Since I posted it in September 2011, Savory Almond Flour Muffins has been one of my most popular recipes. And with good reason; they’re a delicious, low carb, grain free, gluten free, dairy free substitute for cornbread – I’ve even made dressing out of them. They’re a marvelous accompaniment for soups, stews and chilis and they keep well. They’re also a little dense and oily, and not terribly absorbent, so I’ve been working on making them lighter, fluffier and more “bread-like.”
I have achieved success.
These are a huge hit in our house, and I have to limit how often I make them because Beloved and The Young One would eat them every day, at nearly every meal, if I’d bake them that often. They have also become the base recipe for sweet muffins and cakes, because the batter is just that versatile.
Almond flour and eggs are still the base ingredients, but I’ve added small amounts of tapioca flour and potato starch to lighten up the texture and give them a more bread-like “chew.” I’ve also changed the oil I use, swapping out the olive oil with expeller-pressed, high-oleic safflower oil.
There’s a reason for this. I don’t know about the rest of you, but recently I’ve heard enough about the practice of mixing olive oil with cheap, industrial seed oils to make me uncomfortable using the inexpensive “light” olive oil I’d been relying on for sautés, mayonnaise and the occasional baked good. Then, not too long ago, Mark Sisson answered a reader’s question about high-oleic sunflower and safflower oils – are they safe?
To my surprise, the answer was yes, provided they’re cold or expeller-pressed:
They’re actually not terrible. If you stick with reputable companies that cold-press or expeller-press their oils without chemical solvents or high heat, high-oleic sunflower and safflower oils are good in a pinch. They don’t taste like much of anything, making them good for homemade mayonnaise, and they contain vitamin E (if they’re expeller-pressed), making them resistant to oxidation. Furthermore, high-oleic sunflower and safflower seeds aren’t products of genetic modification, if you’re trying to avoid GMOs…the high-oleic versions of sunflower and safflower oil are far superior to other vegetable and seed oils.
Well, alrighty then. So I threw out my inexpensive olive oils, and replaced the extra-virgin with a high-quality California olive oil and the “light” stuff with high-oleic safflower oil, and it works really well.
The original recipe for these muffins came in at 188 calories and about 6 grams of carbohydrates each; this new version are 201 calories and about 10 grams of carbs because of the tapioca and potato starch. However, I’ve substituted the touch of honey in the old recipe with the lower calorie/carb coconut sugar, which you can omit all together if you like, reducing the carb count by a couple of grams per muffin, although I think just a touch of sweetness gives them more depth of flavor and keeps them from tasting a little bitter.
These would be really good with some finely chopped jalapeno and maybe a little shredded cheddar cheese, if you do dairy. I’m thinking perhaps a tamale pie…
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup high-oleic safflower oil
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously grease 9 cups of a one-dozen muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond and tapioca flour, potato starch, salt, baking soda and coconut sugar..
- Stir the eggs, oil and water into the almond flour mixture, beating lightly by hand with a wooden spoon, until thoroughly combined.
- Divide the batter equally between the 9 greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Nutrition (per serving): 201 calories, 15.7g total fat, 62mg cholesterol, 199.5mg sodium, 162.4mg potassium, 9.3g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 2.4g sugar, 2.3g protein
Just a reminder: I’ve been nominated for Best Recipe Blog, Best Healthy Cooking Blog and Best Food Photography on a Blog at The Kitchn’s 2013 Homies Awards (along with a lot of other nice blogs). Take a minute and check it out – and vote (for me!) if you’re so inclined. Thanks!