Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Keto Cupcakes & Muffins main image - text over photo collage
Enjoying low carb baked goods helps me stick to my ketogenic diet

In spring 2019, after the medical scare that motivated me to get serious about losing at least 50 pounds and become significantly leaner to reduce my risk for cancer and heart disease, a ketogenic diet was one of several options I considered. One of my biggest concerns about keto was whether–and how–I could stay on such a restrictive diet for however long it would take to lose that weight.

I didn’t think I could, nor did I want to, commit to a way of eating that prohibited all baked goods, since I estimated that it would probably take a year, or maybe longer, to reach my healthy weight loss goal. And, based on what I had read during my extensive research on the ketogenic diet approach, most recipes for keto baked goods turned out dry, dense, and with an unpleasant aftertaste from the sweetener. To be successful on an extremely low carb diet, I could find ways to incorporate keto-friendly baked goods that didn’t taste like cardboard!

When I thought about which ones would be most helpful in staying on track long-term, I initially narrowed my focus to muffins, cupcakes, cake, bread, and rolls, including hamburger buns. I tried a lot of recipes, many of which I didn't care for, but was able to find some I liked. I also sampled an array of keto-friendly baking mixes, limiting them to ones that were made with simple, high-quality ingredients, mostly the same ones I used in my homemade low carb baked goods. Again, some weren't up to my standards, but others were a very pleasant surprise.

Today, I'm sharing my favorite baking mixes (so far) for making keto-friendly muffins and cupcakes, as well as some recipes I can recommend, and the variations and add-on ingredients I use frequently. I'll also include some tree nut and coconut free options. (I'll do the same for other types of baked goods in future posts.)


Keto Baking Mixes vs. Recipes: Pros and Cons

I've been an avid baker all my life and have always enjoyed baking. And, of course, it always costs less when you only have to pay for the ingredients. However, I've found that when it comes to making my own keto baked goods, there's often more prep time and more ingredients needed than with conventional recipes (which also means more measuring cups, spoons, etc., to wash).

In addition to being less expensive, many of us generally prefer to bake from scratch to ensure that our treats are made with wholesome, nutritious, high quality ingredients, and because if you're a reasonably good home baker, they usually taste better than those made from a commercial mix (such as Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, or even Krusteaz). However, the keto-friendly baking mixes I'm sharing here are made with the same foods I would use in my favorite low-carb baking recipes (with only a couple of exceptions), and most taste even better than many of their scratch-baked counterparts.

Another very important consideration for anyone tracking their macros is that many of the best keto recipes for cupcakes and muffins I've tried are significantly higher in calories, net carbs, and fat than treats made from the mixes I've included here.

Since last year, low carb food manufacturers have been really stepping up their game. There are many more options and much better tasting baking mixes than when I started in 2019. So, whether you prefer double chocolate chip cupcakes or savory (faux) corn muffins, I encourage you to give some of the mixes I recommend a try. You may find, as I do, that the taste and texture of your keto baked goods, the convenience, and not having to stock your pantry and freezer with a range of new, more expensive, and often perishable ingredients might be worth the higher cost.


Keto Blueberry Muffins or Cupcakes

HighKey Blueberry Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix

HighKey Snacks makes some wonderful products for people who follow a ketogenic diet. I keep a wide range of them in my cupboard at all times, especially their baking mixes and mini cookies. Their HighKey Blueberry Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix, which I usually order on Amazon with free Amazon Prime shipping, produces a nice, tender, cake-like muffin.

The mix uses a combination of coconut flour and almond flour for a tender texture that's a cross between a muffin and a cupcake. It's sweetened with HighKey's proprietary natural sweetener blend that includes erythritol, allulose, stevia and monk fruit, as well as soluble tapioca fiber (resistant dextrin), a non-digestible carbohydrate that the FDA considers a dietary fiber.

Prepared according to the package instructions with 4 eggs, 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, and 1/3 cup coconut oil, each blueberry muffin has only 1g net carbs, 140 calories, 12g fat, 7g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein.

If you can afford a few extra net carbs in your daily keto macros, these individual treats taste even better with some extra fresh or frozen blueberries, especially wild blueberries that are plentiful in Maine during the season. They have much better, more intense flavor than regular blueberries, and they're also tiny, which means the fruit can be more evenly distributed when it's mixed into the batter. If you don't live in New England, or when wild blueberries are out of season, Wyman's of Maine brand frozen wild blueberries are an excellent alternative to fresh berries.

You can also add a little finely grated fresh lemon zest and/or lemon extract (but not lemon juice), if you'd like.

Blueberry Muffins Recipe With Almond Flour

One of the first cookbooks I bought when I started my keto weight loss journey was The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook by Maya Krampf, and the first think I tried from it was the blueberry muffins recipe. They turned out very good, if slightly dry (it's possible I might have overbaked them a smidge). And split, lightly toasted and buttered, they were delicious!

They're sweetened with erythritol, but since the book was published Maya Krampf has come out with her own line of Besti sweeteners, including a granulated monk fruit and erythritol blend that can be substituted 1:1 for erythritol in baked goods recipes.

Note that these homemade muffins are significantly higher in calories, fat, protein, and net carbs than those made with the HighKey mix: 5g net carbs, 254 calories, 23g fat, 0g added sugars, and 8g protein. (The recipe's nutrition information doesn't include dietary fiber.)

Photo of The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook and prepared blueberry muffins recipe
The almond flour blueberry muffins I made with the
recipe from The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook

Keto Chocolate Cupcakes or Muffins

HighKey Double Chocolate Chip Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix

Given my chocoholic tendencies, you may have guessed my favorite low carb cupcakes or muffins flavor is double chocolate chip. I make them from HighKey Double Chocolate Chip Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix often, and usually mix 1/2 cup of sugar-free ChocZero white chocolate baking chips into the batter. (Does that make them Double Chocolate Double Chip, or Triple Chocolate Chip?)

The texture falls somewhere between a cupcake and a muffin. I think of them as the former when I eat them for dessert, and as the latter when I enjoy them as a decadent breakfast treat.

The mix requires 4 eggs, 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, and 1/3 cup coconut oil to yield 12 servings. Like the HighKey blueberry mix, it's sweetened with HighKey's proprietary natural sweetener blend, which includes erythritol, allulose, stevia and monk fruit.

Prepared according to the package directions, one serving of these sumptuous treats has only 1g net carbs, 120 calories, 10g fat, 5g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein.

The optional ChocZero white chocolate chips add not only a complementary flavor but also a bit of extra dietary fiber, which can be hard to get enough of on an extremely low carb diet.

photo of prepared HighKey Double Chocolate Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix Chip
I made these decadent, fudgy treats with HighKey Double Chocolate Chip
Muffin & Cupcake Baking Mix and ChocZero white chocolate chips

Low Carb Chocolate Muffins and Cupcakes Recipes

Here are a few good ones to try.

Keto Chocolate Cupcakes recipe from Wholesome Yum

Keto Double Chocolate Muffins recipe from All Day I Dream About Food

Keto Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe from My Keto Kitchen (I haven't tried this one yet, but it has a 5-star rating with 230 votes - a pretty good endorsement in my book!)


Keto (Faux) Corn Muffins

Good Dee's Corn Bread Mix

Real corn is a major no-no on a ketogenic diet, which is a bit of a bummer for those of us who love all things corn. Fortunately, it's possible to bake something that gives us something that is sort of reminiscent of cornbread that is also very low carb, if you set realistic expectations for how "corny" something with no corn in it can taste. And if you're going to top it with keto chili, for example, it does very nicely, indeed.These days, my favorite way to make faux corn muffins is with

Good Dee’s Corn Bread Low Carb Baking Mix. (The package says “Corn Free Bread,” with the word "free" in much smaller letters than "corn" and "bread" for truth-in-advertising purposes.) The directions, which are based on making cornbread in an 8-inch pan, say to bake at 325 F for 18-23 minutes. I divide my batter among 12 silicone baking liners and bake until the muffins test done (i.e., a wooden toothpick stuck into the center comes out without any uncooked batter). That takes around 12-15 minutes, if I remember correctly.

I boost the corn flavor by adding Amoretti Sweet Corn Extract to the batter. It costs more than other brands, but has really good flavor and is keto-friendly. And, since I don't make corn muffins or bread that often, the 2-ounce bottle lasts me quite a while.

This mix makes faux corn muffins that are neither savory nor sweet and contain just a hint of stevia extract. They're perfect for adding shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, with or without chopped jalapeño or other chili peppers, if you're so inclined, or you can add a little erythritol, monkfruit, BochaSweet (pentose), or a blend, if you prefer yours on the sweeter side.

Prepared with 3 large eggs, 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar according to the package directions, these low carb cornbread muffins have 1g net carbs, 130 calories, 11g fat, 5g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein. The optional teaspoon or two of Amoretti sweet corn extract adds negligible calories or fat and no net carbs per serving.

Photo of keto cornbread muffins
Tasty keto corn muffins made with Good Dee's Corn Bread
Low Carb Baking Mix and Amoretti Sweet Corn Extract


Keto Banana Muffins

Keto and Co Banana Caramel Muffin Mix

I love banana bread and cupcakes, and I really missed them after I adopted my new low carb lifestyle. Then, I discovered the awesome Banana Caramel Keto Muffin Mix by Keto and Co, which makes extremely moist, tender, and flavorful muffins that taste as though they were made with real mashed, ripe bananas, yet they contain no fruit at all. They have a slightly sticky, chewy texture similar to almond macaroons (yum!).

This mix is sweetened with the company's proprietary Wondrose Sugar Replacer, a mix of erythritol, non-GMO soluble corn fiber, inulin, monk fruit and natural flavors.

Each bag of mix, which calls for 4 large eggs, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, makes 9 banana cupcakes or muffins.

I like to amp up the banana flavor even more with 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of OliveNation Pure Banana Extract, which has 0 net carbs, no added sugars, and no calories when used as directed for baking (the alcohol burns off in the oven). These muffins are even better if you add 1/3 cup of ChocZero sugar-free dark chocolate chips or white chocolate chips.

To make them into cupcakes, simply cover the tops with a swirl of keto-friendly frosting.

Photo of keto banana caramel muffins
I love adding ChocZero sugar-free white or dark chocolate chips when I bake Keto and Co Banana Caramel Keto Muffin Mix batter


Keto Banana Muffin Recipes

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe from Joy Filled Eats

Low Carb Banana Muffins recipe with cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips from Sugar Free Londoner Note: This recipe is flavored with one very ripe banana, which is why it has nearly 8 net carbs. But if you really dislike recipes that use banana extract and you can fit it into your macros, you might want to make a batch of these and freeze them, so you can have one occasionally as a treat.


Low Carb Carrot Muffins or Cupcakes

Good Dee's Carrot Muffin & Cake Mix

I've always been a big fan of carrot cake and muffins, so I was really happy to discover Good Dee's Carrot Muffin & Cake Mix. Instead of almond flour and/or coconut flour, it's made with watermelon seed flour and sunflower seed flour.

Although this mix contains erythritol and very small amount of stevia extract, it's not as sweet as many others, which is actually a very good thing. If you'd like it a bit sweeter, you can easily add a very little bit of additional erythritol and/or stevia extract or another alternative, such as granulated/crystallized allulose, monk fruit, or a blend of some or all of them. However, after several months on a fairly clean keto diet (which also means no artificial sweeteners that can spike your blood sugar and can feed your psychological sugar addiction), you are likely to find that your sweet tooth has diminished, and you may find yourself preferring your baked goods a bit less sweet. I kept hearing this from other people doing mostly clean keto, but never dreamed it could happen to me...until it did!

This mix also has some cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg, but it's pretty subtle. I prefer carrot muffins and cupcakes with a more prominent spice flavor, so I always add additional cinnamon and, often, a bit of powdered ginger. I highly recommend Penzeys Spices for fresh, high quality herbs, spices and pure vanilla extract at terrific prices.

This mix calls for 3 eggs, 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for carrot muffins, or 4 eggs, 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract for carrot cake or cupcakes (follow the directions for the cake, but divide the batter into 12 silicone cupcake liners and bake for only 18-23 minutes). The "as prepared" nutrition information (which doesn't specify whether it's for cupcakes or muffins) listed on the package is 3g net carbs, 150 calories, 12g fat, 3g dietary fiber, 0g added sugars, and 4g protein.

Note: Although there are no tree nuts or coconut in the ingredients, the mix is manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility that also processes soy, milk, tree nuts, and eggs. So, if you have a severe food allergy to any of those things, this might not be an option for you.

Variation: Carrot Muffins with Nuts and/or Shredded Coconut

Traditionally, carrot muffins and carrot cake recipes often include crushed pineapple, raisins or dried cranberries, all of which are off-limits on a ketogenic diet. However, if you enjoy tree nuts and/or coconut and can tolerate them, these carrot cake muffins are even better if you add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut and/or chopped, lightly toasted walnuts or pecans to the batter.

While these additions will nudge the calories and net carbs a bit higher, they will also provide more healthy fat, dietary fiber and protein. I have tried several brands and prefer Anthony's Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, which is great quality and costs less per ounce than many other high quality brands. I keep a 2-pound bag of it in our freezer.

Variation: Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Make the Carrot Muffins with Nuts and/or Shredded Coconut variation, then add a dollop or swirl of sugar-free cream cheese frosting to each serving. I recommend either the cream cheese frosting recipe from the Wholesome Yum website, or my favorite keto cream cheese frosting recipe on page 380 of The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking by Carolyn Ketchum, an absolutely fabulous cookbook that has become my go-to for low carb baking. If you want to learn how to make delicious keto muffins, cupcakes, layer cakes, frostings, cookies, doughnuts, gingerbread, brownies, pies, tarts, pizzas, crackers, bread, and more, this cookbook will become your keto baking bible. In addition to explaining simply and thoroughly the fundamentals of low carb baking, this book contains more than 150 sweet and savory baking recipes. And, while I haven't tried them all yet, every recipe I've made has been a winner.


Choose Your Flavor Muffin Mix

Good Dee's Low Carb Base Muffin Mix

You can whip up a batch of sweet or savory keto muffins in a jiffy by mixing in whatever flavoring ingredients you want into Good Dee's Low Carb Base Muffin Mix. This versatile mix makes a neutral muffin batter that you can customize to suit your individual preferences. Shredded cheese and bits of ham or crispy bacon, fresh raspberries or strawberries, shredded coconut and lemon zest, any flavor extract you can think of...the only limit is your imagination!

Image of Good Dee's Low Carb Base Muffin Mix package
Good Dee's low carb base muffin mix is a blank canvas
so you can flavor it with any ingredients you wish


Adapting Keto Baking Recipes for People with Tree Nut Allergies

Almond flour, alone or with coconut flour, is the foundation of most low-carb baking. While there are some recipes that use coconut flour and no almond flour, these two ingredients behave very differently in baked goods, and you can't simply substitute one for the other and end up with a successful result. That means most keto recipes for baked goods are off limits to people who suffer from severe tree nut allergies.

Fortunately, in most cases, sunflower seed flour, also called sunflower seed meal, can be substituted for almond flour, if you add a bit more than the recipe calls for to get the right consistency (you may need to experiment a bit).

Although I'm not allergic to tree nuts, last fall I wanted to make a recipe that called for this almond flour alternative. I ordered a bag of Gerb's sunflower seed meal, which is convenient and high quality, but also on the expensive side. So, when that bag is finished, if I want more, I'll make my own by grinding raw sunflower seeds in a clean coffee grinder and sifting it. This post from Carolyn Ketchum on how to make sunflower seed flour has some helpful and important tips.


My Favorite Silicone Baking Cups / Liners for Muffins and Cupcakes

Keto baked goods often don't release as easily as their conventional counterparts. So, whenever I make low carb muffins or cupcakes, I always scoop the batter into my favorite non-stick, reusable, Pantry Elements Silicone Cupcake Baking Cups / Liners. This set of 24 fluted silicone liners includes four each of six bright, cheerful rainbow colors—yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, and green—in a bonus see-through storage container. The silicone passes the "pinch test" for color, and they also can be used standalone without the support of a cupcake or muffin tin, which is how I usually use them, since my old wall oven died and we now use only our countertop oven, which won't accommodate a full-size cupcake pan. I use these wonderful silicone liners for baking at least every other week.

Note: I've also recommended these silicone cups previously, in my review of the best silicone cooking and baking tools and accessories.


Thoughts on Soluble Tapioca Fiber, Soluble Corn Fiber, and Inulin in Low Carb Mixes

Tapioca and corn are starches, and high-fructose corn syrup (aka HFCS) and maltodextrin are high carbohydrate sugars with a very high glycemic index. None of them should be eaten on a ketogenic diet. However, although it is derived from HFCS, soluble corn fiber (SCF) is a horse of an entirely different color! Soluble corn fiber is a resistant dextrin, a water-soluble dietary fiber that has other potential health benefits, such as increasing bone calcium retention in postmenopausal women. It adds viscosity and sweetness without spiking blood sugar levels, because it passes through the stomach and small intestine without being digested. Similarly, inulin, another soluble dietary fiber recognized by the FDA, also provides sweetness and has an extremely low glycemic index.

Some people argue that anything with a sweet taste should be avoided on a ketogenic diet because, they allege, continuing to eat sweet-tasting foods will simply feed your food addiction to sugar. They point to studies that suggest that consuming artificial sweeteners may affect the metabolism, and a recent study that suggests that merely tasting something sweet might alter our metabolism and glucose control. However, these studies were focused solely on sugar (sucrose) and artificial sweeteners sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), and saccharine, all of which affect blood sugar and metabolism differently than plant-based, low glycemic sweeteners such as erythritol, monk fruit and stevia. It doesn't seem scientifically valid to draw conclusions about the metabolic effects of anything that tastes sweet based on extrapolating findings about effects of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

I have been eating foods containing soluble tapioca fiber, soluble corn fiber, and inulin for more than a year, while losing 58 pounds on my ketogenic diet, and I successfully kicked my sugar addiction and enjoy, but no longer crave, sweet foods. There are many, many others who have had similar experiences. As always, your mileage may vary.

Also, different people metabolize carbohydrates differently. If you have any concerns about how any type of sweetener might affect your blood sugar (especially if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic) or your ability to stay in ketosis, or just try adding plant-based sweeteners in limited amounts for a month, without changing anything else about what, when, and how much you eat, and see whether it seems to affect your weight loss.


High Quality Keto Baking Ingredients & Mixes Cost More Than Flour, Sugar, and Honey

The only significant downside of my ketogenic lifestyle is a noticeably higher grocery bill, despite purchasing less food on our shopping trips. Whole, high quality, nutritious foods are cost significantly more than processed foods, pizza, rice, grains, and traditional baked goods, especially since I try to choose mostly foods that are organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, pasture-raised, etc., when possible (and practical). And for baking, ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, and high quality, naturally-derived sweeteners, such as monk fruit extract, stevia extract, erythritol, allulose, and my personal favorite, BochaSweet (pentose) that have a low glycemic load, are more expensive than their far less nutritious conventional counterparts, such as wheat flour, cornstarch, sugar and honey.

But I consider the added expense a small price to pay, compared to the extremely high financial, emotional, and quality of life costs of developing and being treated for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or another serious and potentially life-threatening illness, for which my obesity put me at much higher risk. And the ability to enjoy life so much more, now that I feel (and look) so much better, free from my prior chronic joint pain and inflammation, with more energy and verve than I could have imagined, is priceless.


Want Even More Low Carb Cupcakes and Muffins?

Bookmark this page and check back often over the next few weeks. I'll be updating this review with more of my favorite keto recipes and baking mixes for the best muffins and cupcakes to enjoy on a ketogenic diet.


Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet
by Margaret Schindel


Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Hamama Microgreens Starter Kit and Seed Quilts Review

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

My First Year on The Keto Diet


Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

My Personal Keto Testimonial

How I Stayed Committed to the Ketogenic Way of Eating


Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Contributors




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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16 comments:

  1. I am really glad you found some baking alternatives that fit with your Keto diet, Margaret. That would be one of the hardest parts of any diet for me. I like the foods I like and the recipes/ingredients I am used to using. This has to be like starting over when cooking. I know anyone considering the Keto diet will appreciate your helpful information and experience.

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    1. Thanks very much, Ms. Mouse! For a lifelong baking enthusiast, it has definitely required something of a learning curve, which is one of the reasons I wanted to write about some of the things that need to be modified. However, once you understand the principles of adapting conventional recipes for a low carb lifestyle, an experienced baking enthusiast can actually find it a fun challenge to experiment with low carb "makeovers" for their favorite baked goods recipes that produce results as much like the originals as possible.

      As you know, I had compelling motivations for switching to a ketogenic diet, so for me, finding healthy, low-carb alternatives for my favorite high-carb treats was well worth the effort. But if I hadn't been forced to make some fundamental changes to how and what I ate, I'd still be happily working my way through my enormous collection of baking recipes and tweaking them to make them my own. :)

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  2. It's super that you have been able to discover muffins & cupcakes which fit into you Keto lifestyle, Margaret. Nice to know that you don't have to "give up" some of your favorite types of treats ~ just adapt with low carb selections.

    One question, since I am not very familiar with food allowed/not allowed on a Keto Diet - are nuts (particularly walnuts) a banned ingredient? I love Banana Nut Bread, but don't care for it sans nuts. I'm the same way with cookies, ice cream and candy. If it doesn't have nuts, I'm not interested.... LOL.

    Thanks for this informative review of low carb muffins and cupcakes. I'm sure a lot of people following the Ketogenic lifestyle will find these suggestions helpful.

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    1. Elf, I'm not sure I could have stuck to my mostly "clean" keto diet over such a long period of time if I hadn't been able to enjoy my favorite baked goods on a regular basis!

      You'll be happy to know that most nuts are fine for a ketogenic lifestyle. They're excellent sources of healthy fat and protein. In fact, as I mentioned in my post, the vast majority of low carb baking recipes are made with almond flour (which is just very finely ground almonds). :)

      You might find this article about the best nuts to eat on keto helpful.
      https://www.drberg.com/blog/Best-Nuts-on-a-Ketogenic-Diet-SURPRISING

      Bananas, on the other hand, are high in carbs and natural sugar (fructose), and are not considered keto-friendly. However, the Keto and Co banana muffin mix is delicious, especially if you add a teaspoon or two of OliveNation pure banana extract, and very low in net carbs. And the low carb banana muffins recipe from Sugar Free Londoner that I included, which uses one very ripe banana, isn't strictly keto, but it's MUCH lower in carbs than a conventional banana muffin recipe. And, as I mentioned in my suggested variations for the keto carrot muffins and carrot cake cupcakes, you can definitely add chopped walnuts or pecans to any low carb muffin or cupcake batter.

      Please feel free to ask me any other questions you have about what is and isn't considered keto-friendly. I'm always happy to help if I know the answer! :)

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  3. Margaret you are a life saver.....While I was determined that I was going to follow this way of eating, after having seen both your and Barbara's successes, I have been missing my baked goods. Today, just when things were looking a little sadder, you have come to my rescue again. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime, by tomorrow, I should be a happier person. Thank you for this great review, it is now in my favorites list, so easy for me to find again. Here's to the day when I will say I have lost 58 pounds too! God Bless and thank you!

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    1. Olivia, you have no idea how happy your comment makes me! I'm so glad that Barbara's and my posts about keto have helped inspire you to embrace a low carb approach to eating, and delighted that this post came out at the perfect time to make your new journey more delicious and enjoyable. I'm very proud of you for making this commitment to yourself and your health, and am honored to be able to support you.

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  4. Margaret! OMG you covered so many wonderful tips for products for keto muffins! I had no idea about the ready made mixes. I may have to keep a few of these on hand when I get a sweets craving - which I don't get much of - I wonder if there's such a thing as a keto baked good without any fake sugar at all? I've recently even cut out sugar substitutes. If you come across anything like that, I'd love to try it.

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    1. Barbara, I'm so glad you found this post helpful! I know you don't have much of a sweet tooth, so I wasn't sure whether these mixes and recipes would appeal to you.

      Regarding sweeteners, as you know, I avoid all *artificial* sweeteners, like sucralose, aspartame, and saccharine. The only sweeeteners I use are either plant-derived, or are chemically identical to natural sweeteners found in plants and replicated in a lab.

      For example, allulose is considered a "rare sugar" that is present in small amounts in certain fruits, is naturally low in calories (about 10% of the calories of sugar/sucrose), yet is about 70% as sweeet. And, unlike table sugar, it is not metabolized (it's absorbed by the small intestine and excreted in the urine), so it doesn't increase blood glucose or insulin secretion. In fact, allulose has been shown to reduce the glycemic response to beverages containing maltodextrin! And, unlike other added sugars, allulose is not fermented in the mouth, so it does not cause erosion of tooth enamel or promote the grown of cavity-causing oral bacteria. Last year, the FDA ruled that allulose does not need to be counted as grams of added or total sugars on nutrition labels. Because there is so little natural allulose (hence, "rare sugar"), it must be replicated in a lab to produce enough for commercial distribution, but is chemically identical to the natural allulose found in dried figs, raisins, etc.

      Monkfruit sweetener is an extract of the fruit of an herbaceous perennial vine of the same name, also called luohan guo, that is native to southern China and northern Thailand. Luohan go extract, which is nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

      BochaSweet (my favorite keto-friendly sweeetener) is produced by extracting a type of natural sugar (pentose) from the kabocha squash, has a zero glycemic index, and is metabolized without stimulating insulin secretion.

      And stevia extract is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant species, which is native to Brazil and Paraguay.

      I hope that helps!

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    2. Margaret, thank you for all the detail, wow that was thorough. You're such a professional with everything you approach. I appreciate that. I was using Monkfruit, and Stevia, Truvia etc as a sugar substitute in tea, coffee etc, but it affects my constitution terribly which is why I decided to completely cut it out. Even Keto treats with these sweeteners are things I tend to avoid. Once in a while, I'll allow it for a treat, but it's not a daily or even monthly thing I use. I even cut out carbonated water because it negatively affects my constitution. So that leaves me eating very few treats, if any. I pretty much only eat pure dark chocolate, nuts and peanut butter for treats. I was thinking how wonderful it would be to make keto cupcakes without any sugar at all - lol, but I'm not sure if that's possible?

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    3. Barbara, I'm so sorry to hear that you have had bad reactions to monkfruit and stevia! Erythritol doesn't agree with some people's digestive systems, either. Before you give up on plant-based sweeteners entirely, it might be worth trying BochaSweet, which is a natural extract of kabocha squash to see whether it agrees with you. It also tastes nearly identical to cane sugar, without any of the downsides.

      Unfortunately, since a cupcake is, by definition, sweet-tasting, the only other option would be to sweeten it with fruit (dates, for example), and that definitely wouldn't be keto, lol.

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  5. You should have your very own Keto baking show. No kidding. I am so impressed with all of the research and experimentation that you do (and share). Fabulous resources here. And now I am having cravings! Always willing to be your taste tester.

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    1. Awww, you're too kind, Diana (and adorable)! :) Sorry about triggering a craving for baked goods. I wish you lived close enough to be my taste tester (among many other reasons!)! Thanks for your lovely feedback.

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  6. Wow Margaret, you need to write a Keto cook book. This post is just packed with information. Everything here looks so delicious. Eating the right way and healthy always takes more work not to mention more money. Congratulations to you for Sticking with it.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Sam. The only way I could sustain a low-carb lifestyle was to make sure I could still enjoy what I ate (and vice versa), so I've been highly motivated to find the best products and recipes out there. :)

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  7. With my recent weight gain, and feeling so sluggish, I have been looking for some Keto and some Mediterranean diet recipes that are easy and tasty. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I am clearly addicted to sugars and carbs and need to change my diet.

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    1. Dawn, I feel your pain! I lived with those things for so long before finally making the commitment to myself to overcome those addictions, so they could no longer control me. My food addictions were so powerful that I never believed I could ever "kick the habit!" But, once I got seriously motivated to make this commitment to my health, wellbeing, and happiness, it turned out to be so much easier than I feared, especially since I built in low carb alternatives to my favorite sweet treats and and high-carb baked goods, like these keto-friendly cupcakes and muffins. I'm glad this post was timely for you, and hope this series on embracing, enjoying, and succeeding on a ketogenic diet will help you achieve your health and weight loss goals. <3

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