- Food and Cooking
Sugar Free & Gluten Free Low Carb Matcha Muffins
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.
Almond Flour Poll
Have you ever cooked using almond flour?
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.
Matcha has 10 times the nutritional value and antioxidants of regular green tea.
Matcha from Kyoto - One of the Best
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
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.
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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix almond flour, baking powder, sweetener and salt together in a bowl.
- Dissolve matcha powder in 1 teaspoon hot water.
- Add melted butter, eggs, water and matcha mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well until ingredients are combined.
- Pour mixture into muffin tins to 2/3 full.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
My Favorite Baking Books using Almond 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.
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.