Cheddar Jalapeno Muffins (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)

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.

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Comments

  1. I can't believe how good those look. I don't know that I've really tried a savory muffin, but as long as I was warned beforehand, I bet I'd like it. If one were to attempt to un-gluten-free this, would they just use regular flour and forget about the xanthan gum?

  2. halanamalie says:

    Wow! I admit, I've been a longtime lurker on your blog for ages, bookmarking and testing your recipes (they're all fabulous, by the way!), but this one compelled me to sign-in and comment. You're absolutely right about the endless possibilities of muffins, I never thought about them that way before, and I'll never think of them the same again! Can't wait to try this recipe…and many of your others, as well. =)

  3. Mmmm….these look amazing, Carolyn! You'd never guess that ANY of your recipes were gluten free! These would be perfect with chili…of course, with the 87º forecast, it may be a while till soup is on our menu again :/

  4. theharriedcook says:

    I am totally in love with this recipe! I am always on the look out for new savory muffin recipes! I would love to make these soon… do you think I could make it with regular flour? what changes would I need to make to this recipe? Thanks for sharing!

  5. My husband would go nuts for these muffins! They look so good, Carolyn!

  6. RavieNomNoms says:

    YES PLEASE! Those look outstanding, definitely bookmarking these!

  7. dream2013awaits says:

    Can't wait to give these muffins a try, I totally agree with you about 'needing' something more with soup. I think it's called lagniappe, a southern Louisiana term which means a little something extra.

    In my oven as I type this is your Lemon Rosemary Olive Cake…awesome!!!

  8. These looks fantastic! Jalapenos are always a great thing, and with cheddar? Mmmmmm!

  9. omg, cheddar jalapeno muffins? genius!

  10. Pretty or not, I'm definitely going to try these. I've been making jalapeno cornbread like it's going out of style, but I think it's time to change it up a bit :

  11. I'll be trying these this weekend! Jalapeno Cheddar is a favorite flavor combination of mine!!! Thank you, Carolyn!!!

  12. cake duchess says:

    Cheddar and jalapeno in a sweet little muffin…yes, please! Love the spicy/savory idea and I'm craving a couple now:)

  13. I agree, they are very pretty! I love savory muffins, I need to make them more often:-) Love the jalapeno in your muffins:-) Hugs, Terra

  14. I haven't made muffins in awhile, and jalapeno and cheddar is always a great combination.

  15. Like I always say..I love spicy hot, and there's a place near me that acyually makes jalapeno cheese muffins (not cheddar, though). However..NOT enough jalapenos! Yours look to just right. Oh, and I think rustic IS beautiful – they look terrific, Carolyn!

  16. Hey all! Go over to Low Carb Lifestyle SA – we provide all kinds of delicious low carb products including bread, pitas, wraps, week meals, meal replacement shakes, bake mixes and much much more.

    Aslo check out our website ” target=”_blank”>http://www.lowcarbsa.co.za for outlet lists and contact details country wide.

    Inbox me personally if you are in the Pretoria/Centurion/Johannesburg area!

  17. spiffycookie says:

    These are definitely great savory muffins!

  18. Cheesy muffins and creamy soup are some of the best things in the world!

  19. Hi Carolyn – these look wonderful! My husband loves anything spicy and I think these would go really well with a nice bowl of chili. One question, I have some problems with flax, do you think I could sub a little coconut flour, or would that change the texture too much?
    Love your recipes.

  20. I love muffins! We always have them around and in the freezer. I have not done much with the savory kdin those. These sound great. I am going to have to try these very soon!

  21. Muffins along with granola/snack bars are my favorite things to pack. Since most of the day I'm chasing my kiddo in the park :)
    I love the savory twist, looks much better than a packed sandwich :)

  22. Cheddar and jalapenos, one of those i would not normally put in a muffin but they do sound like they could work very well together!

  23. These were great! I didn’t have any picked jalapenos, so I left those out and added in garlic powder and Emeril essence instead — also, I didn’t have any xanthum gum so I left that out too — they probably didn’t rise as much as yours but they were delicious anyway. Thanks for the recipe. Off to try another one for today’s breakfast :)

  24. I am dreaming about muffin shops. What a wonderful idea! Great muffin, I have been saving this post for a while.

  25. Carolyn, I hope you didn’t think you were an SRC orphan today! I thought someone was going to link my post up but they didn’t. I made your lovely muffins!

  26. Cindy Sampey says:

    Hi, I am going to make the muffins today, but also need some “sandwich bread”. I am going to put some of the batter (maybe 2) in my muffin top pan. Since the batter will be spread more thinly than in a regular muffin pan, do you think they will need to bake at the same temperature and for the same amount of time? Thanks for any tips or suggestions.

    • Bake them at the same temp but I’d say start with 10 to 12 minutes, then do a few more minutes and a few more until they feel done.

      • Cindy Sampey says:

        Ok, thanks so much Carolyn – love your blog and all your recipes – they really help me eat good food and keep my blood sugar in check.

  27. Carolyn I love your recipes! Thanks for making it easier to eat grain free and sugar free! Since you are so fond of muffins…have you ever made a re-make of a Bran Muffin? One of my favorite muffin recipes was the refrigerator bran muffins using buttermilk and a box of bran cereal. When I think of things I don’t get to enjoy anymore that Bran Muffin Recipe is at the top of the list. Would love to see what you come up with for that! Thanks!

  28. Oh Carolyn, these look right up my alley! Sort of like a huge jalapeno popper (I hope anyway). I was reading the comments and saw that a muffin top pan was mentioned, that’s a great idea too, since I hardly use mine! Looking forward to the soup recipe soon.
    Keep those recipes coming!

  29. These look amazing, Carolyn. Love jalapeno/cheese breads of all kinds. I look forward to trying these out!

  30. Carolyn,
    Have you tried making any savory muffins like this but adding, say, breakfast sausage or bacon or something to make it like a breakfasty type muffin? I haven’t tried these yet but it is on my list for the near future (getting ready to do a 7 day detox and can’t eat eggs, dairy during that time). Thanks!
    Angela

  31. Jum Jum Jum…..
    These are soooooo good.
    I ate 6 in the last 3 days.
    the rest is in the freezer.
    Next time i might make them with some spicy dutch cheese (I am from the netherlands) and maybe ad some union and garlic powder.
    But they do not need it they are great.
    Next time I am going to ad bleuberries and sunfower seeds because I have thos in the house. (and leave the cheese and peppers out of course).
    I love this recipe and hopefully use it over and over agian.
    As I am not alergic to gluten I used plain milk and did not use the xanthan gum because I could not find it.

  32. I came across this recipe this morning and was thrilled that I already had everything to make them. I just ate one (after waiting very impatiently for them to cool) and they are so good! These will be a new staple in our house, I’m thinking these will make great road trip snacks. I might throw in some sauteed onions next time too. Thanks for the recipe!

  33. I made a batch of these the other day. They came out great but there were a couple of things I wasn’t a huge fan of – the “slimy” feel from the flax comes through quite a bit and there was a slight ammonia smell from the baking soda. So I sliced the muffin, toasted it in butter, slathered it with neufchâtel cheese and some green hot sauce and they’re absolutely wonderful! Next time I might try replacing 4 tbsp of flax with 2 tbsp whey protein and 2 tbsp coconut flour to lighten it a bit (increase liquid to match) and adding 2 tsp baking powder instead (no baking soda). But I think if you plan to toast it, the denser texture will work better. I might also try baking it in a 7.5″ loaf pan. Thanks so much for posting such wonderful GF-LC recipes!

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