The Skinny On SANE Baked Goods And Other Treats

For the past little while it seems all I’ve posted is recipes for baked goodies, desserts, and *SANE versions of all those things we love to eat but hate what they do to us.  Consequently, I regularly get asked whether these SANE versions are really SANE, and how much or how many you can really eat, so I thought it was time for a little clarity.

Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread
I have focused on creating SANE versions of your favorite treats because the majority of you repeatedly tell me your biggest struggle with maintaining a SANE lifestyle is the feeling of having to “give up” all your beloved foods – many of which are just downright emotionally comforting.  When you realize you have to give up the regular versions to reach your goals you feel deprived, and that feeling is never going to help you stay on the right path.  My goal is to give you baked goods, desserts, and treats that taste better than the regular ones, while supporting you in your health and fat-loss goals.  We all recognise that we’re WAY more likely to stick with a healthy eating plan when it involves fantastic-tasting food, and we’re not constantly battling hunger pangs.  We’re also agreed that deprivation does not help us reach our goals long-term.  You tell me I am filling that void for you, and helping you stay the course.  That makes me hugely happy.
Carrie Brown | Apricot Cardamom Muffins
But to be sure we are on the same page, let’s get down to some nitty-gritty for a moment.

Are these SANE cupcakes, muffins, pancakes, desserts and other treats really SANE?

Not necessarily, especially when you eat them on their own.  Remember that *SANEity focuses on protein, fiber and water.  My recipes are all wheat-, grain-, unhealthy fat-, and sugar-free, so they are a HUGE step forward in the health and SANEity stakes, but they generally contain a relatively large amount of nuts and seeds, which are lower down the SANEity scale than non-starchy veggies and good sources of protein.  It’s worth repeating the PSA I wrote in my first SANE baked goods post: Cheesy Scones (Biscuits):

“When we say these are *SANE, what we really mean in this instance is that they do not contain any sugars, starches, grains or unhealthy oils. They do not provide a huge amount of protein, fiber or water which is what makes a food truly SANE. They DO provide healthy fats, some fiber & the other nutrients that almonds bring to the table. So, enjoy these as a treat, but not to the detriment of your day dose of SANE protein, fiber and water.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  HA.  Plus I got an A++ on my report card from Bailor for that.

Sour Cream and Chive Biscuits
So how do you recommend that I include these in my SANE lifestyle?

  • Continue to focus on the basics of SANEity – protein, fiber, and water – for the majority of your meals and snacks.
  • Generally speaking – eat these SANE treats in moderation.  I have found these SANE versions are WAY more filling than their wheat-, unhealthy fat, and sugar-filled counterparts, so it’s much easier to stop at one or two instead of downing half a dozen.
  • Look at your food choices for the day and adjust the other amounts of fat in your intake accordingly to allow for the higher fat content of any baked goods or other treats you choose to consume.  For example, use egg whites instead of whole eggs in your breakfast scramble with your SANE Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes.  Or leave the avocado out of your SANE Green Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie when you feel like enjoying a couple of SANE Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies with it.  It’s all about balance.
  • Take into account your own unique health and fat-loss goals.  If you have a large amount of body fat that you want to lose then you will want to be more careful with fat intake, and bump up the proteins and non-starchy veggies in your day.  If you are nearing your desired body fat percentage you can enjoy more SANE baked goods and other treats.  It will be different for everyone.  Check where you are now, and where you want to be, and adjust your intake accordingly.
  • Don’t hold back on special occasions.  Enjoy.  You can easily adjust your intake the next day or two to allow for any perceived over-indulgence.
  • Remember that per portion the amounts of fats and xylitol are small, unless you are planning on eating the whole batch!  For example, in these SANE Orange Coconut Cupcakes, you are only eating ONE FIFTEENTH of the recipe, per cupcake.  Totally nothing to be concerned about.  Enjoy!
  • A lot of the recipes are fortified with whey protein or egg whites, and also usually have fiber in the form of fruit, nuts, and / or seeds, which makes them more SANE.
  • If you live with other humans who are not following a SANE lifestyle, it will be easier for you to stay the course if you keep these SANE versions in the house for them to eat rather than the regular versions from the store.  They won’t be able to tell the difference if you do not tell them they are SANE.  I have blind taste-tested these recipes extensively on people who do not know what I do and they were stunned to find out afterwards they are wheat-, grain-, and sugar-free.
  • If you are having desperate wheat, grain, starch, or sugar cravings these SANE versions are a FAR, FAR BETTER choice.  Overeating on these SANE versions would always be preferable over the regular alternative.  You can compensate once the cravings have subsided.  Don’t panic!
  • If you have allergies, or are intolerant to xylitol or nuts, be careful. You will need to manage your consumption of anything that irritates your body or has an undesirable side-effect. This management may mean not-at-all or small amounts, depending on your individual situation.

Lemon Curd | Carrie Brown

There are no hard and fast rules here, so – bearing the above points in mind – strive for balance between SANEity, your current state of health, your fat-loss goals, taste, emotional comfort, and banishing feelings of deprivation. Whatever keeps you on the SANE path most successfully is what you should do.

Progress not perfection!  Especially if perfection is so hard that it makes you throw up your hands in desperation and give up, or stop progressing altogether.

Progress not perfection

 

 

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Janknitz - I make sane treats occasionally, and I enjoy the first serving or two and then I’m done. Satisfied, happy, don’t need any more. Into the freezer until next time I’m looking for a treat, and sometimes forgotten until my husband eats them up.

They are not like INsane treats that make you want more and more.

carrie - That’s the way, Janknitz!

Nancy - What you said in the post I find exactly to be true. Your versions of these recipes are tasty and filling. They don’t leave me craving more like wheat and sugar based recipes do. I make the cheesy scones about every three weeks. Before SANEity if I made a batch of biscuits they would be gone in a day or two. When I make your cheesy scones, one is so rich and so satisfying I don’t crave more than one. A batch will last a week (for my husband and me.)

carrie - Thanks, Nancy!

Fi the choccy Beaver - Hi Carrie. I am not sure where to post this-hope here’s ok! I am a vegetarian, have been SANE for nearly a month now. Not seen huge results yet in measurements, but way more energy and I’ve had much fewer cravings for choc and ice cream-which is a big thing for me! Anyway, I feel my protein sources are limited as a veggie, with Quorn (is this SANE?), eggs, whey powder, Greek yog and cottage cheese (and quark, fab supersane ultra low fat high protein no added anything cream cheese), and soy/tofu. But having 30g plus, 4 times a day, means I’m having several eggs a day (isnt it bad to eat too many eggs?), whey powder (this is so expensive!), lots of dairy products (again, isn’t it bad to rely so heavily in dairy food?), and soy. And I want to stop soy, since I’ve read a lot about it being bad in several ways for our hormones, is this right? So, basically, is this ok? Is there a way to get more variety? And are such high amounts of dairy and eggs ok? Thanks Carrie, sorry to go on!! X

Lemon Yogurt Supreme

Way back when I posted the recipe for Chocolate Yogurt Supreme, y’all got very excited.  I got lots of notes asking me to make a whole range of yogurts, to spice – as it were – your breakfasts and desserts up.  It’s been a while.  Sorry about that.

I am thrilled to release the second supreme yogurt: Lemon.  Because I do love lemon.  Plus I made this SANE Lemon Curd, and almost immediately my brain exploded with a million uses for it.  This is one of them.  I urge you to get the SANE Lemon Curd recipe down pat, and keep a pot of it in your ‘fridge at all times.  If you like lemon, that is.  If not, well, you wouldn’t want to make this Lemon Yogurt anyway, so we’re good.  Although, I should share that the day after I made this, I took some into the office and offered a spoonful to my colleague-who-doesn’t-like-lemon.  She went nuts over this stuff.  The next day she wore a yellow blouse to work, came into my office and said, “I am wearing this shirt so that it will encourage you to post the recipe for that yummy-lemon-cheesecake-tasting stuff immediately.”

So, maybe, just maybe, even if you don’t like lemon, you’ll want to try this. 

Lemon Yogurt Supreme  |  Carrie Brown

If you like lemon, and you’re a busy person, I suggest making a big old batch of this for the week, so you only have to do all the mixin’s once.  Stash in an airtight container in the ‘fridge and you’re good to go for breakfasts or desserts for days.  Hurrah!

PS.  No, I don’t eat my yogurt in a cute little porcelain cup and saucer with a Greek yogurt and lemon zest garnish on a pretty napkin.  I sling it in a glass lidded Pyrex dish and schlep it to the office.  But on high days and holidays you can totally turn this into a fabulous dinner party dessert or special breakfast-in-bed treat in under a minute.  We love that!

Matilda, one of our lovely readers from Australia, has a friend with a lemon tree.  I wish I had a friend with a lemon tree, because I have a suspicion that there is an awful lot of SANE Lemon Curd and Lemon Yogurt Supreme in my future.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Yogurt Supreme
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. SANE Lemon Curd (see recipe link above)
  • 1 oz. / 28g vanilla whey protein powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Stir the yogurt and lemon curd together in a bowl until completely mixed.
  2. Add the protein powder and salt and mix well until the protein powder is completely dispersed, and the yogurt is smooth and lump-free.

Lemon Yogurt Supreme  |  Carrie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Brennan - Carrie- I have been following you for several months now- I love your recipes. I am patiently (maybe not so) waiting for the SANE ice cream. They aren’t imbedded someplace that I can’t find them are they?:) keep up the great work. I so appreciate feel good for you foods!

Cowgirl Rae - OOOOHHHH! I’ll be making this.

carrie - Hope you love it, Cowgirl!!

carrie - June 17th, Brennan :-) THANKS for all the recipe love!!

Candy - This is like crack and I’m not even a huge lemon lover. Yummy!

carrie - Candy – a girl after my own heart!!

Katlyn - Hi Carrie,
l love your recipes, this an immediate must try! is there a list of sane foods? yogurt is part of it? I’ve heard so many mixed ideas on dairy…please help! I’m not an egg person so yogurt is huge since not much left to eat for the mornings…definitely lost. Would appreciate the help. Thanks.
Katlyn

carrie - Katlyn – some diary is SANE. We tend to steer clear of cows milk because it has a lot of sugar. We eat cheese in moderation. We use butter. We use non-fat Greek yogurt and non-fat cottage cheese. We use non-fat versions because they contain more protein than their full-fat counterparts. Quality of yogurt varies widely – be sure to read the labels – look for highest protein, lowest (or no) sugar. Hope that helps!

Claire - Yum :-)

ERIK - Wow. Great recipe, perfect for lemon lovers. Just love it! Thank you.

carrie - I am with you, Erik! Makes my mouth super happy!

Shawna - Thank you so much for this recipe, Carrie! I mix in 100 g of blackberries & some slivered almonds, my favorite meal of the day! :-)

carrie - Shawna – that sounds awesome!

Kathy - Carrie, how many servings does this recipe make? I made the lemon curd. OMG! It’s so good. Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes.

Mushroom Pizza Bites

Greetings from sunny Seattle!  That is to say, it’s sunny as I type this.  What it will be doing when you read it is anyone’s guess.  Seattle is unpredictable exciting like that.

Unlike Seattle, you may have noticed that I am fairly predictable in the kitchen and tend to work in themes.  One week I’m all about blueberries, the next I’ve gone gaga on turkey, then I’m crazy over cranberries, and suddenly along comes a large splash of lemon.  I am not entirely sure why this is so, but it seems reasonable to suggest that I buy too much of whatever ingredient it is for the first idea, and then have to think up other ideas to use up the rest.  I hate to see good food go to waste.  Another possible explanation is that once I get an idea about flavor combinations, or a theme, or some new technique for using something, my brain darts off in a myriad different directions about all the possibilities that offers up.  I am all for making the most of everything.  Strike while the iron’s hot!!  As they say.

A week or so ago I went on a bit of  a stuffed mushroom fest.  It wasn’t intentional when I started out, but after I had so much fun with the Mushroom Tuna Melt, every time I saw a mushroom I wanted to stuff it with something. Those Portobellos with Tuna Salad were really good, and I didn’t even miss the whole bread part of a traditional Tuna Melt.

So at the grocery store a few days ago I was staring at some mushrooms – wondering, as you do, what I could stuff them with – and before I knew it, my brain was being sabotaged by the word ‘P I Z Z A’.  Who knows.  Anyway, I thought it would be fun to make individual pizzas out of Portobellos; then I thought how much more fun it would be if they were bite-sized pieces of pizza.

Like this.

Mushroom Pizza Pickups | Carrie Brown

Aren’t they fun?

I love eating food with my fingers – not very British of me, I know – but the messier I can get when eating, the better it is as far as I am concerned.  These totally fit the messy-to-eat bill.  More to the point, they’re scrumptious. 

Mushroom Pizza Pickups | Carrie Brown
Being single – with kitties that are not the least bit interested in eating mushrooms – I made this like a personal pan pizza and scarfed down the whole thing.  You could also serve it as a side – two mushrooms each for 4 people, or 4 pieces each for a couple of you.

I used Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausages, but by jove you can use any pre-cooked sausage you darn well choose.  I say pre-cooked because you really only heat the meat through under the broiler (grill), so pre-cooked sausages makes these super-easy, and ensure that the meat is cooked properly.  Look for sausages that have no added sugar, no starchy fillers, no artificial ingredients, and are high in protein.  Like sausages should be.

These are super-fun, super-fast, and super-flavorful – everything that your mouth and brain need to forget there’s no pizza dough involved.  All of the upside, none of the downsides.  We love that!

You can adapt these by topping your pizza bites with whatever you fancy – as long as it’s SANE of course.

Have yourself some mushroom fun today!

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mushroom Pizza Bites
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 or 4
 
Ingredients
  • Coconut oil spray
  • 8 large white mushrooms, stalks removed
  • 8 TBSP tomato basil pasta sauce (unsweetened)
  • ¼ tsp guar gum
  • 1 oz / 28g mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 oz / 28g strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 sausages of your choice, pre-cooked and sliced thinly
Instructions
  1. Spray an ovenproof serving dish with coconut oil.
  2. Place the mushroom upside down on the dish in a circle, with one in the center.
  3. Place the dish under the broiler (grill) for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the guar gum into the tomato sauce and stir well.
  5. Mix the two grated cheeses together in a separate bowl.
  6. Carefully remove the dish of mushrooms from under the heat.
  7. Spoon a tablespoon of tomato sauce into each mushroom.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese mix evenly over the mushrooms.
  9. Place 2 - 3 slices (depending on size) of sausage on top of each mushroom.
  10. Place the mushrooms back under the heat for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sausages lightly browned.
  11. Be very careful, the serving dish will be very hot!

Mushroom Pizza Pickups | Carrie Brown

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Wedsv - 5th street grill turkey sausage at Costco is great! Super flavorful and precooked! Great to buy and have in the fridge/freezer. Plus it would be great in this recipe!

Sahara - YUM!

carrie - HA! Sahara Pirie!!! :-D

Suzie price - Made these this weekend – and as I was eating, I thought, “this is brilliant!” That’s because it is so easy, so tasty, so quick and very SANE. The perfect answer to pizza. Brilliant ideas and recipes from brilliant carrie!

carrie - Glad you loved them, Suzie!!

Keri - Can I use xanthan gum instead of guar gum? I don’t have guar gum…

carrie - Hi Keri – in this instance yes you can sub out xanthan for guar. Enjoy!

MVP - I made these tonight with Baby Portabellos instead of white mushrooms because I couldn’t find any large enough, and it was AMAZING!! Even my almost 2 year old went nuts on them. She ate two all by herself!

carrie - HURRAH, MVP!!! We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE SANE almost 2-year-olds! :-)

Megan - Any thoughts on possible alternatives to the mushroom part of this awesome recipe? I have a house full of mushroom-dislikers (unless they’re chopped up into tiny bits). But I am always on the lookout for a tasty pizza replacement!

Mary - I’m going to try and make these, but I need some help with an ingredient I never heard of–guar gum. I’m assuming it’s a spice since I need only 1/4 t. Can I find it at a Kroger, which is comparable to your QVC. Oh yes, and a great big hi and I do miss the lovely Pacific Northwest and even the more lovely people out there!.

carrie - Thick, lightly baked slices of zucchini, Megan!

Jill - This was really good, though I didn’t use the guar gum since I didn’t have any. I also made some with pesto/chicken/Parmesan since I had that on hand. Thank you; my family and I really liked it, even my 80 year-old mother!

carrie - Hurrah, Jill!! Thanks for stopping by :-)

carrie - Hi Mary! Guar gum is a powder made from a bean. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand and you can find it in most grocery stores with the other Bob’s Red Mill products. Most stores carry it these days. Hope that helps! I miss you, too!!

Jodi - I haven’t tried these yet but they look AMAZING! I am just discovering this whole new way of eating. I have the book and I am blown away at this entire system. I can’t wait to get started! Going shopping this weekend and My mother is doing this with me. We are going to shop together and cook together. I’m printing all the recipes and putting them in a binder, by category so we can stay organized and do our meal planning. Thank you to you and to Jonathan for sharing this wonderful system!

carrie - Welcome Jodi!! So happy to have you join our merry little gang.

How To Cook A Pork Chop

I really should have titled this post “Things I learnt In My Therapist’s Office”, but I am as certain as I can be that 99% of the things I learn in my Therapist’s office are of zero interest to anyone but me; oh, and my long-suffering Therapist.  I say long-suffering, but he’ll sure miss me when he’s finished fixing me.  I can be highly entertaining when I circle myself into some ridiculously non-sensical argument.  He’ll also miss the generous amounts of sass I serve up on a weekly basis.  I’ll definitely miss having someone hold my feet to the fire, and forcing me – ahem, I mean encouraging me – to view things in a different way.  I’ve learned a lot, in therapy.  I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my Therapist.

One of the things I learned in my Therapists’s office a few weeks ago, however, is something that apparently a lot of you are very interested in learning too, and that’s how to cook a pork chop.  I must have shown up way early that day because I had enough time to read some crazy scientific paper on the science of cooking a pork chop to retain maximum juiciness.  Nope, I am not kidding you.  It was like 7 pages of graphs and charts and data analysis and other scientific gobbledygook.  I suspect that you don’t have the time – or the inclination – to read 7 pages of pork chop geekery, so just like I tend to do with Bailor’s stuff, I am going to boil it all down into just 6 words for you.  There’s just 6 sweet little words between you and pork chop perfection.

But before I do, let me just say THANK YOU, Mr. Therapist, for putting up with my BS for over 6 long years, for telling me when I am being ridiculous, for being one of my biggest cheerleaders, for only calling the EMTs on me once, and for teaching me many, many, many important things. Including how to cook a pork chop. Eddie, you’re awesome.

Pork Chops  |  Carrie Brown
THAT, is a perfect pork chop, people.  Perfectly cooked, perfectly juicy, perfectly perfect.  So what’s the 6 word secret?

Do not heat the pan first.

Or, put another way:

Start with a stone cold pan.

That’s it.  THAT, ladies, gentlemen, and beloved SSoS’ers, is the secret to pork chop nirvana.  A cold pan.

I had to try it out because it sounds so absurd, but also because I really want juicy pork chops for the rest of my life.  So I got my cold chops, slapped them in a cold, dry pan, put them on the cold stove, and then whacked the heat up. 

And then I watched.  I seared them with a spatula.  I turned them over.  I seared them with a spatula.

Then I peered warily into the pan, my forehead wrinkled with worry when I saw that the pan was completely dry.  And I do mean COMPLETELY.  I became convinced I was going to have the driest pork chops EVER.  UGH.

Then I turned them over.  Then, when they were golden brown, I slid them onto the waiting plate, because despite not pre-heating the pan or using oil, they did not take any longer to cook than the way I had always cooked them before. Which is both impossible, totally weird, and completely awesome, all at the same time. 

Pork Chops | Carrie Brown
Then I ate them.

Want to know why the pan was completely dry while they were cooking?  Because all of those divine porky juices were sloshing around inside the chops.  True story.

I have no clue why or how this worked.  I don’t care.  It does; I have done it 7 8 9 10 11 times.

Now, hurry up over to your stove and getting cooking.  Chop, chop!

 

How To Cook A Pork Chop
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Pork chops
Instructions
  1. Remove the skillet or pan from the cupboard.
  2. Place the cold pork chops in the skillet.
  3. Place the skillet on the cold stove.
  4. Turn the heat on medium.
  5. Cook for 3 minutes. Do not touch them. Walk away if you have to.
  6. Turn them over and sear them with a spatula.
  7. Cook for 3 minutes. Do not touch them. Walk away if you have to.
  8. Turn them over and sear them with a spatula.
  9. Cook for 2 minutes. Do not touch them. Walk away if you have to.
  10. Turn them over and sear them with a spatula.
  11. Cook for 1 minute. Do not touch them. Walk away if you have to.
  12. Turn them over and sear them with a spatula.
  13. Cook for 1 minute. Wait there. They're almost done.
  14. NOTE: Cooking time will vary dependant on thickness of chops and whether they have a bone in. Mine were boneless 1" thick chops. They are done when they are perfectly browned on both sides.
  15. Slide onto plates.
  16. Watch in awe as a few minutes later the juices start to ooze out the sides.
  17. Eat the juiciest pork chop you've ever had in your life.

Pork Chops | Carrie Brown

PS. No, these were not fancy schmancy organic, grass-raised pork chops from rainbow-grunting pigs fed on truffles and warm milk, and housed in heated apartments with running water and duck-down mattresses.  These were regular pork chops from the grocery store.  Actually they were really cheap regular pork chops from the gorcery store.  I’m thinking that if this technique makes the beaten-up old Honda of pork chops taste like this, I am not sure I could handle a Rolls Royce pork chop cooked the same way.

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Sigi - Um, call me ignorant, but what do you mean by “sear them with a spatula”? Use a fiery hot spatula and press down on them? I iz confuzed.

carrie - Hi Sigi – searing means to press down firmly on the chop. The spatula does not neeed to be hot. Hope that helps!

Wendy - These are the BEST & JUCIEST chops ever! I usually shy away from cooking them because I hate looking forward to eating a great chop and end up eating a dry, tough result. Not the case at all with these. Thank you so much…the fam loved them!

carrie - Wendy – this makes me SOOOOOOOOOO happy!!!!!! :-D

Ellen - SO glad SIGI asked about the searing with a spatula part. I was confused. Cant’ wait for these to get done!

carrie - Ellen – let us know how you liked them!

ellen - Carrie, these were the juciest pork chops I have ever eaten!! Initially I was afraid that I had undercooked them, but the cooking time was about 12 – 14 minutes total, and the chops weren’t as thick as the ones you used. I was afraid they wouldn’t be tasty since I didn’t season them – but the final result was incredible. Who needs salt & pepper when you can taste the natural flavor of pork deliciousness?

carrie - Ellen – your comment makes me so happy!! Pork chops rule :-)

Stephanie - When you push them down with the spatula, doesn’t that squeeze out all the meat’s juices?

carrie - Hi Stephanie, it does not. The pan remains dry the whole time.

Paula - What kind of pan do you use? Can’t wait to try. I never cook pork chops cause they never turn out right.

carrie - Hi Paula – I have used all 3 of my frying pans to test this and it worked perfectly every time. Use whatever frying / saute pan you have!! Hope that helps!

Nick - Sounds good. Do you think this cold pan idea would work well for chicken breast?

carrie - Nick – I do not know, but I am going to try this technique on other meats to see if it is just a pork thing. Look for updates!

Beverly - Trying this method for dinner tonight.

carrie - Let us know how you liked them, Beverly!

Beverly - They were great. Even my husband liked them he usually complains that my pork chops are too dry. No complaints this time. Thanks for the recipe.

carrie - No more dry pork chops, Beverly! YAY!

Margaret H - Oh My, I am eternally grateful for this tutorial! The pork chops turned out just like you said they would although I had to cook my “mother of all” pork chops for much longer. I paired them with your Leek & Cauliflower risotto (yumminess) and yes, red wine (for the pork chop cooking anxiety) …meal perfection!
Thanks Carrie!

carrie - Margaret – that you can now enjoy fantastic pork chops makes me so happy!!!

Terez - Hi Carrie. These are not turning out quite as expected for me.

The first time I used a cast-iron skillet. I went a little higher than medium heat (using a gas flame).

At the first 3-minute point everything was still totally raw and the skillet wasn’t hot yet. So I gave it a couple more minutes before turning. Then I stuck to 3-minutes when I turned it, then 2 and 2, then 1 and 1.

Cooked them only a little longer and they weren’t as brown as your photo but I was worried about overcooking them so I pulled them off before they got much color. While I wouldn’t go on and on about them being juicy, they were not dry. And they didn’t have the looks I was expecting.

Today I tried again with just one pork chop in a small All Clad stainless steel skillet. I used a medium heat this time (not the medium-high that I used with the cast iron) and I followed your timing exactly (three minutes for the first two timings, then two, then one minute).

There was nothing more than a slight change from totally raw to almost entirely raw with the first turn.

I had to do the one-minute turnings a LOT of times. Finally they didn’t get as brown as I’d like but they were getting overcooked so I pulled them off.

The “medium” today was at 7.5 on the dial, which is “med-high” based on the number but it wasn’t a very large flame so I’m calling it medium.

Was my heat too low? Was my kitchen too cold, so that the pan was colder than yours starting out?

Are you using a gas range or electric? If gas, could you show a photo of a pan on “medium” and what that looks like to you?

Thanks,
Terez

Jan - My question also is what kind of skillet did you use? I normally use a cast iron pan so I think Terez is right it isn’t going to heat up the same. Also I use gas and med. may be different on every stove.

Blueberry Cheesecake Scones

My life, lately, appears to be revolving around blueberries.  This is quite odd because I never grew up with blueberries.  I grew up with raspberries – tons of raspberries – and strawberries, and gooseberries, and with the odd blackberry thrown in for good measure.  Not one single blueberry was to be had.

The first time I ate a blueberry was in Canada – pretty soon after I ate my first American pancake; which was a few weeks after I ate my first nachos, and a few weeks before I ate soft-serve ice cream that you could take home in a cardboard box.  That soft-serve-at-home moment got me way more twitterpated than it really should have, but when you grew up thinking that soft-serve could only come on a cone from the ice cream van, being able to buy it in a waxed carton to take home and eat at your leisure was THE BOMB.  Then there was my first view of a 15″ pizza, my very first ever hotdog, and canned pumpkin.  Gosh, Canada was quite the food experience now I look back on it.

I like blueberries, but they’re not my favorite.  Raspberries will always be my favorite because my father grew raspberry canes, and every summer I would get to go down to the bottom of the garden and pick bowlfuls of huge, juicy, magnificent red berries.  Some of them were so huge and heavy I wondered how the slender stems held them up.  We always had far more raspberries than my mother knew what to do with.  She made a lot of jam, and I regularly ate Raspberry Flan for breakfast.  (Note: Flan in England is completely different to flan in America.  An English flan is a light sponge cake with raised sides that you fill with fresh fruit and serve with cream.  In America, flan is what we Brits would call crème caramel or caramel custard).  Americans pronounce flan with a really long ‘a’ which always makes me want to giggle.

My favorite way to eat raspberries was to pop a frozen berry in my mouth and let it thaw onto my tongue.  My mother open-froze them before stashing them in the deep freeze, so in summer there was always at least one tray of raspberries balancing on top of everything else in the freezer, waiting for her to pack them into boxes.  Mmmmm, frozen raspberries.  Like the best popsicle ever but with none of the time or effort.

While blueberries would never be my first berry pick, I am always happy to eat them if they are there.  Blueberries are an American institution, though, so I completely understand that I need to make stuff with blueberries in.  My current blueberry-itis started with Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes.  Actually, that’s not quite true.  It started when Fred Meyers had fresh blueberries on sale for $1.88.  To give you context, they normally sell – in Seattle anyway – for $3.99; so it was a given that I was taking some of those squidgy blue berries home to my kitchen.  Right away.

I started with SANE Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes.  “Not a day too soon!” I heard many of you cry.  Then I whipped up some Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, which went down an absolute storm at the first SANE Ice Cream Taste Test I conducted at the office.  Then I had a desperate plea on the Marmalade Facebook page from Deb saying that she had just bypassed the most amazing looking Blueberry Scone at Starbucks, and that I needed to make a SANE version.  PLEASE!!  So when I peered in my ‘fridge and saw blueberries left over from the ice cream and pancake adventures, I knew exactly what to do with them.  Blueberry Scones with a twist – because I was still high from Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream success.

Blueberry Cheesecake Scones | Carrie Brown

I am not sure what else I really need to say here.  These scones are stinkin’ awesome, and you should hurry off to your kitchen right now and make a batch.  And that’s coming from a non-blueberry lover.

I deliberately made these thick and rustic looking – a little bit rough and ready around the edges.  The cooking temperature and time reflect this, so if you choose to make your scones thinner so that you have more, you will need to tweak the cooking time and temp accordingly.

Blueberry Cheesecake Scones | Carrie Brown

They are a light, buttery scone studded with juicy blueberries that ‘pop’ when you bite into them.  Eat them hot out the oven, naked. (I meant the scones, not you – but hey, who am I to tell you how to dress when you eat your SANE Blueberry Cheesecake Scones?).  Eat them slathered with butter.  Pile on some SANE jam and whipped coconut cream.  Or eat them my favorite way – with SANE Lemon Curd.  However you decide to do it, just eat them.

GO, Blue!

PS. Want other SANE scoones and biscuits?  Go here.

Blueberry Cheesecake Scones
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 15 oz. / 420g almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 TBSP xylitol (I use Xyla)
  • 6 oz. / 170g unsalted butter, cold and chopped into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. fat-free sour cream
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 oz / 170g fresh blueberries
  • Beaten egg to glaze
Instructions
  1. Place almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, xylitol and cold butter into a food processor and pulse just until it resembles breadcrumbs. Do not over process!
  2. Turn into a mixing bowl and add the egg, sour cream, lemon zest, and blueberries and mix just enough to form a rough, soft dough. Be gentle so you don't smash the blueberries.
  3. Turn onto a board (use almond flour to dust if sticky) and knead about 5 times until the dough is all together. Be very gentle. The dough will be very shaggy.
  4. Flatten the dough lightly with your hand until it is a 1½ inch thick. This is the same thickness as my cutter.
  5. Use a round 2½ inch metal cutter to cut into thick circles.
  6. Very gently push the dough out of the cutter and place scones on a baking sheet.
  7. Brush with beaten egg.
  8. Bake in the center of the oven at 325 F for 20 - 22 minutes until golden brown.

Blueberry Cheesecake Scones | Carrie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Sigi - Looks very nice, Carrie. I’m like you though – while I do enjoy good fresh blueberries, raspberries will always be my favourite, and I will always use them preferentially in any baking. Do you think raspberries would work in this recipe, or would they be too wet?

Sharon - Carrie – I can’t wait to try these scones; I haven’t made biscuits in 2 years! I do have a question though: Is the 6oz of butter by volume or weight?

carrie - Sharon – all ounce measurements are by weight. Enjoy!!

carrie - Hi Sigi – you can certainly try raspberries, but they may well be wetter than blueberries. I think it’s worth a go though. YUM!

Ruth - Looks really good, but just curious – where does the “cheesecake” in the name come from? I don’t see any cream cheese in the recipe. Can’t wait for the ice cream recipes!

carrie - The sour cream and the lemon. My regular Cheesecake Ice cream had those as ingredients, hence the name :-) I did make a version of these scones with cream cheese in but you couldn’t taste it so I took it out. SANE ice cream is coming soon!

Kerry - Could you use yogurt instead of sour cream? Thanks.

carrie - In this instance, yes, Kerry.

Rebecca (rsjo) - I tried them tonight Carrie – I was scared coz they looked like they wouldn’t work – but they did! yummo! thanks to you and your therapists magazine collection!! xox

carrie - Hey Rebecca! Are you talking about the Blueberry Cheesecake Scones or the pork chops? Either way – glad they worked and you loved them!!

Rebecca - oooh how did I get lost? I meant the pork chops! I’m going to have to make these scones now too – its fate :)

carrie - Yes, Rebecca! Make the scones too! :-)

Philippa - I haven’t any xanthum gum and I really want to make these.
Will they work without or is it absolutely essential?

carrie - Philippa – the texture will not be as good, but won’t they wont’ fail without the gum. Hope that helps!

Heather - I made these today and followed the recipe to the letter, apart from they were slightly smaller than yours. But they have come out soggy in the middle, even with extra cooking time. The blueberries were tasteless too, although I fear that’s because they are end of season so I’ll try with this fruit again next year. However, any tips? Hotter oven? Cooler? Even longer in the oven? I was so looking forward to them.

carrie - Hi Heather – my first guess would be that your oven was too hot when you put them in. Also, what thickness were they? If they were very thick then you would want to start at a lower temperature for the oven and cook them longer. I am so sad they didn’t work out first them for you because they are very yummy. Let me know if you try them again. I hope this helps!

Nancy - Can you replace te sour cream wit something else ? I cannot do milk.

carrie - Nancy I would use thick coconut milk instead of sour cream in this instance. Thick coconut milk comes in a can. Hope that helps!

Billy - Carrie – my wife and I are huge fans of most of your recipes you post. I’ve cooked these scones 3 times now and everytime I have the same problem. As Heather mentioned above, these scones always come out very soggy in the middle. I have followed the instructions very carefully and even purchased an oven thermometer to monitor any discrepancies with the temperate. This last time I even lowered the temp (as suggested to Heather), but they never seem to firm up. The top gets golden but the center is “doughy”. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

carrie - HI Billy – wondering what altitude you are at and if that could have anything to do with it?