Sunday, March 15, 2009

Low-carb, low-guilt muffins

These turned out really well! Lucky we made a big batch. The LGBB and I made the blueberry jam versions yesterday in our little star moulds and the vote is unanimous (from aunt and uncle right down to the sometimes hard-to-please-in-the-baked-goods-dept. Steve): Make These Anytime!

I found the recipe here whilst looking for recipes to use up some almond meal and, well to be frank, I reckon ours turned out looking far more appetising... Amazing what a shape will do to make something look enticing. They actually taste like something you'd buy to go with your coffee - very friand-like and not like a muffin much at all. The egg gives them a tacky outer and the almond meal, sans any flour, creates a firm but crumbly inside. Mmmmm... need to go sneak another....

"These versatile sugar-free and low-carb muffins can be the basis for many variations, including low carb blueberry or apricot muffins" - from here. To tell the truth, I was so unsure when I was spooning the mixture in. It had the elastic too-much-egg-white texture about it and I was worried we'd have the LGBB forcing herself to eat something inedible simply because it had a star shape. She helped me spoon out the portions of jam and then had a great time pushing each daub in to the batter slightly.


* 2 cups almond flour (almond meal)
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 4 eggs
* 1/3 cup water
* Sweetener to taste -- about 1/3 cup usually works well -- liquid preferred
(I used just 1/3 cup hot water to dissolve 1/3 cup castor sugar and it's turned out just fine)

1) Preheat oven to 350 F.

2) Butter a muffin tin. You can really do it with any size, but I'm basing the recipe on a 12-muffin tin.

3) Mix dry ingredients together well.

4) Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly (You don't want strings of egg white in there and you don't have to worry about "tunnels" when you are using almond meal).

5) Put in muffin tins (about 1/2 to 2/3 full) and bake for about 15 minutes.

Variations: Add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries for blueberry muffins. For apricot muffins, take a teaspoon of sugar-free apricot jam on each muffin and push it in slightly (it will sink more during baking).

Nutritional Information: Each of 12 muffins has 1.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, and 185 calories. Suitable to freeze.

And for more flavour, try:
1 1/2 cups almond flour and 1/2 cup ground flaxseed; add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. dried lemon peel. I think adding the cinnamon alone would be a great idea (am thinking I should have done this... next time!)

For a great no-sugar jam, I cannot go past St. Dalfour's range. Oh my... you will thank me! They are in Woolies and Maxi Foods, so hopefully in a supermarket handy to you.
Pricey, yes, but worth it.... double yes. The ingredients are simply 55% of whatever the fruit (so if strawberry jam, you'll get 55% strawberries), lemon juice, grapefruit concentrate and fruit pectin. That's about it. No preservatives, all natural. I KNOW!!!!

Now, go forth and BAKE!

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