First some great news - I've been working on a new cookbook (update: all my cookbooks can be found here)!
Now, back to my recipe... One way to enjoy cherries on a low-carb diet is to make Amarenata. It's like natural cherry extract and you won't need to use a lot to add amazing flavour. It's delicious and it's addictive - don't make Amarenata in large batches. If you can't find fresh cherries, use fresh or frozen, both work great in this recipe and you are not limited just to the cherry season.
This Amarenata is adapted from a lovely recipe by Viviane of Chocolate Chili Mango. I tweaked it a bit and used sweet cherries instead of morelo sour cherries and Erythritol instead of sugar. Where to use Amarenata? Try with full-fat yogurt, in panna cotta, smoothies or even on top of coconut flour pancakes.
If you follow me on Facebook, you may know that this recipe will also be used in a very creamy ice-cream which will follow soon!
Note for KetoDiet Users: Nutrition facts for this recipe are also included in the KetoDiet database. You can use Amarenata as an ingredient when creating custom meals.
Nutritional values (per 1 tbsp, 20 g / 0.7 oz):
|of which Saturated||0||grams|
|Magnesium and Potassium||trace|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (92.6%), protein (5.8%), fat (1.5%)
Ingredients (makes ~ 1 ½ cup / 350 g / 12.3 oz):
Note: When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).
- Wash the cherries and remove the pits. Add them to a non-reactive pan.
- Add the Erythritol and ¾ cup of water.
- Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix in well. If using vanilla bean, cut the vanilla bean lenghtwise and scrape the seeds out.
- Place on a stove and cook over low-medium heat. Slowly bring to a boil and mix frequently until the juices slightly thicken. This may take 20-30 minutes.
- Mix the arrowroot with the remaining water and add to the cherries. Mix well while slowly pouring in.
You can use arrowroot powder OR ground chia seeds. I prefer arrowroot because it makes the texture smoother and the carbs count per serving is not significantly higher (2.7 g net carbs with chia seeds and 3.1 g net carbs with arrowroot powder). If you use chia seeds, you don't need to add water in two parts, simply sprinkle the chia seeds over the cherries in step 5 and turn off the heat. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Cook for another 5 minutes and take off the heat. When using arrowroot powder, you shouldn't cook it at high temperatures and not for too long. Katie of Girl Meets Nourishment has a great post about arrowroot powder here.
- When done, your amarenata should be thickened into a syrup and the flavour very strong - just like sweet cherry extract. It will thicken even more when chilled.
- You can store amarenata in the fridge for 2-3 weeks or preserve for longer. Enjoy with full-fat yogurt, creamed coconut milk or make a batch of Keto Amarena Cherry Ice-Cream.
Extra tip on where to use cherries:
Another way to enjoy cherries is to make my home-made cherry jam which you can also use to make Dark Cherry Crunch Pie (6.4 grams of net carbs per serving!).