Low Carb Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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Tis the season for warming veggies, and what a better reminder of holiday spirit than pumpkin.  I've also been experimenting with the ketogenic diet, which consists of eating high fat and low carbs.  The hardest part of this diet is feeling like you can't eat baked goods because of the sugars and gluten, but truth be told there is a slew of keto recipes dedicated to satisfying your muffin desires.  Scouting around on the internet I found a great recipe and then made a few small adjustments because I was lacking some of the ingredients she recommended.  You can find that recipe here.) 

 They turned out StHealthy approved (meaning Ryan and kids would eat it) 

 

More fat, no sugar (well sort of...)

In ketogenic recipes, gluten is avoided, and in it's place are almond and coconut flours.  I used almond flour in this recipe, but since then I have also made 1/2 almond - 1/2 coconut.  Sugar is also avoided, with the usual substitute being erythritol, stevia, or a mix of the two.  In this recipe I used xylitol, but at 1/2 the amount the original recipe called for, mainly because that was all I had.  I've made the mistake in the store of thinking I could by erythritol/stevia alone, but discovered after grabbing it for my ketogenic makeover, that it is also combined with white sugar!  Xylitol is 1:1 sugar sweetness, and only minimally raises blood sugars and is actually healthy for your teeth. We also love raw honey in our household, so since I had no more xylitol or erythritol, I used 1 tbsp of honey to sweeten the cream cheese.  That will slightly increase your carb macro's, but only slightly. 

I also used a vanilla whey protein that is sweetened with just stevia, which adds a good touch of sweetness. 

The other part about keto recipes is they incorporate butter, eggs, and some dairy, which makes them live up to the high fat label.  I've also noticed that these recipes aren't as sweet, which I really like, and you don't feel the need to eat one after the other- they are pretty filling.  

Recipe

CREAM CHEESE FILLING

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

 MUFFINS

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup Xylitol sweeetner
  • 1/4 cup whey protein powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (OR 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

 Preheat oven to 325F.  Use coconut oil to grease muffin tin, or use muffins liners. 

  1. For the cream cheese filling, beat cream cheese with honey cream and vanilla extract until smooth. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs, pumpkin puree, melted butter, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  4. Drop a spoonful of batter into the bottom of prepared muffin tins and use a spoon to make a well in the center. Drop a tablespoon of cream cheese filling into the well, then top with more batter to cover the cream cheese mixture
  5. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, or until tops are set and edges are just browned. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Again, you can find the original recipe here if you want to reference that again, as well as see what the macros are.  I'm not adding those here only because I tweaked it a bit.  

Enjoy!