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Low-Carb Keto Recipe: Baked Pepper Poppers

Holle loves to cook. She creates a lot of delicious recipes and enjoys sharing them.

Low-carb pepper poppers, baked in the oven!

Low-carb pepper poppers, baked in the oven!

My Low-Carb Diet

I've been on a low-carb diet for years, off and on. My weight has gone up and down somewhat, but I have been able to keep off over 100 pounds for 20 years, thanks to low-carb eating.

The biggest problem with this eating plan is that I love carbs! In fact, I think I'm addicted to them. My body does not love carbohydrates, however. Just a small amount of carbs raises my blood glucose and my weight, and my joints feel achier. Physically, I feel much better when I'm following a very low-carb diet, but mentally, I often find myself daydreaming about breads, rice, corn, potatoes, and ice cream.

I find if I'm able to eat low-carb foods that are high in taste appeal, it's easier to forego the carbs. I don't count calories, protein grams, or fat grams; I count only carb grams. This really works for me, especially because there are still a lot of tasty foods I can enjoy, like the pepper poppers I describe here.

Low Carb vs. Keto: What's the Difference?

A lot of people get low-carb diets confused with the keto diet. While both are very low in carbohydrates, there are some differences. Typically, a low-carb diet is low carb, high protein, and moderate fat. A keto diet, on the other hand, is low carb, moderate protein, and high fat.

The low-carb diet works better for me than does the keto diet. For one thing, I don't want to consume so much fat. For another, I like the freedom of eating lean meats and not having to eat a certain number of fat grams each day. I'd rather eat more protein than fat. To me, low carb is just a lot easier and tastier. I can enjoy lots of chicken, turkey, fish, and other lean sources of protein. Before I had an allergic reaction to shellfish, shrimp, lobster, and crab made up a large part of my low-carb meals.

Creating Low-Carb Recipes

I'm often creating low-carb recipes. I love to cook, and I'm a very creative person, so I find figuring out dishes on my own to be enjoyable and rewarding. As I mentioned, I try to keep my daily carb count low, but I still like to eat yummy foods. Sometimes it's quite a challenge, but I've come up with some low-carb recipes that usually satisfy my cravings.

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These pepper poppers are low-carb and keto-friendly. Each popper has less than one gram of net carbs, and because they contain fat and protein, they're very filling and satiating. They work well as a snack, an appetizer, and a party food—but sometimes I make an entire meal of them.

How to Prepare the Jalapeño Peppers

First of all, choose peppers that are bright dark green and shiny, with no blemishes. For this recipe, I like to use jalapeños that are about 2 1/2 inches long. Rinse the peppers well in cool water and drain on paper towels. Put on plastic gloves! Handling hot peppers can give you a condition known as “pepper hands,” which can make your hands and fingers burn and tingle for days. It's not fun; I've had it.

Slice peppers in half, lengthwise, leaving on the stem. The attached stem will make a nice little handle. Use a teaspoon to scrape out seeds and interior membrane.

I grow my own jalapeño peppers.

I grow my own jalapeño peppers.

This is the cream cheese spread I use.

This is the cream cheese spread I use.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

50 min

1 hour 5 min

40 pepper poppers

Ingredients

  • butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 20 jalapeño peppers, halved, lengthwise
  • 1 (8-oz) carton Walmart cream cheese spread, onion and chive or garden vegetable
  • 20 Hillshire Farms Lit'l Smokies, halved, lengthwise
  • 14 slices bacon, cut into thirds

Instructions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray lightly with butter-flavored cooking spray.
  2. Place prepared peppers on baking sheet, cut side up.
  3. Using a butter knife or spoon, spread about 1 teaspoon cream cheese spread inside each pepper.
  4. Press ½ a sausage into the cream cheese on each pepper.
  5. Stretching a bacon strip, wrap each filled pepper. Make sure the seam is on the bottom of the pepper.
  6. Place the baking sheet in a cold oven and set the oven to bake at 350 degrees.
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
  8. Serve with your favorite low-carb dressing as a dipping sauce. Buttermilk ranch is perfect!

© 2021 Holle Abee

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