“Darkness warshed over the Dude–darker’n a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom.”
(I’m pretty convinced there is a Big Lebowski quote for every situation.)
Hurricane Irene keeps moving further East out to sea and looking less like she will sneak up on us in the middle of the night. All up and down the East Coast folks are still prepping for the storm as it seems likely that it’s going to hit somewhere, and well, most of us are lazy and leave our hurricane preparations until there is the threat of one, despite knowing there is likely to be a threat of one every season…
I’ve posted a lengthy list of suggestions for prepping your kitchen and pantry for the storm, specific to those low carbing. Add some carbalicious items for you regular munchers and you’ll be all set. The big key for your kitchen is to have food on hand that can be kept on the shelf unrefrigerated and can be eaten without cooking/heating (if you don’t
have access to outdoor cooking). Included here is my recipe for low carb granola which can be made into either cereal form or granola bars and is good for meals and snacking. There is also a link to the NC Cooperative Extension’s fact sheets on storm preparedness: things like first aid, evacuations, and dealing with stress are important too.
Low Carb Granola
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees
1 cup almond meal
1 cup flax seed meal (golden flax preferred)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup nuts (any, almonds, walnuts,
pecans are on the lower carb end)
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup oats
¼ cup oat bran
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt (if you use salted butter, use less salt)
¾ to 1 cup sugar equivalent, depending on how sweet you like it (see sweetener notes below)
2 egg whites
¼ cup cream, low calorie dairy beverage like Hood’s or non-dairy beverage like coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
½ cup butter or coconut oil or a combination, melted
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then combine and mix well.
If you are making granola: crumble over lined baking sheet (I use parchment or a silipat). Bake for 2.5 hours. stir it around with a spatula at three different times while it bakes, so that the chunks bake evenly. Don’t break them up too much when you stir or you will end
up with fine crumbs.
If you are making bars: Press into lined baking dish or cookie tray: the mixture should be about ½ inch thick and firmly pressed together. With a knife or thin edge of a spatula, score the mixture into bar shapes (be careful not to damage your silipat if you are using one). Bake for 2 hours and check carefully for last 30 minutes: edges may be darker than center, but it should be fairly firm. The bars will harden completely as they cool. Because
there is no sugar in the dish, the bars may not hold together as firmly as regular granola bars.
Sweeteners: For a variety of reasons in this recipe I use the following: ¼ cup erythritol, ¼ cup poly d fiber, 1/8 cup brown sugar twin or Diabetisweet brown, 1.5 Tablespoons of sucralose. Combining sweeteners makes it taste more like real sugar and the poly d “caramelizes” not unlike honey.
Toasting the Storm
Just so you know, I take my storm prep seriously. Otherwise why would I have my sweetie out in the dark checking the propane levels in our spare tank? It’s only by the grace of Molly, the Town of Cary, and the half cord of firewood behind my house that I survived the ice storm of 2001. Storms can devastate communities. But let’s face it, if you are stuck at home, with the power out, roads not safe, many of us are going to have some time on our hands. You’ll likely get to know your neighbors a lot better. For summer storms, if you like to drink socially make sure you stock something that tastes good warm. Red wine is not a bad option, but after 6 days of no power in the summer, you’d be surprised at your willingness to drink warm low carb beer and cocktails. So, tap into your liquor reserves and stock a few mixers for the bar as well. Don’t mix alcohol and anything sharp, just sayin.’
Here is my recipe for a Stormy Caucasian (Low-carb shelf stable White Russian). Sip slowly, contemplate the perfect 7-10 split, wish for ice but recognize there are a lot of ins and outs to the problem and Hey! Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!
Skinny Stormy Caucasian
1 oz sugar free homemade coffee liquor*
2 oz vodka
2 oz of one of the following: unsweetened coconut milk beverage, unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or in a pinch, sugar free powdered non-dairy creamer mixed with water. If the power is on, go for the cream or half and half.
Optional: Ice. If you have ice, that’s like, far out man. Count yourself lucky and pour this concoction over it.
These are pretty powerful without ice. Sip real slow.
*Homemade Sugar-free Coffee Liquor
1 750 ml bottle of 80 proof vodka (don’t buy anything special)
¾ teaspoon vanilla (Mexican vanilla is a nice touch here if you have it)
2 tablespoons instant espresso crystals (you can also make with decaf)
2 cups equivalent of sugar free sweetener**
Dissolve the ingredients into the vodka in a container large enough to fit all of it. Pour vodka coffee mixture (a funnel is helpful here) back into 1.5 liter or larger bottle. You can also use the he original bottle, plus a smaller one to hold the excess –if you are making drinks right away, just mix a couple and the rest will fit in the original bottle.
**This is where it’s helpful to have liquid sucralose, like Sweetzfree. If you use Sweetzfree
follow the directions on the label. Powdered sucralose/Splenda has maltodextrin and about 24 carbs per cup. Just factor that in if you use something other than Sweetzfree.