February 14, 2005

Happy Valentines Day!

I was reading the paper yesterday morning and ran across an article on Low Carb gardening. For some of us planting time is still a little bit in the future but, it never hurts to prepare in advance. Here are some of the plants that we recommended.

Lettuce: All varieties are low-carb, and need to be planted early.

Spinach: Not only low-carb, but unbeatably nutritious, and it’s good both raw and cooked. It can go in at the same time as your lettuce does. So, for that matter, can low-carb leafy vegetables endive, arugula, kale and collards.

Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower: All low-carb, and should be planted early.

Peas: A cool-weather crop, but are high-carb as vegetables go, with a usable-carb count of 13.6 grams. If that’s something you can fit into your program, peas are better when garden fresh.

Snow peas: These are much lower in carbohydrates than green peas. One cup of chopped snow pea pods has a usable carb count of just 4.9 grams

Fennel: Have you tasted its enchanting licorice-like flavor? Fennel is wonderful braised or in slow-cooker dishes, and makes an interesting salad vegetable. One bulb of fennel – at least enough for two people – has a usable-carb count of 10 grams.

Many other low-carb vegetables will need to be planted after the last fear-of-frost date in your region. Starting them indoors well in advance is a great idea.

Tomatoes: To my mind, tomatoes are the best argument for home gardening. One medium tomato has a usable-carb count of 3.3 grams. They’re also full of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant being researched for its anti-cancer properties.

Cucumbers:One cup of cucumber slices has a usable carb count of 3.3 grams.

Peppers: All of them are low-carb. I grow banana peppers and jalapenos – sweet peppers are easy and cheap to buy in the summer. A medium banana pepper has a usable carb count of just 0.9 grams. Your average jalapeno has just 0.4 grams of usable carbohydrate – a real deal, considering how much flavor a jalapeno can bring to a dish.

Zucchini and summer squashes: Small zucchinis, perfect for grilling, have 2 grams usable carb. Only plant one zucchini plant, or you will be sorry with the overwhelming abundance

Happy gardening!

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Thom King
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Steviva Brands, Inc.

Sugar Free Low Carb Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Serves: 8
Carbs Per Serving: 2.4 g
Prep Time:<15 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

3 eggs
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups vanilla whey protein powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup Steviva Brand Stevia Blend
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup blueberries
3 ounces cream cheese, cut into 9 small cubes
non-stick spray or paper muffin liners

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 9 muffin tins with paper liners or spray with non-stick spray.
Combine the eggs, oil, and cream; stir to blend. Add the whey powder, baking powder, Steviva Brand Stevia Blend, cinnamon, lemon rind, and orange rind.
Stir until just combined. Do not over-stir or muffins will be tough.
Fold in the blueberries gently.
Spoon 1/2 the batter into the prepared muffin tins.
Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each.
Fill with remaining batter, making sure batter goes completely over and around the cubes of cream cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until muffins spring back to the
touch and no longer look moist on top. Serve warm.

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