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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Jan-08-18, 10:26
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/191/175 Male 70.5"
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Location: Central Virginia
Default Gumbo Roux

I did a search, and it seems most folks are talking about basic flour thickener roux. I am learning some other thickening methods for "simple thickening" but for a proper gumbo, you MUST have a browned roux...to the color of a penny.

Gumbo simply is not gumbo without dark roux...without it, it is simply soup or stew. We can call anything what we want, but a real Cajun would never call anything without that dark roux, gumbo. For good reason, it is the baseline flavor for it.

My guess is the majority of people simply dont make this kind of roux at home, its really time consuming and can be burnt, causing a complete start over if you mess it up, so it can be intimidating. I have become very proficient at making it from scratch in my "full carb" life, but alas...I am now LC for the foreseeable future.

I have some EX-Cajun transplant friends that I was shocked to find out they buy roux in a jar down in Louisiana! (Dark roux for gumbo). But my guess is, it is far from low carb.

Anything out there to make that leap in the low carb world?

I can make soup or stew from anything and love it, no problem. But this is one of those "it ain't this without that" situations.
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Jan-13-18, 10:17
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/191/175 Male 70.5"
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I hit a black hole on this one it looks like.

I bought some coconut flour and plan to start playing with it after induction and beyond.

Anyone ever try to brown that stuff?

The way I like to make gumbo roux is to add equal parts oil and flour (like 1/4 cup each) in a small pot, then starting on med-high heat, whisk until it begins to darken, then turn to med and whisk constantly until it turns the color of a penny or basically "brown". If you dont want to stand there constantly you can turn heat to med low and whisk here and there for a longer time...like 45 minutes.

I know coconut flour will have a different taste, but does anyone know if it will behave similar to flour in this respect? Or should I not even try it because you know it will-be disastrous?

I'm just spit-balling here. I will likely be doing and sharing a lot of experiments if I stay here long
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Jan-13-18, 10:26
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Plan: Atkins DANDR
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Well, I too know how to make the real deal but
unfortunately, I haven't made it since low carb.
I use to do turkey gravy the same way starting with turkey fat and flour...but
I don't eat that anymore either.

There is almond flour that might work but IDK?

If you find a way, let me know.
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Jan-14-18, 11:16
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/191/175 Male 70.5"
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Progress: 68%
Location: Central Virginia
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I sure will. I'm off induction technically tomorrow, so at some point I'm just going to try it and see what the coconut flour does. The nut flours may be better because that's kind of the flavor of roux...kind of nutty...hard to describe it otherwise...its just Gumbo flavor...and that's what gumbo tastes like. Without the dark Roux, like I said above, you just have a stew or soup.

Almond flour is outrageously expensive, even at Walmart but if I have to go that route I'll try it. I wish there were smaller packages of stuff to try. I may contact a manufacturer. I have had great luck doing that with all kinds of stuff, even gloves!... and have gotten free samples.

It will be still a while before I try it, that's why I thought I would ask the community to see if any had experience. It looks like I'm breaking new ground here...or failing at it...
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, Jan-14-18, 14:23
Verbena Verbena is offline
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Plan: My own
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I don't believe I have ever had gumbo, but I have made roux in the past, though perhaps not to the color degree needed in New Orleans. But your question intrigued me. I have found over the several years I've been low carbing that just about any cooking question I have had has been answered by somebody, somewhere. Not always in a way that I am comfortable with - sort of like you saying that gumbo isn't gumbo without the roux. A line in the sand as far as you are concerned, though not, apparently, for a number of other low carb cooks :-). Anyway, I googled "low carb gumbo roux", and found a number of different recipes. The one following uses a combination of coconut & almond flours. There were other ideas in other recipes. I hope that one might click with you, and look forward to hearing how you get on with the experiment.
https://paleocomfortfoods.com/in-th...en/paleo-gumbo/
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Jan-14-18, 14:31
Verbena Verbena is offline
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Plan: My own
Stats: 186/155/150 Female 5'4"
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Oh, about the almond flour ... yes, quite expensive. However you can freeze the remainder, and it will last a long time. Or, if you have the apparatus to vacuum seal things, you can seal it in a bag or jar - still might want to freeze or refrigerate though. When I started low carbing i went looking for baking recipes, and used a fair bit of almond and coconut flour. After several years I don't feel the need anymore, and a pound of almond flour lasts a long time. I think you said that the sweets aren't that big a draw for you; I am the same way, so my baking efforts are mostly experiments to try and convince DH that eating this way isn't total and complete deprivation. So far, it hasn't worked well :-)
Coconut flour isn't difficult to make yourself; let me know if you would like directions
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Jan-16-18, 14:54
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/191/175 Male 70.5"
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Progress: 68%
Location: Central Virginia
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Thanks Verbena! I did do some looking around online and missed that one. That's exactly the experience I was looking for, apparently people are doing it, but with a mix of coconut and almond flour.

And whether something is "this" without "that" is always up to the consumer. Some people say it's just not Christmas without snow or incessant Christmas music! Or a tree...

Whats funny is in the comments on that article/recipe, the debate about "what is gumbo" rages on...even back in 2011 on that page. I have seen Cajuns say in no way should gumbo ever have tomatoes in it...that would be "Creole"!

I have friends and business associates who are Louisiana transplants. Real Cajuns that can speak the language well...it is a different language down there! I can only go by them telling me "it aint gumbo wit no roux [SIC]". They also tell me file is optional! I'm glad, because I dont care for it. Some say its not gumbo without okra too.

So, as I said before, one can "call" a dish anything they want. "For me", no dark roux, no gumbo, its stew. Still remains to be seen if a roux made with anything but white flour tastes anything like a proper roux.

You can bet I'll report that back when I find out. I'm not quite ready to make it, but definitely before the end of winter, I still have half a bag of frozen okra from the batch I made just last month before I started this diet that I need to use up. That's the only time I ever eat okra, except deep fried.

On the storage...yes, I have a food saver. Been using it for years. I buy in bulk many things and use it for long term storage. And I do have the mason jar attachments. That's a great suggestion, thanks.

It is hard to convince someone not dedicated to losing weight to give up certain things. If your husband is not on board with it, I can see where he would NOT be happy. I used to say life is too short to live without yeast breads, but I also said I would not buy bigger pants, when the ones I have get too tight, I'll lose weight...dangit! Guess what...I bought bigger pants...and now I'm low carbing to fit back in the old ones!

The old saying, "never say never".
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Jan-16-18, 15:54
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Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Plan: Atkins DANDR
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There is rich soup and there is a pot of boiled stuff.....

To get some really good flavor, first start with sautéing the veggies (celery, onion, garlic, carrots) in butter until they get a little soft. I then add the meat, make room for the meat to touch the pot bottom and sauté it on all sides. Add spices anytime within the sauté process. This develops flavor and then you can begin adding water or broth a little at a time, cook stir, scrape bottom, little more water, cook, little more water.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Jan-17-18, 07:54
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Plan: Atkins Concept
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Thank you for the suggestions Meme. It's very nice of you to try to help.
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  #10   ^
Old Sat, Feb-03-18, 10:57
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Plan: Atkins Concept
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Default Furst run

Update.

I finally tried to make the roux with coconut flour, and it worked...sort of.

I have pics but this site makes it too hard to post them nicely, so, flying blind here except links to the pics of others.

Coconut flour will remain stable while making a penny colored roux like this proper roux you find in this blog post:

http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/2...-make-roux.html

For those that have chimed in here and dont really know what I was referring to, THAT is real Gumbo roux. My chicken sausage gumbo last night looked very much like the picture at the bottom of that page, but I cut my chicken up smaller.

But, alas...this was still NOT proper gumbo I made with coconut flour. While the coconut flour does take on an almost chocolate sweet aroma when you "brown-roux" it like this, it simply DOES NOT have the flavor profile that IS Cajun cooking and a proper gumbo.

Don't get me wrong, my "almost gumbo" was delicious and hearty...we enjoyed it, but in the end, coconut flour is not the answer.

The flavor was not what it needed to be for my experiment and search to find a low carb roux fix to be considered finished, and I have also found that coconut flour remains very "granular" even when cooked. So the texture of the gumbo liquid had that almost "corn mealy" mouth feel...and thats NOT where I want to be in my quest.

I have also learned that coconut flour's granular nature remains no matter what the recipe. So far I have found it to be best in a breading/coating for baked food like chicken, where the coarseness of the flour is not a negative, and also I found a really good low carb wrap recipe that uses it along with almond milk...and of course, eggs.

On another note, I also got some xanthan gum, and carefully used a little bit in the gumbo. I think it did help make up for some of the loss of the thickening and mouth feel of a white flour roux. It's really not a bad substitute making Gumbo this way, but I will quest on to make it better somehow and will report back anything I discover. Next up....probably almond flour.

In the future, after I have lost my weight and in holding and maintaining mode, I may be able to use an all natural wheat flour, or even white flour to make my roux. It would be a splurge and not something I make all the time. when I break it down, white flour is around 23 grams net carbs per 1/4 cup. The way I make gumbo uses 1/4 cup flour. The batch makes at least 4 good sized servings (usually more), so at roughly 6 grams net carbs max per serving, real flour could be an acceptable splurge in a maintenance mode of 40-100 grams carbs daily. I'll probably stick with very minimally refined flours in the future though. That will be the end of the road for my experiments on this before succumbing to white flour even in a splurge, for now its other lower carb alternatives to experiment with.

Stay tuned.
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  #11   ^
Old Sat, Feb-03-18, 11:30
Verbena Verbena is offline
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Plan: My own
Stats: 186/155/150 Female 5'4"
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Ken, I salute your dedication to the gumbo cause. By this time in your quest I would have thrown up my hands and decided that either "good enough is good enough", or "better another dish entirely than a mediocre substitute" LOL. I speak from total inexperience here, never having eaten, much less cooked, gumbo. You obviously like full flavored foods, and are not averse to time in the kitchen. Have you tried beef rendang? It's a beef stew from Indonesia that my DH and I are quite fond of. I leave out the sugar (couple of tablespoons) to no obvious detriment (maybe Indonesians wouldn't agree LOL). This recipe is very like the one I use: http://rasamalaysia.com/beef-rendan...ndang-daging/2/
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Feb-09-18, 05:21
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Posts: 113
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/191/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 68%
Location: Central Virginia
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Thanks Verbina,

Yes, I'm a bit hard-headed once I set my mind to something. One of the things going low carb has depressed me about is I spent the last several years really honing my cooking skills. Of course thats why my wife and I got so fat!

Fortunately as has been mentioned to me before, those skills can prove helpful in getting around the limitations of low carb cooking. My results have been mediocre to good. Unfortunately with certain foods, white flour and sugars are the key. I never did use a lot of sugar, but in some cases its what pushes a recipe to the perfect level. Same with bleached flour...yeast rolls, biscuits...I have always not preferred brown/whole grain flour products becasue they tend to sweeten bread. Same thing with brown rice and pastas. Just not the same. But going forward, if I do splurge on white flour pasta, I'll go back to making it myself which is a totally different level of pasta. I just love a good Naan bread dredged in really good olive oil or some fresh crusty artisanal bread torn in to pieces and straight in my face!

My wife will love that Beef Rendang! Shes loves the anise/licorice and cinnamon, etc. flavors. The challenge with that recipe is like cleaning out and restocking the pantry for low carb life, some of the ingredients are bit exotic for the average kitchen, but I've worked with them all. I threw out my block of tamarind paste after years. The Tamarind may be a bit high carb anyway and after working with it several times I didn't find what it added was worth the effort...some fresh lime and a pinch of brown sugar did the same thing very easily for my palette. I've also always thought keffir lime leaves were a little overrated. I've even had them snipped fresh for me by a wonderful old Thai lady who grows her own keffir lime tree right in her restaurant. When she found out I was learning Thai cooking, she snipped off some to take home, then walked me through her garden out back to snip some Thai basil and other herbs and dug up and sent me home with a few Thai hot pepper plants! I still have some of those Thai Hot Peppers in my freezer, I use them in jars of cucumber pickles for spice. They are almost too hot for anything else...and that's saying a lot because I like my food to make me sweat!

I have since resorted to using canned and jarred curry pastes. They are good and I simply have never matched their flavor. I know when I am beat, but I will always try first! Curry simply means sauce or gravy...I posted in another thread here about that. The Brits created curry powder and a lot of people think if it doesn't taste like that, its not curry. The Asian markets where stuff like boneless beef short ribs and affordable lemongrass are more available in my region of the U.S., sell a variety of curry pastes for different flavors. Its what I use for my Thai Red Curry which I have gotten near perfect held up against the authentic stuff in restaurants like the one that aforementioned Thai Lady (drawing a blank on her name at the moment) made for my wife and I. I'm sure they have something that will match up to the flavor profile of this Beef Rendang.

So here's a try suggested from Meme#1 at posting pics using Tinypic:

This was the roux



This is the finished gumbo. We had already taken out some nice bowlful's when it occurred to me to take the pic!



Like I had written before, it was really good, but not a direct replacement for white flour's flavor. I do plan to try almond flour. I'm just taking it step by step. Stocking a low carb kitchen can be expensive! But, if I find the right replacements for certain things, it will help to maintain weight once I hit my goal. I'll be less likely to go back and use those higher carb things if I accomplish a consistent good result with certain recipes.

Thanks to Meme#1 for the the suggestion of Tinypic. Others had suggested similar stuff and I just didn't want to go through the steps. This was not too hard...I just have to realize I'm dealing with an old site with limited storage. I have to be sure to reduce my pics for this method, the first attempt had the images huge! Great resolution but you had to use the browser slider bars to read and see everything.

Last edited by Meetow Kim : Fri, Feb-09-18 at 05:49.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Feb-09-18, 06:15
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/191/175 Male 70.5"
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Progress: 68%
Location: Central Virginia
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Copied from my Erythritol thread becasue this pertains to coconut flour as well:

ALSO! I made some coconut flour muffins using Erythritol and they are not bad. A little dense, but it gives a bit of satisfaction if you haven't had a muffin in a while!

This recipe:
https://www.slenderkitchen.com/reci...coconut-muffins

Mine didn't have the crackly looking tops like this but they were attractive. I might do again. It was an experiment to use ingredients I have bought and already had on hand like the Erythritol, coconut flour and I've had coconut oil for some years now in the pantry. My wife has been buying almond milk since starting her diet, so I just happened to have that on hand as well.
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  #14   ^
Old Tue, Feb-13-18, 09:35
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Merpig Merpig is offline
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Just a note: if you contribute and become a paying member at this site you get more available storage space for pics. Plus I love this place and think it’s a great site to support financially!
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Feb-14-18, 13:26
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Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Plan: Paleo 99.5%
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almond and coconut flours won't thicken like flour. They may end up being kind of gritty. There are lots of low carb alternatives to thickeners but nothing is exactly like flour. Some low carb flours have thickening properties, like Lupin flour and soy flour. I hate the taste of soy flour, but YMMV. Lupin flour tastes ok-ish to me.

I usually pour some of the soup (sans meat, if you can) into a blender and blend it until thick and smooth, then pour it back. That'll thicken things up.

Low carbing means changing life long habits like having perfectly authentic gumbo, or whatever. Just need to adjust to your new reality. I had to give up all wheat/barley/rye products when I was diagnosed with a gluten issue. It was tough at first, felt kind of sorry for myself, but I got used to it.
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