Saturday, March 20, 2010

Low Carb Chocolate Cake for Breakfast

I've been experimenting with almond flour lately and trying to make edible muffins. The goal is to create something everyone in the family will eat as I've decided (and hubby agrees) that we all need to be eating whole foods low carb. The toddler, of course, gets fruit and Greek yogurt and I do sometimes make pasta for the hubby and baby, but other than that, they're eating what I'm eating.

Also, I'm sick of eating eggs for breakfast and want something lighter, easier and more flavorful.

Enter almond flour. I'd been making carb laden muffins for the family but was unhappy with the amount of sugar and refined flour the recipe contained. I started out adding some ground flax and then scoured the internet looking for low carb muffin recipes that would yield something edible.

I like the almond flour muffins I've made so far. Sort of. They don't have much flavor but they bake up beautifully--they look like real bread!--and there's potential. They have the texture of cornbread, which leads me down the path of how I could flavor them to accompany a taco salad.

Last week's almond muffins (the first batch) were edible for my palate only if I added some nutella (12 g carb per tbsp by the way). The toddler didn't much like them although she licked the raspberry jam off with gusto. The husband is more goat than human and would eat paperclips if we let him, so he ate them just fine. In fact, I had to remove them from his hands and remind him the flax content would come back to haunt him in unpleasant ways.

Since my first batch, I've been crunching the numbers trying to see what I could add to improve the flavor without increasing the carb content too high. Also, I want to avoid artificial sweeteners as they tend not to taste good and I worry about their effects on the toddler--this is where the whole food ethic comes into our family nutrition plan.

Of course, I got an awful cold just as I started cooking/experimenting today and I can't taste anything, but I ended up making banana chocolate almond flax muffins today using 1/4 cup brown sugar. They are not super sweet, but are quite cakey, in a good way. They remind me of a European torte, which tend not to be very sweet. The carb count comes in at 11 g of carbs. I can add some dark chocolate chips next time or even look at making a low carb ganache and still come in under 20 g carb. Now, of course, if I eat this for breakfast, I need to watch my carbs the rest of the day but I think I could fit this in pretty easily into my diet.

It could easily be adapted into a rich low-carb-ish dessert for special occasions. And it's all natural--no chemicals. Very much like having cake for breakfast.

Unfortunately, the toddler still doesn't like them. Even after I topped her muffin with some banana pudding (full of sugar, I found the package hiding in the cupboard). I'm crossing fingers that adding some 'real' chocolate will change her mind. I think I'll get some chocolate chips and nuke them a bit to use as an icing right before serving.

I will post photos and the recipe soon so you can try these muffins too.

Next I want to try some savory ideas. A Mexican cornbread. A pepperoni pizza muffin. Those sound good, no?

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