Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe for Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free)

 Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free)Thanks to my uber-talented brother Rand for the new blog header on Kalyn's Kitchen! By the time you read this I'll be in San Francisco hanging out for a few days with some of my food blogging friends before the BlogHer Food Blogging Conference gets started. (I'm actually staying in California nearly a week, and although I'm working on some recipes to auto-post while I'm gone, there might be a bit less action than usual around here for a few days.) I made these muffins a few weeks ago, and now the garden is winding down, but by the time I get home I'm guessing I'll have at least a few monster zucchini begging to be made into something tasty like this.

I had quite a zucchini muffin baking spree around here, but this version of zucchini muffins is gluten-free, inspired by the Zucchini Bread recipe in Elana's Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. I used the Honeyville Almond Flour (from Utah!) I learned about from the book, but I wanted to use Splenda, and change the proportions to use more zucchini and less oil for a muffin that was not quite so calorie dense. It took me a few tries to get it right, (and thank you to my friend Karina for the advice of adding an egg white for more rising in gluten-free baking) but I loved the way these muffins turned out.

If you keep your almond flour in the freezer, measure out 1 cup and let come to room temperature. When the flour is warmed, stir in salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, pressing out any lumps in the flour with a fork.

I used a trick I learned from The Splenda World of Sweetness of beating the egg (plus 1 egg white) with Splenda to help the muffins rise. I also added 1 T brown sugar for better flavor, but you can use an extra tablespoon of Splenda if you prefer.

Then stir in 1 T canola oil and 1 T buttermilk into the beaten egg mixture. (You can use any neutral flavored vegetable oil.)

This liquid mixture is stirred into the almond flour mixture. Stir just enough to barely combine.

Then gently fold the zucchini and pecans into the batter, again stirring only enough to barely combine.

I like to bake in my toaster oven, which only holds a cookie sheet big enough for six muffins at a time. (For me it's a great way to enforce portion control with baked goods!)

Don't you think the muffins turned out beautifully? For these muffins it's important to cool them a bit longer than muffins made with wheat flour, so try to be patient and let them cool on a rack for at least 20-30 minutes before you eat them.


Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free)
(Makes 6 muffins but can easily be doubled, recipe inspired by Zucchini Bread from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elena Amsterdam.)

Ingredients:
1 cup blanched almond flour (not the same as almond meal)
1/4 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used Cassia Cinnamon from The Spice House)
1 large egg
1 egg white
1/3 cup Splenda (or sugar)
1 T brown sugar (or use 1 T more Splenda if you prefer)
1 T canola oil or grapeseed oil
1 T buttermilk (could probably use milk, but I haven't tried it)
3/4 cup grated raw zucchini, wring out moisture slightly and loosely pack into measuring cup
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Measure 1 cup almond flour into medium-sized bowl. (If flour has been stored in freezer, let it come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes.) Add salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to flour and use a fork to combine and press out any lumps.

Put 1 egg and 1 egg white into small bowl. Add Splenda and brown sugar and use a hand mixer to beat until the mixture has tripled in size, about 2-3 minutes. (You shouldn't beat it until the eggs begin to form peaks like meringue.) Gently stir in canola oil and buttermilk.

Wash zucchini and grate with large side of a hand grater. Squeeze water out of zucchini if it seem wet, then loosely measure out 3/4 cup of grated zucchini. (Zucchini doesn't have to be completely dry but shouldn't be dripping water.) Measure 1/2 cup pecans, then chop coarsely with chef's knife.

Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, only stirring enough to barely combine, then gently fold in the zucchini and pecans. Spray 6 muffin cups (or muffin tin) with non-stick spray or oil, then divide mixture evently into cups.

Bake muffins about 45 minutes, or until top is browned and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I was surprised they took that long to bake, but the batter is quite moist and dense and I really did bake them for 45 minutes.)


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South Beach Suggestions:
The almond flour that makes these muffins gluten-free also makes them a good choice for the South Beach Diet, since almonds contains "good fat" and are a healthful ingredient. When I was coming up with this recipe I pondered whether it could be phase one if you used all Splenda, but even though I haven't read that nut flours can't be used for phase one, the fact that nuts are limited so strictly in portion size leads me to believe that using these muffins for phase one (even with all Splenda) would be rather a slippery slope. I'd consider this to be a limited portion item for phase two, and very good for phase three. (Edit - since I posted this I have learned that all flours are restricted in phase one, even nut flours.)

More Zucchini Baking to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly and some recipes suggested below are not gluten-free; check ingredients. )
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins from Kalyn's Kitchen
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Blueberries and Pecans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Garden Harvest Cake with Zucchini, Apple, and Carrot from Kalyn's Kitchen
Gluten-Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins from Gluten-Free Mommy
Gluten-Free Zucchini Carrot Bread (or muffins) from The Good Eatah
Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins with Date and Almond Cream from Yum-Oh
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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22 comments:

Elana said...

Yours are gorgeous! Great photo :-)

Julie said...

Ooh, these look fab! I'm always looking for new (chocolate) ways to use zucchini. I'm SO JEALOUS you're going to SF! Have FUN!!

Betty said...

OH wow. These look lovely. I must give them a try :) Thanks for the recipe!

Joanne said...

I love that these don't seem to be ridiculously sweet. They probably make for a great breakfast because of that! Also so much nutty goodness. Have fun in SF! I am going in a few weeks for my marathon and am so excited.

annie said...

This blog is such a goldmine for us - my husband's diabetic, and I've "cooked him" into perfect control without insulin (well, and walked him) but I miss baking terribly. This whole almond flour thing opens up all kinds of possibilities. The header looks great, too!!

Deann said...

Perfect timing! I thought of you yesterday when an email came in from Honeyville with a discount code.

Apparently they now have a new warehouse in California and put out a 10% off code good through Tuesday at 6:00 PST. It's NEWHOME09.

Mike said...

re: Thanks to my uber-talented brother Rand for the new blog header on Kalyn's Kitchen!
I like the new Header, but I'd change the order... right now it reads, "Cook, Eat, Lose Kalyn's Kitchen Weight, Repeat"!! LOL! Perhaps change the 4th & 5th blocks?
Love the site, love your blog. Enjoy "Frisco"!

Cookin' Canuck said...

I love the new header, Kalyn! I hope you are having a great time in SF. For anyone reading the comments - these muffins are delicious!

Diane-The WHOLE Gang said...

These look so good. I love baking with that almond flour. I hope you brought some of these with you to Blogher, I'm so hungry now!

Kalyn said...

Elana, thanks and can't wait to meet you.

Julie, they aren't chocolate, sorry. Does look like it, doesn't it?

So glad people everyone is liking the sound of these. I did like how they turned out (and there's a big zucchini waiting in the fridge at home to make more!)

DeAnn I got that code too. Hope it's okay for you to post it here? I'll probably drive to their store next time I order now that I know it's not too far from my house.

Mike, I didn't think of that on the header, will ask Rand what he thinks. Thanks for the suggestion; glad you are enjoying the blog.

stephchows said...

oh these sound absolutely fabulous!!! Totally need to make these :D

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Kayln, you and I must be on a similar wavelength! I posted some gluten-free, almond flour zucchini muffins/cupcakes on my blog Wednesday! They're decidedly different than yours, but yours have such a lovely "crust" on the top, I'm intrigued. They look yummy!

Amy Green (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free) said...

I love the new header and your zucchini muffins look incredible. I am always intrigued by your unique slant on food. I don't see you use splenda that often, but I could be wrong about that. I have read that it can still impact blood sugar in the same way as sugar but I'm not sure I agree with it. I try not to use it as I feel better when I don't but I do feel it's a much better alternative than white sugar. I don't bake with it - I use agave which can be a debate in and of itself. At times I use it in my coffee if I'm somewhere and the coffee is so bad that I can't drink it black.

I am still getting zukes from friends as they are growing in full-force in Texas and made some muffins last week. They were great.

Paula said...

Yippee! I'm so happy to see a gluten free muffin recipe! This will work marvelously for my g/f girl, and I don't even have to camouflage the zucchini because she likes that veggie! YUM!

Anonymous said...

These were great, lovely recipe. My husband is an energy conservation fanatic so I made these in my new energy efficient toaster oven that he bought me. They turned out perfect. I think he liked them even more because I used the new toaster oven that "he" bought online (big step for him).

Sherry

CinnamonQuill said...

I must get my hands on some Honeyville almond flour!

NatashaC said...

These muffins are fantastic! It's a good thing I doubled the recipe because my boyfriend couldn't get enough of them :) Thanks so much!

Kalyn said...

Natasha, so glad you liked the muffins!

aralik29 said...

Wonderful recipe! I substituted with mesquite pod flour instead of almond flour and xylitol instead of Splenda...mesquite gives a deliciously smoky flavor, definitely a nice variation!

Kalyn said...

Very interesting; I haven't heard about mesquite pod flour before.

Chef wife said...

These are fab! I used coconut milk instead of buttermilk. Love them! Thank you!!

Kalyn Denny said...

Great idea to use coconut milk; thanks so much for letting us know that worked and glad you enjoyed the muffins!

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