Ketonian Nerds Original: Protein Cookies

We all need a treat sometimes, no matter how Keto we are. And if you happen to be one of those people that don’t need sweets, I wish I was you!! If I allowed myself, I could eat desserts every single day. Maybe when I have reached my goal, I will be able to, but for now it is a weekend only paradox.

These protein cookies were great for my cravings (Aunt Flow came for a visit mid-week and is probably here for 6-8 days). My husband had friends over to play some Kill Team and because I am so Stepford when it comes to feeding people (thanks, Grandma!), of course I had to make them Non-Keto Brookies. The smell becomes intoxicating. I don’t wanna set myself up for failure, so having these yummy alternatives really helped me out. Smell chocolate, eat chocolate hahah

Go ahead and Pre-Heat the oven to 325 degrees.


~* 1/4 cup of cashew butter

~* 2 tablespoons of melted butter

~* 1 scoop (32g) ISO100 chocolate fudge brownie protein powder

~* 1 tablespoon of Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder

~* 3 tablespoons of water

~* 1/3 cup of almond flour

First, I like to put my cashew butter and melted butter in a bowl together. This cashew butter we got in Sarasota. The glass jar is really helpful to see all the cashew oil separating from the butter. Tip? If it says it is “all natural” and there’s no oil, something fishy is going on!

I melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, listening to it because I don’t want it to get all splattered. We need the whole 2 tablespoons of butter for this recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰

I like for my cashew butter to be kinda chunky within the recipe, so I don’t melt that. It gets softer when the butter is heated. Then comes the tablespoon of Hershey’s unsweetened chocolate powder.

Before I went Keto, my sweet tooth was a dictator I had to adhere to. He’s not the boss of me now, and the unsweetened chocolate is my proof! Notice, no additional sweetner has been added to the recipe othan than the protein powder/cashew butter. Go Keto!

This protein powder I actually got for my birthday from my brother. He bought it at GNC. Super yummy! One scoop into the bowl. Then add 3 tablespoons of water and the 1/3 cup of almond flour. Mix it all together and if it looks sorta like a poo emoji, you did a good job!

Start scooping these up onto a baking sheet. My friend Melissa from Culinary Craftiness had a book signing this weekend and I made this as a double batch, so I could bring her some. The picture below is a double batch of this recipe.

Bake for 15 minutes and they come out like this:

They are chocolaty and you can see the cashew butter marble happening. Not only does it look pretty, it tastes delish. To incorporate more fat, try these with smeared cream cheese. To die for!!

All right, Ketonians. Let me know how you enjoyed these.



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Esfirra, Non-Keto (Paternal Grandmother’s Recipe)

Welcome back to the blog, Ketonians and Non-Ketonians alike! We don’t discriminate here. lol

Since I announced last post that I would be starting the feat of turning my grandmothers’ recipes Keto, I figured I “better get a move on it.” Plus, it is my brother’s bachelor party this weekend. Perfect party food yumminess! With me being the best man, I gotta cater to the groom. Grandma is no longer with us, so I had some big shoes to fill for his surprise. This will be a non-keto recipe that after much experimentation…. I will turn keto. The texture has to be right, otherwise I can’t call it keto esfirras. Hahahah! Stay tuned, more on that later!

The Esfirra (also written as Esfiha– both are pronounced ess-Fee-ha) is a Brazilian savory pie/dumpling. It is a common snack and fast food that evolved from the Middle Eastern Sfihah, brought to Brazil by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants. Grandma’s recipe is da bomb, or was… when I was not Keto. Here’s how we make it:

Ingredients for Filling:

~2 lbs of ground beef, (we used grassfed wagyu beef)

~1 yellow onion

~2 tomatoes

~Seasoned with Adobo, Salt, scallions, olive oil, and a smidge of oregano


~Get out a sauce pan and pour like a 1/4 cup of olive oil into it. Saute the onions and tomatoes until they get mushy, seasoning them with some salt. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl for later.

~In the same sauce pan, brown the ground beef with the rest of the seasoning. Make sure all the blood comes out of the meat during the cooking process and that you break up the beef as finely as possible for the filling to be easily compacted or stuffed.

~At this point, turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner. Add in the bowl of sauteed onion and tomatoes to the meat. Mix well.

Set the filling aside until later. It needs to be cooled down to room temperature. Meanwhile, turn the oven on to 350F and let’s move onto the dough:

Ingredients for the Dough:

~2 packets of Fleischmann’s dry yeast

~1 cup of whole milk

~2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

~6 tablespoons of melted butter

~(Roughly) 6 cups of white flour (Pillsbury Self Rising Flour)

Directions for the Dough:

~Make sure the oven is on to 350 Degrees F. We like to proof the dough on top of the stove with the heated oven for 45min-1hour

~Open (2 packets of dry yeast packets) and put in a large mixing bowl

~Microwave 1 cup of whole milk for about 30 seconds if cold, 15 seconds if room temperature. While it’s cooking, put 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar on top of the dry yeast. When the microwave yells at you, pour warmed milk over yeast and sugar. This activates and feeds the yeast. Allow to sit a few minutes and when you smell bread or see tiny bubbles in the mix, add 6 tablespoons of melted butter.

~Now it’s time for us to start gradually adding 6 cups of white flour. My cousin and I counted this amount of flour one day, but grandma’s recipe says add until the dough is homogenized, soft but not sticky. This is why I wrote roughly 6 cups of flour. You might need more, or less. Here is a picture of what it should look like when all ingredients create a lovely dough, ready to proof.

The warmth of the oven and a plastic bag/saran wrap on top of the dough will aid in its proofing. The dough should double in size.

After about an hour’s time, all elements of this dish are prepped and ready to be assembled to bake. This is my favorite part!! Making this recipe, I was flooded with memories from when grandma and I would bake together. I miss her dearly!! And when my family ate these meaty triangles of yumminess, I could tell they remembered her too. (I ate the filling only because staying Keto is very important to my health and weight loss journey!)

Ok, so now pinch off handfuls of dough to roll out into a flattened circle. Depending on how big or small you want them, this will take a good while. What helps is having the music blasting very loud and dancing!! The Esfirras can feel the love you put into them – hahah – I am convinced of this.

Ok, ok, I admit that my circles are not perfect!! Just keep in mind, these will be triangular in shape when we are done. I like to do this in groups of 5 or 6 circles because rolling them out takes a bit of finesse. Hahah, and figuring out how to space them apart as to not squish the flattened ones even more by rolling the next dough ball in line. I believe in you!

Next, when the group of dough balls have all been flattened, add the meat mixture to the center. Take advice from Goldy Locks, not too much, not too little… just right! Because then you will take the corners to form our triangular shaped meat pies. Oh and if you touch the meat/oil from the filling, make sure you wash/dry your hands before forming the triangles. We want the dough to stick together so the Esfirras don’t bust open in the baking process. Those are considered rejects in our house – hahahah – and have to be consumed right out of the oven as to not make it to the display tray. ๐Ÿ˜ Hubby took care of that this time of me making this recipe.

Now you are ready to put them on the non-stick baking sheet. Grandma egg-washed all of them, and unfortunately I forgot to do that with this batch. Bake them until golden/lightly browned on the creases. If egg-washed, when they are bright/shiny/golden brown.

A little tip to consider, if there are a lot of people coming over to eat these, make the entire dough as esfirras. If not, this is the perfect dough for bread. You can make these into dinner rolls, or bread for dip, or brunch.

Anyway, I chose to make all esfirras. Another day, I’ll make a post on just the bread dough. Here’s my finished product:

My brother’s bachelor party was a success and I felt like a million bucks for three reasons:

1~ Feeding people is how grandma showed love and I honored her in a big way.

2~ Seeing their faces while they ate them made my heart so full!

3~ I did not have a single one, staying Keto! What a victory, because if you knew me before Keto, me and bread were like Romeo and Juliet. And I was headed toward the suicide ending too, just poisoning myself with bread that turned into sugar during digestion.

For all of you that can eat carbs without worries, I surely hope you enjoy this recipe!!!

Thank you for joining me here today. If you have any questions about this recipe or eating Keto, fill out our Contact Us page. Have a nice day from your Ketonian Nerd!


Ro ๐Ÿ’‹

My Ketonian Journey

My name is Roberta. I was born in Brazil but became a naturalized U.S. citizen when I was 22. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life. And in that life, I’ve taken care of everybody else and never took time for me. In fact, I think I avoided me. That attitude of I’ll do it next week. I’ll get that next month. Keto has helped me to learn how to put my oxygen mask on first. This is my motto for 2019!

I was in the hospital January 27th – February 4th, 2017 for PRES syndrome. Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome is a mouthful and no fun whatsoever. I was put on a low calorie, low sodium heart diet. ๐Ÿคฎ Then I was put on a low fat diet.๐Ÿ˜ญ And it wasn’t until October 2018 that my doctor put me on a keto diet as a last resort. I have reversed my PRES syndrome by the grace of God!

So this is where I started my journey on a ketogenic diet. High inflammation, low self-esteem, polycystic ovary syndrome, high blood pressure, extreme stress and anxiety. I was fed up with trying my hardest and it not working with any diet I tried. It seemed like everyone was able to lose but me. I was in pain every single day.

My hormones were imbalanced and I became pre-diabetic because of the PCOS. When my doctor recommended keto, I was a huge skeptic but nothing else worked. Then when I saw me in the picture on the right below, I started doing A LOT of research. Fat was now good and carbs turned to sugar and it could overwhelm ANYONE. The aha moment happened and I was hooked. I can feel good when I wake up? Keto said yes. I can have avocados every day? Keto said you must!! Then I started seeing results (including pain levels going down) so my husband, Nick, jumped on the bandwagon for added support. We thought, maybe let’s do this together?

In the picture below, on the left was in mid-October of 2018; the pic on the right was mid-November 2018.

Hopeless on the left….endless possibilities on the right!!!

Already you can see in my face the pain is SO MUCH better!

This next picture is before Thanksgiving to before Christmas 2018. I lost nothing on the scale between pictures BUT I lost inches.

I have been told when the scale doesnโ€™t budge, it is because there’s real change happening behind the scenes. Detoxing, inflammation lessening, hormones balancing, blood pressure normalizing, becoming fat adapted/ketosis. This is why it is so important to take progress pictures to see with your very own eyes that the magic is happening.

This is Nick and I at Christmas 2017 on the left. We could hardly hug each other. Two balloons trying not to pop the other. ๐Ÿ˜ข But look at us on the right! Can’t you just see the joy in my face! His arms wrap all the way around me! ๐Ÿ’– It IS working and soon, the scale will reflect it.

Also, join us on YouTube – Ketonian Nerds – for our keto weight-loss video journal entries. And sign up for email notifications of new posts right here on the Ketonian Nerds. The simple form is in the right-hand column on every page.

So please stick around for the days, weeks, months, and years ahead as I share my keto journey with fabulous new ketogenic recipes loaded with yummy fat and flavor! I will be converting all the wonderful recipes handed down to me by my awesome Brazilian great and great great grandmothers (both sides of my family).

If you have any questions, always feel free to reply in the comments. Have a great ketonian day!



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