Low carb chocolate muffins with all the flavours of an almond joy candy bar. Sugar-free and grain-free.
You would think that a blog that showcases only low carb and gluten-free recipes would be catering to a very niche market, a tiny fragment of society. I certainly used to think so, and thought it would limit me immensely. I didn’t mind much at the time; I was creating recipes more to keep myself on track and to share my love of experimenting in the kitchen. And I was simply flattered anyone was paying any attention at all, quite frankly. But both low carb and gluten-free diets have grown exponentially in popularity over the past few years and there seems to be no end in sight. Many popular weight loss programs incorporate these ideas at least part of the time. And many dietary philosophies embrace the intersection of low carb and grain-free/gluten-free, although they may differ in the details. Atkins, South Beach, Ketogenic, Banting, Paleo, Primal, Whole 30, 21-Day Sugar Detox, Sugar Busters, and Bernstein’s Diabetes Diet, to name just a few. And Trim Healthy Mama: have you heard of that one?
Well, I know a lot you have heard of Trim Healthy Mama (or THM for short) because you’ve been following me and supporting my recipes for a while now. I myself only heard about THM a little over a year ago when one of the founders, Pearl, reached out to me and asked me to join their group and share my recipes. Apparently I already had quite a following over there and people were sharing my recipes. THM focuses mostly on whole foods and advocates a rotation of S meals (low carb, high fat) with E meals (higher carb, lower fat) evenly spaced throughout the day. More importantly, it cuts out refined sugars and many natural sources of sugar such as honey. Many women have found great success on this program and have not only lost weight but have gained energy and overcome medical issues. I’ve seen their testimonies daily in the group and you simply can’t argue with that. It’s not the right diet for everyone, but I strongly believe that everyone needs to find their own way to healthy. THM is a great program for helping many people find their health again.
I have so many readers asking how to adjust my recipes for the THM Sweet Blend, a sweetener made from non-GMO erythritol and organic stevia extract. We all have our preferred sweeteners in this sugar-free world and I always try to help my readers modify my recipes to suit their tastes. But THM Sweet Blend is formulated differently than sweeteners like Swerve or Truvia, so I felt a little like the blind leading the blind. I don’t like to guess at amounts if I can help it, as I might be wrong. Pearl kindly offered me the opportunity to test and review the Sweet Blend so I could give a more informed answer to THM followers.
I decided to test it out in a recipe where I was simply substituting it in for Swerve. From the conversion chart on the website, I could see that it was meant to be much sweeter than sugar and used in lesser amounts so I went with less even than I thought (you can always add MORE sweetener at the end but you can’t take it away once it’s in the mix!). Eventually I found the right level of sweetness for this recipe and they made for a wonderful breakfast treat. I made mine both as muffin tops and muffins because my kids love the flat muffin tops for breakfast. They gave them a thumbs up (although the little one did pick the nuts off hers). And now I feel that much better equipped to guide my readers on the conversions for my recipes.
Almond Joy Muffin Tops
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup unflavored whey protein powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup THM Sweet Blend (OR 1 cup Swerve Sweetener)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- Preheat oven to 325F and grease a muffin top pan or line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, coconut flour, whey protein, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with Sweet Blend until well combined. Beat in eggs and almond extract until well combined.
- Beat in half of the almond flour mixture, then the almond milk, and then the remaining almond flour mixture until well combined.
- Spoon into prepared pans to fill cavities about 2/3 full (you will need to do this in batches unless you have two pans). Bake 15 to 18 minutes for muffin tops and 20 to 25 minutes for muffins, until set and just firm to the touch.
- Remove and let cool 10 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter (you will get about 20 muffin tops and 16 muffins).
- Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Melt chocolate chips and butter together until smooth.
- Spread just a little melted chocolate over each muffin top or muffin and sprinkle immediately with nuts and coconut, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Spoon remaining melted chocolate into a ziploc bag with the very tip of the corner snipped off, then drizzle over muffin tops or muffins. Let set.
For 20 Muffin Tops: Total NET CARBS = 4.43 g Food energy: 231kcal Saturated fatty acids: 10.74g Total fat: 20.10g Calories from fat: 180 Cholesterol: 52mg Carbohydrate: 9.06g Total dietary fiber: 4.83g Protein: 5.70g Sodium: 189mg
For 16 muffins: Total NET CARBS = 5.28 g Food energy: 289kcal Saturated fatty acids: 13.42g Total fat: 25.13g Calories from fat: 226 Cholesterol: 65mg Carbohydrate: 11.32g Total dietary fiber: 6.04g Protein: 7.13g Sodium: 237mg