I have no idea why my mother never made her own Lemon Curd, but she didn’t.  I have a vague recollection of her being scared of cooking anything resembling  an egg custard, so maybe that was it, although I don’t know why egg custards would scare her.  Really they’re just like making cheese sauce or instant custard, and she made those all the time.  The downside to her egg custard fear is that I inherited it.  Similarly, I still can’t swim because my father never went near water.

Luckily for me, becoming obsessed with making the best ice cream on earth cured me of my egg custard fear in about 73 minutes; because you just cannot make the most fantastic ice cream ever if it doesn’t involve an egg custard.   I just wish it hadn’t taken me as many years as it did to discover that egg custards are easy, beautiful, and making them is downright therapeutic – at least for me.  I lost count of how many egg custards I had made by the time I was in my 4th month of ice cream production.

Egg custards taught me – once again – that the fear is always worse than the reality.  Me and egg custards are best buds now.  Egg custards are the best excuse I know to stand by the stove and do nothing except gaze lovingly into a saucepan and stir the contents.  These days, when I need a break from doing, I make something that requires an egg custard; just so I can stand still for 12 minutes.  Egg custards rock.

I learned very early on in life that lemon anything that came out of a packet, was not even in the same ballpark as that same anything made from scratch with real, live lemons.  Lemons that used to grow on trees, and that you have to grate and squeeze to get the goodies out of them.  If my memory serves me correctly I learned that the day my mother made my father a lemon cheesecake from scratch for his birthday one year.  Prior to that she had only ever made cheesecake out of a packet.  After that we never had packet cheesecake again.  With most things the difference between homemade and packet is palpable; with  lemon, the difference is nothing short of profound.

Lemon Curd  |  Carrie Brown

I love lemon anything.  LOVE.  I’ll be using this SANE Lemon Curd as a base for many other recipes down the road, so if you like lemon stuff, I highly recommend that you get this recipe down pat.  We’ll be using it a lot – and not just as a brilliant topping for Blueberry Cheesecake Scones (recipe up next!) – although it IS brilliant for that.

Love lemon?  This *SANE Lemon Curd will make your taste buds sing.

Pucker up, Buttercup!


SANE Lemon Curd
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 4 eggs
  • 7 oz / 200g xylitol (I use Xyla)
  • 1/3 cup / 3 fl oz. lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 oz / 110g coconut oil, melted
  • 4 oz / 110g butter, melted
  1. Whisk the eggs well with a fork and pour into a small pan.
  2. Add the xylitol, lemon juice, lemon zest, coconut oil, and butter.
  3. Whisk ingredients together well.
  4. Place on the stove over a medium heat and STIR CONSTANTLY as the mixture slowly thickens. It takes 12 – 15 minutes to thicken fully. Embrace it. Be patient.
  5. DO NOT ALLOW THE MIXTURE TO BOIL – it will curdle or you will get scrambled eggs.
  6. When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, quickly remove it from the heat and pour it through a fine mesh sieve into a clean glass lidded container (such as a Pyrex storage bowl). No, you cannot omit this step. It must be sieved!
  7. Stir the mixture in the sieve until you are left with only the zest pulp and a few strands of egg. You can use a second, clean spatula to scrape the underside of the sieve as you go.
  8. Once all the curd has been passed through the sieve, leave uncovered until completely cold, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent a skin from forming.
  9. When cold, put the lid on the container and place in the ‘fridge.
  10. Once chilled it will be thick and spreadable.
  11. Store in the ‘fridge.





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  • Brooke - I love lemon things too! I can’t believe how simple this is, I will definitely be trying very soon. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Sigi - I adore lemony things too, and this recipe looks great … but egg custards still frighten the frack out of me. (I speak from bitter experience. So many sad and bitter experiences.) :(ReplyCancel

  • Lorna Broad - oh my god…I’ve died and gone to heaven LEMON CURDDDDDDDDDDReplyCancel

    • carrie - Who knew Lemon Curd would be such an instant hit??!!! Sigi – please try this recipe – just don’t stop stirring. Brooke and Lorna can let you know how easy it is!! :-DReplyCancel

  • danielle - super excited to try! i am a lemon lover too! Thank you Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Matilda - I have a friend who has a lemon tree, so I’ll be making this.
    Sounds super easy to make.
    I’m looking forward to it.

    btw, I had to create a separate folder for all my sane/paleo recipes, so you could say I’m making a carrie cook book, cause 99% of the recipes in there are yoursReplyCancel

    • carrie - Matilda – I want a friend with a lemon tree!!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your recipe binder :-DReplyCancel

  • Sylvia - Carrie, you ROCK!!! I’ve just made this recipe and OMG, it is FANTASTIC!!
    I decided to try it with some Cottage Cheese which I creamed in a food processor until really smooth and then I mixed in a couple of tablespoons of the Lemon Curd. End result……YUMMMM!!! Thank you so much.ReplyCancel

  • NM - If you custard does curdle or split because of accidental overheating, just pour it into a jug and churn mercilessly with a stick-blender. Add another yolk if necessary. Then return to gentle heat and resume, saved!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Thanks, Nick! It really is just a lot easier and less stressful to not overheat it in the first place, but it’s always good to know that all is not lost if it does go sideways.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - Sounds great Carrie, how long can it be stored?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Colleen – I have had a glass container of this in the ‘fridge for 2 weeks and it is perfectly fine. The eggs are cooked, and xylitol inhibits bacterial growth. I would iamgine it will keep just fine for a month, although I have not had any last that long yet! Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • danielle - Yummy lemon scrambled eggs! Lol! I’m the one in the group that over heated. I cook with gas and have never done this custard style before. My medium is way too hot! LOVE LOVE the recipe. Thank you again!!! Looking forward to making the lemon yogurt tomorrow!ReplyCancel

  • Ann - Wow! I am typically a chocolate girl, but this recipe has won me over entirely! I am wondering how you had it in your fridge for 2 weeks because I want to eat half of it now… You’re idea of mixing it with the yogurt is awesome because it saves me from eating all of it at once :) Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ann – I had it for two weeks because I quadrupled the recipe ;-) This made me love lemon even more than I did!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - How safe are eggs to eat this way? I’m pregnant so have to be careful to eat them fully cooked, but this looks awesome.

    • carrie - Julie – the eggs are cooked – you’re good! Huge congrats on the wee one :-)ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Hi, I haven just made this and all went well until the last1min and it split. As I was pouring it into the jar. However not all lost, I used a stick blender and whizzed ir through. Nice glossy thick curd. Yum, the yogurt is in the fridge waiting for it. Thank you for the recipe. Me
    Ind regards mandyReplyCancel

  • Elia - First – I was inspired to buy a kitchen scale because of this recipe. Second – this was great! It’s sweet, tangy, and creamy… All the things I like without all the death and chemicals. Thank you so much! Third – I’m thinking of playing around with this recipe some more to make other types of custard. Do you have suggestions for making this a chocolate custard?ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - Can you freeze this?ReplyCancel

  • Shawna - So….I cheated a bit. For some reason, I remembered hearing about blender hollandaise years ago and thought it was worth a shot on this recipe. My blender would be comparable to a Vitamix, so I was careful of speed. I whirled everything but the oil for 20-30 sec @ 40% power, then drizzled in the oil at the same speed. Set up perfectly and no straining required! Solves the overheating issue as long as you are careful. I address the chance that the eggs are not cooked by lacto-fermenting overnight with whey from yogurt.
    Thanks for the recipe, it tastes amazing. So glad I found this site to enjoy SANE eating, even to indulge while staying SANE! ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Lemon Sauce » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] can whip this luscious Lemon Sauce up in a New York minute – as long as you have some SANE Lemon Curd stashed in your ‘fridge.  It’s worth keeping some of that lemon curd goodness on hand […]ReplyCancel

  • Lemon Mascarpone Tarts » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] going on, I couldn’t think of anything better to fill it with than some fantastically lemony SANE Lemon Curd.  As a pretty piped topping I was going to go with simple whipped cream, but I determined that I […]ReplyCancel

  • Claire - Oh my god, this stuff is dangerous, it should carry a health warning. I’ve had to put it away quickly to stop me from eating the whole lot – on it’s own. I’m making the mascarpone tarts with this tomorrow, bet they’re going to be amazing too!! You have one very happy reader/podcast listener here :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Love this recipes. When I made it the first time, I purchased a large bag of lemons at Costco. I squeezed the all and zested half of them and put them in ice cube trays and frozen it. I already had a mess going so why not finish what I started. What I love most is batch number two took no time at all. All those cubes with zest in them are now just waiting for me. Thanks again Carrie for yummy recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Ding - Try boiling in a double boiler or a basin over boiling water to stop curdling.ReplyCancel

  • Lemon Yogurt Supreme » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE Lane - […] 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 […]ReplyCancel

Hello!  I am writing this on a Saturday.  It will be posted on a Sunday.  What day of the week is it now that you are reading it?  I have no clue.  And more to the point, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.  Food is not day-specific.  We love that.  Another thing we love is a Mushroom Tuna Melt.

Tuna Melt is one of those strange American things that I never really understood until I had been stateside for a while.  We don’t have Tuna Melts in England.  Well maybe we do now (anyone??), but we certainly didn’t when I was living there.  Thinking about it, we’re really not huge tuna (pronounced “chew-na”) eaters in England; we’re way more into salmon.  Americans, on the other hand, just loooooooove their tuna (pronounced “too-na”).  They get all excited about the difference between the albacore and the chunk light; we Brits didn’t even know there was such a thing as albacore.  Alba what??  I remember the first time I saw the dizzying array of canned tuna choices in a US grocery store.  Heavens to Betsy!  I just want a can of tuna, people.

Another thing that was a mystery to me when I arrived on this side of the pond was Portobello mushrooms.  I don’t remember ever having heard of them in England.  Portobello is the name of the world’s largest antiques market, and it’s in London.  That’s all I know.  Once I got to the good ol’ USA, however, I started seeing the word “Portobello”  on menus and hearing people talk about it; to be honest I could never quite figure out what they were on about.  Then one day I saw some ginormous Portobello mushrooms at the grocery store, and I knew I had to introduce myself.

I decided, in a random moment of “Let’s do something different!”, to marry a Portobello mushroom with a tuna melt, which after some cruising around the internet I discovered is essentially a tuna salad with melted cheese sandwich.  Or something very close to that.

Mushroom Tuna Melt | www.carriebrown.com

I grilled (broiled) a huge old Portobello mushroom, melted some cheese on it, and then, when it came bubbling and sizzling out of the oven, heaped tuna salad on top.  It was fun, fast and fabulous.  It was also delicious.  I’ll be doing it again.

Jonathan will love this one: fish, Greek yogurt and tons of veggies – and really more assembly than cooking.  Hurrah!  He does love meals that don’t require more than assembly.  That’s JB’s perfect kinda dish.  Another thing that would make The Bailornator happy is that you can make a large batch of the tuna salad in advance and then just grill (broil) up your Portobello and cheese in 5 minutes when you get home for a super-fast, super-sane supper.  I took the rest of the tuna salad as lunch the next day, along with a Romaine lettuce.  Lunch splendidness right there waiting in the ‘fridge as I headed out the door in the morning.  Love that.

I love how all the textures work in this Mushroom Tuna Melt – creamy dressing, silky melted cheese and crisp, crunchy veggies; all topping a sturdy, substantial super-‘shroom.  I ate mine out on the terrace in the dwindling Spring sunshine.  It was quite lovely.

I have now completely embraced both Tuna Salad and Portobello mushrooms.  Twelve years late, but I got there eventually.

Please don’t wait that long before you try this Mushroom Tuna Melt!

Mushroom Tuna Melt
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • Coconut oil spray
  • 2 large Portobello mushrooms
  • 3 oz / 85g strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 large stick celery, finely sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced and then quartered
  • 4 TBSP Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  1. Spray a baking sheet with coconut oil, place Portobello mushrooms upside down on the sheet and grill (broil) for about 6 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the tuna, celery, cucumber, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and salt together well.
  3. Sprinkle the guar gum over the tuna salad and quickly mix immediately to incorporate it into the salad thoroughly.
  4. Spread the grated cheese evenly over the mushrooms and place back under the heat to melt the cheese, about 2 minutes.
  5. When the cheese is completely melted, remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  6. Carefully transfer each mushroom onto a separate plate.
  7. Pile tuna salad onto each mushroom.
  8. Grind some black pepper over and serve.

Mushroom Tuna Melt | www.carriebrown.com





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  • Susie - Sounds delish Carrie!!!
    Two questions; where did you find coconut oil spray and did you use a 12 ounce can of tuna?

    • carrie - Hi Susie! Coconut Oil is readily available in US grocery stores. Since Trader Joe’s have recently introduced their own brand, I am now using that. I used a small can of tuna, but you could certainly double it if you wanted to up the protein. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Made today for lunch. We don’t eat much cheese, but being a holiday we splurged. Didn’t have guar gum so didn’t use as we make tuna salad frequently with yogurt for lunch…usually over a big bunch of greens.

    Loved the mushroom/cheese turna melt! Thank you.

    • carrie - WOW, Susan – that was fast!!! I added guar gum as the yogurt tends to run with the warmth from the cooked mushroom, which wouldn’t happen with your usual greens, but if you found it went ok without then YAY! So glad you loved it!! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Carrie – I had everything already so it was easy peasy! Keep them coming.ReplyCancel

  • Sahara - We also tried this tonight (because it was fresh in my mind and I forgot to prep/marinate the chicken that was planned). So grateful for a quick and easy option. I also did not use the guar gum – because I didn’t have any and it worked just fine without it.
    DH loved it – didn’t even notice the lack of mayo; DD – liked it but found it a bit too tangy; I thought it was just right. I never thought I’d be okay w/o the mayo, but the vinegar and lemon juice added just the right amount of zing for me. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Sahara – different yogurts may work slightly different, so glad it worked out without the gum for you! So happy too, that you, DH, and DD all enjoyed it :-)ReplyCancel

  • Philippa - Well that sorts lunch for tomorrow.

    And to update you on England, we do have tuna melt (but it probably started in Starbucks), we now have Portobello mushrooms (at least M&S does) and canned tuna is beginning to get a bit more exotic – but I haven’t noticed albacore.ReplyCancel

  • Mushroom Pizza Bites » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] 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 […]ReplyCancel

  • Louise - I love to get recipiesReplyCancel

  • Wren - Very good! Just a little too salty for my taste so next time I’ll make it without the salt and only 2 oz of cheese. Once I put all the ingredients in MyFitnessPal, it turned out quite high in fat with 3 oz of cheese. My tuna was from Wild Planet and it had some sea salt in it already so that was probably the reason for the extra saltiness. Other than that it’s definitely one to save and make again and again.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Wren – glad you loved it. We are not afraid of healthy fats. “Eat as much cheese as you need to stay happy” – J. Bailor :-)ReplyCancel

  • Janet - Tuna was too sour. I will leave out the vinegar next time. Otherwise it was good.ReplyCancel

Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes.

I think pancakes must be the most requested thing on my SANE recipe to-do list.  I experimented with pancakes over the holidays in December, but didn’t get anywhere close to successful.  I blame being British.  In England, pancakes are only eaten once a year – funnily enough on Pancake Day – and they are what an American would call a crêpe.  We don’t do the thick, spongy pancakes that are a rite of passage for any good American’s weekend brunch plate.  The closet thing we have to those would be Scotch pancakes, and no one makes those.  And on the rare occurrence that someone does make Scotch pancakes, they eat them with butter and jam spread on them, just like toast.  They are not smothered in melting butter and syrup.  Neither are they eaten for breakfast with bacon, eggs, and hash browns.  They’re eaten at tea time.

Anyway, my point was, I grew up eating crêpes once a year.  Until I took my first trip to Canada – many moons ago – I had never eaten an American pancake.  And let me tell you, when I did, I thought it was extremely peculiar.  I was sitting in the revolving restaurant on the top of the Calgary Tower.  That’s how memorable this whole pancake affair was.  I mean, who remembers exactly where they were when they ate their first pancake?  I do – because it was such an extraordinary experience.  They brought me a plate with pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and hash browns on it.  Plus a dish of butter and a jug of golden maple syrup.  I was clueless as to what I was supposed to do, and I was aghast that there were pancakes on the same plate as my bacon and eggs.  What were they thinking??  So I snuck a peek over at the next table and watched what they did.  I stared in horror as they poured lashings of sweet maple syrup over their pancakes and bacon.  What in the world???

I admit, I never really got over that first strange pancake experience.  There are a lot of new things I have become acquainted with since I moved stateside, and many of them I embrace wholeheartedly.  American pancakes are not one of them.  And while I am neither an American pancake lover nor an American pancake-making expert, I totally respect that they are a beloved breakfast staple in a lot of households.  So here you are: SANE Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes.  Hurrah! Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes | Carrie Brown

They are more fragile and less flexible than pancakes made from regular flour, but those fabulous blueberries – bursting with juices – keep them moist and delicious.  I am going to play with another idea to make them less fragile and more flexible, but I thought these would tide you over in the meantime.  Given that I am really not a fan of regular American pancakes, I was surprised – and a little bit giddy – that I really enjoyed eating these.

“But what about the syrup??!” I hear you cry.  That, dear readers, is a particularly good question.  I am still brainstorming that predicament.  This time I simply poured a little Torani’s Sugar-free Vanilla Syrup over the top.  It doesn’t have the deep, amber color, or the thick, glossiness of maple syrup, but it adds moistness and flavor that finished these babies off rather nicely.  You could also just slide some butter over the top and call it good.  Or eat them naked.  Just don’t use the maple!  Or honey.  Or agave. Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes | Carrie Brown

Now I must warn you – these SANE pancakes are super filling.  If you’re used to being able to eat an entire stack of regular pancakes, you might find yourself running out of steam at two, especially if you add some scrambled eggs and the odd piece of bacon to your plate.  I, for one, would not want to miss out on that piece of bacon.

And just a couple of cooking notes before you race off to fire up your griddle – the flip side of these SANE pancakes cooks much quicker than the first side, so don’t flip them and walk away thinking you have time.  Side two goes real fast.  As you can see, mine were a little on the dark side.  Just sayin’.

Happy Pancake Weekend, everyone!

Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Makes 7
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 oz. / 55g vanilla whey powder
  • 3 TBSP xylitol
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl oz. egg white OR 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. Full Fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz / 110g fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed and drained)
  • Torani’s Sugar-free Vanilla Syrup (if you like syrup on your pancakes)
  1. Spray griddle with coconut oil and heat.
  2. Grind chia seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut in coffee grinder or high-speed blender until they are very fine (careful you don’t end up with sunflower butter!!)
  3. In a bowl put seed mix, almond flour, whey, xylitol, salt and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add egg white (OR whole egg), vanilla extract, and yogurt and stir just until evenly mixed. Do not over mix.
  5. Using a ¼ cup as a measure, pour batter onto hot griddle.
  6. Sprinkle batter with fresh blueberries.
  7. After a minute, lift edge of pancake with a spatula to check color. When golden, flip the pancake to cook the other side.
  8. The flip side cooks faster than the first side.

Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes | Carrie Brown





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  • Julie Rider - Carrie,
    These look great but once again I cannot have whey…do you think I can substitute 1 for 1 with egg white protein?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Julie – I worry that egg white powder will make these incredibly dry. Can you use casein powder?ReplyCancel

  • Sigi - LOL – I’m with you, Carrie. The whole idea of maple syrup and fluffy pancakes with savoury foods like bacon and eggs just Freaks. Me. Out. (Actually, I suspect that many, many other potential dining experiences in America may well freak me out too, but I really must visit some day to find out…)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Yes, Sigi! Come visit!! I love it here – despite some strange foodie stuff going on :-)ReplyCancel

  • Rita - I’d love to make these for my kids, but they will not eat coconut. Any suggestions for a substitution?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Rita – you cannot taste the coconut at all. It is there for the health benefits only, not the flavor. You can sub out with more sunflower seeds but they won’t quite as SANE. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Keri - Carrie,
    (This is Keri from Downsizers) I have a simple coconut pancake recipe that my family enjoys.
    ¾ cup coconut flour
    12 eggs
    1 can (not carton) coconut milk (can’t be light or the pancakes are too runny)
    6 drops vanilla flavored stevia, optional
    1 tsp. baking soda
    Mix together, and cook like normal pancakes. They don’t flip as easily, so make them smaller.
    We serve them with roasted apples and bacon. (That’s a Dutch thing from my husband’s side of the family).ReplyCancel

  • Simone - Hi Carrie,
    I’m from the UK and have only recently discovered you and Jonathan. Loving the podcasts and have just got the SSOS book. Anyway my question is does it really have to be full-fat Greek yoghurt as I usually buy the fat-free? Also can I replace the chia seeds with flaxseed? ThanksReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Simone! Welcome! Thanks for the podcast love :-) Fat-free Greek yogurt is very unstable when heated, and also you need some fat in the pancakes to stop them being dry, hence using full-fat yogurt. I have not tried it with flax instead so cannot guarantee that it will work. Flax does not absorb and hold onto liquid like chia so I would be wary of the consistency, cookability and also finished product. If I ever get a minute I will try flax out!ReplyCancel

  • alison - made pancakes today didn’t have vanilla whey but used strawberry and no blueberries used frozen fruits of the forest.Great success my son loved them thanks Carrie for another great recipe.going to try tuna melt next yum!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Nice subs, Alison! So glad they were a success and makes me super happy when kids love my recipes. Train them to enjoy the good stuff when they’re young and they will thank you forever!!!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - We love pancakes made with 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, 1tbsp ground almonds/almond meal, 1/2tsp baking powder and 2eggs. Mix well, pour into melted coconut oil in three dollops, add ~6 blueberries in each and cook until done. Top with greek yogurt and add bacon & veg to make truly SANE (or eat alone – very filling – for a slightly less SANE but not totally inSANE) start to the day.ReplyCancel

  • Rita - Carrie, I made these this morning and they were terrific. You were right, no one knew there was coconut in them! Also for those asking about using non-fat greek yogurt, I only had non-fat greek yogurt on hand, so used a whole egg instead of just an egg white and added a dash of heavy cream to add back the missing fat from the yogurt. They turned out amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Jared - Not trying to be cheeky, I’m genuinely curious… why 4 Tbsp and not 1/4c?

    Is it simply an un-done conversion, or is it better to do 4 separate measurements of an item?

    Love these recipes, Carrie! Keep ’em coming.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Jared – it’s an un-done conversion. When I create recipes I start off with smaller amounts of some things and add as needed as the recipe progresses. Here I added 1+1+1+1 from my worksheet and wrote 4 tbsp instead of 1/4 cup :-) Bad Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Jared - Thanks, Carrie! That totally makes sense.

    On a side note, my kiddos are munching these down as we speak. They love them! Lots of smiles and audible “yums”. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kerry - The lemon curd would be nice on these. :oDReplyCancel

  • Jamie - Ok so I just tried this as my first experiment with making SANE recipes and I must say they were excellent! Very glad that I made two batches of the dry mix now!

    My other half is really fussy when it comes to food but they were gobbled down before I could blink!

    Thanks for the great recipe!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Welcome to SANEity, Jamie! Congrats on your first SANE recipe success! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Luann - Carrie, Thanks for doing all the work and sharing with us! I’m so tired of my own boring meals and missing a lot of my old favorites. With your SANE ingredients, I can have the kinds of foods I thought I’d never be able to eat again. Keep them coming…..PLEASE! With gratitude, LuannReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Luann – I am so happy these recipes are helping you to stay SANE!!! You can do it!!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - This is way hard for me to eat this way because I am very allergic to nuts. Any ideas for me? I also am allergic to chicken eggs, can eat duck eggs, but limit the quantity. Is really possible for me to eat the SANE way?ReplyCancel

  • Lemon Sauce » Carrie Brown | Living a SANE Life - […] unwhipped heavy (double) cream.  It would even make a wonderful alternative to syrup on your SANE Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes.  Try it over a bowl of fresh, ripe, sliced peaches.  Mmmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm.  When I {ever} […]ReplyCancel

  • Protein Pancakes | Sparked Living - […] – 1/3 cup coconut flour – 1 egg – 2 heaping tablespoons natural cocoa Not a chocolate fan?  Try this recipe for vanilla blueberry […]ReplyCancel

  • Marygrace - Hello Carrie!

    So excited to be eating SANEly for 2 weeks. Bought the book and enjoying many recipes. I ate RAW for 2 1/2 years about 8 years ago, and felt fantastic, however, I missed eating meat and warm foods. This lifestyle fits the bill for me and I am so excited I am telling everyone I know about it.

    I’m writing because I am frustrated while making your pancake recipes. What is the secret to get these great tasting cakes to flip without falling apart. The flavor is awesome, however, they are mush piles instead of lovely round pancakes.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!


    • carrie - Hi Marygrace – without more info it’s hard to diagnose. You are the first person who has mentioned that they don’t get nice round pancakes. I wish I could help but not sure what the problem is without more info on what you’re using and what you’re doing.ReplyCancel

  • Mika - i was wondering why these pancakes were on the saltier side (they seriously tasted like kettle corn popcorn with the sweetness and saltiness)—turns out I accidentally used BAKING SODA instead of baking powder (booo me). Lesson learned.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ooops, Mika! But kettle corn popcorn isn’t so bad a taste is it?!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - I know why mine were a hot mess. I didn’t have blueberries so I thawed some frozen strawberries. Instead of adding them on top, I thought it would be easier to mix them in the batter, juice and all. When I went to flip, it was disastrous. I managed as best I could and asked my boys to try them anyway. They loved them! Thanks for this recipe and next time, I’ll follow your directions!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - LOL, Megan. The most important thing is that your boys loved them! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Sofie - Hi Carrie! I’ve tried alot of your recipies with great results but I didn’t enjoy these :( They were way too sweet for me and my husband! Also, I had a super hard time to flip them! the consistensy of the batter in the pan was like really frail rubber, and I couldn’t flip them until they had been in the pan for about 3 mins and then they were all black, even though I had the stove set on very low! So they tasted like burnt sugar. :( I wont be doing them again, Ill just stick to your other recepies.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Sofie – I am sorry this didn’t work out for you. I am not sure what went wrong as there were trialed multiple times before I published by me and others with great success :-(ReplyCancel

  • Donna - Would it be possible for you to include the nutrition on your recipes? I am T1 diabetic and need to count those carbs. Made these pancakes this morning for the first time and found them quite good. They sure brown up compared to regular pancakes.ReplyCancel

When I was a nipper growing up in the Garden of England – aka the county of Kent (although technically I was never a nipper since I am a girl)  – I was regularly served up sardines on toast for supper, as I suspect a significant number of British kids were.  I’m not sure it’s as popular nowadays, but back then – YUM.  I loved when sardines on toast popped up on the menu.  Oftentimes the sardines were in tomato sauce.  I think I loved those times even more, which is a little odd because I am not really a tomato sauce kinda gal.  Except ketchup on my eggs, but that’s another tale.  But I think somewhere in the back of my mind a connection between sardines and tomatoes was made, because when I started to think about sardine recipes the first one I came up with was this Tomato Sardine Salad.

Of course, these days I don’t eat the toast, but I do down sardines like they’re going out of fashion.  Except, in the US I don’t think sardines have ever been in fashion.  Whenever I mention sardines, noses wrinkle and a chorus of “Ewwws!” can be heard.  Sardines do not seem to have much of a following stateside.

It seemed perfectly natural to me that Mr. Bailor would at some point mention the outstanding virtues of a humble can of sardines on our podcast.  After all – they are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.  Have you noticed how I always leave the geeky science stuff to Bailor?  I chimed in with enthusiastic stories of how a tin of sardines is perfect road-trip fodder, and how you can keep a couple stashed in the glove box of your car in case of emergency.  I joyfully explained how to fashion an eating implement out of the tin lid, if you were ever caught without a fork when you were about to down a tasty sardine snack.

Tomato Sardine Salad | Carrie Brown

I guess it was bound to happen once the sardine podcast aired that there’d be some sardine Q & A coming down the pike.  So it was no surprise when the other week, Lorrie posted on the Life in the Sane Lane Facebook page asking for ways to eat sardines.  Lorrie is a faithful reader who, with her friend Dawn, run a Downsizers Group over in Oberlin, Ohio.  They meet every week to share health and fatloss success, tips, tricks, and recipes.  They also have a lot of fun.  I know this because they invited me to join them one evening and I Skyped into their get-together.  SO. MUCH. FUN!

Turns out Lorrie was taking sardines along to the next Downsizers meeting, and never having eaten them before, needed some sardine assistance.  Having been raised on the things it never occurred to me that Sardine Virgins may appreciate knowing what they might do with them, other than rip off the lid and eat them straight out of the tin.  It’s like I never remember to explain to people how to open doors, because like sardine-eating, it’s just something I assume we all know how to do.  You know what they say about assuming.

So I came up with an introduction to sardines via this lovely Tomato Sardine Salad.

Tomato Sardine Salad | Carrie Brown

When I am on road trips I eat sardines a lot.  They are just so portable.  In the evening when I get back from driving and shooting for 14 hours, I toss sardines, halved cherry tomatoes and quartered hard-boiled eggs on a plate, sprinkle with salt and call it dinner.  When I am at home I make a rather prettier  and greener version.  This is another one of those very simple “what Carrie Brown really eats at home” dishes.  It takes 5 minutes to throw together and makes you a perfectly balanced sane meal.  When I get home too late and too tired for thought, this is one of my go-to’s.

If you’re new to sardines, try this Tomato Sardine Salad first.  I really think you’ll like it.  And Jonathan and I will be so very happy to get some more of you on the sardine trail with us.

Tomato Sardine Salad
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 – 2
  • 2 small tins sardines
  • 8 oz. / 225g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 hardboiled eggs
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh spinach
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • Ground black pepper
  1. Drain the sardines, chop into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.
  3. Cut the eggs into quarters lengthwise and then each quarter into 4 pieces.
  4. Add to the bowl with the tomatoes and sardines and mix gently.
  5. Salt to taste, mixing as little as possible to avoid the sardines and eggs becoming mushy.
  6. Spread fresh spinach on a serving platter on 2 plates.
  7. Slice the cucumber and then quarter each slice.
  8. Spread the cucumber pieces over the spinach.
  9. Spoon the sardine salad over the veggies.
  10. Grind black pepper over the top and serve.

Tomato Sardine Salad | Carrie Brown





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  • Gordon - Hi Carrie. I’m so glad you (surprisingly) posted on sardines! I love to buy mine from Lidl here in the UK and they’re so cheap. I never thought of making a meal like you have,so quick,easy and cheap, you clever lady! I’m really gonna try this and I’m going hiking with some friends in a few weeks in Brecon Beacons just for two days and you’ve given me a good thought for the trip. Thanks. Oh, what do you think about hard boiled eggs still in their shelves keeping fresh for a few days out of the fridge?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Gordon – I have kept hard boiled eggs in their shells for a couple of days on a road trip with no issue, except they are harder to peel :-). Enjoy the Beacons!ReplyCancel

  • Janknitz - I like sardines but I really have to be in the mood for them. Your photos are definitely putting me in the mood! Looks yummy and a great meal for a hot summer day when you don’t want to cook!

    My one caveat about sardines is that they are smelly, so they are not a good lunch to bring to school or work. But in the privacy of your own home or car, they are great.ReplyCancel

  • Diana - Yum! Thank you! I think I may need to eat this very soon. And maybe even add BACON. I had sardines and egg and spinach just the other day, with red wine vinegar and mustard. But this sounds even better.

    And thanks for the shoutout to the Downsizers!

    Downsizer Di, loving SSOSReplyCancel

  • Lorrie - Thank you for another wonderful recipe. I feel honored that you shared my first sardine experience! I am so glad that I was brave enough to finally open the tin that sat in the cabinet for a few months. I wasn’t sure what I would find inside and only had visions of cartooned pictures of little fish looking at me! To someone who’s never had sardines, give them a try!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hurrah for sardines, Lorrie!!!ReplyCancel

      • Lorrie - Sharing this story and recipe once again with the new bunch of SANE Ladies here in Oberlin! Thank you for your recipe creations. <3ReplyCancel

  • Kiki_D - Great recipe , reminds me of my Friday Night Pizza

    A Wheat Belly Wrap topped with tomato and herb paste
    Mashed sardines
    Finely chopped herbs, spring onion, spinach etc,
    Dusted with grated Parmesan

    Then a few minutes in the ovenReplyCancel

Little did I know when I created – in utter desperation one cold, wet and wild November morning – a hot cereal to fill the gigantic void left by a bowl of porridge (oatmeal), that it would be turn out to be 1) the most popular recipe post of all time, and 2) become the starting point for a number of other recipes, including this Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal.

You lovely, lovely people just LOVE that Hot and Nutty Cereal.  I’ve had notes from all over the world about how it makes your porridge-less mornings delicious again – and that makes me feel all warm and goofy inside.  Not only that, but you’ve bombarded me with ideas on how to use that same mix in different ways.  You’re awesome!

I used it as a starting point for my Cinnamon Raisin Muffins, which is also a Top 15 most popular recipe, and I have another couple of recipes I am working on.  This Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal idea came when Lori, a delightful and wonderfully enthusiastic follower in California, posted that she had woken up craving my Hot and Nutty Cereal one day, but because it was a warm day she wanted something cold.  She stirred the Hot and Nutty Cereal mix into a cup of Greek Yogurt and voilà!  Lori’s favorite cereal – but cold.  Not to mention the added protein.  Needless to say, as soon as I heard that I ran off to try it.  Delicious! Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal | www.carriebrown.comSince I am me, my brain promptly exploded, and lots of ideas for bright, sunny flavors started ricocheting around all over the place.  I am always thinking about coconut these days – I blame studio time with Bailor for that one – so I started there and went with my favorite citrus flavor to make a cold, creamy bowl of sunshiny cereal for you.

This Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal is one of my new favorites, and easy to whip up in bulk at the start of the week, spoon into lidded bowls and stack in the ‘fridge to grab on the way to the office each week-day morning.  It’s extremely filling, but with a light, refreshing taste.  Would also make a great summertime dessert.

Thanks, Lori, for getting me started on this one!

Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 TBSP sunflower seeds
  • 4 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 oz. / 28g vanilla protein powder
  • 1 TBSP xylitol or erythritol (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 TBSP lemon zest (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract (essence)
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup / 2 fl oz. unsweetened thin coconut milk
  1. Grind chia, sunflower seeds and coconut until very fine in a coffee grinder or high-speed blender (be careful you don’t end up with sunflower butter!).
  2. In a bowl add ground seeds, vanilla protein powder, xylitol or erythritol, and mix well.
  3. Add the lemon zest, lemons essence, yogurt and coconut milk and stir thoroughly until completely mixed.
  4. Sprinkle extra lemon zest on top to serve.

Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal | www.carriebrown.com

Measuring out and grinding all those seeds every day got old really fast, so here’s an instant mix that you can make in bulk and store in the ‘fridge ready to go when you want it.

  • 10 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups sunflower seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 10 oz. / 280g vanilla protein powder
  • 10 TBSP xylitol or erythritol
  • 5 TBSP lemon zest (5 lemons)

In batches, place chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and coconut in a coffee grinder and grind until fine. (If you use a blender such as a Vitamix be careful you don’t end up with a paste!) Pour ground mix into a large bowl, add vanilla protein powder, xylitol or erythritol, and lemon zest. Mix very well until completely blended. Store in an air-tight glass jar in the ‘fridge.

Then, when you stumble into the kitchen, bleary-eyed from your 7 hours of shut-eye, here’s the recipe for 1 serving of instant Creamy Lemon Coconut Cereal:

  • 1/2 cup instant cereal mix
  • 1/2 cup / 4 fl oz. Greek yogurt
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened thin coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon essence

Place cereal mix in a bowl, add yogurt, coconut milk, and lemon essence and stir very well.





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  • Ellen - This looks yummy! But, I need to checking the “translation” to Americanese – is ‘lemon essence’ the same as lemon juice? Or would it be lemon extract?
    ;) Thanks, Carrie!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Sorry Ellen – Lemon extract :-) I’ll update the recipe to bi-lingual!ReplyCancel

  • Janknitz - Tried it this morning. Yum! Reminded me of a lemon poppyseed muffin.ReplyCancel

  • danielle - HOLY YUMMMMMMMMMMM!!! This is awesome! I just order the SSOS book so I haven’t read it…I thought it was out of print, but just found it~ my question is….is this all you have for breakfast or do you have a green smoothie with it too? would you add protein to your smoothie?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Danielle – your commment made me smile!! It depends what the rest of my day is going to look like. If there’s veggies at lunch and dinner I’ll have this on it’s own. You could add a smoothie without the protein – I’d like to see you try and eat both if you kept the protein in!!! So glad you loved this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Delicious! This is now my go to for breakfast! I made a double batch to have it for the week. It tends to thicken if you let it stay in the fridge for a few days, which I did because I wanted to have it for the week, I think because of the chia seeds, so I added a little bit of skim milk to thin it out because I like my cereal a little more runny. I also added some blueberries to it, delicious! YUM!! Thanks Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • sandy - I ended up using my hot and nutty cereal mix (since I had made up a bunch) and then 2% greek yoghurt and 2 tbls. coconut milk then topped with tbls. sunflower seeds for extra crunch. I do not add any xylitol to my hot and nutty cereal and its plenty sweet.

    It was delicousReplyCancel

  • Debora - I made this tonight, and I love it! I used silvered almonds because I didn’t have sunflower seeds. I also used nougat extract as I am not a big fan of lemon. So so good!ReplyCancel