such as estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone. They make a man a man and a woman a woman. They ensure that we transform from a child to an adult. But our body also produces hormones for other processes in our body. In this post I will mainly focus on the hormones that influence our weight and metabolism.
Hormones are messengers that pass on information to activate or turn off various processes in the body. They are transported from the glands in the bloodstream to tissues and organs. They affect processes such as feeling happy, feeling sad, putting you to sleep, waking up, feeling relaxed, feeling cheerful, activating the immune system, being hungry, feeling full, and so on. Every experience you have in your body is influenced by hormones. When all our hormones are in the right balance, our body works optimally and we can experience good health.
Why eating fewer calories to lose weight doesn’t work
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably followed a calorie restricted diet and have been told that to lose weight you need to eat fewer calories and exercise more. Only to eventually come to the conclusion that this is very difficult; you feel constantly hungry and lose little or no weight at all.
The reason the ‘eat fewer calories to lose weight’ approach doesn’t work is this: it doesn’t take into account the endocrine system, especially the fat-burning and fat-storing hormones.
These hormones are activated and turned off by macronutrients and external factors such as lifestyle and exposure to toxins. So to lose weight, we need to adapt our diet AND lifestyle to these hormones so that you can burn fat instead of storing it.
Hormones that store and burn fat
There are 3 hormones that are involved in storing fat:
Insulin is one of the most important hormones in weight loss. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and ensures that we have a stable blood sugar level. Insulin acts like a key, opening the body’s cells so that glucose can enter the cells and produce energy. Glucose is raised most by the macronutrient: carbohydrates, and a little by protein. Fats respond minimally to increasing insulin. To keep insulin levels under control, you need a diet low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat.
When too much glucose enters the blood, by eating (processed) foods high in carbohydrates, the pancreas has to produce a lot of insulin. This causes the cells to become saturated with glucose and shut down to prevent too much glucose from entering the cell. The key (insulin) to open the cell no longer fits on the door (the cell). This is also called insulin resistance. The excess glucose has to go somewhere, and since fat cells have a large storage space, it is stored here. Result: more fat storage and weight gain.
Cortisol or also called our ‘stress hormone‘ is produced by the adrenal gland when we experience stress. When we find ourselves in a situation when we are stressed (and go into fight or flight mode), cortisol causes us to burn stored sugars, raise blood pressure, reduce inflammation, lower reproductive hormones, decrease white blood cells and thus lowers the immune system. And while short-term stress can be beneficial to our bodies, most of us are in a constant mode of stress (chronic stress) from our job, traffic, watching bad news, being overloaded with information on social media, etc. When cortisol levels are chronically too high, other processes (hormone activation) are put on hold and we start storing fat instead of burning it. So it’s important to often have moments of peace and calm, away from stressful situations.
Estrogen is known as a female hormone because it is mainly produced by the ovaries. Men also produce estrogen, but in smaller amounts in the testicles. Estrogen can be divided into 3 different hormones (E2: estradiol, E3: estriol and E4: estrone), each type of estrogen is produced at different age phases (in menopause E4) or when a woman is pregnant (E3). When estrogen is overstimulated, other hormones are lowered and this hormone can dominate. This is sometimes referred to as estrogen dominance. An excess of estrogen is stored in the fat cells.
An overproduction of estrogen can be caused by:
Eating foods that contain soy. Soy mimics estrogen in the body.
Heating food in plastic with BPA. BPA is a substance that is released when plastic is heated and can end up in the food. BPA also mimics estrogen.
Eating meat products from animals that have been injected with hormones.
Use of contraceptive pill.
Use of harmful beauty products or cleaning products that contain substances that mimic estrogen in the body.
So go for quality food without soy, eat warm food on a glass plate, go for organic grass-fed meat, ask your doctor about other contraceptives that do not affect the hormones and use beauty and cleaning products that contain natural ingredients. Eating cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, etc. also help to balance out estrogen by producing Diindolylmethane (DIM).
After optimizing the hormones that store fat, you can also do some things to optimize the fat-burning hormones.
There are 6 fat burning hormones:
Human growth hormone (hGH)
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
Thyroid Hormones (T3 & T4)
Human Growth Hormone (hGH)
Human growth hormone is produced in the pituitary gland in the brain and ensures that cells are made. It mainly helps us to grow from a baby to an adult, the creation and repair of new and old cells, influences body composition and metabolism. People with low growth hormone store more fat than they burn. The amount of growth hormone we produce decreases with age, which means that most people become overweight later in life.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to boost growth hormone:
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting stimulates the production of growth hormone.
Maintain stable blood sugar / low insulin
Stable blood sugar is the result of optimal insulin action. Optimal blood sugar levels are between 70mg/dl – 100mg/dl.
High Intensity Training
Growth hormone is stimulated when doing an intense sports session where all muscles are used and after the session you can say “Wow, that was an intense workout”. Be especially careful not to overtrain.
A good sleep pattern
Growth hormone is mainly produced during sleep, when the body starts to recover, since growth hormone repairs and produces old and new cells. Sufficient sleep is therefore crucial in optimizing growth hormone.
Insulin-Like Growth Factor
Insulin-like growth factor is produced by growth hormone from the pituitary gland and is forwarded to the liver, where it is converted to insulin-like growth factor by the liver. This hormone is therefore an extension of growth hormone. It helps determine whether your body will use fat for energy or sugar (glucose). When insulin is high, this hormone is turned off and the body starts burning sugar instead of fat. When the insulin is low, through a ketogenic diet for example, this hormone is activated and the body starts to burn fat.
Thyroid hormones are produced in the thyroid gland located in the neck. The thyroid hormones play a role in metabolism, regulating body temperature, energy production and mood. There are two different types of thyroid hormones. T4, the inactive form and T3 the active form. T4 is first produced and later converted to T3 by the liver, kidney and gallbladder. When these hormones are out of balance, the body will store fat instead of burning it and vice versa. The thyroid gland can be overactive or too slow. Iodine helps create T3 and can be found in a seaweed supplement. If your gallbladder has been removed, a supplement such as digestive enzymes and ox bile can help in the production of T3.
This is a hormone you’ve probably heard of. It is stimulated by intensity training, anxiety and stress. Adrenaline causes the fat cells to produce energy and you are alert. When this hormone is produced, cortisol is also produced, which in turn can store fat. It is therefore important to find the right balance between intense sports or a short-term stress situation and recovery, relaxation of longer duration in order to optimize these hormones.
Testosterone is also a hormone that is more well known. When you think of testosterone, you probably picture a lot of muscular macho men, and it’s also the hormone that makes a man a man. Testosterone is produced in large amounts in the testicles in men, and in much smaller amounts in the ovaries in women. The adrenal glands can also produce small amounts of testosterone.
Testosterone is responsible for building muscle, strong bones, deep voice and male hair growth. Low amounts of testosterone can lead to bone loss, muscle loss and fat storage.
Testosterone is naturally produced during strength training, sufficient vitamin D, zinc, sufficient sleep and little stress
Glucagon sounds pretty much the same as glucose, but it isn’t. It is produced by the pancreas, does the opposite of what insulin does and is activated during intense exercise that uses all muscles. This mainly concerns exercises that increase the heart rate, such as aerobics, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), spinning, etc. Be careful not to go too far with this. It’s about balance, and excessive exercise can suppress this hormone again. So you can do a high effort workout of 20 minutes a few times a week but leave enough room for your body to recover.
When it comes to fat burning and weight loss, it’s not just about calories, it’s about stable blood sugars and an optimal balance of hormones. The hormones are influenced by what we eat and a calorie is not just any calorie. 500 calories in carbohydrates will raise blood sugar a lot more than 500 calories in healthy fats. This will determine whether we are going to burn or store fat.
Not only what you eat has an influence on your hormones and determines whether you will store or burn fat, but your lifestyle also plays a major role. When you live in constant stress and are surrounded by hormone disrupting chemicals, it will be difficult to get your body into fat-burning mode.
I have done hours of research on this topic but keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, so don’t use this post as a diagnosis or treatment.
This post is informational and helped me greatly in how I work with my body and nutrition, so I hope this post also helped you in any way of understanding a bit of how you can optimize your body to create happy hormones.
Think you can’t enjoy lasagna on your ketogenic diet? Think again! With this keto lasagna recipe you can enjoy your favourite Italian dish without raising your blood sugars or getting knocked out of ketosis.
This is one of my family’s favourites because it’s just full of flavours and tastes pretty similar to the real deal.
In this recipe I replaced the lasagna noodles with fat dough. If you’re not a fan of fat dough or you are not in the mood to prepare the dough, you can also use zucchini noodles. I’ve tried the zucchini noodles, but I felt like it made the lasagna a little soggy. So using fat dough makes the lasagna a bit more firm, and in my opinion, delicious.
For the ingredients
The cheese: To make the lasagna noodles I use shredded mozzarella cheese. I wouldn’t recommend substituting this cheese with any other cheese, since you need the firm consistency to hold everything together and create a dough. In-between the layers of the lasagna I use cream cheese, but you can also use ricotta cheese.
The flour: I use almond flour in the process of making the lasagna noodles. I don’t recommend substituting this with any other nut flour. I’ve tried it with coconut flour before. It didn’t turn out well.
The meat: For the meat I used ground beef, but you can use any ground meat of your preference.
The sauce: To make the bolognese sauce for the meat layer, I used passata. But you can use any low carb tomato sauce.
For the bolognese meat sauce – 1 tbsp ghee or other cooking fat – 1 small onion (cut in pieces) – 1 clove garlic (minced) – 35 oz ground beef – 1 1/2 cup passata – salt to taste – pepper to taste – paprika powder to taste – fresh basil to taste
To assemble the lasagna
– 8 oz cream cheese – 2 cups shredded mozzarella
For the lasagna noodles
In a large glass bowl, add 2 cups of the grated mozzarella cheese.
Melt in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
When the mozzarella cheese is melted, add the egg and mix with a spatula.
Preheat the oven to 375 F or 190 C.
Add the almond flour and the baking powder to the mozzarella and egg mixture and start kneading with your hands until you have a firm dough. This could take a few minutes.
When you have a firm dough, lay out a parchment paper on a flat surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle with the help of a rolling pin.
Place the dough with the parchment paper on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
For the bolognese meat sauce
While the lasagna noodle dough is baking, prepare the bolognese meat sauce.
In a large pot, melt the ghee (or other cooking fat) at medium high heat.
When the ghee is melted, add the onion and garlic. Stir until they start to glaze.
Add the ground beef and mix with a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
Lower the heat and add the pasata, salt, pepper, paprika powder and fresh basil. Mix and let simmer.
Assemble the lasagna
When the lasagna dough is done. Take the tray out of the oven and cut the dough into 3 lasagna noodles, using a pizza cutter.
Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 C.
Take the baking dish and start assembling the lasagna. Start with a layer of the bolognese meat sauce, add some shredded mozzarella and place a lasagna noodle on top.
With a knife or spoon, spread some cream cheese on top of the lasagna noodle and cover with the bolognese meat sauce.
Repeat this process until you have about 3 layers. Top the lasagna off with the rest of the grated mozzarella.
Bake the lasagna in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes until the top start to brown.
We had these keto-paleo pancakes for brunch today and they are absolutely amazing. They are so easy (and fast) to prepare, it made our family Sunday’s Brunch so much cosier. These are also nice and fluffy, and taste so close, or even better, than the ones I used to have in ihop.
The best things about this recipe is that you can adjust it to your needs: you can make them paleo friendly or keto friendly, and if you’re just gluten free and not on a strict diet, you can mix it up and create which ever version of these pancakes you like.
For the ingredients in this recipe
Flour: To keep these pancakes gluten free I used a mixture of almond flour and coconut flour. I’ve tried making these with just almond flour, but they fell appart more easily, that’s why adding in some coconut flour helped to keep them more firm.
The sweetener: depending on which diet you’re on, there will be a difference in the sweetener you’ll choose. If you’re on a ketogenic diet, you can use (golden) erythritol, monkfruit or stevia. When you’re on a paleolithic diet, you can use coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup. A quick tip on buying maple syrup: the darker, the more mineral content the maple syrup has and the more health benefits you’ll get out of eating it. Previously there was a grading system for maple syrup A-D (in which D was the purest form). Now all maple syrup is an A grade, so the best way to decide which one will benefit you most, is to check the color.
The creamer: If you’d like to make this recipe dairy free you can use coconut creamer or any other nut creamer (not milk! As you need a thick consistency). When you’re on a ketogenic diet, and dairy is not a problem for you, you can use unsweetened heavy cream. Make sure to check the ingredient list when buying creamer. Avoid products that have ‘carrageenan‘ in it, since this additive causes inflammation.
What to combine these keto-paleo pancakes with
Again, depending on which diet or lifestyle you’re on, you”ll have a variety of options to eat these pancakes with. I’m a mix of keto and paleo, so I ate 1 pancake with some maple syrup and a side of bacon and eggs to enjoy some sweetness and to keep it low carb.
You can also add some whipped unsweetened heavy whipping cream or honey.
As you may have seen on my instagram story. For my 4 year old daughter, I made a special kid friendly version of these pancakes and she loved it. I combined some banana with strawberries and blueberries. It was a big hit.