Let me tell you about the week I had last week. It started off with a double ear infection for my little one. She’s a fussy baby at the best of times, so you can imagine how this made her so much more fun to be around. Then my school age son brought home a case of head lice. I spent two days washing practically everything we own, vaccuuming all carpets and upholstered furniture, and combing through everyone’s hair to make sure it hadn’t spread. In the midst of all this excitement, my son and my husband both came down with the stomach flu, and were throwing up and, well, you know. It was pretty much insanity round these parts for a few days.
So it’s really not all that surprising that I left a rather important ingredient out of this recipe. I was exhausted by Sunday morning, given the circumstances, so I am not certain what possessed me to make these muffins at that exact moment. Perhaps if I had given time for the caffeine to hit my brain or gone for a brisk walk, I wouldn’t have been so fuzzy. But I decided to make them then and there, and, being the good baker that I am, I even got out all of my ingredients before hand. I should have known that I was in no shape to be making muffins, I should have quit while I was ahead. Even as I was throwing them together, I kept forgetting things I’d been meaning to add, so I knew I wasn’t at the top of my game. But I kept forging ahead, and it wasn’t until the batter was divvied up into the cups and the whole lot were in the oven that it hit me. I glanced up and saw the ingredient sitting on the counter in front of me, and realized I’d never added it. Sweetener…I made the damn muffins without any sort of sweetener!
It was too late to remedy the situation, so I simply had to hope and pray that they came out all right anyway. I’d dreamed up these muffins while on a run, thinking about my nutrition and how it can help or hinder me when I’m exercising. I struggle with this a bit. Depending on the length and intensity of the run I am doing, I need to eat something that provides energy to help carry me through. I’ve discovered that I need to eat something about 15 minutes or so before heading out, something with a good balance of short energy (easily digestible carbs) and long energy (protein, fat and complex carbs). It’s a difficult balance to strike for a diabetic, because those easy carbs are what we usually try to avoid. But as I’ve always found the first few miles of a run the toughest, I need a bit of those easy carbs to provide me with some energy.
I’ve recently been playing around with soy flour, so I knew I wanted to use some of that to up the protein content of the muffins, along with some of my beloved almond flour. Whey protein powder would also up the protein quotient, and provide some good flavour. I would stick with my usual sweeteners, erythritol and stevia, for the batter, but to add some real semi-sweet chocolate chips to provide the simple carbs for some of that quick energy. That was the plan, anyway. Until I looked up and saw both the bag of erythritol and the bottle of stevia staring me in the face and realized that I never added either of them to the batter. Before I totally panicked, I remembered that the protein powder is fairly sweet and I had to hope that it, plus the chocolate chips, added enough sweetness that my muffins wouldn’t taste like bitter bricks of soy flour and cocoa powder!
The Results: Thank heavens the vanilla protein powder came through for me. These could stand to be a bit sweeter, definitely, but they are quite tasty as is. Even my kids liked them, so there’s your proof. I would recommend these to anyone, and you could adjust the sweetener to your taste, using sugar or alternative sweeteners or whatever suits your fancy. I don’t like my muffins overly sweet, so I would probably go with about a quarter cup of erythritol or sugar. I found them very filling and satisfying, and they kept me full for longer than sweet, carb-laden muffins do. And they are fantastic when you toss them in the microwave for 15 seconds to make the chocolate chips all melty.
Double Chocolate Power Muffins
1 cup soy flour
3/4 cup almond flour
2/3 cup whey protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup granulated erythritol (or white sugar)
2 tsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup almond milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
10 drops stevia extract (optional, for increased sweetness if you like)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or sugar-free, if you want to lower the carbs)
Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together soy flour, almond meal, protein powder, cocoa powder, flax, erythritol, coffee, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together butter, almond milk, eggs and stevia. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Divide batter between prepared muffin cups and bake for 14-16 minutes, until tops are set and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serves 12. Each muffin has a total of 15.6g of carbs and 2.8g of fiber, but only 11.6g of carbs if you subtract erythritol (or accidentally leave it out altogether, like I did!). Net carbs equals 8.8g.