Tag 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.


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

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

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
Apricot Almond LC Muffins_183928_wm_1x1


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

Tangelo Cheesecake Muffins

While most people are trying to eat less, I have put in a super human effort to eat more over the past six months or so.  All for a great cause.  I’m trying to gain weight.  Lean mass, or muscle, to be exact.  For a munchkin like me, it’s been an almighty struggle.  At the five month mark, I’ve barely shifted my weight.  But I’m still giving it my all to eat as much as possible.

Being naturally inclined towards healthy food … hey, chocolate is not a junk food!  Food of the gods, remember????   Anywho, being a healthy eater by nature, it’s hard to rack up the calories by the end of the day.   I gave up snacking a while ago and focussed on bigger meals at mealtimes.  Not enough, CCM.  So now I’m taking up snacking again.   The best little snackeroos are those that are light but pack some quality calories with decent amounts of good protein, fats, and carbohydrates.  Good stuff that I can scoff without that omg I ate so much I feel gross feeling.

Let me introduce you to these little cheesecake muffin dudes.  Fruity, cheesecakey, and muffiny.  Wonderfully light but satisfying, slightly sweet, citrusy … they make a perfect snack or breakfast.   Just another high protein snack that gets most of its protein from egg and cottage cheese.  No need for protein powders.  Because sometimes we run out 😦  or we want to share them with tiny tot kiddies, or … hmmm sharing 😦  LOL

Winter citrus fruits are like a burst of sunshine in the middle of the gloomy, grey, rainy, total yukkiness.  I love tangelos.  They’re fantastic for those important life decisions when you just can’t make up your mind between an orange or a mandarin.  Crisis over.  Have both.  In one fantabulous fruit.  The tangelo.  Yes, you could use either an orange or a few mandarins for this recipe (very nice) but tangelos rock.  Try one.

I’ve made these with both cottage cheese and quark.  Both versions are fabulous, although, of course the cottage cheese flavour is more mild.  Use what makes you happiest.  Do not use the runny cottage cheese.  Use a proper European style cottage cheese, which is drier in texture.

You can use sugar instead of the stevia sweetener, if you prefer (the amounts are included in the recipe).  This recipe is both gluten-free and suitable for anyone with fructose and/or fructan intolerance.

A typical serve will pack around 266 kCals, 19.2g protein, 15.2 grams each of fats and carbohydrates (1.2g saturated, 4.6g sugars), and a whopping 7.4g dietary fibre.

You are welcome 🙂

They are lovely on their own but they will transport you heavenward if you split them and fill with a good (i.e. healthy) chocolate spread.  I used my newest one that I’ve nicknamed Better Than Sex Chocolate Spread.  It’s amazing.  They are also pretty amazing served with some fresh fruit and a dollop or two of thick Greek yoghurt.  Practically a dessert.

These are also great if you add a few fresh or frozen berries to them before baking.  Simply stud the muffins with some berries after you fill the muffin molds.  See what I did there?  Stud the muffins?  OK, it sounded funny when I wrote it the first time … 😉

I hope you love them too.  I’m off to scoff!

Makes 10 standard muffins or 15 financier (friand) sized muffins

300 grams low-fat cottage cheese or quark (I use Elgaar Farm Organics)
185 grams liquid egg whites (or 3 large eggs plus 1 egg white)
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon extract (I use Professional Whey Organic Vanilla Powder)
105 millilitres fresh tangelo juice (from 1 large tangelo)
grated zest of 1 tangelo
150 grams almond meal
20 grams psyllium husks
90 grams Natvia (or preferred stevia blend sweetener)*
1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

*If you prefer, substitute about 100 – 115 grams of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your muffins.  This will increase both the total carb count as well as the sugars in the macros.

Preheat the oven to 180℃.  If using silicon muffin or financier molds, there is no need to line the molds.  If using standard muffin or financier pans, line with cupcake or financier liners or grease with preferred spray or brush with a little oil of choice.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the cottage cheese (or quark) and egg whites (or whole eggs).  Whisk together until smooth and creamy.  Add the vanilla and tangelo juice, and whisk until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, add the tangelo zest, almond meal, psyllium, sweetener, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda.  Mix well until combined and there are no lumps.

Add the wet mixture to the dry.  Use a fork to very quickly and lightly combine the ingredients.

Do.  Not.  Over.  Mix.  We’re making muffins, not meringue 🙂

Having a light touch when deliberately under mixing muffin batter will result in wonderfully light muffins.  Beating the life out of the batter will only make you cry when you take your first bite.  Now that we’re all on the same page …

Divide the batter between the muffin or financier molds.  Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes until well risen and golden.  Do not over bake.   They will puff up with lovely domes and then fall a little because they’re cheesecake muffins 🙂

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before removing from their molds and serving.  They will keep for up to a week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

They are lovely served warm on their own or split and served with fruit and yoghurt or with your favourite chocolate spread … because what goes so well with tangelo and cheesecake?

OK chocolate goes with everything.  Yes, even carrots.  But we don’t have carrots here.

We have tangelo cheesecake muffins … and this combination is so choccheesecitrusgasmic that even my mum loves it.  She hates chocolate, remember?  Ah, there’s always a way to make someone love cacao.  These little muffins are hers.  Fist pumping the air 🙂

Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for the recipe as indicated above.  I used liquid egg whites and cottage cheese.  The macros will vary ever so slightly if you substitute whole eggs and/or quark, but not substantially.


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

Frosted Caramelly Protein Muffins

I haven’t made muffins in a while.  This cannot be a good thing.  Something about karmic balance or upsetting the space-time continuum or possibly a disturbance in The Force.  Whatever.  So I made a batch of caramelly protein muffins.

To set things right.

With a surprise in the centre.

Featuring an AWESOME frosting.

I knew the frosting was awesome as soon as I did my obligatory taste test.   When my trainer also thought it was fabulous, I knew it for sure.

Obviously, no real caramel was going to be harmed in the quest to make these muffins caramelly in flavour.  Instead a nifty combination of key ingredients gives them a nice little caramel note and sweetness … without any added sugar or sweeteners.   Dates are the sweetening agent for the muffins and I’ve combined dates and raw organic lucuma powder in the frosting.  Never heard of lucuma?  Google it … it’s a subtropical fruit from Peru, and has been a dietary staple there since ancient times.  It used to be known as the “Gold of the Incas”.  Aside from being a nutrient dense and very healthy food, I also love it for its maple like flavour.  Combined with dates, you get this lovely caramel, maple, date sweetness.  No need to add sugar or artificial sweeteners at all.  It’s lovely.

I’ve often been asked why I use a lot of liquid egg whites instead of whole eggs, given egg yolks are such powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, funky good things.  Well, honestly, I use both, depending on what I happen to have handy.  Occasionally, I just want to add some extra lightness, particularly for protein recipes, so I may choose to use egg whites only.  So I’ve included both whole egg and egg white versions below, as well as for the macronutrient information at the bottom of the recipe.  This time, I used whole eggs to make the muffins.

That awesome frosting is so good, you could make it and use on anything or as a dessert over fruit, whatever.  I’d like to use it to frost the Chocolate Orange Fudge Bars.  Wow.

So what’s the surprise centre?  A whole cherry.  Just an added burst of fruity goodness in the centre.  You can omit the cherry or substitute banana (oh my!) or berries, or anything you like.  Almond or peanut butter would be great.  Chocolate would be sensational.  Up to you.  Just remember that it may affect the macros, so use whatever fits with your goals.

These muffins are gluten-free (make sure you use GF oats and baking powder), have a decent protein hit, and are low in fat.

Energy to move, power to lift 🙂


Makes 10 small muffins (1/3 cup capacity) OR 6 standard muffins

78 grams medjool dates (pitted weight, about 4 medium dates)
30 grams rolled oats (preferably gluten-free)
3 large eggs OR 160 grams liquid egg whites
70 grams pea protein isolate
25 grams almond meal
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste, powder or extract
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
125 millilitres coconut water
10 pitted cherries

1 medjool date
100 gram fat-free plain yoghurt
30 millilitres fat-free milk
10 grams raw organic lucuma powder (I use Loving Earth)
30 grams unflavoured micellar casein* (I use Professional Whey)

*If you use a flavoured casein, opt for vanilla

Preheat the oven to 165℃/330℉.

I used silicon muffin molds, but if using standard muffin pans, grease with a little oil spray or line with cupcake liners, and set aside.

Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.  Add the rolled oats and process until the oats have been ground fine.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the cherries, and process until the batter is smooth.

Divide the muffin batter among the muffin molds.  Press a cherry into the centre of each muffin and make sure it is covered by batter.

Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes until golden.  Remove and let cool on a wire rack before removing from the molds.

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.   The casein will thicken up the frosting after a few minutes.  Pipe or spread the frosting on each muffin.

Store leftover muffins in the refrigerator, in an airtight container.

Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for both the whole egg version and egg whites only version.  All values are average values for fresh ingredients.  I have used values for specific lucuma powder and micellar casein that were used in the recipe.  You can find details of these if you click-through via the links provided, above.

If you leave out the cherries, the macros will not change much as each cherry does not add much to them, obviously.  However, if you choose to use other fruits or chocolate, nut butters etc, then you will have to factor the macros into the total for the recipe.

Whole Egg Version

Egg Whites Only Version


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

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


Volume measures are in metric cups.

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

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.

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.


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

Berry Chocolate Muscle Muffins

Muscle muffins?  Really?  Well, hey, if I wrote Berry Chocolate Muffins they’d just sound delicious.  Oh wait.  They ARE delicious!  But they are also really good for you.  But they are seriously yum too.

I don’t believe in adjusting my palate to strange and off-putting flavours in the pursuit of health.

So I don’t.  It has to be good for me, but I want it to taste good too.  No.  I want it to taste awesometastic.

But they are good muscle-building muffins.  Based on the nutritional profile provided below, you get a nice kick of protein and a good dose of healthy carbs and fats.  I like these for my pre-workout breakfast, meal, or snack.  Call it what you will.  I’d say they were great Iron-Man food but I remember a sugar-laden breakfast cereal makes that claim and has trade-marked it soooo … ditch the cereal.  These muffins will give you longer lasting and better quality energy than certain, un-named breakfast cereals. 😉

Coconut sugar features again.  Why?  It tastes unbelievable … like toffee and rich.  Yes, really.  Plus it’s really low GI (35) which is lower than agave and a whole host of other sugars.  It’s also a well-balanced sugar that doesn’t rely on an excess of fructose so better for your tummy and anyone on a low FODMAP diet.   Best of all it isn’t just empty calories either.  It has much more iron, zinc and trace minerals than most unrefined sugars.  You don’t need a lot of it to get a lovely sweetness that isn’t sickly.

I’ve also used walnuts as a change from almonds.  Lots of omega-3 type action plus they taste lovely and with the quinoa flour, these muffins are SUPER SUPER moist.  No added butters, oils etc.  Plus … strawberries … superfood.  Enough said.

I love them with a dollop of low-fat yoghurt.  More protein.  More calcium.  More yum.

Go for it.  Fuel up before that run or that gym workout.  Power on.  Muscle up.

Did I mention they taste wonderful?  There’s cacao involved.  Chocolate.  It makes everything AWESOMETASTIC.

Oh yeah, wheat and gluten-free yet again.  Aren’t I considerate???  😀

Makes 12 muffins

125 grams walnuts
75 grams organic coconut sugar
125 grams quinoa or coconut flour
25 grams raw cacao powder
50 grams whey protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
2 large egg whites
200 millilitres skim milk
1 orange, juice and finely grated zest
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract
250 grams strawberries (optional)
12 strawberries, extra

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (190ºC if using a fan forced oven).   Line muffin tins with cupcake/muffin liners or use a silicon muffin sheet.

Place the walnuts and the coconut sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.  Mix together the walnut meal, coconut sugar, quinoa or coconut flour,  cacao, protein powder, and baking powder in a large bowl.  I use a fork to mix muffins as it allows me to have a light touch in mixing but also breaks up any lumps when mixing the dry ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg whites, orange juice and zest,  and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix lightly with a fork.   The batter will be mousse-like in texture.  Chocolate mousse-like.  It also tastes rather like chocolate mousse.   It already tastes fabulous and we haven’t even baked them yet!

If you want to add extra strawberries into the mix, hull and chop the 250 grams strawberries, and gently fold into the muffin batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins or moulds, making sure to divide the mixture evenly.

Hull the extra strawberries and cut in half lengthwise.  Place two halves on each muffin and press lightly into the batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
Cool on a wire rack before turning out.

These are best served warm.  You can freeze them, stored in an airtight container.  Pop them into a microwave oven for about 30 – 45 seconds to defrost and warm up before serving.  Great topped with yoghurt if you want some extra protein and calcium!

Nutritional Profile
I’ve provided the nutritional profile for both the original and the extra berry versions below.

Note that the fat content is made up of over 90% heart healthy mono and poly unsaturated fats as well as Omega complex.   A little over 50% of the total carbohydrate count comes from complex carbohydrates.  The muffins are also low GI and packed with iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and a host of other trace elements.


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