Posted on Jan 11, 2011 in All Recipe Posts, Breakfast, Fruit, Muffins, Nuts, Protein, Protein Muffins, Special Diet | 18 comments

I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions.  I never keep them.  So I don’t make them.  I’m not much for setting myself a list of goals either.  But occasionally I decide to commit to something for a while.  Lately, I’ve committed myself to eating healthy and clean for at least 80 – 90% of the time.   I want to cut my body fat percentage.  Do I need to?  Not really.  But, hey, it’s something to obsess about.  OCD?  Moi? :-D.  That’s a tough ask for someone who loves to bake, and especially who loves to make sweets of all shapes, sizes and denominations.   I like to do things the hard way … so now I taste sweets rather than help myself to a decent portion, unless I’m having an allowed cheat treat.  But it does mean that for most of the time, if I want treats, they have to comply with being healthy and nutritious.  That means good fats, good carbs, and quality protein.

Fanfare … these flourless muffins were an experiment that turned out brilliantly.  Phew!  They contain no nasty refined flour so are both wheat and gluten-free (make sure you use gluten-free baking powder).  Make them with skim milk and get lots of protein and calcium but without the saturated fat.  Almonds provide the good fats, more protein and some fibre.  The blueberries, well … chock full of good stuff, aren’t they?  And yum.  Look at all that goodness …

I only use 1/2 cup sugar as I don’t like my muffins too sweet.  They are so full of fruit, it just isn’t necessary.   And I don’t pack in the brown sugar.  That’s less than 100 grams of brown sugar, which is less than 10 grams per muffin.  You might prefer them sweeter than that.  So, I’ve included a range for the sugar, depending on your sweet tooth.

They don’t rise as much as flour based muffins but they are super moist, fall-apart fruity, and very light.

I’ve included some variations as well as a nutritional profile below.  Hopefully you find it as helpful as I do.  You get a great protein kick from a muffin and the fats are overwhelmingly heart healthy fats.  Not a trans fat to be found.

Better than the low-fat, no-taste, no-nutrition muffins you find on the way to work in the morning.  Plus the ingredient list doesn’t contain strange substances that belong in a lab … bonus for the clean eating brigade.  Hooray!

Now I can get back to obsessing over a new camera ;-)

Makes 10 – 12 muffins

Ingredients
250 grams almond meal
1/2 – 2/3 cup brown sugar (unpacked)*
2 teaspoons baking powder
300 grams blueberries
200 millilitres buttermilk or low-fat/skim milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract

*If you prefer to make these sugar free, substitute your sweetener of choice, to taste.  This will lower the carbohydrate and sugar count in the macros below.  These work beautifully also with coconut or rapadura sugar.  Use 1/2 cup unless you have a really sweet tooth.

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (190ºC if using a fan forced oven).
Mix together the almond meal, brown sugar, and baking powder in a bowl.  Make sure you break up any
sugar or almond meal lumps.  Toss in the blueberries.

Whisk together the buttermilk or low-fat milk, egg, and vanilla bean paste.  Add the wet ingredients to the almond meal mixture and mix lightly.  It’s okay if the mixture is a little lumpy as these are muffins.  Do not overbeat or mix the batter.
Pour the batter into 10 to 12 lined muffin tins or moulds (how many depends on the size).
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before turning out.

They can be frozen, stored in an airtight container, and reheated for 20 seconds in a microwave.  They’re just as good as if they were baked fresh that day :-)

Variations
Replace the blueberries with the same quantity of other types of fruit.  Good combinations are:
• Raspberry
• Raspberry or blackberry and peach
• Pear and passionfruit
• Mixed berries
• Peach and orange
• Cherries
• Apricot (replace vanilla with almond essence)

Replace half the almond meal with finely ground pistachios, hazelnuts or walnuts and add your own flavourings.

If you prefer citrus to vanilla, replace the vanilla with the grated zest of one lemon or orange.

Peach and Blackberry variation:

Nutritional Profile
I’ve provided profiles based on using skim milk and only 1/2 cup of sugar.  All data is sourced from the Calorie King Australia website.

Want to increase the protein hit?  Add one scoop of your favourite 100% whey protein supplement, but stick with vanilla to get the best flavour in these muffins.  You’ll be adding around another 2g of protein to each muffin.