All five Cookbooks by Carrie Brown are now available as physical books, and digital books in pdf format (readable on any device, including Kindle).

For everyone wanting to feel fantastic without giving up taste, improve their health dramatically, and lose body-fat, these cookbooks are crammed with delicious, nutritious, health-boosting recipes that will help in your quest for improved wellness and increased fat-loss while keeping your taste buds insanely happy.


Developed for people who are following any of the following lifestyles:


Banting  |  Bulletproof  |  Clean Eating  |   KETO  |  LCHF   |  Low Carb  |  Paleo  |  Paleo+dairy  |  Primal  |  SANE  |  Vegetarian  |  Wheat Belly  |  Whole30  |  WildDiet


Dairy-free (with slight modification)  |  Diabetic  |  Egg-free (with slight modification)  |  Gluten-free  |  Grain-free  |  Soy-free  |  Sugar-free  |  Weight-loss


Just hit each image to get full details on the scrumptiousness contained in each one and order the format you love the most.



The KETO Ice Cream Scoop The KETO Crockpot Cookbook | Carrie Brown



























101 KETO Beverages Cookbook





















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Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Vanessa - Hi, Carrie,

    I bought the soup cookbook and am loving it. It’s the easiest way to start the day off right with lots of veggies without getting chilled. The Carrot & Celery Seed soup is one of my favorites.

    Last night I made the Ginger Carrot (etc) soup. I am not sure we have ground ginger, so I substituted fresh ginger, which I already had handy. The soup tasted a bit strange and I’m not sure whether to blame the vegetable broth concentrate I used (the instructions are in Chinese, so I had to guess at the proportions) or the fresh ginger. Does it really make a big difference to use ground ginger instead of fresh?


    • Judy - Both forms are pretty potent. I would go easy on either one but ginger is also very healthy. It’s good for digestion and nausea. Ginger beer is also very tasty!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Durham - Carrie
    I love listening to you and Brian on your podcast! And I just ordered your Icecream and crock pot books!

  • Tamara Elliott - I just finished listening to the podcast on sweeteners. Could you guys give your feedback on monkfruit? I love it and am looking for thoughts on this relatively new to me sweetener.



  • steve bollinger - Carrie, Why dont you break down the macros in your smarter ice cream ebook?ReplyCancel

  • Meran - Hi! Just bought your keto ice cream book. Looks good except for all the guar gum. I have a terrible reaction to guar. Can I substitute a different gum for it?ReplyCancel

  • Cristi - I just bought the Keto crockpot book and I am so so excited! I think this will be a life changer for me and my family. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Pualani Wagner - Just ordered your book can’t wait…ReplyCancel

  • Patti - I am thinking of buying the soup book, but don’t eat beef or sweeteners. Are there enough recipes that don’t include these ingredients left?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - HI Patti – yes! There are no sweeteners in the Soup Book and plenty of non-beef recipes! You’ll find loads of useful recipes. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • willow - hi carrie

    made the sour cream blueberry scones last night and it was slightly disastrous. i have no kitchen scale, so didn’t know how to weigh out the almond flour in grams or ounces, so i used volume measurements and used about 2 cups. came out with a crazily wet dough, so ended up adding another 1 or 1-1/2 cups (didn’t measure, just kept pouring until it wasn’t wet pudding anymore). i also subbed vegan butter and also a problem?

    they taste all right, but came out flat and very spongey. like spongey, lumpy pancakes. any chance you can give the almond flour measurement in cups (not grams or ounces) and also advise on what to do if subbing vegan butter and vegan sour cream?

    i know you hate subbing stuff, i am sorry! and you are awesome!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Oh dear, Willow. I am so sad to hear about your disaster. Measurements are super-important when baking. Baking is science and if you are not exact you will get unfortunate results like you experienced. There is no cup equivalent for weights of dry ingredients, and if you use cups for measuring dry ingredients you will always struggle to get good results because volume measures are highly inaccurate.

      Also, I am afraid I have never used vegan butter or sour cream, so can’t comment on that. Sorry I can’t be more helpful on this one :-( Love to you!ReplyCancel

      • willow - thank you for the empathy, i guess i need to buy a kitchen scale to avoid future disasters. will do! love back at you! :)ReplyCancel

  • Tracy Pfeiffer - Hi Carrie, have you tested your ice creams with different sweeteners? I can’t have xylitol in my house because I did almost kill my dog and the vet bill was $1800. He seeks it out, boohoo. Let me know if you have. Thank you so much! TracyReplyCancel

    • carrie - I am working on more subs now. None I have tried so far work.ReplyCancel

      • Roger Skildum - We have the same problem, have 4 dogs in the house and xylitol is not an option in our home even if we do not let the dogs eat people food.ReplyCancel

  • Lori - Carrie – I heard you on Two Keto Dudes and I want to get your five cookboooks for the price of three. Is there a promo code that I use? I have all five in my cart but no discount. :-( A snow storm is coming and I’m ready to do some Keto cooking!
    Thanks – LoriReplyCancel

  • Embrace! » The Real Carrie Brown - […] eating smarter.  Grab any one  – or all! – of my keto cookbooks crammed with scrumptious recipes.  These are your “how”.  Between them they cover a basic keto day to get you off on […]ReplyCancel

  • Eve McGuire Howard - Is there a cookbook that has all your favorites in it? Main dish things and biscuits and bread?ReplyCancel

These Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes are almost certainly unlike any cupcake you’ve ever eaten – keto or otherwise. Cardamom is my favorite spice by a long shot. It has a savory-sweet, almost perfumey smell, and can be used in all sorts of both savory and sweet dishes. It is widely used in India and also in Nordic countries. I’ll give you fair warning, Cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice – behind saffron and vanilla – but don’t let that deter you from breaking out some once in a while. I think it’s worth every penny.

Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes

You can read the backstory and get the recipe for these Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes in the previous post, but the short story is I modeled them after the world’s best doughnut. Or, at least, the best doughnut I have ever eaten in my life.

I also carried the whole Apricot Cardamom flavor love-story into a bowl of low carb ice cream for you. If you fall in love with these cupcakes, you’ll likely want the ice cream version. You can find that recipe in The Keto Ice Cream Scoop.

Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes

I whipped up a huge platter of these mini Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes for a MiniFest we held at The 2 Keto Dudes Carl Franklin’s house. There was uproar over these beautiful little nuggets of keto yum. People absolutely loved them. The whole tray vanished in a flash. There were many comments indicating that folks considered them the best keto cupcakes people had ever eaten. I was just super excited that so many people were trying something new and loving it. Variety is the spice of life!

Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes

These Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes are perfectly delicious naked or sans frosting, but sometimes the occasion just calls for a spot of decoration. When that decoration comes in the form of healthy fats, it’s all just goodness!

Now, just a note before we dive into the recipe: yes, there are real apricots in these cupcakes. It’s important for you to understand that keto is not a food list, but a metabolic state. There is *maybe* one half of one dried apricot in one of these mini cupcakes. And it’s more likely a quarter of one. If you think that those couple shards of dried apricot will ‘knock you out of ketosis’ then you do not understand what keto is or how it works. Or you’ve been misinformed by some keto zealots who are living the dogma, not the dream. I am not a fan of restricting things that are not being restricted for any good and sensible reason. Keto does not have to be as restricted as some people will tell you. So enjoy a mini cupcake – they’re two bites. Just don’t eat the whole batch.

However, some folks may prefer to avoid all fruits because it’s a trigger for them – and that’s perfectly fine. You have to do what works for you; and if avoiding all fruit is you then you can leave the apricots out altogether. Cardamom makes a lovely flavor all on it’s own. Or, leave the frosting off and have them plain. Or halve the amount of apricots in the frosting recipe. You do you. With frosting each cupcake is approx. 2.5g, without frosting approx. 2g.

At the end of the day, if you love apricots and a couple of pieces can work in your plan given your goals and progress, have at it. If they’re not in your plan now, come back to them later when they can be. But let’s not restrict things we enjoy for everyone just because we might not be able to partake right now.

Incidentally, when I made these for a Minifest at Carl’s house, he ate 2 of these plus one of each of the other 3 mini desserts that I made and then measured his BG, which didn’t even break 100. So there’s that.



Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes

Use the Apricot Cardamom Muffin recipe and then top with Apricot Cardamom Frosting (recipe below).

Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes


Apricot Cardamom Frosting

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  5 mins   |   Cook time:  0 mins  |   Total time:  5 mins  |  Serves: 40 mini cupcakes

What You Need

  • 4 oz / 110g cream cheese
  • 4 oz / 110g butter
  • 6 TBSP xylitol OR allulose
  • 3 oz / 85g dried apricots
  • 4 TBSP heavy cream


What You Do

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend on high until well blended and the apricots are very finely chopped.
  2. Using a piping bag without a nozzle, pipe the frosting atop your cupcakes. If you use a piping nozzle you run the risk of gumming up the works because of the apricot pieces in the frosting. If piping is not your superpower and you don’t want it to be, you can simply spoon frosting on top of your cupcakes, or spread it on thickly with a knife. But I recommend piping. Because it’s fun. And your cupcake recipients will be wildly impressed. Also, your cupcakes will taste better. Effort always tastes sweet.


Top Recipe Tips

  • If using xylitol, either use powdered xylitol or blend your xylitol in a high-powdered blender to make powder. Allulose is very fine naturally.
  • Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge.


Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


Podcast Episodes and You Tube Videos



  • Don’t. Just buy the correct ingredients and you, too, shall have a fabulous outcome!
  • Erythritol or allulose are the sweeteners I recommend because they work very well. You can use any other sweetener you like, but I cannot guarantee the results if you choose to use something different. In low carb and keto baking sweeteners are generally not interchangeable if you want great results.
  • You can use any nut milk in place of the heavy cream.


Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes



Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!

Much of the time, the ideas for my keto and low carb concoctions are really rather random.  I might be rambling through the produce section and spy some staggeringly sexy looking vegetable, or I’ll affectionately remember something I used to love eating when I was young and use that as a starting point for a much healthier version.  Every once in a while I have a plan.  And these Apricot Cardamom Muffins were definitely, thoroughly planned.

There was absolutely nothing random about these Apricot Cardamom Muffins.  They were inspired by a donut.  A very particular donut.  A very special donut.  I made them in honor of the world’s best donut – the Apricot Cardamom Donut – which can be found in abundance, languishing in a deep fat fryer over at Dynamo Donuts, in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District.

Apricot Cardamom Donut

My first rendezvous with this glorious donut-of-all-donuts came after a chance encounter with a stranger at Lennox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, long before Dr. Ted Naiman came charging into my life with all this talk of curing my BiPolar II disorder and ridding me of my pre-diabetic status.  I was still living in it-doesn’t-matter-what-I-do-I-can’t-lose-weight land.  Donuts were my friend.

Since that first taste of the exquisiteness that is Dynamo’s Apricot Cardamom Donut, I have been entirely unable to go anywhere near San Francisco without swinging by to eat one.  Or, let’s face it – several.  On New Years Day 2012 – on my drive back to Seattle from a 2-week photo shoot to Southern California – I detoured 83 miles off the I-5 and paid road tolls in order to drive through San Francisco expressly to stop and eat Apricot Cardamom Donuts at Dynamo.  And last April, those brilliant folks at Dynamo made a batch of them just for me when they found out I was leaving for the long haul back to Seattle the next day.  Yeah.  I am *really* fond of these donuts.

With San Francisco drive-by memories of donut awesomeness careering around my brain it occurred to me that all I had to do was create a keto / low carb version.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  So in honor of the finest donut ever to pass my lips, I give you Apricot Cardamom Muffins.

Carrie Brown | Apricot Cardamom Muffins

The smell wafting around the CB kitchen while these Apricot Cardamom Muffins were baking was fragrantly delicious beyond description.  I almost could not wait to pull them out of the oven.  And when they were out, I was in Apricot Cardamom heaven.  Not to mention that everyone who got a taste let out a chorus of “Mmmmmmmmm’s!!” when they tried them.  These might just be my favorite thing I’ve made yet.

I turned them into Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes by making some Apricot Frosting and took some to a MiniFest at The 2 Keto Dudes Carl Franklin’s house.  Carl’s reaction was epic.  Nodding slowy, he exclaimed, “These cupcakes are the **bleep** BOMB!!”  I think he liked them.  Another tester said, “I feel like I could be sitting in a Parisian café sipping coffee and eating fantastic cake”.  They were exceedingly popular. Exceedingly.

Carrie Brown | Apricot Cardamom Muffins

If you tried the Cinnamon Pecan Muffins, these are quite different.  These Apricot Cardamom Muffins are more like cake than the rugged, nuttiness of the Cinnamon Pecan ones.  And given that I am perpetually confused over American names for food, I wondered if I should call these Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes instead – whether or not they have frosting.  Which got me thinking about whether I even understood what the difference was between the two.  I didn’t.  A short search on the internet set me straight though, and made me feel better; because it turns out no one knows.  I found a hundred different – often heated – debates on the difference between the two.  Blimey, the things people get upset about.  In the end I decided to go with my favorite cupcake v. muffin difference quote:

“Nothing,” the pastry chef said, explaining that when it comes to breakfast, Americans have a Puritanical inhibition. “Muffins are just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast”.

Carrie Brown | Apricot Cardamom Muffins

Call them a muffin or call them a cupcake – eat these Apricot Cardamom Muffins for breakfast and have yourself a seriously keto and delicious start to your day. And if frosting is your thing, just head for that recipe: Apricot Frosting and you’ll magically have cupcakes instead.

These have around 7g carbs per muffin, so if you have to stay under 20g carbs per day to stay in ketosis, you might want to leave the apricots out or wait until you’re closer to your goals before you choose to have one. Or, make them as mini cupcakes and don’t overeat them.



Apricot Cardamom Muffins

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  10 mins   |   Cook time:  30 mins  |   Total time:  40 mins  |  Serves: 12 full-size muffins or 40 mini cupcakes (See the recipe for mini-cupcakes)

What You Need


What You Do

  1. Spray 12 silicone muffin cups with coconut or avocado oil spray and place in muffin pan. Make mini muffins by simply using smaller muffin cups. Check out what they look like here: Mini Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes.
  2. Grind the chia seeds in a coffee grinder until very fine. (If you use a Vitamix be very careful you do not end up with chia butter!)
  3. Tip ground chia into a mixing bowl and add the almond flour, egg white powder, cardamom, baking powder, salt, and erythritol OR allulose and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the chopped apricots and rub through the dry ingredients with your fingers to separate the pieces.
  5. Whisk the eggs and cold water in a bowl and add to the dry ingredients, mixing quickly until completely combined.
  6. Carefully pour or spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cups – they should be slightly under-filled.
  7. Place in center of oven at 300F for 35 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes until you can handle the silicone cups.
  9. Turn each cup top down in one hand, and using the other hand gently squeeze the sides of the cup all the way round until the sides release and the muffin pops out. Be gentle.
  10. Place each muffin on a cooling rack to cool.


Top Recipe Tips

  • Allulose will give you a browner muffin.
  • You can use black or white chia seeds. White chia seeds will give you a lighter color. Nutritionally they are the same.
  • Yes, you really do need to spray the silicone cups with oil prior to using them. Trust me. And don’t ask me how I know.
  • I find it easiest to ‘chop’ the apricots using a pair of scissors.
  • Make sure you use cold water to mix the muffins. If you use hot water you will activate the baking powder too early. You don’t want that to happen until you get them in the oven.
  • Only buy the mount of cardamom you need. You do not want to buy extra and then not use it as it’s potency fades over time and it’s one of the more expensive spices.



Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


Podcast Episodes and You Tube Videos



  • Don’t. Just buy the correct ingredients and you, too, shall have a fabulous outcome!
  • Erythritol or allulose are the sweeteners I recommend because they work very well. You can use any other sweetener you like, but I cannot guarantee the results if you choose to use something different. In low carb and keto baking sweeteners are generally not interchangeable if you want great results.


Carrie Brown | Apricot Cardamom Muffins






Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Chantel - These look fab but just wondered how many we are allowed to eat in one sitting and still not be naughty? I don’t think that one would be enough!! He heReplyCancel

    • carrie - Chantel – this is a very long and complex answer and there’s a whole post coming soon! THANK YOU for swinging by :-)ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Hi Carrie, LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog, your recipes, and your great podcasts with Jonathan. I have been eating SANELY since 1-1-13 and couldn’t be happier. You’ve even convinced me to walk past my scale in the morning. Anyway I can get you to put me on your list of food tasters? I’ll pay the postage if you want to send me some of these amazing-looking muffins!

    Thanks for all you do.

    Nancy in AtlantaReplyCancel

  • Megan - Carrie,

    Are the sunflower seeds with or without shells?ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Carrie,
    You have created a monster! Just kidding. I needed something to take up to the mountains on a XC ski trip…these are perfect. Just made them and they came out perfect and yes I ate one right away!

    This recipe easily translates to other fruits/spices…can’t wait to experiment.

    Keep up the SANE work!

    • carrie - Susan – it’s a happy, friendly, healthy monster :-) Hope you had a fabulous ski trip!!ReplyCancel

  • Lori Borenstein - I heard a great descritpion of the difference between almond meal and almond flour I want to share. Almond meal includes the skin of the almond. Almond flour is skinless (I guess that’s what makes it smoother). Also, I think they also blanch the almonds with the almond flour. Hope that helps some readers with the difference. King Arthur Flour makes an Almond Flour and Trader Joe’s sells Almond Meal.ReplyCancel

  • Deborah - I am really looking forward to making these! You list the sunflower seeds, chia seeds, almond flour and xylitol by weight. I do not have a food scale. Do you have any idea how much of these you used by cup or tsp? I can probably figure out the apricots from the package. Sorry, for being a pain. The last few baked items like this I made did not turn out well. So, I don’t want to guess.

    thanks :)

    Deborah in SammamishReplyCancel

    • carrie - Deborah – please, please, please grab yourself a scale :-) The reason I weigh is because you get consistent (great) results – which you never will if you go by volume. Right now I can’t help further as I am away from my kitchen :-(ReplyCancel

  • Janknitz - Deborah, it’s highly worth considering getting an inexpensive baking scale. It makes measuring so much more accurate and easy (no measuring cups to wash!).

    But in the absence of a scale, look for an app called Kitchen Pro from I’m not sure if there’s a pc version or not, but I have the iPhone app and it comes in handy. It will convert measurements, including weight, volume, temperature and length. What’s really great is you can take a weight measurement like 4 1/2 oz of ground almonds and convert it to a volume measurement for that particular ingredient (remember, different ingredients have different weights, even with the same volume).

    I don’t recall if it was a free or paid app, but it’s a great app and very much worth whatever I paid for it.ReplyCancel

  • Lori Borenstein - OH no… I don’t have xylitol! Can I use Trader Joe’s Stevia powder instead? If so, what quantity?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Lori – in this case the xylitol is just to sweeten so you can sub out for stevia. Use whatever amount of stevia is equivalent to 2 oz regular sugar – I have no clue what that is, as I am not a stevia user. Hope that helps even a little!ReplyCancel

  • Lori Borenstein - I haven’t used cardamom before and I love the light citrus-floral aroma/taste it brings. The only thing that would make it a “5 star” would be some sort of simple thin glaze like in the donut picture.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Except without sugar “glaze” is not simple ;-) However, I just rustled up a prototype glaze which was way more successfully than I thought it would be. Now I just have to refine it. You could keep me busy with requests, all on your own :-)ReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - OOOH, I purchased some cardamom, now I’m afraid, it’s very different than anything I usually use. We REALLY like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Cardamom is nothing like that. If I follow the recipe what is the level of cardamom flavor. Low, med or high?

    I’m worried Hubs will not like it. What other recipes are suitable for cardamom? Sweet, savory?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Low, Cowgirl. It is very fragrant, almost perfumey spice. I love it. I have only used it for sweet dishes so far. I use it in ice cream ;-)ReplyCancel

  • AmyCr - This sounds soo good. I would love a coffee cake recipe with Almond Flour!!ReplyCancel

  • Niamh Kane - Yummy! I’m looking forward to bringing these to a potluck dinner this weekend at least I know there will be something there I can eat:) Thanks Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Hey Carrie! New to SSoS (3 weeks)! I’m wondering if I can substitute powdered egg whites for whey protein powder in the recipe. Thanks for your insights and being real! You and Jonathan make my day!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Jill – I cannot in good faith give you an answer because I haven’t trialed it. It is on my list of things to do. My guess is that the recipe will have to be altered to allow for extra sweetner. I am also not sure what all that extra protein will do to the structure. I really need to try them before giving you an answer….sorry! Thanks for the love – I sure appreciate you.ReplyCancel

  • Janelle - I am new (as of last Friday) to SANE eating, and have been exploring recipes on your blog. I’m trying to introduce the rest of the family to this lifestyle, so I made these as a breakfast addition/treat. My 13-year-old daughter said to me, “Mom, if all your ‘diet’ food tastes like this, I’m IN!!” :-) I did make minor modifications, as apricots are not a favorite here. I made cardamom-cashew-coconut muffins (only about 1/4 cup of each, at most). They are FABULOUS, even if my youngest refuses to eat them because of the chia seeds (she says she won’t eat grass seeds…lol!). Thanks so much – this recipe introduced me to several new ingredients, and although it will be an occasional treat, this will be a regular staple here.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - Yumilicious! I made these with dried pears instead of apricots after I brought home 2 different bags of dried apricots, one from California and one from Turkey. My son liked the pears best. I got the idea from Susan (above) to try other fruits. They are fabulous! Now go practice some self control and not eat all 12 of them at once.

    Carrie, were you aware that for some reason I cannot rate this recipe using my iPad? I try to click on the stars and nothing happens. I don’t know if it’s just me or if anyone else has had this problem. Anyways, if I could I’d give it 5 stars!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Wren – glad you loved them! No clue on the whole iPad debacle I’m afraid. I’m a total PC girl.ReplyCancel

  • Paula Childs - Carrie, I am going to try this recipe as I love cardamom. Just wanted to share that I have a lot of relatives that are diabetic. Comes from eating like Germans – which is our background. Lots of bread, potatoes, sugary desserts, etc. I have recently started a support/encouragement group at my home and serving them samples of your cookies. We’ve only had one meeting so far. They liked them a lot. Next meeting I will probably include some of your muffins too. I will definitely include your Triple Threat Almond cookies. Yum and Yum! Have you ever tried making them with erythritol? I have a sister-in-law who thinks erythritol might be better although she has never used it. Would appreciate your feedback.

    Also, I’m thinking of using the TTA cookies and putting some of your chocolate ice cream in between for an ice cream sandwich.

    Thanks and keep up the excellent work.ReplyCancel

  • Apricot Cardamom Cupcakes » The Real Carrie Brown - […] Apricot Cardamom Muffins […]ReplyCancel

Smoothies are incredibly popular with folks trying to follow a healthier lifestyle. The *big* problem is that the vast majority of recipes are actually sugar-bombs – packed with fruits and bananas to make them sweet and creamy. And who can blame them? No one enjoys drinking liquid spinach or kale. No one. But this Creamy Green Basil Smoothie is a completely different story.

Creamy Green Basil Smoothie | Carrie Brown

Those fruits and bananas pack an almighty carb load, which makes them super sugar-fests. Not what we’re after at all. This, on the other hand is packed to the brim with healthy fats and nary a {net} carb in sight.

Creamy Green Basil Smoothie | Carrie Brown

Without the fruits and bananas, hiding the leafy greens and making a delicious drink is a whole lot harder.  With this smoothie, I didn’t even try. I decided to enhance the veggies instead of masking them. The result is a lovely fresh creamy drink, crammed with awesomely healthy fats.

Creamy Green Basil Smoothie | Carrie Brown

This Creamy Green Basil Smoothie has a bright flavor that doesn’t taste in the least like spinach, and is creamier than the best banana smoothie out there.

Drink the whole recipe as a full meal, or drink half as a side with your favorite protein.  Perfect for on the go – just pour into a travel mug and head out.  Taking just a few minutes to whip up this Creamy Green Basil Smoothie might become your favorite fast-breaker, at whatever time that is for you.  No fruit required.


Creamy Green Basil Smoothie

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  5 mins  |  Total time:  5 mins  |  Serves: 1 – 2

What You Need

  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. heavy cream
  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. water
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ medium avocado, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz. / 110g English cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 oz. / 30g fresh spinach
  • ½ cup / 4 fl oz. ice cubes


What You Do

  1. Place the cream, water, lemon juice, chopped avocado, and chopped cucumber in a blender and blend on high until very smooth.
  2. Add the basil, spinach and ice cubes, and blend again until smooth.


Top Recipe Tips

  • To increase fat and nutrition, swap out the water with your favorite nut milk.
  • To reduce fat, swap out ¼ cup of the heavy cream with your favorite nut milk.
  • If you cannot get English cucumbers, peel your cucumber before blending to avoid making your smoothie bitter.
  • If you super-love basil, feel free to add an extra leaf or two!


Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


Podcast Episodes



  • Don’t. Just buy the correct ingredients and you, too, shall have a fabulous outcome!
  • You can swap out thick coconut milk (or coconut cream) for the heavy cream. The flavor will be a bit different.


Creamy Green Basil Smoothie | Carrie Brown



Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Ena - I have already made this twice, substituting water and some of the cream with hazelnut milk, just to get the calories a little down. Still very high in fat and it tastes so good. Thanks.ReplyCancel

Here.  Have a gratuitous recipe post.  Because you deserve a piece of Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread (or two).  Because Valentine’s Day is coming.  Because I love you.

Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread


Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  15 mins   |   Cook time:  20 mins  |   Total time:  35 mins  |  Serves: 20 – 30 (depending on size of your cutter)

What You Need


What You Do

  1. Mix butter, xylitol OR allulose, and vanilla together with a hand mixer until well creamed.
  2. Mix in the almond flour, xanthan gum, konjac flour, and chopped cranberries until a dough is formed. When you start mixing the almond flour in you’ll think there’s no way it’s going to work. It will.
  3. Turn dough onto surface, using a dusting of almond flour to prevent sticking if necessary.
  4. Roll dough to ½ inch thick, and use a cutter to cut out shapes.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet or use a silicone baking mat in your baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 300F for around 20 minutes, just until they start to turn very pale brown.
  7. Remove the baking sheet(s) from the oven and leave the shortbread on the baking sheets until cool. Do not try to move them!
  8. Step away from the shortbread! Seriously. Leave them to cool.
  9. Once cool, using a spatula or palette knife, carefully transfer to a wire rack to get completely cold.
  10. Once they are completely cold, I highly recommend packing them in an airtight container and leaving them overnight if you can possibly stand it. They firm up and have a better texture. If you cannot wait overnight, once they are cold, pop them in the freezer on the cooling rack for a couple of hours. Then pack them in an airtight container to store them.


Top Recipe Tips

  • If you keep your butter in the fridge you will find this easier if you leave the butter out overnight before making these. You can also soften the butter in a microwave if you forget to get it out of the fridge ahead of time.
  • This shortbread dough can be made in advance, stored in the ‘fridge and baked as required. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling, cutting and baking.
  • If you make very small cookies, chop your cranberries very finely otherwise you’l have ugly cookies. Or very rustic, messy looking cookies. If you like that look, don’t worry about chopping so finely.
  • Allulose will give you a browner shortbread.
  • If you cannot find unsweetened cranberries look for Ocean Spray 50% less sugar dried cranberries. They have significantly less sugar. Even if you use regular dried cranberries, the amount of cranberries in one piece of shortbread is very small. Use whichever works best for your budget, health goals, level of metabolic damage, and BG and insulin status.



Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


Podcast Episodes and You Tube Videos



  • Don’t. Just buy the correct ingredients and you, too, shall have a fabulous outcome!
  • Xylitol or allulose are the sweeteners I recommend because they work very well. You can use any other sweetener you like, but I cannot guarantee the results if you choose to use something different. In low carb and keto baking sweeteners are generally not interchangeable if you want great results.
  • There is no sub for konjac flour. If you leave it out the texture will suffer.
  • There is no sub for xanthan gum. If you leave it out the texture and strength will not be as good.

Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread

Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread



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  • Claire Lucas - Thanks Carrie, can’t wait to make these :-)ReplyCancel

  • allisol - Houston, we had a problem. Something went wrong with my batch. They will probably taste OK, but I just took them out of the oven and they look NOTHING like yours, and they didn’t act like you said they would either.

    For one, I had to measure the butter using my digital scale (FUN!). Not sure if that was accurate but I was 1.5 oz too short so I had to add the rest from salted butter. Hope that didn’t mess things up. Then the almond flour was in a package of 16 oz, so I took out one ounce and put in the rest of the package. That shouldn’t be a problem, theoretically.

    Disclosure: I put in crushed cocoa nubs instead of cranberries. Don’t like cranberries. Have difficulty following recipes to a T. Love to modify. :)

    So, the “roll out the dough” part was laughable. It was more like a blob. There was no dough at all. I looked at the recipe to see what liquid I might have added in excess but really there was nothing so I’m thinking it was the butter. I had to put BLOBS of dough on the cookie sheet with a spoon. I tried to spread them out to be 1/2″ thick. In the end it didn’t matter, they flattened like a pancake.

    They smell amazing, but I will follow instructions and wait until tomorrow to eat them. I’m a little worried about the xylitol. My sensitive digestive system does not like a lot of -ol sugars. When I was measuring it out it seemed like a lot. I might have to make them less SANE and do half xylitol and half sugar. What would the measurements be for that? We’ll see. Perhaps moderation is key. I’ll find out tomorrow. So will the rest of my household.

    Let me know if you have any thoughts about my dough that was blobby. Thanks!

    PS: My kids are begging me to eat them so something must be right!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hmmm. Given that there is no liquid in them except vanilla extract, and I doubt you put a significant amount of that in more than the recipe stated, the only thing that makes sense (assuming that you weighed everything correctly) is that you live in AZ and it was warm. Very warm. And the butter about melted. In which case you would need to pop the “dough” in the ‘fridge to firm up before kneading it and rolling it out. Or, once you have done the creaming part, put it in the ‘fridge for a bit to firm up before you add the almond flour.

      Also, I would not worry about the xylitol. It is not the same as other sugar alcohols you may have run into like sorbitol or mannitol. Plus, unless you eat the entire batch in one sitting, the amount in each cookie is small. I would not advise swapping out any for sugar – you will defeat half the purpose of making them SANE. When I first ate xylitol I had a “tiny” reaction for the first few days and then it totally went away. Now I can eat an entire batch of shortbread or whatever crammed with xylitol with no effect whatsoever.

      Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Allisol - Oh yes. I think that was it. The butter was very very soft. I’ll put the next batch in the fridge. There will be another batch soon. I know you said to wait but I’ve had three so far and hubby and daughter both had one. We all looove them. Daughter is begging for more. She has 11 year old taste buds so she is used to full on toll house cookies. For her to like these is huge!! I see lots of experimenting in my future! And no xylitol problems, just like you said. Hugs to you for a great treat.ReplyCancel

  • Scott - Hi Carrie – Do you have any advice on where to find dried un-sweetened cranberries? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Scott – huge apologies – that was an over-zealous typo on the cranberries. Cranberries I have not found unsweetened. All other dried fruit, yes. I’ve corrected it!!ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Please help me with the sweetener.
    I have the small packets of xylitol and the big bag of stevia in the raw.
    4 oz of either doesn’t seem right. (Almost half of the big bag)
    I’ve made both your biscuits and they were fabulous, but I think I sould finally learn the correct way to measure the sweetener.
    Thank you for your help.ReplyCancel

  • Sierra - Has ANYONE been able to wait until the next day to eat these? Delish! And my toddler and hubby don’t even know they are SANE!!! Hooray 4 Carrie!!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ha ha, Sierra! No one who taste-tested these had any idea they had no flour or grains. In fact I had people ARGUE with me as they ate them because they couldn’t believe it!!ReplyCancel

  • Ladyp1234 - Delicious. Swapped cranberries for 85% cocoa chocolate, and now my 11 yr old takes them to school for snack instead of crisps. And I eat them with coffee in evening when I need some comfort food!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ah, yes…coffee and shortbread. Fantastic! Especially when it’s SANE :-)ReplyCancel

  • Lemon Shortbread Cookies » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] as a tart crust for Lemon Mascarpone Tarts. Even though the base recipe I stole from the Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread that I gave you for Valentine’s Day, these taste like completely different cookies.  They […]ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Farrell - Hi! I’ve introduced myself to this new healthier eating lifestyle this week. I am from Manchester UK and had stumbled upon a Podcast by accident. To cut a long story short, I have a sweet tooth, and being in a transition stage (only on day 3 so far) wanted something sweet to eat. I have made this recipe today and am really impressed with the taste and consistency. I will definitely be making more. I am still struggling to move my head out of the ‘how many calories?’ cloud and worry that these might make me fat! I have only eaten one though and I’m sure time will tell. Fingers crossed :)ReplyCancel

  • rosalyn - Hi…can you tell me if i don’t. Want yo roll them out….can i just flatten and bake,like a small round flat shortbread cookie? I cannot wait to try these!!!! And also do you think drained maraschino cherries would work?? Thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Rosalyn – the cherries would work if they are drained VERY well, but they are pretty high in sugar. Yes you can flatten them, but if they are much thicker than the recipe states them you will probably have to adjust the cooking to longer and maybe lower the temperature so they cook all the way through without browning too much. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • rosalyn - Also in cups, can you tell us how much almond flour and how much xylitol…..thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Is it passable to interchange xylitol and Erythritol?ReplyCancel

Frittata or omelet. Is there a difference? Yes. Does it really matter. No. And certainly, with this Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata you’ll no longer care what it’s called once you’ve scoffed it down.

A frittata has the added ingredients cooked into the eggs and is not folded over to be served. An omelet has the added ingredients laid on top of the cooked eggs, and then one half of the omelet folded over to enclose said ingredients. Thus, technically, this is indeed a frittata. A very delicious frittata. A Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata.

Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata | Carrie Brown

Frittatas are awesome because they take minutes to make, have bunches of healthy fat plus a decent dollop of first class protein, and can even be transported and eaten cold hours after they’re cooked and still taste spectacular.

Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata | Carrie Brown

Frittatas and omelets are my go-to meals when I’m tired, or have no time, or both. Actually, they’re often my go-to meals just because they’re so easy and delicious. You can instantly up your frittata game even further by using a different cheese – such as smoked Gouda – to really add an exciting depth to the proceedings.

Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata | Carrie Brown

To increase the fat replace 2 TBSP of the water with an extra 2 TBSP of heavy cream.

This may be a simple recipe, but that don’t mean this Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata ain’t dang tasty. If you’re new to cooking, frittatas are a great place to start. And if you’ve been around a kitchen a while, this is a good recipe to remind you that often the simple things in life are the best.



Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  5 mins   |   Cook time: 5 mins  |  Total time:  10 mins  |  Serves: 2 – 4

What You Need

  • 4 oz. / 110g mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 oz. / 110g pancetta, chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 TBSP heavy cream
  • 6 TBSP water
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 oz. / 30g Cheddar cheese, grated


What You Do

  1. Sauté the chopped mushrooms and pancetta over a medium heat until the mushrooms are just softened.
  2. Turn the broiler (grill) on to heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, cream, water, sea salt and pepper, and oregano in a jug until completely mixed.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the pan over the mushrooms and pancetta and stir for 30 seconds while the eggs start to cook.
  5. After 30 seconds, stop stirring and leave to cook for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and place under the broiler (grill) until the top is set and just starting to brown.
  7. Remove from under the broiler (grill), sprinkle top with grated Cheddar and slide onto a large plate or serving dish. Slice to serve.


Top Recipe Tips

  • For dairy-free: use thick coconut milk instead of cream, and omit the cheese.
  • If you have fresh oregano that you want to use instead of the dried, sprinkle it over the surface of the cooked eggs right before you add the cheese.


Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


Podcast Episodes


Mushroom and Pancetta Frittata | Carrie Brown

Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!