In a land far, far away from Seattle is a gorgeous little place called Eton.  You may have heard of it.  It’s in southern England.  It’s where Wills and Harry went to school.  They wear tailcoats at Eton, it’s all very la-di-dah.  Another thing they do at Eton – in the summer – is eat Eton Mess.  So I thought that in celebration of the impending birth of a new baby prince or princess, I’d create a *SANE version.  This is also a perfect dessert for your upcoming 4th of July festivities, Americans!  Living a SANE lifestyle doesn’t mean we have to miss out on all the fun – be it Royal, Independence or otherwise. Eton Mess  |  Carrie BrownEton Mess is a simple assembly.  There’s several ways you can do it, and I’ve given you two versions here.  One I like to call The Dinner Party version, and the other The Summer BBQ version.  The only difference is the way you assemble the bits.  I say that, but they do actually taste different as well.  One of the ‘bits’ you’ll need for this is some SANE Meringue Cookies. Eton Mess | Carrie BrownThe Dinner Party version is layered into pretty glass dishes and looks all sophisticated.  The Summer BBQ version is mixed into a mess and looks all fun & frivolous.

Now let’s be clear.  You don’t want to be eating this every day, but it’s a lovely treat for a few weekends in the summer.  When I made it to take photographs for this post, I sat on my terrace in the afternoon sun and revelled in the warmth while enjoying the sweet, juicy berries mixed with crunchy meringues and softly whipped vanilla cream.  It was a beautiful 10 minutes.  It made me think back to glorious summers in England, and watching Wimbledon (there is no “t”, lovely Americans!), the 7-week-long summer holidays from school, walking down the banks of the Thames in the sunshine, and boating in Henley.  Oh, and Pimms.  And open-air concerts on the lawn with a picnic.  All lovely, lovely things.

Add a bit of English to your summer this year, old chaps!


Eton Mess
Author: Carrie Brown |
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 4 oz / 110g fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz / 110g fresh blackberries
  • 8 oz / 225g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 TBSP xylitol (I use Xyla)
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. heavy (double) cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • SANE Meringue Cookies (see recipe link above)
  1. In a bowl, mix the fresh berries and xylitol together and leave to stand for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries become soft and there are plenty of juices in the bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, whip the cream and vanilla extract until the cream holds very soft peaks. DO NOT whip until it is stiff.
  3. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  5. Fold the cream gently into the berries until completely mixed.
  6. Gently fold in the meringue cookies just until they are evenly distributed.
  7. Spoon into glasses and garnish with sliced strawberries.
  8. Serve with a long spoon.
  9. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  11. Alternate spoonfuls of berries, meringue cookies and whipped cream into glass dishes, being careful not to mix the layers together.
  12. Layer until meringues and cream are all used up.
  13. Finish with a layer of berries.
  14. Spoon any remaining berry juices over the desserts.
  15. Serve.

Eton Mess | Carrie Brown



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Ahhh, sugar.  When I think back to to my teenage years, it is amazing to me how I am still alive.  I ate sugar – pure sugar – like bodybuilders eat protein.  From the age of 14, I had a wedding cake business for several years, and the amount of royal icing that ended up in my mouth was staggering; then there were all the pastry, chocolate, and sugar classes at The National Bakery School.  I loved sugar.  The sweeter the better as far as I was concerned.  It is a total wonder to me how I was not diabetic by the time I was 20.  Or how I weighed only 110 lbs soaking wet.  Our bodies are amazing in their ability to protect us from the horrors that we force upon them.  If I ate now like I did back in my teens, I would be the size of a house, and at the very least pre-diabetic.  No more royal icing and meringue by the spoonful for me.  Or so I thought. SANE Meringue Cookies  |  Carrie Brown

2 weeks ago I started playing with sugar-free meringue.  I blame the Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream I was creating.  You can hardly have Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream without any meringue now can you.

To me, this is like the ultimate giving-the-finger to sugar.  Oh my.  Did I really just type that out loud?  But really, it’s true.  What is meringue except a bit of egg white holding a whole ton of sugar in suspension?  Luckily for us, xylitol works much the same way as sugar does in this instance, although I found it to be a little finicky about the weather, and apt to color up a lot quicker; which is *really* weird since xylitol doesn’t caramelize like sugar.  Anyway, it’s nothing we happy and healthy sugar-free cooks can’t work around.

SANE Meringue Cookies | Carrie Brown

I must admit, it still feels incredibly naughty eating sugar-free meringue cookies, even though it isn’t.  The first batch I made were so staggeringly sweet I almost couldn’t eat them, so in later trials I reduced the amount of xylitol in the recipe.  If your sweet tooth has been gradually disappearing as a result of a sugar-free lifestyle then you likely won’t be able to eat many of these at one go, and you’ll want to eat them with something else to take the edge off the sweetness.

I’d save these for high days and holidays, dinner parties, birthdays, and other special events.  Those times when I have guests over and I’d like them to feel “normal” – not like they are being force-fed healthy.  In fact, the next recipe winging it’s way to you is a perfect summer dessert for just such an occasion.  How fabulous to know that you can serve up something so fun and seemingly naughty without compromising your health or making your guests feel deprived. SANE Meringue Cookies | Carrie Brown

Let me just throw in one very important word if you are planning on making sugar-free meringue cookies:  P A T I E N C E.

These sweet little babies take forever to dry out.  I blame the xylitol.  Anyway, you will get perfect meringue…eventually.  Having followed the baking instructions in the recipe, if you remove them from the oven and they are still sticky (you’ll know because they will look shiny), just either leave them in the now-cold oven if you are not using it, or pull them out of the oven and leave them on the counter until they are dry.  The final batch that I made (pictured) were not fully dry for 2 days.  I am telling you this so that you can plan, and so that you are not disappointed or frustrated when they are not ready after following the recipe.  They will be ready…eventually.  What’s weird is that leaving them in a heated oven for longer than the recipe did not dry them out any faster.  I can’t explain it, it just is what it is.  Also, baking them at a higher temperature does not speed up the drying time, it just makes them color.  Xylitol colors faster than meringues made with sugar, so don’t turn the heat up unless you want dingy-looking meringues.  You have been warned.  I would plan to make these at least 3 days before you need them.  Once they are dry they will store for a week or more in an air-tight container, so I recommend making them in advance and storing, rather then risking them not being dry in time.

Out of this batch I used the little stars for making Eton Mess, and used the buttons in Lemon Meringue Pie Ice Cream (Get the recipe in my Ice Cream Book – it is SOOOOO good!), but you can pipe them in whatever shape you fancy, depending on what you want to use them for.  You’ll want a pastry bag like these – the larger the better, and some nozzles or tips like these.


Meringue Cookies
Author: Carrie Brown |
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 3 fresh egg whites (pasteurized whites will not whip)
  • 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 5 oz / 140 g xylitol (I use Xyla)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 225F.
  2. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and whisk using either a stand- or hand-mixer until the egg whites have formed stiff, dry peaks.
  3. Add the xylitol, a tablespoon at a time, whisking very well between each addition.
  4. Once you have added the last of the xylitol, continue whisking until the meringue is stiff and very glossy.
  5. Using a piping bag with the nozzle of your choice, fill the bag with meringue and pipe small shapes onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. Place the baking sheet(s) in the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 2 hours.
  7. After 2 hours, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the warm oven overnight.
  8. If the meringues are still sticky in the morning, leave them in the oven until they are dry, or if you need the oven, place them somewhere dry until they are ready. This could take up to 2 days. Patience is a virtue.

SANE Meringue Cookies | Carrie Brown





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  • Romy - Dear Carry
    Thanks for all your SANE recipes. I’m personally a bit hesitant against all processed foods and I try to avoid sugar instead of replacing it with some other sweet ingredient. This does not mean I do not eat sugary stuff. Since I’m following a Paleo/Primal lifestyle I cut back to premium dark chocolate (I’m Swiss and live in a country of Chocolate :-) which I enjoy in very small portions every day.
    I bake for my son and husband with Xylitol. They prefer the taste to Stevia which they do not like. Now my question: did you get feedback that some persons get stomach pain from Xylitol? I personally do not like the textur and taste of the baked good in my mouthh and get uneasy in my stomach immediately after I ate Xylitol.
    Best regards

    • carrie - Hi Romy – a few people do experience a little intestinal distress when they first start using xylitol. I recommend starting out slowly and gradually building up. I found that after continued use any stomach issues go away. It may be different for others though. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Francesca - Thanks so much for this advice! I have thrown away FOUR batches of forgotten meringue cookies now. I will,try again today, and let you know how long they took to dry out. Wish me luck!

  • Francesca Carey - Yes, not drying out! We live in Hawaii, so that might be part of the problem, but darn it, I REALLY want to make these cookies!!
    The recipe is for 2 egg whites, 1/4t Cream of Tartar, 1/2 C Xyla, 1 tsp Vanilla and 1 C pecans. You fold the pecans and the vanilla into the stiff egg whites, and bake with the Overnight Method, start at 375º, shut off oven, leave overnight. (This is why they are called Forgotten Cookies!) However, they were wet and sticky in the morning.
    I thought that I had not whipped them enough, so I did batch #2, really stiff, and tried the Overnight method again. No good.
    #3 I tried baking them at 200º for two hours. They were still sticky, BUT I left them in the oven because we were having a dinner party. The next day when I was throwing them out I found that ONE of the cookies had baked, but I did not know why!! It was delicious!
    Batch #4 I baked at 275º, and they got brown, but NOT dried out…
    So – this is batch #5 in the oven right now – will then leave overnight, and see what happens over the next two days. I only hope the ants don’t find them!!
    thanks so much for answering me so quickly.
    By the way, the Book “Smarter Science of Slim” sounds amazing! When will it be published, and how can I get on a list for you to send it?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Francesca – it took me many attempts with different oven temperatures and timings, but the most successful method is the recipe I shared here. I so hope it works for you! The Smarter Science of Slim is now out of print but Jonathan’s new book, The Calorie Myth will be published on December 31st 2013. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any updates!!ReplyCancel

  • Eton Mess » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] taste different as well.  One of the ‘bits’ you’ll need for this is some SANE Meringue Cookies. The Dinner Party version is layered into pretty glass dishes and looks all sophisticated.  The […]ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Wow thanks for the tips on xylitol meringue, now I know why after many attempts mine don’t dry in sunny Queensland Australia! Boo boo we love our meringues.ReplyCancel

  • Jeannie Hubing - Hi Carrie, I have just made a batch of your ‘sane’ sugar cookies and the dough is now chilling in the fridge. Already, the dough is delicious. Now, I want to make these meringue treats, I have an old ‘not sane’ recipe that calls for superfine sugar, I use Xylitol and do notice it seems chunkier, larger granules than regular sugar and certainly in comparison to fine sugar. Do you suggest grinding the xylitol to make it finer? or is it ok right out of the bag? Thank you for sharing your recipes. I see so many supposedly healthy recipes on the internet that are anything but healthy. JeannieReplyCancel

    • carrie - Jeannie – no need to grind the xylitol. Totally agree on the “healthy” thing. It’s a minefield out there :-(ReplyCancel

  • Julie Skinner - Has anybody tried drying out the meringue in a dehydrator?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - No, Julie – but great idea in theory. Let me know if it works!ReplyCancel

  • Noeline Levinson - Hi, thank you for this excellent website. I too have been having trouble with my meringues. I love them, and want so badly to make them with xylitol successfully. I have a batch in the oven now, that have not dried out. Help!!! it is a hot and humid day and should have cooked them for longer. I have a fan oven and I find that to be hotter than other ovens and so always put the temp down by 20degrees. I have now put the fan on again, with no heat to try to dry them out. Is this a bad idea? I have a dinner party tonight and want them to work.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Noeline, I would imagine that it is the humidity that is hampering your efforts here. Your idea to put the fan on is a great one, but I would put on a low heat also. They will dry out eventually. I usually plan to make them several days ahead so if they are being finnicky and taking a long time they are still dry when I need them.ReplyCancel

  • christina - Any suggestions for how much extract or flavoring to add to change this recipe up?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Christina – my philosophy is start small and add as necessary. Once it’s in there you can’t take it out! Also depends on what flavorings / extracts / essences you are using. Almond, for example, is super strong, whereas vanilla is much milder.ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - I have a recipe for Mocha Meringues that I tried, and they tasted delicious but didn’t hold their shape at all. The recipe says to add the vanilla, cocoa powder, and coffee (1 tsp instant coffee dissolved into 1 tbsp water) after whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks (and it also didn’t specify whether to fold them in or whisk them in…I tried both and they both flopped). The recipe also called for regular sugar and I used half stevia and half xylitol. Any ideas of a better way to make this recipe work? Should I add the liquid ingredients before whisking the egg whites? Any suggestions would be really appreciated!! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Kristen – without seeing the recipe it is really hard for me to offer solid advise. When you say half Stevia – do you mean granular Stevia or liquid? I have never used Stevia so I cannot give advise on it’s use – I don’t use it because I think it tastes nasty :-) The additions need to be added after the “sugar” is incorporated into the egg whites. Fat makes egg whites collapse so you can’t add them before you have made the meringue. It is the air and sugar that prevent the egg whites from collapsing when the other things are added. Once the meringue is made turn your mixer to low speed and add the other ingredients. Aside from your Stevia question, I hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • 50 Best Low-carb Cookies to Keep You Baking All Year - […] Detailed recipe and credit – […]ReplyCancel

  • SANE Meringue Cookies - Urban Angels - […] Read More Source: – marchellekilian […]ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - This recipe is quite similar to an old secret family recipe. My sister uses a dehumidifier in her kitchen when making these. I think that might help a bit. : )ReplyCancel

  • Missy - Hi there! This recipe sounds fabulous! Unfortunately, no retailers in my area carry xylitol. Do you know if another sugar substitute, such as splenda, would be acceptable in this recipe?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Missy – since I haven’t trialed it with another sugar substitute I can’t say for sure it will work. However, I can say for certainty that I wouldn’t use Splenda (even if it works):

      I would look to Amazon for your xylitol supply. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

It’s summer.  Berry season.  And this dinner has summer written all over it.  It was my Memorial Day dinner, because, after all, Memorial day does mark the start of summer here in America.  Mother Nature, unfortunately, did not get the memo about summer having begun.  Either that or she left Seattle for the long weekend like a horde of other folk who hurtled up the I-90 or down the I-5 in droves.

Despite the weather being pretty damp and dreary – or maybe because the weather was pretty damp and dreary – I had a rush of blood to the head, and, on the spur of the moment decided to cook like there were people coming over.  After I posted a quick ‘phone pic on Facebook, people were wishing they had come over.  I see how you are, people.  It’s all about the food.

Because it is now summer – and regardless of what the weather may have looked like on the official first day – I decided that we all needed some Strawberry Salsa in our lives.  Strawberries make the world a better place.  Unless you’re allergic to them, in which case, not so much.  Not only does Strawberry Salsa just make you want to eat everything it covers, it also tastes like summer.  Pan-fried Chicken with Strawberry Salsa  |  Carrie Brown

I’m not a traditional salsa kinda gal.  Tomato based sauces have never really floated my boat, and spicy hot is not my ball of wax.  I can take traditional salsa or leave it, and almost invariably I leave it.  In England that’s not too hard to do, but stateside, salsa pops up all over the place.  And all the time.  It seemed only right that I should fill my personal salsa void with something red and yummy.  So I did. Pan-fried Chicken with Strawberry Salsa | Carrie BrownA long while ago I saw in a magazine – probably while waiting in my Therapist’s office since that’s the only place I see magazines – a recipe for Strawberry Relish, and I never forgot it because it looked so fantastical, although I didn’t think to do anything sensible like take a ‘phone photo so I could remember the ins and outs and whys and wherefores.  And because I couldn’t remember anything other than it’s fantastical-looking-ness, I just made my own up; although how much of the recipe in the magazine became quietly lodged in a corner of my brain we shall never know.

The dressing is tart yet sweet, and macerating the strawberries in advance means you get an almost syrupy sauce which runs off into the Leek and Cauliflower Risotto (see image above) to create a mix of flavors so delicious I don’t even have the words.  And that was when it was hot off the press.  That night I put the risotto in the bottom of a Pyrex dish, laid the chicken on top and spooned the rest of the strawberry salsa over the top, put the lid on and slung it in the ‘fridge for the next day’s lunch.  I was expecting it to be OK.  Secretly, I was resigned to it being passable.  Imagine my delight then, when I discovered it was even better cold the next day.  I will be making it again, expressly to let it get cold overnight in the ‘fridge.  It would make an absolutely smashing, cold, summer lunch.  And if you serve it hot it will stun your dinner party guests, without taking all day to make.  It’s fast, simple and *SANE.

I highly recommend that you make this as soon as possible.  It will change your summer, forever.


Pan-fried Chicken With Strawberry Salsa
Author: Carrie Brown |
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 10 oz. / 280g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp xylitol (I use Xyla)
  • 2 TBSP fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  1. At least 30 minutes before you start to cook the chicken, place the hulled, sliced strawberries in a bowl with the lime zest, balsamic vinegar, xylitol, and fresh chives.
  2. Mix well until the strawberry pieces are completely coated in liquid and xylitol.
  3. Leave to macerate, stirring every so often.
  4. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet, and add the chicken breasts.
  5. Pan-fry the chicken until they are golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes, making sure that they are cooked right the way through.
  6. Place the chicken on individual plates or a serving dish and spoon the Strawberry Salsa over the top.

Pan-fried Chicken with Strawberry Salsa | Carrie Brown




What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • SANE Digest for 4.3.13 - Smarter Science of Slim with Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown - […]   – 1 Scrumptious SANE Recipe for Pan-fried Chicken with Strawberry Salsa […]ReplyCancel

  • Keri - I presume it’s OK if I grill the chicken? I’m looking forward to trying this tonight!ReplyCancel

  • Stefanie - This is so beautiful. I will definitely try this one soon.ReplyCancel

  • Jonna - I made this last night for my family and we loved it! It was like summer on a dinner plate. Thanks for sharing such a great, simple recipe that will be made in our home now many times!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - I am thrilled that you loved this, Jonna. It is one of my favorite meals now :-)ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Absolutely delicious!! Very easy and quick!! So good and everyone loved it! Reheated very well too!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Katie – this is one of my favorite dinners now. And lunch the next day :-)ReplyCancel

  • Wren - Oh so good! I made this tonite and LOVED IT! I cut up the chicken in bite size pieces and cooked them like that. This made it easy to eat as well. I like bite size food. Haha. Guess I’m too lazy to cut it up on my plate. I served it with steamed green beans with butter and lemon pepper. I could easily eat this once a week. Oh my. So easy and quick.ReplyCancel

Gosh.  It’s been a while since I posted a side for you.  That’s because I’ve been eagerly, and whole-heartedly, absorbed in filling the void left in your lives by cupcakes, muffins, pancakes, ice cream, and all kinds of other *inSANEity from your LBB (Life Before Bailor).  But lest we forget, veggies is where it’s really at.  It’s nice to have *SANE versions of your inSANE favorites, knowing that they are supporting your fat-loss and health goals, but there is a limit to what you will achieve without those 10 servings of non-starchy veggies every day.  An SSoS’er cannot live (or reach their goals) on ground nuts, coconut oil, and xylitol alone.

So in the spirit of keeping us on the right veggie track, I made you a new side.  And let me tell you how delicious this side is.  And how much it does not taste in the least like cauliflower.  And how it will confuse your brain into thinking you are eating rice.  Even while you are eating it and telling your brain it is cauliflower.  And how you will want to eat it all the time, once you’ve had it once.  Because it almost doesn’t even taste like vegetables at all. Leek and Cauliflower Risotto  |  Carrie Brown

And it looks real pretty.  Pretty is important when it comes to vegetables.  Especially when one of the veggies is the blandest, most boring-tasting vegetable to be found in the produce department.  This side, ladies and gentleman, is neither bland, nor boring-tasting.  This side, is awesome. Leek and Cauliflower Risotto | Carrie Brown

It is awesome hot, it is awesome cold.  It is particularly awesome as a bed for my Pan-fried Chicken with Strawberry Salsa (recipe up next!).

If you’re shaking your head thinking, “I don’t like cauliflower”, try this.  If your kids won’t eat cauliflower, make them this.  It is quick and simple to throw together, and it will send your *SANEity index soaring.  You can even make a huge batch in advance and store in airtight containers in the ‘fridge to whip out as either a hot or cold side over the course of a week.  I wish I’d made more.  Of course, it helps that I included my favorite vegetable on earth.  If you have yet to succumb to my pleadings to try leeks, now’s the time.

I love this stuff.  Elevate the humble cauliflower to a more permanent place at your dinner table!


Leek and Cauliflower Risotto
Author: Carrie Brown |
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 lb / 450g leeks, finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups / 3/4 pint chicken stock
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 lb / 450g cauliflower florets
  • Few chives for garnish, chopped.
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  2. Add the finely sliced leeks and reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Saute the leeks until they are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, sea salt, and pepper, stirring well.
  5. Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  6. Once the stock starts to simmer, add the cauliflower and stir well.
  7. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes until the cauliflower is just tender, stirring occasionally. Do not over cook as the cauliflower will turn to mush.
  8. Remove from the heat, stir well and spoon into a serving dish.
  9. Garnish with fresh chives.





What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Mallory McCormick - SO YUMMY! THANK YOU! Leeks are awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Kara - Carrie,

    I was having dinner by myself, and decided to try this recipe. Unfortunately, I apparently can’t do math- even though I majored in science.

    I cut the recipe by 1/4th, BUT I forgot to reduce the amount of stock and put in the full amount…. I turned this recipe into an AWESOME chicken and “rice” soup!!!!

    In fact it smelled so good that the “natives” came running and I had to make another full sized batch…..

    Thanks again for a great idea!


  • Katie - Very good! Make sure you clean your leaks well. I really enjoyed this recipe, but my husband didn’t love it. But he isn’t as much into cauliflower… I thought it was delicious!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Katie – this is a go-to side for me. Hot, cold, I love it both ways.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - I made this tonight using my own chicken stock I saved from roasting a whole chicken. It tasted like chicken soup. It was the best recipe yet. And yes to all my coworkers, I will bring in enough for sharing. So good on a cool fall evening.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Diane – I LOVE that Risotto! The chicken stock sounds divine. Hello, Coworkers!! :-DReplyCancel

  • Pan-fried Chicken With Strawberry Salsa » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] strawberries in advance means you get an almost syrupy sauce which runs off into the Leek and Cauliflower Risotto (see image above) to create a mix of flavors so delicious I don’t even have the words.  And […]ReplyCancel

  • Paula - My version also turned out more like a soup, but I’m not complaining! It was delicious. We were having grilled shrimp too, so I threw mine in my soup and it was terrific!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Oh dear, Paula – I am guessing that you processed the cauliflower just a little too much. Glad it was still delicious!! Grilled shrimp – YUM.ReplyCancel

  • Braised Cabbage » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] masquerading as tagliatelle, rather like cauliflower masquerading as risotto or rice or mash.  Totally worked for me, and the previously-cabbage-hating […]ReplyCancel

Today is a most spectacular day.  I’ve waited for this day for 1 year, 11 months and 12 days.  Not that I’ve been counting, or anything.  Today I will be reunited with one of my favorite people on planet earth, who also happens to be the BEST. BOSS. EVER. and I get to work with him again – 4 days a week – starting today.  Excited?  I can barely stand it.  Truly, my life is right way up again.  My life is the way it is today because of the enormous influence of this man; so I cannot wait to see what the future holds now I have my biggest cheerleader back in my corner. I know, for sure, it’s going to be exciting.

Today is also spectacular for another reason:  LowCarb / KETO / SANE / LCHF  Ice Cream has arrived!

UPDATE:  I have now created you a whole book full of scrumptious sane Ice Creams – also suitable for C

Woohoo!!  I know it feels like it’s taken forever to get here, but fantastic ice cream is not easy.  It’s easy once you have a recipe that works.  Getting a recipe that works – not so much.  And I have a lot of experience with ice cream.

My goal here is to make ice creams that are as sane as possible, and yet taste as good or better than premium regular ice creams.  It’s a lofty goal if you understand how ice cream works.  It’s a lofty goal if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to try the dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, or whatever-the-heck-free versions at the store.  Yeah, mine won’t taste anything like any of those.  My trusty Ice Cream Taste Test Crew would agree that you cannot tell the difference between my sane ones and regular premium ice creams.  It’s true, lovely readers.  You CAN have it all.  You’ll be so glad you’re sane once you’ve tried some of these!

My ice cream fetish odyssey started some 4 years ago when Larry decided to have a birthday.  His lovely wife, Susan, is not the chef in the family, so I offered to cook The Birthday Dinner for Larry and his family at my home.  I had the dinner down, but was somewhat stumped when it came to a suitable dessert.  I knew Larry adored raspberries, and I knew the weather was going to be warm.  Based on these two facts I randomly decided that I was going to make Raspberry Ice Cream for him, even though I had never made ice cream before.  Ever.

I toddled off to Williams-Sonoma to avail myself of an ice cream churner, and my ice cream adventures began.  Being a lifelong overachiever I made both Raspberry Ice Cream and Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream, and both of them were huge hits.  I mean HUGE.  No one believed they were homemade.  That success, combined with the therapeutic experience I had enjoyed while making said ice cream set me off on a path that involved some 40-or-so flavors, and hundreds and hundreds of gallons of ice cream over the next 3 years.  It was awesome.  I made ice cream for neighbors, ice cream for friends, ice cream for work colleagues, and ice cream for a local hotel.  I rapidly became known as The Ice Cream Queen.  I had strangers gate-crashing work meetings because they heard Carrie Brown’s ice cream was making an appearance.  I never had any problems getting painting parties going at my house either; as long as there was Carrie Brown’s ice cream there were plenty of volunteers.

Then I met Jonathan, and my whole ice cream existence came to a screeching halt.  Until now.  I give you Peanut Butter Ice Cream. Peanut Butter Ice CreamWouldn’t it be awesome, I mused, if I could merge my ice cream repertoire into my SANE lifestyle.  It’s pretty hard being the Ice Cream Queen and The Queen of Healthy Eating at the same time; because how can I live and breathe all things nutritionally healthy while churning out ice cream that is doing exactly the opposite?  So for months I pondered how to make sane Ice Creams.  Ice creams are the single most complex food creations we humans have come up with.  Sadly you cannot just whizz a bunch of stuff together, sling it in the freezer and get beautiful, scoopable, delicious ice cream the next day.   In other news, did you know that “scoopable” is not a real word?  I am going to start a petition.  Scoopable needs to be a proper word.  I mean, I make ice cream all day long, and have 5 cats. I can’t go 5 minutes without using the word.

Months ago I started dabbling with sane ingredients that I thought may work, but didn’t have much success.  Then, one Saturday, my brain broke loose and I created 8 sane ice creams in one day.  I was over the hump and off to the races!  Since then I’ve made 16 different flavors – holy moly, there’s no stopping me now.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

To get us going down the saneE Ice Cream path, I started with the easiest recipe, which also happened to be one of the most requested: Peanut Butter Ice Cream  Score!  Everyone wins.

Ice cream making is actually pretty complicated scientifically speaking – there’s a whole bunch of geekery around getting ice crystals to form the right way, not getting them to freeze too hard, or too soft, and other thrilling physics dilemmas to think about – and there are tons of little tips and tricks that will help you get that perfect scoop of sane deliciousness every time. Sadly, one little recipe post won’t address most of that, but before you hop to the recipe please just cast your eye over this list. It’s a good place to start if you are new to the world of homemade ice cream, and since all of you are new to sane ice cream, and sane ice cream “custards” do not behave like regular ice cream custards, I urge you to pay attention. After waiting this long, I don’t want you to be disappointed with the result.

The goal is to churn your ice cream mixture in as short a time as possible, so having everything super cold before you begin will be your biggest aid in this endeavor.  Especially the ice cream mixture.  DO NOT TRY AND CHURN IT IF IT IS NOT COLD.

  • All your equipment should be as cold as possible before you start churning: the dasher (stirring paddle), any jug that you use to pour the custard into the churner, and the spatulas.
  • If you are using a churner with a removable freezer bowl that needs to be pre-frozen, make sure that it is completely frozen before you churn. If you shake it and there is ANY noise, it is not ready to use.
  • Place the empty container that you are going to put the churned ice cream in, into the freezer when you start churning so it is super-cold when the ice creamed has churned.
  • Do not overfill the churning bowl.  Doing two smaller batches is much better than trying to churn too big a batch.
  • Once you have put the churned ice cream in the cold storage container, place it in the freezer immediately.
  • Once churned, freeze the ice cream in the freezer for at least several hours before serving, and preferably overnight.  Really, try and wait, or churn just before bedtime so you’re not tempted to dig in straight away.
  • If you live in a hot climate, churn in the coolest part of the day.
  • If you have a separate “deep” freeze, put your freshly churned ice cream in that freezer initially, so it freezes as fast and firm as possible.  The next day, or 8 hours later, you can transfer it to the freezer part of your kitchen ‘fridge/freezer.

That’s just a few basics to get you started.  So without further ado, have some sane Peanut Butter Ice Cream.  I must warn you – this stuff is *very* filling.  You won’t be able to eat very much at one time, but your mouth will be so insanely (ha! ha!) happy because it won’t believe it’s eating sane ice cream, that you won’t care. Peanut Butter Ice Cream | www.carriebrown.comHUGE thanks are due to my long-suffering Ice Cream Taste Test Crew: Matt Ballard, Laurie Resch, Bob Stutz, Jen Meehan, and Sahara Pirie, whose thoughtful, constructive criticism helped shape the final versions; they ate a lot of ice cream in the course of this sane Ice Cream endeavor, and my recipes are better because of their input.  Matt wins the award for most sane ice cream eaten in the name of ice cream perfection.  Thursday afternoons will never be quite the same.  Thanks also to the various other folks who were able to sample a few here and there, and whose feedback was also very valuable.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

UPDATE:  I have now created you a whole book full of scrumptious sane Ice Creams – also suitable for

Note: I use Living Harvest Tempt Hempmilk – Unsweetened Original

Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Author: Carrie Brown |
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 10 – 12
  • 2 cups / 1 pint hemp milk (I use Living Harvest Tempt Hempmilk – Unsweetened Original)
  • 3/4 cup / 6 fl oz. smooth peanut butter, unsweetened
  • 6 1/2 oz / 185 g xylitol (I use Xyla)
  • 1/4 cup / 2 fl oz. heavy (double) cream (or thick coconut milk for dairy-free)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. / 55g vanilla protein powder (I use Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey)
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  1. Place hemp milk, peanut butter, xylitol, cream, sea salt, and vanilla extract into a blender and blend on high until completely smooth.
  2. Add the protein powder and blend briefly, just until mixed in.
  3. Turn the blender to low speed and through the opening in the blender lid tap the guar gum into the mixture while the machine is running.
  4. Blend for no more than 5 seconds and turn the blender off.
  5. If you do not need the blender jug, put the lid on and place in the ‘fridge for at least 4 hours until the ice cream mix is very cold. If you need the blender jug, transfer the ice cream mix into a jug or other container and cover before placing in the ‘fridge.
  6. Once the ice cream mix is very cold, freeze in your ice cream churner following the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes 20 – 30 minutes.
  7. Once the ice cream mixture has churned into “soft serve” consistency, quickly transfer it from the churning bowl into your pre-chilled container, and place in the freezer overnight.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream |






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  • Ellen - YAY!!!! Thanks for sharing – can’t wait to get started. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sahara - OMG, my mouth is watering as I look at the photos because it is remembering the taste oh so well… can’t wait to make this. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - It was so fun having you on the Ice Cream Taste Test Crew, Sahara!!!ReplyCancel

  • Gordon Mott - Hi Carrie. Thank you so much. Just need to get a churner now. Two questions. First can you use other milks to make this and get the same results and second, can I substitute unflavoured whey protein powder or add vanilla essence. Oh and yes, I believe you said xanthum gum can replace guar gum?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Gordon – you can use unsweetened almond milk instead, but the result will not be exactly the same. Yes you can use unflavored whey – be careful how much vanilla extract you add, it is very strong – or leave the additional vanilla out. You should NOT replace guar gum with xanthan gum in this instance :-( Hope this helps! Enjoy your churner!!! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Judy - Hi Carrie, Love your recipies, but I don’t have a very accurate scale so how much xylitol does this measure out to be. I need to replace my scales but in the meanwhile a measurement equivalent would be very helpful.ReplyCancel

  • Ladyp1244 - Am looking on-line for guar gum, hemp milk and a churner as I type. Looks a fabulous recipe. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Jeremy - so this is probably a stupid question but where exactly can I find an ice cream churn. this recipe sounds great but have no clue where I could pick up one of those bad boys. thanks in advace…:)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Jeremy! I have updated the post with churner info links – hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Jeremy I got my ice cream machine at costco but Amazon also has them


    A few questions:
    Looks like we need to buy hemp milk is there a brand you would recommend?
    Also about the PB, I buy mine where you can grind it yourself at the store. Nothing added like sugar or salt but I would not say it is totally smooth. Will this work or should I buy PB in a jar and if so what brand do you use?
    What is the dasher?
    I have several freezers and I know the chest freezer gets much colder than the freezer in the house. Would you suggest the coldest freezer possible or does that matter?
    Can’t wait to make this Ice Cream. YUMMY! .ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Heidi – have updated the post with brand recommendation and explanaiton of a dasher. For PB I use Trader Joe’s smooth peanut butter. The taste of the ice cream will vary depending on what PB you use. I initially freeze them in the deep freeze in the garage, and then move them to the freezer section of the ‘fridge/freezer. If I am transporting them I leave them in the deep freeze until I need to leave the house. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Also can you make the ice cream mix ahead of time like a couple days and leave it in the fridge until you churn it?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Heidi – yes. perfectly fine to make the “custard” ahead of time and keep in the ‘fridge. This is typically how I manage ice cream production. Just make sure it is in a covered glass container. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - YUM…..JUST YUM! What an incredible ice cream! LOVE it!!
    THANKS, Carrie!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - YAY for Ellen being the first to comment after haivng made the first SANE Ice Cream! SOOOOOOO happy you loved it :-DReplyCancel

  • Ellen - I’m trying to rate this 5 stars, but the site won’t let me go above a 4….it is DEFINITELY a ‘5’!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - Carrie – Did you try making ice cream with coconut milk? If so, what were the results?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Sharon – I have been using a range of “milks” for SANE ice creams. I will be publsihing all the recipes this summer!ReplyCancel

  • keri - How many servings does it make? I have a family of 7 – should I double? (do two batches)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Keri – you should be fine with one batch for 7 people. It is very filling, so typically people don’t eat as much as they would regualr ice creeam. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Candy - I bought the same churner on Ebay for $36. It’s refurbished, but it came packaged like new and free shipping. It arrived less then a week after I purchased. I haven’t used it yet, but the seller has good reviews.

    Do you think it will be okay if I use TJ’s Sunflower Butter?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Candy – that sounds like a great deal! I cna not advise you on the sunflower butter as I have not tested it. Obviously the taste will be completley different, but I do not know what the texture and consistency will be once you have frozen it. If you try it, let me know!ReplyCancel

  • Candy - I did make it with Sunflower Butter and it’s very good – maybe should have cut back on the xylitol since the SB is sweetened. The texture and consistency were fine, although I’m not that picky when it comes to sweets :) Thanks and can’t wait for something with coconut!ReplyCancel

  • Lorna - Hello Carrie ‘Queen of Sane’,
    I just lurrrvee Ice Cream and so want to do this… finding all the ingredients in Italy is just not happening. I tried to make hemp milk this weekend but the result were far from what it should look like….I have a someone coming over from the US in 3 weeks, who is bringing me Xylitol and Guar gum… does it really have to be hemp or could I use Coconut milk?


    • carrie - Hi Lorna – if you sub out for coconut milk, make sure it is the think stuff – in the US it comes in cans, not the thin carton coconut milk. Hope that helps! It should work, but taste may be altered. Really hope you get to make this and love it!!! :-DReplyCancel

  • Suzie price - Made ice cream this weekend… It was awesome – way easy to make, had never used a cuisinart ice cream maker before. Recipe really worked. We froze and ate in 6 hours, couldn’t wait. Still tasted great. Thak you carrie brown!!!ReplyCancel

  • carrie - GO, Suzie!! So happy you loved it :-)ReplyCancel

  • Lorrie Heist - Dusting off the churner, placing everything in the freezer and heading out the door to buy some supplies. Downsizers & HCFM ladies, get ready for a special treat!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - When are more sane ice cream receipes coming?? No pressure but it is almsot August and I am dieing to try a new flavors this summer. Hopefully you will be posting new flavors soon. Thanks HeidiReplyCancel

    • carrie - I am writing an ice cream book right now, which will be published shortly – and then you’ll have 25 or so SANE ice creams to chow down on!ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - oh really! I did not know that. Can’t wait hopefully it will be ready soon! Thanks HeidiReplyCancel

  • Deb Sanders - Love, love love this ice cream. I threw in a handful of dark chocolate chunks from a recipe by Melissa Monroe McGee ( she developed a cookbook based on Wheatbelly). It takes it to a whole new level. Getting ready to make another batch.ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl - Why didn’t I make this ice cream weeks ago?! Probably because my English partner hates peanut butter and I didn’t want to eat the whole lot by myself. But my mom is visiting me in London from Washington so I made a batch for tomorrow night’s dinner. OMG! It is AWESOME!! I was a little uncertain of hemp milk but took a leap of faith because Carrie never steers me wrong. It is the creamiest, most gorgeous ice cream I’ve ever made! Now, I really can’t wait for the ice cream book! My freezer bowl is ready and waiting! Carrie, you are a genius!ReplyCancel

  • Jane - Love your ice cream book.ReplyCancel

  • Kimmy - I can’t find your book to buy…! not even in digital format..I’m in Australia but I didn’t think that would matter..?
    So frustrated as I cant even get Smarter Science of Slim book either…do I really have to wait til next year :-(ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Carrie, you are a genius! I can’t believe how good my first batch of this ice cream tastes. I am totally inspired to go SANE now that I know this ice cream is in my future! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Kate – so happy you loved the ice cream! You totally got this SANE thing :-)ReplyCancel

  • What Flavor of SANE Ice Cream Am I? » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] going while you wait for this glorious, full-color book of SANE Ice Cream recipes, here’s one I posted earlier that you can make RIGHT […]ReplyCancel

  • James - Hi Carrie,

    Just bought an ice cream maker and your book through kindle. Quick question, what can I successfully sub hemp milk and almond milk with? In Aus, it is illegal to have hemp milk (stupid I know, only western nation where it is prohibited), and my fiancée is deathly allergic to nuts. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.ReplyCancel

  • Aaron - made this last night & it was an epic fail, never set up at all, really disappointedReplyCancel

  • Patti - I would love to make this, but cannot tolerate whey or egg white protein powder. Can you suggest a substitute? Thank you! Would also love to buy the book, but am reluctant because of the whey protein :-(ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline - Added raw cocoa to this and made it with colostrum (working on healing my gut). It was delicious.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - OK Jacqueline, the whole colostrum thing is freaking me out thrilled you are enjoying delicious SANE ice cream!ReplyCancel

  • alison - Just made my first batch va va voom icecream. Can I reduce the xylitol as I found it a little sweet for my palate would it affect the end result. Love your work ;))ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Alison – you can try to reduce the xylitol – it may not scoop as nicely or freeze quite the same. Thanks for the kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - Any thoughts on using almond butter instead? I’m sure it will taste different but wondering if I can get same consistency?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Catherine – without trialing it I cannot guarantee it will work, but I think there’s a good chance that you will get a similar consistency.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - Tried to buy the ice cream book and it wouldn’t let me get the kindle version cos I’m in Australia, any work arounds?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Catherine – I have lots of folks in Australia who were able to buy the Kindle version so I am confused as to why you are experiencing issues :-( You could PayPal the money and I could ship a hardcopy to you, but I am not sure what the shipping would be.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - Thanks so much for your replies Carrie. The fact that other down unders bought made me persevere and Im glad to report I was successful in my purchase! I’m off to buy guar gum now but just also wanted to say well done on your transformation, not only do you look ridiculously fab but you have also inspired me to reintroduce some more SANEity into my life. Have a great day!ReplyCancel

  • Wren - I know you probably don’t like getting so many substitution questions and I do plan to make this exactly as written, once I get some no sugar added peanut butter, but….for now I just can’t wait to try this. Since I have creamy peanut butter with sugar (2g per 2 TB), how much less Xyla do you think I’ll need?ReplyCancel

  • Wren - This ice cream is the BOMB! Once you’ve tried it, you will have to buy Carrie’s ice cream book. I can’t wait to make her other recipes. Yum! Yum! The second time I made this with my own Vitamix peanut butter. It’s so incredibly creamy.ReplyCancel

  • deedee - I desperately want to make this for my mother because she hasn’t had great ice cream in a long time due to a strong dairy intolerance. I imagine I can sub the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk. Can I substitute the whey protein for anything else???ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Deedee – FF Coconut Milk for the heavy cream and powdered egg white for the whey. You will need to increase the sweetener to allow for the sweetener in the whey powder. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - I just made this recipe and it was so delicious I bought your book! Can’t wait to try out more recipes. Thank you SOOOO much for allowing me to indulge in my ice cream addiction again! :DReplyCancel