Monday, July 19, 2010

"Delectable" low carb lemon blueberry muffins

Okay, I put the delectable in quotes because that is the word my 6 year old used to describe the muffins when she tasted them.  This is a girl who does like her sugar as well.  She even requested one of the muffins for her evening treat, albeit with frosting on top.  Maybe next time I'll make a streusel topping...  At any rate, I am doing a sugar detox for a little while as I have let the sugar and refined carb use creep up in the past couple months and I don't want to upset my "gains" in the weight loss department.  (Forty pounds off in about nine months.)  Still, it's nice to be able to whip up something that satisfies that sweet baked good craving.  Now you'll find one ingredient in these muffins that I don't normally like to use in baked goods and that is olive oil.  In this case, it works and works well.  The fruity complexity of the oil plays well off the lemon and fruit in the muffins.  A tip I learned from Lauren at Healthy Indulgences.  Thanks Lauren!  Now if you are really serious about doing regular baking with almond flour, I highly recommend getting blanched almond flour.  You don't have to get it from Honeyville, but I find theirs to be excellent quality and the perfect fine mill to get good results in baking.  It's also certified gluten free.  They have low cost flat rate shipping and almond flour lasts practically forever in the freezer.  Just thaw before trying to measure, I keep some in the fridge.  Now Bob's Red Mill is readily available in stores but it just won't cut it for baking.  It's too mealy and the results will fall flat.  One note about the erythritol, I use Organic Zero because it is derived from sugar cane and not corn, but it is also about the most expensive brand out there.  You could certainly get a cheaper brand if corn is not a consideration.  Oh, I ran short on blueberries today, so there is by no means a full cup of berries in the muffins pictured! 

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12-14 muffins

2 cups blanched almond flour
½ tsp coconut flour, optional (it helps refine the crumb but is not essential)
scant ¼ tsp sea salt
1 1/8 tsp starch free baking powder
½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
3 eggs
1/3 cup Splenda (I no longer recommend Splenda as it kills your gut flora which is SO bad for you.  Use another ¼ cup erythritol or xylitol, honey or real sugar.)
¼ cup erythritol
1 dropperful liquid stevia (that's about 1/8 tsp) I use Sweetleaf brand
½ tsp dried lemon peel (or 1 tsp fresh zest if you have it)
½ tsp lemon extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp whipping cream
1 cup blueberries (small wild blueberries work great in muffins)

Combine flours, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Whisk together the eggs and oil, then add the sweeteners, extracts, lemon peel, juice and cream.  Whisk to combine.  It will thicken a little.  Stir in the dry ingredients until well incorporated.  Dust the blueberries with a little coconut flour if desired to keep them from sinking to the bottom.  Then fold them into the batter.  You may wish to reserve some to sprinkle on top for effect.  Grease or line your muffin tin and fill the cups ¾ of the way full.  I recommend greasing the papers as well for almond flour baking.  Sprinkle reserved blueberries on top if desired, and bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Wonderful served warm with fresh butter, and just as good cool for a treat.

Just a couple hours after making them and the girls have already eaten half the batch.  A great treat and I don't have to worry about them getting too much sugar and starch.  Still, I think I'll make the rest disappear.  These were supposed to be for me!

Recipe adapted from Healthy Indulgences

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