Category Archives: Muffins

Apricot Almond Low Carb Muffins

Apricot Almond LC Muffins_6062_wm_1x1I get so many requests for low carbohydrate recipes, I wish I had a dollar for every time I get asked.  I’d be a bazillionaire!  It does speak volumes about the popularity of low carb diets though.  For some, it’s about losing body fat and maybe some weight.  For others, it’s a lifestyle choice due to health factors like Type II diabetes, food intolerances, or carb sensitivity.  For others, it just makes them feel good.

Whatever the reason, there is no need to feel as though one has to miss out much on foods that are typically high carbohydrate.  Breads, cakes, snacks … there are so many options.  Nut flours and lower carb flours make life more nutritious and lower carb without deprivation.

One such flour that is gaining popularity but is perhaps less well-known, is lupin flour.  Lupins are a legume and popular in some Mediteranean cuisines.  Unlike many other legumes, lupins are quite low in carbohydrates while containing healthy omega fatty acids, a whopping dose of dietary fibre, and they pack a solid punch of protein.  There has been a lot of commotion about the potential for lupin flour use in breads to boost nutrition and give greater satiety thereby aiding weight loss, as well as it’s ability to help lower cholesterol and provide a range of nutrients.  Bread makers are starting to make lupin flour breads and they are gaining in popularity.  That’s all good.

But ultimately, I say yay because it’s high in protein, low in fat and carbs and high in dietary fibre.

Lupin beans are about 45% protein and 30% dietary fibre, and have negligble carbohydrate.  That is awesome.

100 grams of lupin flour contains:

1365kJ / 362kCals
39 grams protein
5.5 grams fat (0.1 gram saturated)
11.5 grams carbohydrates (2.9 grams sugars)
31.3 grams dietary fibre

It is also gluten-free.

For.  The.  Win.

Right?

On the downside, being a legume, it is likely that it may cause problems if you happen to react to FODMAPS, specifically fructans and galactans.  In particular, it’s likely to contain galactans as most legumes do.  I have yet to see it on a list of FODMAP foods, but it’s a reasonable assumption.  But that is not to say that it will cause someone a problem.  These things are highly individual.  So it might be worth checking out.

OK.  So, how does this lupin flour bake up then?  Well,  I like to go easy early on trying out a new flour so I went for muffins.  I’ve wanted to make my mum some low carb healthy muffins and these really hit the spot.  She likes her muffins fruity and is a big fan of the wheat free muffins I make for her, especially those with almond flour.  They have a lovely fall-apart, flourless texture but are not heavy or stodgy.

Apricots are in season now and apricots and almonds are a great combination.  You could substitute whatever fruit you like but be aware of the impact on the carbohydrate count.  One usually discounts fruit when thinking about a low carb option but these muffins prove you can enjoy a fruity muffin without a carbohydrate blow out.  Alternatively, you could leave out the fruit and just make them vanilla, or add some chopped up 100% chocolate or spices, or anything else you fancy that meets your low carb requirements.

Great, so where do I buy this lupin flour, CCM?  Well, I don’t know about elsewhere but here in Australia, Lotus Foods make a really good lupin flour that is widely available in health food and organic shops.  I have yet to see it in a supermarket but I suspect it’s only a matter of time.  You can also get it online.

I have used a granulated stevia based sweetener in place of sugar.  You can substitute your preferred sweetener, knowing that the amount in the recipe is equal to the same amount of sugar, so please substitute accordingly.

They are sugar-free, gluten-free, lower in fat than most muffins, and have a good dose of protein per serve, without adding any protein powders.  These are not suitable for a low FODMAP diet, however, but watch this space … I also follow a low FODMAP diet so the likelihood of a suitable version is high 🙂

They taste fantastic!  I hope you enjoy them too.

Macros are provided below the recipe, as always 🙂
Apricot Almond LC Muffins_6065_wm_1x1

Makes 10

Ingredients
80 grams almond meal
100 grams lupin flour
65 grams Natvia (or substitute your preferred sweetener or sugar, equal to 65g sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
140 grams apricots (2 large), diced
2 large eggs
125 millilitres almond milk (or substitute your preferred milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Line 10 muffin molds with muffin liners and set aside.
Mix together the almond meal, lupin flour, sweetener, and baking powder in a bowl.  Make sure you break up any lumps.  Toss in the diced apricots.

Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, and vanilla bean paste.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix lightly with a fork.  It’s okay if the mixture is a little lumpy as these are muffins.  Do not over mix the batter.  Pour the batter into the 10 lined muffin tins.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until risen, golden, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before turning out.
Apricot Almond LC Muffins_6066_wm_1x1

Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for the recipe as stated above.  Any variations and substitutions will, of course, vary the macros to some degree.

Apricot Almond LC Muffins_macros.jpg
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Raspberry Paleo Muffins

Well, here I am supposedly taking a short break from blogging because … well, partly because I’m a bit flat out with the other job at the moment.  You know, the one that pays the bills and stuff.   Important.  Kind of a priority.

I have to confess, the self-imposed pressure to bake and then blog about it while not having time just made me … cranky.  Nothing really goes the way you want it to when you’re just stretching yourself that bit tooooo thinly.   BUT … there’s always a BUT

This little post isn’t a big ask and these muffins are just way too yummilicious to not share them with you.  Plus, I promised more paleo baking on the Facebook page so I’m keeping good with the promise 🙂

You know, the philosophy behind the paleo diet and lifestyle got me thinking … being a bit of a history and archeology nerd … any paleo recipe true to its roots shouldn’t just be about WHAT one eats but also HOW one eats.  Honestly, hunter-gatherers didn’t have a lot of time or equipment to put together elaborate 8 course dégustation menus or use complex cooking techniques.  If you think of baking, it’s going to be simple stuff … because you’re going to be on the move pretty soon.  No Ilve ovens and piping bags and food processors.  No long list of ingredients for which you’d have to shop around.

These little muffins fit the bill nicely.  You’d be gathering up your coconuts, almonds, and berries.   Hmmm … maybe not all growing in the same place …  You’d be waiting for the right moment to steal a couple of eggs from an unwary chicken and then, hey presto, you’d be pretty much set.    These muffins have only a few fabulous ingredients and take only minutes to prepare.   Sure, you could dig a hole in the ground and create your own paleo style oven but … well, I just stuck them in the Ilve this time.  Call me out for being a cheat.  Yes, I also used baking powder … would you like to eat paleo muffins or paleo rocks?  If you want to avoid the baking powder, best  you separate out those eggs and whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Fold them in at the end.  Pray to your paleo gods and away you go.  Hunter-gatherers didn’t have whisks though, so that’d also be cheating.  It’s really hard to make a whisk out of flint and wooden ones take ages to carve.  See how too much day job can addle the brain? 😀

They are extremely fall-apart-fruity, which is my test of a great muffin.  Very moist and much sweeter than the amount of coconut sugar would suggest.  The tartness of the raspberries is amazing.  I tend to use frozen raspberries in muffins as I love to eat fresh ones as they are … seems such a waste to bake with them.  This recipe works brilliantly either way.  Feel free to substitute other berries or chopped stone fruits … whatever you happen to find out and about.

You can always substitute fruit for the sugar, if you are trying to avoid adding any sugar or sweeteners to your food.  I have provided some suggestions below.

They are dairy and gluten-free by default and low fructose, which is great for anyone with a food intolerance.

I hope you enjoy them.  See you all soon … I’ll be back with a lovely morello cherry and caramel tart recipe very very soon.

Makes 8 muffins

Ingredients

Volume measures are in metric cups.

Dry
50 grams (scant 1/2 cup) coconut flour
35 grams (1/3 cup) coconut sugar*
80 grams (1 cup) almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder

150 grams raspberries, fresh or frozen

Wet
2 large eggs
335 millilitres (1 1/3 cup) almond milk**

* If you prefer to avoid added sugar, you can substitute 1 small ripe banana or 1/4 – 1/3 cup apple or pear puree.  If you do, add it to the wet ingredients and blend or mash until well mixed.   You can also add your favourite sugar-free sweetener but this would deviate from the paleo premise of the recipe.  It’s all down to one’s preference 🙂

** You can substitute coconut milk or another nut milk, as desired.

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 190℃.  Have ready eight muffin molds, lined with muffin liners, if desired.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, making sure there are no lumps.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and almond milk.  Use a fork to stir the wet mixture into the dry.  Fold through the raspberries.  If using frozen berries, there is no need to defrost them first.

Divide the mixture between eight muffin molds.   Bake for 30 minutes or until risen and golden.  Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  These muffins freeze well in an airtight container.  To reheat, zap in a microwave for 15 – 20 seconds.

I like them served with extra berries.  OK sometimes I cheat totally and put a dollop of yoghurt on them.

Coconut cream or almond cream would be WOWZAPALOOZA 🙂

See how fall-apart fruity and moist they are?  Muffins.  NOT cake.

Macronutrient Information
I’ve provided macros for these muffins because, dang if they aren’t healthy little bundles of goodness – some protein, healthy fats, and fibre!

Macros are based on average values for all ingredients.  I have based these on the use of coconut sugar and almond milk in the recipe.  If you use another sweetener (or fruit as a replacement), and/or a different type of milk, the macros will change of course.  However, it’s all good.  The macros are really just indicative anyway.

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Blueberry Almond Muffins (protein)

I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions.  I never keep them.  So I don’t make them.  I’m not much for setting myself a list of goals either.  But occasionally I decide to commit to something for a while.  Lately, I’ve committed myself to eating healthy and clean for at least 80 – 90% of the time.   I want to cut my body fat percentage.  Do I need to?  Not really.  But, hey, it’s something to obsess about.  OCD?  Moi? :-D.  That’s a tough ask for someone who loves to bake, and especially who loves to make sweets of all shapes, sizes and denominations.   I like to do things the hard way … so now I taste sweets rather than help myself to a decent portion, unless I’m having an allowed cheat treat.  But it does mean that for most of the time, if I want treats, they have to comply with being healthy and nutritious.  That means good fats, good carbs, and quality protein.

Fanfare … these flourless muffins were an experiment that turned out brilliantly.  Phew!  They contain no nasty refined flour so are both wheat and gluten-free (make sure you use gluten-free baking powder).  Make them with skim milk and get lots of protein and calcium but without the saturated fat.  Almonds provide the good fats, more protein and some fibre.  The blueberries, well … chock full of good stuff, aren’t they?  And yum.  Look at all that goodness …

I only use 1/2 cup sugar as I don’t like my muffins too sweet.  They are so full of fruit, it just isn’t necessary.   And I don’t pack in the brown sugar.  That’s less than 100 grams of brown sugar, which is less than 10 grams per muffin.  You might prefer them sweeter than that.  So, I’ve included a range for the sugar, depending on your sweet tooth.

They don’t rise as much as flour based muffins but they are super moist, fall-apart fruity, and very light.

I’ve included some variations as well as a nutritional profile below.  Hopefully you find it as helpful as I do.  You get a great protein kick from a muffin and the fats are overwhelmingly heart healthy fats.  Not a trans fat to be found.

Better than the low-fat, no-taste, no-nutrition muffins you find on the way to work in the morning.  Plus the ingredient list doesn’t contain strange substances that belong in a lab … bonus for the clean eating brigade.  Hooray!

Now I can get back to obsessing over a new camera 😉

Makes 10 – 12 muffins

Ingredients
250 grams almond meal
1/2 – 2/3 cup brown sugar (unpacked)*
3 teaspoons baking powder
300 grams blueberries
200 millilitres buttermilk or low-fat/skim milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract

*If you prefer to make these sugar free, substitute your sweetener of choice, to taste.  This will lower the carbohydrate and sugar count in the macros below.  These work beautifully also with coconut or rapadura sugar.  Use 1/2 cup unless you have a really sweet tooth.

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (190ºC if using a fan forced oven).
Mix together the almond meal, brown sugar, and baking powder in a bowl.  Make sure you break up any
sugar or almond meal lumps.  Toss in the blueberries.

Whisk together the buttermilk or low-fat milk, egg, and vanilla bean paste.  Add the wet ingredients to the almond meal mixture and mix lightly.  It’s okay if the mixture is a little lumpy as these are muffins.  Do not overbeat or mix the batter.
Pour the batter into 10 to 12 lined muffin tins or moulds (how many depends on the size).
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before turning out.

They can be frozen, stored in an airtight container, and reheated for 20 seconds in a microwave.  They’re just as good as if they were baked fresh that day 🙂

Variations
Replace the blueberries with the same quantity of other types of fruit.  Good combinations are:
• Raspberry
• Raspberry or blackberry and peach
• Pear and passionfruit
• Mixed berries
• Peach and orange
• Cherries
• Apricot (replace vanilla with almond essence)

Replace half the almond meal with finely ground pistachios, hazelnuts or walnuts and add your own flavourings.

If you prefer citrus to vanilla, replace the vanilla with the grated zest of one lemon or orange.

Peach and Blackberry variation:

Nutritional Profile
I’ve provided profiles based on using skim milk and only 1/2 cup of sugar.  All data is sourced from the Calorie King Australia website.

Want to increase the protein hit?  Add one scoop of your favourite 100% whey protein supplement, but stick with vanilla to get the best flavour in these muffins.  You’ll be adding around another 2g of protein to each muffin.

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Filed under All Recipe Posts, Breakfast, Fruit, Muffins, Nuts, Protein, Protein Muffins, Special Diet