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Sugar Free & Gluten Free Low Carb Matcha Muffins

Updated on March 10, 2014

Staying Healthy with Green Tea Muffins

Although most people hardly notice except for the closest of my friends, I basically watch my carbohydrate intake to keep my weight down. For me, it's simply the easiest way to maintain my weight and so much easier than counting calories. I've been there and I've done that too many times only to find myself fatter than I started.

As I'm already at my ideal weight, I mostly stick to a healthy low-GI diet 80% of the time. The great thing about this way of eating is that I am tend to eat more vegetables to replace the refined carbs. However I do allow myself a sugary treat or a bowl of ramen noodles 20% of the time. To make it easier for myself, I usually stick to eating vegetables, nuts, fish and lots of tofu. I even have the occasional steak and fried chicken to mix things up.

Sweets and desserts are my absolute weaknesses, so to satisfy my desire for sweet things and well as a breakfast that does't consist of eggs and bacon, I challenged myself to making a good low-carb muffin that tastes just as good as the real deal. Not only that, I wanted to add matcha, or powdered green tea, to boost the nutritional value of the muffins. I'd also like to point out that there is absolutely no sugar or wheat flour used in this recipe. Instead I used almond flour, which is perfect for keeping your carb levels in check.

*Photo taken by myself unless otherwise noted.

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matcha powder
matcha powder

Why Use Matcha?

That's an easy one to answer. Matcha is one of the healthiest things you can put into your body. With more than 10 times the antioxidants of regular green tea, the health benefits are unmatched.

Matcha contains cathecins, a potent antioxidant not found in other foods. Cathecins seem to counteract the effects of free radicals from things such as pollution, radiation and chemicals which can lead to cell damage. I try to drink a few cups of green tea everyday, however I find that incorporating it into food makes it an easy and convenient way to consume this super food.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, it also tastes good, imparting a slightly bitter taste with a distinctive flavor that that enhances other flavors. Use the best matcha you can afford as the end result will only be as good as the matcha you use.

There are many resources online that talk about matcha's health benefits.

Health Benefits of Matcha

Matcha Facts

Matcha has 10 times the nutritional value and antioxidants of regular green tea.

Matcha from Kyoto - One of the Best

Tealyra - 2oz (56g) - Japanese Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder - Organic - Izu peninsula, Tokyo - Best Healthy Drink
Tealyra - 2oz (56g) - Japanese Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder - Organic - Izu peninsula, Tokyo - Best Healthy Drink

Some of the best green teas come from the region of Uji in Kyoto, Japan. Using only the best parts of the tea leaf, the flavor is unsurpassed.

 

Tweaking My Recipe for Best Results

matcha muffins
matcha muffins

Let me tell you from the start that it wasn't easy trying to get my muffins to taste good. Without the texture that comes from using white flour, it was nearly impossible to replicate that muffin texture that's somewhere between fluffy bread and cake. Instead, my first attempts turned my muffins into a mushy mess and I probably wasted a couple bags of almond flour trying to get it just right.

In fact, I almost gave up. But experience makes things easier and as I had already experimented with them last year, I just had to make it better than the last time. I found that using butter was better than using other oils as it gave the muffins a good flavor. I also learned that dissolving the matcha powder in hot water before using, brought out the flavors of the green tea better in the end.

green tea muffins
green tea muffins

After many tweaks, I think I've come pretty close to creating the ultimate low-carb muffins. Although I've used matcha in my recipe here, this versatile recipe can be the basis for many variations. All you need to do is replace the matcha with your favorite ingredients. These muffins taste best right out of the oven. If consuming later, lightly toast the muffins for that just-baked taste and texture. The muffins can also be frozen up to three months.

I've used splenda as my sweetener because it's what we have available here in Japan. However please feel free to substitute with your favorite sweetener such as Stevia.

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • Yields: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 10 packs Splenda or other sweetener to taste
  • 2 tablespoons matcha powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix almond flour, baking powder, sweetener and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Dissolve matcha powder in 1 teaspoon hot water.
  4. Add melted butter, eggs, water and matcha mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well until ingredients are combined.
  5. Pour mixture into muffin tins to 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5 stars from 2 ratings of Healthy Matcha Muffin Recipe

My Favorite Baking Books using Almond Flour

Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour
Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour

For a healthy alternative to the high-carb, sugary concoctions, try some of these gluten-free cupcakes . None of the recipes use refined sugar and it's easy to substitute your favorite sweetener in any of these recipes. I prefer this book to typical low-carb ones simply because I've had better tasting results with this book.

 
The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook
The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

Although not strictly a low-carb cookbook, I find that the recipes in this book is easily adapted to a low-carb lifestyle. The best thing about this cookbook is that anyone, dieting or not, will enjoy the creations that come out of this book. Whether you're living a gluten-free lifek low-carbing or just trying to find a healthier alternative to the usual white flour-sugar goodies, I recommend checking this book out.

 

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    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 3 years ago from In my Dream

      useful hub and great recipe thank you

    • ChristinaLucas LM profile image

      ChristinaLucas LM 3 years ago

      I try to get two cups a day too and try to get more green tea into food, though try as I might I cannot give up carbs. I love recipes like this where I can get my fix in a healthier way.

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      That's a wonderful recipe :) thanks for sharing

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Afriendinneed: haha. I guess I can relate. It's still fun though if you know you can have the bad kind once in a while. :)

    • profile image

      Afriendinneed 3 years ago

      Take all the fun out of eating a cake for me!!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @LornsA178: Aww thank you so much!

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 3 years ago

      You are a great cook! These muffins look so delicious, I would love to have one please!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Gypzeerose: Let me know how it turns out.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      I am definitely going to try this muffins. Thanks for informing us on matcha, and for working so hard to make this muffin tasty. I need a wheat free, high protein breakfast. I will get back to you and let you know how it tastes!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 3 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Great job on turning out a delicious and healthy muffin!

    • Halloween Cosplay profile image

      Halloween Cosplay 3 years ago

      These look delicious. Thanks for sharing these recipes! I'll have to check them out.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes I did. You need you to come and cook for me, it seem so easy to you. I have had enough of cooking after 60 years, but I will try your recipes they look yummy.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 3 years ago

      Wow, wonderful lens, and I love using almond flour!

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      Your determination to get the recipe to work is truly impressive. I would have given up. However, aren't there lots of recipes on line using almond flour? Just a thought...since so many people are adapting recipes for various reasons. I am going to read more about matcha. Thanks for such a great article!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @TerriCarr: Thanks so much. There are many recipes online using almond flour for low carb cooking, but I haven't encountered one for muffins that truly satisfied my taste buds. That was probably the hardest thing for me when I started eating low carb. Finding good recipes for low-carb treats.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Diana Wenzel: Thanks my friend. No, I could never be a professional baker. Not with the way I constantly improvise. haha

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @SteveKaye: Haha. Thanks Steve. Appreciate your comments.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Brite-Ideas: Thank you. I hope you try them out. I'll make a non low-carb version soon. I have some ideas.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Coffee-Break: Thanks! Let me know how they turn out. :)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Merrci: Or you could just low carb now and then for a change. :) Thanks Merrci. Your visits always make my day.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      Wow. I need to get some of that matcha tea powder. That nutritional value is incredible. Thanks for introducing me to such a power ingredient. I love your commitment to refining your culinary experiments. Are you sure you're not a professional chef or baker?

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      I wish I could grab a bite from the photos. It looks really delicious.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I'm pinning this to my food board, I've never heard of these much less tried them, but would like to make them for myself!

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      These matcha muffins look great, they must be delicious, I'll try your recipe, definitely.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Of course! They look delicious Smine27! Looks like I'm going to go low carb. It is great how you experiment to make them just right!