Tag Archives: almond flour

Jan’s Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins

Those wonderful looking muffins at the coffee shop pack a minimum of 60 grams of carbohydrates, and sometimes over 100! That makes them unsuitable for a diet with a goal of 30 – 40 grams of carbs per day. The alternatives we’ve tried all seem dry or just not very tasty.

But Jan has come up with an alternative muffin that comes in at less than 6 grams of carbohydrates per muffin. At 6 grams, the muffins can complement any meal, and serve as a good snack. As in all of these lower carbohydrate recipes, a balance between taste and carbohydrate levels has to be reached. I think Jan has nailed it on this recipe!

Because these contain a small amount of flour, sugar, brown sugar and commercially produced spices, they may not be appropriate for paleo dieters. They are also not gluten free. Substituting more almond meal for the white flour does work, and removes the gluten, but makes the muffins denser. We like them this way — low carb and tasty!

These have a firm texture like a bran muffin, but with a smoother, not-so-sweet pumpkin bread taste. They are especially good sliced down the middle, slathered with butter, and then heated for 15 seconds in the microwave. The coconut and brown sugar topping provides a satisfying crunch, complemented by the crunchy walnuts. Our tastes have changed, and we don’t like “too sweet” desserts any longer, but increasing the sweetener may be appropriate for some. This recipe makes 24 muffins.

INGREDIENTS:

Dry Ingredients
2 1/2 Cup Almond Meal Flour
1 Cup Flaxseed Meal
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
1/4 Cup White Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/8 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Wet Ingredients
9 Large AA Eggs
1 15 Oz Organic Canned Pumpkin
1 Tablespoon Dark Molasses
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
18 Drops EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose (equal to 5/8 Cup of Sugar)
1/3+ Cup Water
Topping Dry Ingredients (Optional)
3 Tablespoon Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

Procedure:

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

Grease cupcake pans with butter, coconut oil or (gasp) vegetable shortening, then flour them. See This Link for a tutorial on greasing a cupcake pan (“The Internet has everything, Wilma!”) You’ll need enough cupcake pans to make 24 muffins.

Combine dry ingredients (except for the optional topping and walnuts) in a mixing bowl and mix well. Combine wet ingredients in a larger bowl and mix well, then mix in the dry ingredients, adding them slowly. You can adjust the water from 1/3 to 1/2 cup as needed while mixing; the mixture should be thick, about the consistency of cooked oatmeal. When fully mixed, fold in the chopped walnuts.

Fill the greased cupcake pans with the mixture, nearly to the top. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix well, then sprinkle on top of the mixture in the cupcake pans. This topping rests on top and forms a crunchy, crumble-like topping as it is baked, so don’t fold, spindle or mutilate it — just sprinkle it on top.

Place filled cupcake pans into the oven for 20 minutes. When done, a wooden toothpick inserted into a muffin will come out clean.

Net Carbs Information

Our carbohydrate analysis is calculated using the labels on the packaged ingredients (pumpkin, etc.) and Internet sources for things like the eggs. We have subtracted the fiber grams from the US labeled product to achieve the net, digestible carbohydrate count.

We did not calculate the grams of fiber, protein and fat in this recipe, as we rarely worry about those in our daily diet. Those of you who care, and use nutritional calculators at sites like FitDay, are welcome to chime in with your analysis in the comments.

Eliminating the topping brings the muffins down to 5 grams of carbs each. You may find other places to save, such as substituting more EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose for the sugar (saving another 24 grams of carbs), and bring these in at about 4 grams of carbs. But we would rather save that gram of carb elsewhere.

Net Carbs in Ingredients
Amount Measure Ingredient Net Grams of Carbs
2 1/2 Cup Almond Meal Flour 20
1 Cup Flaxseed Meal 0
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour 16
1/4 Cup White Flour 20
1 teaspoon Baking Soda 0
3 teaspoons Baking Powder 0
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice 0
1/8 Cup Sugar 24
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts 0
Wet Ingredients
9 Large AA Eggs 4
1 15 Oz Organic Canned Pumpkin 21
1 Tablespoon Dark Molasses 15
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract 0
18 Drops EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose 0
1/3 Cup Water 0
Topping Dry Ingredients (Optional)
3 Tablespoon Unsweetened Shredded Coconut 2
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar 12
Totals
Full Recipe 134 grams
Per Muffin 5.58 grams

Good Stuff Inside

We like coconut and almond flour, as well as flaxseed meal, but used alone, they can rarely replace white flour in a recipe. We find flaxseed muffins dry and tough. Combining the three “alternative flours” in the proportions above works well in this recipe. One note about coconut flour: it is very thirsty, so if you use more, expect to add more water.

We haven’t had good success baking with any of the alternative sweeteners except for EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose. The problem with granular Splenda, Stevia, Truvia and other sweeteners is that they turn bitter when baked at 350°F. Each drop of EZ-Sweetz equals a teaspoon of sugar in sweetness without any malitrol, dextrose or other “carrier” to turn bitter.

Let us know how you like these muffins, and if you come up with other modifications.

Low Carb Pie Crust

You can find several variations on the low carb pumpkin pie recipe, most often without a crust. One recipe uses crushed pecans, but they are expensive now. I found an old recipe for “Nut Brown Crust” in the American Home All Purpose Cookbook, published in 1966.

Nut Brown Crust

1 1/2 Cup finely ground almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts or pecans
3 Tbls Sugar (or sugar substitute, like Splenda)
2 Tbls soft butter

Blend finely ground nuts, butter and sweetener together with fingers. Press firmly into a lightly buttered 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 400°F for 6 – 8 minutes. Cool before filling.

Using almond meal (sometimes called almond “flour”), I found I could make a very good crust that acts a bit like a graham cracker crust. This crust works well with pumpkin pie filling.

The almond meal has a total of 30 grams of carbohydrates, with 18 of them fiber. The net carb count is therefore 12 grams for the entire pie. Many of the low carb pumpkin pie fillings come in at about 12 grams for the entire pie also. Slice that pie into 8 slices and each is only 3 grams of carbs.