Some of the complaints I get the most often from people embarking on a gluten free and/or low carb way of eating are “But it’s so much WORK” and “Eating this way is SO expensive!” That can be true at times, but there are many ways to adhere to a low carb and/or gluten free diet that are both easy and inexpensive.
If you’re buying all of your low carb and/or gluten free products pre-made from the store, then it’s definitely going to put a big dent in your grocery budget. One way I manage my shopping list is to prioritize and weigh the price vs. convenience factor.
For those occasions when time is at a premium and you need to have something at the ready when the kids need a quick snack or you want dinner on the table STAT, I like to keep some store-bought items on hand.
Some of my gluten free freezer staples are the Udi’s Brownie Bites, which I’ve turned into yummy ice cream sandwiches, or sometimes will pop in the microwave for 20 seconds for a quick treat when I want something chocolatey and don’t feel like cooking.
I also like to keep the Udi’s Gluten Free Hot Dog and Hamburger Buns in the freezer. I usually go bunless, but in the rare occasion when I want to splurge, I like knowing that while the carbs may be higher that day, it won’t take me a week or two to get the gluten out of my system like it would if I ate a traditional hamburger bun.
Those are my “must have” items, and depending on your family’s preferences you may have others that you can’t live without. Identify them and stock up when they are on sale!
The rest of the time, I make most of the food I’m eating at home from scratch – and usually I try to minimize my hand’s on cooking time by either using a crock pot (Cuban Pot Roast Recipe) or keeping the meals simple (Easy Keto Stir Fry Recipe), and I stay on budget by not using ridiculously pricey ingredients (Easy Chicken Paprika with Sour Cream Gravy Recipe) for every meal.
This buy some/cook some strategy works pretty well for us, and I think you can make it work for your family too. That’s where this Low Carb Peanut Butter & Chocolate Truffle recipe comes in! This recipe was born of my desire to eat something sweet and delicious, made with ingredients I already had on hand, and for it to be delivered to my face as quickly as possible.
I had 6 jars of organic peanut butter that I bought in a closeout that only had a few months left before they expired, so I knew I’d be using that. Then there was the time constraint – I wanted something quick. Like NOW. I’m guessing most of you know the feeling.
With that in mind, I did a search for low carb peanut butter recipes on the interwebs, and found lots of low carb blondies, peanut butter cookies, homemade peanut butter cups, and even sugar free peanut butter fudge. The problem with these was that they required more time than I wanted to give. In most cases you had to bake them, or cook them down and then chill them for what felt like FOREVER.
So I cheated. I used protein powder to get the firm texture I needed for these to hold together, and no egg of course since they’d be eaten raw. It’s kind of like eating raw peanut butter cookie dough, but better! I ate about three spoonfuls of the mixture before I even started rolling them into truffles – SO GOOD. Of course the chocolate was a no brainer.
At first I just rolled them in cocoa powder to get the chocolate flavor without the extra work of dipping them in melted chocolate. Mr. Hungry and I both like them that way, and I enjoyed the slight bitterness that the unsweetened cocoa powder added.
I wanted something a little more polished to take to the Super Bowl party at my in-laws last weekend though, so I melted some dark chocolate and just drizzled it over the tops. Once it hardened on there it not only added nice flavor, but a fun texture as well – without all that tedious work of pouring chocolate into molds, etc. The fastest way to do this for me is to put a few squares of 85% cocao dark chocolate in a quart sized freezer bag and microwave it for one minute or so. Then I cut the tip off and squeeze it onto my truffles – easy peasy and no cleanup because I just toss the bag when I’m done.
How you do it really depends on how desperate you are to start eating them, and whether or not you want to fancy them up a bit. The paper baking cups were a fun touch for the photos and nice if you’re traveling with them or giving them as gifts. Otherwise, you can just store them on parchment or wax paper in an airtight container in the fridge (I’ve had mine in there for a week and they are still good, you can also freeze them) and forgo the cups if you don’t need them.
A note on the protein powder – the one I use contains zero carbs, so if your favorite vanilla protein powder has a few grams of carbs, then just make sure you divide the extra net carbs by the 18 servings and add it to the current carbs per truffle to get an accurate carb count for each one.
If you have a peanut allergy, these can be made with almond butter. You may have to add more protein powder to get the right stiffness to the “dough” as almond butter tends to be runnier than peanut butter. You can probably omit the heavy whipping cream as well if you are using almond butter.
- 1 cup natural (sugar free) chunky peanut butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup zero carb vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar substitute (powdered if you can get it)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 squares 85% (or more) cocoa dark chocolate
- Whip together all of the ingredients until fully combined iwith a mixer, food processor, or magic bullet. Roll into 18 one inch truffles. Chill for 5 minutes (optional) before rolling in cocoa powder, or drizzling with melted dark chocolate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
1 "naked" truffle: 121 calories, 9g fat, 2g net carbs, 5g protein
1 cocoa dusted truffle: 124 calories, 9g fat, 2g net carbs, 5g protein
1 choco drizzled truffle: 128 calories, 9g fat, 2.25g net carbs, 5g protein
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GF Kids & Family. The opinions and text are all mine.