I’ve been having a love affair with muffins for a long time. My first, or maybe my second, real job in high school was in a muffin shop. And when I first realized that I was going to be a diabetic for life, the first low carb recipe I attempted to make was a blueberry muffin recipe. I don’t know what exactly it is about muffins that I love so much, but they are an essential part of my life. Perhaps it’s that they are a little bit of a sweet treat, but they aren’t as decadent as dessert. They can be breakfast, they can be snack, and in a pinch, they can be lunch or dinner. And they are an infinitely portable, pop them in a bag and head out the door type of food. As a mother of three who is virtually always on the go, this makes me love them even more. Muffins, marvelous muffins (which, incidentally, is the name of the muffin shop I worked at in high school!).
When I first think of muffins, my mind goes to the sweet variety, usually filled with nuts and fruit of various types. Blueberry, Cranberry, Banana Nut. So it always strikes me as something of a revelation that muffins can be savoury too. And that there are infinite possibilities for savoury muffins, that they can be a fantastic accompaniment to soups and stews and chilis. This opens up whole new worlds of possibility on the muffin front. Yippee!!!!
I made these particular muffins to accompany a soup I’d had in mind for a while. The soup, which was wonderful and will appear in an upcoming project, didn’t strike me as quite hearty enough to satisfy my family as a meal unto itself, so it needed something that seemed “bready” to round it out. I thought that the flavours of cheddar and jalapeno would complement the soup perfectly, so I set about making a satisfying, savoury almond flour muffin. I also threw in plenty of flax seed meal, for its healthful, satiating qualities. I wanted these muffins to be able to stand alone as a snack item too.
The Results: These may not be the prettiest muffins you’ve ever seen but they certainly satisfied just as I’d hoped. I love how toasty the cheese got on top, without getting burnt. And the amount of jalapeno is definitely a matter of taste but I went for more rather than less. I love that slow burn once you’ve chewed and swallowed your bite, as the warmth of the peppers begins to take hold. But it also wasn’t overwhelming, making your mouth burn so that you couldn’t taste or feel anything else.
Although I will always have a serious love for the sweet, breakfast-y muffin, I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface here with the savoury version. I’ve just barely touched the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more exploring to do!
Cheddar Jalapeno Muffins
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped fine
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup almond milk
Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, flax seed meal, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt, breaking up clumps with the back of a fork. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheddar and the chopped jalapenos, stirring well to distribute evenly.
Add the eggs, olive oil and almond milk and stir vigorously until thoroughly combined. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups and smooth the tops. Sprinkle the tops with remaining shredded cheddar.
Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until the cheese on top is lightly browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan.
Serves 12. Each serving has 6.3 g of carbs and 3.3 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3 g.