Saturday, May 19, 2012

Muffins anyone ?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about using Protein Powder in cooking.  Here is another recipe to add to your Paleo collection that I find works very well as well.  I think this will be especially useful for those of you who don't have time to make breakfast and are used to just grabbing a quick takeout coffee on your way to work.  Then by mid morning you're out of energy and finding it very difficult to concentrate. Now you can add a couple of muffins to your coffee and have a healthy Paleo breakfast that will last you easily until lunch.

It's nice to know that instead of grabbing one of those sugar-filled fast food muffins made with wheat, vegetable oil, and who knows what kind of other questionable ingredients, you can have a healthy Paleo substitute that tastes great as well. I know that normally we don't bother with counting anything, but it's good to know that a couple of these with a cup of coffee and heavy cream will run you at approximately 375 calories, 18 grams of carbs, 29 grams of fat, and 11 grams of protein.  This should keep you going, regardless of what kind of work you do.

Certainly this makes it a good alternative to a shake in the morning.  I don't know about you but on a cold morning a hot cup of coffee and a muffin seems way more inviting to me. You can bake these on the weekend and just pull them out of your fridge or freezer during the week before you head out the door.

I have made this recipe several times now and they turn out very well.  They can be made in many variations, the key being that you need something to give them extra flavour since coconut flour by itself does tend to be a bit bland.  Try these with blueberries or raspberries which will make them both moist and delicious.  And because they don't contain any nut flour, you could also add a few for crunch without having to worry about going overboard with nuts.  Here is my basic recipe and the variations that I have tried so far.

 Blueberry and Lemon Muffins
makes 12 regular sized muffins

Ingredients :

-  6 eggs at room temperature
-  1/2 cup melted butter
-  juice of 1 lemon
-  1/4 cup water
-  2/3 cup of coconut flour, sifted
-  1/4 teaspoon salt
-  1/2 cup of sweetener (honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar)
-  1 tablespoon baking powder
-  1/2 cup vanilla flavoured protein powder (I've tried this with both Primal Fuel and Jay Robb's)
-  1 cup of blueberries
-  grated rind of 1 lemon

Directions :

-  Preheat oven to 375'F
-  Grease 12 muffin pans (or use muffin cup liners)
-  Melt the butter in the microwave and let cool while you whisk the eggs, water and the lemon juice together. Then add the melted butter and mix this in well. If adding a liquid sweetener, mix this in as well.
-  In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients, including coconut sugar if you are using this.  Make sure you sift the coconut flour since this does tend to clump and sifting will make your muffins a lot lighter.
-  Now pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well.  You don't have to worry about overmixing like you would with regular muffins, but I would still try not to mix more than necessary because you want your muffins as light as possible.
-  Finally mix in the blueberries and then divide among your greased muffin tins.  You can also top with a sprinkle of coconut sugar if you are using this.
-  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes of until the muffins are just starting to get golden on top.

Note : You'll notice mine in the photo above look very golden.  This is because of the coconut sugar I used.

Raspberry Muffins

Follow the recipe above but substitute raspberries instead of blueberries

Chocolate Walnut Muffins

Follow the above recipe and add 2 tablespoons of cocoa.  Or you could use chocolate protein powder and just one tablespoon of cocoa.  If the batter seems too dry, add more water.  Mix in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts instead of the berries.

Pina Colada Muffins

Follow the recipe above, substituting coconut milk for the water and using pineapple chunks for the fruit.  A teaspoon of rum flavouring is optional.

Carrot Cake Muffins

Follow the above recipe.  Instead of the berries add 1 cup of grated carrot and 1/4 cup of raisins.  To the dry mix add a teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground allspice.

Banana Nut Muffins

Follow the above recipe. Replace the berries, lemon juice and lemon zest with 2 medium sized very ripe bananas, mashed. Add 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.

I'm sure by now you are getting the idea - the list of variations is really endless.  The nice thing about vanilla protein powder is that it has vanilla mixed in already which gives you a great base to start with.

You can make pretty much any muffin that appeals to you by substituting the berries with any other kind of fruit.  I'm looking forward to trying apple cinnamon next and then maybe peach.  With this recipe in your repertoire you never need to be bored by breakfast again.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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