Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

I love baking homemade cinnamon muffins, which always fills our house with the lovely, nostalgic aroma of this traditional, warm spice. So, I've been collecting and trying out low carb, keto-friendly cinnamon muffin recipes that fit my healthy, ketogenic approach to eating. 

The recipes I'm sharing produce scrumptious sugar free cinnamon muffins that the whole family will enjoy, especially if they are trying to reduce or eliminate grains or sugar and other sweeteners that can spike their blood sugar levels and be harmful to their health in potentially more serious ways. 

Any of these cinnamon muffins can be paired with a cup of hot tea, coffee, or cocoa, or a glass of cold, unsweetened vanilla almond milk or macadamia milk for a guilt-free, wholesome, low carb treat for breakfast, dessert, or a healthy, nutritious, and delicious snack.

I am also sharing my product review of BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix, which makes excellent low carb muffins in practically no time when mixed with just two ingredients: eggs and melted butter (or coconut oil).

Bon appétit!

Photo of keto friendly cinnamon muffins

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffin Recipes

I have hand picked the following recipes based on their flavor, texture, calories, net carbs, and other aspects of their nutritional profile that make them good choices for people who love baked goods and follow a low carb or keto diet, or who just want to reduce or eliminate sugar from their diets as part of a healthier lifestyle. 

The keto cinnamon muffin recipes I've chosen to feature also can accommodate a range of common dietary restrictions. Most of them are low carb, sugar free, gluten free, grain free, and diabetic friendly. Two are also dairy free, and many of the others can be used to make dairy free muffins by replacing the butter with coconut oil. One of those is vegan. The other suggests substituting sunflower seed meal (aka sunflower seed flour) for the almond meal or almond flour for a nut-free cinnamon muffin recipe option. 

Replacing almond flour or meal with sunflower seed flour or meal works well in many low carb or keto baking recipes, and for someone with nut allergies, it's well worth experimenting with. (You might need to use a bit more than the specified amount of almond flour.)

If you are making these treats for someone who has dietary requirements other than, or in addition to, following a low carb or keto diet, be sure to review the ingredients for each recipe to ensure that it will fit that person's specific dietary restrictions.


Keto Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe (Wholesome Yum)

Maya Krampf developed the recipe for these yummy low carb keto cinnamon cream cheese muffins for her deservedly popular Wholesome Yum low carb and keto website. She is also the author of one of my favorite low carb cookbooks, The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook: 100 Simple Low Carb Recipes. 10 Ingredients or Less.

A sweet vanilla cream cheese filling makes her low carb keto cinnamon cream cheese muffins like a cross between a coffee cake muffin with cinnamon streusel and a cheese danish pastry. I always make sure to warm these up before eating them (or sharing them with my husband, who also enjoys them), so the creamy filling returns to its slightly runny, just-out-of-the-oven state. 

The batter and cream cheese filling are sweetened with Maya's granulated/crystallized Besti monk fruit allulose sweetener blend. She says you could substitute allulose, or granulated erythritol for the batter and powdered erythritol for the filling, if you wanted to. The cinnamon streusel topping is sweetened with her Besti Brown monk fruit allulose sweetener blend, and she says she hasn't found another healthy, keto-friendly brown sugar substitute that works well in this recipe.

Compare the macros for Maya's Keto Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins, at 4.8g net carbs each, with those for Winchell's Donut House Cream Cheese Muffins (the most similar commercial muffin I could find nutrition data for), at a whopping 81g net carbs!

Nutrition Facts

Keto Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins
(Wholesome Yum)
Winchell's Donut House Cream Cheese Muffins
(source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 318 610
Total Fat 29.3g 27g
Total Carbohydrate 8.7g 82g
Net Carbs 4.8g 81g
Dietary Fiber 3.9g 1g
Sugars 1.8g 56g
Protein 9.3g 9g

Recipe Notes:

As of this writing, these sweeteners are not yet available on Amazon.ca. However, you can order Besti sweeteners on Wholesome Yum Foods and have them shipped to Canada (although the shipping obviously will be higher). If you live in a country other than the U.S. and Canada and would like to be able to order these products, Wholesome Yum plans to expand its distribution internationally, based on demand. To express your interest, you can sign up to be notified when Besti sweeteners will become available in your country.


Keto Coffee Cake Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)

Like any coffee cake worthy of the name, these tempting keto coffee cake muffins from Carolyn Ketchum have a grain-free, sugar-free cinnamon crumb topping, as well as an optional sweet vanilla glaze drizzle. Carolyn is the writer and fabulous recipe developer for another extremely popular low carb recipe blog and website, All Day I Dream About Food, another of my go-to resources for consistently excellent keto recipes.

She says these keto coffee cake muffins are "better and healthier than any bakery option!" For me, that's a bit of a stretch. (Even though my taste buds have adapted to enjoy the baked goods from the best keto baking recipes, which definitely includes Carolyn's, I have never eaten keto baked goods that have a better taste and texture than their flour- and sugar-laden counterparts from a good bakery.) That said, this recipe produces wonderful, bakery-style low carb muffins that have an unusually moist and tender crumb (for keto-friendly baked goods), thanks to the use of both almond flour and coconut flour, as well as unflavored whey protein powder that helps them rise properly, since there is no gluten in the grain-free batter. The cinnamon streusel topping and optional vanilla glaze also add to their bakery muffin taste and texture. 

The recipe calls for Swerve Brown sweetener for the crumb topping, granulated Swerve sweetener for the muffin batter, and powdered Swerve for the vanilla glaze drizzle. 

Compare the huge differences in nutrition between a Keto Coffee Cake Muffin from All Day I Dream About Food (3.9 g of net carbs) and a Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffin from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (54 g of net carbs):

Nutrition Facts

Keto Coffee Cake Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins (source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 285 450
Total Fat 24.4g 23g
Total Carbohydrate 7.6g 55g
Net Carbs 3.9g 54g
Dietary Fiber 3.7g 1g
Sugars - 32g
Protein 9.1g 4g

Recipe Notes:

Swerve sweeteners are mostly erythritol. If you don't care for the taste of erythritol, or if it causes you gastric distress, you can check out Carolyn's Ultimate Guide to Keto Sweeteners Ultimate Guide to Keto Sweeteners on All Day I Dream About Food to find suitable keto-friendly brown, granulated, and powdered sweetener alternatives.


Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)

I have had a long and complicated relationship with Nutella. The first time we met, it was love at first bite. I fondly remember the blissful decades when we were together. Sadly, when I started focusing on improving my health and trying to lose weight, I was forced to accept that my beloved "Nutty," with its palm oil, sugar, and artificial vanilla flavoring, was just no good for me. Finally, I found the strength to break up with it, fervently hoping that, someday, I would find another chocolate hazelnut spread that would be just as sweet, satisfying, and special, but also would support my commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

Fortunately, when I began researching low carb and ketogenic diet recipes, I discovered Carolyn Ketchum's All Day I Dream About Food website, which includes quite a few Nutella inspired low carb and keto recipes. Her amazing keto Nutella-stuffed cinnamon muffins hide a sweet surprise—a rich, creamy chocolate hazelnut filling made with healthier, fresher ingredients than the popular commercial spread. In this recipe, her sugar free Nutella filling is made from freshly toasted and husked hazelnuts, hazelnut oil, dark cocoa powder, heavy cream, keto-friendly sweetener, and pure vanilla extract.

These luscious keto cinnamon muffins are sweet and rich enough to enjoy for dessert. Served with a cup of fresh, hot coffee, they also make a truly decadent breakfast. 

The most comparable muffins I could find (from a reliable source I trust) for a nutritional comparison were the Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins from Sally's Baking Addiction, which have a cinnamon-sugar topping instead of Carolyn's streusel crumb topping and vanilla glaze drizzle. 

Compare the calories, net carbs, fat, fiber, and protein in these indulgent yet low carb, keto-friendly Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Muffins from All Day I Dream About Food to the wonderful Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins on Sally's Baking Addiction.

Nutrition Facts

Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Muffins (All Day I Dream About Food)
Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins (Sally's Baking Addiction) (source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 310 450
Total Fat 29g 23g
Total Carbohydrate 8g 55g
Net Carbs 4g 54g
Dietary Fiber 4g 1g
Sugars - 32g
Protein 10g 4g

Recipe Notes:

In the comments, Carolyn Ketchum explains how she toasts and husks the hazelnuts. Toast the nuts in a preheated 350 °F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, take them out, and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then roll them between your fingers while still warm and most of the husks will come off easily. Don’t worry about a few stubborn bits of husk; they won’t matter after you grind the hazelnuts. 

In my experience, nuts can go from nicely toasted to burned very quickly. I toast mine on a rimmed baking sheet, so I can give it a shake every few minutes without the nuts falling off the pan, and keep a close eye on them until I remove them from the oven. I let them cool for only 3 or 4 minutes, and then rub the toasted nuts briskly inside a clean kitchen towel to loosen the husks. I find that they loosen more easily when they are quite warm, and the towel protects my fingers from the heat.

Note to low carb baking enthusiasts:

In addition to being the driving force behind All Day I Dream About Food, Carolyn Ketchum has written eight keto cookbooks (as of this writing). I highly recommend the two I have purchased so far, the Keto For Two Cookbook (e-book) and The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking: Master All the Best Tricks for Low-Carb Baking Success, which I consider my keto baking "bible" and a must-have for anyone who wants to understand the chemistry and techniques of successful keto baking recipes (which are fundamentally different than those of successful conventional baking). 

Note to conventional baking enthusiasts:

For many years, Sally McKenny's Sally's Baking Addiction website and her superb baking cookbooks have been among my favorite sources for consistently reliable, clearly written and clearly explained recipes for mouthwatering baked goods made with conventional ingredients, such as sugar, wheat flour, and cornstarch. So, although they don't fit within a sugar free, gluten free, or low carb diet, I recommend her cookbooks and website very highly to anyone who loves to bake with sugar and other high carb ingredients.


Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Muffins (The Big Man's World)

This high protein, low carb cinnamon roll muffins recipe from Arman Liew of The Big Man's World is quite unusual, since it contains no eggs and no butter. In fact, this recipe is keto, paleo, vegan, sugar free, gluten free, grain free, and dairy free. 

These almond flour muffins also contain vanilla protein powder to add sweetness, increase the protein, and help them rise in the absence of gluten, which creates a lighter texture and a better crumb. Pumpkin purée makes them moist. Coconut oil provides the fat in the muffin batter, along with your choice of unsweetened, low carb nut butter or seed butter (Arman suggests almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter), which further boosts the protein, while coconut butter (also called coconut manna) gives the lemony glaze a luxurious mouthfeel. 

It was hard to find a close analog for a nutritional comparison. I finally chose to compare the impressive macros for these Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Muffins from The Big Man's World (only 1g of net carbs per serving) to Starbucks Cinnamon Muffins (41g of net carbs each). 

Nutrition Facts

Low Carb Cinnamon Roll Muffins 
(The Big Man's World)
Starbucks Cinnamon Muffins
(source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 112 350
Total Fat 9g 27g
Total Carbohydrate 3g 42g
Net Carbs 1g 41g
Dietary Fiber 2g 1g
Sugars - 30g
Protein 5g 5g


Keto Cinnamon Muffins (Sweet As Honey)

This versatile recipe for gluten free, dairy free, sugar free cinnamon muffins comes from another of my favorite low-carb food bloggers, Carine Claudepierre, the writer, recipe developer, food photographer, and videographer at Sweet As Honey

Her bakery-style keto cinnamon muffins are dipped into sugar-free cinnamon sugar while they're still hot, to add a crunchy topping and more cinnamon flavor. After they have cooled completely, the tops are coated with icing, made from powdered sugar-free sweetener mixed with just enough unsweetened almond milk to achieve your preferred consistency. 

This recipe is made with equal amounts of almond flour and flaxseed meal (aka flax meal). Flax is a source of many nutrition and health benefits, and flaxseed meal contains very few carbs, so it's great to bake with. Carine recommends using golden flaxseed meal rather than brown flaxseed meal, which would give these baked goods an unpleasant, bitter aftertaste (and no one wants that!). I prefer Bob's Red Mill organic golden flaxseed meal

She says she always uses an erythritol and monk fruit sweetener blend, and although the ingredients list says "erythritol," it links to the original Classic White Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener With Erythritol. The recipe was published in August 2019, three months before the brand introduced its  Lakanto Monkfruit Baking Sweetener With Erythritol, which also contains tapioca fiber, chicory root inulin, and cellulose gum and was created specifically as a 1:1 sugar replacement for baking recipes. According to Lakanto, some of its advantages for baked goods recipes are that it "dissolves effortlessly, retains moisture, can control cookie spread, and provides better browning for your desserts." I suspect it would be even better than the Classic White Lakanto for this recipe.

Since I couldn't find any commercial equivalents to these Sweet As Honey Keto Cinnamon Muffins whose tops are completely covered with icing (2.3 g of net carbs), I'll compare them to the Walmart Bakery Marketside Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins with no icing (45g of net carbs):

Nutrition Facts

Keto Cinnamon Muffins
(Sweet As Honey)
Walmart Bakery Marketside Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins (source)
Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories 217 370
Total Fat 16.5g 19g
Total Carbohydrate 5.5g 46g
Net Carbs 2.3g 45g
Dietary Fiber 3.2g 1g
Sugars 0.4 26g
Protein 5.3g 5g

Recipe Notes:

Carine offers several suggestions for optional mix-ins, if you would like to customize these muffins to suit your personal preference. (Keep in mind that any additional ingredients or substitutions will affect the calories, macros, and other aspects of this recipe's nutritional profile.)

Even though the recipe uses flaxseed meal, she warns against trying to replace the whole eggs with "flax eggs" (flaxseed meal mixed with water), egg white, or another substitute. 

She suggests coconut milk as an alternative to almond milk for the glaze. (I'm sure any keto-friendly dairy-free milk would work.)

If you don't need dairy-free muffins, you can use melted butter in place of the coconut oil, if you prefer.

For nut-free low carb cinnamon muffins, you can replace the almond flour with the same amount of sunflower seed flour or meal.  


BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix

If you don't have a lot of time for (or don't enjoy) baking from scratch, you can still indulge in some delicious, fragrant, freshly baked keto cinnamon muffins, thanks to BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix.

Photo of BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffins on cooling rack
My most recent batch from BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix

Low Carb Muffins in About 15 Minutes

Preparing these tasty treats couldn't be any faster or easier! Just mix the contents of one bag of BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix with 3 whole eggs and 1/2 cup of melted butter (or coconut oil, for dairy free muffins), portion the batter into a lightly greased 12-cup cupcake or muffin tin, and bake in a preheated 425 ℉ oven for 12–14 minutes, until golden brown, and enjoy!

Low carb keto baking recipes often turn out to be dense, coarse, and dry. Not these delectable muffins! The texture is lighter than I was expecting, which is great. My first batch was a bit on the dry side, but only because I left them in the oven a bit too long. (It's hard to tell when the muffins are "golden brown" when that's the color of the batter to begin with, lol.) So, I baked my second batch for just 12 minutes, and allowed them to cool a bit longer before sampling them. This time, the muffins were delightfully moist and tender! And, both times, not just my kitchen but my whole smelled divine.

High Quality, Wholesome, Healthy Ingredients

I have shared many posts on Review This Reviews about my keto diet weight loss journey that began in May 2019 and enabled me to lose nearly 60 pounds, and my subsequent decision to continue to follow a very low carb, ketogenic approach to eating that has made it easy to maintain my new, slim, healthy weight for more than a year so far. If so, you know that my primary motivation for this change in diet and lifestyle was getting healthier and lowering my risk of cancer and other serious diseases. So, although I am somewhat flexible, I try to make fairly "clean" food choices. And, when I purchase a low carb or keto baking mix (or prepared baked goods), the first thing I look at is the ingredients.

BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix is made with the same high quality, wholesome, healthy ingredients I use in my homemade keto baking recipes when I'm making low carb muffins from scratch: almond flour, BochaSweet (kabocha extract), grass-fed collagen, psyllium husk powder, organic coconut flour, organic cinnamon, MCT oil powder, baking soda, aluminum-free baking powder, pink salt, and xanthan gum. The ingredients are non GMO, and the mix contains no preservatives or additives. (For that reason, the prepared muffins need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.) 

I love the fact that this keto cinnamon muffin mix is sweetened with BochaSweet sugar replacement, my favorite zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener! BochaSweet tastes nearly identical to cane sugar and (to me and many other happy BochaSweet customers) has no aftertaste and none of the cooling effect produced by some other keto friendly sweeteners (such as erythritol). After using this healthy sweetener every day for about 1.5 years so far (to sweeten my tea, among other things), I have experienced zero gastric distress or laxative effect from this healthy sweetener, and most other product reviews I have read from customers who mention their reactions concur with my experience. The only downside is that it costs more than most other healthy keto-friendly sweeteners. However, for me and many other people who are looking for healthier, zero calorie, zero glycemic sugar alternatives, it's worth paying the higher price for this one, as well as for products that are sweetened with it.

BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix was launched in late August, 2020, just as I was finishing up my review of recipes and baking mixes for making Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet. That meant I wouldn't be able to order, test, and review this new cinnamon muffin mix in time to include it in that review of my favorite keto muffins and cupcakes. In the course of testing the recipes and mixes for that review, I ended up with a freezer full of baked goods and a pantry that was positively overflowing with packaged low carb keto baking mixes. So, it was only recently that I finally ordered a couple of bags of the BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix to try. Now that I've made these quick and easy, tender, toothsome low carb keto cinnamon muffins, I will definitely update that review to include this yummy, convenient BochaSweet baking mix!

Nutrition Facts

BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix

Serving Size:
23g of dry mix


Calories 60
Total Fat 3g
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Net Carbs 3g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars <1g
Protein 4g


Product Review Notes:

The company provides this information for the dry mix only. However, you can easily calculate the nutrition data for the prepared muffins by entering the data for the dry mix into a tracking app such as Carb Manager and then creating a recipe entry in the app that will calculate the macros based on the ingredients (12 servings of the dry baking mix, three large eggs, and 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil).

The net carbs for this BochaSweet Keto Cinnamon Muffin Mix are calculated as follows:13g total carbohydrates - 4g dietary fiber - 6g BochaSweet = 3g net carbs

BochaSweet is the name of the company, its flagship product (BochaSweet sugar replacement), and the overarching brand for its other products (such as baking mixes), including those with secondary brands (such as BochaSweet BochaBars high protein, high fiber bars and and BochaSweet Bocha-Beets nutritional supplement). For some reason, on the brand's logotype, the words Bocha and Sweet are separated by a space, which likely explains why it is often misspelled "Bocha Sweet" (occasionally, you'll even see an Amazon product listing for a "Bocha Sweet" product). 


Recipes and Product Review: The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins by Margaret Schindel


Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

The Best Low Carb Keto Cinnamon Muffins

The Good Chocolate 100% Organic No Sugar Dark Chocolate Review

Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

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 Recipe Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors




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Monday, April 19, 2021

Reviewing Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Sauce by Robert Rothschild Farm

 Last week I was hungry for something different.  I thought I wanted salmon. No, I was certain I wanted salmon. But I wanted something different. Something flavorful. I went to my local Costco (which is where I buy my preferred frozen salmon) and happened past a large bottle of beautiful, golden Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Sauce. Initially, I walked past it. In fact, I walked the entire grocery portion of the store trying to decide what to make with my salmon. I was drawn back to the Roasted Pineapple and Habanero sauce and after reading the label, I took it home. I am so glad I did!



I really like savory food. I think heat and spices are delicious. Sadly, what my brain thinks is completely different that when my mouth can tolerate. As soon as I arrived home from the store, and had started the rice cooking, I texted a photo of the Roasted Pineapple and Habanero sauce to my sons.  



Their collective response: "Haha, best of luck!" and "Let me know how that turns out for you."

My response: "It is supposedly mild. I read the label and put the jar back several times before I decided to try it."

More skeptical responses from my sons. 

Fortunately, the sauce was truly "mild". It was also flavorful and delicious. I immediately regretted not having made more servings of salmon. And I craved it during my camping trip over the weekend.

My Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Salmon over Rice

Nothing fancy happens in my kitchen. But I love tasty food. In this case I made white rice (following the directions on the bag and cooking for 20 minutes).  

During that time the rice cooked, I thawed a frozen salmon filet in a container of room temperature water (the frozen salmon filets I buy are individual wrapped which is perfect for me).

I baked the salmon per the instructions, adding just a bit of sauce in the baking dish with the salmon (about 3 tablespoons). 

I served the baked salmon over the cooked rice, salt and pepper to taste, and added about another tablespoon of the sauce over the rice.

YUM!

Robert Rothschild Farm

I purchased my large jar of Roasted Pineapple and Habanero sauce at my local Costco.  You can be sure that I am going to purchase a couple more bottles to add to my pantry and keep them in stock!  You can also find this delicious sauce on Amazon from the Robert Rothschild Farm store.

If you want to know more about Robert Rothschild Farm, you can visit their website. I love all of the products they offer (sauces, salsas, dips, fruit spreads, savory spreads, and more) as well as a few recipes that use their products. In short, the Rothschilds moved from California to Ohio in the 1970s and were committed to their land. They produced more raspberries than they needed and that inspired their recipes and flavor combinations.

After visiting their site, I have a "wish list" of several of their items. 

Side Note:

Many years ago I had a wonderful opportunity to visit Charleston, South Carolina. During that trip, we ate at a little island restaurant. I still sometimes talk about the dish I had there; scallops, mashed potatoes, and "some kind of citrusy/spicy sauce". That was the best tasting dish I have ever eaten and have never had anything like it again. This sauce reminds me very much of that long ago dish. You can be absolutely sure that I am going to learn how to prepare scallops so that I can serve them with this sauce and try to cure that 20-something  year old craving. 




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Friday, March 26, 2021

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe Reviewed

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe
Carrot Cake Cupcakes are a delicious treat anytime!  

My mother recently made 2 dozen carrot cake cupcakes using the recipe below.  She was generous and thoughtful enough to share them with me and my household.  I was beyond thrilled to receive this gift. I understand the time commitment and work behind making a few dozen cupcakes. Therefore, I can really appreciate receiving a dozen homemade cupcakes.

Cupcakes are a personal favorite since they are made in single serving portions. That saves serving preparation and clean-up.  You can grab a cupcake, toss the paper liner, and eat it without needing to get out a plate or utensils. So fast & easy!

The carrot cake cupcakes are fabulous for breakfast, a special treat, or dessert.  For 3 days straight, I was able to enjoy a carrot cake cupcake with my coffee for breakfast.  I was rather sad when they were all gone.  But, I have the recipe!  And, I am willing to share it with you so you too can start your day with delicious carrot cake.


Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe - Yields 36 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

2 c. shredded julienne carrots
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. canola oil
4 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Frosting Ingredients: 

1/2 c. unsalted butter (softened)
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c. chopped pecans

________________________________________ 

 

Instructions for Cupcakes

1. Grate carrots & chop pecans
2. Preheat oven to 350°
3. Line large cupcake pans with cupcake liners (3 pans of 12 each)
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, and eggs. Beat until well-blended.
5. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Beat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
6. (Set aside your mixer) Stir in shredded carrots & pineapple.
7. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full and bake for approximately 22 - 24 minutes (toothpick test)
8. Set cupcakes on cooking racks and allow to cool completely before frosting
9. While the cupcakes are cooling, set out the butter and cream cheese to soften (about 30 minutes)

Instructions for Frosting

1. Beat softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until well blended. (Approximately 4 minutes)
3. Stir in chopped pecans (or hold them to sprinkle on top of frosted cupcakes)
4. Frost the Cupcakes


Recipe Substitutions or Additions

I prefer pineapple, but Mom suggests substituting raisins if desired. You may also want to add 1 cup shredded coconut for a more authentic carrot cake consistency & taste.


Baking Notes

I have a double oven, one is a convection oven. My ovens allow me to bake 3 pans of cupcakes at one time. (2 in the convection oven & one in the lower regular oven). 

Mom has one regular oven. Therefore, she makes larger cupcakes divided across two pans, which she bakes separately. Her yield is 24 larger cupcakes that take slightly longer to bake (approximately 26 - 28 minutes). 

Because oven temperatures vary, the toothpick test is required to determine when they are completely baked.



What is the Toothpick Test?

Quickly stick a toothpick down into the center of a cupcake or cake and pull it right back out. If it comes out clean, the cake/cupcake is done. If it has batter on it, you need to bake a little longer. I usually test in 1 – 2 minute intervals. 


Cupcake Baking Needs

There are a few kitchen tools that allow us to bake cupcakes with ease, starting with a large cupcake baking pan & cupcake liners.  Cupcakes are also very hard to transport from place to place.  If you do plan to take them elsewhere, I highly recommend the carrier featured below.

 

Just for Fun! Add Edible Carrot Toppers


Orange & Green Fondant

 Wilton Decorator Preferred Neon Fondant, 4-Pack Fondant IcingCheck Price Wilton Decorator Preferred Primary Colors  4-Pack Fondant IcingCheck Price

 

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





© 2021 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 



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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

loaf of bread with text "Keto Yeast Bread made with Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Bread Mix"
Delicious keto bread that isn't heavy, dense, or crumbly!

When I began my successful keto diet journey in 2019, Maya Krampf's popular Wholesome Yum website and The Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Cookbook (which I have recommended in my Keto Gift Guide and other posts here on Review This Reviews) quickly became two of my go-to resources for quick and easy, healthy keto recipes and reliable information about the ketogenic approach to eating. Maya also has developed a line of high quality, low carb, gluten free, keto food products made with clean ingredients (including her excellent Besti keto-friendly sweeteners), and new products continue to be added to her Wholesome Yum Foods online shop. 

The Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix that launched on December 21, 2020 is one of Maya's newest products. I think it's also one of her best!

A few days ago, she also published a new Keto Yeast Bread Recipe for this bread mix that delivers even more impressive and delicious results. I’m excited to share my in-depth product review of this excellent Wholesome Yum mix and compare the differences in between the loaves I've made with original recipe and the new keto yeast bread recipe. 

Photo of Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Bread Mix package
This keto bread mix has all the pre-measured dry ingredients for a delicious, fresh-baked loaf

Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix, Original Recipe (No Yeast)

The directions currently printed on the bag require just three ingredients in addition to the packaged mix: 6 tablespoons of butter, 4 large eggs, and 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of unsweetened almond milk. 

You can replace the almond milk with a different keto-friendly milk, if you wish.

Line the Loaf Pan With Baking Parchment Paper

The recipe calls for the prepared bread mix to be baked in an 8" x 4" loaf pan lined with baking parchment paper, with the parchment paper overhanging at least the two long sides of the pan. 

However, the 8.5" x 4.5" OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Loaf Pan I have been using (see my product review) has worked fine.

Photo of parchment paper lined loaf pan with box of baking parchment and scissors
Make sure the parchment paper overhangs the long sides of the pan

I have been lining the pan with unbleached If You Care Parchment Baking Paper, which is chlorine-free and compostable. It's also silicone coated, and nothing sticks to it! 

For environmental reasons, the box doesn't have a serrated metal cutting strip. Since the larger, softer cardboard "teeth" don't cut as cleanly as the metal ones, I just use scissors to trim the a sheet of the desired length.

Allow Time to Bring the Ingredients to Room Temperature

All the ingredients should be at room temperature when make the keto bread dough/batter.

Note: Although there is an asterisked line to this effect in the printed directions on the bag, it's easy to miss, not only because the very small type is hard to read, but also because there are no corresponding asterisks attached to the individual ingredients. (A single asterisk with no corresponding reference is meaningless.) It would be helpful if this were fixed during the next packaging print run. 

When a recipe calls for room temperature ingredients, they should be at approximately 70 °F (21 °C), with the exception of butter. Room temperature butter should be a bit cooler, roughly 65 °F (18 °C). It has reached the correct temperature when it is still a bit cool to the touch and retains its shape, but has softened enough to leave an indentation when pressed with a fingertip.

Photo of ingredients to make Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Bread Mix: bag of mix, 6 tablespoons of butter, 4 eggs, and 3/4 cup almond milk
One bag of mix + butter, eggs, and almond milk = quick and easy keto bread!

Why Using Room Temperature Ingredients Matters When Making The Keto Bread Mix Batter

Using room temperature butter, eggs, and almond milk allows the butter to cream properly and the eggs and butter to be fully incorporated into the creamed butter, so there are no remaining clumps of butter after the dry ingredients in the Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix are added. 

Conversely, using ingredients that are too warm or too cold will likely produce less-than-optimal results.

When I tried the Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix for the first time this January, the New England winter meant that our north-facing kitchen (with its large expanse of windows) was quite chilly. As a result, even after sitting out on the counter for a couple of hours, my "room temperature" eggs, and almond milk were much cooler than 70 °F (21 °C), and even my butter was colder than 65 °F (18 °C) and had very little "give" when pressed with a fingertip. 

As a result, even after being creamed at high speed with my trusty KitchenAid mixer for for nearly 15 minutes, the butter never softened fully, and when I added the eggs and almond milk to it, they wouldn't incorporate smoothly, no matter how long I beat the mixture. 

You can see in following photo that the first batch of keto bread dough/batter didn't come together as smoothly as it should and would have if my kitchen hadn't been so chilly.

Photo of bread dough in parchment paper lined loaf pan
A cold kitchen made my butter a bit uncooperative!

In retrospect, I could have put the unshelled, room temperature eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5–10 minutes and warmed the almond milk gently on the stovetop or in the microwave. However, the butter still would have been a problem, since using any form of added heat to soften butter without melting it is a tricky proposition.

The Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix Recipe Is Pretty Forgiving

Despite my inability to bring the ingredients to "recipe" room temperature, and the fact that we currently have only a tabletop oven (our built-in double oven died a few years ago), the loaf baked quite nicely.
Photo of baked easy keto bread mix loaf in pan on rack
The first loaf I made with this keto bread mix turned out well, even with the too-cool ingredients

Making low carb, gluten-free bread with Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix was easy. The hard part was waiting until the next day, as the package directions recommend, before slicing into the loaf so I could taste it!

Photo of baked keto bread loaf cut in half on cutting board with bread knife
A lighter, less dense texture than most keto bread

Although it is possible to find low carb bread recipes that don't contain almond flour, most of them do. Ground almonds are heavier than grain flours, lack gluten for structure, and interact differently with leavening agents. As a result, most loaves made from a keto bread recipe are pretty dense, and tend to crumble easily.

So, when I cut into the loaf I made with the Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix, I was very pleased to see small air pockets, indicating a somewhat lighter, less dense texture than most low carb bread made with almond flour. (You can see the air pockets better in the close-up photo of my half-sandwich.)

Not only did it make great toast, it also was less crumbly than most other keto-friendly almond flour breads, which allowed me to make a sandwich that didn't fall apart as soon as I bit into it!

Photo of half sandwich made with keto bread, keto jam, and keto chocolate hazelnut spread
My sweet half-sandwich on keto bread made with the Wholesome Yum mix
(Note: For scale, this is a salad plate.)

After making a great slice of toast, the next thing I tried was a sandwich. I had just received my order of keto-friendly Good Good sweet raspberry jam (which is currently out of stock, but other flavors are available, including Good Good Sweet Blueberry Jam) and ChocZero Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (a keto diet friendly alternative to Nutella), so I decided to cut a slice in half and make myself a raspberry-chocolate hazelnut half-sandwich. (Hey, don't knock it until you try it! I like to think of it as a 21st-century update to the Fluffernutter, a lunchbox favorite back in the 1960s, when I was a kid, that I can't imagine eating today.) 

I was able to eat my half-sandwich without the bread crumbling or breaking, which was a major improvement over most other keto bread recipes or mixes I had tried. 

The New Keto Yeast Bread Recipe Makes an Even Better Low Carb Loaf 

Even though I was pleased with the results I was getting from Maya's new keto bread mix and had already begun to write a product review of it for Review This Reviews, I was extremely excited by her revelation last month in one of the Wholesome Yum Facebook groups I belong to that she had been working on a keto yeast bread recipe for the new mix and thought she was close to perfecting it. 

I knew that adding yeast to the batter/dough would result in a taller loaf with a lighter, airier, more sponge-like texture and might also give the bread some of the flavor characteristics of conventional yeast breads. 

I decided to hold off on my product review of the bread mix until the new recipe had been published, so I could compare it to the original and confirm or correct my assumptions about the effects of adding yeast to the batter. 

Photo of Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Bread Mix and other ingredients for the keto yeast bread recipe
Feeding the yeast with inulin allows this keto yeast bread recipe to be 100% sugar free 

The Yeast Bread Version of the Recipe Adds Two Ingredients

Active Dry Yeast

You can use any brand of active dry yeast, such as Fleischmann's or Red Star. I decided to order my favorite from my BK (before keto) baking, SAF-Instant Premium Yeast - Red, which is widely used by professional bakers and consistently produces superior results with any type of bread, pizza, croissant, or other unsweetened doughs. 

I discovered the red SAF-Instant Premium Yeast many years ago on the King Arthur Baking website (a reliable source of baking expertise and a go-to resource for baking enthusiasts). The fact that it's the yeast they use most often in their test kitchens was a good enough endorsement for me! 

In addition to improving bread dough baking results, a 1-pound vacuum-sealed bag/brick of SAF-instant yeast ends up costing much, much less per use than the 4-ounce jars or strips of three individual packets of active dry yeast sold in supermarkets. 

I keep mine in the freezer in an airtight container, where it remains good for years, and unopened packages have a two-year shelf life. 

Tip: If you're not following a low carb or keto diet, use SAF-Instant Premium Yeast - Gold, rather than the one in the red package, for making conventional sweet dough recipes. 

Inulin Powder

In this recipe, the active dry yeast is fed with powdered inulin, a soluble fiber and prebiotic, instead of the sugar or other high glycemic index sweeteners that recipes typically used for that purpose. 

I was in such a rush to order inulin powder for this recipe that I inadvertently ordered a huge 2.2-pound bag of it on Amazon (with free Amazon Prime delivery)! However, since it you need only one teaspoon of it per 2¼ teaspoons (or one packet) of active dry yeast, I recommend buying a smaller package, such as this 8-ounce bag of 100% pure inulin powder that is made in the USA (in Utah) from non-GMO Jerusalem artichokes, sometimes called sunchokes. 

Wholesome Yum Keto Yeast Bread Recipe 

To make the keto yeast bread recipe, you start by mixing the batter according to the original recipe, then fold in active dry yeast bloomed in lukewarm water mixed with inulin powder, and set the covered yeast batter aside in a warm spot to proof. After the yeast bread batter/dough has been allowed to rise for an hour, it is transferred to the parchment-line loaf pan and baked at the same temperature, and for the same length of time, as the original recipe. And, like the original recipe, the baked loaf should be removed to a cooling rack and left until it has cooled completely (overnight, if possible) before you slice into it. 

Here are the ingredients, tools, supplies, and equipment you will need to make Maya's new keto yeast bread recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ teaspoons (or 1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) lukewarm water, 105–115 °F (41–46 °C)
  • 1 teaspoon of inulin powder *
  • 1 bag Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix
  • 6 tablespoons butter **
  • 4 large eggs ** (not medium, extra-large, or jumbo size)
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz.) unsweetened almond milk ** ***

Tools, Supplies, and Equipment:

  • A hand mixer or stand mixer 
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A rubber scraper (to scrape the bowl and beaters)
  • Plastic wrap (to cover the bowl of prepared yeast dough before setting it aside to proof/rise) ****
  • An 8" x 4" loaf pan
  • Baking parchment paper to line the pan (I highly recommend using unbleached baking parchment)
  • A cooling rack

* The inulin powder is a prebiotic fiber that is used in this recipe to feed the yeast. It is a keto-friendly alternative to feeding the yeast with sugar, honey, or other high-glycemic sweeteners that can elevate your blood glucose and insulin levels. If you follow a strict sugar-free or keto diet and want to ensure that your keto bread is absolutely sugar free, the inulin in this recipe is an essential ingredient that cannot be substituted. However, for people whose dietary requirements and preferences are less strict, the recipe also offers the option to replace the teaspoon of inulin powder with a teaspoon of coconut sugar. 

** At room temperature

*** Use plain, unsweetened almond milk for this recipe. Unless the package specifically says "unsweetened almond milk," assume it contains added sugar, and is not suitable for a low carb, sugar-free, or keto diet.

**** I recommend biodegradable, reusable beeswax food wrap as a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable plastic wrap (aka cling film). It's available either precut or in rolled sheets that you can cut to size, as needed. Although I own and use both types, I'd suggest buying an uncut roll to ensure that you'll have a large enough piece to cover your large mixing bowl while the keto bread batter is proofing.

Directions:

Follow Maya's full Keto Yeast Bread Recipe on Wholesome Yum, which provides not only step-by-step directions with photos, but also helpful tips, refrigerator and freezer storage instructions, and an FAQ that answers questions such as as whether yeast and inulin are keto-friendly ingredients.

This Keto Yeast Bread Recipe Turned Out Even Better The Second Time!

Update 4/8/21: Last weekend, we finally had a warm-ish spring day here in New England (a "balmy" 58 degrees Fahrenheit, lol!). I had just finished the last slice from my first loaf, and hoped that my room temperature eggs, butter and nut milk would be warmer and more cooperative this time. Indeed, they were! I was able to get the butter to cream properly, so it was nicely pale and fluffy. And the eggs and nut milk (I used macadamia nut milk this time) were fully incorporated into the creamed butter, so there were no large lumps of butter in my yeast bread batter, which made it much easier to smooth the top after transferring it to the parchment paper-lined loaf pan.

Second loaf of keto yeast bread on cutting board
My second keto yeast bread loaf 

Comparing Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix Original and Keto Yeast Bread Recipes 

Height

When I followed the original Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix recipe printed on the bag, the top of the baked loaf remained lower than the rim of the baking pan.

Photo of baked keto bread loaf in pan, made with recipe on bag of mix
The basic recipe without yeast produces a shorter loaf

However, when I followed the new keto yeast bread recipe, the batter's volume increased considerably as it proofed, which produced a baked loaf that was taller than baking pan.

Taller loaf in pan, made with keto yeast bread recipe
Adding yeast to the original batter recipe produces a larger, taller loaf that rises above the pan rim

Size and Texture

The recipe printed on the bag produced slices that were slightly larger, and had more air pockets and a lighter texture, than typical keto breads.

Sliced Wholesome Yum Keto Bread

As you can see, the slices of this loaf, which was made with the Wholesome Yum Keto Yeast Bread Recipe, were significantly larger and had many more air pockets and and an even lighter texture vs. those cut from previous loaf made with the original Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix recipe.

Sliced Wholesome Yum Keto Yeast Bread loaf

Time and Effort

The time it takes to bloom the yeast and fold it into the prepared batter is minimal. 

However, the yeasted dough also needs to be covered and set aside to proof before it is transferred to the parchment paper-lined pan, which add 60 minutes to the total time, start-to-finish . 

On the other hand, since the batter doesn't need to be monitored while it's proofing, that time can be spent elsewhere, on other activities.

Bottom Line

Unless I'm pressed for time or can't start baking until later in the day, I consider the superior loaf produced with Maya's new Wholesome Yum Keto Yeast Bread Recipe well worth the minimal additional effort and the one-hour delay while the batter is proofing.

However, even without the addition of yeast, the Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix is a convenient, time-saving, and delicious option for making freshly baked, keto-friendly bread.


Wholesome Yum Easy Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe by Margaret Schindel


Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

Wholesome Yum Keto Bread Mix and Yeast Bread Recipe

The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas: Keto Gift Guide

The Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe

Keto Cheddar Cheese Biscuits With Chives Recipe

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 Review This Reviews Contributors


Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors





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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Delicious Protein Oat Cookies | A Dairy Free & Gluten Free Treat

 Today I'm going to review a very simple and easy-to-make recipe that tastes absolutely decadent.   Once you try these delicious protein oat cookies you will wonder how you lived without them in your life!

decadent chocolate mint protein cookies that are dairy free and gluten free
Decadent Protein Oat Cookies
Photo by Louanne Cox

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oats (see baker's notes)
  • 1/2 cup protein powder (I used Arbonne's vegan protein powder that is also gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Sweet William dark choc buttons, they are dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free)
Now that you've checked you have all of your ingredients why don't you go ahead and preheat your oven to 180C or 350F.

Let's bake!


First, mash up your ripe bananas and then add your egg, beating it together (if you want to make these cookies vegan you can use a flax egg).

I mix up all of the dry ingredients in another bowl before adding to the wet ingredients, but I'm sure you could do it all in one bowl if you so desired.

So mix the oats, protein powder, cacao powder and chocolate chips together.   Now the recipe that I loosely based this on said that you could use 1/2 cup of quinoa in place of the protein powder - I haven't tried that, but quinoa is a source of protein so a great idea if you don't have any protein powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together really well.   The mixture is quite sticky and it makes quite a soft cookie so I definitely recommend lining your baking sheet with baking paper.

Now I don't mind a rustic-looking cookie so I just used a spoon to get some mix, popped it on the baking paper and flattened it with the back of the said spoon.

Bake them for 13-15 minutes until they are browned and slightly tender to the touch.

Extra Baker's Notes


Now let's talk about a few of the ingredients.   When it comes to the protein powder I used a limited edition choc mint flavour protein powder last time which was delicious and I thoroughly recommend getting this if it's still available.   I would usually just use chocolate protein powder, but since trying this combination I know that when I run out I'll be experimenting with a few drops of orange essence, strawberry essence and (of course) peppermint.

I used dark chocolate buttons because I wanted to use dark chocolate and they only had them in buttons as opposed to the smaller chips.   I will continue to use buttons because they add such a decadent taste to these cookies.  I can't describe how much of a treat these tasted like and yet they were on my healthy eating plan!

If the mixture seems a little too dry I did (on one occasion) add 1 tbsp of water to the mix, it made no difference to the outcome so don't be afraid of doing that, but I wouldn't add much as it shouldn't be a sloppy mix.

A quick note on oats, I'll be honest I just use regular oats.   Oats do not naturally contain gluten, however, in the processing of the oats they can become contaminated apparently which is why celiacs should always grab the gluten-free oats.

A Treat for Celiacs 


I actually work with a celiac, a lady who's lactose intolerant and a third lady who can't eat nuts so these cookies are absolutely perfect for them.   Knowing that I can also eat them on the 30 days to healthy living program is amazing.

As I have said previously you can also make this vegan by using a flax egg - click on the link above if you haven't made a flax egg before, it is very easy.

Perfect with a Cuppa


These cookies are perfect for either morning or afternoon tea with tea, coffee, or even water.   If you're wondering what beverage to try then check out our tea, coffee and other drink reviews:




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