Versatile GF Low Carb Muffins Recipe

Versatile GF Low Carb Muffins Recipe

One Low Carb Muffins Recipe=A lot of Possibilities

A lot of work and failure comes into play when it comes to developing gluten free and low carb baking recipes. So when I do come up with a success, I like to get a lot of bang for my buck. I try to use it as a base to make different flavors of things. Thus, how my versatile GF Low Carb Muffins Recipe was born.

The Backstory of My Easy Low Carb Muffins

I’ve always liked to get in the kitchen and invent new recipes, even way before I was gluten free and low carb.

I remember being about five or six and getting in the kitchen and just mixing different ingredients together. Most of the time it tasted nasty, but I remember a few times it actually tasted good. My mother must have had the patience of a saint.

Since then, my family has gotten used to my concoctions – for better or for worse! But my little hobby became useful when I went low carb and gluten free.

After I’d had a few months of making healthy desserts under my belt, I decided to get in the kitchen and come up with my own low carb creations.

Who knew? Maybe I’d start whipping out tasty creation after creation and publish my own cookbook.

Or maybe it would just taste like junk. Which it did. At first.

Eventually I did get the hang of having the right proportion of ingredients in a recipe and my muffin/cupcakes were born. I’m not bragging, but they’re pretty tasty. I’ve taken them to several potlucks, not told anyone is was GF or low carb, and I haven’t come back home with a single muffin.

Since mastering my muffin recipe, it’s given me the confidence that I can still get in the kitchen and whip out some awesome low carb creations.

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How to Make Easy Low Carb Muffins (Chocolate Version)

Low Carb Morning Muffins

Preheat the oven to 325 F. To a medium sized mixing bowl, add 1 cup almond flour, 1 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tbsp cocoa, 1/2 cup your preferred natural sweetener, (this is my favorite brand) and a pinch of salt.

easy gluten free muffin recipe

Next add  3 eggs, 1 tbsp vanilla, 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, and 1/2 cup coconut milk. Depending on what flavor muffin you’re in the mood for, you can add 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips or chunks and/or 1/4 cup chopped nuts. Mix well. (See below for other flavor combinations)

gluten free muffin recipe easy

Line a 6 cup muffin pan with paper liners, or use a silicone muffin pan. I don’t know how I baked before I bought mine. I’ll never go back to paper liners!

best low carb muffins

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

You can use this low carb muffins recipe as a base for a lot of variations. Just use your imagination!

*To make vanilla chocolate chip muffins, omit cocoa and use 2 tbsp of coconut flour. Add 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips.

*To make banana muffins, add one mashed banana and decrease coconut milk to 1/4 cup. (Keep in mind the banana will increase the carb count)

*For blueberry muffins, omit cocoa, increase coconut flour to 2 tbsp, and add 1/2 cup blueberries.

Versatile GF Low Carb Muffins Recipe

Versatile GF Low Carb Muffins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 cup your preferred natural sweetener, (this is my favorite brand)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips or chunks (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
  3. Next add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Add 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips or chunks and/or 1/4 cup chopped nuts.
  4. Line a 6 cup muffin pan with paper liners, or use a silicone muffin pan.
    For vanilla chocolate chip muffins, omit cocoa and use 2 tbsp of coconut flour. Add 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips.
    To make banana muffins, add one mashed banana and decrease coconut milk to 1/4 cup. (Keep in mind the banana will increase the carb count)
    For blueberry muffins, omit cocoa, increase coconut flour to 2 tbsp, and add 1/2 cup blueberries.
https://glutenfreedownhomecooking.com/2016/01/versatile-gf-low-carb-muffins-recipe/


Fast and Easy Low Carb Mexican Chicken Casserole

Fast and Easy Low Carb Mexican Chicken Casserole

Low Carb Cooking Doesn’t have to Mean Time Consuming Cooking

Back before I was gluten free and low carb, it was a cinch to throw a last minute dinner together. Add some meat, some potatoes, a powdered gravy mix, and a can of creamy condensed soup together and you could have a really great tasting dinner in no time flat.

Low carb and gluten free cooking can be very time consuming because you can’t add prepackaged ingredients that add flavor and cut the cook time.  And while I love taking the time to cook a healthy low carb meal, when I’m working late it’s just not an option.

So I’ve made it my mission to come up with quick low carb dinners, especially recipes like my low carb Mexican chicken casserole. I love me some Mexican food, but I learned quick I’ve got to get creative to make it low carb. Tortillas and beans are out, which were staples in my old Mexican casserole recipes.

Shortcuts I Used to Make my Low Carb Chicken Casserole

To save time, I used frozen cooked cubed chicken breast and frozen fajita peppers and onions mix. If you want to make yours from absolute scratch, cube two cups of leftover chicken breast and use one cup sliced onions and one cup sliced peppers.

Make it a Beef Mexican Bake

Try it with beef instead! Tastes just like tacos with a little crunch. To make the beef version, brown 1 pound hamburger and use in place of the 2 cups chicken.

Enjoy a Low Carb Mexican Chicken Casserole in Less than an Hour!

low carb mexican casserole

Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9×13 Pyrex casserole dish. Pour in one 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilies.

Add 2 tbsp melted organic coconut oil, 2 tsp organic chili powder, 2 tsp organic cumin, 1 tsp organic garlic powder, 1 tsp organic onion powder, 1/2 tsp organic dried oregano, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and mix well.

low carb mexican chicken casserole

Add two cups cubed cooked chicken and two cups peppers and onions. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix well.

low carb chicken casserole

Cut an 8 ounce block of cream cheese into 1/4 inch cubes and dot across the top of the casserole. Bake for 20 minutes.

low carb chicken casserole recipes

Remove from oven and stir in the cream cheese until melted and blended in. Add two cups shredded cheese and return to the oven. Bake for 10 more minutes.

Gluten Free Mexican Casserole

Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

Fast and Easy Low Carb Mexican Chicken Casserole

30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Carbs per serving: 5.5

Fast and Easy Low Carb Mexican Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Grease a 9x13 Pyrex casserole dish. Empty the can of tomatoes into the Pyrex dish. Add the oil, water, and spices and mix well.
  3. Next, add the chicken and vegetables and stir to coat. Dot the cream cheese cubes across the top.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and stir, blending in the cream cheese. Add shredded cheese and return to stove. Cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
https://glutenfreedownhomecooking.com/2016/01/fast-and-easy-low-carb-mexican-chicken-casserole/


Healthy Natural Sugar Substitutes: Baking Low Carb 101

Healthy Natural Sugar Substitutes Baking 101

Baking with Sugar Substitutes is a Whole New Ballgame for Low Carb Cooks

A few years ago I began a gluten free, low carb way of eating and eliminated sugar completely from my diet. It was hard at first, because I love my sweets and did without them for about two months.

My craving for sweets came in ebbs and flows. Then I thought why am I depriving myself? There has to be a way to eat healthy and indulge in an occasional dessert that’s not going to blow my carb count. Just because I’ve changed the way I eat shouldn’t mean I can’t eat sweets, right?

In my pre low carb days, I was a baking fiend. I loved to make desserts of all sorts. From homestyle country desserts, to more upscale complicated dishes, I didn’t care. It was one of my favorite hobbies. (that tasted amazing!)

Low carb baking is a whole different animal because the flour and especially the sweeteners completely change the taste and texture of traditional recipes.

The sweetener issue was one I really struggled with. There’s plenty of artificial sweeteners on the market, but I didn’t want to turn to chemical sweeteners like Splenda or Equal. I felt I would just be trading one harmful substance for another.

In doing research, (I’m a big researcher!) I learned there are a lot of natural alternatives to sugar out there. I found out through trial and error that some sweeteners really taste like sugar, some are okay depending on what you use it in, and others are just plain horrible.

Consider this your guide to natural substitutes: baking 101 for low carb cooks. I will give you my honest review of a few of the natural sweeteners I have baked with and had success with, as well as one that is not worth your hard earned money.



Best Baking Sugar Substitute Requirements

I had a few requirements in my search for the best tasting sugar substitute I could cook with. When baking for a low carb diet, any sweetener you use has to be low on the glycemic index.

In my case, it also has to be safe for diabetics because I have many diabetic friends that I feed on a regular basis. I want them to be able to enjoy my treats without worrying that it might hurt them. As a result, all sweeteners I’ve listed in this post negligibly raises blood sugar levels, and are low carb and gluten free.

Another requirement I have is the sugar substitute cannot change the flavor of my goodies. There’s nothing more I hate than a funky aftertaste. My goal when I make desserts is for people to not be able to tell the difference between my dessert and one made with sugar.

Steviva: The Best Tasting Sugar Substitute Hands Down

natural sugar substitute for bakingSteviva Blend stevia sweetener – 5 lb Bulk Bagnatural sugar substitute for baking

Steviva closely mimics sugar in my baked goods. Low carb baking requires alternative flours and sweeteners that seriously alter taste and texture. I thought I was just going to have to trade taste for carbs.

A lot of natural sweeteners have an off flavor that’s not necessarily bad, but different. Most natural sweeteners don’t work well in baked goods either because they don’t have the molecular properties of sugar.

I’m so happy I found Steviva, because it’s the closest thing I’ve found to real sugar when it comes to low carb baking. It sweetens without a funky aftertaste, a must in my book.

Steviva is a blend of powdered stevia and erythritol that bakes and, to me, tastes just like sugar. Steviva is more expensive than sugar, but it’s comparable to the price of other natural sweeteners. But I find it’s more economical than the others I’ve tried.

For every one cup of sugar required in a recipe, 1/3 cup or less of Steviva can be substituted, so my one-pound bag lasts for a very long time.

Steviva doesn’t have any aftertaste or cooling effect. This sweetener is even teenager approved. My son has noticed no difference between baked goods I’ve made with Steviva and baked goods I used to make from sugar. (I didn’t tell him he liked something healthy, shhhhh!)

Conclusion:

  • Works well in cakes, muffins, cookies
  • Has no aftertaste or cooling effect
  • Doesn’t have a
  • bitter flavor if too much is used
  • Less can be used for the same sweetening effect, making it more cost effective
  • Has 0 carbs

 Stevia Glycerite: Works Well with Others

list natural sugar substitutesStevia is probably the most natural sweetener you can use, aside from honey. But unlike honey, it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Stevia is really a South American herb that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. A little dab will do you when it comes to stevia.

My father was always a natural living/food fanatic. Looking back, I think I’d consider him a borderline hippie. I remember him first talking about stevia when I was about 12. He thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, and it became the only sweetener in our house for a long time.

Even then I loved to bake. But low quality stevia, combined with me not knowing how to use it, resulted in utter nastiness. No matter how little of it I tried to use in my dessert recipes, it resulted in bitter and just plain yucky baked goods.

Sometimes it’s all in what you know and how you use it.

I wanted to give stevia a second chance, because I know it’s a healthy sweetener that’s diabetic and low carb friendly. I did a little research and learned how to cook with a certain formula of stevia that works best with baking.

Stevia glycerite has completely changed the way I bake. It doesn’t get as bitter as quickly as it did when I used to use the stevia powder back in the day. I can use stevia glycerite all alone in my baked goods, or I can use it in conjunction with my other sweeteners. Either way, it tastes great.

I like to use stevia with other sweeteners in my recipes, though. Even the best tasting sugar substitutes can have an off taste if you use too much. Too offset that, I use a minimum amount of granulated sweetener and add a few drops of stevia to sweeten it to my desired taste.

Also, be aware than when you use only stevia in your recipe, it’s going to alter the texture of your baked goods because of its chemical properties. If you plan on using it as the only sweetener, you’ll need to use a recipe that’s designed just for stevia.

A warning though, even stevia glycerite can become bitter if you add too much to your batter. The key is to remember to add only drops, not teaspoons, and always taste it before you add more.

Conclusion:

  • Tastes like sugar if used sparingly
  • Some baked goods’ texture will be different if used alone
  • Stevia enhances other natural sweeteners
  • Has 0 carbs

Swerve Sweetener: Gets by with a Little Help from Friends

I have mixed feelings about Swerve. Overall, its taste is really close to sugar, but once I use too much I’ve found it has a weird aftertaste that gives me a weird cooling feeling in my mouth that leaves me thirsty.

Swerve is available in granulated and confectioner’s form. The granular does a pretty good job sweetening my baked goods and I haven’t noticed any texture problems. The powdered version I just love. I use powdered Swerve like I would powdered sugar. It makes a great frosting that’s indistinguishable from a powdered sugar version. As a result, I can still frost my Christmas cookies and no one’s the wiser.

However, a little bit of Swerve can go a long way. When I use too much, it doesn’t taste too sweet, but rather leaves a cooling effect in my mouth and an odd taste, and also makes me very thirsty.

I’ve been able to get around this problem by adding a minimal amount of granular Swerve to my batters and then adding a few drops of Stevia. I’ve also had success by using half Swerve and half another natural sweetener in recipes. I very rarely use Swerve only in a recipe.

For my frostings, I pretty much stick to using powdered cocoa or another strong extract flavor because it masks the cooling flavor and thirsty feeling Swerve can give.

natural sugar substitute for bakingSwerve Sweetener, Bakers Bundle, 16Oz Granular and Confectionersnatural sugar substitute for baking

Conclusion:

  • Tastes like sugar if used sparingly or with another sweetener
  • Baked goods have a texture that resembles sugar-sweetened baked goods
  • Confectioner’s Swerve can be used like powdered sugar for frostings
  • Swerve comes in individual packets to sweeten drinks
  • Has 0 net carbs

Xylitol Sweetener: Good for You, Good for Your Teeth, and Makes Some Mean Muffins

 

natural sugar substitute for bakingXlear Xylosweet Bag, 5-Poundnatural sugar substitute for baking

With a name like Xylitol, you wouldn’t expect it to be natural, but it really is. Xylitol is actually a sugar alcohol that is extracted from plants such as birch trees or corn.

I use this sweetener on a pretty regular basis because it has no aftertaste and it closely mimics the molecular properties of table sugar. I’ve had great results in my low carb quick bread or muffin recipes, and most anything with a coarser texture because of this.

Because xylitol’s molecular properties so closely resemble that of table sugar, you can use xylitol to make candies. Yes, it can even go to the hard crack stage. Mmmm….homemade low carb cinnamon disks or root beer barrels, anyone?

Aside from being a great sweetener, xylitol has some amazing benefits, too. Did you know that xylitol actually prevents tooth decay? Brands like Orbit, Trident, and Icebreakers contain xylitol. Dentists actually recommend candy and gum made from xylitol because it’s so good for your teeth.

Conclusion:

  • Tastes like sugar
  • Works great with coarser textured breads and muffins
  • Can be used to make low carb candies
  • Has 0 net carbs

CAUTION: Xylitol a natural substance, but it is poisonous to dogs. Use with care if you have dogs in your home. If you are concerned about your four-legged friend accidentally ingesting food made with xylitol, then I would recommend not using it.

Is There a Natural Sweetener I wouldn’t Recommend?

There is one natural sweetener on the market that I have tried that was horrible and a waste of my hard earned money.


natural sugar substitute bakingJust Like Sugar is pretty darn natural. It’s made from chicory root and has nearly 0 carbs per serving. Unfortunately, it has absolutely no sweetening power whatsoever. I’ve tried to give it a shot and use it in different recipes, but I always get the same result. No sweetening power. Nada.

I used it an a muffin recipe I use often and have good results with. After adding the amount called for in my recipe, I tasted the batter. It tasted as if I hadn’t added anything.

Now, I know when it comes to natural sweeteners, you may have to use an amount more or less than what’s called for. That’s just the way it is. So I added a little more. A little more. Still more.

It still just tasted bland and horrible.

So I decided to experiment. When I bought Just Like Sugar for baking, I also ordered some individual packets to try in my tea. I made a cup of hot tea and added one packet.

Nothing.

I added seven more packets of Just Like Sugar and my tea still tasted the same.

I know a lot of low carb cooks swear by this stuff, so maybe they know something I don’t know. But I’ve tried to like Just Like Sugar, I really have. We’re just not meant to be together.

In my opinion, don’t waste your money on Just Like Sugar.

Finding the Natural Sugar Substitute for Baking

This list of natural sugar substitutes are the ones I’ve had the most success with. These are the most popular, but just a fraction of the low carb natural sugar substitutes baking experts use. In the end, natural sweeteners are kind of a personal thing. Some may prefer the taste of one over another. They might work in one recipe, but not produce stellar results in another.

Hopefully, this guide will help you decide which ones have the most success in the majority of recipes, and how to use them to their fullest potential.

 


Low Carb Fudge Made with Coconut Oil

Fudge Made with Coconut Oil

Fudge Made with Coconut Oil: The Perfect Healthy Fudge Recipe

I always wondered as a child, especially when my mother was making me eat Brussels sprouts, why God didn’t make healthy food taste like chocolate? To my six-year-old mind it made perfect sense. If it’s supposed to be good for you, why didn’t it taste, well, good?

Fast forward a little over 30 years later and I still don’t like Brussels sprouts, but I still love chocolate. And I still wonder why a lot of healthy foods doesn’t taste amazing. But I’ve found a yummy healthy food that tastes like chocolate because it’s, well, chocolate.

Fudge made with coconut oil.

Coconut oil chocolate fudge is a delicious way to get healthy fats into your diet when you’re low carb or keto. I use it as an excuse to eat chocolate. Oh, I’ve got to get more fats into my diet. Better eat me some fudge.

Darn.

Sometimes I’ll eat it for a snack, other times I have a piece or two in the morning with my tea if I’m not very hungry. I make my friends choke when they ask me what I had for breakfast that day and I casually tell them fudge. They think I’ve fell off the wagon, but I know I’m really eating healthy.

Fudge Made with Coconut Oil Makes a Great Low Carb Christmas Candy

I don’t know what it is about the holidays and sweets, but you can’t seem to have one without the other. I used to bake batches of wheat flour cookies and sugar laden candies for Christmas. Since I started my new way of eating, I’ve revamped all of my recipes, even the Christmas standbys.

Fudge always reminds me of my grandmother in Missouri. She made the best fudge I’ve ever tasted because she used black walnuts. They have a distinctive flavor that doesn’t even resemble typical English walnuts. I’m here in Florida, and it’s a nut that’s not grown down here.

To me, fudge isn’t fudge without black walnuts, and I’ve kept her tradition by adding black walnuts to my coconut oil fudge, but you can replace it with your favorite nut or don’t use any nuts at all.

To sweeten my coconut oil chocolate fudge without making it gritty and grainy, I used Confectioner’s Swerve. This is a no-cook fudge recipe, and that’s why you can’t use a granulated sweetener. It won’t dissolve, and you’ll be left with a grainy crunchy mess.

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Step by Step Directions to Make Fudge Made with Coconut Oil

Healthy Fudge Recipe

First, melt 1 cup organic virgin coconut oil and add to a large mixing bowl. (I use Barlean’s coconut oil.)

low carb fudge recipe

Add 1 cup organic cocoa powder to your oil.

fudge made coconut oil

Add 1/2 cup Confectioner’s Swerve sweetener. Or use your preferred sweetener, just be sure it’s in powder form or your fudge will be grainy.

low carb christmas candy

Next add 1/4 tsp of stevia glycerite, (or to taste) 1 tsp vanilla, and a dash of salt. Mix it really well and make sure you don’t have any cocoa clumps. (hmm…sounds like a fun cereal 🙂

chocolate coconut oil candy

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. I needed an extra hand and didn’t have any helpers that night to hold the parchment paper in place, so I improvised.

I used clothespins to keep everything in place so I could pour my fudge in. You could also use a silicone loaf pan, and you wouldn’t need to use the parchment paper at all.

coconut oil chocolate candy

Pour in the fudge mixture, and sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped nuts on top. Refrigerate for an hour.

sugar free fudge recipe

Remove from the loaf pan by picking up the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife and cut into bite-sized pieces.

sugar free fudge recipe

Enjoy! Your family and friends will never guess you’re serving them low carb fudge made with coconut oil!

Low Carb Fudge Recipe:

Low Carb Fudge Made with Coconut Oil

Carbs per serving: 3.5

Low Carb Fudge Made with Coconut Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's Swerve (or your preferred natural sweetener)
  • 1/4 tsp stevia glycerite
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • dash of salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup organic black walnuts (or your preferred nut)

Instructions

  1. Line a small loaf pan with waxed or parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, mix oil, cocoa, sweeteners, vanilla, and salt. Combine well. Pour mixture into lined loaf pan. Refrigerate for an hour. Remove your chilled fudge and sprinkle nuts on top. This is to keep them from sinking to the bottom.
  3. Return to refrigerator. When your fudge is solid, remove from loaf pan. Using a large knife, cut into small squares. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Do not store at room temperature as your fudge will melt. Makes about 12 servings.
https://glutenfreedownhomecooking.com/2016/01/low-carb-fudge-made-with-coconut-oil/