Who doesn’t love a muffin for breakfast, as an after-school snack, or as a comforting treat with a steaming cup of tea?

I certainly do! And yet, I stopped eating muffins years ago when my family’s diabetes genes started manifesting in the form of elevated glucose and I decided to reduce my intake of refined carbohydrates like flour and sugar. Sadly for me, modern muffins are packed with both.

Take, for instance, Costco’s signature jumbo muffins: one of their blueberry muffins supplies 67 grams of carbohydrate and 33 grams of sugar (nearly 3.5 tablespoons)  while providing a modest 9 grams of protein and three grams of fiber, as well as 600 calories (more than the lunches I eat most days), 33 grams of fat, and 800 milligrams of sodium. The wholesaler’s chocolate-banana muffin, meanwhile, delivers 91 grams of carbohydrate, 49 grams of sugar (that’s 5 tablespoons), 43 grams of fat, a whopping 900 milligrams of sodium, a measly 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein, and 780 calories. Wow – just writing this paragraph makes me break out in a carb sweat (yes, that’s a thing).

Please understand: I don’t want to food-shame anyone, nor am I a carb- or calorie-phobe. You can eat whatever you like (hopefully it agrees with you). But when I eat something that contains this much rapidly releasing carbohydrate (while being very low in fiber and protein), I feel terrible afterward. Not guilty as in “I’ve been bad;” just icky — brain-foggy, irritable, and exhausted.

So I decided to come up with a muffin recipe that was almost as delicious as most commercial muffins (in fact, I find it more so). The uber-talented Katrin Nürnberger, keto blogger extraordinaire at Sugar-Free Londoner, made this easy. I started out making with her flax muffin recipe and made a tweak, and then another, and another, until I decided to post my multi-tweaked version here — with deep gratitude to Katrin for setting me on this path.

In addition to being quick and easy to make, these muffins are incredibly versatile. You can make them with any nut or seed flour (for people who don’t tolerate nuts, sesame flour works) and flavor them with anything you like (within reason, I guess): dried or frozen fruits, chocolate chips, pumpkin spice mix, to mention but a few. I haven’t tried making a savory version yet (thinking feta crumbs, sundried tomatoes, olives, and herbs), but that will happen soon and, if successful, will be posted here.

Flax Muffins with Nutty Streusel Topping

Keyword: 30 Minutes Max., Appetizers & Snacks, Breakfasts, Dairy-Free (or can be), Desserts & Treats, Gluten-Free (or can be), Keto (or can be), Low-Carb
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 273kcal
Super-quick & easy, and oh-so delicious!
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • 1 muffin pan
  • 10 paper muffin liners

Ingredients

Flax muffins

  • 4 large eggs
  • cup brown sugar or sugar-free keto sweetener, like allulose (if using allulose, increase to ½cup as it's less-sweet than sugar)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt plain
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flax meal (ground flax seed) I use Trader Joe's
  • ½ cup almond flour finely ground
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon zest freshly grated
  • 1 oz mixed, freeze-dried berries I like these or these

Hazelnut crunch streusel topping

  • 4 tbsp hazelnuts coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp granulated (white) sugar or a keto sweetener like allulose
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with 10 paper cups.
  • In a blender or a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar/allulose (whichever using) until frothy and roughly doubled in size. This should take about 2 minutes. Add the remaining wet ingredients (olive oil, yogurt and vanilla extract) and blend for about 30 seconds until smooth.
  • While all this blending is going on, combine the dry ingredients -- flax meal, ground nuts, baking powder, lemon zest, dried berries, and any spices you might want to add -- in a medium-large mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk.
  • Pour the frothy egg mixture into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and mix with the whisk whisk to combine. Spoon the mixture into 9 paper liners.
  • To make the streusel topping, combine the chopped hazelnuts, sugar, and olive oil in a small bowl and mix with a spoon. Sprinkle a small amount (about 1 tsp) of the topping onto each muffin and gently spread out to cover the surface.
  • Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick or skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool fully before eating so the muffins can firm up.
  • Enjoy on its own, or served (as pictured above) with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a scattering of berries. In a tightly sealed container, these keep for a week in the fridge. They freeze well, too.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 109IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg