No tricks part 1: the method

Sometimes the tricks for carb counting that I’ve been looking at in the last few posts don’t apply.  Then what do we do?  The following steps are how I work through these situations:

  1. Add up the carbs in the whole batch of what I’m making.
  2. Figure out how much of the stuff I made.  This can be weight, volume, or count.
  3. Divide the total carbs by how much to find out how many carbs are in one thing, or how many carbs are in 1 gram of food, or how many carbs are in some reasonable volume of food.
  4. Write down this number so that I can use it until the food is gone.  I often write it down so that I can reuse it every time I make the same recipe.

First let’s look in more detail at step 1.  To find the carbs in the whole batch, I first think about which ingredients have carbs.  I’ll post later some help with this.  Then I make a list of the ingredients with carbs, and how much of each I used.  I calculate how many grams of carbs are in the amount used of each ingredient.  Then I add the carbs for the ingredients together, which gives the total carbs in the whole batch.

The hard part of step 2 is knowing whether to use weight, volume, or count.  I count the items if the items are distinct and all of the same shape and size.  This works for cookies that are all the same, cupcakes, or rolls.  If I don’t use count, I think about how I want to measure my child’s portion.  For bread or cheesecake, I cut a portion and then weigh it, so I use the weight of the whole batch.  For lemonade, I measure a portion in a measuring cup, so I use the total volume of the pitcher of lemonade.

Step 3 is a single mathematical calculation, and so I’m not going to add any comments on it.

For step 4, the only  explanation I want to give now is exactly what I write down.  I always write the number I calculate in step 3 somewhere I can find it for as long as I expect the food to last.  If it’s something I store for a while, I often use my label maker.  If I expect to make the recipe the same way every time, I also write on my recipe the number from step 3.  If I carb count by number of items like cookies or biscuits, I instead write on the recipe the number from step 1, because then I can easily recalculate if I make the food a different size the next time.  Also, even though I use a disher for cookies, I never seem to get exactly the same number out of a recipe.

The remaining posts in this series will be a few examples of this procedure.

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