Thursday, September 24, 2009

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

These Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans are also Gluten-Free!

Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on
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.

mixing ingredients for Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comIf 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.

beating eggs for Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comI used a trick I learned from The Splenda World of Sweetness of beating the egg (plus 1 egg white) with the sweetener to help the muffins rise. I also added 1 T brown sugar for better flavor, but you can use an extra tablespoon of sweetener if you prefer.

mixing batter for Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comThen stir in 1 T canola oil and 1 T buttermilk into the beaten egg mixture. (You can use any neutral flavored vegetable oil.)

Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comThis liquid mixture is stirred into the almond flour mixture. Stir just enough to barely combine.

folding in nuts for Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comThen gently fold the zucchini and pecans into the batter, again stirring only enough to barely combine.

filling muffin cups for Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comI 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!)

baked muffins for Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comDon'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.

finished Low-Sugar and Flourless Zucchini Muffins with Pecans (Gluten-Free) found on KalynsKitchen.comLow-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.)

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 Stevia In the Raw Granulated Sweetener, Splenda (or sugar if you don't need the muffins to be low-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

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 sweetener of your choice 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 evenly 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.)

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

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.   However, nut flours are a limited food so these muffins would be too calorie-dense for phase one.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

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

Maple-Sweetened Almond Zucchini Muffins from Gluten Free Goddess

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Blueberries and Pecans from Kalyn's Kitchen

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins from Elana's Pantry

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Garden Harvest Cake with Zucchini, Apple, and Carrot from Kalyn's Kitchen

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon! counter customizable free hit
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

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  1. Yours are gorgeous! Great photo :-)

  2. 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!!

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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"!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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).


  16. I must get my hands on some Honeyville almond flour!

  17. 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!

  18. Natasha, so glad you liked the muffins!

  19. 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!

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

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

  22. 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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