The Best Easy Keto Maple Donuts

The Best Easy Keto Maple Donuts

Moist and delicious, keto maple donuts are a super-easy grab and go morning breakfast. Creamy maple frosting tops the cake-style donut, just perfect with a morning tea or coffee.

It’s that time of year again! Today is the last full day of school for my kids, which means we’re about to jump in head-long to all those fun summer activities. My kids are so ready to be outside and active and have some more choices with what to do with their days.

However, with all those activities, do you know what it also brings? Boxes of tempting, multi-flavored donuts! Is it just me or do the boxes turn up everywhere? Swim meets, picnics, church, ball games, the Fourth of July parade, the list goes on.

Then without fail that little face looks up at me with innocent pleading eyes and says, “Just one Mommy? Please?! It’ll be okay.”

Actually, no it won’t be okay when one can’t have gluten or sugar. Inevitably, the child sneaks a donut and runs away to hide and scarf it down. Later on, her digestive system pays for that treat and we’re miserable for a couple days.

Be prepared with keto recipes

Even if you don’t have specific health reasons for eating keto or low carb, it does throw you off a keto diet. I always say the key to loving a low carb and gluten-free way of life is to be prepared! Always have a backup stash in the freezer for emergencies.

Why not start off with a batch of these fabulous keto maple donuts?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

The best keto maple donuts are low carb, sugar-free, gluten-free AND moist and delicious. Perfect for parades and summer activities. #ketodonuts #lowcarbdonuts

In a hurry?

While I think you’ll love my super helpful tips and fun stories, I also realize we are sometimes pressed for time and just need a good recipe! Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

New mysteries. New day. Fresh doughnuts.

David Lynch

Filmmaker

Coconut flour vs. almond flour

One question I get asked quite often is, “What’s the difference between coconut and almond flour? Can they be equally interchanged?”

Well, to begin with, coconut flour is made of the meat of the coconut after the liquid coconut milk is pressed out. The coconut meat left over is dried and then ground up to make a soft coconut flour. It’s naturally gluten-free and grain-free.

On the other hand, almond flour is a nut flour. It’s made up of ground, blanched almonds with no skin. Good almond flour should not contain anything else. It’s a popular gluten-free flour option, although oilier than plain white flour so it does not work exactly the same in recipes.

As far as coconut vs. almond flour goes:

1/4 cup coconut flour = 1 cup almond flour

Many of my own recipes can be subbed with one or the other at this equivalence. However, I’ve found I like the texture of a mix of the two personally. Of course, if there are food allergies or sensitivities involved, a mix isn’t always possible.

Almonds to make almond flour

 

How to make keto maple donuts

To begin, get out all of the ingredients and kitchen utensils. I love this recipe because the batter is so easy.

First, put the eggs, cream cheese, almond milk, sweetener, and vanilla in a blender. Then process it on high for 30-40 seconds or until everything’s completely combined.

Alternatively, if you don’t wish to use a blender, first be sure all the ingredients are room temperature or even slightly warmer. In a large bowl or standing mixer, mix until no lumps remain.

Second, take another large bowl and whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Next, pour the wet ingredients from the blender into the almond flour mixture and stir it all well until completely combined.

Don’t forget to grease donut baking molds/tins with butter or coconut oil. Then spoon in the mixture, distributing evenly to make 12 donuts. Now, bake them at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-23 minutes until they’re baked and just start to brown around the edges.

Set aside to cool completely and begin the icing!

Tip: If you don’t have a donut pan you can make them as muffins.

Keto Maple Donuts front with coffee #lowcarbrecipes #ketorecipes

Keto Maple Donut Icing

Now, to make the keto maple donut icing. First off, place all the icing ingredients in a medium bowl other than the water. It’s important the ingredients are room temperature or it may make the cream cheese and butter difficult to combine with everything else.

Then simply mix everything together with a hand mixer until it’s completely smooth with no lumps. Mix in a tablespoon of water at a time until the desired spreadable icing consistency is achieved. Lastly, use a knife to spread the icing evenly over the tops of the cooled donuts.

The best easy keto low carb maple donuts are delicious, moist, and cake like. Gluten-free and sugar-free for a keto diet. #ketodonuts #ketobreakfast

As you ramble on through life, Brother,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole.

The Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood

Author

What are your favorite kinds of donuts?

Do you have a favorite kind of donut? You know the kind, the one you always grab for first in the dreaded donut box? Mine have always been Boston cream and maple. Well, then there’s always the blueberry cake donut.

Why not make several batches of different kinds of donuts and freeze them in groups with a mix of different kinds to pull out when you need? Of course, also leave a selection of fresh ones out or in the fridge to enjoy! Then, you’re all set when the coach tells you, “Oh, yeah! I’m bringing donuts tomorrow to swim practice to reward the girls!”

Set those puppies out, and bring your own box of goodness to the party.

I’m going to have to get baking!

Pin the recipe here!:

The best keto maple donuts are a fabulous low carb breakfast. Take to parties, picnics, parades and more. Gluten-free and sugar-free, these cake donuts are moist with creamy frosting. #ketodonuts #lowcarbdonuts

Tag me in your recipe pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

If you LOVE this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating in the review area below!

Do you like jam in a donut?

Easy Keto Strawberry Jam is sugar-free and bursting with flavor! #sugarfreejam #ketorecipes

Want more Keto Breakfast Recipes?

  1. Chiles Rellenos Keto Breakfast Casserole
  2. Keto Cinnamon Rolls
  3. Easy Low Carb Skillet Breakfast Hash
  4. Low Carb Peanut Butter Muffins


Printable Recipe

Keto Maple Donuts

One of my favorite donut flavors in low carb form. Keto maple donuts are moist cake donuts with a smooth and creamy maple flavored frosting.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb
Keyword: Keto maple donuts, Low carb maple donuts
Servings: 12
Calories: 217kcal
Author: Explorer Momma

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups finely ground blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 cup sweetener (I use erythritol or Swerve)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Keto Maple Donut Icing

  • 3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp powdered sweetener (such as Swerve Confectioners)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 2-4 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Place the eggs, cream cheese, almond milk, sweetener, and vanilla in a blender and process on high for 30-40 seconds or until completely combined. Alternatively, combine the room temperature ingredients in a mixer until no lumps remain.
  • Take a large bowl and whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and sea salt.
  • Pour the wet ingredients from the blender into the almond flour mixture and stir well until completely combined.
  • Grease donut baking moulds or tins and spoon in the mixture. Distribute evenly to make 12 donuts.
  • Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-23 minutes until they're baked and just start to brown around the edges.

Keto Maple Donut Icing

  • Place all the icing ingredients in a medium bowl except for the water.
  • Mix with a hand mixer until completely combined. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until the desired spreadable icing consistency is achieved.
  • Spread icing evenly over the tops of the cooled donuts.

Notes

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving: 1 donut
Calories: 217
 
Total Fat 18 g  
Saturated Fat 6 g  
Monounsaturated Fat 7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 85 mg  
Sodium 227 mg  
Potassium 148 mg  
Total Carbohydrate 6 g  
Dietary Fiber 3 g  
Sugars 2 g  
Protein 9 g
*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.
 
 
This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Deliciously creamy keto Philly cheesesteak casserole is packed with flavor and the perfect family weeknight meal. Easy to meal prep beforehand and throw in the oven, this low carb beef recipe always receives rave reviews at our house.

This weekend for Mother’s Day we returned to what’s probably my mother’s favorite restaurant in our home town. We go there almost every year on this special day, and we inevitably get the same things, EVERY YEAR. Creatures of habit we are, and I’ve found when I don’t get my usual, I am disappointed.

I love the predictability of it and the laughter and fun time our family has together. My mother gets the lemon cod, my grandmother, the cod Florentine. Now that I think of it, this year my brother shocked the table and ordered MY favorite instead of his usual Reuben sandwich. So what is my traditional Mother’s Day selection?

This post might give you a hint.

I absolutely love Philly cheesesteak. Actually, I always have even before I started eating keto. However, now I order the Philly cheesesteak sandwich without a bun and a side salad instead of fries.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Flavorful Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole is the perfect weeknight low carb recipe the family will request over and over again. Creamy with beef, green peppers, onions and spices, ideal for a gluten-free diet. #ketodinner #lowcarbmeals

In a hurry?

While I think you’ll love my super helpful tips and fun stories, I also realize we are sometimes pressed for time and just need a good recipe! Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Author

History of the keto Philly cheesesteak casserole

So what started us out making this dish other than my love for the Philly cheesesteak? One day my daughter, as she often does, exclaimed over how much she loved steak. Also, “Daddy cooks it just right!”

Well, we had some strip steaks on hand so decided to cook them up for dinner. She was ecstatic until she was about halfway through her meal. “This is very chewy”, and “What are those small round steaks called?” and “Filet mignon, yes, that’s what I like.”

Thank you so much Butcherbox for introducing my child to really good meat, yet spoiling her for any other steak cuts.

We had several other strip steaks on hand, and so I decided to try my luck with the flavors of Philly cheesesteak. Let’s just say it was a huge hit and one of the most enjoyable meals of my life as a mother.

Husband: This is really good! I like it. You can make this again. (Repeats 5 minutes later)

Girl child: Ahhh, steak! *Sigh* *Smile* Ahhh, cheese! *Sigh* *Smile* Ahhh, creamy sauce! *Sigh* *Smile* Yay.

Boy child: Can I have a banana with my mango?

You can’t win them all! Since then, this recipe has been a winner in my household. I love the fact it’s easy to put together on a Sunday afternoon and then just bake off Monday for an easy dinner.

Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole is a fabulous low carb family weeknight meal! Flavorful and gluten-free, a great recipe for a keto diet. #ketorecipes #ketodinner

Why do you call it a casserole?

First of all, this dish is called a casserole because it’s baked in a casserole dish. It’s fabulously delicious and one of the few dishes both my husband and daughter rave over. (My son won’t eat beef so we won’t discuss that right now.) 😉

Instead of a more solid casserole you can cut squares out of, this keto Philly cheesesteak casserole is more of a spoon dipper. It comes out cheesy gooey on top with a creamy gravy that permeates the meat and vegetables. In fact, I almost think it’s better the second day because it gives all the flavors a chance mingle.

So, let’s get to it!

To make a keto Philly cheesesteak casserole you’ll need : 

Excellent low carb recipe for keto Philly cheesesteak casserole. Flavorful, gluten-free, and kid-friendly - this is a weeknight meal-prep hit! #ketodinner #lowcarbdinner

How to make the Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

To begin, get out all the ingredients. Then start with the meat.

What kind of beef cut to use for Philly Cheesesteak?

Well, traditionally a good Philly cheesesteak is made with very thinly sliced ribeye steak. However, you can use strip steak, top sirloin, or even a skirt steak.

To prepare the raw steak, slice it into very thin strips. Yes, I mean as thin as possible, and that’s not always easy. Luckily, I discovered a little trick to help in the process.

Steak slicing tips

Have your butcher slice it thin. OR if the meat is frozen, I’ve found it’s easier to cut with a good sharp cerated knife. It should be just starting to melt but still fairly frozen and hard. Then, simply slice the raw steak in thin strips.

Next, melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and salt and pepper the meat. Brown the meat on all sides quickly on medium-high heat just to sear in the juices. Then remove it from the pan and set it aside.

Using the same skillet with the leftover fat and butter, cook the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally. Add another tablespoon of butter if there’s not enough left for the veggies. Now cook them for about five minutes or until the onions almost caramelize and the onions and peppers are soft and cooked through.

Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole, onions and peppers

Philly Cheesesteak Sauce

In order to make the sauce that becomes sort of a gravy in the casserole, take out a blender. I love how simple this is. Put the cream cheese, bone broth, parsley, chives, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into the blender. Then blend on high speed until the cream cheese is completely incorporated and there are no lumps. Voílà! Easy right?

If you’re not as excited about easy as I am or if you don’t have a blender and want a workout there’s another method. Be sure the cream cheese is room temperature or even on the warmer side. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. As a result of some hard whisking, you should come up with about the same mixture with no lumps.

Assemble the casserole

First, take out an 8″ x 8″ casserole dish and grease it with butter or coconut oil. Second, layer in the meat and then the veggies on top of it.

Meat, veggies, layered, Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Third, evenly pour the sauce over the veggies and meat in the casserole dish. Now top it all off with 9 slices of provolone cheese. 

Provolone layer, Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Then bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it sit another 15 minutes before serving. 

Mmmmm!! Enjoy!

Spoon of delicious keto Philly cheesesteak casserole. Perfect to meal prep for weeknight family low carb dinners. #lowcarbdinner #ketorecipes

 

Beef Dinner Recipes

What are your favorite beef dinner recipes? Do you prefer casseroles, meat with gravy, or grilled? I personally love it all and find it’s good to mix things up every now and then. Now, I’m really hoping my son pulls an about-face and starts to love meat as much as I do soon!

I hope you try out this keto Philly cheesesteak casserole recipe and it becomes as popular in your house as ours!

Pin the recipe for later here!

Delicious Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole is a great option to add to your meal prep list for a quick weeknight low carb family meal. Comforting flavors and great protein, your family will love this gluten-free dish. #ketodinner #ketorecipes

Tag me in your recipe pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

If you LOVE this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating in the review area below!

Want another low carb family-friendly dinner option?

Awesome keto cauliflower mac and cheese bake. Keto, low carb, and gluten free it's sure to please everyone! #lowcarbdinner #ketodinner #macandcheese #explorermomma

More awesome keto main dish recipes:

  1. Cheesy Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna
  2. Keto Jambalaya
  3. Creamy Keto Italian Sausage Soup
  4. Low Carb Thai Coconut Soup


Printable Recipe

Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Inspired by all the flavors we love in Philly Cheesesteak: steak, green peppers, onions, provolone cheese, and spices. Keto creamy goodness with hearty beef.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb
Keyword: Keto Philly Cheesesteak Casserole, Low Carb Philly Cheesesteak Casserole
Servings: 6
Calories: 428kcal
Author: Explorer Momma

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs beef steak (sirloin or strip)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup beef bone broth
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 9 slices provolone cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped green onion

Instructions

  • Slice the raw steak in thin strips. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and salt and pepper the meat. Then brown the meat on all sides for about a minute on medium-high heat. Remove from pan.
  • Using the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally for about five minutes or until the onions almost caramelize and the vegetables are soft and cooked through.
  • Take an 8" x 8" casserole dish and grease it with butter or coconut oil. Layer the meat and then the veggies on top.
  • Place the bone broth, cream cheese, parsley, chives, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend on high speed until the cream cheese is completely incorporated and there are no lumps.
  • Pour the sauce over the veggies and meat in the casserole dish evenly. Top with 9 slices of provolone cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Notes

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 428
 
Total Fat 24 g  
Saturated Fat 14 g  
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 153 mg  
Sodium 823 mg  
Potassium 597 mg  
Total Carbohydrate 3 g  
Dietary Fiber 1 g  
Sugars 2 g  
Protein 45 g
*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.
 
 
This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

1 Day Mesa Verde Map Itinerary

1 Day Mesa Verde Map Itinerary

Are you planning to visit Mesa Verde National Park or short on time and considering it? Don’t miss this national wonder and immaculate preservation of American history! Follow this family-friendly 1 day Mesa Verde Map Itinerary and love every minute of your self-guided tour.

Mesa Verde National Park was founded in 1906 to preserve the archeological culture and legacy of the Ancestral Pueblo people. I’ve heard many Europeans speak about their medieval castles and state Americans have nothing to compare. Not true!

The Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings are true castles, not built on a solid hilltop but dug out and built inside the sides of a cliff! In fact, the two cowboys that found it and brought it to the attention Wetherill family called it “a magnificent city”. Can you imagine? Two cowboys, minding their own business herding cattle and discover a gigantic cliff dwelling!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

PIN the article for later here!

Visit the American cliff castles for yourself with a 1 day Mesa Verde map itinerary. Pressed for time? Follow the map and advice for a fun-filled educational day you won't want to miss. Family vacation or a day trip from Durango, Colorado. #familytravel #mesaverde

Now, to be fair, the Utes knew about the structures before this. However, the cowboys made their “discovery” famous and got more people involved in the excavation and preservation.

In fact, in Mesa Verde National Park, you will see not only cliff dwellings but a progression of homes and religious buildings. The Puebloans lived here for more than 600 years, from around A.D. 600 to around 1300. Take that European castles! (Don’t worry, I love you too!)

Mesa Verde National Park Quick Information

Mesa Verde is one of 4 national parks in the U.S. state of Colorado. They also include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Location: In the southwestern corner of Colorado, easily accessible from Cortez or Durango, Colorado.

Elevation: 7,000 – 8,500 feet

Safety: The park has rugged terrain with steep cliff dropoffs, deep canyons, and some narrow trails. Stay on the prepared trails and monitor children.

Park Entrance Fees: There is an entrance fee to enter the park, and I suggest you check their website for current rates. If you have a fourth grader traveling with you, find out how to get a free U.S. national parks pass here!

Mesa Verde Tours:

If you visit during summer months, the park is more crowded, but you also have the opportunity to join a group tour. If you have the time and are physically able to walk for a couple of hours and climb ladders, I highly recommend the park-run tours of Cliff Palace and the other dwellings.

Be sure to reserve your spot beforehand or check in immediately at the Visitor’s Center to find out what’s available during your visit. They are various lengths and different levels of difficulty.

The self-guided 1 day Mesa Verde map itinerary below is kid-friendly and accessible for wheelchairs. The stops and short hikes I’ve recommended are mostly paved pathways or wide well-maintained paths.

Where to stay in Mesa Verde:

Camping: Stay in one of the brilliant campsites in the national park at Morefield Campground.

Airbnb: As a family, we love to book places using Airbnb! I like to have more room, a different experience, and our own kitchen to prepare meals. Check for options in and around Durango, Colorado.

When using Airbnb, I always advise you to choose a place with plenty of good ratings. It’s nice to read a few of the past reviews to get a feel for the place. Also, it will help you be able to tell if it’s a good fit for your family.

Coupon BONUS! To get $40 off an Airbnb home booking of $75 or more or $15 off an experience of $50 or more, click on my link here!

Hotels: My kids like to stay in hotels for the exciting experiences of a free morning breakfast buffet and a swimming pool! I always look for hotels with a good swimming pool.

Mesa Verde Map

While you probably won’t be able to see the detail on this map, it will give you an idea of the locations I suggest to visit. Be sure to pick up your own map on your way into the park when you pay the entrance fee and mark it up to your heart’s content.

1 day Mesa Verde Map Itinerary, National Parks map #mesaverde #familytravel

Now, shall we begin the self-guided essential 1-day tour? Yes, please!

1 Day Mesa Verde Map Itinerary

The following plan is meant to be a self-guided tour. It consists of easy, quick stops along the way for families with young kids or those who don’t wish to go on a long hike. Use this as a guide but make it your own day trip. Grab a Mesa Verde map, and if there’s something you want to see along the way I don’t specify, by all means, explore!

1. Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center

When you enter the park, do take the time to stop in at the visitor’s center. There’s an interesting exhibit, and the rangers are knowledgeable and ready to help. Ask what to do in the current weather conditions, if any trails or sites are closed, that sort of thing.

a. Purchase tour tickets

Here you will purchase any tour tickets you wish to go on run by Mesa Verde National Park. Purchase tickets or find out more information on the guided tours if you have the time and wish to tour the Cliff House or other dwellings. Most take at least a couple of hours so keep that in mind.

b. Sign up for the Mesa Verde Junior Ranger program

I absolutely LOVE the Junior Ranger program, and it’s a perfect fit for kids wanting to learn more about the park. My daughter is a huge fan, completes EVERY activity in EVERY book and is determined to collect as many badges from U.S. national parks as possible.

My son, on the other hand, is not quite as eager but has participated in the program, and we’ve had fun with it together. It also helps keep the adults in the group on their toes and on the lookout for interesting facts.

Find a ranger and ask to sign any kids with you up for the program. They’ll have to fill out a booklet of activities and when complete they’ll be sworn in as a Junior Ranger. They get an official certificate in a small ceremony and a badge. Awesome!

c. Gift shop souvenirs

If you or the family want to stock up on souvenirs to remember the trip, this is the place to do it! Truly, they do have a good variety of books, postcards, posters, and kid collectibles. My daughter selected an adult coloring book of all the national parks with some colored pencils, and the 6-year-old found a stuffed peregrine falcon he couldn’t live without.

d. Facilities

Last, but not least, this is a good place to use the bathrooms before you set off on your adventure. There are restrooms at some of the stops but not all so I like to avoid as many panicked emergencies as possible.

2. Mancos Valley Overlook

On to stop number 2! After the visitor’s center is about 4 miles to the Mancos Valley Overlook. This is a quick stop, but one not to miss! Get out of your vehicle and walk down to take in the views. This is also right next to the Morefield Campground if you happen to be camping there.

There are some tables if you’d like to have a picnic or a snack or simply get that photo op.

Mancos Valley Overlook, enjoying the view of Mesa Verde National Park #mesaverde #familytravel

3. Montezuma Valley Overlook

This is another great point to see some different views of the park. It was a little muddy when we were there, but I made great friends with this tree. We enjoyed the stop.

Tree at Montezuma Valley Overlook, Mesa Verde NP #mesaverde #nationalparktrees

4. Geologic Overlook

Continue to drive until you make it to the Geologic Overlook. In good weather, there are good views and short well-maintained paths. Take a minute to work on the Junior Ranger packets and think about the astounding feats of architecture you’re about to see.

5. Far View Sites

Next, travel down to the Far View Sites, passing the Far View Lodge and Far View area. Do NOT accidentally turn onto the Wetherill Mesa Road. This is a great turn off to visit on the second day in the park but won’t fit into our 1 day Mesa Verde map itinerary.

The Far View Sites are surface sites, which simply means they’re above ground and not in the cliff. You can see the Far View House, Pipe Shrine House, Coyote Village, Far View Reservoir, Megalithic House, and Far View Tower. We were told it was one of the most populated areas from A.D. 900 -1300.

Perfect spot on the Mesa Verde map for kids

What do I like about this site? It’s a good, safe place with nice trails, and interesting places to explore for kids. They can run around, act out stories, and let imaginations run wild!

The last time we were there it was under snow so I didn’t get a good picture. Let me know how your kids enjoy it!

6. Cliff Palace Loop (6mi/10km)

The Cliff Palace Loop is one of the two main loops that take you to see the cliff dwellings and mesa sites on the Chapin Mesa. It’s a one-way loop, and I suggest going here first and earlier in the day before the large crowds arrive.

a. Cliff Palace

If you see one thing in Mesa Verde National Park, you will want to see the Cliff Palace. It’s the “enchanted castle” and iconic picture you see in anything referencing Mesa Verde.

Explorer Momma at Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde NP #cliffpalace #mesaverde

Frederick Chapin, the first tourist guided by the Weatherill family to Cliff Palace, was an experienced mountaineer. He visited in 1889 and 1890 and described it in writing like this: “It occupies a great space under a grand oval cliff, appearing like a ruined fortress, with ramparts, bastions, and dismantled towers. The stones in front have broken away; but behind them rise the walls of a second story; and in the rear of these, in under the dark cavern, stands the third tier of masonry. Still farther back in the gloomy recess, little houses rest on upper ledges.”

The pathway down from the parking area is nicely paved and you even pass by a seating area for when the rangers give their guided tours. Once you get down to the viewing area there’s an amazing view of the Cliff Palace and all around the canyon.

Unfortunately, unless you have a ticket to attend one of the guided tours you won’t be able to go down the locked rusted staircase to view the dwelling up close. When traveling with kids and only a day to explore this is no problem. If you have an extra day book one of the tours.

Looking out at Mesa Verde NP, towards Cliff Palace #mesaverde

b. Balcony House

Balcony House can better be seen from the Soda Canyon Overlook trail. If you have tickets to the tour stop here or move on to see it from the trail viewpoint.

Balcony House, Mesa Verde NP

c. Soda Canyon Overlook Trail (1.2mi/1.9km)

The Soda Canyon Overlook Trail is the longest we attempted with my 6-year-old. Moreover, he called it the “really long hike”, and it was a lot of fun. Awesome views abound, but this is one of those places where Mom panic kicks in.

Soda Canyon Overlook Trail, Mesa Verde #familytravel #mesaverde

The trail goes very near the dropoff down into the canyon. Also, the telescope in the picture below is on a large rock sticking out into the canyon. While the places that meet the trail are fenced, off the trail they are not. I would advise kids know to stay on the trail on this one!

Looking though the telescope Mesa Verde NP #mesaverde #familytravel

But wow! What an experience!

7. Spruce Tree Terrace

Spruce Tree Terrace is a little café area where you can stop for lunch or a snack. We didn’t pack a picnic and found it to be a good break between loops. There are various sandwiches, hamburgers, brats, French fries, salads, cookies, and general American-style quick foods. It’s a little higher priced than you’d normally find, but hey, it’s the only thing in the park!

If you live close by or are organized to get a good picnic together before going I highly recommend that also and taking advantage of one of the many picnic areas.

In summer, needless to say, it is very HOT. Be sure to bring enough water, sun hats, non-toxic sunscreen, etc. to keep you hydrated and safe.

8. Spruce Tree House

Safety concerns with falling rocks have closed the Spruce Tree House for tours for the foreseeable future. However, you can still get a good view of it from the overlooks near the museum. This is the third largest cliff dwelling and hopefully will be open again soon! It’s one of the easiest to get down to and has paved paths for strollers and wheelchairs.

9. Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum

If you have the time or just want to breeze through, the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum is worth a stop. Some people will really want to examine the dioramas illustrating Ancestral Pueblo life. My children did not, but we’d also been on a lot of stops!

In addition to the dioramas, there are exhibits of prehistoric artifacts, a chronology of Ancestral Pueblo culture, and other displays.

If the family needs a rest, there’s also a 25-minute informational video on the park that runs on the half-hour. In summer months, I would imagine it would be a welcome break in the air conditioning! Check it out.

10. Mesa Top Loop (6mi/10km)

Now, head over to the second loop on the map, the Mesa Top Loop. It’s good to start this one after a good lunch and everyone’s revived and excited to see more! There’s a lot more to see on our 1 day Mesa Verde map itinerary than just Cliff Palace (although it IS pretty impressive on its own!).

a. Pit house

Be sure to stop at the Pit House. This is the earliest evidence of people living in the area from about A.D. 550 to 600. They build shallow pits in the ground and covered them with pole and mud roofs and wall. In fact, the entrance would have been through the roof!

The Pit House you will see at the site is one of the best preserved anywhere with features common on all pit houses. There’s a large space used as a living room with a fire pit in the middle. Then to the side, adjoining the living room is an antechamber where they think firewood and food were stored. All the family would sleep on the floor around the fire, grandparents, parents, kids.

How would you like that? Pick up the Mesa Top flyer at the entrance for more information.

b. Square Tower House

I have to say Square Tower House is my second favorite cliff dwelling in the park, after Cliff Palace. Take a short paved trail down to the viewpoint area. The four-story tower looming over the rest of the buildings is quite impressive. The tower boasts window, flooring, doorways, and even a reed mat, feathered cloth, and a humanlike figurine were found inside.

Square Tower, Mesa Verde National Park #mesaverde #familytravel

Evidently, the residents of the 80 original rooms in this dwelling came and went using hand-and-toe holds dug out of the cliff walls. Yes, they had to climb in and out! People lived here toward the end of building in Mesa Verde, from A.D. 1200 to 1300.

c. Sun Point View

Sun Point View is a good place to stop to view many dwellings at one time. Here you will see a dozen different cliff dwellings in alcoves in the Cliff and Fewkes Canyons. Take the kids out, stretch your legs, and see how many you can spot!

d. Sun Temple

The Sun Temple is a fascinating place to explore and let the kids run around to see what they can see. Moreover, it’s another place where you can get up close and personal with one of the structures. Peek through the windows and discuss why they might have created four-foot-thick walls.

Looking through the Sun Temple window, Mesa Verde #mesaverde #familyadventure

What would they have used this D-shaped structure for? There are signs it was left unfinished, without a roof, according to the experts. But, a point of interest is the natural rock basin in the southwestern corner possibly served as a “solar marker”. Also, people from the surrounding areas could have attended ceremonies in the temple.

Sun Temple, Mesa Verde NP

11. Return to the Visitor’s Center

The Sun Temple is the last stop on the Mesa Top Loop. From there, if you have any time left explore away. If not, head back to the Visitor’s Center before it closes. When we were there it closed at 4:30, but times do vary depending on the season.

In addition, the kids can complete the Junior Ranger program with a ranger and get their certificates. The packets can be mailed in, but they love that sense of accomplishment to finish in a day. Have I mentioned we LOVE the Junior Ranger program?!

Grab the last minute souvenirs, and you’re done for the day! I hope you enjoyed this 1 day Mesa Verde map itinerary. Let me know in the comments below if it’s useful to you!

Ready to visit more National Parks?

Check out Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico!

10 Musts for visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park with kids


1 Day Mesa Verde Map Itinerary

To be fair, this is a lot to pack into one day at Mesa Verde National Park. However, if you do only have the day you’re going to want to see as much as possible! It’s a fascinating place to discover hands-on about the ancestral Puebloan people. Forget reading about it in books, go out and explore!

The kids will love this National Park, and I have a feeling it’s a trip they will remember for a long time! Happy travels!

Lauren

PIN it here!

Only have a day in Mesa Verde National Park? This is the perfect family one day Mesa Verde map itinerary with the best places to be sure to see. From Cliff Palace to the Sun Temple, it's a must-see national park. #mesaverde #familytravel #usnationalparks

Hotel Booking Options:



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More information on U.S. National Parks:

  1. State and National Parks Family Bucket List
  2. Northern States National Parks Bucket List
  3. Utah and Colorado National Parks Bucket List
  4. California National Parks Bucket List
  5. How to Get a Free National Parks Pass
  6. Carlsbad Caverns with Kids: 10 Musts for an Amazing Visit
  7. Secrets of Rocky Mountain National Park in Winter

Georgian Food: Eggplant With Walnuts

Georgian Food: Eggplant With Walnuts

Fabulous flavors come together with fenugreek, garlic, and walnuts in this naturally low carb, gluten-free traditional Georgian dish. Out of all Georgian food, Georgian eggplant with walnuts, or badrijani nigvzit, is a definitely a staple at any Georgian dinner party!

My husband just got back from visiting family for Orthodox Easter in Georgia (the country not the state). Georgians take great pride in hospitality and welcoming guests into their homes and do a fabulous job of it. Much emphasis is placed on the Georgian supra, or dinner party, where plates of traditional foods are stacked one on top of the other.

Georgians give toasts to God, peace, the guests, the children, Georgia, your country, and many others. While I love the Georgian cheese bread (khachapuri), desserts, and meats, one of my favorite keto-friendly side dishes is badrijani nigvzit.

Georgian eggplant with walnuts. I love Georgian food!

Okay, I admit when I first tried it, I was not used to eggplant. Actually, I had to work up my courage to taste and then enjoy it. To an American palate, it’s not a regular dish but once you do the flavors are oh so good! There’s a reason it’s on a plate at nearly every Georgian table on special occasions.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Georgian eggplant with walnuts is a fabulous keto side dish that's a staple for any Georgian dinner. Low carb and gluten-free, full of flavor! #ketosides #georgianrecipes

In a hurry?

While I think you’ll love my super helpful tips and fun stories, I also realize we are sometimes pressed for time and just need a good recipe! Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

When I was alone, I lived on eggplant, the stove top cook’s strongest ally…. 

Laurie Colwin

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

What Georgian food will you find at a traditional dinner supra?

Like I said, my husband just returned from Georgia, and after Easter Georgian households celebrate and tend to eat a lot! They take great joy when friends, neighbors, and family come over to share a meal. The food and wine are traditional, abundant, and accompanied by music and laughter!

Georgian supra table with low carb Georgian eggplant with walnuts #georgiansupra

Before Orthodox Easter, or აღდგომა aghdgoma, religious Georgians fast from animal products, eat little, and are almost vegan for a time. Therefore, when it’s time to say, “Christ is risen!” a celebration and feast for days begin. 

Plate upon plates are stacked on top of each other, filled with amazing dishes. Guests are encouraged to eat and drink as much as possible and have a good time. Guitars are brought out for singing and dance.

It’s also a fun time to prepare food with the family! Generally, the women bake sweet and savory breads, prepare salads, and make sure there are enough different kinds of meat and side dishes. There’s wine, coffee, and dessert, and people can sit at the table all day.

What about it? Shall we make one of those side dishes?

To make Georgian food: eggplant with walnuts you’ll need : 

Georgian foods: eggplant with walnuts is a staple for any Georgian dinner. Fenugreek, garlic, and walnuts make this a delicious low carb side dish. #lowcarbrecipes #georgianrecipes

How to select an eggplant

When I first started to make this dish when I returned to the United States, I bought normal bulb eggplant. Unfortunately, the finished recipe did not taste or look like I remembered. The problem with the big eggplant is that it is slightly more bitter and eggplanty, and not the right size for folding like the eggplant used in Georgia.

I looked around at local grocery stores and finally found what I was looking for. In Georgia, they use a long thin eggplant. Therefore, the closest I have found to the same variety is called a Chinese eggplant in most stores.

Two Chinese eggplants on a pan

I’ve found it most often at my local Sprout’s farmer’s market, and you may also have more luck at smaller natural produce or farmer’s market-type locations.

I’m even planning to grow it this year in my garden!

How to make fried Georgian eggplant with walnuts

To begin, gather all the ingredients and supplies together. Second, slice the Chinese eggplants lengthwise to about 1/3 of an inch thick. I like to use a mandolin slicer for this process but a regular knife works if you prefer.

Slicing the Chinese eggplant

Now we’re going to let the eggplant “weep” and get as much of the bitter flavor out as we can. Lay the eggplant out on towels and salt it liberally. Next, leave it there untouched for about half an hour and turn it over and salt the other side. Then let it sit another half hour or so.

The eggplant should “weep”, and the bitter liquid seeps out. Now rinse off the liquid and salt and pat them dry.

Next, get out a skillet or frying pan, and heat the oil over medium heat. Now fry the eggplant slices in batches for about 2 minutes on each side. When they’ve slightly browned, remove them to a dish and cover.

How to make the filling

Next, for the filling, take out a food processor (or pestle and mortar) and place in it all the rest of the ingredients: the walnuts, water, garlic, coriander, vinegar, salt, pepper, and fenugreek (or Georgian utskho suneli and kviteli qvaveli if you have it).

Process it all on high for forty seconds or so then unplug and spoon down the sides with a spatula. Continue to process it on high until everything’s thoroughly combined in a rough paste.

Tip: Refrigerate the filling for 2 hours or overnight, as the flavors need time to set and blend together. If the garlic tastes a little strong, the next day it shouldn’t (so says the garlic-lover).

Georgian foods: eggplant with walnuts, garlic, and fenugreek. A fabulous low carb traditional side dish. #ketosides #georgianfoods

Allergy tip: Can I tell you a little secret? Most of the time I actually substitute blanched almonds in this dish instead of walnuts. Why? Well, I love walnuts, but another in the household has a severe allergy to walnuts but not almonds. If you need to work with an allergy, try other nuts or even seeds that aren’t a problem.

How to fill the eggplant

First, take one strip of the eggplant and spread about a tablespoon of filling on half of it. Second, fold the strip in half evenly like a book with the filling in the middle.

Georgian eggplant with walnuts on a plate, badrijani nigvzit #georgianfoods #lowcarbsides

Lastly, arrange them on a plate or serving platter and garnish with some chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds if they’re in season! The Georgian foods look an array of colors during the summer.

Lately, I’ve not been able to get pomegranates but love that little tang the seeds bring and aesthetically for the beautiful color! Soon, soon my pretties!

Bite of Georgian foods: eggplant with walnuts #georgianfood

Georgian food and traditional recipes

Over the next few months, I’ll be featuring different traditional Georgian recipes. Some are already gluten-free and low carb like this staple side dish, Georgian eggplant with walnuts. Others, like khinkali, or meat dumplings are not, but I’ll share recipes for the traditional way to make them and a gluten-free option!

So if you’ve been to Georgia or just like to try another culture’s classic dishes, I hope you follow along on my Georgian food journey. Until next time! Nakh vam dis!

Pin the recipe here!

Georgian eggplant with walnuts, badrijani nigvzit. A fabulous low carb, gluten-free Georgian food. A keto side dish with garlic, walnuts, and spices. #georgianfood #lowcarbsides

Tag me in your recipe pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

If you LOVE this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating in the review area below!

Searching for more low carb sides?

Easy low carb grilled garlic parmesan zucchini, circle pin

Want to learn more about the country of Georgia?

Check out these other articles on Georgia:

  1. Georgian Language Phrases for Travelers
  2. Unforgettable Things to do in Tbilisi, Georgia
  3. How to Make Traditional Georgian Bread
  4. Top 10 Things to do in Batumi, Georgia with kids!
  5. Tbilisi, Georgia: Doors and Windows


Printable Recipe

Georgian Eggplant with Walnuts

Fabulous flavors come together with fenugreek, garlic, and walnuts in this naturally low carb traditional Georgian dish. One of my favorite Georgian foods, Georgian eggplant with walnuts, or badrijani nigvzit, is a staple at any Georgian dinner party.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Georgian, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb
Keyword: Badrijani, Georgian, Georgian Eggplant with Walnuts
Servings: 18
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Explorer Momma

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized Chinese eggplant
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek (Georgian utskhro suneli)
  • 1 tsp ground corriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • cilantro to garnish
  • pomegranate seeds to garnish

Instructions

  • Slice the Chinese eggplant lengthwise to about 1/3 of an inch thick. Use a mandolin slicer or regular knife.
  • Lay the eggplant out on towels and salt it liberally. Leave it for half an hour and turn it over and salt the other side. It should "weep" and the bitter liquid seeps out. Rinse and pat dry.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat and fry the eggplant slices in batches about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a dish and cover.
  • For the filling, take out a food processor (or pestle and mortar) and place in it all the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro and pomegranate seeds for garnish. Process on high for forty seconds or so then unplug and push down the sides with a spatula. Continue to process on high until thoroughly combined in a rough paste.
  • Refrigerate the filling for 2 hours or overnight, as the flavors need time to set and blend together. 
  • Take one strip of the eggplant at a time and fill each with about a tablespoon of filling, folding the strip evenly like a book with the filling in the middle.
  • Garnish with roughly chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

Nutrition Facts

Servings 18.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 78
 
Total Fat 7 g  
Saturated Fat 1 g  
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg  
Sodium 33 mg  
Potassium 158 mg  
Total Carbohydrate 4 g  
Dietary Fiber 2 g  
Sugars 2 g  
Protein 1 g
*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.
 
 
This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

What books to read next? 40 Books Challenge

What books to read next? 40 Books Challenge

Wondering what books to read next? Join me in my New Year 40 next books reading challenge! Today I’m sharing about categories 6-10 in the booklist and the book (or books!) I’ve selected for each.

Welcome to the 40 next books reading challenge!! We’ve had a good start to 2019 and hope you have too. Can you believe it’s already May?

I have to tell you, having a list with categories has really motivated me to try new topics and search out different books than my normal comfort zone series and authors I normally read. What about you? Have you tried a new book in another genre or new author?

Yes, it’s also brought out my competitive streak even if it is just me staring at my Goodreads number of 40 I put in for my goal at the beginning of the year. My inner child does a dance when it reports I’m 1 or more books ahead of schedule.

If you haven’t checked out Goodreads yet, click here to go to the website. Truly, it’s a good resource and helps you keep track of what you’ve read or would like to read later.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

What books to read for the 40 next books reading challenge. Check out what I'm reading for categories 6-10. #readingchallenge #40nextbooks

40 Next Books Reading Challenge

First of all, if you haven’t joined in the 40 next books reading challenge, I invite you right now to pick out your first book. Admittedly, it’s not always easy to stick to a list and I’ve veered off of it several times. However, I always go back to the categories and am determined to go through the entire 40.

Also, if you’re a list person like I am you get that little squeal of joy when you can mentally check off numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on!

Now, I also want to emphasize this is not something that has to be done in a year! It’s the year of my 40th birthday, which is where the 40 comes in. Be that as it may, it does not mean you have to stuff 40 books in the year or limit it to 40!

Different ways to participate in the book challenge

Everyone reads at a different pace, has other motivations, and prior commitments taking all their time. I love to read with a book in hand, but sometimes I just can’t give myself an hour or so a night. When the kids go to bed, half the time there are lunches to be made, laundry to do, the kitchen to clean, etc.

For me, this is the perfect time to listen to an audiobook, when I’m doing little thought activities like folding laundry, cleaning, or editing pictures. Definitely, don’t rule out those audiobooks! There are so many places you can easily get them now and listen to an app right on your phone.

Put on your earphones and bam! You’re in Winterfell.

Where to get audiobooks

My 4 main go-to places for audiobooks.

  1. Hoopla Digital – I discovered Hoopla on a suggestion from a local librarian and have the app on my phone. You will need a library card.
  2. Overdrive and the Libby app – Another app on my phone I got as a suggestion from a local librarian. See if your local library participates in the program as you do have to enter your library card information. Bonus: It’s free!
  3. Local library for books on CD for the car.
  4. Audible – I love Audible but I don’t always love to pay for it! This is my last source for when I know there’s a book I really want to listen to and can’t seem to locate anywhere else.

So let’s get to it! What books are you reading for categories 6-10?

Books to read: 40 Next Books booklist

In case you need a reminder – here’s the list I’m following for the challenge! You can also join my email list and get a PDF download of it as a bonus. Check it out below!

40 Next Books Reading Challenge booklist #40nextbooks #2019booklist

Books to read: the next 5 books

After finishing the first 5 books for the 40 next books reading challenge, I set to selecting the next five! I like to do things organized and in groups. Absolutely it’s that listmaking tendency again. It makes me feel like I have power over something. 😉

Now, pick out your own books in the categories or read along with me! Use the hashtag #40nextbooks or join the book discussion in the blog comments. I’d love to see what you’re reading and add to my own booklist!

6. Historical Fiction

In truth, historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I read a lot of it! I’ve actually read several good historical fiction books lately and will give you a sample here.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

by Hazel Gaynor

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is set in two locations in two different times with stories that intertwine. First, there is Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter in 1838 who bravely fought to save those in a shipwreck near her lighthouse. In Northumberland, England the story centers on her and her family, relationships and what happened because of this incident.

The second setting is 1938 in Newport, Rhode Island when unmarried 18-year old Matilda Emmerson is sent away from Ireland and her notable family for a time to have her baby far away. The family must avoid scandal at all costs as Matilda’s father is in politics. She stays with Harriet, a relative who is also an assistant lighthouse keeper.

I love the fact this story is based on the stories and true bravery of the women lighthouse keepers of this time period. I’ve read several books by Hazel Gaynor, and she’s a strong writer. Full disclosure, I have a fondness for lighthouses so it was a perfect fit.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Buy it here on Amazon.

Bonus historical fiction books:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris


The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov and his experience trying to stay alive in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Surprisingly because of his knowledge of languages, he was given the “honored” task of tattooing prisoners numbers on when they entered the camp. He deals with his struggle of the guilt of feeling like a traitor and trying to survive and make a better life for himself and fellow prisoners.

For me, this was a new perspective on the concentration camp life and treatment by the Germans. It was a difficult read to get through at times because the realities of the time period are so heart-wrenching. It didn’t help that I was going through some other emotional issues when I read it! Therefore, this may be a book to read in the right season of your life.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Buy it here on Amazon.

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak


The Book Thief is one that’s been on my to-read list for a LONG time. Somehow I’d just never gotten around to reading it, and most likely many of you out there beat me to it. I have not seen the movie yet so am interested to see how it’s put on the screen.

Liesel’s first act of book thievery is at her brother’s gravesite. She picks up the Gravedigger’s Handbook, unable to read a word, but so begins her love of books. Liesel learns to read and steals books from Nazi bonfires, the mayor’s library, and more. She lives with a foster family and eventually they hide a Jew in the basement.

I can see why this powerful, well-written book was so popular and on PBS’s list for the Great American Read. If you haven’t read it I highly suggest you do.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Buy it here on Amazon.

7. Alaskan Author

To the Bright Edge of the World

by Eowyn Ivey

To be perfectly honest, it took me a while to select a book by an Alaskan author, but I’m so glad I did. To the Bright Edge of the World took me to the cold, harsh days of 19th-century Alaskan exploration. It’s not something I would have instinctively chosen and that’s where having the book challenge and categories helps to stretch me just a bit.

Colonel Allen Forrester is granted a commission to lead a team to explore Alaska’s Wolverine River. At the time it was unpassable and past attempts ended in tragedy. Yet, it is the key that opened our largest state to the Gold Rush and American presence.

The story goes back and forth between Colonel Forrester and his young wife Sophie. She’s entered a risky pregnancy and is waiting behind in the military barracks. The thoughts, fears, hopes, and lives of the characters are poignant and bring them to life off the page.

I truly enjoyed this book and the Alaskan wilderness it painted along with the struggles of the people involved. I hope you check it out too!

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Buy it here on Amazon.

Read more about the 40 next books challenge

40 next books to read list. A fun reading challenge for all. #booklist #40nextbooks

8. Anne of Green Gables

This category is one you should not skip. Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite books/series of all time. Moreover, the books made a huge imprint on me as a child and helped shape my outlook on life. I love Anne, her drama, bright hopes, and determination. All the books are fun and have good lessons for kids and adults alike.

I’ve read Anne of Green Gables often and recently read much of it with my daughter. Therefore, I decided to choose the second book in the series, Anne of Avonlea, for the book challenge. But really, you should read the entire series!

Anne of Avonlea

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Oh, how I adore all of these books! However, I have always loved Anne of Avonlea for its new characters and locales on Prince Edward Island.

We see her trials, antics, and scrapes as she teaches at the Avonlea schoolhouse. She finds new kindred spirits. First, in her student Paul who tells her the stories of fairies. Also, she meets the delightful Lavender Lewis in the little stone house called Echo Lodge. Don’t you just ache to live in a little stone cottage on Prince Edward Island tucked in the woods called Echo Lodge!?

Lucy Maud Montgomery always keeps me amused and engaged in the stories, laughing or crying where it fits. In Anne of Avonlea, we have orphaned twins, Marilla, Gilbert, Diana, Anne is almost grown up, and a surprise love story. Love.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Buy it here on Amazon.

9. Space

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet has been hailed as a modern Science Fiction masterpiece.

The book centers around Rosemary Harper and the life she wants to leave behind to go on new exciting adventures to faraway galaxies. She joins the crew of the crazy and chaotic ship called the Wayfarer. However, she’s unaware their new assignment will possibly risk her life.

With a wide assortment of characters, all with their own quirks, we navigate the plot. Rosemary has adventures but also learns more about family. Truly, she has to figure out how to rely on and work with others and not keep everything to herself.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Buy it here on Amazon.

10. The Olympics

When I started to think about the Olympics category my mind immediately went to The Boys in the Boat. My father had recommended it several times to me as one I would enjoy and even went so far as to loan it to me for a while. Unfortunately, it sat in a pile and never was read!

The Boys in the Boat

by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat is one of those books to which you become emotionally attached. In my case, you start talking to the main character Joe Rantz. “Come on Joe! No, don’t do that! You can do it! Yes, yes, yes!!”

One of eight rowers on the University of Washington’s 1936 crew, Joe and his crewmates show what hard work, determination, and spirit can do. All from lower working class families during the Great Depression, the boys seek what many deem as impossible. They go for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics under Hitler’s gaze.

Spoiler alert!: Let’s just say it goes well for them and may have you jumping up and down cheering with tears in your eyes. Not that I’d do that or anything… 😉

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Buy it here on Amazon.

What are your next books to read?

Have any of these books caught your eye? Or maybe you have others you’re reading that would fit in the categories. I’d love to hear about them. I’m always up for a good book suggestion!

If you can, follow along with the challenge! I’ll be posting on Instagram and other social media with #40nextbooks, and I hope you do the same.

Who doesn’t love to talk about books and share stories? It’s a part of human nature and helps us grow! I can’t wait to hear about your books and reading journey.

Post your reads for the challenge at #40NEXTBOOKS!

Happy reading!

Pin it here!:

Do you have a books to read list? Check out the #40nextbooks challenge and what I'm reading in the current categories. Let's read! #bookstoread #booklist #bookchallenge

More book suggestions:

Women’s what to read next: a cold weather booklist

What to read next for history fans

Summer what to read next

Spring book list: what I’m reading

Almond Raspberry Keto Bakewell Tart

Almond Raspberry Keto Bakewell Tart

A glorious and flavorful keto Bakewell tart is the perfect addition to your summer picnic, fancy tea, or after dinner dessert. Packed with raspberry jam and a sugar-free almond frangipane, this low carb delight will soon become a family favorite.

Okay, I admit it. I love British baking, British history, the British countryside, British literature, and British murder mystery shows. When I was in college, I spent a semester in Oxford, England, and it was just one of those places I felt completely comfortable in. I’ve traveled to many countries, but England is the one I really feel a connection with and could call home.

While my daughter and I are planning trips to London, Oxford, and some other villages in the countryside, we often like to bake.

This keto Bakewell tart recipe came out of one of those inspirations. It seems so exactly like something you’d eat for afternoon tea or a picnic dessert. We decided it was perfect, and it was necessary to remake it in keto form.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Delicious raspberry almond keto Bakewell tart is the perfect low carb recipe for tea time or a special sugar-free dessert. #ketodessert #lowcarbdessert

In a hurry?

While I think you’ll love my super helpful tips and fun stories, I also realize we are sometimes pressed for time and just need a good recipe! Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

For future reference, Harry, it is raspberry…although of course, if I were a Death Eater, I would have been sure to research my own jam preferences before impersonating myself.

J. K. Rowling

Author, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Why is it called a Bakewell tart?

First of all, did you know there is a town in England called Bakewell? Yes, indeed! It’s located in a beautiful spot in Derbyshire in the Peak District of the UK.

Now, a Bakewell tart is traditionally a shortcrust pastry with layers of jam and frangipane topped with flaked almonds. It’s a variation on the older Bakewell pudding which originated guess where? Why in Bakewell, of course!

Glorious layers of raspberry jam and frangipane make up the keto Bakewell tart. A low carb dessert at its finest. #ketodessert #lowcarbrecipes

There are many ways to make the Bakewell tart nowadays, made popular at village fêtes and picnics. Then they were taken to the next level by British food writers and TV personalities. Which is how we came to know about the tart.

From what I can tell, raspberry is the most popular flavor to include in the tart, which suits me perfectly. It has a distinct flavor that works particularly well with almonds and even the keto diet. The cherry Bakewell tart is another common flavor I may have to try during the cherry picking season!

For a Keto Bakewell Tart you’ll need : 

Beautiful almond raspberry flavors a keto Bakewell tart. Perfect for a low carb tea or special gluten-free dessert. Sugar-free and delicious! #lowcarbdessert #ketorecipes

How to make a Keto Bakewell Tart

Gluten-free almond flour crust

To begin an almond flour crust, first, whisk together the almond flour and sweetener. Then carefully mix in the melted butter so it comes together as moist crumbs.

Second, push the mixture into a tart pan or a pie plate. Use your hands or the bottom of a flat glass to evenly press the mixture around the bottom and sides of the pan. Make sure to get it in all the corners!

Next, bake the tart shell at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes. Then remove it and let cool to prepare for the filling.

Pieces of keto Bakewell tart will be welcome at any low carb table! Delicious sugar-free raspberry jam and almond frangipane in an almond flour tart shell. #ketodessert #lowcarbtea

Almond frangipane filling

Before we begin on the frangipane filling, don’t forget the raspberry jam! Spread the 5 tablespoons of raspberry jam evenly around the bottom of the tart crust, not up the sides, just on the bottom.

Now, take a large bowl or standing mixer and mix together the butter and sweetener for a minute or two. Add in the eggs and almond extract and then mix in the almond flour.

TIP: If you use Swerve as the sweetener, it will crystallize in the frangipane when not eaten right away. Therefore if you use Swerve I suggest making and serving the same day. We also like to use the equivalent amount of Lakanto Monk Fruit sweetener.

Next, spoon the filling into the tart shell in blobs then push it in gently together so the raspberry jam stays on the bottom as a layer. Smooth it out on top with an icing spatula or knife. Then bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes or until it’s set.

A piece of flavorful keto Bakewell tart will be a huge low carb hit at a picnic or party. #ketorecipes #lowcarbdessert

Creamy keto icing

To make the creamy keto icing I like for the topping, first, take out a medium to a large bowl. Mix together the cream cheese and sweetener until no lumps remain. Now once well-combined, add in all the other ingredients. I find it easiest to use a standing or hand mixer and blend everything together for about 2 minutes.

Once the icing is ready, spread it on the completely cooled frangipane tart. Even it out again with the icing spatula or knife to completely cover the almond filling.

Next is the fun part! Decoration time. Use a spoon or even a piping bag with a small hole with about 2 more tablespoons of the sugar-free raspberry jam. You are going to want to make stripes about an inch apart on the white icing. Then take a toothpick and run it back and forth between the stripes the opposite way to create a feathered design.

Chill it to set the icing and serve at a fabulous tea, picnic, or for dessert tonight!

Bite of a delicious keto Bakewell tart with raspberrry and almond frangipane. A fabulous low carb dessert perfect for a keto diet. #ketodiet #ketodesserts

 

Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.

Alice Walker

Novelist

Low carb desserts for summer

What kinds of desserts do you love in summer? While I don’t eat a lot of fruit on a keto diet, small quantities of raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries can make the perfect flavorings for summer dishes. Whether it be cakes, tarts, ice cream, or trifle, I am an admitted lover of sweets.

Luckily for me, I can still get my fill of dessert without all the sugar.

So, give this dessert a try while you’re planning your own trip to London or around the UK. Hmmm…I may need to add Derbyshire to my itinerary! Yum.

Pin the recipe here!

A Keto Bakewell tart is the perfect low carb dessert addition to any tea or picnic, even for tonight's gluten-free dessert! Sugar-free and delicious, the family will love this keto diet treat. #ketodesserts #lowcarbdessertsketo #lowcarbdesserts

Tag me in your recipe pics on Instagram @explorermomma.

If you LOVE this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating in the review area below!

Need more tea time or dessert recipes?

You will love these low carb cinnamon pecan cookies!

Cinnamon Pecan Cookies are low carb gluten-free bites of goodness. #glutenfreecookies #lowcarbdessert

Printable Recipe

Keto Bakewell Tart

The classic British Bakewell tart with a beautiful almond frangipane, raspberry jam, and a delicious icing top.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British, Gluten-Free, Keto, Ketogenic, Low Carb
Keyword: keto bakewell tart, keto dessert, low carb bakewell tart
Servings: 12
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Explorer Momma

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup sweetener, such as Swerve Confectioner's
  • 5 tbsp melted butter

Filling

  • 5 tbsp sugar-free raspberry jam
  • 10 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sweetener (such as Swerve Confectioner's)
  • 1 1/3 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Icing

  • 1/4 cup powdered sweetener (such as Swerve Confectioner's)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam (for decoration)

Instructions

Almond flour crust

  • Whisk together the almond flour and sweetener. Then mix in the melted butter so it comes together as moist crumbs.
  • Push the mixture into a tart pan or pie plate. Use your hands or the bottom of a flat glass to evenly press the mixture around the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes. Remove and let cool to prepare for the filling.

Filling

  • Spread the 5 tablespoons of raspberry jam evenly around the bottom of the tart crust.
  • Take a large bowl or standing mixer and mix together the butter and sweetener. Add in the eggs and almond extract then mix in the almond flour.
  • Place the filling in the tart in blobs then push it in gently so the raspberry jam stays on the bottom as a layer. Smooth it out and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes or until it's set.

Icing

  • Mix together the cream cheese and sweetener until no lumps remain. Once well-combined, add in all the other ingredients. Using a standing or hand mixer blend them for about 2 minutes.
  • Spread icing on the completely cooled tart. Take about 2 more tablespoons of raspberry jam and make stripes on the white icing. Then take a toothpick and run it back and forth in stripes the opposite way to create a feathered design. Chill to set the icing and serve!

Notes

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving: 1 piece
Calories 234
 
Total Fat 23 g  
Saturated Fat 12 g  
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 85 mg  
Sodium 90 mg  
Potassium 17 mg  
Total Carbohydrate 4 g  
Dietary Fiber 1 g  
Sugars 1 g  
Protein 4 g
*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.
 
 
This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

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