Savory Almond Flour Muffins, Revisited

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:

[blockquote]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.[/blockquote]

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…

Savory Almond Muffins

Savory Almond Flour Muffins

Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously grease 9 cups of a one-dozen muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond and tapioca flour, potato starch, salt, baking soda and coconut sugar..
  3. Stir the eggs, oil and water into the almond flour mixture, beating lightly by hand with a wooden spoon, until thoroughly combined.
  4. 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.
  5. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  6. 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!

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

Happy Thursday, y’all!

Today’s recipe isn’t much of a much, although it’s a very tasty one – Banana Cinnamon Muffins are merely a slightly sweeter, warmly spiced version of my Almond Flour Banana Bread from the holidays.

I always keep fruit in the house for The G Man; he doesn’t really get cookies, candy or other sweet treats at Meema and Papa’s house.  But the boy just adores fruit, and he’s especially fond of bananas, so I always try to make sure to have some on hand.  On the downside to that, I sometimes have bananas slowly rotting on my counter – after all, there’s only so many bananas a 2 1/2 year old can eat during his weekly visits to the grands, and Meema, Papa and Uncle Young One have to really be in the mood to eat a tasty nanner.

It seems to be different if you put the tasty nanner in bread form, for these disappeared quite rapidly (which is why I don’t bake often).  I whipped these together for our Sunday brunch a couple of weeks ago, and since I was walnutless and didn’t want to wait an hour for a loaf of bread to be done, muffins it was.  The addition of the cinnamon was an interesting twist.

Note: I’m not sure why they sank slightly in the center; it’s possible my oven wasn’t quite hot enough, which is pretty par for the course – it’s a temperamental appliance.  However, they were done all the way through and still quite delicious.

Banana Cinnamon Muffins
Banana Cinnamon Muffins
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons melted ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F; generously grease a 12 serving muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together the almond flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or another large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), mix the eggs, bananas, sugar, cinnamon, ghee and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Mix in the almond flour mixture in three additions on low speed, mixing well and scraping down the sides after each addition.
  3. Divide the batter between the 12 prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  4. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out the muffins. Allow to cool completely before serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 248 calories, 17.1g total fat, 56.7mg cholesterol, 228mg sodium, 266.8mg potassium, 16g carbohydrates, 3.7g fiber, 10.6g sugar, 1.8g protein

 

Savory Almond Flour Muffins

I’m not sure, but the discovery that I can bake delicious savory and sweet things with almond flour may not be the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

Oh, well – I suppose it could be worse.  In fact, I know it could be worse.

Over the last year, I’ve lamented that I could no longer have spoon bread, or even cornbread, with my Texas-style chili.  I made up for that somewhat with the Chipotle Butternut Squash Souffle I developed last winter, but it’s still not the same as good ol’ cornbread.  And to be perfectly honest, neither is this – but it’s tons better than a squash souffle.  These muffins are a bit more dense than a traditional cornbread muffin, but that makes just one perfectly filling.  It also means these stand up to dishes like soup, stew or chili really well; they won’t get soggy and turn to mush quickly.  Which is a good thing – the next time I roast a chicken, I believe I’ll try to make a version of my grandmother’s Cornbread Dressing with them – if it comes out as well as I anticipate, it will become part of the Thanksgiving menu this year.

The recipe calls for unblanched almond flour, but if you only have blanched that’s fine.  It will lack the rustic look of the muffins in the photo, but probably look more like traditional cornbread.  Also, these were a wee bit on the salty side; you might want to cut back the salt to 3/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon.

Savory Almond Flour Muffins

Savory Almond Flour Muffins

serves 9

1 1/2 cups unblanched almond flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon raw honey

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously grease 9 cups of a one-dozen muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt and baking soda. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs and honey. Stir the wet ingredients 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): 188 calories, 15.8g total fat, 62mg cholesterol, 2524mg sodium, 140.9mg potassium, 5.8g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 2.6g sugar, 2.3g protein.

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